Dr Jessica Taylor Truth Revealed

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  • Dr Jessica "Jess" Taylor, formerly Eaton, is an author and campaigner whose work focuses on VAWG (Violence Against Women and Girls.) She holds a PhD in forensic psychology but is not a clinical psychologist, see below for more on this distinction.


    Background

    Jess grew up in Stoke-on-Trent. As a teenager, she got into an abusive relationship, leading to the birth of her elder son; she married and had another child while still in her teens. She held jobs at a magistrate's court and later as the manager of a rape crisis centre, eventually studying for an Open University degree in psychology and then her PhD at the University of Birmingham. She co-founded The Eaton Foundation (now TEF Mental Health and Wellbeing), a men's mental health charity, with her ex-husband. Jess has since come out as a lesbian and has re-married to her current wife Jaimi.

    In 2015-16 Jess became known for a campaign called "No More CSE Films", designed to prevent schools showing films that graphically depict sexual abuse of teenagers - this is often done as part of PSHE, to teach about "grooming" and personal safety. As of 2017 she is self-employed at her company VictimFocus, which purports to offer support and training relating to VAWG. She has published the books Why Women are Blamed for Everything (2020 - adapted from her PhD thesis) and Sexy but Psycho: Uncovering the Labelling of Women and Girls (2022) along with academic papers and a novel. She co-hosts a podcast with Jaimi, and has announced an upcoming deal with Netflix.

    Since early July 2022, Jess has been on a Twitter hiatus, saying she and her wife and children are being threatened, harassed, and lied about online. This happened after Sally Ann, an abuse survivor with whom Jess did not follow appropriate professional ethics (see below for more), spoke out on Twitter and the matter was discussed on Tattle and other sites. Jess is still active on her other social media, and has made it clear that she's avidly reading every single Tweet and forum post about her.


    Controversies

    1. She is not qualified in any kind of therapy, but she deliberately gives the impression that she is clinically trained and has provided direct therapeutic care to survivors of sexual violence. She plays on the fact that the general public doesn't understand the difference between a psychology PhD (intensive research in a specific narrow niche, e.g. the impact of advertising on body image) and a doctorate in clinical psychology (NHS-based training with a heavy taught component that includes six-month rotations across different mental health and learning disability services).

      As a result, her opinions on autism, bipolar disorder, and trauma therapy are no more informed than those of the average person on the street, but she sets herself up as an expert in the knowledge that most people will hear 'psychologist' and assume she actually has a background in these things.

    2. Her books were published without peer review and contain a lot of unevidenced and factually incorrect ranting, but she uses her PhD to suggest that it's all research-driven. Her PhD is self-funded, which means that unlike most PhD students she did not have to take a Masters degree first, nor make a good case for her research in order to get funding. If an academic criticises her, they're elitists who can't bear to see a working-class mum being successful. If someone outside academia criticises her, they don't have the expertise to know what they're talking about. She also likes to say that she is being held to unfairly high standards that a man would not be held to. It is very unlikely that Jess's poor research, or some of her claims, would be accepted without question if they came from a man.

    3. She used some survivors' stories in her books without proper informed consent and then lied about it repeatedly, changing her story multiple times when the survivors provided screenshots of the evidence. One of these is a woman named Sally Ann who disclosed her story to Jess through the "No More CSE Films" campaign. Jess sent the police to Sally Ann's home to try and intimidate her into silence. Meanwhile her wife Jaimi decided to send Sally Ann a manipulative guilt-tripping message, because nothing says professionalism quite like doing that. Jess has made posts indirectly taunting Sally Ann, as well as indicating that she reads all SA's tweets about what happened.

    4. A few former employees have disclosed in confidence some worrying allegations about Jess's company, Victim Focus:

      • The company feels like a cult where Jess is constantly praised, and gets upset if she is not the centre of attention. Staff are expected to defend her whenever she argues with someone on social media - even if it's outside working hours.
      • The company functions like a MLM scheme; it exists to sell training courses, that teach people how to sell training courses, etc.
      • Jess discriminates when hiring and wants only young staff (ideally straight from university), as they are less likely to criticise her management style or question something that might be unethical.
      • Staff members have been dismissed with immediate effect, and with no reason given, after they questioned Jess or the way the company was run. Jess does not always let people work their agreed notice period, and has threatened staff with no reference if they leave.

      "Officially" Jess employs as a sole trader, so she can get around some of the restrictions that companies have to comply with. Her high staff turnover means that few, if any, of her employees (other than her own wife and mother-in-law) make it to the two-year mark where they would have legal grounds to pursue a case for wrongful dismissal.

    5. Heavily promotes anti-medication and anti-psychiatry views, despite having no qualifications or experience in either field. She ignores professionals with relevant experience, and patients who find that medication or psychiatry work for them. A core theme of Jess's work is the idea that mental illness and neurodivergence are just labels for trauma, which everyone naturally experiences. She believes that personality disorders don't exist, women with autism or ADHD are misdiagnosed, and even serious conditions like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia are not illnesses and shouldn't be medicated.

      Such claims are at odds with the views of most doctors and clinical psychologists working in these fields, and she cannot offer any credible evidence. She also doesn't suggest any alternatives to the use of medication or psychiatry. Some of her messages can be very harmful if taken at face value by vulnerable people e.g. if someone stopped taking their prescribed medication. (Jess does, at least, encourage anyone who wants to stop taking their medication to speak to their doctor first.)

    6. Jess encourages vulnerable women and survivors to work for her unpaid or at minimum wage, while employing her family in what you would expect to be high-paying roles. (She employs both her wife and mother-in-law, even if all three of them took a modest £40,000 salary, that'd still be over £120,000 annually going to Jess and her family.) She gave Jaimi senior roles at two different companies, even though Jaimi doesn't have a relevant educational or professional background that would qualify her for these positions.

    7. Jess has a habit of telling unlikely-sounding stories about her personal life, see below for some examples. This is intended to provoke people into questioning her, which she uses as "proof" that she is being unfairly maligned over gossip and trivialities, and that criticism of her work is based on personal dislike. In one instance, she said her dog was a "rescue" (implying the dog, an obviously expensive pedigree, came from a shelter) but then admitted on a private account that she bought the dog from a breeder. Some Tattlers who know her personally have said that this came across as Jess testing their loyalty, telling a lie to see if others would play along.

    8. The public social media accounts she uses for work are full of personal rants, lashing out at people, and inappropriate personal photos.

    9. Jess and Jaimi announced they were setting up a charity called MOCRA for women who have had children resulting from rape or abuse. They crowdfunded £5,000 for it and set up a website but the website is now deleted, and MOCRA has never been registered as a business or charity. Jess has never mentioned MOCRA again or explained where the money went.

    10. Jess often talks about "satanic abuse" and "satanic ritual abuse." These are highly loaded terms associated with QAnon and the 1980s "Satanic Panic." She says she's referring to the legitimate subject of ritualised abuse within cults and religious groups. However, she speaks about it in terms of cover-ups and survivors being silenced, deliberately using language that appeals to conspiracy theorists so they will follow and defend her.

    11. Her relationship with Jaimi involves many elements that Jess has frequently described as signs of abuse or grooming when straight couples do it.

      A man dating a woman he first met when she was 16 and he was 24 - she would call that grooming. Said younger woman becoming ‘step mum’ - she would say exploitation. Quick wedding and lavishing the younger woman with expensive holidays and a big house - she would definitely have something to say. She’s such a hypocrite.
    12. Generally prone to hypocrisy, grandiose claims / statements, attention-seeking, and refusal to accept responsibility. Any criticism is always based on prejudice because she's working-class, a woman, young, a lesbian, they can't accept the truth, etc. etc.

    Questionable statements

    The issue here is not where Jess's jewellery came from or what her exam results were. It's that she tells stories that she knows will not sound truthful, regardless of whether they are. Jess and her defenders then claim that "no one has any valid criticism of her work, they have to resort to nitpicking her personal life" - i.e. that honesty has no reflection on her credibility. This mirrors the way she distorts things in her professional capacity (especially her lack of ethical considerations when dealing with survivors.)

    One of her sons has a unique form of colour blindness and the only colour he can see is blue.


    She can write 15-20k words a day, to publishable standard (while sleeping 10-12 hours a day)




    Suffering from many physical and mental ailments throughout her life, including allergies, anxiety, abnormal heart rhythm, a stroke, blindness, cervical cancer which led to the removal of her cervix, and having no period for many years - leading to doctors labelling her "infertile and broken" even though she'd had two children. All these ailments were miraculously cured by her leaving her husband and coming out as gay. She attributes her health problems to her unhappy marriage, yet says she'd had them for "two decades" i.e. since she was nine years of age.






    At the age of nine, she found "a rare black Tahitian pearl" and kept it all her life until she could have it made into a ring for her 30th birthday. This particular story was so important to Jess that she hosted a Twitter space about it.

    Screenshot 2022-07-20 at 15.55.57.png

    She left school nine months before her GCSEs, yet showed up to sit them "out of spite" and miraculously achieved 11 B grades. Not impossible, but questionable since most state schools won't enter a student for GCSEs if the student has low attendance.

    jessgcses.jpg


    Examples of unprofessional behaviour and lack of knowledge

    This recording was taken by a then-current employee of Jess during a training session. Jess describes psychosis as a "social construct" and compares it to religion or believing in psychic powers, neither of which is considered a disease. This demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of what psychosis is, how it manifests, and the effect it has on the life of the person with the condition.

    She considers anyone with women and girls to be a professional in the field. Including people like volunteers or support workers, who may have minimal training and no relevant qualifications.



    Examples of hypocrisy

    Denounces victim-blaming but publicly blames and shames Sally Ann and Rosie (another survivor whose story Jess used without permission in similar circumstances as Sally Ann.)

    Posts personal attacks / criticisms of other people but defends herself by saying "focus on the wider picture not the individual."

    Criticises academia as corrupt and unfit for purpose, but her brand is built around the image of Jess as a respected, highly qualified academic. She uses her team's qualifications to promote VictimFocus even though, for example, Jaimi's degree in politics is completely unrelated.

    Criticises paywalls but puts some of her own work behind a paywall.

    Says she does everything for the sake of vulnerable girls and women. But shamelessly jumps on any opportunity for self-promotion.

    Says she's anti-porn. But shares visibly staged photos of herself semi-undressed, posing suggestively, or kissing / touching Jaimi.

    Says she abhors ageism. But promotes the ageist (and misogynistic) stereotype that older women are all bitter and jealous of young women; and allegedly practices age-based hiring discrimination at Victim Focus.

    Says she always stands up for what's right, and will speak the truth no matter how "unpopular" it is. But backtracks or keeps quiet about certain views for the sake of her brand image. In the past, Jess vocally supported JK Rowling and attended events for gender critical women, but now she avoids the subject completely. It'd be one thing if she said she'd become better informed and changed her mind, but her conspicuous silence suggests she did not want to be labelled a "TERF" and risk losing business or followers. Another example is how she is openly anti-vax at VF, but keeps quiet about it publicly. She isn't shy about her anti-medication views, despite not being a medical doctor - so if she really believes vaccination is harmful, why not say so?

    Preaches about listening to, and supporting, sex workers. But attacked a sex worker for saying that Jess has never been in the sex industry and has not had the experience of being dependent on sex work to survive. (Jess identifies as a former sex worker because she once slept with her bank manager in exchange for a loan.)

    jessgracey.jpg
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