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Positive Changes in the Culture

FMSF News Alert - November 1, 2012

Dear Friends,

The Dr. Phil show featuring "therapist" Judy Byington and her MPD patient has been delayed. Many families have already sent messages with Doug Mesner’s information to the producers. Thank You to those who have taken action.

Is there a connection between these efforts and the schedule change? Maybe time will tell.

Philadelphia came through Sandy’s storms with light damage. By now you have likely seen pictures of the devastation in New Jersey and New York. That’s the way False Memory Syndrome has swept through the culture -- like a hurricane -- sweeping some families off their foundations while bypassing others.

From the surveys that we conducted back when FMSF was new, the most significant aspect of the families which set them apart was that the accusers had good insurance!

Times have changed. What is the common factor in families being newly affected today? Have the dynamics changed?

There have definitely been some positive changes in the culture. For instance, it is unlikely that we would have seen an article in the New York Times during the early 1990s like the one described below.

Why Syracuse Isn’t Penn State

October 19, 2012 New York Times op-ed

by Joe Nocera

Selected paragraphs:

"On Nov. 17, 2011, less than two weeks after a grand jury indicted Jerry Sandusky, thus igniting the Penn State sexual abuse scandal, ESPN broke the news that a second big-time college assistant coach had been accused of abusing young boys. His name was Bernie Fine, and he was the longtime top assistant to Jim Boeheim, Syracuse University’s legendary basketball coach."

"Within 10 days of the ESPN article, Fine had been fired by the university. In the meantime, two more accusers came forward. It also emerged that The Syracuse Post-Standard had investigated Davis’s charges in 2003, but had not written an article. The university had learned of the charges in 2005; it kept the information to itself. Boeheim, for his part, had issued a vehement defense of his assistant -- "It’s a bunch of a thousand lies," he told ESPN -- but backpedaled after Fine was fired."

"In the heat of the moment, it was easy enough to assume that what had happened at Penn State had also happened at Syracuse: that the university -- and the larger community, which lived and breathed Syracuse basketball -- had entered into a conspiracy of silence. When I wrote a column about Fine last year, I essentially accused The Post-Standard and the school of covering up the allegations."

"It’s now 11 months later. Sandusky is behind bars, as he should be. And Bernie Fine? Although a grand jury is still investigating, it is unlikely that charges will ever be brought. Two of Fine’s accusers have recanted. One of them admitted that Davis had put him up to it. Serious questions have also been raised about a third accuser, Mike Lang, Davis’s stepbrother, who had always denied that he had been abused by Fine -- until the Sandusky story broke."

"The refusal of The Post-Standard to publish an article about Davis’s allegations -- charges it could never corroborate -- now looks like responsible journalism rather than a dereliction of duty. The university hired the law firm of Paul Weiss to review its actions in 2005. The firm concluded that while the university had made mistakes, it had investigated Davis’s allegations diligently and had come to the same conclusion as the newspaper: there was simply no proof. With the passage of time, ESPN is the one that appears to have acted irresponsibly (although the network disagrees with this assessment) -- along with the rest of us who piled on."

"Today we’re all sensitized to the damage that child sexual abuse can do. That is all to the good. But as long as an accusation alone can be ruinous, there will always be some reluctance to report a suspected child molester. What the Bernie Fine case really shows is not how far we’ve come, but how much further we have to go." (emphasis added)

Links:

Full Article: www.nytimes.com

Open letter to Dr. Phil: www.examiner.com