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The Last One Forgotten

FMSF News Alert - August 15, 2018

Dear Friends,

July’s edition of Skeptic magazine features the case of Bruce Perkins - a victim of what is now widely known as "The Moral Panics". The article is entitled "The Last One Forgotten"[1] in reference to the fact that most of the convictions of this type have since been overturned.

The Perkins family nightmare began when one of Bruce’s daughters-in-law began recovered memory therapy in 1990. Soon after, she became convinced that her children and their cousins had all been abused, but who the perpetrator might be changed several times. Eventually the focus fell upon two parties held at the home of Bruce and his wife Carol in 1991. Accusations included the children being smeared with foods, violation with numerous objects, and the mutilation of a family pet (which was visibly unmutilated). All of this supposedly occurred during the party while the children’s parents and dozens of other guests were in another room of the house - yet no one reported any of it for another year.

I first met Bruce and Carol Perkins, not long after the FMS Foundation was formed, at a Texas meeting about false memories of satanic ritual abuse. Dallas was one of the first places to hold such meetings -- almost certainly because of an article in D Magazine about patients in a psychiatric facility who had come to doubt their memories: Abuse of Trust by Glenna Whiley [2]. The article brought together accused families and former patients.

I listened as this bright professional couple told me about the accusations and the lawsuit their children had brought against Bruce. The accusations sounded outlandish to me. Bruce and Carol had hired a reputable attorney. Surely, these accusations would end up in the false-memory dumpster.

Not long after, however, Bruce was convicted and sent to prison. He remains in prison still today. Bruce has appeared before the parole board four times during his incarceration but cannot be granted parole unless he tells the board he committed the crimes and shows remorse. Bruce refuses to do so saying, "I didn’t do these things. I don’t want my family ever to see my name on a piece of paper saying I did those things. If I die here, so be it." [1]

If ever there were a love story to be told, a quarter century of Carol’s letters, phone calls and weekly visits to Bruce tells a very special one. They were high school sweethearts and are just as sweet on one another today - but the years have taken their toll. They have a new attorney and are working on one final appeal, hoping they can outlast the long red tape of the legal process. Time is not on their side.

READ The Last One Forgotten by L. Kirk Hagen [1]to understand first-hand what can happen when the justice system tosses "evidence" to the wind.

[1] Hagen, L.K. "The Last One Forgotten." Skeptic Magazine, Vol. 23. No. 2, 2018, p 20-25.
[2] Whitley, Glenna. "Abuse of Trust." D Magazine, Jan. 1992.

Pam Freyd