FMSF NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE - April 1, 1992 - Vol. 1, No. 2, HTML version

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F M S   F O U N D A T I O N   N E W S L E T T E R
April 1, 1992  (transliterated into ASCII for record purposes)

Dear Friends,

  Thank you all for the tremendous outpouring of support that has come
with your dues and donations. The very generous gifts of money that
some of you have been able to give along with pledges of future
funding mean that we can proceed to set up a serious organization
devoted to accomplishing the goals set out in our mission
statement. What we can accomplish will depend both on our individual
efforts and on our collective resources. Do what you can. What can be
more important than helping our children come back and working to see
that others do not have to experience what we and our children have
  Help comes from you in so many ways: the graphic designer who took
charge of our logo; the person who is helping us write grants and is
taking us to funding agencies; the person who is reproducing the FBI
report; the person who is coming to stay for two days to see that our
bookkeeping is of the highest standard; the person who is helping
prepare press releases; all the people who are writing letters,
contacting reporters and sharing stories; all of you who write with
encouragement. Thank you all.
  In just a few months most of us have moved from a situation in which
we were enduring heartbreaking pain in isolation to being part of a
group of more than 260 families who recognize that what we are
experiencing is a phenomenon of our times. It still hurts, but it
helps explain a little what is happening.
  As you will see from some preliminary survey data that we share with
you, as a group we are generally well-educated, above average
economically, and over 50 years old. We span, however, the religious,
political, professional and regional diversity of our country. Groups
such as ours have a tendency to fractionalize: we are highly stressed,
we get hurt feelings, we get frustrated because results are not fast,
we have different opinions about how to do things. To accomplish what
we need to do, we must focus on our common goal to help our children.


  We are currently writing by-laws for all the functions that must be
carried out by an organization such as ours. That is being done in
conjunction with our legal support. It will be done well. We need to
find office space, purchase a FAX machine and organize files. This
will get done. We are setting up scrupulous bookkeeping methods and
putting in motion systems for handling increasing amounts of mail. We
are organizing volunteers. We are exploring funding agencies. We
expect to announce the first FMS Fellows soon. The basic issues of
forming an organization are moving along.
  Of great concern to many of us, however, is structuring the
connections between the diverse groups that are forming so that our
efforts are well organized yet creative, solid in communication yet
open for fast growth. To work quickly, we need to avoid unnecessary
duplication and we need to benefit from each person's and each group's
experiences. The newsletter can help as a filter and conduit of
  In addition, we will take the advice that many of you have given and
appoint regional liaisons. That should be done within the next few
weeks along with some guidelines that groups can discuss.

  "Salem's dark hour: Did the Devil make them do it?" by Bruce Watson
Smithsonian Magazine, April 1992


  Frank Putnam, a Senior Investigator at the National Institutes of
Health is doing a study tracking pernicious rumors as they sweep
across the country on the child-abuse circuit. He hopes to undermine
the process by producing clear evidence of the role of rumor in the
creation and transmission of false information and allegations. If you
hear or read the following statement would you let him or us know:

  "Dr. Putnam of the NIMH has found that 20% to 50% of multiple
  personality disorder patients have histories of satanic ritual

Please record:
  1) When you read or heard it (Date),
  2) Where (geographic location),
  3) Source (e.g.newspaper article, workshop, handout),
  4) Approximate number of people involved (e.g. workshop attended by
     100 therapists).

Frank W. Putnam, M.D.
Bldg 15, NIMH, Bethesda, MD 20892 


  Holly Wakefield and Pam are working together on the survey. Holly is
looking at the psychological instruments that are included and the
office has arranged for the data to be entered into a database. We
will analyze the data first to meet the needs and interests of those
who will be making presentations. Dr. Harold Lief, for example, will
be making a presentation on false memories in June at a conference for
family therapists. Holly Wakefield and Ralph Underwager have organized
a symposium on false memories for a psychological conference this
  We expect that people will soon tell us that we must have a control
population in order to make the most sense out of our data. But how
could we do that before we have found out who we are? This is a very
important survey.
  The following information is based on the first 73 returned
questionnaires. (6 others returned incomplete: 2 were not appropriate
cases, 2 elected not to do the questionnaire, 2 unknown.)

Socioeconomic status when accusing child was growing up.
  Upper class    1
  Upper middle  23
  Middle        40
  Lower middle   6
  Lower          0
  No response    3

Current family income
  Under $15000  1
        $15-19  0
        $20-29  3
        $30-39  6
        $40-49  5
        $50-59  5
        $60-69  8
        $70-79  3
        $80-89  7
        $90-99  2
      $100-149  6
      $150-199  2
     over $200  2
     No answer 23

Marital Status of parents
  Married                58
  Divorced or Separated  12
  Widowed                 3

Satisfaction with marriage in the 58 married parents:
  At least one partner judges marriage to be fairly unhappy or a little
  unhappy 9(16%)

Both judge marriage to be happy to extremely happy       48 (84%)

Education of Accused Parents
                  Father  Mother
  Less than H.S.  5( 7%)   2( 3%)
  H.S.            9(13%)  24(35%)
  Some college    8(12%)  10(15%)
  BA, BS, RN     23(34%)  23(34%)
  Grad degree    23(34%)   9(13%)

Accusing Child Gender
  Male       7(10%)
  Female    66(90%)

  Accusing Child Education
  H.S.                   16(22%)
  Some college or still
   in school             14(19%)
  BA, BS                 23(32%)
  Grad degree            20(27%)
   (MA, MS, MBA, MD, Ph.D., JD)


  If not, please hurry up and do so. We must soon mark a cut-off time
for the first serious analysis, but we want to include as many of you
as possible. We want to provide the most accurate information about
our children, us and our situation that we can. If you called the 800
number after 3/1/92, you may not have received your survey yet. You
will. If you called the 800 number before 3/1/92 and have still not
received a survey, please let us know and we'll find out what
  We will continue to present results of the survey in each newsletter

  The following information comes from telephone interviews:

/                                                                    \
|                  Where do 264 families live?                       |
|    AZ(2)   CA(16)  CO(5)   DE(1)   FL(7)   GA(4)   IA(1)   IL(8)   |
|    IN(6)   LA(1)   MA(2)   MD(2)   MI(14)  MN(3)   MS(1)   MT(1)   |
|    NC(3)   NJ(17)  NY(14)  OH(24)  OR(3)   PA(95)  SC(1)   TX(4)   |
|    UT 5)   VA(2)   WA(2)   WI (16)                                 |
|             DC (1)  ON (Canada) (2) ABROAD (1)                     |


PHILADELPHIA AREA Saturday, April 11, 1992 1:00 P.M. You should
already have a map to meeting. Agenda To form working committees for:
Programs for Meetings, Office Support, Outreach to Professional
Community, Research for Fact Sheets, Publicity, Newsletter,

  Saturday, April 25, 1992
  1:00 P.M.
  Benton Harbor Michigan
  Holiday Inn - Holidome
  2860 M 139 South (49022)
  I-94 Exit 28
  Ask for room in Holidome Area
  Participants should make own reservations.
  AARP prices.
R.S.V.P. Liz 708-827-1056 so that we can reserve a meeting room that
is big enough. A collection will be taken to help offset some of the
meeting expenses ($50.). Lynn, one of the young women from Dallas who
has recognized that memories of abuse may be false, will be present.
She will tell about her experience and answer questions. Holly and Pam
will have new information from the survey to present. Don't miss this
meeting if you are in the Midwest neighborhood.

  Thursday May 7, 1992
  7:00 P.M.
  Contact Doug Wilson 619-943-75-72
  Details to follow.

  Saturday May 16, 1992
  1:00 P.M.
  Contact 800-374-7477


 The Dallas workshop on March 20 and 21 was attended by mental health
professionals, warm and well-organized parents, and caring young women
who have abandoned their false memories of abuse. The workshop, for
which continuing education credit was available, serves as a model for
an outreach effort to the professional community. Holly Wakefield and
Ralph Underwager prepared an interesting and well-documented program
outline of the memory research. It was a very informative meeting.
 Many people are asking about Dallas, "Who are the people? What's
happening?" There are eight families who have come together after they
learned about each other from an article about Gloria Grady by Glenna
Whitley that appeared in D Magazine. All the families are involved
with the same clinic. It is a very interesting situation and everyone
is curious about what will happen.
  We are examining the surveys carefully to see if any similar
situations exist.

/                                                                    \
|                              NOTICES                               |
| + Thanks to everyone who has sent us material that may be used for |
| publication. Our stories will be told.                             |
| + Perhaps some siblings could write about what it is like to be    |
| the brother or sister of someone with false memories. We remember  |
| one young person commenting, "Who will ever want to date me or     |
| marry me if they learn about the mess that is in our family?"      |
| Another spoke of her heartbreak because her sister will not even   |
| come to her wedding. Several have spoken of the pain they are in   |
| to see their parents so grieved.                                   |
| + Don't worry if your story is not polished. Professional writers  |
| will help.  All names and identifying references will be removed.  |
| Label your story and send it to:                                   |
|                                      FMS Foundation                |
|                                      2020 1/2 Addison Street       |
|                                      Philadelphia, PA 19146        |
| + Has your experience with false memories included being sued?     |
| Will you share what you have learned with others? Other families   |
| desperately need to talk to you. Please let us know if they may    |
| contact you.                                                       |
| + To order Investigator's Guide to Allegations of "Ritual" Child   |
| Abuse, January, 1992, by Kenneth Lanning, National Center for the  |
| Analysis of Violent Crime, FBI, send us $5.00. The FBI has run out |
| of copies and funds to reprint, but we have permission to make     |
| copies.                                                            |

                   "I WANT TO HELP. WHAT CAN I DO?"

Here are some specific things that need to get done. Please help.

1 - We need to get ready to send out press releases about our national
organization. You can help us do this by sending us the names and full
addresses of your local newspapers, radio talk shows, and appropriate
local television shows.

2 - We need to reach into the professional communities. We can start
by putting caring doctors, psychologists, social workers, lawyers and
writers on our mailing list. Then we can ask them to help us reach
others. Please continue to send us names and addresses of interested
people who should know about us.

3 - We need to continue to try to think of dignified ways to reach
other families caught in the false memory web. If you put out flyers,
be sure to get permission and place them in approved locations. Do you
belong to a church or an organization that would let you put a notice
in its newsletter?

  Have you been falsely accused on the basis of recovered "memories?"
  You are not alone. Help us document the extent of this
  problem. Contact: False Memory Syndrome Foundation through the
  Institute for Psychological Therapies, 1-800-568-8882.

4 - We need to continue to monitor the media and respond whenever we
see that only one side of the story is being told. You can respond
individually, but if you send us the article or information, we can
also respond as an organization.
  One of the things that we can look for and insist that the media do
is report accurate information. The rumors and misinformation
surrounding the false accusations based on recovery of repressed
memories are shocking. In future letters, we will deal with some of
these issues such as "body memories" that you have been asking about.

  One piece of information that appears again and again but for which
there is actually a lack of accurate data is the number of people who
have been sexually abused. A figure often quoted is 1 out of 4
females, but we have recently seen 1 out of 3 and even 1 out of 2. A
source frequently quoted is

  National Committee for Prevention        
     of Child Abuse (phone 312-663-3520)
  332 S. Michigan Ave.
  Suite 1600
  Chicago, Illinois 60604

Please write or phone this committee and receive your own information.
We have received the following information from them:

  "The estimate that one in four girls and one in ten boys are abused
  prior to age 18 became widely known simply from being repeated.
  Retrospective surveys reveal great variation with 6% to 62% of females
  and 3% to 31% of males reporting to have experienced some form of
  sexual abuse."

We know and deplore the fact that sexual abuse and incest are terrible
problems that have been hidden and under-reported. We are deeply
concerned, however, about the fact that 65% of accusations of abuse
are now unsubstantiated, a whopping jump from 35% in 1976 (Woman's Day
4/1/92, p 44). The danger in this is that genuine cases will be
missed. The danger is that families are being destroyed
unnecessarily. The danger is that our children may have to live for
the rest of their lives thinking that they were victims of sexual
abuse and incest when, in fact, it did not ever happen.

Issues that we should expect the media to report when giving
statistics on the frequency of sexual abuse are:

  1) limitations of retrospective data

  2) confusion over the definition of sexual abuse

  3) the question of reliability of any figures that come from data with
  variation of 6% to 62%.

                       QUESTIONS YOU HAVE ASKED

What is a pedophile? Pedophile is not in most dictionaries. It is a
diagnostic term and is another way of saying 'child-molester.' The
DSM-III notes under pedophialia (p 271, 1980) that "Heterosexually
oriented males tend to prefer eight-to-ten year-old girls, the desired
sexual activity usually being limited to looking or touching."

What is the DSM-III? The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
Disorders (Third Edition) is published by the American Psychiatric
Association. The book standardizes the diagnoses of mental disorders
by specifying the number of and types of symptoms. With each edition,
changes are made, some mental disorders are dropped and new ones
added. Insurance companies generally only cover diagnoses listed in