FMSF NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE - December 5, 1992 - Vol. 1, No. 11, HTML version

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3508 Market Street suite 128,  Philadelphia, PA 19104,  (215-387-1865)

This address and the phone numbers have changed as of July 15, 2000

Dear Friends,

  "If your child were in the middle of the street and there were cars
all around, you would go out and stop the traffic," Rosemary explained
to a group of parents at a recent meeting in Texas. That's what the
FMS Foundation is all about -- trying to stop the pseudoscientific
traffic of confused ideas about memory and practice so that families
can be reunited. Sisters and brothers, mothers and fathers, aunts and
uncles, grandmothers and grandfathers call to tell us that they want
the person who has "recovered memories" to know that they love him or
her and that they hope with all their hearts for the return of the
person they once knew. They say they know that something bizarre has
occurred in the larger social context to create a phenomenon that
tragically divides families.
  Many people who call, professionals and families alike, tell us that
they are confused. What to believe? While there is plenty of healthy
controversy in the research community about some facets of memory, it
is important to keep in mind that consensus exists on most basic
issues -- especially about human suggestibility:

 * People can have false memories.
 * Under certain conditions, people can get others to remember things
that never happened.
 * Memory does not work like a videotape recorder. People don't just
store an event and play it back later as a true copy of previous
 * What is recalled in a memory is partly a function of current
emotions and concerns. What people remember depends on things that
they are currently thinking about and emotions they are currently
 * A person or professional can have fixed expectations, hence seek to
validate them.
 * The way a question is asked can influence what a person remembers
or says he or she remembers.
 * Any person, including a therapist, may unknowingly suggest ideas to
a patient.
 * Hypnosis, sodium amytal, massages, dream interpretation, self-help
books or participation in survivor groups will not increase the
accuracy of recall.
 * Vividness, detail, or emotional affect are not reliable indicators of 
accurate memory.
 * Most people cannot remember anything that happened before a certain
age, approximately two years. Any memory of events much before that
time is almost certainly a reconstruction based on later events and
should be viewed with skepticism as to its literal factuality. The
evidence of very early childhood memories is very controversial.
 * The term repression refers to a theory about active suppression of
memories with later recovery in psychotherapy. Freud's claim was that
impulse and desire are repressed -- not memories. It is unlikely that
most traumatic events are repressed. The entire status of the theory
is very controversial.

  "OK," said the man at the meeting, "we've identified a problem. Now
where do we go from here?"
  When we first thought about the focus for this newsletter that would
reach people at holiday time, we thought we would write about coping
with empty chairs and refused and unopened packages. But what is there
to write? Families will cope as POW-MIA families have, as families
have coped with earthquakes, tornadoes or wars since time
immemorial. No words or therapy can remove the heartbreak and
depression of the loss of a child. FMS is another phenomenon to be
dealt with. Families tell us, "Let's cope with it by doing everything
we can think of to get the children back, not self-pity." Almost all
of the people who call the Foundation tell us they have concerned
family and friends around them. It is the children with the memories
who are isolated. It is for the children who are caught in a sort of
"fast lane of confused ideas" that we need to stop the traffic. It is
the children who are the primary victims.
  "Where do we go from here?" That's a question often asked in the
office. Since the start of the Foundation in March of this year, the
number of people calling to tell stories about someone recovering
"memories" of abuse and cutting off contact with the family has
doubled every 2 1/2 months. It has been an exponential growth curve,
and it is simply mind boggling that over 2,000 people have actually
called to say that someone in their family has withdrawn contact
because of acquiring "memories."  How many more will call? We have no
idea. The organizational challenges that come with such growth are
many, but they can be dealt with.
  "Where do we go from here?" The answer is simple. We will increase
our efforts to find ways for families to be reunited.
/                                                                    \
| "The belief that everything that we experience is permanently      |
| stored in our memory and is retrievable in accurate detail by      |
| special techniques such as hypnosis and so-called "truth serum"    |
| drugs (amytal, pentothal) represents society's wish rather than a  |
| reality. Although famous neurosurgeon Wilder Penfield once         |
| proposed a "videorecorder" analogy for memory storage, more recent |
| replicable scientific studies do not support this belief."         |
|    George Ganaway, 1992,                                           |
|    Response for the Critical Issues Column of the ISSMP&D News.|

                             OUR CRITICS

  The manner in which we were criticized this month is noted as a part
of the ongoing documentation of this phenomenon. Efforts to discredit
the foundation have moved to the form of personal attacks. Before the
airing of the "Eye on America" segments, at least two people called
the producer to state that the foundation staff is not what it seems
and that it brutalizes children. The callers wanted the segment about
the Foundation removed. We think that this action speaks to the state
of mind of the people who made those calls.
  One recanter told us that when she left her survivors group and told
them that her memories had been false, one of the members accused her
of abusing her own child.
  Another recanter told us that when she confronted her doctor about
the possibility of false memories, he put her in the hospital for a
week and told her that contact with the Foundation was not in her best
  This month the Foundation has been called a public relations front
for perpetrators and also described as part of a national satanic cult
  The method of the preceding examples is more disturbing to us than
the content. Just as the people who get memories, accuse and then run
away, this type of "hit and run" behavior is not acceptable. It smacks
more of a political smear campaign than of a real desire to address
issues of child abuse.
  We respect open criticism. It is the way ideas are shaped and
clarified. To disagree does not imply disrespect. As such we will
respond to a letter that appeared in the November, 1992 APS Observer,
the newspaper of the American Psychological Society. The letter was in
response to some talks that were given at the APS convention. The
author, Kathy Pezdek, Ph.D., a psychologist at Claremont Graduate
School in California, notes that the evidence for FMS is anecdotal and
that a database search failed to turn up any articles. We agree and we
ask for her help in defining and describing in a more scientific
manner the FMS phenomenon.
  The phenomenon is one in which people (mostly well-educated
financially comfortable women in their 30's) recover memories which
others say are false, they become obsessed with the memories and then
they isolate themselves from their family. Dr. Pezdek complains that
there is no evidence for a "syndrome involving the fabrication of
repressed memory for traumatic events."
  It depends on what is meant by evidence. Consider: a Roper survey
says that hundreds of thousands of people have memories of abuse by
space aliens; a society of "past life age regression therapists"
reports that patients are able to remember how their problems started
in previous lives; other "therapists" specialize in patients with
memories of performing multiple satanic ritual murders. Dr. Pezdek
wrote "However, even the name of the Foundation belies their
objectivity; their primary agenda is to undermine the credibility of
people who in their adulthood remember incidents of sexual abuse from
their childhood." We choose to overlook this lapse into attempted
clairvoyance (as she says in the same letter, "let's stick to the
standards we cognitive psychologists are famous for and remember that
silence is golden!"). Instead we invite Dr. Pezdek to visit the
Foundation, to read some of the thousands of stories and to talk with
some people who have been affected by the current phenomenon. We ask
her to join us in efforts to study the controversy that is developing
with respect to the issue of repressed memories of sexual assault,
incest and child abuse. Perhaps she will join members of the FMS
Foundation who have told us that they have written

  Jack Wiggins, Jr. Ph.D., President 
  American Psychological Association 
  750 First Street, NE 
  Washington, DC 20002-4242 

to urge that the APA fund a task force which was approved by the
Public Interest Directorate of the Association on November 7, 1992 for
this purpose.

/                                                                    \
| "A good deal of the current hysteria about child abuse is          |
| propagated by people with a vested interest in denigrating the     |
| family."  is the subheading that appeared in a recent article      |
| called "Long on claims, short on evidence," in Forbes Magazine,    |
| November 23, 1992. The author, economist Thomas Sowell, notes      |
| that:                                                              |
|     "No sane and decent person questions how despicable and        |
| harmful the sexual molestation of children is. What is open to     |
| question is how widespread it is and whether the kinds of policies |
| proposed are likely to make matters better or worse, on net        |
| balance.                                                           |
|  "There are, after all, criminal laws on the books and there is no |
| reason why degenerate parents cannot be treated like the criminals |
| they are. But that is seldom what the promoters of child abuse     |
| hysteria have in mind.                                             |
|  "The bottom line for too many of the zealots is more money and    |
| more authority for outsiders to intervene in families before       |
| anything is proven. Instead of locking up abusive parents,         |
| activists want them turned over to the "mental health"             |
| establishment which will then have a government supplied and       |
| government-financed clientele....                                  |
|  "With child abuse, as with the sexual harassment of women, the    |
| issue is not whether such things happen. All sorts of misdeeds     |
| happen, from jaywalking to genocide. The real question whether it  |
| happened in particular cases -- and what we are going to accept as |
| evidence."                                                         |

                             ANOTHER VIEW

  The controversy about repressed memories of abuse is set in the
context of other trends in our nation. One of these trends is a
preoccupation, a virtual hysteria, with child sexual abuse. The
well-publicized stories involving day care centers are a tip of the
iceberg of stories that are emerging from families who have had their
young children snatched from them on unsubstantiated charges. Several
months ago we reported that the San Diego Grand Jury had determined
that a greater problem existed from system abuse than from child
  The media, professionals and public seem to suspend critical
thinking when the words "child sexual abuse" are used. An immediate
reaction to hearing about an accusation is "Shoot the bastard! Nothing
could be too much punishment for a child abuser!" Families say this is
how they felt too until it happened to someone they know. But the
issue in accusations based on "repressed memory" is not child
abuse. Everyone agrees that child abuse exists, that incest is more
common than once thought and that it is a terrible thing. The issues
in "recovered memory accusations" are memory, the opportunity for
inadvertent suggestion in the methods used to elicit those memories,
and what is to be accepted as evidence.
  The repressed memories controversy is a bizarre blip on a continuum
of concern/hysteria about child sexual abuse. Surely most people, if
they stop to think, will agree that it is absurd to accuse and convict
people based on dream interpretation or feelings. That is a witch hunt
mentality. Surely most people will agree that making "adult
survivorhood" a lifestyle is not an effective way to help children in
need now. Mainstream conservative publications present even stronger
critiques than we do.
 | Hard copy edition includes here a reproduction of a "Guy Stuff"  |
 | 1992 comic strip by Ryan. The dialogue:                          |
 |                                                                  |
 | HANK: This TV show made it all CLEAR, Sam -- I was kidnapped by  |
 |   SPACE aliens.                                                  |
 | SAM: You don't SAY.                                              |
 | HANK: Sure! 9 out of 10 aimless lives caused by POST-alien       |
 |   ABDUCTION trauma!! ...and I'VE got the number ONE symptom!     |
 | SAM: Which IS...                                                 |
 | HANK: NO memory of being KIDNAPPED by SPACE aliens.              |
 | SAM: Scary.                                                      |

                           PRUDENT PRACTICE

  Parents and siblings who call the Foundation are deeply distressed
by the type of therapy they think their relative has received and by
what they say they perceive as arrogant attitudes of therapists. "Why
don't more professionals speak out publicly about what is going on?"
we are regularly asked.
  We suggest to the callers that people who enter the medical or
mental health profession and who take the Hippocratic oath do so
because they truly want to help others. They take an oath that they
will not harm people in their practice. We say that we believe the
reason more professionals have not spoken out is because they have
been just as unaware of the growing FMS phenomenon as we were. The
calls that we get in the office from mental health professionals
convince us that most professionals are profoundly concerned, not only
that people may have been unjustly harmed but that the credibility of
their profession is at stake.
  But when we talk to families, they tell us they are not satisfied
with this explanation. They say they want statements from the American
Psychiatric Association or the American Psychological
Association. They ask how the representatives of the professional
organizations can remain silent about the age regression therapy as
exemplified by Dr. John Mack, Harvard University psychiatrist, in
which people recover memories of space alien abduction. Parents ask,
"Isn't this encouraging delusions? Is this prudent practice?"
  In recent weeks parents have sent us articles about Dr. Brian Weiss,
a psychiatrist bearing Yale University credentials, who uses age
regression hypnosis to have patients remember past lives. Parents ask,
"Is it now considered prudent practice to encourage people to have
delusions about past lives?" The parents say that silence on these
issues implies acceptance. We reply, we hope correctly, that
"remembered" past lives, space alien abuse, satanic ritual
conspiracies or after-death experiences are generally viewed by
mainstream professionals as evidence that the "disease of the month"
is alive and well. Such practices are splinter notions, nontraditional
practices so silly that they do not dignify a response. Fads in
medical practice come and go with great regularity and are the stuff
of 'the tabloids and the talks', not mainstream medical practice. It
is only with the formation of the FMS Foundation that people are
realizing how many therapists hold the belief that incest trauma, a
theory, is the cause for all adult problems. It is only because so
many parents have come forward with their stories of false accusations
that the practices of the incest recovery movement are coming under
scrutiny. Some papers have already appeared on the topic. Statements
from the professional organizations should follow if concerned people
let their feelings be known to the leadership of these organizations.
COMPETENT AND ETHICAL? Stan Hough, an editor for the Winchester Star
(VA) reported on October 28, 1992 on interviews with several
  "Memories can be fabricated in the mind of a patient through
suggestion by a therapist -- no matter how well-intentioned -- who has
presupposed a diagnosis. 'You're not supposed to go into it with that
kind of bias,' said one doctor.
  "Another psychologist said he never verbalizes his suspicions of
child abuse, or asks the question, 'Do you think you were sexually
abused as a child?' because the patient is already highly suggestible
and looking for an answer to his problems or an excuse to blame
  "There is a fine line between uncovering trauma and suggesting
trauma according to another psychologist who works with sexual abuse
and incest survivors. 'The question comes down to the specific
competency of the specific therapist... In the case of child abuse,
people who have actually been victimized by it are hesitant to talk
about it and have often suppressed the memory,' she said. However, the
therapist should not be the one to bring up the subject. The memory
usually surfaces on its own.
the very things that people who call the Foundation say happened.
  No one questions the fact that in the past there was a bias not to
believe a person who said that he or she had been abused. That bias
was not right. But neither is it right to convince people to think
they were abused or to destroy families.
  We will never know what transpires in most therapist-client
meetings. We do, however, have evidence from what is written in books
and said in survivor workshops and therapist training sessions. These
are in the public domain. In past newsletters we have given examples
from the popular media of therapist bias. Is that prudent? What about
check lists of symptoms that tell a person that he or she was sexually
abused? There are other causes for symptoms. Are such check lists
prudent? Consider the following directions given at a survivor
  "If you are not sure if you are an incest survivor, then pick a
period of time and act as if you are one. If you think the perpetrator
was a father and you have little children then don't let your children
be alone with him. After a while you will find the truth." What will
good student-patients do with these role-playing directions? They will
imagine the feelings of an incest survivor. They will imagine the
actions of an incest survivor. Telling a client to role play or read a
book of survivor stories or listen to stories in a survivor group is
not only suggesting an idea but also instilling that idea. Doing this
while at the same time assuring the client that "if you think you were
abused, you were" and making the client feel part of a crusade against
child abuse is the stuff of "mind control" or a "do-it-yourself
cult-starting" program. How can fact and fantasy ever be separated?
Are there any who would claim that this is prudent, ethical, competent
  "If you maintained the fantasy that your childhood was 'happy,' then
you have to grieve for the childhood you thought you had. If your
abuser was a parent, or if you weren't protected or listened to, you
must give up the idea that your parents had your best interests at
heart." p 118 The Courage to Heal, 1988, Bass and Davis.
  What an arrogant suggestion for therapists to make -- that a
person's happy memories were fantasy and that the person's parents did
not have his or her best interests in mind. Clairvoyance 101? Cults
recruit by alienating and separating individuals from their families.

  *We digress to say that it is not our intention to appear to be
The Courage to Heal (CTH) bashing. We believe the authors of this book
made a sincere effort to help women. We know this book is a "bible" of
the incest recovery movement but there are many others such as Toxic
Parents or How to Divorce Your Parents. We know from sales figures
that CTH has met a deep need. We know that ten years ago an incest
victim could find no book to read. We know CTH is just one of a host
that express unscientific ideas and imprudent practice. We suggest,
given what is now known about memory, prudent practice, and the
emerging tragedy of destroyed families, that the authors revise CTH as
quickly as possible.

| Hard copy edition includes here a reproduction of a "Guy Stuff"    |
| 1992 comic strip by Ryan. The dialogue:                            |
|                                                                    |
| SAM: Let me get this STRAIGHT, Hank -- you have NO memory of being |
|   kidnapped by SPACE aliens.                                       |
| HANK: Correct.                                                     |
| SAM: ...and THIS you take as proof that you WERE kidnapped by      |
|   space aliens.                                                    |
| HANK: Absolutely.                                                  |
| SAM: How do you FIGURE?                                            |
| HANK: If it never happened, WHY would my subconscious block the    |
|   MEMORY so completely?                                            |

 "It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards." The White
Queen, in Through the Looking-Glass, by L. Carroll

  "Flashbacks" play an important role in the memory recovery
stories. If there are flashbacks, what about flashforwards (visions)?
How are flashbacks different from flashforwards?
  This question arose as we read the Nov. '92 issue of Omni magazine
Nov. '92 entitled "Special Report: Unlock Your Past Lives." From one
article, "Visions of the Afterlife" we learned that researchers are
"establishing an afterdeath image library," and that "to date, they
have assembled 500 images." The director of the Death and Dying
Project is quoted as saying that "I think the afterdeath has become
our next frontier."
  We let our mind wander. How, we wondered will "flashforwards" play
out in this phenomenon. Suppose, for example, that a person has a
flashforward (afterdeath experience) of being murdered by a particular
person. Will that person in the vision arrested? People are now in
courts charged with sexual abuse based on flashback memories. Why not
for flashforward memories? If not, why not? The one is possible; the
other improbable? How are flashback memories and flashforward memories
psychologically different? 

/                                                                    \
|          How the incest survivor movement helps children.          |
|          Incest Survivors Group to Split From Foundation           |
|                                                                    |
| An Associated Press news release on November 14, 1992 announced    |
| that the incest survivors group started by a former Miss America   |
| is moving from under the wing of the Kempe Children's Foundation,  |
| leaving the foundation with a funding shortage.                    |
|  "The tremendous need and usage of the Survivors United network    |
| program has strained our staff, financial resources and facility," |
| said Michael Reidy, chairman of the board of the foundation, in a  |
| statement released Friday. "Kempe can no longer afford to operate  |
| both programs." He said the Kempe Foundation will return to its    |
| original mission of research, prevention and treatment of child    |
| abuse and neglect.                                                 |
|   Survivors United was founded in May 1991 under the auspices of   |
| the Kempe foundation when Marilyn Vanderbur Atler announced that   |
| she was an incest survivor. Since that time, Kempe has become      |
| known as a program for adults, not children. Donations for         |
| children have declined.                                            |
|   Kempe Center director Dr. Richard Krugman said there is no ill   |
| will between the entities, and "we are very pleased with how       |
| (Survivors United) has developed and grown." He added that the     |
| Kempe national center and the children it serves are desperately   |
| short of funds.                                                    |


  Several people who have called the office recently have expressed
some doubt that recanters, women and men who have told us that they
once had memories of horrible abuse but who have since decided that
these memories were false, actually exist. "Why don't they come out in
public?" they challenged. "For the same reasons that most of the
families wish to remain private," we replied. Perhaps a few stories
will explain.
  Anna (a pseudonym) called to tell us that she got her memories in
1986. She said that these memories included satanic rituals and that
she cut off her family, the usual story. We asked her if she might be
interested in telling her story and she said, "I'll be happy to speak
to other parents whose children have "memories", but my own mother is
now seventy-five years old and she has been through enough because of
this. I couldn't do it to her. I can't be public."
  Ellen (a pseudonym) called to tell us that she has just recently
given up her memories after ten years in therapy. "My mother died,"
she said. "She died while we were estranged. I am very angry about
this." We asked Ellen if she would be interested in telling her story
publicly and she told us that her lawyer had advised her not to be
public. Ellen is suing the therapist whom she believes influenced her
in getting the memories. Ellen is just one of the recanters who is now
suing therapists for inducing false memories.
  Susan (a pseudonym) told us that she got her memories after she went
to a therapist for depression following the birth of her second
child. Diagnosed as a victim of child sexual abuse, the therapist
recommended she go to at a private hospital in another state for
intensive treatment for sexual abuse trauma. Susan said that after a
failed suicide attempt at the hospital, she realized that something
was very wrong. She changed hospitals and doctors and within six weeks
in a new program with medication for depression she was back to
normal. We asked Susan if she wanted to be public. "No," she said. "I
just want to get on with my life and put this all behind me. I want to
be with my husband and take care of my two little children." Susan
agreed, however, to participate in any research projects that might
help other people.
  There are many reasons why recanters do not wish to become
public. We respect these wishes as we respect the wishes of the
families accused. This is, after all, the worst nightmare in the lives
of the people who call the Foundation. It is a nightmare for those who
believe they have been falsely accused of doing terrible things to the
children they love. It is a far worse nightmare, we are learning, for
those who have gone through the experience. "I'm trying to help the
Foundation to make up for what I did to my own family," said one
recanter. What a sad commentary that even one person would ever feel
compelled to say these words in the name of "therapy."
  Systematic interviews with recanters are in progress. In January we
will start to collect demographic and family information.

/                                                                    \
|                 Recruiting parents for therapy                     |
|                                                                    |
|   To: Parents                                                      |
|   From: Daughter & Son-in-law                                      |
|   Date:                                                            |
|   Our current relationship is not acceptable to us. We will not be |
| able to enjoy fellowship as a family until the following           |
| requirements are successfully met:                                 |
|   1) XXX successfully receives in-depth counseling at the          |
| Counseling and Wellness Center at AAA Hospital.                    |
|    a) A psychiatric evaluation will be performed with in-depth     |
| counseling sessions to follow.                                     |
|    b) The counselor will be YYY, who helped us in the past, will   |
| review the case with ZZZ.                                          |
|   2) Neither ___ will ever be included in any counseling sessions  |
| at any location.                                                   |
|   3) Our family doors remain closed until the aforementioned       |
| requirements are successfully completed.                           |
|   4) The aforementioned requirements are not negotiable.           |
| In closing, we feel the pain of treatment, as professionally       |
| recommended, is far less painful than the current situation is for |
| all involved.                                                      |
|                            In the Spirit of Healing,               |

                        BEDLAM AND THE "TALKS"

  Bedlam, the popular name for Bethlehem Royal Hospital, was the first
lunatic asylum in England. It became famous for its brutal
ill-treatment of the insane and its name became a much used word in
our language. Before the establishment of zoological gardens, popular
entertainment was to go and watch the crazy people at Bedlam. To most,
such a thought now seems repugnant. We like to think we have
progressed in our attitudes towards disturbed people. But have we?
When television glamorizes people who have flashbacks of satanic
ritual conspiracies and space alien abuse or flashforwards (visions)
of after death experiences, what are we doing? How is that different
from a Sunday afternoon stroll to look at the crazy people in Bedlam?
  There is an important distinction between bringing child sexual
abuse to light in the public forum -- as it should be -- and
encouraging delusional thinking by making heroines of people who see
things that are not there. There is an important distinction between
between responsible reporting and providing a forum for disturbed
people to make unsubstantiated accusations that destroy the lives of
others. It is the failure to keep this distinction in mind, the
failure to exercise critical thinking, that leads people to say we are
experiencing a witch hunt of great magnitude.

/                                                                    \
|                    A Therapy Fable of the 90's.                    |
|                                                                    |
|   Once upon a time there was a land where people went to           |
| specialists to work on their stature. Short or tall, they spent    |
| hours exploring their past heights.  They considered themselves to |
| possess hidden squatness which only the specialists could see and  |
| measure. They got in touch with their shortness. They sought some  |
| standard elevations which they believed their specialists to       |
| exemplify.                                                         |
|   Unfortunately, the more they worked on their height and the more |
| they expressed the short and tall of themselves, the more obsessed |
| they became with size. Helplessness and hopelessness ran rampant   |
| because no one was skillful at changing the stature nature had     |
| endowed. More and more desperately the people implored their lanky |
| specialists to help them. More and more deeply they examined their |
| dwarfish tendencies. They confirmed and affirmed and empowered     |
| themselves to grow taller. They struggled with their unconscious   |
| resistance to upraise themselves. But it was all for naught --     |
| expensive naught.                                                  |
|  In time the people learned that no matter how tall or short they  |
| were, no matter how uncomfortable they were with their height,     |
| they could climb. They began to take climbing lessons. They        |
| discovered that the views from the high mountains are worth the    |
| climb. Eventually they learned that growing tall isn't the same as |
| growing up.                                                        |
|    By David Reynolds, The Yoga Journal, May/June 1992,             |
|      page 55 as part of an article entitled,                       |
|              "Is Psychotherapy a Waste of Time?"                   |

                     PEOPLE ASK, "WHAT CAN I DO?"

  Write your stories. Send them to the Foundation to document the
events of this bizarre period.
  Write to the media and professional organizations. Express your
opinion about relevant articles and programs. Be sure that both sides
of the story are accurately and fairly represented. Your state contact
person has the addresses of the major newspapers and TV stations.
  Visit your library or bookstore. If Confabulations is not available,
ask to have it purchased. Are other books that you have found
informative available?
  Talk with other families in your state and form a plan for reaching
out to inform doctors, lawyers, judges, licensing boards, educators
and clergy to inform them about a serious problem that must be
addressed immediately. Let them know that thousands of families want
their children and grandchildren back safely and quickly.
  $$$ Help us raise the money we need to send information to
people. We cannot operate without money. The more money we raise, the
more packets of information we can send out. We are making ambitious
plans for 1993 believing that the faster and harder we work, the
faster we will see an end to an unacceptable situation.
  The Foundation has made a remarkable accomplishment in the nine
months of its existence. It has opened up a subject and changed the
nature of its discourse, but the task still before us is enormous.
  Has the Foundation helped you or members of your family, your lawyer
or therapist? Many people have said that the existence of the
Foundation has saved their lives. One family gave the Foundation the
value of the Christmas gift that they would normally have given to
their missing child and grandchildren.
  Your generosity to date is unparalleled in organizations such as
ours. We recognize that and thank you. This is not an ordinary
organization. It is an organization dedicated to the most important
issue in our lives: finding ways for children to return safely and for
families to reunite.

 Donations (in U.S. dollars please) may be made to
  FMS Foundation, Suite 128
  3508 Market Street

This address and the phone numbers have changed as of July 15, 2000
  Philadelphia, PA 19104
The FMS Foundation is a tax exempt 501 C 3 charity. 

/                                                                    \
|            Where do 2,010 families live? - 11/24/92                |
|   AK(7)   AL(5)   AR(5)   AZ(42)  CA(315) CO(32)  CT(27)  DE(5)    |
|   FL(83)  GA(30)  HI(3)   IA(12)  ID(14)  IL(83)  IN(18)  KS(23)   |
|   KY(8)   LA(7)   MA(64)  MD(33)  ME(10)  MI(72)  MN(33)  MO(34)   |
|   MS(1)   MT(6)   NC(19)  ND(3)   NE(9)   NH(4)   NJ(70)  NM(13)   |
|   NV(12)  NY(89)  OH(64)  OK(19)  OR(36)  PA(145) RI(7)   SC(9)    |
|   SD(4)   TN(13)  TX(66)  UT(108) VA(30)  VT(10)  WA(90)  WI(90)   |
|   WY(3)   DC(4)  Canada - AB(1)   BC(12)  MB(11)  NS(1)   ON(84)   |
|   PQ(3)   SK(3)     England(3)  France(1) Israel(2)                |

                          MEETINGS / NOTICES 
      Professionals and Parents in Support of the FMS Foundation

  To place a notice in this column, please be sure that we receive the
information in writing by the 20th of the month. December 20 is the
deadline for inclusion in the January newsletter.
December 13, 1992
Call Waldon at 207-865-4044

February 6, 1993
Call Jim at 602-860-8981

                           A MOTHER'S STORY

By Linda McCarty,The Winchester Star, VA, Oct 28, '92
Reprinted with permission 

  Jane and John's (not their real names) closeness to their daughter
and hopes of having a loving, positive relationship with their
grandchild were removed last year through an emotional surgery that
may take years to hear.
  Jane's description of the past year is that of "a living hell for
our family." The trauma began when Jane and John's married daughter,
Louise (not her real name), became depressed and sought help from a
counselor. After their daughter's second counseling session, she
followed her counselor's advice and admitted herself to the
psychiatric ward of an area hospital. Jane said that Louise was in the
hospital three days before she and John were notified.
  "I usually talk to Louise everyday and I became worried when I
couldn't reach her on the phone," Jane said. "I called my son-in-law
and he told me she was with a girlfriend and he'd have her call me,
but she never did." Finally, Jane called her daughter's friend who
told her about Louise's hospitalization. That same day Jane also
received a letter from her daughter telling her that she was in the
  "My daughter told me that she wrote to me instead of calling because
she was afraid that I would attempt to talk her out of going to the
hospital," Jane said. After Jane read the letter, she called her
daughter and asked if she could come and visit and her daughter said
that she could. When Jane arrived at the hospital, Louise told her
that she regretted having admitted herself and wanted to go home.
  "I told her that if she had admitted herself, she should be free to
leave when she wanted," Jane said. It wasn't that easy because when
Louise told her counselor that she wanted to go home, the counselor
said that she couldn't, Jane said. Louise had been having emotional
problems since she was a teenager, including bouts of severe
  "My daughter told me that the counselor said that (Louise) was a
danger to herself and that 'you've got good insurance, I'm going to
make lots of money off of you,'" Jane said. As her daughter continued
to insist that she wanted to be released, Jane contacted an attorney
for advice and was told that there was nothing Jane could do to help
her daughter. The situation was further complicated when the counselor
told Jane that if she tried to get her daughter released, she would
have Louise "sent to another hospital faster than I could get there,"
Jane said.
  "She was pregnant by then," Jane said. "And the counselor told her
that if she didn't get further help, she'd have problems with recall
during childbirth. I didn't know what kind of recall Louise was
talking about," Jane said. When Jane and John visited Louise at the
hospital, Louise's doctor, who Jane said was an associate of her
daughter's counselor, alluded to child abuse as the cause of Louise's
emotional problems.
  "I could not conceive of the fact that we were being accused of
child abuse," Jane said. But they were. The day that Louise was
discharged, Jane and John received a letter from their daughter which
said that "we had verbally and physically abused Louise when she was a
child," Jane said.
  "We were in shock. We had disciplined her. We had spanked when she
was a child, but she was never beaten," Jane said. "She was sometimes
sent to her room or grounded, but we had done nothing that was
considered anything but normal discipline." Louise also told her
parents that through counseling she remembered her mother yelling at
her when her housework wasn't satisfactory or the dishes weren't clean
  "Admittedly, I did fuss at her about those things, but I never
considered it abusive. I thought it was a way of teaching her the
correct way to do things," Jane said. After Louise returned from the
hospital, the relationship between Jane and John and their daughter
and son-in-law became strained. Louise finally suggested that they
have family counseling with her therapist.
  "We agreed," Jane said. "But the sessions were like being in
court. Once the counselor got right in my husband's face and said,
'Why don't you tell the truth about what happened to your daughter
when she was growing up'" After a few sessions, Jane said that the
counselor told them that she didn't need to see them again. She said
that "we were on the road to our daughter's recovery and we didn't
need anymore family sessions."
  Several months after the sessions ended, Jane and John began
noticing that their son-in-law was becoming increasingly rude and
would barely speak to them. Jane said that she finally confronted him
and asked him to tell her what was wrong. He told Jane that Louise's
psychological problems were a result of not only verbal and physical
abuse, but also sexual abuse by Louise's father when she was a child
and a teenager.
  "My son-in-law told me that Louise had said that her dad came into
her room and sexually abused her when everyone was asleep," Jane
said. "It was impossible. I know my daughter and I know my
husband. There were never any signs of sexual abuse. It couldn't have
happened." After talking with her daughter, Jane was told that the
sexual abuse was suggested by Louise's counselor.
  "Louise said that at one point (during counseling) she told the
counselor that she had had a dream about being sexually abused but
didn't know who the abuser was. The counselor said to her 'wake up and
smell the coffee, it had to be your dad. Why won't you admit it?' Now
our son-in-law hates us and he and the counselor are constantly trying
to convince our daughter that we are guilty. My husband has
volunteered to take a lie detector test, sodium pentothal, or whatever
means it would take to prove he did not sexually abuse our daughter."
  Although their relationship was strained, Jane and her daughter
continued to see each other and Jane was excited about the upcoming
birth of her first grandchild. But her excitement was then replaced by
hurt when she discovered that the counselor planned to be the second
person allowed in the labor room before Louise's child was born, Jane
  "The counselor had convinced Louise and her husband that since my
daughter had this abuse problem, she would experience recall during
labor and the counselor should be with her instead of me," Jane
said. When Jane heard of the counselor's plans, she talked to Louise
and told her how much she would like to be with her during
labor. According to Jane, Louise also wanted her mother there and
asked the counselor to stay in the waiting room unless she was
needed. Although the counselor agreed, when Jane arrived at the
hospital the night the baby was born, the counselor was in the room
and refused to leave. Not wanting to make a scene, Jane said she went
to the waiting room hoping the counselor would come out of the room so
that Jane could be with her daughter.
  "This sounds absurd, but it was like the counselor forgot who she
was and was trying to be my daughter's mother," Jane said. When the
counselor didn't come out of the room, Jane said she broke hospital
rules and went into her daughter's room, where she saw the counselor
wiping perspiration from her daughter's face. Jane said she pushed
the counselor aside and took her place beside Louise.
  When Jane's grandchild was being born, only Louise's husband was
allowed in the room and Jane and the counselor went to the waiting
room. Jane said that while they were waiting, the counselor said,
"Your daughter writes beautifully. This will make a wonderful book
someday." The counselor's comment surprised Jane and she wasn't sure
what it meant. Later, Louise told her that part of the counselor's
therapy technique was to have patients write about their life and
feelings they had during therapy.
  A few months after the baby was born, Louise was again admitted to
the psychiatric ward of an area hospital. After she was released, Jane
said that the counselor told Louise that to get well she would have to
make a choice between the counselor or her parents.
  "Louise chose us," Jane said. "Louise told me that she told the
counselor that she was not going to break ties with her family." Jane
also said that her daughter has now realized that her father did not
sexually abuse her. "She told me that she didn't know who was in her
dream, but she was positive that it wasn't her dad and has remembered
parts of her childhood that have convinced her of that fact." Jane
said that her daughter has also made an attempt to break ties with the
counselor, "but the woman keeps calling her," Jane said.
  The family is now seeking help from another counselor and hopes to
repair the damage that has been done. "I've never argued that my
daughter didn't need help," Jane said. "She needed help desperately."
Jane and John believe that their daughter's emotional problems were
exacerbated by the counselor... "Counselors like the one our daughter
saw can cause problems in families that may never heal." January
Newsletter The January newsletter for members will include the 'Legal
Resource' and 'Visiting Your Child's Therapist' publications,
Conference registration material and several compelling stories .

To obtain a transcript or videotape of the Nighttalk with Jane Whitney
show on November 11, 1992 featuring Lynn, a recanter, contact:
Burrelle's Transcripts, P.O. Box 7, Livingston, NJ 07039,

                      FMS FOUNDATION CONFERENCE

Date:  April 16-18, 1992
Location: Valley Forge PA Convention Center. 
Hotel and registration information mailed in January.
Tentative Format: Day and a half academic conference followed by a day
and a half convention. On April 16 there will be invited research
presentations by speakers who represent a variety of views. On April
17, additional papers and also a panel of recanters followed by
concurrent sessions on topics of interest to families.


| Hard copy edition includes here a reproduction of a "Dilbert" 1992 |
| comic strip by Scott Adams. It can be found on page 32 of Freyd,   |
| Pamela & Goldstein, Eleanor (1997) Smiling Through Tears.      |
| Upton Press. The dialogue:                                         |
|                                                                    |
| DOG: Have you ever had a strange dream or a nosebleed?             |
| PERSON: Yes.                                                       |
| DOG: It's clear that you're suppressing memories of being abducted |
|   by aliens. I can use hypnosis to get at those memories.          |
| PERSON: What if the hypnosis itself makes me think it happened     |
|   when it didn't? I'll be scorned and ridiculed for life.          |
| DOG: That's a risk I'm willing to take.                            |