FMSF NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE - March 15, 1992 - Vol. 1, No. 1, 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
March 15, 1992 (transliterated into ASCII for record purposes)
Dear Friends,

  Your foundation has now been formed and is incorporated under the
name FMS Foundation (for False Memory Syndrome) in the state of
Pennsylvania. The Foundation is designed to be a public foundation
created for charitable purposes, gifts to which will be tax
deductible. (Qualification with the Internal Revenue Service is
required, but we are assured by the Foundation's law firm, Drinker,
Biddle and Reath, that this qualification will come.) A number of us
have already contributed significant amounts of money (for these
newsletters, the 800 number, legal services) and going forward it will
be necessary to rent offices, acquire office equipment, employ staff,
pay office expenses, meet further legal fees and defray all those
expenses required of a serious operation. Initially we are asking for
annual dues of $100 per family. Please make your checks payable to FMS
Foundation and send them to 2020 1/2 Addison Street, Philadelphia, PA
19146. Now. In fact, such dues payments will not be sufficient to
cover expenses -- not to mention the sort of programs described below
-- and we need additional contributions of significance.  Do what you


  "You can't imagine how many calls I get from people with the same
story," the therapist told us on the phone during the summer of 1991.
"Well, then, please have them contact us," we replied. And you did.
First a call from California, then another from California and then
three from New York. "What an amazing relief to be able to talk to
someone who understands!" you said. When we made contact with a group
of seven families in the Midwest who had already had a meeting, we
suspected that we were dealing with a large scale social phenomenon.

			      800 number

In early November 1991, four "East Coast" families met in New York
to figure out how to reach other families in the same situation. We
decided to start by placing the following notice wherever we could:

  Has your grown child falsely accused you as a consequence of
  repressed "memories?" You are not alone. Please help us document
  the scope of this problem. Contact: 1-800-568-8882.

We asked Hollida Wakefield and Ralph Underwager at the Institute for
Psychological Therapies if they would help us if we paid for the phone
and time for a person to answer.


  We also decided that we would write, write, write, to newspapers, to
magazines, to professionals. We had to find ways to get people to hear
our story. Every time we saw an article that presented only one side
of the false accusation story, we asked to have the other side told,
too. We got help. Friends helped. They stood by and they wrote, too.
Doctors helped. They sent in proposals to give talks on false-
   One of the people we wrote to was Darrell Sifford, a columnist for
the Philadelphia Inquirer. We met with Mr. Sifford who seemed to
understand immediately what was taking place in the world of therapy.
He then wrote a series of articles about falsely accused
parents. Those sensitive and well written articles let many of you
know about the FMS group. One man in Chicago, for example, saw a
reprint of a column in an out-of-town newspaper that someone had left
in a gym in Chicago. In this mailing, we enclose the last article that
Mr. Sifford wrote about us. Darrell Sifford gave us an eloquent voice.

/                                                                    \
| Darrell Sifford died while on vacation last week. "His articles    |
| were like a life preserver to a drowning person," one mother said  |
| on the phone. Mr. Sifford was so deeply upset by the nature of the |
| false-allegations against us and by the strange sort of "therapy"  |
| that our children were receiving that he intended to write a book  |
| about our situation.                                               |
|                                                                    |
| We are indebted to Darrell Sifford. He was a good friend.  Our     |
| honor to him will come through the work of the FMS Foundation.     |


   By December, we realized that we also needed to find ways to
provide people with accurate statistics about falsely accused
families. A parent provided us with a small grant to begin a survey
that could be done without compromising our anonymity. It is not so
much that we fear public scorn, because we know we have done nothing
wrong, but rather the desire to protect our other children and our own
parents that has kept most of us silent. We need to collect accurate
information in a systematic and confidential way that can be used by
lawyers and mental health professionals and people who begin to study
this phenomenon. To date, approximately 100 families have responded to
the survey which we are now starting to analyze. We haven't completed
enough yet to say more than that we are an extremely diverse group in
terms of religious preference, that the oldest person to have a
revelation of memories was a 54 year old woman and that the effects of
the accusations are felt by many more people than the accused. We are
getting many requests from many areas about the survey. I am most
often asked about the therapists, "Are they quacks?" By and large it
does not seem so.

                      THE  FOUNDATION  IS  BORN

  Each of you has brought something special to our group. We are
indebted to you all for making contact and for helping to reach out to
other families. It is our numbers that will let the world know how
widespread this nonsense has become. This nonsense has devastated us:
lawsuits, deaths, divorces, broken families, heartbreak. With the
survey we'll soon have numbers to document the devastation.
  We are especially indebted to the members of one family because of
their generous gift of the organizational talent and financial
resources that have enabled us to create FMS Foundation. With the
Foundation, we should become an effective presence in what Sifford
called the BIG BANG of therapy in the 1990's.


We expect that Foundation dues will cover expenses for:
  * Toll free number
  * Newsletter to families and supporters
  * Survey of families 

Some of the activities to start with the founding of the Foundation as
our resources permit:
  * Press releases with accurate information on topics such as child
    abuse statistics and memory.
  * Resource center for legal cases involving repressed memories.

Because so many cases are settled out of court, they do not make it
into the legal database. A parent has already pledged a sum to
initiate this work which we will complete by summer. 
   * Study of beliefs of mental health professionals.
   * Other things that you tell us need to be done to help you.

/                                                                    \
|                   Where  do  243  families  live?                  |
|   AZ(2)   CA(16)  CO(4)   DE(1)   FL(7)   GA(4)   IA(1)   IL(7)    |
|   IN(5)   MA(2)   MD(2)   MI(12)  MN(3)   MS(1)   MT(1)   NC(3)    |
|   NJ(16)  NY(14)  OH(18)  PA(93)  SC(1)   TX(4)   UT(5)   VA(2)    |
|   WI(16)  ON(Canada)(2)   Abroad(1)                                |

                       REQUEST  FROM  A  FAMILY

  Are you or have you been involved in a lawsuit brought on the basis
of recovery of repressed "memories?" We are being sued by our
daughter, and we would like to network with others in the same or
similar situations.
  Because FMS will not release names or material of members, you must
tell us in writing under what circumstances you wish to have your
phone number shared. If you wish to reply to this family, please write
to FMS:

  "You may send my name to the family wishing to make contact with
  other families involved in lawsuits brought because of recovery of
  repressed memories."
    Phone Number:


  One of our Texas members asked us to share her experiences of going
to the State Attorney General's office to gather information about
licensed therapists. This is the office that can inform you of the
appropriate regulatory body (if there is one) for any classification
of mental health professional.
   She asked me particularly to tell you that the staff was most
courteous after she and her husband told them about the false
accusations of incest. Several times in our phone conversation our
parent-turned-investigator said, "They were so nice to us. They were
so helpful once we started talking to them. They said to us, 'You're
not hippies!'" She said, "It's important that we get out and let these
people meet us."
   In Texas, she reported, the State Attorney General is trying to get
Licensed Professional Counselors to stop using "projective
techniques." She found that therapists are supposed to have special
training to use projective techniques such as hypnosis. She discovered
that some therapists are calling themselves doctor when they do not
legitimately have the title.
   Our parent-investigator said that if you have any questions about
the qualifications of your child's therapist, you can go first to the
State Attorney General's Office to learn which regulatory board is
responsible. Once you have that information, you can find out the
therapist's qualifications.

/                                                                    \
|                      FBI  ASKS  US  TO  STOP                       |
| Kenneth Lanning, the author of the excellent FBI publication,      |
| Investigator's Guide to Allegations of "Ritual" Child Abuse,       |
| January 1992, has asked if we would please stop calling the FBI    |
| for this booklet. Not only have they run out of copies, we are     |
| clogging the phone line. Since we are allowed to reproduce this    |
| book, we are checking into the cost. We will let you know how to   |
| purchase it in the next newsletter.                                |

                     READINGS   YOU    RECOMMEND  

Codependency Conspiracy by Dr. Stan Katz and Amiee Liu, New York: Time
Warner, 1991.

What to Do when Psychotherapy Goes Wrong by Shirley Siegel,
Seattle, WA: Stop Abuse By Counselors Publishing, 1991. (Stop ABC,
5651 S 144 th Street, Seattle, WA 98168)

                        ONE  FAMILY'S  STORY:
                      Where  is  Our  Daughter?

  In January 1990, we contacted our local mental health facility to
seek help for our 18-year-old daughter who had come home from college
claiming that she was having nightmares of being sexually abused at
the age of 5. After one month of both individual and family
counseling, the counselor determined that our daughter, and also our
15-year-old son, were victims of satanic cult abuse.
  At first, we, accepted the diagnosis because the counselor stated
that she had outside satanic cult experts to confirm the diagnosis.
Who were we to argue with professionals? As time went on, however, our
daughter's condition deteriorated. In June, after our son refused to
meet with the counselor on an individual basis any longer, she accused
my wife of being a willing, active participant in the satanic cult
abuse. Our son was accused of being an anti-christ.
   In early September of 1990, we decided to seek a second
professional opinion regarding our daughter's diagnosis and current
mental health. Shortly after that, our daughter disappeared and was
last seen having lunch with her mental health counselor and three law
enforcement officers from another state. When questioned by the
authorities, all four professionals admit to having lunch with our
daughter...but strongly deny any knowledge of where she is.
   We have not heard from our daughter since.
   We realize that due to our daughter's age, no one can be of any
help in locating her... if she chooses not to be found. We do feel
that we have an obligation to make every effort possible to stop this
kind of situation from occurring to another unsuspecting family.
   We believe that federal funds that were solicited by the local
mental health center were fraudulently used. The mental health center
today continues to promote the idea that satanic cults are running
rampant throughout the mid-west.
   We have been frantically searching for our daughter for over 18

  Where is our daughter?

March 20 & 21, 1992
Workshops in Memory 
Hollida Wakefield
Dr. Ralph Underwager
Institute for Psychological Therapies

Exploring Traumatic Memories
Friday March 20, 1992
7:00 - 9:00 P.M. (free)

Magic, Mischief and Memories:
Remembering Repressed Abuse
Saturday March 21, 1992
9:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M. $10.00
Continuing Education Credit Available $40.00
   Sponsored by 
Coalition on Emotional Freedom
13410 Preston Road, Suite 1
Box 129
Dallas, Texas 75240

Next meeting 
Saturday, April 11, 1992  
1:00 P.M.
Map enclosed for Philadelphia area
Forming working committees

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.
Please send suggestions for agenda.
Contact Liz 708-827-1056

Report of Meeting Sunday March 8, 1992
  Our meeting, though comparatively small, was certainly informative.
We were 14 including Michael Flomenhaft and Galen Kelly. Michael, an
attorney, has apparently worked on cases with Richard Ofshe and is
working on some sort of a cult project at this time. He feels he is
very experienced in cases of mind control and our problems, of course,
fall into this category. Essentially he spoke of several possible
options that we might consider after more research into this
complicated problem. This would, of course, vary from state to state.
   Galen spoke about our problems and how it related to cults. He sees
this phenomenon as a well networked sub culture. He, too, will be
doing more investigating.

/                                                                    \
|                        Important  Notice                           |
| One of our parents is a publisher who has the talent and the       |
| ability to write and publish a book of our stories. This is a      |
| vitally important project. We must have our stories told. A visit  |
| to your local bookstore "recovery" section will attest to the many |
| books available to help "adult survivors of sexual abuse." We do   |
| not want to minimize the horror of real sexual abuse. We are       |
| concerned, however, that over-zealous and unfounded accusations    |
| will ultimately undo the important progress that has been made in  |
| this area.                                                         |
| We need your stories for this book as quickly as possible. We want |
| to have the book completed by June to use for media purposes.      |
| Do not worry if your story is not polished. Professional writers   |
| will help with this project. All names and identifying references  |
| will be removed.                                                   |
|                       Send your story to:                          |
|                                  FMS Foundation                    |
|                                  2020 1/2 Addison Street           |
|                                  Philadelphia, PA  19146           |
|                       Please label it as a story to be published.  |