FMSF NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE - November 5, 1992 - Vol. 1, No. 10, 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,

  "Three weeks ago I received a letter from my daughter for the first
time in two years," a mother explained, "It talked about her work, the
weather, etc. as if nothing had happened. It was to me 'Dear Mom.' We
sent her husband the FMS material. I don't know if she read it."
  During the past month many of you have written to tell us that there
have been some changes in your personal situations. Thank you. It's a
trickle, but awareness of the FMS phenomenon started with a trickle
only eight months ago, in March. To help us understand the processes
that are taking place, please continue to keep us informed of these
changes. It is only in this way that we can accurately document the
phenomenon and help others to understand.
  More recanters have called this past month, and we're learning that
there will probably be as many ways that people give up the memories
as there are ways to get them. We expect to be in a position to write
more about this fascinating aspect of the phenomenon in the next
newsletter. There is a message to parents from one recanter elsewhere
in this newsletter, and the recanters have started a network and even
their own newsletter. No one likes to admit to mistakes. The courage
of these women to do so deserves respect. While most tell us that they
desire only to put this horror behind them and to get on with their
lives, still they are volunteering to make public appearances in our
behalf. We thank them.
  For many families nothing has yet changed, and we share the profound
frustration and sadness. Even though the situation may not yet have
changed, we are changed as we come to understand the dynamics of the
phenomenon. Just as a tornado seems to sweep erratically across the
landscape destroying whatever is in its path, so too this phenomenon
has swept across a segment of society. Unlike a tornado, this wild
fury does not seem random in its prey. Both have underlying order. FMS
has concentrated on highly educated women who are generally successful
by popular standards. Most of the victims are entering middle-age and
come from families with above average incomes and education background
who provided well for their children with such things as dancing
lessons, tennis lessons, junior years abroad, parental participation
in school activities and family vacations.
  The patterns in the data indicate that the phenomenon is affecting
people who would otherwise be described as "privileged." Because these
women had the resources, they happened to go to a mental health
professional for some personal reason. Yet, from the beginning of
time, people have sought help with problems of stress, body image,
headaches, relationships or sexual desire. What is different now is
that we are living in a period when trauma theory is the vogue at the
same time as misinformation about the nature of memory and the extent
of child sexual abuse abounds. As a consequence of this pervasive
theory, confusion about the frequency of child sexual abuse and
partial understanding of memory, many therapists -- the majority fine
and caring people -- honestly believe they are rescuing adults who
were abused as children by helping them to recover their memories of
that abuse.
  In this newsletter, we write about trauma theory as it helps to give
us an understanding to the problems facing us. This phenomenon will
only be a tragedy if we let it be. We -- now over 1,650 families or
approximately 10,500 individuals -- are writing the script. Although
you tell us that your goal is to get your sisters or daughters back,
you also tell us that you feel, understandably, tremendous anger. Can
we turn the phenomenon into an opportunity to bring about a much
needed critical examination of the mental health education, delivery
and monitoring systems?
  You can make that happen. At the national level write to the
Congressional Select Committee on Children, Youth and Families
(address below); write to the media -- newspapers and television -- to
inform them about what is going on. At the state level, learn about
the licensing laws and other legislative issues that affect you. Make
your voice heard. At the local level reach out. Work with the FMS
Foundation liaison in education efforts. At the personal level,
document carefully the details of the actors and actions that have
devastated your life. Plan for the end of this episode at both the
personal and the social levels by thinking about what you most would
like to have happen, what you can live with and what is not
acceptable. Tell us your thoughts.
  The following comment from a parent captures what we in the office
feel is your new proactive spirit. "Although our troubled daughter is
a self-supporting adult and has been on her own for fifteen years, we
feel that in view of the events of the past three years, we can no
longer assume a passive role in this matter, and must take whatever
prudent steps are warranted to protect the interests of the family as
a whole and assure our daughter's recovery."
/                                                                    \
| US Representative Pat Schroeder is heading an investigation of     |
| issues related to some of the question you have raised about       |
| hospitals and techniques of therapists. If you have questions or   |
| information you wish to direct to that office write:               |
|  c/o Mickey Uelses                                                 |
|  The Select Committee on Children, Youth and Families              |
|  Room 364                                                          |
|  Ford Building                                                     |
|  Washington, DC 20515-6401                                         |

/                                                                    \
|                            Two Stories:                            |
|          How the incest survivor movement helps children.          |
|                                                                    |
| (1) The headline in The New York Times on October 17, 1992 was     |
| chilling: "Child Killings in City System Reach Record: 27 Deaths   |
| Bring Calls for Changes in Training." For the past three years,    |
| the number of children killed in troubled families (considered     |
| abusive or neglectful by the Human Resources Administration) has   |
| risen. "The report, prepared by a panel of experts who examined    |
| confidential city records, criticized city caseworkers for         |
| frequently overlooking the role of various men in the murdered     |
| children's homes." Thirteen of these children died because of some |
| sort of beating. The next leading cause of death was malnutrition: |
| five children starved to death. City officials noted "that budget  |
| cuts have reduced the number of caseworkers who investigate        |
| allegations of child abuse."                                       |
|                                                                    |
| (2) The headline in the Wall Street Journal on Monday October 12,  |
| 1992 told a survivor story, "Case Over Will May Test Viability of  |
| Delayed Sexual-Abuse Claims." A very wealthy man, Mr. Bobst died   |
| in 1978 at the age of 93 and left most of his money to charities,  |
| universities and medical schools. His granddaughter, Ms.           |
| Bobst-Highley, now 52, unsuccessfully challenged the will 14 years |
| ago and is now claiming she was in no condition to mount a         |
| vigorous challenge to the will right after her grandfather's death |
| because of the sexual abuse trauma. She didn't remember the abuse  |
| 14 years ago when she was 38. Her lawsuit comes a year after Ms.   |
| Bobst-Highley's niece and Mr. Bobst's great-granddaughter sued the |
| beneficiaries for damages for alleged sexual abuse.                |
                            TRAUMA THEORY   

  Researchers in education and cognitive science have made profound
progress in the past decade in understanding how children learn. From
a time in which we viewed children as passive vessels to be filled
with adult wisdom, we now know that on the contrary, each person
constructs knowledge or understanding for herself or himself. We have
learned that infants have perceptual abilities far greater than once
believed. Even very young children, we now know, are theory
builders. People construct all kinds of theories to make sense of the
world, and we have learned that these theories may be influenced by
the cultures and times in which people live. People are always
constructing theories about things.
  People construct theories about health. These theories are shared by
medical professionals and the people who come to them as clients. A
new book by the historian Edward Shorter from the University of
Toronto, From Paralysis to Fatigue: A History of Psychosomatic Illness
in the Modern Era, The Free Press, 1992 is a remarkable documentation
of the way in which patients during the modern era have manifested
physical symptoms that correspond to the current models of disease
espoused by physicians. During the Victorian era, for example, the
dominant forms of psychosomatic illness were hysteria and paralysis.
Patients commonly lost their vision or the ability to move. Today,
such symptoms are so uncommon that "hysteria" is not even a diagnostic
category in DMS III. Rather, a psychological model of illness has
become prominent in the 20th century. People now commonly accept that
illness is due to environmental stress to explain their symptoms.
  Trauma is one kind of stress. In the American Heritage Dictionary,
the psychiatric definition of trauma is "an emotional shock that
creates substantial and lasting damage to the psychological
development of the individual, generally leading to neurosis." This is
an extension of the medical use of trauma meaning wound. The current
belief that childhood trauma is the cause of our adult problems is an
overly simplistic interpretation of the work of Freud. It is a
theory. This particular theory, that adult problems are the result of
childhood trauma, represents a set of assumptions that have been
widely adopted by the mental health community and the press. The
belief that adult symptoms are due to childhood trauma leads to belief
in the self as a "victim."
   A THEORY IS NOT A FACT. People need to have theories to make sense
of the world, but a theory is not the same as fact. People develop
theories from their personal experience, but a given individual may
experience only partial information. Often people believe theories
that turn out to be not correct because people don't have all the
facts. For example, personal experience led people to believe the
theory that the sun rose and set, but additional information led to a
revision of that theory to understand that the apparent motion of the
sun is caused by the rotation of the earth around its axis.
  In the not too distant past some people held the theory that a
person who was mentally disturbed was possessed by the devil who must
be exorcised. In the more recent past, psychiatrists had a theory that
some people's mental health would improve if they received enough
physical "discipline". During the 60's some therapists held a theory
that people's mental health would improve if only they would unleash
their inhibitions and scream. At the present time belief that
childhood trauma is the reason for psychopathology is perhaps the
foundation not only for the widespread belief in the frequency of
incest but also for thousands of people who believe they have been
sexually abused by space aliens. (Unusual Personal Experiences, An
analysis of the data from three national surveys conducted by the
Roper Organization, 1992. Los Vegas: Bieglow Holding Corp.)
  We often laugh at past theories even if we believed them at the
time. The current theory that appears to be held by an extremely large
portion of the mental health community is that a person's mental
health will improve if only the person remembers the childhood
trauma. The job of the therapist who holds such a theory is to help a
client get memories. This leads to use of techniques such as
age-regression hypnosis, dream interpretation, trance writing, reading
of self-help books, participation in survivor group meeting, sodium
amytal and even massages as ways to bring back memories. Scientific
evidence no more supports the theory that recovering memories of
childhood trauma is a sure route to mental health than it does for
exorcising the devil, frontal lobotomies, or primal scream
therapy. Indeed, we are collecting alarming evidence that these
techniques may be harming rather than helping patients besides
destroying their families.
CAN BE TESTED AND REVISED. For example, when children are learning
English, most develop a theory that the past tense is marked by "ed."
There are many examples of young children saying things like "I maded
my bed." or "I ated my dinner." As more information about language
becomes available, children revise their theory and no longer
overgeneralize. At this time, it appears that trauma theory is being
grossly oversimplified and overgeneralized. This is leading to
examples that would be considered ludicrous were the topic other than
child sexual abuse. (e.g., The Germantown, PA Courier on Sept 23
proclaimed"The family is one of the most dangerous places to grow
interpretation, trauma theory is not a good theory because it has lost
explanatory power. When John Bradshaw claims that 95% or more of
American families are dysfunctional, he certainly has an explanation
of why some are remembering childhood sexual abuse. But he has trouble
with all their siblings who do not have such memories. (Our data show
that most siblings of accusers disbelieve the accusations.) But trauma
theory explains everything and in this case it forces believers to the
statement that those who do not have memories must be "in denial"
which denial is itself caused by the trauma. No matter what is
believed there is an "explanation". Believe in space alien abuse?
They'll tell you that you're denying your incest.
  When therapists use trauma theory to explain everything from
migraines to intestinal upset, from depression to obesity, from sex
aversion to sex proclivity, from job stress to relationship problems,
they have lost any explanatory power that such a theory might have
once had.
  A survivor story that points to the problem of a theory that
explains everything. Hundreds of parents and siblings have asked us,
"How could the therapist ignore my daughter's current problem
(divorce, death of a child, job loss, etc) as an alternative reason
for her depression?" Our files are full of stories such as the one we
recently read by A.G. Britton in the October 1992 issue of Self
magazine called "The Terrible Truth". When we started to read this
story we thought that we were reading a satire. We do not say this to
belittle the writer but to point to the absurd extreme that total
belief in childhood sexual trauma as the sole cause of all adult
misery can reach.
   The author begins by relating that she was successful, rich and 33
years old. Then: "Eight months later, I was fired. But losing my job
was just the capper. During those eight short months, I had watched,
helpless, as my two-and-a-half-year-old son got hit by a car; he was
unhurt but I couldn't stop worrying about him. I had miscarried in my
third month of pregnancy, begun hemorrhaging and required emergency
surgery. And I had arrived home one day to find the four-story
building next door engulfed in flames. An underground electrical
transformer had exploded, and in doing so had created a kind of mass
hysteria among the mothers on the block."
  The writer then explains that she became depressed. She describes
her efforts at therapy, her acquisition of memories. She concludes
that the depression arose from "The basic truth was that my father had
sexually violated and otherwise tortured me from the age of six months
to the age of 18 months."
  Belief in trauma theory forces the writer and her doctor to discount
job loss, seeing a son hit by a car, an emergency operation, and a
fire in one's house as having any explanatory value for depression.
Over-zealous belief in trauma as the cause of all psychopathology has
led well educated people in all walks of life to suspend their
critical abilities and toss aside research about memory. Researchers
have been able to demonstrate that infants are more active mentally
than once thought, but the same studies confirm that children can not
hold long-term memories from eighteen months of age (Eisenberg, 1985).
(The term "infant amnesia" refers to the developmental period before
long-term memories are formed, Nelson and Ross, 1980.)  Researchers
have also demonstrated that isolated traumatic events can be
repressed, but there is no evidence that people can repress memories
of events repeated over an extended period.
  A GOOD THEORY CAN BE TESTED. A theory that cannot be tested is not a
good theory because it cannot be revised as more information is
obtained. A theory that cannot be revised is a 'closed system' and is
characteristic of faith or religion or cults, not science. While faith
is an important and necessary ingredient in human lives, it is not
acceptable (in this civilization, at least) when it is the sole basis
for destroying families, for destroying people's reputations and for
sending them to jail. As trauma theory is worked out in books such as
Courage to Heal it is not a good theory because there is no standard
by which an accusation could ever be found to be false. (To the credit
of Bass and Davis, they note that their book is not based on
scientific theory.) If a person is accused and confesses, he or she
is considered guilty. If that person professes innocence, he or she is
said to be "in denial" and thus also guilty.
  One might rationally think that if a person who made an accusation
then recanted that this would be evidence of a false accusation. Not
so. Within the closed system, the response from therapists is "Why
should we believe the recanters?" (Renee Fredrickson, July 1992, PBC.)
In other words, to be accused of sexual abuse is to be guilty. The
therapeutic community that has adopted trauma theory allows for no
tests for revision of the theory. It is this that lead some to see
parallels in the current situation to that of Salem 300 years ago,
(e.g., Gardner, Sex Abuse Hysteria, 1991).
  We all need theories. When those theories are destroying
reputations, destroying families and sending people to jail, however,
we believe that it is fair to ask that the holders of the theory
explain what evidence they would accept that the theory or an
accusation might not be correct. The responsibility is theirs.
Pennsylvania Hospital on October 20, 1992, Dr. Harold Lief suggested
some reasons for the appeal of trauma theory. We expect that these
will be discussed very seriously within the mental health community as
the horrible consequences of the actions of some therapists come into
public scrutiny.
1. Belief that childhood sexual abuse is extremely common. (In
reality, how common is it?)
2. Strong tendency to believe the patient
3. Need to establish therapeutic alliance
4. Contextual thinking
  a) Power of men over women
  b) Belief in Recovery Movement
    (12-Step Movement)
    (Self-help groups)
5. Uni-dimensional (parsimonious) explanation of patient's symptoms
6. Therapist victim in past
7. Financial benefits

REAL? How many parents were accused and then asked by the accuser and
her therapist to answer this question? What are the reasons that a
person might experience such painful memories -- memories so
terrifying that it is necessary for the person to cut off contact with
parents. We present three responses. The first is a study of brain
function; the second the observations of Dr. Harold Lief; the third
comes from an accuser.
  (1) Persinger, M. A. (1992). Neuropsychological profiles of adults
who report "sudden remembering" of early childhood memories:
Implications for claims of sex abuse and alien visitation/abduction
experiences. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 75, 259-266.
  Complete neuropsychological assessments were made of six adults who
had recently experienced sudden recall of preschool memories of sex
abuse or alien abduction that "emerged" when hypnosis was used within
a context of sex abuse or New Age religion. The results indicate that
a history of anxiety and suggestibility may facilitate the creation of
images whose content is determined by the social context or expectancy
which is present during conditions (such as hypnosis) that facilitate
dissociation. If these images reduce anxiety, then they may be
reinforced and perceived as memories. Sex abuse or alien/spiritual
visitations or abductions are contemporary themes that can facilitate
a sense of identity, personal structure and teleology.
  (2) Possible reasons a person might have terrible memories and make
a false accusation (Dr. Harold Lief):

1. To punish someone else
2. To punish self
3. To have a uni-dimensional explanation for symptoms and deficiencies
4. To avoid blame
5. To attract attention
6. To screen other trauma, or self-injurious behavior
7. To provide a clear-cut distinction between good and evil, avoiding
  (3) Perhaps the best explanation comes from one of the accusers. In
a letter in which she accused her father of incest she wrote: One of
the unambiguous delights of my realization that you abused me, is the
wonderful parsimony that affords for all sorts of previously
mysterious secrets I've had. Even people around me express delight in
this and point out how positive many of my coping strategies have been
and they say how nice it will be for me when I won't need my less
positive strategies -- paranoia, phobias, misdirected anger. My
friends didn't know about my anorexia, my hypochondria, my
kleptomania, or my depression of my adolescence through early teenage
years. Her word is delight. She has found a single hypothesis that
accounts for everything and leaves no room for any responsibility for
her own condition. Wonderful parsimony indeed. Before the behavioral
scientists started using the word it meant stingy. When applied to a
hypothesis it is supposed to mean that the cost is low in terms of
assumptions. Wonderful parsimony indeed, unless, of course, you count
the destruction of a human family.

                           CAUTION ADVISED

  What should a prudent therapist do if something as serious as
childhood sexual abuse is suspected? The following cautious
recommendations are adapted from Wakefield, H. and Underwager, R.,
"Recovered Memories of Alleged Sexual Abuse: Lawsuits Against
Parents", (in press).
Information Needed in Assessing Allegations by Adults of Sex Abuse in
1. All medical, psychiatric, and school records of the person claiming
abuse from childhood to the present.
2. Any information concerning relationships with peers, siblings and
parents, or any childhood behavior problems of the person claiming
3. Any information concerning the sexual history of the person
claiming abuse, including rapes, other childhood sexual abuse,
abortions, etc.
4. The nature and origin of the disclosure, in as much detail and
specificity as possible, including its timing and any stresses in the
accuser's life at that time.
5. Information about any current problems or stresses in the life of
the person claiming abuse.
6. The nature of previous and current therapy, circumstances in which
therapy was sought, whether techniques such as hypnosis and survivors'
groups were used, the training and background of the therapist, and
whether he or she specialized in treating MPD or "recovered" abuse.
7. Any books, television shows, or workshops about sexual abuse or
rape to which the person claiming abuse may have been exposed.
8. Any exposure to recovered memory cases through a highly publicized
case in the media or through friends who may have reported that this
happened to them.
9. The work history of the person claiming abuse, including any
problems with supervisors or coworkers, especially any allegations of
sexual harassment.
10. The psychological characteristics and social and family history of
the accused adult(s), including drug or alcohol use, sexual history,
family relationships, job history.
11. Any criminal record or prior behaviors in the accused adult which
would support or undermine the credibility of the allegations.
12. A detailed description of the behaviors alleged to have occurred.
13. Possible ways by which the person making the accusation might
benefit from or receive reinforcement from making the accusation
(e.g., a civil lawsuit, an explanation for why life has not gone well,
the expression of anger for perceived childhood injustices, power over
a dominant parent, attention, acceptance, new friends (in survivor
group), etc.).
                        FOUNDATION ACTIVITIES

  We wish that each of you could visit the Foundation office to
experience the increased activity. Of course, we'd put you right to
work stuffing packets. This month, besides sending information to all
the people you have suggested, we have sent packets to deans of 130
schools of social work, the heads of the Psychological Association in
each state and to the chairs of 400 clinical psychology departments.
  Powerful articles are appearing and several national television news
shows have appeared. In November look for FMS stories on CBS Street
Stories, Eye-On-America (a part of the nightly CBS news) and ABC Prime
Time Live. The former may have a short segment in the office and
perhaps you will see it. Of course, we cleaned up for the filming so
you'll just have to imagine cartons spilling over with packets on the
shelves, the desks and the floor.
  Your efforts to reach out to the press have been effective. We're
now a team spread across the continent. More than 30 of you help us
with the 80 to 100 calls we get each day and we will be asking more of
you for help. It is your courage in appearing on television that is
spreading word of the FMS phenomenon. Whenever you appear, the phones
ring and callers thank you for letting them know about the Foundation.
  Working with the press is one of the pleasant surprises to emerge
from this tragedy. We have found producers and reporters of news to be
compassionate, fair and intelligent, and we have been learning a great
deal from them. However, we still have concerns about the uncritical
acceptance of belief in all repressed memories by the television
"talk" shows. Concern for "ratings" and not "responsibility" seems to
be the norm. The power of these shows is a fact of life as attested
that presidential candidates felt it important to appear on them. Our
time will come.
  Thank you to all who wrote to 'Dear Abby'. Although she has informed
us that a letter mentioning the Foundation is on permanent hold, she
is aware of the existence of the problem and the Foundation. Your
letters are having results. Please keep writing to the media.

/                                                                    \
|                       Letter from a Recanter                       |
| Dear FMS parents,                                                  |
|   I am writing to tell you that there is hope.                     |
|   I suffered with false memories of child abuse for several years  |
| and I was able to find my way out. If I can do it, your child can. |
| I know now how painful it was for my family and for you. But       |
| please, do not give up hope on us, your children. Continue to      |
| challenge the brainwashed attitudes with logic. Continue your      |
| efforts to encourage your child to start thinking again. Place     |
| doubt wherever and whenever you can.                               |
|   Educate yourself on how memory really works and on scientific    |
| research in the field and then educate others. Support research in |
| this field in any way that you possibly can. Educate your          |
| legislators on what they can do to help stop this nationwide       |
| "anti-family" campaign. Support organizations who are truly making | 
| a difference like the FMS Foundation and VOCAL with your money and |
| your time.  Write and call the media and tell them your concerns   |
| about the way that repressed memories are believed without         |
| question.                                                          |
|   We who have been involved in this destructive cult have been     |
| told not to think, only to "feel." We have been pushed and prodded |
| when we were at our most vulnerable. We have trusted others in     |
| power who are supposed to know what they are doing. We are lost;   |
| we are suffering with mental illness that was caused by someone    |
| else's greed and ignorance. Don't hate us and try not to to fear   |
| us. We are sick but we can get well again.                         |
|   It has been a privilege and a blessing to be able to speak to    |
| the few of you that I have. In a way, it has helped to make up for |
| the years that I lost with my precious family.                     |
|   Be persistent. And most of all, take good care of yourselves     |
| through this.                                                      |
|                  Love                                              |
|                         A Recanter                                 |

                          WE NEED YOUR HELP

  We have learned that the FMS phenomenon is spreading through college
communities in several ways. Two graduate students called to tell us
that Courage to Heal was assigned reading in almost all clinical
psychology courses. One of these was from a university in the top 10
ratings for psychology departments. "I feel betrayed by my
profession," she said. Parents are telling us of children who went to
student health only to recover memories of abuse. Help us inform the
universities. Contact the Student Health Service of the college that
your child attended. Identify yourself as a supporter of the FMS
Foundation who would like to provide a professional information packet
on False Memory Syndrome. Be sure to obtain the correct name, title,
mailing address with zip code, phone number (with area code) and send
the information to the Foundation in Philadelphia. We'll take it from
  FMS is spreading through social service organizations. Help alert
caring people. Check your area phone book for listings of human
services. Under counseling (families, marriage, personal problems) the
names of dozens of agencies and their phone numbers are listed. Take
some time to call each one, find out the names of the contact person
(director, etc.) and the complete mailing address and phone. Tell them
about the FMS Foundation and ask if they would like to have us provide
them with a professional information packet.

                              $ MONEY $

  The outreach activities are very expensive. Phone bills for talking
with distraught families are astronomical. Making articles available
takes time and money. The postage expense for sending information and
collecting research data makes an impressive graph that parallels the
sharp rate of growth in families. As we approach the end of the
fiscal year, we ask you to reflect on what the Foundation has
accomplished in the eight months of its existence and what still needs
to be done. Has it helped you or members of your family, your lawyer
or therapist?
  We are mostly volunteers who can accomplish as much as human and
financial resources permit. Dues alone cannot carry us forward as we
begin to shed light on what seems to be an abuse industry. We believe
that the mental health profession ( with a prod from insurance
companies, the media, lawsuits and the Select Committee on Children)
will eventually assume some financial and professional responsibility
for the wretched mess that it has allowed to develop, but until that
time we need to support ourselves. Your generosity to date is
unparalleled in organizations such as ours, but the health and well
being of our children and our families is at stake. We are a tax
exempt 501 C 3 charity and we desperately need your increased
financial support to continue. The December newsletter will have a
request for donations. Please think about it now.

/                                                                    \
|        Parents introduction to law -- survivor style               |
|                                                                    |
|   Dear Mr and Mrs Parents,                                         |
|  I represent your daughter in a claim gainst each of you for       |
| physical and mental anguish as a result of being sexually molested |
| by you both. Your daughter does not want to file a lawsuit but she |
| will if the matter is not resolved. She is suffering much distress |
| as a result of the childhood abuse. As a result, she has incurred  |
| and will continue to incure medical expenses. It is not known at   |
| this time how long therapy will be needed but we are sure that she |
| will be in treatment for at least five more years. Demand is made  |
| that you pay your daughter a total of many $$$ to settle her claim |
| against you. Send a cashier's check payable to your daughter       |
| within 30 days. If you do not then a lawsuit may be instituted to  |
| collect the sums owed.                                             |
|                  Sincerely,                                        |
|                              Your daughter's lawyer                |

                             OUR CRITICS

  Most of what we hear from people is positive. We have been applauded
for opening up a subject that needed to be examined. We have been
told, "I was really worried about what was going on in the field and
your organization has given me a way to deal with it."
  Criticism of the Foundation is expected. Some criticism is very
helpful, and we appreciate the thought and time and the spirit in
which it is given. By far the most frequent criticism we have received
has been for our support of the use of lie detector tests.
Psychologists particularly have written to remind us that such tests
cannot really tell the truth. We hope no person ever has to undergo
the invasive indignity of a lie detector test. Unfortunately, accused
people have been put in the position that if they confess they are
guilty and if they say they are innocent they are told they are "in
denial" and thus also guilty. Since no one has stated what evidence
would be accepted that an accusation was false, a lie detector is a
tool of the last resort to be used in a situation in which the only
evidence is one person's word against another person's word. In the
world of public opinion and law enforcement, lie detector tests have
some standing.
  More criticism from Utah has come our way. We have been told again
that the Foundation is an organization of perpetrators in denial. We
have not spoken personally to the psychologist making this
criticism. Consequently, we must hold him in awe for his
clairvoyance. We ourselves have no such talent and so are unable to
judge the truth or falsity of any story that we have been told by
people who call the Foundation. The best that we can do is to hold an
open mind and to look at the evidence and the patterns that we see. We
would really like to be sure of the truth. We hope critics who have
the ability make such judgments about the Foundation without meeting
us will share with us the secret of clairvoyance.
  Criticism has come our way indicating that some people feel
threatened by us. An open letter dated August 8, 1992 from a person
representing an organization in South Carolina that works with "Child
Abuse, Victims, Survivors, Ritualistic Abuse" urges readers to, "Let
the formation of the FMS become a trumpet call for those who have
hidden out, in fear of telling their story, let those survivors
declare war on the denial and disbelief of a system so callous, so
cruel, that the system would try to injure them once again. Let those
who have the Multiple Personality Gift read the UPDATE [UPDATE is the
newsletter of the Child Prosecutors Association], and if within the
possibility, let their alters discuss, and send a "group" letter to
UPDATE, supporting UPDATE efforts on the behalf of abuse survivors,
victims, and children everywhere. To lend strength and credence, if
the alters so chose, they could sign their names in crayon, pen,
pencil, and typewriter, their choice."
  We known neither the author of the letter nor the organization, but
we were very interested to learn that some people consider MPD a
"gift" rather than a disorder. We applaud the notion of group letters
from alters because it cuts down on the amount we have to read.
  Those who feel threatened by the existence of the FMS Foundation may
be misguided. The Foundation documents stories and looks for
patterns. We seek understanding for the destruction of families and
the alienation of children. We seek evidence that some accusations of
sexual abuse might be false. The threat some feel comes from the fact
that there is no scientific foundation for their beliefs. The emperor
is naked.
  For example, those interested in the topic of Multiple Personality
Disorder, might want to read "The Manufacture of Personalities: The
Production of Multiple Personality Disorder" by H. Merskey in the
British Journal of Psychiatry, 160: 327-340. The author notes the
unprecedented increase in MPD diagnosis since 1957 and argues that
widespread publicity may be providing suggestion. Merskey concludes
that the diagnosis of MPD hinders the resolution of serious
psychological problems in people's lives.
  The Foundation asks only if MPD might be over-diagnosed. It is
deeply concerned for the well-being of survivors. We are a threat to
unsubstantiated accusations and misguided theories. We care about

                              LEGAL NEWS

  The FMS Foundation Legal Advisory Board is working with all possible
speed.  Because legal activity is increasing on all fronts, we are
moving up the publication date of a "Legal Resource Book." Drafts of
portions are now being critiqued.
  Grandparents Visitation Rights were upheld in a US Supreme Court
decision in a Kentucky case. Growing out of divorce issues when one
parent or the other didn't want the in-law grandparents to see the
children, the premise behind such "rights" is that children are not
born into this world the exclusive property of their parents. They are
part and parcel of a social network that includes grandparents. When
parents deny their children access to their grandparents they are
denying them their heritage.
  Thousands of you have told us that you have been denied contact with
your grandchildren. It is unclear what is the prudent procedure at
this time. Some grandparents who have tried for legal visitation
rights have told us of humiliating experiences with social service
workers and judges because of the stigma of an incest accusation. Some
families are keeping us posted on development of this state level
  One million dollar lawsuit against professor David Raskin of the
University of Utah by the co-chair of the state Satanic Abuse Task
Force. The two have disagreed in the past about the existence of
satanic ritual abuse. The suit alleges that the professor made
derogatory comments about her at a meeting supporting the FMS
/                                                                    \
|          Where do 1,651 families live? - 10/24/92                  |
|   AK(5)   AL(4)   AR(1)   AZ(37)  CA(245) CO(26)  CT(26)  DE(4)    |
|   FL(64)  GA(24)  HI(3)   IA(12)  ID(13)  IL(69)  IN(16)  KS(22)   |
|   KY(7)   LA(6)   MA(33)  MD(29)  ME(8)   MI(67)  MN(26)  MO(33)   |
|   MS(1)   MT(5)   NC(16)  ND(3)   NE(9)   NH(3)   NJ(60)  NM(10)   |
|   NV(7)   NY(68)  OH(56)  OK(14)  OR(26)  PA(134) RI(4)   SC(7)    |
|   SD(3)   TN(8)   TX(54)  UT(78)  VA(24)  VT(4)   WA(73)  WI(82)   |
|   WY(3)   DC(3)  Canada - AB(1)   BC(10)  MB(10)  NS(1)   ON(84)   |
|   PQ(2)   SK(3)    England(2)  France(1) Israel(2)                 |


  A Circuit judge in Missouri has said that a 2-year-old state law
extending the statute of limitations violated constitutional
prohibitions against laws that were "retrospective in operation." He
said he was persuaded by an opinion of the Virginia Supreme Court
which recently threw out a law similar to Missouri's.

/                                                                    \
|                         Notice to Siblings                         |
|                     Please send us your stories                    |
|                for the book to follow |Confabulations."            |
|             It will be a view of False Memory Syndrome             |
|             through the eyes of the sisters and brothers.          |

April 16-18, 1992
Philadelphia, PA
  We have secured space for the conference. A planning committee of
the Advisory Board will be meeting in a few days to discuss the format
and the selection of papers. We will provide details as soon as we

Professionals and Parents in Support of the FMS Foundation.

Sunday November 15, 1992
2:00 P.M.
Call Bob or Carole at 216-888-7963

Saturday November 14, 1992
1:00 P.M.
Call Kevin Farmer at 800-374-7477

November 29, 1992
Holiday Inn at Warden
(Metropolitan Rd & Hwy 401)
For details please call 705-692-0600

December 5, 1992
Call Jim at 602-860-8981