FMSF NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE - October 1, 1993 - Vol. 2, No. 9, HTML version

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3401 Market Street suite 130,  Philadelphia, PA 19104,  (215-387-1865)

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

Dear Friends,
    Ann's Sister: "I hate what you did. I don't hate you. You had
  enough strength to get out. I love you."
    Ann:"You do?"

    "She's a mess," Ann's sister explained. "She sounds terrible. She
  has nothing left, friends or money or job. Her insurance ran out and
  then she cashed in all her retirement money for therapy and then
  that ran out and she has not been in therapy. She owes money to the
  Internal Revenue Service. She wants to see Mom and Dad. She said
  that she loves them and that she doesn't believe in the horrible
  memories that she had. What a waste!"

  We have had so many reports of returners* and retractors in the past
few weeks that we can barely keep count. The number, however, is still
not greater than the number of devastated families who call. Yet in
the office, the change seems dramatic.

* ["Returners" are people who resume communication with their family;
"retractors" are people who have disavowed the memories of abuse and
acknowledge such ideas as false memories.]
  What are the patterns? we are asked. One pattern that seems to be
emerging is that brothers and sisters often play a key role. Returners
and recanters seem to be coming from families that we would describe
as active and persistent in their efforts to reach the person they
love. It is often a sister or brother who is the link. The retractors
and returners tend to be younger and unmarried.
  A second pattern that seems to emerge is that a significant event
such as death, serious illness or birth is a factor. "She showed up
after three years when her Dad had a triple bypass. I was worried that
she planned a 'death bed' scene out of Courage to Heal but she let me
hug her. She acted like everything was perfectly normal but her eyes
looked so funny. They were glassy and had black circles and her hair
was stringy. After the operation she talked with her father and she
said she wanted to be a part of the family and wanted to have joint
counseling with a new therapist."
  A third pattern to emerge from the reports is of "downgraded"
accusations. For example, one dad called to say that he finally got so
frustrated that he wrote to his daughter and her therapist and quoted
the Paul McHugh comment in the box on this page. He said that he got
letters in response from both the therapist and his daughter saying
that they were taking his letter into serious consideration. The
daughter made an appointment to see another therapist and after that
visit informed her dad that she no longer believed that he had
sexually abused her. But, she said, he was an SOB and she didn't want
anything to do with him. Reports have been received in which the
"repressed memories" of sexual abuse are said to be doubted. Other
always-remembered incidents are then reinterpreted and used as
evidence that the family was "dysfunctional." Because of
"dysfunction," the actions and anger caused by the "repressed memory"
are claimed to be justified even if that special memory were not true.
In this way, the person still claims victim status. The question
parents ask is, "How do you know your memory or perception of the more
recent past is necessarily accurate?"
  "Why are people changing their minds?" we are asked. The critical
factor appears to be learning that memories cannot be retrieved as if
they were stored like a videotape recording, that they are not
infallible and that some can be true, some a mixture of fact and
fantasy and some false. People are changing their theories.
  CHANGING THEORIES: Human beings (even infants) are theory builders
and the past decade has seen a profound advance in understanding of
the processes by which they construct theories for themselves. People
revise their theories as they get new information.
  Many people, professionals and families alike, have held theories
that were based on a view of memory as operating like a videotape
recorder. Under such a theory, it would make sense that "memory
enhancement techniques" could be used to retrieve information and that
all such recovered information would be historically accurate. As more
up-to-date scientific information about memory processes has become
available, people are changing their theories about how reliable their
memories are. It is not easy. In a sense we are our memories and to
question them is to question our understanding of ourselves.
  In addition to an increased understanding of the processes of
memory, understanding of the "power" inherent in the therapist-client
relationship must be revised. A large number of people have been
unaware of the full extent of this power. Independent of the issue of
"why" this is the case, we must create a climate in which people can
change their theories about clinical relationships and influence.
  People who -- in a cult-like manner -- assiduously cut off sources
of contradictory information and surround themselves exclusively with
like-thinkers can be unduly vulnerable to suggestion. They are likely
to suspend critical judgment and get trapped into belief that under
ordinary circumstances they would not accept. They undermine their own
"courage to reason." Cults count on the individual being removed from
the usual environment and from others who protect them and from others
who ask "why."
  Child sexual abuse is a horrendous, an unconscionable act, and
people guilty of such acts should be punished to the full extent of
the law. But "To claim that some abuse memories are false is not to
dismiss all abuse memories as false...poor contaminated evidence or
even iatrogenic memories, and litigation based on these, have the
inarguable effect of biasing future fact-finders against those true
victims...we do them no service by suppressing a balanced discussion
of the issues." Those who try to squelch open discussion by saying
that "even to discuss false accusations or false memories is
politically incorrect since it may deter victims from revelation of
abuse" miss the point between what is appropriate in therapy as
opposed to what is appropriate elsewhere. (Gutheil, "True or false
memories of sexual abuse? A forensic psychiatric view," Psychiatric
Annals, 23, 9, 1993.)
  "How is this change of mind happening?" we are asked. In order to
change their theories, people need new information. How are they
getting it? Although we have been accused of running a "slick public
relations machine," (The Healing Woman, September, 1993), the truth is
far more simple. We have no PR firm, no machine and we are not
profiting financially from our efforts. We are simply parents
reporting on what happened to our children. Here are a few of the many
places where parents have spoken out this month:
  Popular press: The reporters who contact us have been extremely
responsible about consulting with experts and getting their facts
straight. While their articles necessarily feature emotionally laden
topics, they are the primary vehicle for the dissemination of
information. The September AARP Bulletin article by R. Hey, "Shadow
side of memory" is one example. An hour-long PBS TV Current Affairs
program in Salt Lake City is another.
   Professional publications: The Family Therapy Networker devoted the
September issue to FMS. Senior editor Wylie significantly advanced the
level of discussion about research related to trauma and repression
for therapists who read this journal. Articles by Calof and Yapko
provide focus to issues that must be addressed in order for therapists
to change their theories. Yapko's article is very important for every
parent to read.
  Professional conferences: The brochures that we receive indicate
that FMS is being seriously discussed in both the mental health and
legal communities. The wide coverage given to such sessions at the
American Psychological Association conference in August is an example.
In Canada, the Criminal Lawyers' Association 23rd annual convention
Nov 5-7, is entitled "Human Memory and Sex Abuse Cases: The Misuse and
Abuse of Science."
  Investigations: Although some government agencies are investigating
the practices of some therapists about whom they have received
complaints, the investigation into "practice" is being done primarily
by the media and a few professionals. The data that we reported last
month from Yapko's study on professional misinformation about memory
must surely spur self-reflection. The Houston Chronicle article
"Haunted dreams," reprinted in this newsletter, will likely cause some
people to change their theories. For those who were also able to see
the outstanding HBO documentary, "By Satan Possessed" this month, we
suspect there will be many who will join the ranks of Ken Lanning of
the FBI, George Ganaway, M.D. and so many others who have revised
their theories about the existence of satanic conspiracies.
  Survivor newsletters: Callers have told us they learned about FMSF
through one of the more than 25 published survivor newsletters, even
though the material incorrectly presented the concerns of the
Foundation. "They will not accept the idea that memory may be
distorted, inaccurate or otherwise deceptive. This tenaciousness
should be more fully addressed," wrote a sister about what we have
described as a closed system or cult-like thinking or totalistic
thinking. For those who have adopted a non-negotiable, totalistic,
black-white view on repressed memories and abuse, FMS is threatening.
People in closed (total) systems necessarily undermine themselves
because they cannot see the larger picture nor can they obtain new
information to revise theories. Those who hold that "children never
lie" and that "memories of abuse are always true" set the stage for
"crying wolf."
  It seems to us that survivors, professionals and families share
concern that a "facile formulation of 'child sexual abuse' may replace
a careful clinical assessment of a complex history," (Gutheil,
Psychiatric Annals 23, 9, 1993). No one we know endorses either child
abuse or false accusations. False accusations will only result in the
'cry wolf' reaction of disbelief. We are not at that point and we
should not reach it. Patterns of thinking spread across cultures much
as patterns of weather sweep across continents. Sometimes these bring
storms in which people get caught. When the storm is from weather we
take shelter. When the storm is from ideas, we can change our
  Survivor newsletters have a very important role to play in the
dissemination of information about memory and a very difficult task
ahead of them if they are to help their constituency (our
children). We hope that they can move beyond a "totalistic" view of
child sex abuse. We hope that they will print our message:

                        WE LOVE OUR CHILDREN. 
For More Information about Retractors
(1) The Retractor Newsletter, 4 issues, $12.00 -- 
      P.O. Box 5012, Reno, NV, 89513.  
(2) True Stories of False Memories, Goldstein & Farmer, 517 p, $16.95;
   SIRS, phone 800-232-7477, fax 407-994-4704. Mention FMSF and the
   Foundation receives 40%.
/                                                                    \
| "To treat for repressed memories without any effort at external    |
| validation is malpractice pure and simple; malpractice on the      |
| basis of standards of care that have developed out of the history  |
| of psychiatric service...and malpractice because the misdirection  |
| of therapy injures the patient and his or her significant others." |
|                                                  Paul McHugh, MD   |
|                               Chief of Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins   |
|                           "History and the pitfalls of practice"   |
| Talk presented at Memory and Reality: Emerging Crisis conference   |
|                              Valley Forge, PA, April 16-18, 1993   |

/                                                                    \
| "Validation without corroboration by the therapist of the          |
| patient's memories has serious ethical and possibly legal          |
| consequences."                                                     |
|                                    Fred Frankel, M.B.Ch.B., D.P.M. |
|                        Psychiatrist in Chief, Beth Israel Hospital |
|                                      Professor, Harvard University |
|          "Adult reconstruction of childhood events in the multiple |
|                                            personality literature" |
|             American Journal of Psychiatry 150:6, June 1993, p 954 |

/                                                                    \
|                   A Medical-Industrial Complex                     |
|                                                                    |
| * There are 11 million people who  earn their livelihoods in       |
|            health care                                             |
| * Health care is a $900 billion business                           |
| * One in every seven dollars the nation spends goes to health care |
|                                                                    |
|                      New York Times Business Sect., Sept. 19, '93  |

                          OF LEGAL INTEREST

  It would be naive to think that education about memory and changing
theories will by themselves bring about the satisfactory conclusion of
the FMS phenomenon.They are necessary but not sufficient. Much of what
happens will be determined by the courts as issues of accountability
are raised.
  In a decision of September 20, 1993, written by Judge Marilyn Kelly,
the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed a Circuit Court ruling that the
statute of limitations barred the claim of the plaintiff in Lemmerman
v Fealk because the plaintiff lacked corroboration of her allegations
of physical and sexual abuse.  Plaintiff should not be denied the
benefit of the rule on the basis that he or she would have difficulty
proving his or her case. Corroboration is a proof problem, not a
requirement to be met before courts can apply the rule. In balancing
the question of "fairness," the courts agreed that there is greater
"harm to the plaintiff denied a remedy than the harm to the defendant
confronted with a stale claim." The decision is likely to be widely
  Of significance to families are the assumptions that are made by
Judge Kelly.  Citing a 1988 case, the judge assumed the accuracy of
the statistic that 33% of the population has experienced some form of
child sexual abuse. Citing a 1990 case, the judge assumed that
repressed memories once recollected are recognized as valid without
any objective evidence or corroboration. Specifically, "psychological
trauma attendant upon child sexual abuse is likely to activate
repression mechanisms which can prevent a victim from consciously
recognizing the abuse."
  These assumptions are interesting because they come at a time when
there is increasing recognition of the fact that to make sense of
statistics on child sexual abuse, one must define the abuse in
question and consider the way the statistics are collected. A 1992
report from the National Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse in
Chicago notes, for example, a range from 6% to 62% in studies of the
sexual abuse of women before age 18. In addition, these assumptions
come at a time when the psychological community is actively debating
the reality of repressed memories. While the debate flares, it is
still the case that there is agreement within the psychological
community on many issues such as the fact that some memories of events
are true, some a mixture of fact and fantasy and some are false. There
is agreement that memories of events are reconstructed and
reinterpreted. There is no scientific evidence for any other process
involving memory of events.
  A person who is guilty of child abuse should surely be punished. How
can legal decisions that assume the validity of assumptions under
dispute help that effort?
/                                                                    \
| "In this emotionally charged area, being accused, even falsely, is |
| as destructive as being convicted."                                |
|                 Thomas Gutheil, MD, Psychiatric Annals 23: 9/1993  |


Alan A. Stone, MD, 
Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, Vol 21, No
1, 1993.  pp 23-36
  A diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder often plays an
important role in the discussion of the long term effects of childhood
sexual abuse in repressed memory of abuse cases. Is the diagnosis of
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) truly scientific? This is a
question that is raised by Stone's review article.  "No diagnosis in
the history of American psychiatry has had a more dramatic and
pervasive impact on law and social justice." Appearing first in the
American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual,
Third Edition (DSM-III) in 1980, the PTSD diagnosis transformed the
perception of Vietnam veterans, from social outcasts into victims. The
diagnosis has also played a critical role in cases involving "battered
woman syndrome" and "rape trauma syndrome."
  "PTSD has become the lightning rod for a wide variety of claims of
stress-related psychopathology in the civil arena. Unlike the
diagnostic concept of neurosis, which emphasized a complex etiology,
PTSD posits a straightforward causal relationship that plaintiffs'
lawyers welcome. Beyond its significance as an apparent solution to
the legal problem of causation, PTSD's greatest importance is that it
seems to make matters scientific and objective that the court once
considered too subjective for legal resolution." The author goes on to
note that since PTSD has been recognized as a mental disorder that can
be isolated and diagnosed, it is a legitimate issue with respect to
establishing liability and that, "Lawyers are told that such claims
even include the effects of invisible trauma." He writes that evidence
that was formerly considered 'subjective' has been "transformed into
'objective'" and probative evidence by the expert who puts such
symptoms together in a neat scientific package as PTSD."

  Many families who have contacted the foundation have reported that
their accusing child claims to suffer either from PTSD or Multiple
Personality Disorder (MPD). The children claim that the absence of
stress symptoms at the time of alleged abuse and while they were
growing up is explained because they repressed the memory.
  Most families who contact the foundation complain of the terrible
stress and trauma they have incurred because of the loss of their
child and of the devastation of being falsely accused of a crime. The
DSM-III-R describes PTSD as resulting only from events "that would be
markedly distressing to almost anyone." The loss of a child and being
falsely accused are clearly among the most traumatic and stressful of
emotional experiences.
   A diagnosis that is not based on fact is malpractice. A diagnosis
that is without basis and that wreaks havoc on the lives of many
people is an issue of professional accountability.
/                                                                    \
| "There is generally no psychotherapy that does not include some    |
| degree of persuasion and suggestibility."                          |
|   "Without corroboration, no memory that comes out during hypnosis |
| can be believed."                                                  |
|          Dr. Herbert Spiegel, Toronto Medico-Legal Society Meeting |
|                                              Toronto, August, 1993 |

17 Cal. App. 4th 246 (July 1993)

  The Court of Appeals has issued a Writ of Mandate in the now
familiar "Wade" case of California. The parents of the child (Alicia)
who had been raped and sodomized filed a complaint against a therapist
and temporary foster mother, for misconduct centering on defendant's
alleged coercion of the girl to name her father as the perpetrator
during the two and one-half year period after the crime had been
committed and reported.
  In its decision, the Court noted that there is a distinction between
the people who make an initial report and the officials who come
later. It discourages family counselors and foster parents from taking
on roles they are not adequately prepared to perform."
  In the Court's discussion on the "expanded immunity concept," it
noted, "The law recognized that, where counselors abuse a therapeutic
relationship with family members, causing injury to the children,
emotional distress to the parent and disrupting the parent-child
relationship, they breach their duties of care to the parent as well
as the children and are liable to both"
  The Court concluded, "In the final analysis, the conduct alleged in
this complaint falls beyond the reach of the reporting act. 
[Defendants] had nothing to do with the child abuse identified and
reported at the outset by the hospital. Their alleged coercion of
Alicia continued over the next two and one-half years -- long after
any "emergency" had passed, after Alicia was out of harm's way, and
after the authorities were actively involved, investigating and
prosecuting. to hold such conduct protected is to immunize virtually
anyone coming in contact with an abused child. We do not believe such
an interpretation is warranted by the reporting statute.

                         TEXAS STATE SEMINAR
August 13, 14, 1993
Dealing With Victims of False Memories: Hearing-Hoping-Helping-Healing

Ninety-six people attended this meeting including therapists,
attorneys, retractors, families and reporters. The informative program
included: Laura Pasley, Victory and Perspective over the Past. Paul
Simpson, Ed.D. and Eric Nelson,Origins of False Memories -- A
Psychological Perspective; Common Misconceptions About Repressed
Memories; Results of Retractor Study. Skip Simpson, Esq. False
Memories, False Therapy, and the Court Room; Pamela Freyd,Ph.D. Past,
Present and Future of FMSF. Danny Mack, Grieving the Loss of a Loved
One Still Living. Diana Halbrooks joined the discussion panelists
Tapes Available Call- Jim Grady 817-267-3992
/                                                                    \
| "In my practice, I frequently see pain patterns I call "body       |
| memories." For those who have survived sexual abuse, these         |
| patterns often show in the form of hip and back pain. People       |
| sometimes have had severe back pain, including disc problems, for  |
| years.                                                             |
|   As a part of our work together, this idea of "body and cellular  |
| memories" is addressed: that where the perpetrator had his/her     |
| body weight, where they were physically touching and abusing is    |
| "remembered" in the body. Then these memories can be more fully    |
| integrated within the patient and let go."                         |
|                                          Dr. Gail M. Williams D.C. |
|                                     Williams Holistic Chiropractic |
|                                St. Louis Ladue News, July 16, 1993 |


  In England, the British Psychological Association has recently
formed a task force to study the issues of FMS. The six member
committee is chaired by John Morton, Ph.D., an expert in memory. The
committee expects to complete is report by December.
  The Task Force of the American Psychological Association held its
first meeting in August and we are waiting for details of the
committees that have been proposed by the American Psychiatric
Association and the American Medical Association. As we have spoken
with representatives, however, it is clear that too many professionals
do not understand the urgency of the FMS situation.  Families are
needed to help educate professionals. These are important people to

American Psychological Association
Frank Farley, Ph.D. (President)
4222 Yuma Drive
Madison, WI 53711

American Psychiatric Association
John S. McIntyre, M.D. (President)
1400 K. Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20005

American Medical Association
Joseph T. Painter, M.D. (President)
515 N. State Street
Chicago, IL 60610

Excerpt from "The Seductions of Memory" by Michael Yapko, The Family
Therapy Networker, Sept., 1993
  "He told his wife that he simply couldn't deal with the memories of
his horrible experiences in Vietnam. In the 20 years of their
marriage, she had seen enough strange behavior from him to believe it.
One night, he went berserk in an apparent reaction to the sneakers she
happened to be wearing. After he calmed down, he told her that his
Vietcong captors were similar sneakers when they regularly dragged him
out of his bamboo cage in order to beat and urinate on him...
  "He went to see a therapist, who diagnosed him as suffering from
post-traumatic stress syndrome and treated him for severe depression
and explosive anger. He spent an inordinate amount of time obsessing
about his experiences in Vietnam and was unable to make sense of what
happened to him there." One day he committed suicide.
  "After his death, his wife attempted to get his name placed on the
state Vietnam War Memorial, declaring him as much a casualty of that
war as anyone who had actually died there. To support her effort, his
therapist wrote a letter on his behalf, also requesting that his name
be included among those of the other war dead. ..Much to the shock and
dismay of both his wife and his therapist, it became inescapably clear
that he had never been in Vietnam at all.


  The allegations of sexual abuse by Michael Jackson have greatly
increased public awareness of the terrible damage done by such an
accusation. Following are from clippings that came across our desk as
we were preparing this newsletter.  

Newsweek September 6, 1993 
The Shield of Vulnerability by Jonathan Alter "American attitudes
toward child abuse are more sophisticated than they were five or 10
years ago. The danger of witch hunts is better understood. If nothing
more on Jackson comes out, it's a good bet that Oprah and the rest
will book shows in upcoming weeks with titles like, "Men Who Are
Falsely Accused of Child Abuse."

Washington Post, Aug 30, 1993
Nothing more than feelings, by Jonathan Yardley ".. a culture that has
become fixated on abuse of all varieties -- child abuse, spousal
abuse, substance abuse, sexual abuse -- and is prepared to believe the
worst of any individual charged with same. Accusations of abuse are
flung this way and that, occasionally with ample documentation but too
often with little more than the self-righteous fury of those who make

Roanoke Times & World-News, August 29, 1993
Jackson now king of bad publicity, Associated Press
"No one remembers the retractions. All they remember are the

Rocky Mountain News. Sept 6, 1993
When children's tales abuse truth by Dave Shiflett
"No one should doubt that there are plenty of perverts who deserve
roasting, nor should anyone underestimate the difficult task facing
often besieged social workers. But there should be some penalty for
leading children to bear false witness against innocent people, and a
wider recognition that some "memories" are actually fantasies."

Washington Post, July 25, 1993 
The Freudian Referral Slip by Sally Horwatt 
"America is at war against sex offenders. As an experienced
psychotherapist who has seen therapy fads proliferate, I fear that we
are in for a particularly bad time. State after state is drafting
ill-conceived legislation to wipe out the blight of sex abuse. Across
the country, poorly trained "experts" are creating their own field of
"psychology," wreaking havoc with their patients and the Constitution.
Uncorroborated memories of child abuse are accepted uncritically.  The
incest book industry tells readers that, if they are anxious and
depressed with loss of self-esteem, they were probably abused.

Mankatc (MN) Free Press September 10, 1993
Editorial, "Guard against false child-abuse claims"
"While great progress has been made in bringing the evils of child
abuse to the surface, there are clear signs that the system designed
to protect children is too often misused against adults. People
accused of child abuse are forever tarnished. Even if authorities find
no evidence to file charges, those accused generally are found guilty
in the court of public opinion. Sixty percent of the nearly 3 million
child-abuse allegations made each year are unsubstantiated"

USA Today September 1, 1993
"Treat child-abuse claims with care; punish frauds"
"Since the child abuse act in 1974 set up mandatory reporting of abuse
cases, the number of cases has more than doubled, to 2.9 million this
year. And more of those reports are found to be unsubstantiated -- 60%
this year compared with 35% in 1975....Victimizers of children most
surely deserve prosecution. But victims of false abuse claims deserve
protection, too."

Tribune-Review of Western PA August 31, 1993
Editorial, No-win accusation
"It's time to send a message to those, who through recklessness or
malevolence, take away what can't be fully recovered in the wake of
such charges -- a good reputation."

National Review, September 6, 1993
Trial by Therapy by Mark Sauer and Jim Okerblom
"...even allegations proven false stick; some adults falsely accused
of molesting children have said they would rather have been accused of

Washington Post, July 25, 1993
The Crucible, Part II by Stefan Martin
"As for those who suffer genuine sexual harassment, as well as those
who are unjustly accused, they deserve more than our pity. They
deserve a process that defines sexual harassment in terms of what a
defendant does, not what a plaintiff feels; that compels those sitting
in judgment to base their verdict on that definition and on testimony,
not rumor; and that recognizes the capacity of people, often in the
guise of good, to do evil."
Arkansas Times, August 5, 1993
"The Edenton case is not just a horrifying aberration. Adults across
the country are suddenly 'remembering' that they were abused as
children, and filing civil lawsuits and criminal charges against aged
parents...Claims of long-ago child abuse, 'blocked out' from memory
until now, have become a common defense tactic.  Unscrupulous
'therapists' and sensationalist writers feed the frenzy.
  "Anything goes against accused abusers, especially the right to a
fair trial".
/                                                                    \
|     You can become a certified hypnotherapist in just 2 days.      |
|                                                                    |
| According to an ad recently received, we can attend a              |
| "Hypnotherapy Certification Weekend" offered by the Hypnodyne      |
| Foundation in Clearwater Florida and become a Certified            |
| Hypnotherapist (R.Hy.) with the International Association of       |
| Counselors and Therapists in two days.  The ad also notes that     |
| participants will get 25 low-cost/no-cost methods for attracting   |
| clients and learn how to make $3,000 to $10,000 in one evening by  |
| conducting group sessions and workshops. The program is open to    |
| teachers, counselors, nurses, psychologists, police officers,      |
| social workers, members of the clergy, holistic practitioners,     |
| medical professionals, chiropractors, massage therapists, physical |
| therapists, and anyone in the helping and healing professions.     |


  The FMS phenomenon is propelled by the refusal of some therapists to
meet families. This is a part of the "totalist" cult-like behavior
that we have described. It is much easier to hold a view of the
"parent as perpetrator" if therapists never have to talk with families
or read their stories. Last month we mentioned the Ann Arbor
conference in which a speaker publicly vilified her parents, but the
parents were not permitted to be present to present another view. This
month we have another conference report.
  In 1992 the Foundation's application to exhibit articles, books and
papers at the MidWest Sexual Abuse Conference at the University of
Wisconsin in Madison was rejected. In 1993, the application was at
first accepted but then later rejected. We received the following
reply to our appeal of this rejection:
  The planning committee for the Midwest Conference on Child Sexual
Abuse and Incest has recently met to discuss your appeal. The
committee has maintained its original position of not approving your
organizations request for exhibit space at the conference
  The committee has in the past and will continue to address the
different perspectives on the issue of repressed memory. We feel that
this can best be accomplished by inviting prominent speakers in the
field to present this information. We have included on our faculty a
member of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation Advisory Board,
Dr. Elizabeth Loftus. She will be part of a plenary session and also
presenting a workshop on Thursday morning October 7.  The check that
accompanied your application is enclosed. Thank you for your interest
in our conference.
                   James A Campbell, Ph.D., Jill Cohen Kolb, M.A.
                                      Conference Co Coordinators.

  Is this a principled decision or is it exclusionary? If the topic of
false memories is important enough to invite memory researcher
Elizabeth Loftus to speak, how can it also be the case that material
that pertains to this topic is not appropriate to be displayed? This
is the question that we are asking accrediting organizations and
representatives of University of Wisconsin, co-sponsor, recipient of
public funding.
  This is a list of the approved Midwest Conference exhibitors: Launch
Press, American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children,
Protective Behaviors, Exchange Center for Prevention of Child Abuse,
Wallach Surgical Devices Inc, Waukoesha Hospital, Pathway Community
Services, Willowglen Academy, The Healing Woman, Welborn Hospital's
Mulberry Center, Recovery & Discovery Bookstore, The Skylark Company,
Osmega Academy, Wisconsin Committee for Prevention of Child Abuse,
National Resource Center on Child Sexual Abuse, Rogers Memorial
Hospital, SHARE Program, Hornme Youth & Family Program
/                                                                    \
|   "The same standards should be applied to 'repressed memory       |
| therapy,' indeed any therapy, as are routinely applied to the      |
| introduction of a new drug or surgical procedure.  Proponents      |
| should be able to demonstrate that it is safe and reliable. Until  |
| such time as there is a benefit/risk ratio determined by properly  |
| qualified investigators, this practice should be suspended...      |
|   "The orderly process of dispassionate investigation has been     |
| disrupted by the involvement of a body of theorists and            |
| practitioners who are guided not by the scientific method, but by  |
| a political agenda which relies upon assumptions for which there   |
| is absolutely no evidence."                                        |
|                                                    A father.       |

                      IS FMS A NEW PHENOMENON ?
  We are often asked how the FMS phenomenon began and we reply that in
time historians and social scientists will tell us. "Feminism's
Identity Crisis" by Wendy Kaminer in the October issue of The Atlantic
Monthly gets that work off the ground. Kaminer, the author of I'm
Dysfunctional;You're Dysfunctional, notes: The marriage of feminism
and the phenomenally popular recovery movement is arguably the most
disturbing (and potentially influential) development in the feminist
movement today. It's based partly on a shared concern about child
abuse, nominally a left-wing analog to right-wing anxiety about the
family.  There's an emerging alliance of anti-pornography and anti-
violence feminists with therapists who diagnose and treat child abuse,
including "ritual abuse" and "Satanism" (often said to be linked to
pornography).  Kaminer expresses concern that the uncritical
acceptance of the use of hypnotism in retrieving memories will harm
the image of feminism. She is also concerned about the broad recovery
definitions of abuse that encourage equating parental insensitivity
with parental violence. She asks why feminist victimology seems more
pervasive among middle and upper class whites than among lower-income
women, and women of color. She suggests that many important questions
need to be raised, but that in the current climate it is considered
heresy to suggest that there are degrees of suffering and oppression
or to question the testimony of self-proclaimed victims.
  Kaminer's observations are made through the lens of the feminist
movement.  That movement is clearly one important aspect of the FMS
phenomenon in terms of encouraging the closed-system, totalistic
thinking. Emerging political movements almost always exaggerate their
"oppression" and attack the powerful and the rich. That is par for the
course. In the FMS phenomenon, victimization has become the ideal, the
preferred state. Women (mostly) redefine their personalities and
reinterpret their pasts to meet that ideal. Celebrities lead the way.
To maintain their new image, "victims" become more and more cult-like
in their behavior. They must cut themselves off from their families in
order to maintain their image. Psychotherapy, with the recent
emergence of a new* theory of "repressed memories," provides a
mechanism and rationale. (*Freud's abandoned)
  The incest recovery movement is a totalistic movement. People caught
up in it undergo an ideological conversion sometimes referred to as
thought reform. A few months ago, we recommended "Thought Reform and
the Psychology of Totalism" by Jay Lifton, University of North
Carolina Press, 1989 as an introduction to understanding totalistic
thinking. Another book that we urge readers to examine (from the
library because it is out of print) is "Coercive Persuasion" by Edgar
Schein, Norton, 1961.
  In Chapter 11, Schein theorizes that some mind control processes can
be found in all persuasive situations: (1) Unfreezing, (2)Changing,
(3) Refreezing.
  Unfreezing: the psychological preparation for giving up one's old
self. Schein notes that most total institutions have as part of their
routine of inducting a new member what may best be described as
"mortifications of the self," which serve symbolically to destroy the
old self by destroying its external trappings.  Thus entry into
religious orders involves giving up one's usual clothes, one's usual
physical comforts, one's normal physical routine. There is usually a
deliberate degradation of the individual during initiations.
   "In a therapy setting the patient is told that the cure will not
come quickly or painlessly, thus predisposing the patient to tolerate
some of the painful aspects of unfreezing. Second, the patient is put
into a position of being less expert about his conditions than the
therapist and therefore less able to judge when termination is
appropriate. Third, the patient feels the tremendous threat that if he
does anything to displease the therapist he may lose the help which is
being offered as well as incur the displeasure or wrath of a person
whom he has invested with considerable authority."
  Schein's observations emphasize that the therapist-client
relationship is one of tremendous power and influence. It follows that
therapist expectations play a critical role and that when and how a
therapist asks about "abuse" may greatly alter the course of therapy.
When clients are urged to talk publicly about their abuse, they
prepare themselves for a new image and belief system.
  Changing: Schein suggests that the actual change in belief may come
about through identification with an individual in authority or with
someone in a peer group. When therapists advise their clients to
attend survivor support groups, they are facilitating the change
process. When celebrities speak out, clients may identify with these
people in authority.
  Refreezing: There needs to be social support for a person to
maintain his or her new identity. Schein reports on an informal survey
that was done with individuals who had converted at a Billy Graham
Crusade in New York. Only those individuals who were later integrated
into local churches maintained their faith. For the others, conversion
was a temporary process. For repressed-memory survivors to maintain
their new identity, they must cut off contact with any contradictory
information. That is why they cut off contact from their families.

  It is the isolation that is the key to the FMS phenomenon. The
assiduous avoidance of contradictory informationJis the key to
totalistic thinking.
/                                                                    \
|           Do you have access to e-mail?  Send a message to         |
|                                         |
| if you want to receive notices of radio and television broadcasts  |
| about FMS.  All the message need say is "add to the FMS list". It  |
| would be useful, but not necessary, if you add your full name (all |
| addresses and names will remain strictly confidential).  The list  |
| is not a "bulletin board". Its only use is to send occasional      |
| notices of broadcasts.                                             |

  Apology -- We apologize to readers who found the Nethaway article
about "Whining about abuse" in the last newsletter to be offensive.
Unfortunately, a 'cry wolf' reaction is predictible when people equate
victim status from "feelings of parental neglect" with "parental
physical abuse."
/                                                                    \
| 'Child sexual abuse' is not a medical diagnosis or a medical       |
| condition -- it is a description of criminal behavior or events.   |
| The medical findings may be consistent with the behavior or the    |
| event, but the event does not constitute a diagnosis in the        |
| medical sense. (Doctors don't make a medical diagnosis of          |
| 'automobile accident'!) Nevertheless, many physicians will give    |
| diagnostic statements of 'child sexual abuse'; some will even      |
| testify to their degree of certainty that sexual abuse has         |
| occurred.                                                          |
|                                Miller, J. & Spivey, M. (1993)  |
| "Evidence issues and 'lessons' from State v. Kelly: Litigation of  |
|                           allegations of child sexual abuse."p 63  |
| Paper presented at the 6th North Carolina Criminal Evidence Seminar|
|        University of North Carolina School of Law, Chapel Hill, NC |
|                                                           April 16 |

                             OUR CRITICS

 Memory Recovery Is A New Practice
  The False Memory Syndrome Foundation was created in response to a
crisis in mental health: the sudden creation of thousands of people
discovering "memories" of childhood abuse while undergoing therapy.
Many of our critics are now claiming that this is not a newly
appreciated phenomenon but one that just wasn't being talked about.
This is, perhaps, a critical issue. If the phenomenon was not
appreciated until recently even by "abuse-oriented" therapists, then
there is a good chance that it belongs on the long sequence of mental
health fads that turn out to be a matter of universal embarrassment
once they lose their popularity. Our critics might want to consult one
of their own. In his 1989 book Therapy for Adults Molested as
Children, Beyond Survival, John Briere, Ph.D. refers to a "small
proportion of survivors" with no memories prior to therapy and refers
to these clients as representing a newly appreciated phenomenon. Some
relevant passages [to which we have added the emphasis]:
   Even more problematic than such partial repression is a phenomenon
  only recently appreciated by abuse-oriented therapists: complete
  loss of childhood sexual abuse memories. Clients who are completely
  amnestic regarding their abuse may present with a variety of
  psychological complaints and issues, such as abnormal reactions to
  sex, repeated involvement in destructive relationships, or
  inexplicable anger or distrust of males. Many therapists in the
  abuse area describe such clients, in whom they see multiple signs of
  a sexual abuse history despite the client's protestations of a
  "happy" childhood. Fortunately, as described in Chapter 6, many of
  these individuals recover their abuse memories during therapy --
  especially if the therapist remains open to the possibility that
  abuse has occurred. [page 49]

 Specifically, as noted in Chapter 3, a small proportion of survivors
totally dissociate themselves from memories of severe childhood
victimization -- typically reporting long "blanks" in their memory for
early life events. This total repression of abuse is, obviously, hard
to identify or "prove" when it occurs, since the majority of clients
who dissociate in this way deny being abuse survivors in the first
place. Most clinicians who specialize in abuse, however, have clients
who they are relatively convinced were sexual abuse survivors, despite
their clients' claims to the contrary. [page 118]

Most of our critics believe that at least one third of women were
abused as children. Do they also believe that only a small proportion
totally dissociate themselves from these memories? If so, is it the
case that nearly one third of women have always had some memory of
their abuse? What percentage of eighteen-year-old women have those
memories? Or does one always have to wait a decade in order to have
the memory? We will write to Dr. Briere to seek his answers to these

  Several reporters informed us that they had received a letter from
Renee Fredrickson, Ph.D. of Fredrickson & Associates, author of
Repressed Memories: A Journey to Recovery from Sexual Abuse. The
letter, dated August 16, 1993, contained the following passage:

    Many established professionals who work with sexual abuse have
  maintained that the False Memory Syndrome Center is an organized,
  well-funded group of accused sexual abusers. As such, the group
  functions as a tool to harass, intimidate, and aggressively silence
  adults who have delayed memories of sexual abuse. The group falsely
  claims to serve as a grass-roots response to child abuse hysteria,
  painting professionals who work with child sexual abuse as
  irresponsible, incompetent "witch hunters."

We wonder about "totalistic thinking" whenever we see reports of
unverified claims. Unverified claims are propaganda, not
science. Dr. Fredrickson now accuses of just that. We challange her to
verify a single instance of our claiming (falsely or not) to be
/                                                                    \
| August 1, 1993 was declared "national incest and child sexual      |
| abuse healing day" by President Clinton. On that day, many rallies |
| were held across the country. A report in the Oregonian, on August |
| 2 about a rally in Portland included the following quote, "The     |
| common denominator among survivors is feeling like they are the    |
| only ones and they made it all up," said Jacki Galloway, a         |
| licensed massage therapist who works with sexual-abuse victims. I  |
| was among a number of people who called the Board of Massage       |
| Technicians to see what reprimand they had used with this woman    |
| because massage therapists are not licensed to work with sexual-   |
| abuse victims. They said they had spoken with her and that she     |
| denied she had counseled. They also said that unless someone filed |
| a specific complaint that was all that the Board could do.  This   |
| is another indication of how important it is to file complaints.   |
|                                                              A Mom |

                           FROM OUR READERS

  From professionals:

  "As I've looked back on the cases I've helped on, I can identify an
'intermediary,' usually someone with a self-serving agenda, sometimes
a woman using the women's movement agenda as motivation and rationale,
and sometimes just very selfish motivation. Women who never had any
memories of abuse are approached by someone who helps them 'interpret'
their experiences as sexual abuse. Although the 'intermediary' appears
to be neutral and objective, s/he turns out to be more than an
advocate: a zealot. They often work effectively with an ins or a
system to establish their credibility without the others testing for
credulity! Without that testing, the intermediaries then have a field
day fulfilling their goals."
                                    from a "retired psychiatrist"
(Editor's note: As we read this letter, we noted how the writer's
observations described the "changing" stage described in Schein's
theory of coercisive persuasion.)

(Editors note: The following letter was in response to the May
Newsletter in which the question was asked if we were "in danger of
dumping on social workers and counselors who in good faith have gone
to CE programs to upgrade their professional skills...Are therapists
also victims?)
  "Therapy of one sort or another is required as a rehabilitative
and/or corrective agent for those who break various laws; therapy is
provided when a tragedy occurs at a school or work place, for support
and to prevent future problems or potential problems; therapy is the
universal remedy for whatever unpleasant feelings, or for whatever
human inadequacies one feels one has.
  The belief is that therapy can make one whole, achieving or
regaining food mental health, which has been defined for us by
professionals, 12-step groups, books, seminars, etc as well, using
ideas and beliefs that seem to be somehow connected but have no need
for a basis or proofs in reality. Reports of words stated, often in
altered states of consciousness, or merely hearing what others
 say, is all the proof that is needed, if the words seem to somehow
fit into the boundless and unchecked belief system.
  Those persons who have not yet come to accept this belief system are
considered to be still in ignorance, in denial, a hindrance to the
goal of good mental health in all, and so must be dealt with as
purveyors of evil are dealth with, castigated, and avoided except for
attempts to subdue them by punishing or attempts to convert them.
  Once again, licensed professionals are accountable and responsible
for their practice. Those who have accepted this unfounded-in-reality
and wishful fictitious belief system are nevertheless practicing in
the real world where they are accountable for their practice. If we
consider therapists to be victims, without the power or ability to
have made other choices, we, too, have neglected critical thinking and
are being drawn into the belief system.  
                                                     A Nurse
>From families:
(Editors note: The following sad letter from a retractor describes the
only case of the more than hundred that we know about in which a
retractor's family is not ready to accept her return. The pain and
embarrassment to the family, the pain and embarrassment to the
retractor -- we must find ways to help. In the meantime, both
retractors and families have suggested that at the local level, some
informal arrangements can by made by families to help the people who
are struggling to regain control of their lives and they question very
deep and profound beliefs about their history and themselves. )

Dear FMSF Families,
  I realized I had made a mistake. I was brainwashed by a thought and
a terrible book. I began therapy with a new doctor and began piecing
my life back together again. It was then I decided to write my parents
a letter of explanation, apology and love. The woman I talked with
also wrote a letter to my mother relating her situation to mine. It
was then that I took both of these letters to my mom and just left
afterwards. Three days later, I received a court summons saying my mom
filed charges on me for criminal trespass. All I did was give her what
she asked for in an effort to rebuild my family's name and bring my
family together again. My new doctor asked them to come in and they
still refused saying I wasn't in enough pain yet. My mother today says
she wants no relations with me whatsoever.
  So I write to you, the parents, begging you to make an effort to end
both your sorrows by working together. Remember love is
unconditional. Don't abandon your children. What has happened was not
intentional. I realize your life has been turned upside down but by
shutting the door on your child, you're only losing the chance to make
things a little less painful day by day. You need each other.  I would
do anything in the world to change the past but I can't. I can,
however, try and make a better future for myself, my family and all of
  I would also like to say something to those who believe they might
have False Memory Syndrome. I want to tell you that just because you
now realize the problem and are ready to deal with it doesn't mean
your family will be back. In the end, you may still have lost your
family, but at least you have a conscience.
  In conclusion, I hope that if any of you have any questions, you
will feel free to contact the False Memory Syndrome Foundation. I want
to one day help other people this has happened to.
  Last, but most importantly, Mom and Dad, if you're reading this, I
want you to know I will always love you and am heartfully sorry.

(Editors note: There are often tears in the office - tears of sadness,
tears of frustration because so many people in positions to help just
don't understand the urgency of the problems the families face.  Along
with the reports of returners and retractors, we receive reports from
families in which the accusers may never know that they were loved and
forgiven. How many letters like the next three must we print? The
problem is not for the person who has died, the problem is for the

  "My husband I were in attendance at the Memory and Reality
conference last April. The conference meant so much to him. It was a
real help. He died June 10th -- just couldn't hold on any longer for
the heart transplant. The hardest thing about his death for me is that
he died without this terrible accusation being resolved."
                                                           A widow

  "It is with regret that I inform you of the death of my husband. Our
daughter, who was estranged from us, came home after her father had a
massive heart attack. He never regained consciousness. She was by his
bed side for the 10 days before his death. No one will ever know if he
knew if she was there. Not one word about the false accusations has
been mentioned. I am sure that the stress of the last two years led up
to the heart attack. It was something he could not understand, but he
had forgiven her."
                                                             A widow

  "My husband died about three months after our daughter's
confrontation which was, of course, absolutely devastating. I'm afraid
now that the truth will be even more painful to our daughter, if or
when she finally realizes that her memories are false. It's so sad and
there is no way I can help her."
  A widow

Memories went too far for belief
  "Our daughter seemed angry and asked for a period of no
communication in the fall of 1991. She had confided in her sisters
during that period that we were wondering what she was angry about. At
the beginning her three sisters believed her. They said she was very
convincing and they couldn't imagine anyone making up those things.
They all asked us if we would be willing to take lie detector tests
and we said "Of Course." But that is a no-win solution as they would
then say we were "in denial." Anyway, we never took one and don't
intend to. Her sisters started doubting her sexual abuse accusations
after she also accused her father of murdering a hitchhiker in our
basement and he and I of burying him in the backyard. Also some of her
accusations became cult-like and the list kept growing and continuing
to an older and older age. By the time we met with her and her
counselor in March 1993 the sexual molestation had allegedly gone on
until she was 18. These were all said to be "repressed memories."
After the meeting with the counselor, she severed all relations with
her father. She left a small crack open for me and I have received a
Mother's Day card and a letter near my birthday a few weeks ago.
                                                A Mom

  "In the very first session, the therapist began asking what awful
things her parents had done. In the early sessions our daughter
laughed and protested she had perfect parents and a perfect
childhood. However, as time went forward and she joined a group of
abused women, she soon found she, as all the others , had repressed
memories of sexual abuse. She is unable to remember when or where the
abuse took place, but "knows it must have happened." Since her
involvement in this group, she hates all men and has no contact with
her childhood and college friends."
                                                  A Mom
  "I am enclosing copies of replies to two of my letters. I am very
impressed that both these gentlemen took the time to write to me --
heck, I'm only one individual! You can see that both these replies are
thoughtful and weren't written in ten minutes.
  "I wonder how many parents realize the impact their letters can
                                                   A parent

"You hold the keys to your own prison." 
                                            A mom to her daughter.

"An idea I'm suggesting to my other six children that I would prefer
they send contributions to FMSF in lieu of Christmas, birthday and
other gifts, since this would be by far the most thoughtful thing they
can do for me. I'm also working on ways to suggest to our closer
friends who ask how they can help, that they do the same thing."
                                                             A Dad
"My parents were somehow able to continue to believe in unconditional
love and in the danger of excluding someone from the day to day
details of extended family life. My father was able to speak frankly
to my sister, saying that he didn't understand what she was talking
about. My sister credited my father and that particular conversation
with part of her sorting process. (In that conversation my father said
he discussed the fact that no-fault auto insurance has been adopted by
many states because of the fallibility of memory over time.)
                                             Sister of a retractor

A Grandfather's Experience
    My father is 87 years old. He has health problems. He should be
enjoying the company of his adult granddaughter, having fun with his
great-grandson, and looking forward to his sixtieth wedding
anniversary. Instead, he is involved in a horrendous nightmare.
  Briefly, our 32-year-old daughter has falsely accused first me, then
my wife, then my mother, and now my father of sexual and satanic
ritual abuse. She has also filed a civil lawsuit against my wife and
me. As difficult as it was to tell my mother of the allegations
against her, it was even harder to later tell my father that he too
was accused of horrible acts. He was always so loving and giving, both
as a parent and a grandparent. I was a perfect son in his eyes. Of
course, they made mistakes as parents, and so did we. But abuse --
  This past summer. our attorney requested that I bring my father to
his office so that the accusations against him could be
discussed. Prior to that visit, I can't think of the last time my
father spoke to an attorney. He was understandably anxious about the
meeting, and wondering about the questions he would be asked. I spent
some time trying to reassure him that our attorney was a very nice man
and that the atmosphere would be non-threatening. I don't think I
appeased his qualms very much. More than anything, he wanted to feel
that he was doing something to help us. Considering the circumstances,
it was pleasant spending this time together with my father -- just the
two of us.
  The meeting went well, as I had hoped it would. My father told his
story, and managed to put in a plug about what wonderful parents my
wife and I were to our daughter.
  Now he has the trial to look forward to, another source of worry for
him. This is not how I envisioned him spending his last years. Life is
not fair, but this is ridiculous!
                                                A Dad (A Son)


Submitted by a substance abuse clinician

Note: These definitions in no way reflect disdain for any patient who
may be suffering the ill effects of this irresponsible treatment.
Breaking the silence -- Going on Oprah Winfrey, Sally Jesse Raphael,
Donahue, and Geraldo and then writing a book.
Abuse -- What your therapist convinces you that your family deserves
in order for you to get better.
Post-traumatic stress -- An extreme panic reaction experienced upon
suddenly realizing how much your years of bogus therapy have actually
cost you.
Dysfunctional family -- Any family which is not regarded as perfect
after being judged or evaluated by experts who are.
In denial -- The terminology applied to poeple who are open to facts
and to other opinions (when being addressed by people who are not.)
Therapist-assisted retrieval -- What happens when a therapist who
doesn't know you remembers what happened to you before he met your.
Shame -- Something you don't need anymore if only you can convince
your family that they do.
Guilt -- Something the other person should have in abundance because
you simply don't want any.

The Family Therapy Newtorker
8528 Bradford Road
Silver Spring, MD  20901

(Individuals $20 per year)
(Single issue $5.00)
Bimonthly publication

We encourage readers to obtain the September/October issue that is
devoted to FMS.  The Family Therapy Networker has also given us
permission to reprint "The Seductions of Memory" by Michael Yapko. It
is listed on the FMSF Article Order From.
/                                                                    \
| According to a Milwaukee psychiatrist, Ashok Bedi, some people     |
| with poisonous snakes were victims of sexual abuse. "They were     |
| abused by the male organ. Owning a snake is an attempt to master   |
| the abuser. The poisonous snake represents the abuser. They are    |
| trying to tame the abuser who abused them. They were victims of    |
| the snake emotionally. Now, the snake is captive in its little     |
| box."                                                              |
|                   Joe Manning, Milwaukee Sentinel,  July 22, 1993  |
/                                                                    \
|                   Utah Satanic Abuse Task Force                    |
|                                                                    |
| According to a report by Dan Harrie in the Salt Lake Tribune on    |
| September 19, 1993, the Utah task force charged with the criminal  |
| investigation of stories of satanic ritual abuse consipiray crimes |
| has spent $250,000 and has found nothing.  All but a handful of    |
| cases have been discounted or set aside for lack of evidence. The  |
| Atty. Gen of Utah, Jan Graham, has yet to settle the issue. "She   |
| says satanic ritual abuse may be real, may be phony, or may be a   |
| practice used by child abusers to terrorize victims and make them  |
| unbelievable witnesses."                                           |
|   Dr. Corydon Hammond, University of Utah psychologist and         |
| professor, was interviewed. Reporter Harrie said that Hammond      |
| seems to want to distance himself from his previous position on    |
| satanic ritual abuse that was taped in an an Arlington, VA         |
| training session and which is available from Audio Transcripts for |
| $100. In June 1992, Hammond said, "My best guess is that the       |
| purpose of it [the satanists] is that they want an army of         |
| Manchurian candidates -- tens of thousands of mental robots who    |
| will do prostitution, do child pornography, smuggle drugs, engage  |
| in international arms smuggling, do snuff films, all sorts of      |
| lucrative things and do their bidding. And eventually, the         |
| megalomaniacs at the top believe, [they will] create a satanic     |
| order that will rule the world."  Harrie reported that Hammond     |
| said he has ceased practicing or lecturing in that area.           |

                   Woman says therapy begat visions

Sunday September 12, 1993 
Reprinted with permission of Houston Chronicle

  Lucy Abney went into treatment for depression but came out with more
than 100 alternate personalities and horrifying memories of a past
spent in a satanic cult.  By the time Abney finished two years of
therapy, she had flashbacks of cannibalism, blood drinking, orgies and
the sacrifice of three of her babies.  She said her therapist warned
that some of her personalities could be turned on or off by a secret
"programming code" and that her husband was a high priest in the
satanic cult.
  "The memories were very real, very vivid," said Abney, who said she
had never had such visions before she began therapy in 1991. But after
leaving a psychiatric hospital where she had spent nearly a year and
more than $300,000, Abney suddenly had doubts about her bizarre
memories: Were they real or fantasy? Abney, 45, of Houston decided
they were fantasy and she blames her psychologist for her false
memories and misplaced concerns about satanism.
  Abney's case is similar to a growing number nationwide in which
"repressed memories" have suddenly sprung forth, unleashing
allegations of sexual abuse, satanism and other claims. A national
parents' group, the Philadelphia-based False Memory Syndrome
Foundation, has sprouted to support family members who claim their
children have falsely accused them of child abuse.
  The issue has divided therapists, who slugged it out at the annual
American Psychological Association convention in Toronto in August.
An APA panel of three scientists and three clinical practitioners
agreed on two points: It is possible to create "false" beliefs and it
is possible to revive a "lost" memory.
  Abney's case is not simple.  While her two daughters -- who claim
abuse at the hands of their stepfather and a satanic cult -- are
temporarily in the state's custody, Abney said she has filed a
complaint against her psychologist, Judith Peterson. The state Board
of Examiners of Psychologists reports having five complaints against
Peterson, but will not reveal their nature or who filed them.  The
state department of Mental Health Retardation, in a series of
inspections of Spring Shadows Glen psychiatric hospital, where
Peterson was clinical director of the dissociative disorders unit,
cited these violations: overuse of physical restraints on patients,
censorship of patient mail and phone calls and, in one case, making a
patient's discharge contingent upon safety from a "satanic cult."
  As an example of the restrictions, Abney said that when her husband
tried to deliver a carnation to her, he was turned away and later told
the flower could have "caused mass hysteria on the unit."  She said
patients were warned such items as flowers could trigger alternate
personalities.  And Peterson is the target of separate malpractice
lawsuits by former patient Janice Granata and members of another
family who recanted memories of satanic cult abuse.
  "I am not the person those people claim I am," Peterson says.  " I
am being lied about." Peterson specifically denied responsibility for
any of the violations cited in the MHMR investigation.  She said that,
as a psychologist, she is unable to order patients into restraints or
admit and discharge patients.  She said only medical doctors have such
authority. Citing client confidentiality rules, Peterson will not
discuss specific cases.  But she denies having created anyone's
memories: "They (clients) bring the content to therapy.  The therapist
does not."
  She now disavows a belief in mind-controlling satanic cults.
Instead, repressed memories of satanic ritual abuse, Peterson says,
might actually be several layers of memory implanted in patients by
"organizes crime" to sidetrack therapists and law enforcement
  "I think organized crime could use people in child prostitution and
drug running and then through (memory) layering disguise or cover it,"
Peterson said recently in an interview with her attorney present.
Peterson, 47, who has a doctorate in psychology, has built a national
reputation as an expert at helping clients retrieve repressed
memories. For the past six years, she has traveled around Texas and
the nation lecturing and promoting video training tapes espousing the
ability through hypnosis and specialized treatment to uncover
previously buried memories. She has helped build a 75 member study
group in Houston for treatment of multiple personality disorders.
  Despite her current disavowal of a satanic cult conspiracy, she
co-authored a case study in 1990 of four family members whom she
described as members of "transgenerational orthodox satanic cult." Her
description of the family fits that of Kathryn Schwiderski and her
three children.  Schwiderski and her husband, Dennis, and two of their
children, are suing Peterson for malpractice.
  Again citing client confidentiality, Peterson will not confirm that
her case study is of the Schwiderskis.  She also refuses to discuss
the report, as does her co-author, Houston therapist Cynthia Zarling.
They presented their study to the 7th International Conference on
Multiple Personality/Dissociative States in Chicago three years ago.
  "The mother was born into the cult and the involvement can be traced
back two generations," according to a summary of the Peterson-Zarling
study provided at the conference. "The major memories as documented
nationally by other cult victims were found in this family, including
details about human sacrifice, cannibalism, black hole, shock to
create alters (other personalities), marriage to Satan, buried alive,
birth of Satan's child, internal booby traps, forced impregnation and
sacrifice of her own child."
  Today, Peterson tries to downplay the gory details.
  "The paper wasn't about blood and babies and all that, " she said.
"It was about dynamics within a family." According to Dennis
Schwiderski, the dynamics within the family and many other aspects of
family life were destroyed by Peterson. In his suit filed in Harris
County state district court, Schwiderski claims his family was
selected for treatment of satanic cult ritual abuse "not because his
family had in fact been part of a 'cult,' " but because it would be
very profitable."
  Schwiderski, an executive with Conoco Inc., and his insurance
carrier paid out more than $2 million for treatment with Peterson, her
staff, other therapist and several private psychiatric hospitals.
Schwiderski, along with his ex-wife, son and daughter, allege in
individual lawsuits that Peterson and other therapists attempted to
bilk insurance from them while often placing patients in restraints
and ordering them to recall cult activities.
  None of the Schwiderskis will talk about their suits against the
therapist, but Kari Schwiderski, 20, alleges in her suit that she
spent her junior and senior years of high school locked up in a
psychiatric ward "being treated for 'abuse' by a non-existent 'satanic
cult.'" The suit claims Peterson diagnosed Kari as suffering from
multiple personality disorder attributable to her by participation in
"a satanic cult from Tomball."
  Peterson, along with the staff at Houston Northwest Medical Center,
often placed Schwiderski in restraints, the suit alleges, "ordered her
to recall purported cult activities, and punished her by restriction
of her hospital privileges if she failed to do so." Peterson, the suit
added, also told Schwiderski that she had "killed babies in 'cult'
rituals but had repressed these memories" and that both her parents
had "sexually abused and tortured her."
  Kari's mother, Kathryn Morgan Schwiderski, claims in her suit she
was "often placed in physical restraints" and was threatened with
punishment if she did not describe her alleged participation in 'cult'
  Meanwhile, another Schwiderski daughter has not recanted her satanic
cult memories.  Kelly Schwiderski, 22, remains so convinced of her
cult involvement that she gave an affidavit to the Harris County
Sheriffs Department admitting to three homicides in a 'fetus factory"
in Colorado.  A sheriff's detective spent two years investigating her
claims but found no evidence to support them, according to law
enforcement sources. Sheriff's deputies declined to discuss the case,
saying it is still part of an open investigation.
  Peterson says she has never threatened any of her patients with
restraints, involuntary commitment, or planted fears that they were in
danger from satanic cults. She also says it is not unusual for
patients to recant.
  "It's real normal for people to recant things that they have either
difficulty dealing with or they have lots of shame about, or they feel
they might go to jail about. That's one of the big problems with my
parents -- recanting, because that's a good way out (for them),"
Peterson said. As for what is real and what is fantasy, Peterson says
only her patient have the answer to that.
  As with the controversy surrounding repressed memories, questions
have been raised for years about the accuracy of memories recalled
during hypnosis. In 1985, an American Medical Association panel
studying the issue warned that hypnosis can lead to "increases in
false recollection and confabulation."  Abney says hypnosis played an
important part in her therapy while under Peterson's care.
  And the accuracy of memories of satanic abuse has been challenged in
several high-profile cases, including the McMartin Preschool child
abuse case in California, in which the operators of a day-care center
were acquitted.
  In Austin several months ago, operators of Fran's Day Care were
convicted of sexual abuse, with testimony from children who had
memories of satanic ritual abuse during therapy. Sean Nash, father of
one of the children alleging abuse, said of his 4 year-old: "When we
asked him general questions he was very clear.  Mostly he told us
about the satanic cult such as being buried alive in boxes and
sacrificing dogs." Although many of the children's stories uncovered
during months of therapy could not be verified, Austin police believe
substantial portions of their tales were true.
  While most experts in the field of mental health agree that sexual
abuse has been underestimated in the past, they worry that a number of
cases are the result of imagined memories created through the biases
of therapists. Critics believe that at least some of the memories of
satanic ritual abuse are part of a cultural sex abuse hysteria in
which psychotherapy has spun out of control.  And law enforcement
agencies strengthen that argument.
  Thousands and thousands of police hours have been spent on satanic
cult investigations searching for killings and murders and no evidence
has come up," said Robert Hicks, a criminal analyst with Virginia
Criminal Justice Services, who has investigated satanic ritual abuse
for more than a decade. Ken Lanning, with the FBI's behavioral science
unit in Quantico, Va., has investigated hundreds of cases since 1981
with "little or no evidence" of a massive cult with the ability to
control members' minds.
  Those in the mental health field say that despite the current debate
over repressed memories and satanic cults, only a small percentage of
therapists buy into cult conspiracy theories.  But those who do may
allow their bias to enter their cases.
  "Because of the context and the bias of the therapist, they could
interpret recollections as somehow fitting into a satanic ritualistic
mode," said Dr. Bruce Perry, a psychiatrist and expert on child
sexual abuse with Houston's Baylor College of Medicine.  I think there
are some people who have had some false memories put into their head
during therapy. The memory is very fragile."
  Perry offers the example of one of his own patients who believed she
had recovered memories of cult abuse with a previous therapist. The
woman remembered being injected with needles as adults chanted and
held her down.  But after listening to her for about an hour, Perry
said he realized she was not describing satanic ritual abuse, but
chemotherapy she had had during childhood.  Perry said he was
concerned that his patient's earlier therapist had misled her.
  Elizabeth Loftus, a psychology professor at the University of
Washington and one of the members of a panel studying repressed
memories for the American Psychological Association, offered her
theory for how false memories are created. A growing body of research,
she wrote in a May article for American Psychologist magazine, shows
that new information can be incorporated into an old memory, altering
one's recollection.  The new information invades us like a Trojan
horse, precisely because we do not detect its influence."
  Lucy Abney now believes much of the substance of her satanic
memories came from materials she had seen or discussed.
  " I think a lot of the stuff I came up with was from books I had
read during therapy, materials on television and from what other
people in treatment were saying," Abney said.

  Peterson, meanwhile, believes therapists are being victimized. She
compares the attacks on her and many of her peers with the problems
faced by Sigmund Freud, founder of psychoanalysis.  In his initial
hypothesis on "hysteria" among women he treated, Freud initially found
they had been sexually abused by their father or a relative, Peterson
  "In a Victorian society that was not something that was not
acceptable, and so he changed his thinking and changed his belief and
decided that it was all fantasy ... I don't have a problem with Freud;
I just know how he felt."
/                                                                    \
|                         What is Dangerous                          |
|                          Elizabeth Loftus                          | 
|                    Women Who Remember Too Much                     |  
|    to appear in Freyd, P et al (Eds.), Memory & Reality        | 
|                                                                    |
| "What is truly dangerous, however, is that anyone who dares to     |
| express skepticism whenever another woman cries, 'I just found     |
| memories too!' is accused of being anti-woman, or a traitor to the |
| feminist cause. Cognitive psychologists in particular are          |
| frequently told that they have no business speaking to the concept |
| of repression of traumatic events. We are labeled rather           |
| contemptuously (and somewhat inaccurately) as merely "academic     |
| researchers who study normal memory in volunteer subjects" or      |
| worse, as helping to perpetuate the 'stereotypes of women as       |
| irrational, suggestible or vengeful' (Herman & Harvey, 1993).  |


  We are changing office procedures to accommodate the dramatic
increase in calls for information from retractors, returners, and
professionals and to try to reduce the number of calls from the office
to get details. When we receive a request for information, we now send
an "introductory" letter that lists material available from the
Foundation. Although we may have made a note that "this appears to be
a family," and in the past would have called back immediately for
information, we now wait to receive information in writing from the
caller. There are 95 "appear-to-be" cases in the last 2 weeks. In the
past, we have not included "retractors" in the family count because
the criteria for identification needed refinement. In future counts,
these people will be added to our count of "affected families."
  Collecting information in an accurate and systematic manner is
critical.  Sometimes families do not understand why we do not include
in our count the affected families they tell us about in their church
or neighborhood. We can't.  The numbers we publish are extremely
conservative. They reflect only those reports in which we have
information that that can later be examined by independent researchers
interesting in determining error rates. The Foundation is accused of
harboring "perpetrators." Records that can be verified by responsible
independent professionals must be kept to address that charge.
  We understand that this procedure means than many families may never
contact the Foundation. We've never kept a running count of callers we
suspect are families who request information in a packet with no
return address. We've never kept a running count of people we suspect
are families who call and talk but who are too afraid to leave their
name. "Do you have to print my name?" they ask. We include in our
monthly count only those reports that can be verified by qualified,
independent researchers.
/                                                                    \
|          Where do 5,426 families live?  Sept 27, '1993             |
|                (See "Change in procedure")                         |
|  AK(10)  AL(19)  AR(18)  AZ(150) CA(877) CO(91)  CT(52)  DE(20)    |
|  FL(226) GA(63)  HI(8)   IA(40)  ID(28)  IL(226) IN(63)  KS(48)    |
|  KY(19)  LA(22)  MA(134) MD(92)  ME(27)  MI(170) MN(96)  MO(103)   |
|  MS(6)   MT(33)  NC(74)  ND(6)   NE(26)  NH(24)  NJ(127) NM(39)    |
|  NV(22)  NY(252) OH(193) OK(52)  OR(137) PA(283) RI(17)  SC(27)    |
|  SD(12)  TN(41)  TX(215) UT(160) VA(85)  VT(24)  WA(245) WI(163)   |   
|  WV(12)  WY(11)  DC(7)   VI(3)   PR(1)  Australia(5) Canada(312)   |
|    England(200) France(2) Germany(1) Ireland(1) Israel(2)          |
|    Netherlands(1) New Zealand(1) Scotland(1) South Africa(1)       |
|                 Each family represents many people.                |

                            FMSF MEETINGS
              Families & Professionals Working Together

 Notices for meetings scheduled between mid-November through December
must reach FMSF no later than October 25th to be included in the
November newsletter.  Please mail or fax your announcement to Nancy's
attention. Thank you.


Greater LA Area, Upland
1st and 3rd Mondays, 7:30 pm
Call Marilyn (909) 985-7980)

North County Escondido
Contact Joe or Marlene
 (619) 466-5415

Central Coast Meeting
Sat., Nov 13, 1993, 10 am - 1 pm
Call Carole (805) 967-8058


Kansas City
We need your help
 to educate professionals"
2nd Sunday each month
Contact Pat (913) 238-2447 
or Jan (816) 276-8964
Sat., October 23, 1993 - 7 pm
Holiday Inn North
I-75/I-64 - Exit 115
Contact Bob (502) 957-2378
or Dixie (606) 356-9309

Grand Rapids Area 
2nd Monday each month
Call Catharine (606) 363-1354

The Michigan Info Newsletter
P O Box 15044, 
Ann Arbor, MI 48106
(313) 461-6213
Notices about meetings

St. Paul
Sat., Nov. 13, 1993 - 9 am-3 pm
Kelly Inn - Sibley Room
Call Terry/Collette (507) 642-3630

Illinois Area Fall Meeting
Sat., Nov. 13, 1993 - 9 am 6pm
Prairie Lakes Community Center
515 E Thacker St, 
Des Plaines, IL
Call Liz /Roger (708) 827-1056

Attention Wisconsin!
If you wish to participate in a phone tree, please call Katie or Leo
(404) 476-0285.


Wayne, PA
2nd Sat.  each month - 1 pm
Call  Jim or  Jo  (215) 387-1865 

Freeport, 60 Desert Rd
3rd Sunday each month
call Wally (207) 865-4044

Seminar  & Organization Meeting
Sat., Oct. 30, 1993 - 9 am-4:30 pm
Annapolis Holiday Inn
 Speaker: Paul R. McHugh, MD
Call Carol (410) 647-6339
Oct. 24, 1993, 1 pm
Carriage House, Chelmsford, MA
Call Jean (508) 250-1055 
Contact Renee, (718) 428-8583
 Grace (201) 337-4278 or 
Barbara (914) 761-3627
First Presbyterian Church of Pittsford
21 Church St, Pittsford 
(SE of Rochester, NY)
Call Loni (716) 385-4873 


State-wide Meeting - 
Sat-Sun, October 9-10, 1993 
Best Western Buena Vista Hotel
For information, call
 Esther (407) 364-8290
Rose (305) 947-0095   
Jackie (813) 


Nationwide Seminars: 
'Fight the Problem' 
Call Steve (602) 391-1211 
or Barbara (602) 924-0975
or Walter (602) 792-8021

Contact Bill (505) 268-6535

4th Sat. each month - 1:00 pm
Cherry Creek Branch, 
Denver Public Library
3rd & Milwaukee
Contact Roy (303) 221-4816

Houston Area Meeting
Contact Lucy (713) 975-1883
or Pat (713) 785-5746


Vancouver and Mainland
Sat., Oct.  30, 1993 - 1 pm
 Call Ruth (604) 925-1539

Victoria & 
Vancouver Island
Tues., Oct. 19, 1993 - 7:30 pm
Tues., Nov. 16, 1993 - 7:30 pm
(3rd Tuesday each month)
Contact John (604) 721-3219

Adult Children Accusing Parents
Parents with relatives in the UK can contact
Roger Scotford at ACAP on
(0) 225 868682

                          ARTICLE ORDER FORM

Send a stamped self-addressed envelope to the office if you would like
the most recent list of articles available through the
Foundation. (Dated September 21, 1993) Ask for "Article Order Form."


by Paul McHugh, M.D., Chief of Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins Hospital
Excerpt from paper presented at Memory and Reality Conference, Valley
Forge, April 16-18, '93 To appear, Freyd, P et al Memory and Reality:

  The witch-craze of the 16th and 17th centuries "made clear that
validation means something much more than proposing ways -- even
consistent ways -- to make the diagnosis even of something that does
not exist. That is, the witch hunters received explicit and
operational ways of identifying witches, They taught each other and
wrote their procedures in a large and influential book. This book
entitles Malleus Maleficarum or the Hammer of Witches spelled out in
exquisite detail the kinds of behaviors that characterize the witch
and identify the evidence on her body of congress with devils, incubi
and succubi. The Malleus had as its epigraph: Haeresis est maxima
opera maleficarum non creders ("to disbelieve in witchcraft is the
greatest of heresies").
  What was learned from this that might illuminate practices with
repressed memories? First: The fact that there is a manual telling how
to recognize the manifestations of repressed memories does not confirm
them. It is an exercise in creating a consistent approach to the
diagnosis amongst therapists -- a uniformity of diagnostic practice
and does not validate the presumed abusive experience....
  The issue for repressed memories is validation -- and validation in
every case when it appears. What that means is that the therapist must
confirm the actual abuse before he or she launches into therapy. Some
therapists will react strongly and very negatively to the requirement
that they must confirm an opinion when they wish to get on with
therapy. However the effort at finding external confirmation of a
diagnostic opinion is a standard practice with all psychiatric
disorders and must be emphasized when what is claimed is a serious,
criminal offense and a devastation to family unity.
  It is not required that the therapist himself or herself carry out
the diagnostic validation. This can be turned over to an open minded
consultant who can press through hospital and school records, reach
external informants, and assess all the parties involved in the
charges. But to treat for repressed memories without any effort at
external validation is malpractice pure and simple; malpractice on the
basis of standards of care that have developed out of the history of
psychiatric service -- as with witches -- and malpractice because a
misdirection of therapy will injure the patient and the family." 

Dr. McHugh's full paper along with other Memory and Reality Conference
papers and articles for which we have permission to reproduce are
available through the Foundation. Send a stamped self-address envelope
and ask for an "Article Order From." These forms are now included in
introductory packets, but people who contacted us in the past might
like to have them. We plan to list new available articles monthly in
the newsletter.

FMS Foundation 3401 Market Street, Suite 130

This address and the phone numbers have changed as of July 15, 2000
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3315 Phone 215-387-1865 ISSN # 1069-0484

Pamela Freyd, Ph.D., Executive Director

FMSF Scientific and Professional Advisory Board
October 1,  1993

Terence W. Campbell, Ph.D., Clinical and Forensic Psychology, Sterling
Heights, MI; Robyn M. Dawes, Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University,
Pittsburgh, PA; David F.  Dinges, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania,
The Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, PA; Fred
Frankel, M.B.Ch.B., D.P.M., Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical
School, Boston, MA; George K. Ganaway, M.D., Emory University of
Medicine, Atlanta, GA; Martin Gardner, Author, Hendersonville, NC;
Rochel Gelman, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, CA; Henry
Gleitman, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; Lila
Gleitman, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; Richard
Green, M.D., J.D., UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA; David
A. Halperin, M.D., Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY;
Ernest Hilgard, Ph.D., Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA; John
Hochman, M.D., UCLA Medical School, Los Angeles, CA; David S.  Holmes,
Ph.D., University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS; Philip S. Holzman, Ph.D.,
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; John Kihlstrom, Ph.D., University
of Arizona, Tucson, AZ; Harold Lief, M.D., University of Pennsylvania,
Philadelphia, PA; Elizabeth Loftus, Ph.D., University of Washington,
Seattle, WA; Paul McHugh, M.D., Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore,
MD; Harold Merskey, D.M., University of Western Ontario, London,
Canada; Ulric Neisser, Ph.D., Emory University, Atlanta, GA; Richard
Ofshe, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, CA; Martin Orne,
M.D., Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, The Institute of Pennsylvania
Hospital, Philadelphia, PA; Loren Pankratz, Ph.D., Oregon Health
Sciences University, Portland, OR; Campbell Perry, Ph.D., Concordia
University, Montreal, Canada; Michael A. Persinger, Ph.D., Laurentian
University, Ontario, Canada; Harrison Pope, Jr., M.D., Harvard Medical
School, Cambridge, MA; Thomas A. Sebeok, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of
Linguistics & Semiotics, Indiana Univeristy, Bloomington, IN; Louise
Shoemaker, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA;
Margaret Singer, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, CA; Ralph
Slovenko, J.D., Ph.D., Wayne State University Law School, Detroit, MI;
Donald Spence , Ph.D., Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center, Princeton,
NJ; Jeffrey Victor, Ph.D., Jamestown Community College, Jamestown, NY;
Hollida Wakefield, M.A., Institute of Psychological Therapies,
Northfield, MN.

The FMSF Newsletter is published 10 times a year by the False Memory
Syndrome Foundation. A subscription is included in membership fees.
Others may subscribe by sending a check or money order, payable to FMS
Foundation, to the address below. 1993 subscription rates: USA: 1 year
$20, Student $10; Canada: 1 year $25; (in U.S. dollars); Foreign: 1
year $35. Single issue price: $3.