FMSF NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE - September 1, 1994 - Vol. 3, No. 8, HTML version

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    The FMSF Newsletter is published 10 times a year by the  False
    Memory  Syndrome  Foundation.  A hard-copy subscription is in-
    cluded in membership fees. Others may subscribe by  sending  a
    check  or  money  order, payable to FMS Foundation, to the ad-
    dress above. 1994  subscription  rates: USA: 1 year $20,  Stu-
    dent $10; Canada: $25 (in U.S. dollars);  Foreign: $35; Single
    issue price: $3. ISSN #1069-0484
         Debbie Nathan
            August Piper
               Allen Feld
                  Wakefied et al.
                     Robyn Dawes
                        James Simons

Dear Friends,
   "I've been accused of abusing my children," a prominent scientist
informed us two weeks ago. She said that a friend had sent her a tape
of this accusation made on a radio talk show. "How can this be?" she
asked. "I never had any children!"
  When we repeated this story to a group of professionals, they
laughed. "She must have repressed her children," someone offered.
"She's clearly in denial," said another.
  "Who is trivializing the issue of child abuse?" we ask. When
accusations are bandied about in such careless fashion...When rumor
substitutes for fact...When people are accused and not allowed to
defend themselves...When people start to laugh because of the
absurdity of accusations, it undermines the efforts of the past
fifteen years to treat child abuse with the importance it deserves.
  We have a run-away phenomenon. Good intentions, a lack of knowledge
about memory, a panic about child-abuse, an overgeneralization of
recovery techniques in therapy, women's issues, media sensationalism,
the death-throes of Freudianism, economic issues and all the problems
and anxieties that come from being human or living in a family have
somehow mixed together to take on a new form with a life of its own.
The result has been a disaster.
  But this juggernaut called false memory syndrome is beginning to
slow. As we have documented and tried to make sense of it all, the
first change we saw was a willingness of accused families to speak
out. That broke the log jam. After that, we saw news coverage that
showed understanding of the complex issues. Next we noticed that the
topic of FMS was appearing in professional meetings.  Starting last
spring, we begin to hear more regularly from retractors. This month,
we see the biggest and the most significant change: a great increase
in the number of scholarly papers about FMS. Because of the tone of
the papers and because of the depth in which the issues are addressed,
we conclude that the academic community is concerned about the
consequences of recovered memory therapy and is now willing to speak
out in a voice about the scientific foundation of memory.
  The August issue of Applied Cognitive Psychology. 8(4) is a case in
point.  This is a special issue edited by Pressley and Grossman
entitled "Recovery of Memories of Childhood Sexual Abuse." It features
a landmark article by Stephen Lindsay and J.D. Read called
"Psychotherapy and memories of childhood abuse" to which a number of
responses, both critical and supportive, are given by noted scholars.
Read and Lindsay's response to the critics is masterly and strong.
They note that "most of the cognitive psychologists who have become
involved in this debate have focused on criticisms rather than
defenses of memory recovery therapies."
  Lindsay and Read tackle each of the premises on which memory therapy
is based and present the research data. For example, one of the
assumptions is that it is common for children to repress or have
amnesia for sexual abuse as a way to survive. There is, however,
simply nothing in the research to support that assumption:

   "Base Rate of Total Amnesia
   "Although many memory recovery therapists believe that 'children
  often cope with abuse by forgetting it ever happened' (Bass and
  Davis, 1988: p 22; see also Blume, 1990; Briere, 1992; Courtois,
  1988; Olio, 1989; Putnam, 1991; Sgroi and Bunk, 1988; Wyatt and
  Newcomb, 1990), we know of only a few studies that have addressed
  this issue directly (Briere and Conte, 1993; Femina, Yeager, and
  Lewis, 1990; Herman and Schatzow, 1987; Loftus, Polonsky, and
  Fullilove, in press; Williams, in press). What is most striking
  about these studies is the lack of agreement about what constitutes
  amnesia and the very modest support for the claim that many adult
  survivors of abuse are totally amnesic for the abuse. All of these
  studies used quite non-representative samples. In most of these
  studies the subjects' simple statements that they did or did not
  remember were taken at face value. Moreover, even assuming that all
  claims of abuse in this research were true (an assumption contested
  by some, e.g. Frankel, 1993; Rich, 1989, 1990), the studies do not
  support the view that a large percentage of clients are completely
  amnesic for actual childhood sexual abuse, suffering amnesia so
  dense that only intense and frequent sessions of memory recovery
  therapy can break through. For one thing, Martin, Anderson, Romans,
  Mullen and O'Shea (1993) have shown that initial negative responses
  to questions about childhood sexual abuse are often followed by
  affirmative responses to additional, more specific questions. Such
  effects of more specific probing can be explained without recourse
  to the assumption of complete long-term repression. Furthermore,
  some findings that have been taken as evidence of complete amnesia
  for childhood abuse may in part reflect the creation of illusory
  memories rather than the recovery of repressed memories. (page 311)"
  A number of new books are about to appear that expose the cruelty
  and the pseudoscience of recovered memory therapy. We will list many
  of them this month and will review them all in future issues. This
  month there are reviews of two books many of you have been waiting
  for: "The Myth of Repressed Memories" by Elizabeth Loftus and
  Katherine Ketcham and "Making Monsters: False Memory, Psychotherapy
  and Sexual Hysteria" by Richard Ofshe and Ethan Watters. These books
  are certain to have a powerful impact.

CONFERENCE: The change in climate is reflected in the plans for the
"Memory and Reality: Reconciliation" conference this December 9-11.
The program and registration have gone in a separate mailing. This
will be the defining conference on the issue of False Memory Syndrome
this year. It is a very special occasion to have so many outstanding
scholars at the same meeting. It is an extremely important occasion
because it should mark the change in the focus of FMSF from informing
people that there is a problem, to an invitation to professionals,
retractors, and families to join us and become an active part of the
solution. It will be a remarkable occasion because there will be a
coming together of professionals in the field with families affected
by the problem. We hope that our critics will attend. They will be
  The small group/poster sessions were one of the highlights of the
Valley Forge Conference. This year they will be even more exciting.
These sessions are designed around special interests and give
participants a chance to talk with an expert or get to meet other
people in the same field or from the same area. We will describe them
in future newsletters. An invitation to students to present their
research on posters will be mailed this month. Families and
professionals have been calling us with their ideas for other special
meetings to be set around the conference. If you have a suggestion,
please give it.
  Many professionals told us that they felt that the first "Memory and
Reality" conference in April 1992 marked a turning point. Perhaps they
are right. Between that conference and this, the situation for
families has changed dramatically.  Whereas in April 1992, FMSF
families were besieged and devastated, they are now setting the pace
and the agenda for the changes that must be made to solve the FMS
problem. The "Memory and Reality: Reconciliation" conference will
define the focus for future work. We hope to see you there so that we
can all become part of the solution.
/                                                                    \
|                     International Conference                       |
|                 MEMORY AND REALITY: RECONCILIATION                 |
|                                                                    |
|      CoSponsored by The False Memory Syndrome Foundation and       |
|          The Johns Hopkins Continuing Education Program            |
|                                                                    |
|               Baltimore, MD December 9, 10, 11 1994                |
|                                                                    |
|    Become part of the solution to the False Memory problem.        |

  A point that our critics have used on numerous occasions in their
effort to discredit the FMSF, is the claim that the Foundation was
formed by accused families. In fact, the Foundation was formed by both
accused families and concerned professionals and it wouldn't have
gotten very far if it hadn't had the prestigious board of advisors
from the very beginning. But most such organizations (i.e., Alzheimers
or AIDS) are formed by those directly affected with the problem. The
fact that people experience the problem does not effect the issues
involved in that problem. These same critics neglect to mention their
own organization: the PROFESSIONAL ADVOCACY NETWORK (PAN) formed by
accused therapists. PAN was co-founded by Judith Sherven, a Los
Angeles psychologist and Lynn Steinberg, a Los Angeles social worker.
In its first year it has attracted a membership of a thousand accused
professionals according to an Associated Press story in August. The
number of complaints against social workers in California doubled from
1992 to 1993, to over 1,200. Touching, fondling or having sexual
intercourse with clients are the most common complaints.
  According to the AP article, therapists complain that regulatory
boards for psychologists and social workers are conducting witch hunts
in an overzealous response to clients' complaints of misconduct. They
claim that the vigorous prosecution of complaints is wrecking innocent
lives across the United States and chilling their profession. PAN is
concerned about procedures that permit charges to be brought years
later, allow changes in the accusations at any time, keep complaints
secret from practitioners and hold them to current standards rather
than those in place at the time of the alleged misconduct. Sound
familiar? In fact, many of the issues raised by PAN are those that
families have raised. Therapists, however, have a forum in which the
accusations can be evaluated. Accused families have no place that will
investigate the charges.

  We can't help but wonder how many of the accused therapists gave the
book "The Courage to Heal" to their patients. (It is the most highly
recommended book by therapists according to "The Guide to Self-Help
Books" published by Guilford Press in 1993) We have often wondered how
carefully therapists have read it before giving it to their patients.
Some of the sections were highly disturbing to us when we read them.
Are they disturbing because of something fundamental in what they say
or are they disturbing just because they mention fathers and
grandfathers? Sometimes, by substituting words, it can help one to see
a message more clearly. We did that with some of the passages that
disturbed us. First we substituted in terms that are traditional
targets for bigots -- racial and ethnic terms. Then we thought that if
this book is given by therapists, what would they think if we used
them, instead, as the target?
   The following document then is a parody. We think it is disturbing.
But we have found no other other way to make clear what it is that
parents find so upsetting about the tone of the book "The Courage to
Heal." It was constructed by taking selections from pages 134 through
161 (pages 123 through 150 in earlier editions) and applying the
following four replacement rules:

                        child  -->  patient
                     survivor  -->  ex-patient
         abuse, victimization  -->  therapy
  abuser, father, grandfather  -->  therapist
  All other words were left untouched. The words "anger," "rage,"
"fury," "hate," "kill" are just as they appear in "The Courage to
Heal." So are these phrases, each of which is cited as a good thing to
do: "making menacing gestures," "visualize revenge," "see them
suffer," " beaten him to a pulp," "demolished him," "dream of murder
or castration," "be glad he is dead," " spit on his grave."

  Page numbers refer to the third edition. For earlier editions,
subtract 11.
parody parody parody parody parody parody parody parody parody parody

                 ANGER -- THE  BACKBONE  OF  HEALING

  Anger is a natural response to therapy. You were probably not able
to experience, express, and act on your outrage when you were in
therapy. Rather than be angry at the person or people who held you in
therapy, you probably did some combination of denying and twisting
your anger. One way ex-patients cut themselves off from their anger is
to become so immersed in the perspective of the therapist that they
lose connection with themselves and their own feelings.  But if you
are unable to focus your rage at the therapist, it will go somewhere
else. Having been taught to blame yourself, you stay angry at the
patient within -- the patient who was vulnerable, who was injured, who
was unable to protect herself. (134)

  It's often easier to get angry for someone else's pain than for your
own.  Imagine a patient you love being held in therapy the way you
were. (135) You can hear her fury and be incited. Getting into an
angry posture also helps.  Physically taking an angry stance, making
menacing gestures, and facial expressions, invites genuine anger to
rise. You can also write a letter to your therapist. Try beginning
with "I hate you." (137)

  At one point or another, many ex-patients have strong feelings of
wanting to get back at the people who hurt them so terribly. You may
dream of murder or castration. It can be pleasurable to fantasize such
scenes in vivid detail.  Wanting revenge is a natural impulse, a sane
response. Let yourself imagine it to your heart's content. Giving 
yourself permission to visualize revenge can be satisfying indeed.
  If you start to think of acting on your fantasies, you need to
consider how your actions would affect your own future. It's not wise
to seek violent revenge in this society; you'd most likely perpetuate
your own therapy. There are nonviolent means of retribution you can
seek. Suing your therapist and turning him in to the authorities are
just two of the avenues open. (139)


  If you feel you need to confront, do it. Because the next thing you
know, that person's going to be dead, and you're going to be wishing
for the rest of your life you had. It's those unvoiced cries that
haunt you forever. (144)
  Although most ex-patients have been taught to keep their therapy a
secret, this silence has been in the best interests only of the
therapists, not the ex-patients. Nor does it protect the patients who
still have contact with the therapist. (144) You many want to make the
therapists feel the impact of what happened to you. You may want to
see them suffer. You may want revenge. You may want financial
reparations. You may want to warn others that there are patients at
risk.  (144-5)

  There are many ways to confront or disclose. Twenty years ago, an
ex-patient went to her therapist's funeral and told each person at the
grave site what he had done to her. In Santa Cruz, California,
volunteers go with ex-patients.  There they are, ten or twenty women,
surrounding a man, giving tangible support to the ex-patient, as she
names what he had done to her. This makes for a dramatic and effective
confrontation. (150)
  The initial confrontation is not the time to discuss the issues, to
listen to your therapist's side of the story, or to wait around to
deal with everyone's reactions. Go in, say what you need to say, and
get out. Make it quick. (150)

  If your therapist has died, you may be glad he is dead. This is
perfectly reasonable feeling to have. One woman said she couldn't wait
for her therapist to die so she could spit on his grave. (154)
  Another said: "I went through periods where I knew my therapist was
lucky he was already dead because if he was alive I would have killed
him. I would have beaten him to a pulp. He would have been eighty-
something years old and I would have demolished him. I can imagine him
denying the whole thing, me flying into a rage, and not even having
the awareness of what I was doing until I did it, and ending up behind
bars." (154)

  When talking about the stages in the healing process, the question
is inevitably raised: What about forgiveness? Developing compassion
and forgiveness for your therapist is not a required part of the
healing process. (160) You are not more moral or courageous if you
forgive. It is insulting to suggest to any ex-patient that she forgive
the person who held her in therapy. (161)

  There is one prominent psychiatrist who recommends "The Courage to
Heal" not only to patients but to the world. JUDITH HERMAN, M.D. is so
enthused that her endorsement of the book appears above the title on
the cover of the third edition (it is the only endorsement -- unlike
the earlier editions -- anywhere in the book). In an article in
"Nieman Reports," Spring, 1994, Dr. Herman argues that it is sexist
and unfair for the FMSF to request that accusations against parents be
investigated. We are told that the established process for dealing
with accusations "did not work fairly: it rewarded those who wanted to
fight, and punished those who wanted to avoid conflict." It is
apparently alright to accuse someone of the worst crime there is short
of murder but it is not alright for the accused to fight back.
Dr. Herman goes so far as to describe the following as a basic
feminist insight: "[T]he rules of journalism, like the rules of other
major institutions, are made for the public world, the world of war
and politics, the world of men. The rules are not made for the private
world, the world of sexual and domestic relations, the world of women
and children. The same principles that ensure a reasonable degree of
equity in conflicts between men do not ensure equity in conflicts
between men and women."  If that's a basic feminist insight then what
are to make of Dr. Herman's endorsement of "The Courage to Heal"?  Are
we to believe that the Bass and Davis advice: "making menacing
gestures," "visualize revenge," "see them suffer," " beaten him to a
pulp," "demolished him," "dream of murder or castration," "be glad he
is dead," "spit on his grave" is Dr. Herman's recommended feminist

On the subject of the NEW EDITION of "The Courage to Heal" there have
been many interesting changes which we will be discussing in
forthcoming Newsletters. Bass and Davis have, in particular, drawn
back from their certainty about never doubting memories of abuse. On
page 485 they write that "our movement is not beyond reproach" and:

 Some therapists working with adult survivors have pushed clients to
 acknowledge abuse or have attributed problems to abuse that did not
 occur. False allegations have been made.

By 508, though, the problem is only with bad therapists:

 The core of the "false memory" argument is that fictitious memories
 of child sexual abuse are implanted in the minds of impressionable
 patients by overeager, manipulative, or greedy therapists, and that
 they use coercive mind-control techniques to do so....This is not how
 responsible therapists work....Good therapists don't lead...

The notion that false memories are "implanted" by therapists is, of
course, an oversimplification that we have tried to avoid. The origin
of false memories is a complex subject about which we expect a
continuing debate. But Bass and Davis wish to simplify the discussion
down to one about "overeager, manipulative, or greedy therapists." We
suggest that they may wish to consider, instead, all those therapists
who took seriously the section entitled For Counselors (pages 345-353)
from the earlier editions of their own "The Courage to Heal." (The
section, thankfully, has been entirely dropped from the third
edition.) Bass and Davis instructed counselors as follows:

 Be willing to believe the's imperative that you be
 willing to hear and believe the worst....No one fantasizes abuse....
 If sexual abuse isn't the presenting problem but your client has
 eating disorders, and addiction to drugs or alcohol, suicidal
 feelings, or sexual problems, these may be symptoms of sexual
 abuse....if your client says she wasn't abused but you suspect that
 she was, ask again later...."No, I wasn't" may mean "No, I don't
 remember yet."

We're certainly happy that Bass and Davis have removed this advice.
Indeed, they now tell us (page 509):

 When a therapist inaccurately surmises that someone has been sexually
 abused as a child, it is a serious error of grave concern. It has the
 potential to damage both the client and the family involved. Families
 who have suffered this kind of pain deserve acknowledgment and

We must count this as progress given their previous stand. But we
wonder how they can still say on page 508, "It is unusual for
therapists to convince their clients that abuse took place when it
didn't."  Perhaps they must be reminded of their own words. Their
advice to counselors on page 347 in the earlier editions:

 Believe the survivor. You must believe that your client was sexually
 abused, even if she doubts it herself....Your client needs you to
 stay steady in the belief that she was abused. Joining a client in
 doubt would be like joining a suicidal client in her belief that
 suicide is the best way out. If a client is unsure that she was
 abused but thinks she might have been, work as though she was. So
 far, among the hundreds of women we've talked to and the hundreds
 more we've heard about, not one has suspected she might have been
 abused, explored it, and determined that she wasn't.

We suppose that we should be thankful that Bass and Davis are no 
longer so sure but the standards of evidence that they seem to think
are acceptable in their discussion of the "backlash" are just what you
might expect given their standards of evidence when it comes to
tearing families apart. Just a few indications of their "scholarship":

They tell us that the Foundation's "original membership was drawn from
a list of 202 families who had contacted the Institute for
Psychological Therapies." (p 492). Their evidence for this false
statement is something called "FMS Foundation Newsletter" of February
29, 1992. The first newsletter with that title was not until after the
Foundation was incorporated on March 12, 1992. In their vicious attack
on the Foundation they even quote (p 490) one of our "founders" citing
a newspaper that has, in fact, never interviewed the person in

In a section entitled "What We Do and Don't Know About Memory" (p 513-
516) the expert they devote the most space to is one of their favorite
"psychotherapists," David Calof. Mr. Calof has no known credentials
and according to PsycInfo (the index of articles on psychology and
related fields from 1300 scholarly and professional journals),
Mr. Calof has never published a peer-reviewed research paper. (He is,
nonetheless, one of the most visible missionaries on recovered memory
therapy.) In the same section they quote the paper by Briere and Conte
that the recent AMA report cited as just the sort of research that
should not be taken seriously.

                  From the issue of February 1, 1995
  We said last September that David Calof of Seattle, Washington, had
no known credentials. He asked us to list the following as his
credentials: he is an RMHC (Registered Mental Health Counselor) in the
State of Washington, he is a Visiting Faculty Member of the San
Francisco Family Institute, and he is a Senior Consultant, Psychology
Training Center, Seattle Mental Health Institute.

In a section entitled "Facing Sadistic Ritual Abuse" (p 518-522) Bass
and Davis must argue that the FBI's official report on the subject
("Investigator's Guide to Allegations of 'Ritual' Child Abuse," Jan
'92, by Kenneth V. Lanning) is all wrong. (Of course, they give no
hint to the reader that there is any such report.) How do they counter
the FBI? With an article from "Vanity Fair," an "Oprah Winfrey"
program, and, of course, the notorious unpublished findings of Gary
Stickle's crew of amateur archaeologists who found "tunnels" at the
McMartin School (see below). At the back of the book in their
"Resource Guide" they also have a section on SRA (p 552-554). Among
the gems: the 1989 pamphlet by the Los Angeles County Commission for
Women, the same body that ended up believing that it was being
collectively gassed by evil forces; the infamous best-seller "Michelle
Remembers"; the video from Cavalcade Productions that we excerpted in
the last April's Newsletter in which eight experts go on record as to
the huge problem the nation faces in the form of SRA. (Bass and Davis,
of course, neglect to tell their readers that three of those experts
have since recanted and now express skepticism about the very
phenomenon they were previously so certain of.)

With regard to the McMartin tunnels, a well-known author has gone on

                          EVIDENCE OF A HOAX
                            Debbie Nathan

               Reproduced with author's permission from 
              PsyLaw (Internet service), PsyLaw-L@utepa

  A revised edition of "The Courage to Heal," by Ellen Bass and Laura
Davis, includes a new chapter on the "backlash" attempting to
discredit claims of real child abuse. As an example, the authors cite
the McMartin Preschool ritual abuse case and claim that it must be
taken seriously since "tunnels" have been found under the school.
  This claim has also recently appeared in an article by Roland
Summit, of UCLA, in the Journal of Psychohistory; and an article by
Kathleen Coulborn Faller, of the University of Michigan, in the
Spring, 1994 APSAC Advisor (of the American Professional Society on
the Abuse of Children).
  Following is background on the people who have promoted the claim,
and of events surrounding the dig. As will be seen, much evidence
suggests that the "tunnels" are a hoax. All information herein is
documented by the author's research, as well as in published media
articles, and in Los Angeles District Attorney and Police Department
documents in this author's possession. These are available on request
(please reimburse copying and postage expense).

                                 * * * 
  In 1984, several months after the McMartin investigation began,
several children involved in the case started talking about having
been taken beneath the school to be molested. Glenn Stevens is a
former assistant district attorney who worked on the case and then
quit after he decided it was a hoax. Stevens recently noted that most
or all the children who made tunnel claims were going to the same
therapist, Martha Cockriel. DA's office reports support his
  By early 1985, a core group of true-believer, highly politicized
parents had coalesced who thought that a satanic cult was behind the
abuse. In late March, 1985, they descended on the school to dig up the
yard. Their intent was to find evidence of tunnels and of dead animals
that children said teachers had killed and buried to terrorize the
  The district attorney's office heard about the dig and sent
investigators to observe it. At some point, a parent who was digging
called everyone over and claimed to have just unearthed a tortoise
shell. An investigator examined the site and noted that the shell lay
in soil of a different color than the surrounding dirt, and that it
contained fresh leaves. Next day, the district attorney's office had a
Huntington Beach surveying company ultrasound the school to check for
any sign of tampering or tunnels beneath it. No such evidence was
found.  However, the investigators did find a small note with a
diagram of the school drawn on it, with "X's" indicating "Turtle 1"
and "Turtle 2."  This would suggest that someone had recently buried
two turtles or turtle shells and was providing diggers directions to
locate them.
  The foregoing suggests that the parents involved in digging were
deliberately implanting evidence.
   The tunnel issue died down until 1990, toward the end of the second
Buckey trial, when the same group of parents (by now with a smaller
number of people) decided to do an "archaeological dig." The main
activists in this effort were Jackie McGauley and Ted Gunderson.
  Jackie McGauley's history is this: 
  Her daughter was 2 1/2 years old when she attended McMartin for a
short period. She was among the hundreds of children who never
testified in the trial, many because their claims were beyond any
  Shortly after the investigation started, Jackie McGauley became
intimate with a writer for the Daily Breeze, a LA beach communities
newspaper. After the two broke up, in 1984, McGauley called the police
and reported that her daughter was saying the man molested her.
Charges were never filed but they were made public in the LA Times and
the writer's career was ruined.
  In 1985, McGauley's daughter attended a special daycare at the
Richstone Center (a facility where several state-appointed therapists
were treating McMartin children). The daycare was only for McMartin
children, and they had to be "victims" to qualify. During this period,
McGauley called police and told them that her daughter reported that a
therapist at Richstone had molested her.  Police were unable to get
much information from the child; most of it came from the mother.
Charges were not filed against the therapist and the incident never
became public.
  In 1990, Jackie McGauley was living with Ted Gunderson. He is former
head of the Los Angeles FBI office. After taking an early retirement
in the late 1970s, Gunderson was hired by friends of Jeffrey
MacDonald, the Green Beret convicted of brutally murdering his wife
and small children. MacDonald's case is detailed in Joe McGiniss's
book FATAL VISION. MacDonald always claimed that his family was
murdered by a Charles Manson-like cult, and Gunderson located a female
street person with a history of severe drug abuse who claimed she had
been in the house with the cult when the family was murdered. (Her
claim had previously been rejected by the FBI). From this work,
Gunderson apparently adopted the idea that the country was overrun
with murderous Satanic cults. He elaborated this idea when he was
associated with Jackie McGauley and the rest of the McMartin parents.
  In the early 1980s, as Gunderson publicized his theories about
Satanic cults, he began making bizarre claims to the media. One was
that Satanists and the FBI were out to harm him. He once told the LA
Times that someone had thrown a crowbar at him as he drove on the
freeway.  Another time, he said, he was sunbathing in his yard and
awoke to find a satanic poem left at his side.
  In the late 1980s Gunderson became something of a regular on shows
such as Geraldo. In May, 1989, after the Matamoros drug-cult killings,
he appeared on Geraldo and claimed that Mason County, Washington was
filled with satanist "killing fields" stocked with hundreds of dead
bodies. The county went into a panic and parents took their children
from school. Extensive investigation revealed no such fields.
  McGauley and Gunderson organized the 1990 McMartin dig and hired LA
archaeologist Gary Stickel. Stickel used the McMartin parents as the
sole excavators of the site. These were people who not only had an
agenda about finding something, but who had a history of apparently
implanting phony artifacts. This is significant in light of the fact
that the artifacts they present now as their chief evidence are two
small (easily implantable) items: a Mickey Mouse plastic sandwich bag
and a saucer with five-pointed stars painted on it.
  The McMartin parents also claim that the tunnels they found are
about five feet high, 30 inches wide, with no flooring, wall or
ceiling material, and completely filled with dirt and paint chips.
Compare this to claims the children made back in the 1980s: e.g. about
a "secret room" 10 feet by 10 feet, filled with sofas and flashing
lights, leading to an triplex residence inhabited by a little old
lady. Construction and contracting professionals whom the media
contacted during the 1990 dig pointed out that the McMartin site had
been continuously built on since the 1920s (it used to be a stable)
and that what was found sounded like the channels dug for plumbing
that are normally found under any such site.
  Currently, McGauley and Stickel are distributing Stickel's report on
the dig only to members of the child protection coterie who have made
their careers promoting the existence of satanic ritual abuse -- such
as Coulborn Faller and Summit. The report is not available to the
public. McGauley and Roland Summit have said it cannot be released
unless someone (a publisher, for instance) pays substantial amounts of
money for it. This position contradicts the normal practice in
California among archaeologists, which is to archive their reports for
peer review and public use.

Debbie Nathan
e-mail: 71203.3162@CompuServe.COM
511 Randolph Street
El Paso, TX 79902
(915) 545-1786
June, 1994

                             NEWS  NOTES

  The mail and phone calls to FMSF this summer have remained
relatively constant. During August we have averaged 40-50 first time
inquiries each day.  Many callers learned about FMSF from a first-
person account of a family published in Good Housekeeping. The topic
of repressed memories remains in the news and because of all the legal
cases stories will probably continue to appear. Following is a

CHICAGO TRIBUNE. August 12, 1994
Episcopal Bishop's Son Accuses Priest of Molesting Him
Associated Press
  In what will likely be another high-profile case, Jeffrey Haines,
the 35-year old son of the Episcopal Bishop of Washington is accusing
an Episcopal priest, Hodge, in North Carolina of abusing him. The suit
names the current and former bishops of the Episcopal Diocese of
western North Carolina on the ground that they knew or should have
known about the abuse. Haines claims his memory of the molestation
which went on for 12 years until he was 20 only returned to him last
year when he was in therapy. A similar suit against Hodge was filed
earlier in August.

Memory Case Loser Hires Gloria Allred
Katy Butler
  Holly Ramona has hired Gloria Allred, "known as a combative advocate
for feminist causes" to represent her in her case against her father.
The case has been set for trial on January 25, 1995. Gary Ramona,
meanwhile, has filed motions requesting more than half a million
dollars in additional costs and damages from the losing side in the
highly publicized trial last spring. "Legal costs for all sides in the
Ramona trial are expected to top $2 million."

NEWSDAY, August 24, 1994
Woman Suing Priest, Seeking $23M in Suit
  A 44 year old Long Island, NY registered nurse claims she recovered

memories of being molested by a priest 30 years ago while watching
"The Home Show" last year when actress Margaux Hemmingway discussed
sexual abuse and eating disorders. The woman who had been depressed
and not found the reason why with various therapists said, "I woke up
the next morning and recalled I'd been sexually abused." She claims
she was abused by fondling for four years starting when she was 15.

Your memory might be just imagination
  Memory goofs can tie police in knots. Last year, a Houston woman
claimed to remember the murder of two girls from 30 years before, when
she was 7. She named two men as the culprits and told police where the
bodies were buried. but when they dug up the area, no bodies were
found. And police have not been able to find any evidence that either
girl ever existed outside the imagination of the woman who
'remembered' them.

TIMES OF LONDON, July 10, 1994
Father scarred by 'rape' planted in daughter's mind
by Andrew Malone and Lois Rogers
  The trial of a 61-year old merchant sailor on charges of rape and
assault was the "most startling case brought before a British court
based on controversial regression therapies to revive repressed
childhood memories." The 34-year old accuser who had a history of
mental problems alleged the first of systematic rapes occurred when
she was 16 but she had not known about them until therapy.  The father
was arrested and put in jail for 4 days. The jury took 27 minutes to
throw the case out.

ST PETERSBURG TIMES, August 19, 1994
Sex case against father dropped
by Craig Pittman
  John Bence, arrested and handcuffed in front of the Florida school
where he taught for 20 years, spent four days in jail accused of
repeatedly raping and molesting his daughter when she was 7 to 17. She
didn't remember any of this until Christmas 1992 when she was 22 and
was talking to friends about childhood incidents. The State Attorney
dismissed all 16 charges against the father when the similarity of her
claims to stories in the book "The Courage to Heal" were noted.

Two Studies presented at the recent APA MEETING.
  At the recent American Psychological Association, two studies were
reported that indicate that discussion on the topic of memory will
continue for some time. We expect that a growing number of the
discussions will be on "research methodology" or the way in which the
data are collected (what is asked, who is asked, how are they asked)
and analyzed. Kate Hays and Sheila Stanley of Concord, NH claim that
they found a link between fear of dentists and childhood abuse. They
sent a survey of 30 questions to 250 people including members of the
New Hampshire Incest Center. Of the 181 female respondents, 132
reported having been sexually abused as children. They believe the
results show abused women were twice as likely to report anxiety
during dental visits. In another study reported at the same
conference, Henry Roediger from Rice University showed how easy it was
to introduce false memories and how confident people could be about
them. Roediger gave a list of words to college student subjects to
read and then ask- ed them to write down the list. (Thread, Pin,
Eye. Sewing. Sharp. Point. Prick. Thimble. Haystack. Thorn. Hurt.
Injection. Syringe, Cloth.  Knitting) When asked if the word "needle"
was in the list, more than 80 percent said it was and 60 percent were
absolutely sure it was.  Lenore Terr has claimed that Roediger's
experiment is not relevant because college students aren't the same as
trauma victims.  The people who claim that sexual trauma memory for
events is fundamentally different from other memories of events have
the burden of proof.
/                                                                    \
| When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it happened  |
| or not.                                                            |
|                                                     Mark Twain     |


                           RANDOM THOUGHTS
                        August Piper Jr., M.D.

     In the May Newsletter, I asked FMS Foundation members for
suggestions that might help other accused families. These letters have
begun to appear.
  One couple from Washington State wanted "the details of some of the
recanters' stories: How they got themselves and their families into
this mess, and what caused them to wake up and get out of it." Can any
readers answer these questions?
  Two other parents, from California, found that keeping a diary was
quite helpful in their three-year ordeal as parents accused of
molesting their daughter. In their words:

  Not only has this been an excellent emotional outlet, but, on re-
viewing the diary, I'm able to keep developments in proper order and
see patterns of behavior that might otherwise be lost to my memory
(and we all know how rotten memory can be!)... one such pattern is the
ebb and flow in the friendliness of her contacts with us...[this
cycle] grows closer with each turn."

  These parents say that anger, recriminatory judging, even reasoned
answers to the bizarre accusations do not work. What does, they say,
are calm reassurances of their love for the daughter. They advise
other parents not to focus on the pain of the accusation, but rather
on "the love and good memories that carried [you as] parents through
the raising of [your] child." After all, they say, "the author of our
pain isn't just the evil that was done to us, but the love that left
us vulnerable."

  Pam Freyd said something similar recently. In a speech in Seattle,
she remarked that when parents are accused by their children, it is
the parents' love that makes them painfully vulnerable to self-doubt.

  From new Mexico, a third letter advised accused parents that they
cannot make sound decisions about any traumatic event when emotions
[rule]...we avoided making long-term decisions about dealing with our
daughter until our emotions were lowered and we had studied and read
as much information as we could find.

  These parents' plans for the future? To simply wait and be available
to their daughter if she desires.

  A reader in Vermont suggests that parents meeting with the accusing
child's therapist adhere to the following guidelines: Become human to
your daughter and her therapist. Treat them as well-meaning humans.
Remain calm: don't be angry, don't use words like '"crazy" or
"insane." Open a dialogue. Stress current and future real relationship
changes that you would like put into place, not past problems. To the
degree that you can, respect whatever "boundaries" your child wants to
set up, no matter how restrictive or ridiculous: as she begins to
trust you again, she will more and more become her "real" self.

                           * * *
  I sincerely thank those who have either sent letters, made
suggestions, or commented favorably on this column. More suggestions
to help other accused families will be appreciated!
  Speaking of letters: One was received from a psychiatric nurse in
charge of a hospital unit where many patients said to have multiple
personality disorder are admitted each year. He attended a recent
conference at which both Beth Loftus and David Calof spoke. (Mr. Calof
is a therapist in private practice, the author of a book on MPD, and
editor of Treating Abuse Today, "The International Newsjournal of
Abuse Survivorship and Therapy"). The nurse believes that the false-
memory camp and the abuse-survivorship camp -- exemplified by these
two speakers -- have tended to speak two different languages: Loftus,
memory and research; Calof, dissociation and clinical practice. The
nurse's thoughtful letter urged a "calm and studied discussion and a
reasonable debate" between representatives on each side of the false-
memory canyon.
  Such discussions would indeed be useful. In fact, some days before
the nurse's letter arrived, Pam Freyd and I had talked about the value
of this kind of bridge across the canyon. The problem: neither of us
knew how to build it. Can any readers suggest ways to open a
discussion with the other side?
  Another letter called attention to a case of abuse. The story, if
true, is frightening because the abusers were clinicians. According to
an article in The Journal of Psychosocial Nursing 32:19-25, 1994, the
victims were patients on a dissociative disorders unit. They were kept
in the hospital for highly questionable reasons -- the article
strongly implied that money was at the root of the doctors' refusal to
discharge the patients. They were inappropriately restrained,
sometimes for days at a time. Some of the patients' parents were told
they must relinquish all rights to their children. Two patients spent
two full years in the hospital.
  How could this happen in the late twentieth century? Harold Merskey,
one of our board members, has it exactly right: loosen the critical,
reasoning part of human beings even slightly, and there is no end to
the foolishness that can follow. However, the high-water mark of
recovered-memory therapy, satanic ritual-abuse treatment, and MPD is
probably close at hand, or has already passed. Why do I say this?
  First, Pamela Freyd notes that the Foundation is being contacted by
many people -- about one a day -- who retract their claims of parental
abuse. Second, the news media are becoming increasingly skeptical of
the abuse-survivorship camp's claims. For example, viewers of the
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation recently heard Colin Ross, a
psychiatrist who is president of The International Society for the
Study of Multiple Personality and Dissociation, claim that the Central
Intelligence Agency deliberately implanted MPD into some patients:

    They're taken to special training centers, where these different
  techniques,like sensory isolation and deprivation, flotation tanks,
  hypnosis, various memorization tasks, virtual reality goggles, and
  hallucinogenic drugs and so on are used on them to try and
  deliberately create more alter personalities that can hold

  But perhaps the most compelling evidence that these three unverified
therapies are becoming discredited is provided by recent research,
which should cause anyone to be skeptical of many claims made by MPD-
and abuse-survivorship therapists. Here is a brief outline of these
studies. (The comments following the references are usually from the
papers themselves).

Esman: Sexual abuse, pathogenesis, and enlightened skepticism. The
American Journal of Psychiatry 151: 1101-1103, 1994. In this
just-published editorial, a plea is made for more balanced and less
credulous assessment of sexual abuse claims. This is an important
statement, appearing as it does in the official publication of
American Psychiatric Association.

Fromuth: The relationship of childhood sexual abuse with later
psychological and sexual adjustment. Child Abuse and Neglect 10:5-15,
1986.  The association between adult symptoms and childhood abuse
appeared to result not from the abuse itself, but from the victims'
adverse family backgrounds.

Horner: The biases of child sexual abuse experts: Believing is seeing.
Bulletin of the American Academy of Psychiatry and Law 21:281-291,
1993. In this study, 48 expert evaluators estimated the likelihood
that a child has been sexually molested by her father. The range of
estimates the clinicians provided was extreme, despite the fact that
they had all evaluated the same material.

Hussey and others: Psychological distress, problem behaviors, and
family functioning of sexually abused adolescent inpatients. Journal
of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 32:954-961,
1993. The writers note that the "failure to partition the effects of
abuse from other impinging life circumstances, problems, and
confounding influences has been a major methodological flaw" in the
existing studies of childhood sexual abuse.

Kendall-Tackett and others: Impact of sexual abuse on children: A
review and synthesis of recent empirical studies. Psychological
Bulletin 113:164-180, 1993.  The investigators note the wide variety
of factors influencing the development of symptoms in sexually-abused

Lindsay and Read: Psychotherapy and memories of childhood sexual 
abuse: A cognitive perspective. Applied Cognitive Psychology August
1994 "Incautious use of incest-focused memory-recovery therapies may
lead some adult clients who were not abused to...believe that they
were." A thoughtful and massively-documented work.

Malinosky-Rummell and Hansen: Long-term consequences of childhood
physical abuse. Psychological Bulletin 114:68-79, 1993. Many variables
affect the relation between abuse and any resulting long-term

Malmquist: Children who witness parental murder: Posttraumatic as-
pects. Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry 25:320-325,
1986. Of sixteen children who had witnessed a parental murder, not one
"repressed" the memory.

Mullen and others: Childhood sexual abuse and mental health in adult
life.  British Journal of Psychiatry 163:721-732, 1993. The possible
effects of sexual abuse should be regarded as only one element among
many that increase susceptibility to psychiatric disorders. "Many
victims of sexual abuse do long-term impairment in their
mental health, and not all psychiatric problems in those who have been
abused are attributable to that abuse."

Nash and others: Long-term sequelae of childhood sexual abuse. Journal
of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 61:276-283, 1993. Greater non-
specific impairment among abused women may result...from a disturbed
family environment, rather than from abuse per se.

Spence: Narrative truth and putative child abuse. International
Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis (in press). The author
notes that delay in recalling memories is associated with decay of
those memories. Therefore, "one should be particularly suspicious of
the suddenly-appearing, highly-detailed memory of child abuse that has
been forgotten for 20, 30, or 40 years."

Zweig-Frank and others: Psychological risk factors for dissociation.
Canadian Journal of Psychiatry 39:259-264; 265-268, 1994. The authors
failed to find any statistical relationship between dissociation and
either physical or sexual abuse. "The findings do not support theories
that dissociation [in these subjects is] associated with childhood

/                                                                    \
|   The AMA action is fine, but it has no teeth. It is now incumbent |
| on the state boards, in California and elsewhere, that license     |
| therapists to bring closer oversight to psychotherapy, which is    |
| largely unregulated. Too many families have been torn apart by     |
| apparently imagined memories for this to go on without             |
| intervention by the normally lax medical authorities.              |
|                                                     Therapy Watch  |
|                                                     June 17, 1994  |
|                                                 Los Angeles Times  |

                      TWO REVIEWS by Allen Feld:

                Elizabeth Loftus and Katherine Ketcham
                336 pages, St. Martin's Press $ 22.95

                           MAKING MONSTERS: 
                   Richard Ofshe and Ethan Watters 
   app. 341 pages, Charles Scribner's Sons,  estimated cost $22.00

                                * * * 
             If I refuse to budge as a scientist, perhaps
            they could appeal to me as a woman...(p. 205)

"The Myth of Repressed Memories: False Memories and Allegations of
Sexual Abuse" is a first-person account of Loftus's involvement with
the scientific (and often political) debate about "repressed
memories." The book is written from Loftus's unique vantage points as
a scientist, expert witness and woman, as well as a confidant to
retractors, families, professionals, therapists, academics and
authors. The authors, who have collaborated previously on the
critically-acclaimed Witness for the Defense, describe how memories
can be constructed, integrating accounts of actual situations
involving "repressed memories" with analysis using the current
scientific understanding of memory.
  Had Loftus and Ketcham chosen, they could have shifted the focus of
their book from the issues around repression to the pressure that was
placed on Loftus to bend her strong commitment to scientific proof.
Readers are explicitly exposed to the pressures that this highly
regarded scientist endures, although this is not the central theme of
the book. This allows us to glimpse what a scientist may face when
ideological and economic interests are central elements in what should
be largely a scientific debate. Loftus refuses to be expedient,
rejecting the suggestions and urgings from colleagues, friends and
antagonists that she change her expert opinion on matters or, at the
very least, remove herself from the debate about "repression". As a
scientist she seeks and respects proof, and because of her own
integrity is willing to face some anticipated conflicts from many who
would be her natural allies in most other situations.
  A meeting with Ellen Bass, one of the authors of The Courage to
Heal, is described. The account of this meeting, reconstructed from
Loftus's notes, offers readers an unusual opportunity to "eavesdrop"
as two concerned individuals wrestle with their different views of the
world. There are many references to exchanges with therapists who
share a diametrically opposite view of memory. What emerges is a
picture of a professional whose own personal style simultaneously
rejects accommodation and strives to use dialogue, patience and
rationality with even her most strenuous detractors.
  The authors make scientific arguments which refute the notion that
memories of trauma are frequently repressed and years later accurately
recalled, supporting these arguments with detailed accounts of actual
situations. Carefully and in non-technical language, the process of
fabricating memories is delineated. While being unequivocal about the
seriousness of childhood sexual abuse, they separate that important
societal problem from the presumed large number of people who
purported to have "repressed" their memories of sexual abuse.
  While readers familiar with the debate about repression and
recovered memory therapy may have an initial impression that this is
familiar material, that will probably not be their conclusion after
reading these accounts. Loftus has been involved in some of the most
prominent and widely-publicized situations concerning repressed
memories. It is here where her intimate knowledge is central to the
importance of this book. For example, in the George Franklin case,
Loftus was an expert witness for the defense. In the Paul Ingram case,
she was asked to give an objective expert opinion for a television
station doing a documentary based on transcriptions of the tape-
recorded police interrogations.  To those familiar with both cases,
further valuable insights will be gained into these compelling and
complex situations. Some of the other cases Loftus and Ketcham
describe may not be as well known, but are important in understanding
why the debate about memory and repression is not purely an academic
or clinical debate.
  Attorney Steve Moen and his client Doug Nagle (pseudonym) portray
the difficulty that may be encountered in defending against false
accusations. This situation depicts so well the anguish a father (also
an attorney) experiences as he is torn between his survival instincts
and his devotion and desire to save his family. Moen's reactions and
his client's love for family are made real for readers. So too is Mike
and Dawn Patterson's love for each other and their accusing daughter,
Megan. This care led them to do what was unusual for them.  The
Patersons hired a detective, who went as a pseudo-client to their
daughter's therapist, feigning symptoms that their daughter
had. Further insight is added by the detailed stories of retractors,
the primary victims of repressed memories, who made themselves
available to Loftus.
  An important element is the authors' analysis of seven techniques
Renee Fredrickson describes in her book for helping recover repressed
memories. Each of these techniques is explained, followed by a WARNING
based on how these activities may create pseudomemories. In using both
Fredrickson's specific advice to therapists and the authors' "warning"
about advice, readers are offered both sides of the debate.
  Elizabeth Loftus, a professor of psychology and adjunct professor of
law, and Katherine Ketcham, an author, were successful in using both
personal and scientific information, and have made an important
contribution to the fast-growing literature critical of repression
and recovered memory therapy. It is written in a style that should
appeal to a wide audience. What remains to be seen is whether a phrase
that Loftus reported repeating to herself in a particularly stressful
situation, This is a debate about memory, it's not ideology, will
become the broadly-accepted conviction in the controversy over
repressed memories.

                                * * *

  "Making Monsters: False Memory, Psychotherapy and Sexual Hysterias"
a bold and comprehensive analysis of recovered memory therapy (RMT).
It is a book that will probably evoke a range of strong emotions for
most of its readers: sadness, because of the harm that RMT has done to
the clients and their families described in Making Monsters; anger,
that well-credentialed and highly-educated therapists, including some
who are leaders in their fields, believe, write and say some of the
things they do; empathy, as readers identify with clients and families
whose stories are such an important element in this book; hopefulness,
in reading about some people who have been egregiously harmed by RMT
and are attempting to put their lives together again; and even humor,
possibly coming from the absurdity of some of the belief systems
  The book is an unapologetic no-holds-barred expos of a therapy in
which "...opinion, metaphor and ideological preference substitute for
objective evidence." (p. 5). Ofshe, a social-psychologist, and
Watters, a journalist, weave together several different sources to
justify their conclusions.  Therapists' accounts of their therapeutic
techniques and belief systems are integrated with scientifically-
accepted knowledge about memory and hypnotic states.  The examples of
the powerful influences that therapists and groups have on clients,
particularly vulnerable ones, are integrated with factual accounts of
families who have been devastated by RMT.
  The authors seem to work well as a team, avoiding jargon, and
explaining professional terms in non-technical language. This allows
the book to serve as both a text book and one that the general public
may find important. The discussions of robust repression and
repression, historical and narrative truth and their use (or misuse)
in clinical situations, therapist influence, hypnosis and hypnotic
states are based on their analysis of current research. For the
readers who may be unfamiliar with some of these theoretical aspects,
this book offers a sufficient and readily-understandable overview. For
those who are more acquainted with them, it serves as a good review
and possibly an update of current sources. These discussions are
important foundations for understanding how memories can be created
and why Ofshe and Watters refer to RMT as a pseudo science.
  While some challenges to the authors' discussions of theoretical
issues can be expected, the analysis of the work and beliefs of some
RMT proponents might possibly stimulate a more heated debate. It is
here that Ofshe and Watters name names and don't hesitate to point
fingers. The chapters on Satanic Abuse and Multiple Personality
Disorder (Dissociative Identity Disorder) and the words of Cory
(D. Corydon) Hammond and Colin Ross will no doubt spark debate in some
quarters. Their examination of several of the widely-used checklists
that seem to be favored by so many RMT therapists led them to conclude
that these checklist were so general in nature that their use in
therapeutic situations was unwarranted. The critique of the research
and the subsequent conclusions of Herman, Terr and Williams adds to
the academic importance of this book and might also stimulate some
controversy. In several of these discussions and analyses the authors'
subjectivity comes into play. However, a degree of subjectively is
inherent in analysis and often becomes the source for criticisms.
  The case examples cited provide the moral basis for the concerns
that are expressed about the pseudoscientific dimension of RMT and
remove the debate from merely an academic exercise. There are
anecdotal accounts of how memories of abuse may be created using
traditional talking-therapy as well as hypnosis. The chapters on MPD
as an artifact and Satanic abuse are important descriptions of how
iatrogenic illnesses can be created. It is in some of these stories
that people's resiliency can be seen. While each situation described
in this book is poignant, Anne Stone and her family's experience with
RMT is unusually powerful.  The authors' decision to include it was
impacted by two interrelated factors: Anne's experience exemplifies
the most severe outcome of recovered memory therapy." and "...many
years of her treatment were spent under the care of two of the nations
best-known experts on recovered memory therapy and multiple
personality disorder (app. p 225) No synopsis of this situation can
adequately encapsulate this account which includes memories of child
abuse, multiple personality disorder and torture in a satanic cult.
What began as Anne's therapy with a psychiatric social worker after an
extremely difficult birth led to hospitalizations, drug therapy,
hypnosis, and hospitalization of her two sons. Anne became to believe
she was "a High Priestess" in a satanic cult and her therapists
introduced her in public with this title. Anne and her family's
strength are also a source of hope. In spite of the years of
questionable therapy, the authors report that the family seems to be
putting their lives back together.  This and other actual accounts
fully describe the intangible cost of RMT to clients and their
families. The economic costs of this therapy are only inferred.
  "Making Monsters" is a compelling book, written for a wide audience,
well-documented and a good resource about one of society's significant
contemporary, social and therapeutic issues. It is certain that it 
will not please everyone. It is just as certain that the authors did
not set that as one of their goals.

  Allen Feld, ACSW, LSW is an Associate Professor at Marywood College,
School of Social Work, Scranton, PA. He also serves as a consultant
with the False Memory Syndrome Foundation.

/                                                                    \
| The therapists who are doing this [Recovered Memory Therapy] are a |
| new kind of sexual predator. Without ever touching their victim,   |
| they move them as close as you can possibly get to experience rape |
| and brutalization....And they get paid by the hour for doing it.   |
|                                               Richard Ofshe, Ph.D. |

   A REVIEW by Holida Wakefield, Harry MacLean and Ralph Underwager

                             Lenore Terr
                     Harper/Collins, Basic Books

Note by HW: The portion of this review focusing on the two chapters
Lenore Terr devotes to the Eileen Franklin case are written by Harry
MacLean, who has written a definitive analysis of this case in his
book, Once Upon a Time. Mr.  MacLean talked about his research on this
case at last year's FMSF conference.  Wakefield and Underwager wrote
the remainder of the review.

  Lenore Terr is a strong advocate for repression and dissociation of
trauma and is often cited by the recovered memory advocates. Her
recent book, Unchained Memories: True Stories of Traumatic Memories,
Lost and Found (1994) is a Book-of-the-Month Club selection. The book
consists of seven detailed case studies designed to illustrate how
memories can be repressed or dissociated and later retrieved. The
infamous Eileen Franklin case is discussed in detail in two chapters.
Eileen Franklin's father was convicted of murder following the alleged
recovery of Ms. Franklin's repressed memory of seeing her father
murder her best friend.
  Terr believes that repressed memories, once retrieved, are generally
highly detailed and accurate, although she believes there can be some
minor mistakes in what is recalled. She sees repressed memories as
different from those that are dissociated. According to Terr, in
repression the individual unconsciously and energetically defends
against remembering, whereas in dissociation the traumatic memories
are set aside from normal consciousness during the event itself.
Therefore, compared to the sharp and accurate details of retrieved
repressed memories, those that are dissociated are likely to remain
fuzzy, unclear, and filled with holes. Dissociated memories, according
to Terr, rarely come back clear and complete.
  Terr believes that traumatic memories operate differently from
ordinary memories. She claims there are two types of trauma. Type I
traumas, which occur when the child is subjected to a single,
unanticipated traumatic event, include full, clear, detailed verbal
memories, although there may be some mistakes. The children kidnaped
and buried in Chowchilla (Terr's best known earlier work) illustrate
type I traumas.
  Type II traumas, which occur when there is long-standing or repeated
exposure to trauma, result in dissociation or repression. The theory
is that dissociation is a powerful and common defense against repeated
childhood trauma and because the child dissociates during the trauma,
the trauma is lost from conscious awareness. Since in Terr's own
caseexamples there are no instances of children over the age of three
who are completely amnesic for the event, the repeated trauma theory
is used to explain why children with documented trauma remember the
  Most of Terr's children experienced a single trauma. According to
Terr's theory, if the children had been repeatedly traumatized, this
would be Type II trauma and they would have learned to dissociate and
therefore might not remember the trauma. It is important to note,
however, that some of Terr's cases do involve repeated trauma and,
although the memories of these children may have been sparse and
fragmented, there are none who had complete amnesia.
  Terr maintains that, even when the memory is completely repressed,
there will be signs that reflect the traumatic event. She believes
that corroboration for the recovered memories comes from the person's
symptoms and she illustrates this through writers, artists, and
filmmakers, such as Stephen King, whom she says reenact their trauma
in their writings and art. Therefore, even when there is no external
corroboration, the proof of the traumatic event comes from the
person's feelings, behaviors, and actions.
  Terr believes that even memories from early childhood and infancy,
once repressed, can be retrieved through appropriate cues. In one of
the cases in her book, a retrieved memory is of the man's mother
trying to drown him in his bathinet. Terr herself reports having a
memory of her grandmother putting hot tea in her mouth when she was 11
months old.
  Although Terr's work is used to support the claim that recovered
memories of repressed or dissociated trauma have been corroborated,
neither this book not her other writing accomplish this. The corrobor-
ation of the repressed memories in this book is simply not convincing.
There are significant problems with her account of the Eileen Franklin
case, as is seen in the discussion below by Harry MacLean. MacLean
notes that Terr makes several egregious factual mistakes and he con-
cludes that her account of this case resembles "a fable more than
fact."  There is little or no corroboration in her other examples of
recovered memories.
  It is reasonable to assume that Terr's other accounts are no more
factually accurate than is her description of the Franklin case. In
addition, most of her other cases do not address repression of
childhood traumatic events. One case essentially deals with a fugue
state and another with a man's attempts to remember ordinary things
about a brother who died when the man was four years old. The man had
always remembered his brother's death. Another is of a false memory.
The literary chapter is about an author, James Ellroy, and how his
childhood experiences, including a seductive mother who was murdered,
have influenced his writings. Although there is a lengthy discussion
of the nature of his memories, there are no accounts of traumatic
events that were repressed or dissociated but later retrieved.
  In one chapter Terr describes in detail the case of Marilyn van
Derbur Atler, former Miss America, who claims to have been sexually
abused by her father from age five until she left for college. Van
Derbur Atler supposedly defended against this trauma by splitting into
a "day child" and a "night child." The day child knew nothing of the
sexual abuse -- all of the abuse memories resided in the mind of the
night child until Van Derbur Atler was 24 years old and her memories
returned. Terr maintains that this type of splitting into a day child
and night child is a defense sometimes used by young children enduring
repeated traumas. Terr offers an extensive analysis of the former Miss
America -- all from Van Derbur Atler's many television appearances and
interviews given to reporters plus one interview with one of her three
sisters. Terr did not evaluate nor even interview Marilyn Van Derbur
Atler. Despite the fact that Van Derbur Atler exhibited a number of
extremely pathological and highly disturbed behaviors, Terr does not
question the accuracy of her recovered memories but instead develops a
complicated scenario involving dissociation, splitting and body
  In point of fact, people who undergo severe trauma remember it.
There is a large scientific literature on the reactions of people to
documented severe trauma, such as fires, airplane crashes, terrorist
attacks, automobile accidents, hurricanes, and being held hostage.
Such trauma victims show many symptoms, including feelings of
unreality, detachment, numbing, disorientation, depersonalization, and
flashbacks, but total amnesia for the entire event is not a common
response. Amnesia resulting from head injuries can happen but
psychogenic or traumatic amnesia in which all memories for the event
are gone is quite rare. Instead, the memories may be fragmented and
impaired, but they are not gone.
  The scientific literature includes studies of children who have
suffered documented trauma. Terr's finding that the children she
studied did not forget the trauma unless they were under the age of
infant amnesia is consistent with these. There are reports on the
effects on children of witnessing acts of personal violence such as
homicide, rape, or suicide, and seeing a parent murdered as well as
undergoing disasters such as bushfires, terrorist attacks, and plane
crashes.  There is research on the types of trauma children undergo in
war, including witnessing the violent death of a parent or other close
family member, terroristic attacks, kidnaping and life threat, and
bombardment and shelling. This literature does not include
descriptions of children developing amnesia.
  Terr's theories that traumatic memories are processed differently
than ordinary memories, that there are different mechanisms for
repeated trauma compared to single instances of trauma, and that
repressed memories, when retrieved, will be detailed and accurate, are
not supported by scientific evidence. Terr's theory of two types of
trauma appears to have been developed to counter the fact that her
assertions about repression, amnesia, and trauma are not supported by
her actual research with children who have undergone verified trauma.
We were unable to discover a single case described by Terr in which a
child over the age of three had total amnesia for a documented
traumatic event.
  The research also fails to support the theory of type II trauma for
repeated traumatic events, such as sexual abuse. Children traumatized
in war time include many who have undergone repeated trauma. This
research falsifies the claim that children will learn to dissociated
repeated trauma so that all memories for the trauma are gone. We did
not discover any accounts in the literature where the children were
described as developing amnesia.
  Terr's book fails to provide any support for the assumptions of the
recovered memory therapists. As some mental health professionals are
wont to do, Terr simply builds a complex, convoluted network of
unsupported and unfounded assertions about internal psychological
events which either can never be checked or, in fact, have been shown
to be impossible. Terr builds castles in the air, collects a hefty
rent for them, and tells us about all the wonderful rooms, but a
single question punctures the balloon. What is your factual data?
                      Comments by Harry MacLean

  Leonore Terr's version of the facts of the precedent-setting Frank-
lin case in her book Unchained Memories would be laughable were it not
such a serious matter. Terr has certain conclusions to reach and
certain hypothesis to support, so she twists some facts, omits others,
and creates her own to this end. There is not the slightest hint of
objectivity in the presentation of the facts; they are all twisted to
support her themes. Time and again she accepts as true facts accounts
that are hotly disputed. It is horrible journalism, as well as bad
science, to tell only one side of the many-sided story as if it were
true; it is even more unforgivable not to tell the reader that you are
doing this.
  For example: The opening pages of the book are a lyrical
presentation of how Eileen supposedly recovered the memory of her
father killing Susan Nason. On and on Terr goes, supplying telling
little details to give it the ring of truth.  Nowhere does Terr
mention that this is only one of five versions that Eileen told people
about how she recovered the memory. Nowhere does she indicate that
Eileen told her sister she recovered the memory in a dream, her
brother in the course of therapy.
  It is important to Terr's thesis and in her belief in Eileen's story
that the murder memory be Eileen's first recovered memory. On page 3,
Terr writes: "She knew nothing at all about the psychological defense
of repression." The undisputed fact is that Eileen testified that she
was in therapy the previous winter with a woman and supposedly
recovered a repressed memory of her father digitally penetrating her.
The psychologist explained to Eileen how repression worked. Terr
repeats this mistake on page 8.
  Terr adds facts when the known ones aren't sufficient. On page 5,
she states with certainty that during her father's rape of Susan,
Eileen could "see white socks and white child-size underwear." Eileen
never testified that she saw Susan's underwear, only that she saw
something 'white." Terr repeats this mistake on page 28.
  On page 12 Terr explains one of her key criteria for the return of a
memory -- the person has become safe or comfortable. Eileen, she says,
has become comfortable in the third decade of her life. In fact, even
Eileen does not claim this was a good period of her life. Months
earlier she filed for divorce from her husband, alleging severe
emotional abuse. She had no education and no money and was terrified
of losing her daughter. She emptied her bank account and grabbed the
children and fled twice with the children only to be blackmailed into
retur ing. Barry, her ex-husband, said he would file criminal charges
against her for theft. Terr says that Eileen had achieved a "state of
well-being," a "ground of comfort." Nothing could be further from the
truth.  According to court documents and her own statements, Eileen
was a severely abused woman who was scared to leave an abusive
husband. Terr was aware of the divorce: she was cross-examined on it
during the trial. But these facts don't fit her theory, so they are
  In Terr's version, Eileen was not in therapy when the memory
returned. In fact, Eileen was seeing therapist Kirk Barrett at the
time.  Terr writes that "Barrett stayed neutral; he told Eileen he
couldn't be certain that her memory was real." In fact, Barrett
testified that he told Eileen that he believed her.
  On page 14, Terr tells the story of Janice Franklin, one of Eileen's
older sisters, going to the police in 1984, with the charge that her
father had murdered Susan Nason. Terr neglects to mention that the 
police in 1984 had dismissed Janice's story because the time she gave
for her father's return in effect provided an alibi for him. It was
only after she was in therapy with Kirk Barrett that she straightened
the time out to match the known facts.
  Terr's version contains many other factual errors, some of which are
not particularly important, such as having the wrong name of the
prosecutor who filed the case, the wrong name of Franklin's home town,
an inaccurate description of the type of law enforcement officers who
arrested Franklin, the wrong town Franklin lived in when he was
arrested, the wrong order of events in the trial, incorrect defense
strategies, etc.
  What cannot be countenanced is her contrivance of a key fact in the
story.  Terr recounts Eileen's phone conversation with the officer in
which she told the story. In response to a question, Eileen says that
her feeling is no, her father did not rape Susan Nason. Terr
volunteers that the reason Eileen feels that way is because of her
"conflicted love for her father." Eileen repeats that she can't say
that penetration was made and on page 22 Terr writes, for God only
knows what reason, that "There was sperm in Susan's vagina." Susan's
body had decomposed for two months on the side of a mountain, a fact
which Terr knows quite well because she recites them earlier in the
book.  The only flesh on the body was mummified. There was never the
slightest suggestion by anybody at anytime in this case that sperm had
been found in Susan's vagina. Terr seemed to have some sort of need to
convict Franklin in her book of rape as well as murder.
  Terr also has Eileen originally saying that the killing occurred in
the "early afternoon." Eileen said that the killing happened in the
  It is more than a little ironic, given these gross mistakes, that
Terr writes that in looking at returned memories one must "rely on
good detective work," page 30. Terr seems to have accepted everything
Eileen told her at face value.
  Terr also confuses the order of Eileen's recovered memories. On
pages 34-35 she writes that a few months after the murder memory
Eileen recovered a memory of digital penetration. Eileen herself
testified that this was the first recovered memory.
  The most egregious example of accepting something as true which is
highly disputed (and failing to not that it is a disputed fact) is
Eileen's supposed habit of putting her hair out, resulting in "a big,
bleeding bald spot near the crown" (page 35). Terr relies on this
several times in the article as proof of the accuracy of Eileen's
memory. ("This behavioral reenactment provided internal confirmation
for me of the truth of Eileen's memory," page 36) She even says that
Eileen had this bleeding bald spot well into high school. Eileen's
mother denies that Eileen had any habit of pulling hair out; her older
sister Kate, who practically raised the kids, denies the habit or the
existence of any "big, bleeding bald spot." Diana, Eileen's youngest
sister and the sibling to whom she was closest, denies any habit or
bleeding bald spot. None of Eileen's schoolmates or teachers that I
talked to ever mentioned a bleeding bald spot.  Knowing kids, if she
had had one, they would have noticed it. On page 38 this habit has
expanded to "bloody hair-pulling all thought her mid-childhood."
  In any event, even if Eileen did pull her hair out, how does that
substantiate the notion that she "saw" the murder. She lost her best
friend and she certainly learned as a child the nature of the injury.
She simply could have been repeating what she had been told or read.
  Terr's unrelenting bias, and obvious lack of objectivity, is evident
again when on page 42 she explains Eileen's confusion of her rapist
(changed from black to white, from stranger to stepfather), as a "nat-
ural mistake."
  The mistakes go on and on. I will close with one that is
particularly egregious. On the last page, Terr attacks Eileen's
siblings who didn't believe her. She writes: "They do not believe her.
And they think she has willfully ruined their reputations, their
privacy and their father's remaining years."  Where did Terr get this?
How does she know what Eileen's siblings think? Has she talked to
them? I'm sure not. Can a scientist really recount as fact what is in
someone else's mind when she hasn't talked to that person? The
implication that the siblings are upset that their father's remaining
years are ruined is contrary to the evidence: there is no indication
that any of the children care about George Franklin.
  Terr's recitation of events resembles a fable more than fact.

/                                                                    \
|   While the P.S.C. has no desire to interfere with psychologists'  |
| theoretical orientations, all practitioners should be aware of the |
| potential consequences of unrestrained attempts at persuasion of   |
| clients that they have repressed memories of abuse, and that this  |
| is the cause of their distress. First, there are precedents        |
| unfolding in the United States for civil action against therapists |
| who go to great lengths to convince clients that they were victims |
| of earlier abuse (c.f. lawsuits against Dr. Diane Humenansky,      |
| "Beliefs", New York Times, July 10, 1993). Second, there is        |
| substantial doubt in the scientific community that human memory    |
| works in a manner consistent with such claims of repressed trauma  |
| (c.f., Loftus, 1993, "The reality of repressed memories", American |
| Psychologist, 48, pp. 518-537).                                    |
|   While the College has yet to receive any formal complaints about |
| such practices, we have heard unsubstantiated reports of such      |
| practice. Any psychologists engaging in this practice should begin |
| reviewing the scientific literature related to this area and begin |
| careful monitoring of their own practice in anticipation of future |
| complaints or civil suits."                                        |
|                                        CHRONICLE,  November 1993   |
|                     College of Psychologists of British Columbia.  |

                             Robyn Dawes

  As an expert on psychological measurement, I have developed an
automatic "tax cheating detector." While it is based on the length of
the forehead relative to that of the lower arm and the little finger,
it has yet defied "quantification."  Consequently, I just observe
these three features of each person that may be a tax cheater, and I
make a quick intuitive estimate based on my feeling that "something is
wrong" about the forehead/lower arm/little finger configuration. I
engaged in my diagnosis on April 16 of each year, and subsequent
investigation has revealed that several of those people I diagnosed as
tax cheaters have cheated on their income tax. In addition, of course,
an unknown proportion of those for whom subsequent investigation
reveals no evidence of cheating may in fact have cheated and gotten
away with it.  Hence, "there is no completely accurate way of
determining the validity" of my test "in the absence of corroborating
information" (lines 6 and 7, page 2 of the AMA statement of June 16,
1994), "rigorous scientific assessment" of it "are not available"
(lines 3 and 4, page 2) but "there are instances in which" it "proved
to be correct" (lines 40 and 41, page 3). So should I be able to
administer my test as part of a professional service?

                           FROM OUR READERS

  Frankly, I feel all the emotions that you describe in your newslet-
ter. But I feel most a sense of betrayal and rage. It took three gen-
erations of incredible risk and work and family and love to give this
daughter the resources to live a middle class life: protected and sup-
ported and loved and encouraged to go to college and graduate school.
And to the finest schools. Schools that taught the scientific method,
logical reasoning, rational discourse. Schools that were themselves
the product of generations of sacrifice. Shame on her. Shame on the
members of the professions who have embraced these evil beliefs.
           A father whose daughter told him he is a "former father."

  One aspect of my experience with a psychiatrist may illustrate the
extent to which a doctor may go in support of her theory about the
reliability of recovered memories. I was accused by this doctor in a
direct confrontation in the presence of four of my sons of sexually
abusing their oldest sister. The only evidence the doctor had came
from the therapy produced memories of her patient. My wife and the
other nine children are appalled that a doctor would take such action
without even meeting her patient's parents. I was left gasping when
this doctor confronted me with three possibilities: I could admit my
guilt, I was lying, I had a repressed memory of incest. No possibility
of innocence was to be considered. My suggestion of a lie detector
test was dismissed by her explaining that my memories of incest would
be repressed. Had she lied to me I could understand, but that she
really believes this suggests a level of incompetence or bias that
befouls her profession.
                                                      A Dad
  When doctors decide to experiment with the mind and memory of their
patients in repressed memory retrieval efforts, psychiatry has run
amuck. Warning these doctors that retrieved memories are suspect is
not enough. Cease and desist orders are due so that these experiments
are stopped!
                                                       A Dad
  Our daughter no longer accuses us of molestation and now expresses
her love for us both. She welcomes opportunities to have her two
children, ages 4 and 9, spend the night with us with her being
absent. All in all, we are satisfied with this situation, and do not
wish to "rock the boat" by asking her to recant her previous
                                                    A Mom and Dad
  It seems that the intent of these accusations was to destroy our
loving family by a daughter who is in denial about being raised in a
wholesome atmosphere.
                         A dad , A Mom and three brothers and sisters

  In our little scenario, after 3 1/2 years of expensive legal work,
the court dismissed the case against us. After paying over $100,000 in
legal and expert fees to defend against totally outlandish accusations
created by sodium amytal and hypnosis, our family is looking into
suing the therapist.
                                                          A Dad

  I received a letter of apology from the lawyer representing my 
daughter. The lawyer said he had informed my daughter that she did not
have a case. I have spent in excess of $150,000 preparing a defense
against the absurd charges. An apology is not sufficient. I intend to
                                                             A Dad
  I read with mixed feelings some of the letters from accused parents
quoted in the March Newsletter. On the one hand, my heart went out to
them, especially the mothers who so desperately want to forgive and
forget. Yet I couldn't help wondering where is the righteous
indignation of the falsely accused?
  Perhaps I am being callous and hard-hearted to feel mostly anger and
resentment. I was a decent father. No doubt there have been better,
but none who were more innocent of abusive or perverted thoughts or
conduct toward my children. Yet my daughter has accused me of the
vicious and disgusting crime of having sexually abused her as a little
girl. Her psychiatrist "diagnosed" her as having beef child abuse
because she exhibited all the "symptoms." In my mind, that does not
excuse her. She is a grown woman with a good husband and a lovely
daughter, and if she's not responsible for her actions now, she never
will be.
  I can forgive the pain and the sleepless nights which my daughter
has caused me, but only after heart-to-heart talks which convince me
beyond any doubt that she is truly sorry. I hope I'm not alone in 
feeling the way I do, because if I am, I have a great deal of soul-
searching to do.
                                                      A Dad  
  As a "retractor" I have held my tongue and suffered pain as I have
read attacks against the possibility that false memory does exist. I
attended the conference in Montreal when Dr. Lief bravely stood his
ground. I personally was terrified by the crowd, my very being felt at
risk. As my friend spoke through her tears and her pain, icy stares
came our way. Perhaps the starers believed we were an isolated
incident, but what about the other retractors across North America
telling the same story. Our experiences in therapy are so similar --
finding at the end of our treatment that it's all been a lie.
  I will not stoop to pointing fingers or name calling because I
believe that as a woman with new-found dignity, I do not need to
disgrace anyone in order to be heard. My heart aches for others like
myself who have experienced a cruel therapy treatment.
   Today I am free to think for myself, choose who I will share my
life with, take responsibility for all areas of my own life. My dad
has suffered enough for a crime he did not commit. I am blessed to
still have him today.
  To those who call us names I say, "Shame on you." The loudest is not
necessarily the truth.
                                                          A Retractor

  One issue has come to the forefront as I read the Newsletter
articles and review personal events of these three years: the
accuser's degree of responsibility for her own actions no matter the
culpability of the therapist(s). What finally drove me to end all
communications with my sister after trading letters for over a year
was the degree of her viciousness, refusal to allow any questions, and
her use of one of her sons as, I have to say it, an attack dog. It got
to the point I was afraid to look in the mailbox for fear I'd find
more hate and increasingly outrageous charges directed at Mom through
me.  And despite what I sensed as her own loneliness and pain, I also
heard a smugness and air of superiority which was impossible to break
through. Right from the beginning I tried to explain to her that no
matter what the truth, she was responsible for the way she was
behaving in this matter. What I got in return was, "I'm the victim, so
whatever I do is acceptable."
  I read of the families whose accusing children suddenly come back
into their lives and offer no explanations. I'm mystified when I read
that sometimes parents are so grateful they ask no questions, open no
dialogue. I completely understand the feelings of loss and grief these
parents have held and their joy at renewed contact. But can a hidden,
unhealed wound be healthy?
  This is a dilemma facing all of us: what would we do if the child or
sib suddenly calls?

                      COST OF REPRESSED MEMORIES

Repressed memory claims cost significantly more than other types of
claims for Crime Victims Compensation in the state of Washington.

 Average Amount Paid Per Claim 1993
  $500 -->  $1,000 --->  $2,000-->  $3,000 -->  $4,000 -->
1.  $600
2.  -----------$1,086
3.  --------------------------------------------------------  $4,555
4.  ----------  $1,524
1= non family sexual assault    2= family sexual assault
3= repressed memories           4= non sexual assault

This information is from the Washington State Institute for Public
Policy at the Evergreen State College report "Findings from the
Community Protection Research Project: A Chartbook, 4th edition, June
1994. (To obtain this report call 206-866-6000, extension 6380)

  In the biggest health care fraud settlement to date, National
Medical Enterprise (NME) paid $ 375 million to the federal government
to settle charges of insurance fraud. The NME settlement is the first
of several investigations of private mental hospital chains to be
decided. National Medical Enterprise has sold the bulk of its
psychiatric division to the Georgia-based Charter Medical for $300
million in order to pay legal bills in defense of more than 100
ex-patients charging they were put in hospitals against their will so
the company could collect insurance money.
                            Calvin Sims ,New York Times, Apr 15, 1994

  The Janet Greeson weight clinics (A Place for Us), based in Orlando
Florida, have largely folded as a result of lawsuits for fraud.
Greeson, author of popular books reflecting her view that eating
disorders arise from deep-seated trauma, usually child sexual abuse,
received her Ph.D. from Columbia Pacific University, an unaccredited
correspondence school. Some people responded to her ads for a stay in
weight control clinics only to find themselves confined to private
psychiatric hospitals. "Fat farms" as they are called have masqueraded
as psychiatric centers because most health plans d not cover
weight-reduction therapy.  The hospitals submitted claims (mostly from
people who were out of state and insured by Blue Cross in their home
states) to the insurers and paid Greeson a flat fee for each
patient. The peak years for the Greeson clinics were 1989-1991 during
which it is estimated they generated $100 million in billings.
Greeson claims that she is the innocent object of a Blue Cross
vendetta that has crippled her business. Aetna has also filed a
similar suit.
                    Thomas Mulligan, Los Angeles Times, April 10, 1994

                             LEGAL CORNER

If you have questions or concerns to be answered in the Newsletter,
please send them to Legal Corner, care of James Simons at FMSF.

                            BIRD V. W.C.W.
           Public Policy and Third Party Standing in Texas
                 By James Simons, J.D. and FMSF Staff

  In the July/August issue of the FMS Foundation Newsletter we
discussed the rationale utilized by a California trial court to
maintain that a third party father (Gary Ramona) had standing to sue
his daughter's therapist for negligence in a false memory case. At
this writing, it remains to be seen whether that decision will hold up
or will be appealed; and, if appealed, how the California Supreme
Court will ultimately view that question. Third party standing
represents the major hurdle that aggrieved family members must
overcome in order to seek relief in the courts. Whether relief is
possible will vary from state to state as each state individually
determines its own law -- often in the context of a specific factual
  The Supreme Court of Texas earlier this year held that a third party
does not have standing to sue a therapist for false accusations of
child abuse. Although this case, Bird v. W.C.W. [Footnote: 868 S.W. 2d
767 (Tex.1994)], did not involve False Memory Syndrome issues, certain
negligent actions by the therapist were clearly involved. Unlike
Ramona, the Texas case never reached the trial stage. Prior to trial,
the Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment which sought to
have the case decided by the court strictly on questions of law. For a
case to be appropriate for disposition on summary judgment, there must
be no questions of fact at issue (or the facts must be regarded to
favor the non-moving party). The questions to be decided are strictly
legal questions.
  In the Texas case, the legal questions presented were whether or not
the therapist owed a duty to a third party and whether or not the
therapist could later be sued by the person the therapist had wrongly
accused of child abuse.  The facts of the case which were reported by
the appellate court opinion [Footnote: 840 S.W.2d 5D (Tex. App.--
Houston [1st Dist.] 1992), rev'd; 868 S.W.2d 767 (Tex. 1994).] show
that the allegations of abuse arose when the legal custodian of the
child, the father who was living out of state, made plans to have the
child who had been staying with his grandparents and then with his
mother and her boyfriend, returned to him. The mother contacted the
Texas Department of Child Protective Services and also filed criminal
charges against the father. The next day the mother and her boyfriend
took the six-year-old to Ms. Bird, a psychologist. The mother claimed
that the boy had said that "daddy" had sexually abused him. Ms. Bird
spent about 10 minutes with the child. She did not ask him any
specific questions and did not test him. She interviewed the mother
and the boyfriend and performed some limited testing on them. This was
the first child sexual abuse case Ms. Bird had ever handles.
  One week later Ms. Bird executed a sworn affidavit stating "I have
concluded that [the child] has been the victim of [repeated] sexual
abuse by his father (W.C.W.)..." [Footnote: ID at 52.] The affidavit
was then used in a custody battle over the child in family court and
was also the basis for criminal charges being filed against the
father. W.C.W. was arrested when he returned to Texas to assert his
parental rights in family court. The family court judge appointed an
expert witness for the court, and the father also obtained an expert.
Both concluded that W.C.W. had not sexually abused his son. The
criminal charges were dropped. The father maintained custody of his
  Later, W.C.W. sued the therapist, Ms. Bird., her supervisor, and the
clinic, charging negligent diagnosis and mental anguish which in part
was derived from injury to W.C.W's reputation. Ms. Bird contended that
her affidavit was a privileged statement because it was made in the
course of judicial proceedings and that she owed no duty to the
father. The trial court granted summary judgment to Ms. Bird and the
other defendants, holding that there was no duty to the father and
that the therapist's reports were absolutely protected.
  As might have been expected, the plaintiff/father appealed the trial
court's decision. The question as stated by the Appellate Court was
"whether a parent (W.C.W.) has a cause of action against a
psychologist for negligent misdiagnosis of sexual abuse by the
parent." [Footnote: ID., at 52.] The Appellate Court reversed, finding
that the therapist did have a duty to not injure a third party when
such injury was foreseeable. After that, the Defendants appealed to
the Supreme Court of Texas which upheld the original summary judgment
decision for Defendants in the trial court. The Supreme Court opinion
addressed two points.
  First, the Court considered whether a mental health professional
owes a duty to a parent not to negligently misdiagnose a condition of
the child.  Acknowledging that harm to a parent falsely accused of
sexual abuse is foreseeable, the Court balanced the possibility of
that harm with the countervailing social utility of eradicating sexual
abuse against children. The Court concluded that young children's
difficulty in communicating sexual abuse requires that mental health
professionals be allowed to evaluate the child and exercise their
professional judgment without a judicially imposed duty to third
parties.  The Court cited lower court cases in Texas holding that a
physician is liable for malpractice or negligence only when there is a
physicianpatient relationship, and extended that requirement to cover
therapist-patient as well.
  Second, the court held that a privilege exists for communication of
an alleged child abuser's identity in the course of a judicial
proceeding whether or not the accusations was negligently made. First,
the court found that Ms. Bird's affidavit was a communication which
was not part of diagnosis or treatment.  Thus, the false accusation in
the affidavit could leave the therapist open to a defamation action
unless some other protection existed. Next, the court held that the
affidavit provided by Ms. Bird was part of a pre-trial court
proceeding and fell under the protection against defamation provided
for all witness testimony in court proceedings.
  It should be noted that during its contemplation of the case, the
Texas Supreme Court was presented with no less than four Amicus Curiae
Briefs supporting the Defendants. Amicus Curiae Briefs are position
papers filed with the court by interested parties which urge the court
to consider a particular rationale or course of action. Briefs were
filed by the Texas Children's Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine, a
private Pediatric Group, and the Texas Medical Association. All argued
the same premise -- that public policy required that medical and
mental health professionals should be allowed to exercise their
responsibilities to detect and report child abuse without fear of
repercussions from those who may be falsely accused in the process.
  In explaining its decision, the Supreme Court's treatment of public
policy issues regarding the reporting of child abuse is instructive.
The opinion clearly indicates that the court intends for the laws of
Texas to shield therapists seeking to protect the children of that
state who may be at risk for abuse. However, in finding no duty to
third parties regarding the negligent misdiagnosis of sexual abuse in
the Bird case, the Court's opinion appears to leave the door open for
a different outcome on a different set of facts: "A mental health
professional's duty might differ, however, if identifying or
communicating the identity of the abuser was part of the patient's
treatment such as when part of the treatment is to confront the abuser
or to solicit the family's assistance in helping the patient cope with
the abuse.[Footnote: 868 S.W. 2d at 771.] This comment by the majority
of the court (five justices) suggests that therapists might be held to
a higher standard under a set of facts more familiar to the readers of
this column. There were also two concurring opinions, each signed by
two justices. One concurred solely on the grounds that the therapist's
statement was privileged; the other cautioned that the "judgment
should not b read as conferring a grant of absolute immunity upon
mental health professionals.[Footnote: 868 S.W. 2d at 772.] The
concurrence went on to discuss the requirement that mental health
professionals adhere to "an appropriate standard of professional
responsibility" and reminded that the courts can impose such a
  Thus, the question remains unanswered in Texas as to whether the
Court's interest in protecting children from child abuse would extend
to include questionable allegations of abuse which supposedly occurred
decades ago and whether the court's view of professional
responsibility will encompass accusations based on nothing more than
"recovered memories." (See American Medical Association recent
cautionary statement.)

                     THANK YOU FOR THE TYPEWRITER  

The office staff thanks all of you who offered us a typewriter. Who
would have thought that in the world of computers, a typewriter could
be so needed? It is much appreciated.

                        NEW BOOKS OF INTEREST

HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH. $14.95. To order: Upton Books. 
Call 800-232-7477

CHILDHOOD TRAUMA.  $40.00.  To order: Jason Aronson Inc. 
Call 800-782-0015 (Psychoanalytic focus.)

SEXUAL ABUSE.  $20.00 (If order is placed before Oct. 15, 1994 you
will receive hardcover edition.) To order: KR Publications, 
Department F, 13717 S.E. 36th Street, Vancouver, WA 98684-7770, 
phone 206-896-4004

Loftus, Elizabeth and Ketcham, Katherine, THE MYTH OF REPRESSED MEMORY
$ 22.95 + $4.50 SHIPPING To order: St Martin's Press. 
Call 800-288-2131

Ofshe, Richard and Watters, Ethan, MAKING MONSTERS: FALSE MEMORY, 
Charles Scribner's Sons . Call 800-257-5755

LIVES.  Special price for FMSF members $22.50 To order: 
Upper Access Books. Call 800-356-9315

Pressley & Grossman, Applied Cognitive Psychology 8(4) August, 1994
price of $19.50 for members of FMSF (includes air postage). To order:
John Wiley & Sons, Baffins Lane, Chichester, Sussex PO19 1UD, ENGLAND
FAX 44-243-530-361

Sharkey, Joe, BEDLAM; Greed, Profiteering, and Fraud in a Mental
Health System Gone Crazy.  $22.95 To Order: St Martin's Press.  
Call: 800-288-2131 (Not about memory therapy but describes part of the
climate that let it happen.)

Underwager, Ralph & Wakefield, Hollida, RETURN OF THE FURIES: ANALYSIS
OF RECOVERY MEMORY THERAPY. $16.95 To order: Open Court Publishing Co.
Call 800-435-6850

Additional articles available from FMSF

__304 Steele, D.R. Partial Recall. Liberty, March 1994.  pp 37-47

__574 bb Pope, H.G.  An interview with Harrison G. Pope Jr., M.D.
Currents in Affective Illness XIII (7) July, 1994. pp 5-12 $2.00

__538 Freedland et al, Four cases of supposed multiple personality
disorder: Evidence of unjustified diagnoses. Canadian Journal of
Psychiatry 38, May 1993.  pp 245-247 $1.00

__580 Singer, M. Coming out of cults. Psychology Today, January
1979. pp 7-19 $2.00

                            FMSF MEETINGS
        Families, Retractors  & Professionals Working Together

Memory and Reality: Reconciliation
Cosponsored with Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
December 9-11, 1994
Baltimore MD


Plans for state-wide meeting underway
We need your help!
To volunteer, please call
Eileen & Jerry (714) 494-9704 

Des Plaines, Il
Prairie Lakes Park 
October 8, 1994 - 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
Rog or Liz (708) 827-1056

Washington State
3-Day Seminar: November 4, 5, 6, 1994
"Current Topics in the Law and Mental Health"
presented by Missoula Psychiatric Services 
The Westin Hotel, Seattle
Call 406-542-7526 for information

Call person listed for meeting time & location.  
key:  (MO) = monthly; (bi-MO) = bi-monthly

ARKANSAS - Area code 501
Little Rock
  Al & Lela 363-4368
Burbank (formerly  Valencia)  
  Jane & Mark (805) 947-4376  
  4th Saturday (MO)10:00 am

Central Coast 
  Carole (805) 967-8058  

Central Orange County
  Chris & Alan (714) 733-2925
  1st Friday (MO) - 7:00 pm

North County Escondido  
  Joe & Marlene (619)745-5518

Orange County  (formerly Laguna Beach)  
  Jerry & Eileen (714) 494-9704
  3rd Sunday (MO) - 6:00 pm
Rancho Cucamonga Group  
  Floyd & Libby  818-330-2321  
  1st Monday, (MO) - 7:30 pm

Sacramento/Central Valley  - bi-monthly
  Charles & Mary Kay (916) 961-8257

San Francisco & Bay Area - bi-monthly
  east bay area  
  Judy (510) 254-2605
  san francisco &  north bay 
  Gideon (415) 389-0254
  Charles (415) 984-6626 (day); 435-9618 (eve)
  south bay area  
  Jack & Pat (408) 425-1430
  Last Saturday,  (Bi-MO)

West Orange County  
  Carole (310) 596-8048
  2nd Saturday (MO)   

  Ruth (303) 757-3622
  4th Saturday, (MO)1:00 pm

CONNECTICUT - Area code 203
New Haven area  
  George  243-2740

Dade-Broward Area    
  Madeline (305) 966-4FMS  
Delray Beach PRT
  Esther (407) 364-8290
  2nd & 4th Thursday [MO] 1:00 pm

Chicago metro area (South of the Eisenhower)
  2nd Sunday [MO] 2:00 pm
  Roger (708) 366-1056

Indianapolis area (150 mile radius)
  Gene (317) 861-4720 or 861-5832
  Nickie (317) 471-0922 (phone & fax)
Des Moines
  Betty/Gayle (515) 270-6976
Kansas City
  Pat (913) 238-2447 or Jan (816) 276-8964
  2nd Sunday (MO)

  Dixie (606) 356-9309
  Bob (502) 957-2378
  Last Sunday (MO) 2:00 pm

MAINE - Area code 207
  Irvine & Arlene 942-8473
  Mary Jane 236-2411 
  Wally 865-4044
  3rd Sunday (MO)          
Ellicot City area  
  Margie (410) 750-8694  
  Jean (508) 250-1055
Grand Rapids Area - Jenison
  Catharine (616) 363-1354
  2nd Monday (MO)

St. Paul 
  Terry & Collette (507) 642-3630

St. Louis area
  Mae (314) 837-1976 & Karen (314) 432-8789
  3rd Sunday [MO] 2:00 pm
  Retractors support group also meeting.


NEW YORK - Upstate / Albany area
  Elaine (518) 399-5749 

  Bob (513) 541-5272

OKLAHOMA - Area code 405
Oklahoma City
  Len 364-4063   Dee 942-0531
  HJ  755-3816    Rosemary  439-2459

Harrisburg area
  Paul & Betty (707) 761-3364
  Rick & Renee (412) 563-5616
Wayne (includes So. Jersey)  
  Jim & Joanne (610) 783-0396
  2nd Saturday [MO] 1:00 pm
Central Texas  
  Nancy & Jim  (512) 478-8395
  Jo or Beverly (713) 464-8970

VERMONT  & Upstate New York
  Elaine (518) 399-5749

  Katie & Leo (414) 476-0285


Vancouver & Mainland
  Ruth (604) 925-1539
  Last Saturday (MO) 1:00-4:00 pm
Victoria & Vancouver Island
  John (604) 721-3219
  3rd Tuesday (MO) 7:30 pm

  Joan (204) 257-9444
  1st Sunday (MO)

  Eileen (613) 592-4714
  Pat (416) 445-1995
  Meetings resume 4th Saturday (MO)
  September 24, 1994 - 1:00-3:00 pm 
  Civic Garden Center, 777 Lawrence Ave E, North York, Studio 4 
   (Exit 401, Leslie St, So)

 Ken & June, P O Box 363, Unley, SA 5061

Task Force False Memory Syndrome of 
"Ouders voor Kinderen"
Mrs. Anna de Jong  (0) 20-693 5692

Dr. Goodyear-Smith
tel 0-9-415-8095 / fax 0-9-415-8471 

The British False Memory Society
Roger Scotford (0) 225-868682

                               * * *
October Issue Deadline: Friday, September 14 

A Comprehensive Overview of True and False Accusations of Childhood
 Sunday, October 30, 1994, 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM, NYU, Medical Center,
Sponsored by: American Academy of Psychoanalysis, Fee $115 before
10/10/04 Call 212-475-7980 or Fax 212-475-8107

National Conference of Cult Awareness Network
  Michael Yapko, PH.D. and William Goldberg, MSW will be featured
speakers on Nov 4, 1994 in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Yapko is the author of
the book, "Suggestions of Abuse" and an authority on hypnosis. Mr.
Goldberg has extensive experience with therapy cults.  For conference
program write C.A.N. National Conference Dept F, Box 504, Fox River
Grove, IL 60021-0414 or Call 312-267-7777

Midwest conference Audio Tapes Available
 #1.   Terence Campbell, Ph.d.  - Jack Shephard,
 #2.   Christopher Barden, Ph.D.
 #3&4. Paul Simpson Ph.D.#5. Dr. Wesley Brun
 #6.   Pamela Freyd, Ph.D.
[ $6.00 each $35 complete set (includes postage.] Mail order, with
check to: P.F.A.  Newsletter, P.O. Box 26230, Fairview Park, Ohio

                               WHAT IF?

  What if, parents who are facing lawsuits and want legal information
about FMS cases, had to be told, "I'm sorry, there isn't any such
thing available?"
  What if, your son or daughter began to doubt his or her memories and
called FMSF only to get a recording, "This number is no longer in
  What if, a journalist asks you where to get information about the
FMS phenomenon, and you had to answer, "Sorry, I don't know?"
  What if, you want to ask a question that only an expert, familiar
with FMS can answer, and find out that FMSF can no longer provide that
information? Where would you turn?
  What if the False Memory Syndrome Foundation did not exist? A
frightening qthought, isn't it?
  Please support our Foundation. We cannot survive without it!

                    Reprinted from the August 1994 PFA (MI) Newsletter

Yearly FMSF Membership Information
Professional - Includes  Newsletter        $125______
Family  - Includes  Newsletter             $100______
      Additional Contribution: _____________

__Visa: Card # & expiration date:____________________
__Mastercard:: Card # & expiration date:______________
__Check or Money Order: Payable to FMS Foundation in U.S. dollars
      Please include: Name, address, state, country, phone, fax

/                                                                    \
|          Do you have access to e-mail?  Send a message to          |
|                                         |
| if  you wish to receive electronic versions of this newsletter and |
| 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 False Memory Syndrome Foundation is a qualified 501(c)3 corpora-
tion  with  its  principal offices in Philadelphia and governed by its 
Board of Directors.  While it encourages participation by its  members
in  its  activities,  it must be understood that the Foundation has no 
affiliates and that no other organization or person is  authorized  to
speak for the Foundation without the prior written approval of the Ex-
ecutive Director. All membership dues and contributions to the Founda-
tion must be forwarded to the Foundation for its disposition.

Pamela Freyd, Ph.D.,  Executive Director

FMSF  Scientific and  Professional Advisory  Board September 1,  1993:
TERENCE    W.  CAMPBELL, Ph.D.,    Clinical  and Forensic  Psychology,
Sterling Heights, MI; ROSALIND CARTWRIGHT, Rush Presbyterian St. Lukes
Medical  Center, Chicago, IL;   JEAN   CHAPMAN, Ph.D., University   of
Wisconsin, Madison, WI; LOREN CHAPMAN, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin,
Madison, WI; 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., Charing Cross Hospital, London; 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., Yale University, New
Haven,     CT;  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; AUGUST T.  PIPER, Jr., M.D., Seattle, WA;
HARRISON POPE, Jr., M.D., Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA; JAMES
RANDI, Author   and Magician,  Plantation, FL;  CAROLYN  SAARI, Ph.D.,
Loyola University, Chicago,  IL; THEODORE SARBIN, Ph.D., University of
California, Santa  Cruz,   CA;  THOMAS  A.   SEBEOK,   Ph.D.,  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,    Piscataway, NJ;    JEFFREY VICTOR,  Ph.D.,
Jamestown Community College,  Jamestown, NY;  HOLLIDA WAKEFIELD, M.A.,
Institute of  Psychological Therapies,   Northfield, MN; LOUIS  JOLYON
WEST, M.D., UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA.