FMSF NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE - June 1, 1995 - Vol. 4, No. 6, HTML version

Return to FMSF Home Page

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

This address and the phone numbers have changed as of July 15, 2000
    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 $30,  Stu-
    dent $10; Canada: $35 (in U.S. dollars); Foreign: $40; Foreign 
    student $20; Single issue price: $3. ISSN #1069-0484
       Frontline Reviews
         Our Critics
               Legal Corner (N.H. Decision)
                 From Our Readers

  "... the phenomenon of memory repression, and the process of therapy
  used in these cases to recover the memories, have not gained general
  acceptance in the field of psychology; and are not scientifically
                                   William J. Groff, Presiding Justice
                            New Hampshire Superior Court, May 23, 1995

Dear Friends,

  May was a remarkable month for people interested in the issues of
recovered memories and for those concerned about justice. In the first
two cases in which the scientific acceptance of memory repression was
on trial under Frye and Daubert, judges in Baltimore and New Hampshire
came to the same conclusion after hearing evidence from both sides:
memory repression has not gained general scientific acceptance. These
decisions must work their way through the appeal process before
establishing case law, but even before that happens, they will
probably influence the discussion and the actions around the repressed
memory debate. The most likely effect will be that more courts will
hold pre-trial hearings to determine the reliability of claims based
only on recovered memories. Ultimately, we expect that there should be
fewer lawsuits and threats of lawsuits brought solely on the basis of
recovered memory.
  There are increasing reports of legal actions in which a doctor's
responsibility to a third party is the issue. In May, the Foundation
submitted an amicus brief in Alabama that argues that under the
principles of special relationships and circumstances, foreseeability,
direct victims and public interest considerations, mental health
professionals may owe a duty to third parties not to misdiagnose
sexual abuse in their patients.
  Comments about "justice" being served were repeated many times this
month as the convictions in two major day-care cases, Edenton, North
Carolina and Martensville, Saskatchewan, were overturned. The McMartin
day-care case in Manhattan Beach, California was once again in the
news because of the docudrama, "Indictment". Testimony was given
before the Senate Subcommittee on Children and the Family on May 26 on
ways to improve the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act which has
been the financial "engine" of the child abuse industry. What ties all
of these with the recovered memory issue is concern about "justice."

  "The court in no way is judging [the plaintiffs'] credibility, but
  their recollection. That did not meet the test of scientific
  reliability...No empirical studies verify the existence of repressed
  memory. There is no way to test the validity of these memories."

                                                   Judge Hilary Caplan
                                        The Baltimore Sun, May 6, 1995

  For three years, critics have tried to portray the FMSF as an
organization of perpetrators, as a group against therapy, and as a
backlash against child abuse.  None is correct. The Foundation is very
much concerned that those found guilty of abuse are appropriately
punished and that every effort be made to stem child abuse. Any
"backlash" is a backlash against science by those who have ignored it
and made unsubstantiated claims.
  As the number of retractors and reunited families increases, it is
becoming evident that the perpetrators and abusers were careless
mental-health professionals. While families have understandable anger
at those who have harmed their children, anyone who has taken the time
to speak to reunited families will have heard them speak highly and
enthusiastically about the help they have received from skilled and
caring therapists. Psychotherapy is an essential service and people
who need that service should be assured of quality care.
  The concern of the Foundation is that all mental health
professionals are being tainted because of the misguided practices of
some. They are being tainted because the professional organizations
have not disciplined those who fall below the "the standard of
practice." It looks as if the professional organizations have
forgotten the injunction, "First, do no harm." Their inaction on the
critical issues in the FMS problem has brought serious harm to
thousands of people.
  Opportunity for action by these organizations is being lost. The
courts are deciding the important issue of the scientific standing of
memory repression, and also what constitutes "the standard of care."
There is still need and opportunity for professional organizations to
improve monitoring to make a serious effort to determine which
therapies are safe and effective, to establish policies for
introducing innovative therapies, and to review educational programs
at both certification and continuing education levels. If they don't,
others will do it for them. The public deserves the assurance of
quality mental health care.
  In her testimony before the Senate Subcommittee on Children and the
Family on May 26, Carol Hopkins reminded us all that January 14, 1997
will mark the 300th anniversary of the Massachusetts Day of
Repentance, the official apology for the Salem Witch Trials. She asks
us all to "consider that day as a national day of contrition for the
injustices which we have perpetrated and remembrance for the victims
of that injustice." It's not too late for everyone to simply say a
mistake was made, apologize and move on in a manner that lessens the
chance of repeating the same mistake.

  "The fact that the phenomenon of repressed memory _may_ be validated
  in the future provides no justification for the introduction of such
  evidence in a trial today under our system of criminal justice."

                                   William J. Groff, Presiding Justice
                            New Hampshire Superior Court, May 23, 1995


  Last month, we printed comments from reviews about the Frontline
documentary, "Divided Memories," that aired on PBS on April 4 and
11. Since none of the 40 reviewers had any connection to the FMS
Foundation, we thought that this provided a unique opportunity to
examine opinion and understanding of recovered/repressed memory
therapy in a relatively systematic manner. The reviews were consistent
in their view that the program was fair. Most of the reviews expressed
scathing criticism of the therapy sessions shown and in particular the
notion that "the truth doesn't matter." Many of the reviews expressed
dismay at the therapy profession in general.
  We also examined the reviews for comments about how the patients
were perceived. Families have said that they believed their children
were getting worse rather than better in this therapy, but maybe
families are biased. It seems the reviewers, however, endorsed the
parents' view.

  The ultimate question, though is, does any of this do good? Is it,
  as the therapists say, empowering for women to find abuse and
  confront it? Happiness is not transparent, but the women Bikel
  focuses on look, after years of therapy, haggard and unsure of
    In place of long if troubled lives, they have a new life that
  began with the definition of their victimhood. In place of parents,
  siblings, spouses, even children, they have deep attachments to
  their fellow victims and, especially, to their therapist.
                        Steve Johnson, Chicago Tribune, April 3, 1995   
  In the end, though, the film's most telling scene is the one in
  which a band of therapy patients who have supposedly recovered their
  memories of abuse sit around grimly discussing their new-found
  happiness, and how they now enjoy the full range of emotions. Each
  seems to have discovered his inner child. With luck they will lose
               Dorothy Rabinowitz, Wall Street Journal, April 3, 1995

  We wondered what the reviewers would attribute as a cause of this
problem of "therapy gone awry."
  The film reveals that "psychotherapy" is the most significant
  religion of our age, and shrinks and pseudo-shrinks have become the
  priests, even though many are clearly charlatans.
                      John Haslet Cuff, Globe and Mail, April 4, 1995
  "Some of the female therapists appear to believe that they are
  winning souls for feminism each time a female patient remembers a
  previously forgotten incident of abuse by a renegade daddy.
    But the impression one gets is a kind of hysteria sweeping the
  land, part of the eternal quest not only for explanations but for
  scapegoats. In their zeal to portray themselves as victims, some of
  the patients make victims out of others who may be utterly and
  helplessly innocent.
                       Tom Shales, The Washington Post, April 4, 1995 
  "Divided Memories" places recovered memory as an outgrowth of the
  addiction movement, in which love is "enmeshment" and friendship is
  "people addiction," and of pop-psych theory popularized during the
  1980s about healing the inner child.
                        Steve Johnson, Chicago Tribune, April 3, 1995

A new religion, charlatans, a political movement, an outgrowth of the
addiction movement, hysteria -- these were some of the explanations
given by the reviewers as a source of the FMS problem. Some people
have suggested another factor -- money.


  Thousands of parents have received letters similar to the one that
follows. To families it looks like a scam to get money for therapy and
not an effort to insure either justice or protection for children.
Incest is, after all, a crime.  If a crime was committed, the
perpetrator should be punished -- not offered the opportunity to pay
money so that there would be no legal action. The money does not seem
to be so much for a treatment plan for their child but rather a
payment plan for the therapist. Families call these "extortion

  Dear Mr. and Mrs. "R",
    Please be advised that this Law Firm represents your daughter. She
  has consulted with me regarding the effects she is suffering from
  severe childhood trauma resulting from the abuse inflicted by all of
  you. The trauma described is unspeakable.
    As a result of this trauma, without relating all of the details in
  this letter, she has been unable to hold a full-time job. Further,
  her condition requires intensive therapy and frequent
  hospitalizations. Although she has been suffering the financial
  burden of this condition alone, at this time, she can no longer
  afford to do this and is seeking compensation from you.
    Without filing a Court action, Ms. "R" has authorized me to make
  the following demand letter for settlement:
  1. You assume responsibility for Ms. "R's" medical and therapeutic
  expenses including any hospitalization for the remainder of her
  2. Reimbursement to Ms. "R" for therapy and hospitalization expenses
  incurred during 1990 and 1991, in the estimated amount of $10,000.
  3. Payment of $250,000 to help, in some small way, to compensate her
  for the disabilities, pain, suffering, humiliation and severe
  lifetime trauma that she has suffered and is expected to suffer.
  4. A life insurance policy to be taken out on your lives with Ms.
  "R" to be named as beneficiary to ensure that the settlement be
  5. That you agree never to contact her or her children in any
  way. Ms. "R's" therapists and I am familiar with the details of her
  childhood trauma. We all agree that any contact with her family would
  be detrimental to her recovery.
    I am therefore requesting that you address all communication to my
  office. If you wish to enter into settlement at this time without
  the necessity of Court action, please contact my office. If I do not
  hear from you within 10 days, I will assume that you do not intend
  to enter into settlement and will advise Ms.  "R" regarding the
  appropriate judicial relief. Rest assured, however, that if you do
  not settle this matter, in any lawsuit, Ms. "R" will be requesting
  substantially higher sums and her attorney's fees. As a lawyer, I
  have dealt with many of these cases, and the facts that have been
  related to me and which will be related to a jury, warrant the
  imposition of substantial punitive and compensatory damages.
                                                         Please advise.
                                                 Your daughter's lawyer

"Do no harm?" By their inaction, the professional organizations gave
tacit approval to the new notion that lawsuits are therapeutic.
Therapy for whom and at what price?
  Most families, however, have not been sued. Instead they have tried
to understand how therapy could produce such alienation as seen in the
contrast of letters that follow.

                       Before and After Therapy
  May 1987
  Dear Dad,
    Just a note to thank you for taking such good care of me and my
  friend during our much-too-short stay. My friend is impressed and a
  bit envious of the loving relationship and open lines of
  communication which you and I share...I love you and I'm glad you're
  my dad!
                                                            Love "D"
  November 1989
    I am writing this letter for two reasons: (i) to attain closure
  for myself regarding my relationship with you and (ii) in the hope
  that you will seek help before you hurt anyone else the way you hurt
    I have spent 37 years of my life denying and minimizing the
  torture that was my childhood and adolescence...I genuinely hope
  this letter causes you to seek help -- you are a very sick man. I do
  not wish to hear from you unless you are willing to admit the things
  you did to me and to seek help for your sickness.

How does such a remarkable change in the attitude toward a parent take
place in therapy? Perhaps the following section will provide a clue.

/                                                                    \
| If the truth doesn't matter, what's the point in searching for     |
| memories?                                                          |
|                                          Executive Director, FMSF  |

  While the issues around confidentiality rightfully prevent us from
observing what happens in individual therapy sessions, we can gain
insight into some therapists' belief systems from the articles that
they write and from the lectures that they give. The following segment
is quoted verbatim from the tape of a presentation at the prestigious
Menninger Clinic in the spring of 1993. The presenter was David Calof,
a family therapist who specializes in dissociative disorders and
multiple personality disorder (MPD). Calof stated:
    "In ritual abuse especially you will see 'triggering programs'
  that are literally installed by the perpetrators to potentiate
  self-harm...You will find the possibility of disguised contact -- or
  clandestine contact -- with perpetrators that will then potentiate
    "Let me just give a sterling example of this because, indeed, it's
  so insidious that it can look benign. A ritual-abuse survivor -- in
  a case I was consulting to -- received a postcard from her sister
  who had also been abused and -- we believe -- was still active in
  the perpetrating group. And it's a very benign postcard on the
  surface. It said:

    'Dear Sis,
    Mom and I have been thinking about you. Can't wait to see you
    again...In the meantime take care of yourself.
                                                     Love, Sis'

    "Client got this postcard and began to engage in horrible
  self-harming behavior for a period of about six weeks until we
  appreciated that this had been a trigger. Let's just simply look at
  it and see how insidious it can be. 'Mom and I have been thinking
  about you' caters to the client's magical thinking. The client
  believes that people can read her mind.
    "By the way, when an abusive parent of a survivor dies it doesn't
  necessarily mean more safety. My experience is it means less safety,
  because what happens then is when the person is alive you can locate
  them but when they die they become omniscient and omnipresent. And
  again catering to the magical thinking.  Oftentimes injunctions are
  spoken during the abuse that reinforce that. For example, 'No matter
  where you are, or what you are doing I will know if you tell.' This
  gets internalized...So 'Mom and I have been thinking about you'
  caters to that. Now of course, it's coincidental for being in
  therapy.  So that's enough almost right there.
    "Then: 'We can't wait to see you again.'Now you have to take this
  in context. This is a woman, the client is a woman who's on the lam
  from her family. She's running from her family and the perpetrating
  group. She _knows_ -- whether it's true or not I don't know -- she
  _knows_ that if she goes back something terrible is going to happen
  to her. So they're speaking of the inevitability that she will, in
  fact, go back: "can't wait to see you again." We call that a
    "The most insidious part, however, is the last sentence: 'In the
  meantime take care of yourself. Love, Sis.' Now let's take a look at
  that.  Anybody have a hit off of that? That's it, you've got it,
  that's it. 'Take care of yourself.' Exactly. It was an injunction to
  kill herself. We finally found in this case an historical precedent
  for this. She went back to a ritual in which she remembered watching
  another child being murdered for disclosure. OK? The people that
  murdered that child came to the client in question then, when she
  was just a little girl -- I don't remember how old, 3, 4, 5, no
  older than that -- and said to her, 'If you tell, we will take care
  of you or you will have to take care of yourself.' And there it was,
  there was the program. OK?
    "So let me urge you to consider the possibility of clandestine
  recontact in these cases. I don't want you to feel paranoid. I don't
  want to leave you with the feeling that you can't feel safe in these
  cases. But I must tell you that I learned the hard way that this

  This was a verbatim transcription from the tape of Calof's talk. No
questions or comments from the audience were heard on the tape. That
is disturbing. Does it mean that the Menninger staff was in agreement
with this approach?
  For families, the lecture at Menninger provides insight into the
puzzling aspect of FMSF - the alienation and the fear.

/                                                                    \
| "...Experts in psychology and group behavior warn that anyone can  |
| fall prey to paranoia -- given the right combination of peer       |
| pressure and repeated exposure to one viewpoint."                  |
|   "By all accounts, the descent into delusion is gradual. Everyone |
| has experienced slights, insults or failures at one time or        |
| another, and most people find some way to cope. Or, if they don't, |
| a trusted friend or family member may persuade them to forget the  |
| past and get on with their lives. But if they cannot shake off the |
| sense of humiliation, they may instead nourish their grudges and   |
| start a mental list of all the injustices in their lives. Rather   |
| than take a critical look at themselves, they blame their troubles |
| on 'the company,' for example, or 'the government' or 'the         |
| system.'"                                                          |
|   "Often these aggrieved people fall in with others sharing the    |
| same point of view. The group helps them to rehearse their         |
| grievances, ensuring that the wounds remain open, and exposes them |
| to similar complaints. As a result, paranoia blossoms and          |
| spreads." Gorman notes that the initial concern can be very real   |
| and shared by other citizens.                                      |
|   "Members of the group bond to one another and lose contact with  |
| other people who hold different opinions. The isolation works to   |
| reinforce their views..."                                          |
|                                                                    |
| (Excerpt from a sidebar p 69) TIME, May 8, 1995, Christine Gorman  |
|                                      (reported by Lawrence Mondi)  |

                        RUMORS AND OUR CRITICS

  The following are four rumors to which we were asked to respond in
the last month.

RUMOR 1. From a letter sent to a member of the FMSF Scientific
Advisory Board (May 16).

    "I've had a minimum of experience with MPDs/DIDs and have heard
  from them and associates of theirs that the Repressed Memory
  (Foundation?) is a brainchild of the cults that ritually abused
  them. They claim in earnest that this group and professionals like
  you are on the payroll of these cults to discredit true allegations
  of abuse.
    "This accusation sounds inflammatory, indeed paranoid, in print.
  But I wanted to bounce it off you since I heard it from intelligent,
  articulate, educated, well-intentioned individuals. Have you heard
  this before? Do you have any comment?"
                                                   Staff Member,
                             Health Services at major university
  FMSF Response: The Foundation is funded by the dues and
contributions of the families who have contacted it for information
and help. These are families that are desperately trying to find a way
to talk to their children who have cut off contact. We have no
knowledge of the "cults" to which the writer refers. Three major
studies have failed to find any evidence for such cults. The Goodman
et al (1994) study looked at 12,000 allegations of intergenerational
satanic cult activity and found no evidence.
  History, on the other hand, provides us with a great deal of
evidence that "intelligent, articulate, educated, well-intentioned
individuals" are not immune from the influence of misinformed belief
systems. Families that are desperately trying to reach their children
wonder if there could be a misinformed belief system in operation when
the psychiatric community at an institution such as Menninger Clinic,
for example, does not immediately question the interpretation of "In
the meantime take care of yourself. Love, Sis" as "an injunction to
kill herself."

RUMOR 2. Contained in a letter to the FMS Foundation.

  "As you probably are aware, there are rumors circulating that your
  group received financial support covertly from the CIA. Is this

  FMSF Response: The FMS Foundation has never received funding from
the CIA.

RUMOR 3. We received a phone call on May 15 from a person requesting
clarification of the FMSF Scientific Advisory Board. "I have been told
that the Advisors are paid a salary by the Foundation," the caller
said. "Is that true?"
  FMSF Response: The members of the FMSF Scientific Advisory Board
receive no salary or payments from the Foundation. They serve on a
volunteer basis. In fact, some of the members of the Advisory Board
feel so strongly about the issues FMSF is addressing that they have
made monetary contributions to the Foundation in addition to offering
their advice.

RUMOR 4. From a posting on the 'traumatic stress list' (i.e. a
computer bulletin board)

  "The FMSF is working not only to keep accused perpetrators out of
  jail and from having to making monetary reparations to victims, it
  is also getting convicted perpetrators out of prison."

  FMSF Response: The FMS Foundation believes that those who are guilty
of abuse should be appropriately punished. An accusation of sexual
abuse should be taken very seriously. To make an accusation of sexual
abuse and then to refuse to have it investigated is not taking such an
accusation seriously.
  Many of our critics have used the term "accused perpetrators" to
refer to people who contact the FMS Foundation. How do our critics
know that these people are "perpetrators?" That is something that can
only be determined by an investigation. In the absence of external
corroboration, there is no way to know the historical reality of any
memory. The people who contact FMSF are "accused people." To refer to
them as "perpetrators" before there has been an investigation shows
the extent of the bias of our critics.
  The terms "victim" and "perpetrator" indicate judgment. The terms
"accuser" and "accused" are appropriate prior to investigation.

                        American Medical News
                             May 8, 1995
                   Julie Johnsson and Howard Larkin

  A "litigation feeding frenzy" is taking place in Texas in the wake
of the kickback scandal at Psychiatric Institutes of America (PIA)
which was formerly owned by National Medical Enterprises. The scandal
is that hospital administrators paid doctors for referrals and this
led to unnecessary admissions and extended stays and other abuses. Any
association with PIA has made physicians targets for malpractice
lawyers who have taken out ads in newspapers and magazines looking for
people who have ever been treated at PIA. The stigma of being
associated with PIA has apparently prompted some HMOs to drop some
physicians from their panels. Others have had difficulty "getting on
hospital staffs and obtaining licenses in other states." Ten doctors
who claim they had nothing to do with kickbacks but have nevertheless
been tainted by the fact that they have practiced at a National
Medical Enterprise facility are themselves suing. The attorney for the
ten doctors says the situation is unfair to doctors who may accept a
salary or other payment in good faith that could later be construed as
a payment for referral.
  A counselor by the name of Bolen who owned a clinic in Burleson was
sentenced last month to a prison term and a steep fine for
participating in the kickback scheme. The FBI has brought in at least
10 agents to investigate health care fraud among other providers in
Dallas. They are examining disguised kickbacks such as a physician who
accepted a salary as an official of a psychiatric institute which was
in fact payment for referrals and also a "professional association of
psychiatrists" that accepted an annual payment from Brookhaven
Psychiatric Pavilion in Dallas.
  The director on one Dallas hospital has stated that this scandal has
devastated Dallas's psychiatric providers. "The fear and distrust that
was spawned certainly spills over on every facility, every physician."

               Reprinted with permission of the author
                 Letters, Boston Globe, May 18, 1995

  Recent coverage of the Harvard Medical School's inquiry into the
research conduct of faculty member Dr. John Mack has been entirely in
terms of academic freedom.
  Mack is not just a researcher investigating signs that Martians
contacted the Mayans 10,000 years ago. He is a medical doctor, a
psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School. He has written a book lending
credence to highly sexualized alien abduction fantasies and has
appeared on talk shows to promote that book.
  He is joined in the media by dozens of psychotherapists who claim
that it makes no difference whether a patient's fantastic allegations
are truth or fiction. Mack claims that it makes no difference whether
thousands of disturbed individuals were actually abducted and sexually
manipulated by body snatchers from outer space.
  Really? Would a responsible oncologist write and promote a book
touting the claims of bogus treatments for desperate, dying cancer
  Is psychotherapy truly a branch of medicine in which reality is
completely irrelevant to the patient's health?
  Harvard is a medical center as well as a scholarly research
academy. Like all medical centers, it has an obligation to the
well-being of all patients whose treatment is influenced by its
conduct of medicine.
  Let's hope the school's inquiry is not sidetracked by secondary
issues of so-called academic freedom.
                                                Margaret A. Hagen
           Professor, Department of Psychology, Boston University

/                                                                    \
|   "The point of this seminar is to show that continuing tolerance  |
| of the belief in rampant repressed memories of sexual abuse (and   |
| the suggestive therapy which accompanies it) is adversely          |
| affecting the practice of clinical psychology. The public is       |
| losing respect for all psychotherapists and beginning to suspect   |
| their motives."                                                    |
|                               From a description of a seminar,     |
|                         "False Memory and Clinical Psychology"     |
|            presented at the Eastern Psychological Association,     |
|                              Boston MA March 31-April 2, 1995.     |

                    National Psychologist Vol 4 #3
                            May/June 1995

  According to Eric Marine, vice president of claims at American
Professional Agency, Amityville, NY which is the oldest writer of
mental health practitioner insurance, there were hardly any claims
connected with repressed memory complaints in 1992. In 1994, repressed
memory complaints represented 16% of the claims filed against mental
health professionals insured by the American Professional Agency.
  Marin noted that more than 200 repressed memory cases were filed in
1994 with 55% being against psychologists. The defense fees are
expensive with the largest to date exceeding $700,000.

/                                                                    \
| One feature of the false memory syndrome, which is quite striking  |
| and unlike many other findings in psychotherapy, is that the       |
| patient is encouraged to hate another person. This is unique in    |
| psychiatry.                                                        |
|                                                   Harold Merskey   |

                         WHAT IS A SYNDROME?
                         by H. Merskey, D.M.

  Arguments sometimes arise in medicine about what is a syndrome.
These arguments seem to depend mostly upon the expectations of
individuals about whether a set of phenomena is sufficiently discrete
to be recognized and treated as an entity or not.
  The word syndrome is used by physicians to indicate a set of
phenomena that go together. It comes from two Greek roots meaning
'with' and 'running'. Webster's dictionary defines a syndrome as: "a
group of symptoms that occur together." The Oxford dictionary
definition is similar. Dorland's medical dictionary defines a syndrome
as "a set of symptoms which occur together; the sum of signs of any
morbid state; a symptom complex."
  Syndromes may consist of symptoms, or they may consist of signs, or
they may consist of a mixture of symptoms and signs. A cold is a
syndrome. It usually begins with a tickle and some discomfort in the
back of the throat, with reddening there, a thin, profuse catarrh and
sneezing. The sufferer may have a mild fever and a hoarse throat and
coughing. The catarrh soon becomes thick and the nose gets blocked
with characteristic effect on speech. It lasts about two weeks.
  In psychiatry, multiple personality disorder is a syndrome.
Particular things happen with that syndrome. Many people think it is
artificial -- particularly many members of the FMS Foundation
Scientific Advisory Boare -- but there is no reason why we cannot
recognize an artificial syndrome for what it is as well as a
spontaneous natural one.
  The recovered memory phenomenon is a syndrome, principally due to an
artificial cause, i.e. induction of ideas by an external person. Other
such syndromes are recognized in psychiatry. For example, Folie a Deux
(now called Shared Psychiatric Disorder in DSM-IV) occurs when one
person with delusions persuades another person to believe in them
sincerely. It used to happen most often when there was someone with a
paranoid schizophrenic illness, or similar severe mental illness,
living in close proximity with a family member, who was unable to
resist accepting the ideas of the primary patient. One can say that
the false memory syndrome is a delusional state which is due to the
influence of people who do not have that delusions about themselves
(as a rule), but do impose it upon other people. But, these false
beliefs or delusions differ from the types of delusions and other
mental changes which occur in schizophrenia or hypomania or delirium.
  The usual pattern of a syndrome in false memory cases has been well
recognized. Among other things, it includes the fact that the person
who develops it is fairly likely to have been troubled by some
difficulty at the time of onset. The difficulty may have been present
for a short while, or for a long time. It can be a trivial matter,
such as concern about a job change and a feeling that some counselling
is required, or a severe illness, such as quite a marked depressive
state. Any of the items which lead people to request counselling and
which have been taken to be signs of false memories may be part of the
syndrome. So, in this respect, the syndrome is very broad and the main
common feature of the onset is that there was a reason for
consultation, or else that the person has been in touch with others,
or with a set of ideas and thoughts, which might have led to
consultation but, instead, led to the independent development of ideas
that he or she has been abused. There is so much discussion of abuse
nowadays, that the idea may have been produced simply by the influence
of the media or some "friend", which is the main feature of the
  The third main feature of the illness is that it is a doxogenic
disorder, i.e.  it is one due to thinking about an illness and having
the thought gives the condition. This term has been applied in the
last three years to multiple personality disorder (Merskey, 1992), as
well as to some types of conversion symptoms like hysterical fits,
otherwise known as pseudoseizures (Merskey, 1994).
  Other symptoms of the false memory syndrome are that it generally
occurs in a younger person with respect to an older person, although
some people accuse others who are near to themselves in age, and some
quite middle aged and elderly people have volunteered this syndrome.
Beside focusing, for the most part, on the issue of child abuse, FMS
often arises in conjunction with very bizarre or characteristic
phenomena. Eighteen percent of cases indicate a history of alleged
satanic ritual abuse. More than 40% of the cases involve only vague
accusations, rather than specific ones, and the accusation is usually
directed at a family member. One feature of the false memory syndrome,
which is quite striking and unlike many other findings in
psychotherapy, is that the patient is encouraged to hate another
person. This is unique in psychiatry.
  The above combination of complaints and observations characterizes
many people who have laid accusations against families who have
contacted the FMS Foundation. It does not necessarily characterize
people who make false accusations such as police officers who have
overinterviewed small children, or parents who make false allegations
against an estranged spouse in the course of custody disputes.
  To sum up, the phenomena of false memory syndrome, frequently
include a person with a problem, a set of ideas for which there is no
independent evidence, complaints based upon so-called recovered
memories, and the propagation of hate and hostility. By the criteria
that I have given of the syndrome, i.e. a set of items running
together, there is no question that the FMS Foundation has identified
a peculiarly nasty syndrome.

  Dr. Merskey is a member of the FMSF Scientific Advisory Board and a
  professor at the University of Western Ontario in Canada.

/                                                                    \
| Ethical judgments are supposed to lead to action; knowing what is  |
| right without doing what is right is of little value to anyone.    |
|                                           Kevin M. McConkey, Ph.D. |
|                                Australian Psychologist, March 1995 |

                         WORDS FROM A READER
                        August Piper Jr., M.D.

  Someone once offered the following counsel to any writer or speaker:
First, have something to say. Second, say it. Third, when you finish,
shut up.
  During the past few weeks, I have had nothing to say to readers, and
thus, in an attempt to follow the first suggestion above, have been
absent from this newsletter's pages. My apologies to those who have
missed reading the column, and my thanks to those who have
complimented it in the past.

  Apologies and thanks alike are owed to Camilla Hallinan, a reader
from California. Ms. Hallinan wrote the Foundation late last year, in
response to some concerns raised in this column about bridging the
canyon between recovered- and false-memory camps; she believes the
following suggestions will help erect such a bridge. Apologies are due
because so much time has elapsed since she wrote; thanks because of
the time and effort she spent in penning her ideas. Her thoughts
follow; Ms. Hallinan took pains to point out that these suggestions
apply to both camps.

  1. Decide on a central theme and resolve it. The first questions
might (a) can memory be repressed, and (b) can repressed memories, if
they exist, be retrieved?

  2. Stop name-calling; it knocks bridges down. In Native American
spirituality, what you dislike about another person is a mirror
reflection of yourself. Every charge hurled against one side in this
debate is true of the other. Further, although sarcasm and mockery can
be used as teaching tools, that path is steep and strewn with stones;
I suggest these techniques be avoided.

  3. Come to a consensus on terminology. For example, the materials I
read never address childhood dissociation. Agree upon a definition of
terms. Strive for clarity, but at least agree.

  4. Accept that none of us owns the truth. State things in absolute
terms only when there is no possibility of an opposing truth. Richard
Ofshe is a bad offender at this. For example, in referring to robust
repression, he says, "The _only_ evidence supporting this concept is
_circumstantial_ and comes _only_ out of the therapy sessions." This
is not true for me.

  5. Learn from survivors who want to communicate with you. I learn
from FMSF, even if I do not agree. Listen to survivor accounts.

                            *     *     *
  A few comments, now, from me. First, it does seem that a good start
toward answering Ms. Hallinan's first question has already been made.
I am referring, of course, to Pope and Hudson's paper in Psychological
Medicine (25:121-126, 1995) that proposes criteria by which claims of
repression can logically, critically, and scientifically be evaluated.
I suspect anyone can hear the calm voice of reason in these proposals.
In order to satisfactorily confirm the hypothesis that repression can
occur, three kinds of evidence are required.
  First, of course, a traumatic event should, in fact, have befallen
someone, and some evidence that it did should be available. Pope and
Hudson point out that documenting sexual victimization, though
difficult, is by no means impossible: medical records or reports from
reliable and unbiased witnesses, for example, should suffice. The
logic of including a requirement for an actual traumatic event is
compelling and transparently obvious. Therefore, that the requirement
is routinely violated in the published writing of recovered-memory
theorists, as well as in everyday clinical work with recovered-memory
patients, is nothing less than astonishing.
  For example, in a recent lawsuit in which I served as a consultant,
the psychiatrist had repeatedly told the patient -- call her Elaine --
that Elaine had suffered uncounted acts of violent childhood abuse. It
did not matter that Elaine, before entering treatment, had not a whiff
of any memory of even one such event. Nor did it matter to the doctor
that Elaine had asked again and again if the doctor's stories were
actually true. It was not a matter of concern that Elaine became
progressively more distraught and depressed as she began to believe
that her mother and grandmother -- and many others as well -- had
repeatedly and brutally maltreated her during childhood. It did not
trouble the physician that her patient spent months in the hospital
being treated for symptoms largely resulting from the excesses of the
physician's treatment.
  Finally, it did not matter that the doctor possessed not a shred of
evidence for her ghoulish theory of Elaine's past.
  The second kind of evidence required by Pope and Hudson for a test
of repression is a demonstration that the victim actually developed
"psychogenic" amnesia for the trauma. This demonstration is quite
difficult. It means excluding cases of amnesia due to "biological"
causes -- head injury, alcohol or drug abuse -- and requires that the
traumatic event should have occurred after the period of normal
physiologic amnesia -- lasting until about age three to six -- shown
by all children. It also requires excluding cases where victims simply
avoided thinking about the trauma over the years, or where they
remembered the trauma but failed to report it to an interviewer. As
Pope and Hudson note, research investigators have known for years that
during interviews, people commonly fail to disclose all manner of life
events -- sometimes because of embarrassment.
  Another recent legal case highlights a different reason to claim
amnesia. The patient -- Ms. A -- told me that for two decades she had
repressed all memories of her childhood abuse, and had remembered it
only after another therapist -- Dr. B -- discovered it. Of course,
legal actions based on wrongs that took place long ago are usually
forbidden by statutes of limitation. However, some states, including
Washington, allow the statute of limitation "clock" to begin ticking
only when the childhood abuse is discovered by the claimant. Such
so-called "tolling" powerfully encourages people to claim amnesia: if
they didn't make such a claim, their cases would not be heard by the
courts. The obvious problem is that claims of amnesia are impossible
to refute. In the case involving Ms. A, I pointed out to the attorney
that despite Dr. B's claims to the contrary, he simply had no way of
knowing whether Ms. A had truly forgotten the childhood maltreatment,
or was merely saying she had. (Both Slovenko and Campbell have
examined the problems caused by "tolling":Journal of Psychiatry and
Law , Spring1993, 7-33; American Journal of Forensic Psychology
16:25-51, 1995.)
  The third kind of evidence is that the abuse be sufficiently severe
that no one could reasonably be expected to forget it. Several writers
have noted that the term "sexual abuse" is very difficult to define.
Therefore, many experiences described as "sexual abuse" may well
neither be memorable to a child or cause significant long-term harm to
the child: it depends on whether a wide or narrow definition is used
(See Levitt and Pinnell for a recent review:International Journal of
Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis 43:145-162, 1995).
  A closing remark on the comments about terminology. In these columns
and in my papers, I have repeated (probably to the point of nausea in
the reader) that terms so commonly used in recovered-memory therapies
-- dissociation, alter personalities, repression -- are so vague as to
mean nearly anything and everything one wants. Those who speak in
these terms, it seems, might heed Ms.  Hallinan's request for clarity.

  August Piper Jr. M.D., a psychiatrist in private practice in
  Seattle, is a member of the FMSF Scientific and Professional
  Advisory Board.


  The possible influence of the therapist in helping clients "recover"
memories of parental incest can be examined from another prospective
-- the data on sibling abuse. If incest occurs between siblings, would
"repression" or "traumatic amnesia" operate in the same way as it
supposedly does in cases of parental incest? How will those who
believe in the unproved theory that the brain deals with the trauma of
incest in a unique manner explain the supposition that therapy rarely
seems to uncover "memories" of sibling incest?
  An excellent new article by Eugene E. Levitt and Cornelia Mar
 Pinnell [Footnote: Levitt, E. E. & Pinnell, C. M. (1995).  Some
additional light on the childhood Abuse-Psychopathology Axis. The
International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, Vol.
XLIII, No. 2, April 1995 145-162.] includes data about the incidence
of incest that is often overlooked. In a thorough review of the
research on the effect of childhood sexual abuse on adults, the data
on incidents of sibling incest were also discussed. The authors noted
that the most authoritative research reveals that sibling incest is
far more prevalent than father-daughter incest, having a ratio of 13:1
(13 reports of incest by a sibling for each report of incest by a
father). However, virtually the reverse is being reported by accused
family members according to FMSF statistics.  Fathers were accused of
abuse six times more often than siblings were accused.
  The difference between the data noted by Levitt and Pinnell on
sibling-to-sibling incest and the data FMSF families report on
accusations of sibling abuse is indeed dramatic in a number of
ways. The accusations against siblings reported to the Foundation are
virtually all in families in which parents (and sometimes
grandparents) are also accused. In addition, FMSF data from retractors
show that out of 40 surveys examined, twelve retractors reported to
the Foundation that they also falsely accused siblings, but not one of
these twelve women accused only siblings.
  The difference surrounding the FMSF 6:1 ratio (father-to-sibling
abuse) and the 13:1 ratio (sibling-to-father abuse) cited by Levitt
and Pinnell is even more startling when the data the Foundation has
about litigation in this area is taken into account. The sibling
subgroup of falsely accused is an insignificant factor in the lawsuits
known to the Foundation. Less than one percent of the more than 800
cases the Foundations is tracking is against only a sibling. The
percentage increases to slightly more than one percent when siblings
are included in lawsuits with other family members. It is reasonable
to assume that if siblings were the significant or prime family person
to have committed acts of incest, there would be many more legal
actions involving siblings.
  The reasons for these differences are ripe for speculation. One
conjecture is that the important intervening variable of therapists'
beliefs can be an essential element in these vast differences. If
therapists believe incest may be present, do they assume it is
parental incest and approach their clients with that assumption?
Another speculation is: Will those who have yet to prove that the
brain deals with trauma in a special manner now also ask society to
believe that the brain differentiates between incest at the hands of
parents from incest initiated by a sibling? These and other hypotheses
can possibly be fertile areas for research.

                         From a professional who is an accused father

                          OOPS!  CORRECTION

In the May issue on page 17 in the "Recommended Reading" list we erred
in two citations. The correct information is as follows:

* Gullible's Travels, or The Importance of Being Multiple. Simpson,
M. In Dissociative Identity Disorder (1995), (Cohen, Berzott & Elin,
Eds.), Jason Aranson.

* A skeptical look at multiple personality disorder. Piper, A., Jr.,
In Dissociative Identity Disorder (1995), (Cohen, Berzott & Elin,
Eds.), Jason Aranson.

                         ARE YOU A SNOW BIRD? 

If you change your residence during the summer or winter, it is
necessary for you to notify Nadine each time your address changes.
Please mail or Fax (215-387-1917) your address change one month in
advance to allowt time for her to make the change.

                             LEGAL CORNER
                              FMSF Staff
                    The Baltimore Sun May 6, 1995
                  Robert Erlandson and Joe Nawrozki

  In Maryland's first test of recovered memory in sex abuse cases (Doe
v.  Maskell will be further reviewed in the July/August FMSF
Newsletter), a Baltimore judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by two
former students against a Catholic priest who is alleged to have
molested them almost 25 years ago. The ruling, dated May 5, 1995, by
Circuit Judge Hilary Caplan concerned only the narrow issue of whether
the women's long-suppressed memories qualified for an exception to
Maryland's statute of limitations for civil suits.
  The two women claimed that a Roman Catholic priest and a
gynecologist molested them while they were students at Archbishop
Keough High School in Baltimore 25 years ago. Now in their 40's, the
women assert they had developed an "amnesiac aspect of post-traumatic
stress disorder" for decades because of the incidents until three
years ago. The women argued -- unsuccessfully -- that this qualified
them for an exception to a three-year statute of limitations on civil
suits for those judged to be mentally incompetent at the time of the
alleged incidents.  Judge Caplan said the plaintiffs did not show that
post-traumatic stress disorder "automatically leads one to
amnesia. This is a leap of faith this court cannot make."
  After hearing testimony regarding the reliability of repressed
memory testimony in a pre-trial hearing, Judge Caplan concluded, "The
court in no way is judging [the plaintiffs'] credibility, but their
recollection. That did not meet the test of scientific
reliability...No empirical studies verify the existence of repressed
memory. There is no way to test the validity of these memories."
                        NEW HAMPSHIRE DECISION

  One of the most important FMS legal events occurred on May 23 in the
New Hampshire Hillsbourgh County Superior Court. Presiding Justice
William J. Groff had ordered a pre-trail hearing to consider the
admissibility of recovered memory testimony. The expert witnesses
were, for the State, Daniel Brown, Ph.D and Bessel van der Kolk,
M.D. of Harvard University and Jon Conte, Ph.D. of the University of
Washington; for the defense, Elizabeth Loftus, Ph.D. of the University
of Washington, James Hudson, M.D. of Harvard University, and Paul
McHugh, M.D. of Johns Hopkins University. In our next issue we will
carry a legal analysis of Judge Caplan's decision in the Maskell case
(Baltimore) and Justice Groff's decision in New Hampshire.

  Justice Groff's decision is a brilliant legal document. We wish we
had the room in this newsletter to print it all (see page 13 to
order). What appears below is the result of removing all citations,
all discussion of case law, all discussion of the role of the
interplay of Federal and State rules of evidence, all discussion of
the specifics of the particular cases, and all discussion of the
psychological literature. What remains (just a quarter of the
original) is still a weighty document and we take great pleasure in
printing it:

                      THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

                        State of New Hampshire
                           Joel Hungerford
                        94-S-045 thru 94-S-047
                        State of New Hampshire
                             John Morahan
                       93-S-1734 thru 93-S-1936


             T H I S   I S   A N   A B R I D G E M E N T

  These cases involve indictments for aggravated felonious sexual
assault. The Court finds that the victims had no memory of the
assaults in these cases for several years and that their memories were
recovered through the process of psychotherapy. The victims now wish
to testify to the memory they claim to have recovered about the
occurrence of these events. A hearing was held to determine whether
the victims' testimony would be admitted at trial. The Court finds
that the testimony of the victims as to their memory of the assaults
shall not be admitted at trial because the phenomenon of memory
repression, and the process of therapy used in these cases to recover
the memories, have not gained general acceptance in the field of
psychology; and are not scientifically reliable.


  In the State's view, these cases do not involve expert testimony or
scientific method. They simply involve the lay testimony of witnesses
whose memories have been refreshed. Their testimony is a matter of
credibility for the jury. It is the lay testimony of the witness from
the recovered memory which is sought to be prohibited, and it is the
phenomenon of that memory and the process of which that memory is the
product, which is to be subjected to the test of scientific acceptance
and reliability. Testimony that is dependent upon recovery of a
repressed memory through therapy cannot be logically disassociated
from the underlying scientific concept or the technique of recovery.

  The concept of repressed memory and its recovery through therapy are
clearly scientific processes. The recovery of a victim's repressed
memory through therapy is not the same as a simple refreshed
recollection under ordinary circumstances. If the victim's testimony
is admitted, the jury will have to decide the credibility of the
witness. However, this determination must be predicated upon the
jury's understanding of the method by which the testimony was

  The reliability of the victim's testimony of her recovered repressed
memory depends on the reliability of the phenomenon of "repressed
memory" itself and upon the reliability of the process used to recover
it. Before the testimony of the victims may be admitted, the
scientific validity of the phenomenon of repressed memory and the
process by which it was recovered must be ascertained.

  Finally, the Court finds that expert testimony is required in this
case, if the victims' testimony is to be admissible. New Hampshire has
acknowledged in numerous instances that where common knowledge
furnishes no criteria for judgment, or where proof depends on
observation and analysis outside the common experience of jurors,
expert testimony is required to establish the proof. A jury can most
assuredly understand the infirmities of memories and the motives that
shape them in the normal course of their experience. The jurors are
completely capable of evaluating the accuracy of the memory and the
credibility of the person testifying from it, by virtue of the
ordinary knowledge, common sense, and practical experience by which we
all make such determinations in our everyday lives.

  However, the very concept of a "repressed" memory, that is, that a
person can experience a traumatic event, and have no memory of it
whatsoever for several years, transcends human experience. There is
nothing in our development as human beings which enables us to
empirically accept the phenomenon, or to evaluate its accuracy or the
credibility of the person "recovering" the memory. The memory and the
narration of it are severed from all the ordinary human processes by
which the memory is commonly understood. To argue that a jury could
consider such a phenomenon, evaluate it and draw conclusions as to its
accuracy or credibility, without the aid of expert testimony is
disingenuous to say the least.


  It is absolutely clear that a raging or robust debate exists in the
field of psychology as to whether such a phenomenon as "repressed
memory" as defined in these cases exists. There is no reluctance to
accept the existence of some limited partial amnesia as generally
associated with trauma. However, it is the concept of the total loss
of memory of the traumatic event for a period of years, or "massive
repression" which is highly disputed. It is clear from the testimony
of the expert witnesses, the literature, and the published opinions of
the professional societies that there is not a general acceptance of
the phenomenon of repressed memory in the field of psychology today.
It is in fact clear that there is not only a lack of consensus, but a
"violent" disagreement.  It is clear that the state has failed to meet
its burden of proof in this regard.

  In applying these and other considerations to the phenomenon of
repressed memory, the Court finds that the reliability of the
phenomenon has not been established. The level and nature of the
debate in this instance appears to extend across a panorama of
scientific disciplines. The Court suffers form a lack of confidence in
the validity of the concept as a result of this continuing "scientific

  The consideration of peer review and publication is complex. In one
sense, it can be agreed that at a certain level studies have been
published and submitted to peer review, and perhaps generally
accepted. Yet the peer acceptance of these studies relates mostly to
tested and unchallenged hypotheses, upon the extrapolation of which,
the theory of repressed memory relies. The question is whether based
on those studies, and that evidence, the present theory may be
rationally and scientifically exhibited. At that level the analysis
must fail.  In this sense, there has been much publication and peer
review, but little agreement. The reason for such disagreement lies in
the inappropriate application of many of these studies to this
phenomenon, and the substantial flaws in methodology which have been
mentioned in regard to these studies. For these reasons, the
testability may be seriously challenged and refutability may be
seriously advanced.

  Finally, the falsifiability of the phenomenon of repressed memories
cannot be dismissed. Every expert that has testified in this case, and
probably every researcher and professional involved in this issue,
will concede that there is absolutely no ability, absent independent
corroboration or confirmation, to determine whether a particular
"repressed memory" is false or true. The potential of such false
memories and the inability to identify them has readily been
acknowledged since this controversial issue of memory repression
surfaced one hundred years ago. The very question of whether a
"repressed" memory exists is simply a question of whether what is
remembered is true or not. It is either a memory, i.e. an actual
recollection of an actual traumatic event, or it is a false memory,
i.e. a manufactured narrative of an event which never happened.
Furthermore, it must be acknowledged that "false" memories do occur.
This is known by the existence of cases in which it is impossible that
the events remembered occurred, such as in cases of remembered alien
abductions. A further indication of the potential for false memories
are the recantation of a growing number of those who once claimed
recovered memories.

  The implication of this potential falsifiability is devastating.
Since the phenomenon of memory repression itself is beyond the life
experience of the average juror, a juror has no basis to judge,
evaluate, or determine the victim's testimony. The experts in this
case have impressed upon the Court that the vividness or completeness
of the memory, or the confidence of the witness in the accuracy of the
memory are not determinative of memory's validity.


  Even if the phenomenon of "repressed memory", itself, were accepted,
the processes of psychotherapy used in these cases failed to achieve
the required level of scientific acceptability and reliability.
Psychotherapy as reasonably practiced by competent professionals for
the legitimate treatment of psychological and emotional conditions is
clearly an established science, and the Court does not presume to
criticize or denigrate that respected profession.  It is clear,
however, that the psychotherapy utilized in these cases failed to
exemplify the respected traditions of that profession.

  There are no studies indicating that false memories have ever been
implanted by the therapy process. However, therapy is recognized to be
inherently suggestive. It is universally recognized that the processes
involved in interactions such as psychotherapy are highly complex and
undue suggestion may result. Suggestion has been found to be multi-
dimensional, and may be influenced by the "hypnotizability" of the
subject, the providing of misinformation, social persuasion, and
interrogation. The significance of these factors in any given case
will depend on the manner of inquiry, the credibility of the source,
or the perceived power differential in the therapeutic relationship.
Any significant false recollection usually requires an environment in
which these factors are able to operate at an relatively high level.
Nonetheless, because of the potential for suggestion the validity of
the recovered memory is a source of concern. Studies have indicated
that false memories may be created in subjects by the use of
misinformation and other techniques, although there is a dispute as to
the mechanism by which such false memories are implanted and their

  Certain psychotherapy techniques raise universal questions of
suggestion and thus the reliability of the recovered memory. Use of
so-called guided imagery, a process by which a therapist directs a
client's visualization is considered highly suggestive. Age regression
therapy, by which a patient is encouraged to return to an appropriate
time in his or her childhood and to experience an event as that child
would, is considered suggestive. Furthermore, a therapy by which a
therapist communicates to his or her client a belief or confirmation
of the client's beliefs or memories can be highly suggestive.

  It is clear that a therapist must be careful not to repudiate or
confront a client regarding his or her experience because such
confirmation may be counter productive to the creation of a
confidential environment. However, it is equally clear that the
therapist must retain his or her neutrality. He or she must suspend
judgment, listen, and try to understand. The therapist must not
confirm, reinforce or validate the client's experience. It is
inappropriately suggestive for a therapist to communicate to a client
his or her belief that a dream or a flashback is a representation of a
real life event, that a physical pain is a "body memory" of sexual
abuse, or even that a particular memory recovered by a client is in
fact a real event. Therapists are trained not to communicate subtle
messages to their clients. A therapist must remain neutral in these
matters, and guard against such confirmation by his or her conduct.

  It is true that psychotherapy has no duty to investigate the reality
of a client's experience in a forensic sense. A psychotherapist is not
a private investigator. However, a therapist must be concerned about
the accuracy of a client's information, and it is common, even in a
clinical setting, to take steps to verify to some extent a client's
experience. It is inappropriate to be unconcerned with the truth of a
client's experience during psychotherapy. In the case of a person with
no memory of sexual abuse, it is also inappropriate to engage in group
counseling with other victims of sexual assault because of the danger
that another patient's problem or experience will be inappropriately
suggestive to the client. It is also important that various mechanisms
and concepts, such as repression, not be explained to a client in
therapy, because of the obvious danger of suggestion.

  Since suggestion is always an issue in therapy, it is the danger of
undue or unreasonable suggestion that is of concern. It is generally
agreed that in order to create a false memory, a fairly high level of
suggestion is required. When psychotherapy has been conducted in a
highly suggestive manner, there is significant danger that the memory
recovered is unreliable.

  In determining the admissibility of the testimony of "repressed
memories", it is not the Court's intention to determine which side of
the debate is correct.  As stated during the hearing, as to the
outcome of that debate, "only time will tell." The Court's decision in
this matter merely finds that based on the existing scientific
evidence, the concept of "repressed memory" is not generally accepted
in the field of psychology, and is not in that sense scientifically
reliable. In finding that the process of therapy used in these cases
was unreliable, the Court does not in any way impugn the profession of
psychotherapy itself. The Court recognizes the daily contribution of
psychotherapy to the mental health of our society, especially in the
treatment of the recognized psychological ravages of sexual abuse.

  The fact that the phenomenon of repressed memory may be validated in
the future provides no justification for the introduction of such
evidence in a trial today under our system of criminal justice.

  So ordered.  5-23-95

  William J. Groff, Presiding Justice


  Professional ethics and standard of care were the issues in two
suits which were settled recently. The suits were brought
independently in two different states by patients against their former
therapists. The terms of both settlements are confidential.

  SUIT 1. The first suit was filed by Laura Deck in January of 1994 in
King County Superior Court of Washington, against her former
therapist, his supervisors, and the clinic which employed the
therapist. Ms. Deck entered therapy primarily for problems in sleeping
and feelings of depression. She revealed to her therapist that she had
recently suffered a probable concussion due to an injury in the home,
that she had felt depressed after the birth of her last child about a
year earlier, and that she had long-standing worries about the
well-being of certain members of her family.
  In her suit, Ms. Deck asserted that instead of exploring these
potential causes of her symptoms, her therapist immediately "embarked
on a course of treatment involving hypnosis, guided imagery, and
related techniques in which suggestions were made to Ms. Deck to
imagine various scenarios and report what she 'sees.'" It was claimed
that he eventually induced Ms. Deck to believe she had been brutally
raped by an uncle, and that as a child she also had participated in
bizarre and gruesome satanic rituals, even though she had no conscious
recollections of any such events.
  After suit was commenced, the therapist admitted in his deposition
that he believed it was a "reasonable hypothesis" such events
occurred; that he believed it was "healthy" for Ms. Deck to reveal
these suspicious to her family; and that he did not discuss with her
the possibility of seeking corroboration. He admitted using a variety
of techniques which are widely recognized as suggestive; e.g.,
hypnosis, guided imagery, and reading materials including The Courage
to Heal. He also admitted that Ms. Deck resisted believing the events
occurred, which he labeled "denial," and that his efforts involved
"wearing down her resistance."
  After suit was commenced, two declarations were filed in court
supporting Ms.  Deck's claims. One declaration, by Laura S. Brown,
Ph.D., supported Ms. Deck's damage claim. Dr. Brown compared post-
therapy results of the MMPI (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality
Inventory) with the results of MMPI testing done by the former
therapist immediately before he began to use hypnosis to explore Ms.
Deck's childhood. Dr. Brown noted that all the scales of the first
test administration were within normal limits, with nothing to suggest
that Ms. Deck had been the victim of childhood sexual abuse. The
scales of the second test were elevated well beyond normal limits and
suggested Ms. Deck had undergone severe trauma since administration of
the first test. According to Dr. Brown, if the therapist induced
Ms. Deck to believe she had been violently raped by a family member
and had been a victim of satanic ritual abuse, and if Ms. Deck
revealed what she had been led to believe to family members, it is
reasonable to say that her therapy experience was "extremely
traumatic." She stated that "trauma of this type would probably be
sufficient to produce the changes in Ms.  Deck's MMPI profile."
  A second declaration was submitted by Dr. G. Christian Harris, M.D.
Relying on the therapist's treatment notes and on statements in the
therapist's deposition, Dr. Harris formed the opinion that the
therapist fell below the standard of care by: (1) failing to explore
all the possible sources of Ms. Deck's symptoms; (2) employing
suggestive therapy techniques "from beginning to end"; (3) failing to
explore and/or recognize the effects of his own beliefs on Ms. Deck;
(4) misapplying the concepts of denial and resistance; and (5) failing
to discuss with Ms. Deck the possible importance of seeking
corroboration of the alleged abuse.
  Prior to trial, Ms. Deck moved for partial summary judgment, asking
the court to rule that the therapist fell below the standard of care,
and that his supervisors were also liable. Shortly before the motion
was to be decided by a judge, the defendants made an acceptable
settlement offer. Ms. Deck's attorney was David A. Summers, of
Edmonds, Washington.

  SUIT 2. The second suit was filed by Lucy Abney, her children and
her husband in October 1993 in District Court, Harris County, Texas
against Ms. Abney's former psychologist and the hospital where she was
treated. The Amended Petition alleged negligence in failing to make an
accurate diagnosis and fraudulent misrepresentation of the patient's
condition to the medical insurance carrier.  Civil conspiracy and
deceptive trade practice claims were also made. Other family members
claimed that as a direct result of defendants' conduct their
relationships and reputation were seriously damaged.
  According to the Complaint, the defendants misdiagnosed Abney as
having MPD and believed that the family had participated in satanic
cult activities including rape, torture and human sacrifice. The
husband was said to be a high-ranking member of the cult. The
Complaint further alleges that the Abneys were hospitalized for one
reason: "to extract from their medical insurance carrier the maximum
amount of money that was available under their insurance policy" such
that the hospital "devised a scheme whereby it paid the insurance
premiums surreptitiously, telling the insurance company that they were
being paid by Lucy Abney."
  The matter went to mediation in April 1995, one month before it was
set for trial. Final terms of the settlement are confidential.

/                                                                    \
|           Repressed-memory evidence banned in Australia            |
|                                                                    |
| "Until further notice I advise that I will not seek to tender      |
| evidence of a recollection of a witness which emerged for the      |
| first time during or after hypnosis unless the following           |
| guidelines are satisfied,"                                         |
|                                              Mr. Royce Miller QC   |
|                              Queensland Director of Prosecutions   |
|                                                                    |
|  The guidelines include that:                                      |
|  * Hypnotically induced evidence must be limited to matters which  |
| the witness had recalled and related prior to the hypnosis.        |
|  * The substance of the original recollection must also be         |
| preserved in written, audio or video recorded form.                |
|                                    from an article in Australian   |
|                               May 9, 1995, p 8, by Scott Emerson   |

                           Monadnock Ledger
                      May 18, 1995 by Eric Poor

  Mark and Linda Bean of Jaffrey are suing psychologist Mark
B. Peterson and his wife for alleged malpractice in a lawsuit filed in
Cheshire County Superior Court. The suit alleges that the
psychologists treatment temporarily convinced Linda Bean that she
suffered from multiple personality disorder and that she underwent
therapy that included "reparenting." The suit alleges that the
psychologist tried to convince Linda Bean that she had been
"programmed as a child and had been part of a Satanic cult." The
treatment caused her to become suicidal.
  The Beans lost between $200,000 and $300,000 on the costs of a
lawsuit that Linda brought against a close family member who lives out
of state for alleged sexual abuse. When Linda terminated therapy in
1994, she regained a single identity.
  According to the suit, Peterson had little or no training in making a 
diagnosis of multiple personality disorder and ignored "warnings that his 
treatment was inappropriate and potentially damaging." The suit also alleges 
that Peterson convinced Linda that she needed to be "reparented" although this 
form of therapy is unaccepted. The Beans claim that the Petersons encouraged 
Linda to call them "mom and dad," and to terminate her relationship with her 
biological parents.
  "The Petersons breached their professional responsibility to
Mrs. Bean by using her as an experiment, rather than treating her
illnesses," the suit alleges. The suit is scheduled for a jury trial
on July 5.
                            New York Times
                   May 11, 1995 by Neil MacFarquhar

  Margaret Kelly Michaels spent five years in prison as a result of
her conviction of sexual molestation in the New Jersey Wee Care Day
Nursery trial that started in 1985 when she was 22 years old. Her
conviction, which occurred during the rash of multiple-child sex-abuse
scandals in the 1980's was overturned in 1993. "The appeals court
ruled that her trial involved flagrant prosecutorial abuses, including
questioning of the children that tainted their testimony by planting
  Ms. Kelly is now suing the state of New Jersey, the Attorney
General, the Division of Youth and Family Services, the Essex County
Prosecutor's Office, the Essex County police, the Newark police and
various employees who worked on the case. There were no comments from
the defendants.
  In addition to spending 18 months in solitary confinement, Ms.
Michaels suffered loss of employment and income, loss of reputation
and emotional injury.  Her lawyer has noted that the state of New
Jersey is also pursuing her for $800,000 in legal fees incurred by her
court-appointed lawyers.
                      Star Phoenix, May 3, 1995

  A three member appeal panel of the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal
unanimously ruled that police questioned the alleged victims
improperly in the Martensville sex-abuse case. They overturned the
1992 convictions of a (now) 23-year-old teacher and Ron Sterling, who
ran an unlicensed babysitting service with his wife Linda. Justice
Nicholas Sherstobitoff wrote that Judge Albert Lavoie erred in law by
accepting expert evidence "as proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the
boys had been sexually abused."
  Nine people, including five police officers, were originally charged
with a total of almost 180 sex-related criminal charges. This case
received much attention in Canada because Judge Lavoie had ruled in
1992 that no news stories about the trial could be published until
after the decisions.
                The Philadelphia Inquirer, May 3, 1995

  A North Carolina appeals court overturned the conviction of two
people accused of molesting children at the Little Rascals Day Care
Center and ordered new trials for Robert Kelly, Jr., co-owner of the
center, and Kathryn Dawn Wilson, who was a cook at the center. The
three-judge panel ruled unanimously That testimony by the parents
about their childrens' behavior resulting from the alleged abuse was
inadmissible. Such explanations are admissible only from expert
witnesses, the court said. In Wilson's case the prosecutor improperly
put therapists' notes into evidence during closing arguments.
  Kelly, 47, had been found guilty in 1992 on 99 counts of sexually
abusing 12 children at the center and was sentenced to 12 consecutive
life terms. Wilson, 29, was sentenced to life in prison after being
convicted on five counts of sexual abuse.
  This case had drawn concern and attention from across the nation.


  A brief of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation as Amicus Curiae in
Support of Petitioner in the matter McDuffie v. Sellers-Bok, Supreme
Court of Alabama, No 1940524, submitted by Thomas A. Pavlinic, Esq. on
May 10, 1995. The brief argues that under the principles of special
relationships and circumstances, foreseeability, direct victims and
public interest considerations, mental health professionals may owe a
duty to third parties not to misdiagnose sexual abuse in their


# 801                                                       $20.00
  Brief of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation as Amicus Curiae in
Support of Petitioner (McDuffie v. Sellers-Bok.)

# 899                                                        $3.00 
  The complete decision of Justice Groff on May 23 in the New
Hampshire cases.

# 099                                                       $30.00
  Memory and Reality: Reconciliation Conference Books LIMITED SUPPLY

                         ARTICLES OF INTEREST

* Consciousness and Cognition, Vol 3, No 3/4 (1994). (Special Issue:
Recovered Memory/False Memory Debate. Includes articles by: Harvey &
Herman; Howe et al; Ceci et al; Gary et al; Lindsay; and many others.

* Haaken, J. Debate over recovered memory of sexual abuse: A
feminist-psychoanalytic perspective. Psychiatry, Vol 58, May 1995.

* Campbell, T., Psychotherapy and malpractice exposure. American
Journal of Forensic Psychology, Vol 12, No 1, 1994.

                           FROM OUR READERS
                        Thanks from a student

  I am the young lady that went to the conference on March 25. I
personally want to thank you for allowing me to attend. I learned much
from the parents and sympathize with their problem. This meeting was
my first human contact with accused parents. I saw anger and
determination first hand. No magazine articles can emit that feeling.
                                                 A High School Student
                           Therapist Logic
  Isn't an event either remembered or not remembered? When I read the
following statement in a review of "Unchained Memories", I wondered if
there were a new logic or if it followed from belief in multiple
realities. "People wrestling with unremembered or unforgettable
traumatic experiences often consult pediatricians or general
physicians...." B. Frank, MD, JAMA, Feb 8, 1995, Vol 273, # 6
  How can a person wrestle with something he or she does not remember?
                                                         A Psychiatrist
                                A Hug    

  A father at the New England Meeting, on March 12, 1995 told of
writing the following letter to his daughter he hadn't seen in
years. In part, the letter said:

    I'm taking a seminar this weekend. It's about living life more
  fully and being more effective as a human being. I did this because
  I am trying to build a new life. I hope you and the girls will be a
  part of it.
    Your recent letter was warm, welcome, and I was pleased with the
  spirit of your offer to forgive me. And I must make this crystal
  clear. The memories you believe you recovered in therapy are bogus.
  I did not sexually abuse you at age three or any other age.
    I pray that someday you will realize we are both victims of a
  health care system that has gone crazy -- confusing superstition and
    Until that day, I remain your loving Father. Please give my love
  to the Kids.

  Recently, he took a chance, since he was in her neighborhood, and
dropped in on her, unexpected. She and he talked for a couple of
hours, not venturing upon the ground of FMS. He then took his leave,
having to catch a plane. She asked him for a hug before he left. He
cried as he told us this story.
Dear FMSF,
  I watched the show called "Divided Memories" and felt compelled to
write to you. Fortunately, I have not been the victim of False Memory
Syndrome. In my own way though, my life has changed because it
exists. My sister has three children.  I have never and will never
agree to baby-sit them, or take them on outings, or spend any
substantial amount of time with them without other adults present. Not
because they are in a bad family, they are a good family -- not
because I have any desires, I don't -- not because anything at all
could happen -- it could not. It is only because I am afraid of being
falsely accused of something in some years in the future. I don't want
to become one of those people whose life is destroyed from false
  I believe in what you are doing. Many of those therapists I saw on
TV came across as being afraid of you. For a therapist to participate
in this kind of witch hunt just shows me how little they paid
attention in class when they were supposed to be learning to help

A member's response to Dos and Don'ts for Families of Accusing Children

  Claudette Wassil-Grimm's Dos and Don'ts...FMSF Newsletter May 1995
p.15) may have merited a warning label. Indeed, a caution in the form
of an Editor's Note appears above the abbreviated list. The list takes
a complex situation and offers suggestions to families who sometimes
are looking for answers. I am concerned about checklists of any kind.
  The list is well intended. It suggests concern for all parties,
hoped-for paths that may keep lines of communication open and efforts
to avoid conflict and further deterioration of relationships that are
already strained. Although I agree with some of the statements, there
are some faulty assumptions. If there is no contact with the accuser,
as is the case in many families, then none of the printed Dos are
applicable. While that is obvious, it is also important to recognize
that if parents and/or siblings can implement these suggestions, then
they are engaging in typical family kinds of communication. I wonder
if a possible unintended outcome is the "normalization" of the present
tragic relationship and an unintentional support of the false
  The Don'ts offer an even more perplexing range of possibilities.
Parents and other family members frequently are the only resources
that represent reality to the accuser in these situations. It is rare
that the accusing family member is not surrounded by therapists and
others whose belief systems offer no other thinking than that the
abuse surely happened. Family members and friends should not be forced
or even asked to take sides. However, creating a family structure that
is unnatural around these concerns possibly leaves the accuser without
any resource that may question these "memories". Creating responses to
the accusers that are too cautious may result in shielding them from
some of the responsibility for their actions, and also in supporting
these false beliefs.  The range of emotions these situations evoke may
be wide and would surely include anger. Masking all of it or denying
it entirely may distort the reality of the situation.
  There are some specific potential problems with another item on the
check list -- the advice on suing therapists. Clearly, lawsuits are
individual choices and are determined on a case-by-case basis. No one
can, or in my opinion should, tell another person to sue or not to
sue. However, the advice about waiting overlooks an important legal
matter. Statute of Limitations laws exist. If parents wait until they
have no hope for reconciliation, they may forfeit their legal right to
  These are clearly my personal speculations and in that way similar
to those in the book. All speculations should be taken with the very
same caution.
  These are some of the reasons which lead me to conclude that the
Editor's Note is the essential ingredient of any list of Dos and
Don'ts. I wish it had appeared in bold.

Thank you to those who have expressed an interest in receiving the
Retractor's Newsletter. There have been many requests for
subscriptions. I need support from retractors! Please send your
stories, thoughts, etc. to: 
                            Diana Anderson 
                            P.O. Box 17864 
                        Tucson, AZ 85731-7864 

                        NOTES FROM RETRACTORS
                           FMSF helped Dad

  The Foundation gave my father much needed support which helped him
not lose his mind thought the whole episode. One of the most difficult
parts of my therapy was that no matter how many times I told my
therapist that I didn't think anything happened with my father, she
would counter by saying she was convinced that it had because of the
"symptoms" I exhibited. She even loaned me "The Courage to Heal" to
read. The line in that book about it not mattering whether you have
memories or not was almost enough to convince me and keep me forever
separated from my father. My recovered memory therapy was given by a
graduate student in a Psy.D. program at a Christian university.
Thanks for being there.
                       Changed mind about FMSF

  I am a 3rd year psychology student. Last September I finally
admitted to my friends and family that I had NOT been ritually abused
and that my father had never hurt me. Since then I have fought to get
my life in order. My parents have welcomed me back with open arms, but
I have lost many friends. The last 6 months have been very lonely. I
don't live near my family.
  I have known about FMSF for over a year now; I used to be one of the
ones who hated you. When I "returned" I never thought of learning more
about FMS. I didn't think it applied to me. I was wrong.
                                                Glad you are there

                          MAKE A DIFFERENCE

  This is a column that will let you know what people are doing to
counteract the harm done by FMS. Remember that three years ago, FMSF
didn't exist. A group of 50 or so people found each other and today we
are over 16,000. Together we have made a difference. How did this
happen?  Florida - For the past two years or so we have become
activists in the fight against the recovered memory hysteria. We write
letters to editors; contact legislators on the state and national
levels; encourage libraries to provide books on this crisis; help
organize support groups; distribute books and tapes; and take part in
radio comment shows.
  Like us many FMSers have come out of the closet in the last few
years and would play an active role in combatting the repressed memory
craze -- if they knew how to go about it. As we grow the awareness of
FMS grows and necessitates some added involvement. The time ow seems
ripe to form a group of volunteer activists who would be willing to
contribute their time and energy to presenting our cause.
  Would each and everyone of you who read this please take a minute to
write if you are willing to do any of the below.
  1. Write and sign letters to editors and others. They will not print
your name if requested. (If it was OK for Samuel Clements to use a
pseudonym, it's OK for others.)
  2. Contact legislators about the FMS crisis.
  3. Testify in person or by letter before professional or
governmental groups.
  4. Take part in roundtable discussions on radio or on TV.
  5. Help organize an FMS support group in your area
  6. Be interviewed by the responsible press.  

I will be happy to forward your replies to your state contact. Send to
Katie Spanuello c/o FMSF Make a Difference.

- An FMS Family has taken the very big step and decided to hold a
family reunion. Three years prior the accusing daughter had left and
the rest of the family had no knowledge as to the reason. A few days
before the 40 people were to arrive the person got sick and was so
upset that she got the shingles. She asked another FMS friend for
help. The FMS friend who used to be a caterer took care of all the
meals. The family reunion person thanked her friend by making a
donation to the Foundation.

  You can make a difference. Please send me any ideas that you have
  had that were or might be successful so that we can tell
  others. Write to Katie Spanuello c/o FMSF.

/                                                                    \
| The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men   |
| to do nothing.                                                     |
|                                            Edmund Burke            |


  The board of directors of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation
invites you to become a Friend of the Foundation.
  The Friends membership category was approved by the board of
directors to recognize members who express the highest level of
commitment to the work of the FMS Foundation. It came into existence
at the Baltimore "Memory and Reality" conference. At the conference 67
Foundation members, including both families and professionals, were
acknowledged as Friends of FMSF. Now the board wants to extend an
invitation to all members to become Friends.
  For three years, the FMS Foundation has taken the leadership in
bringing the problem of "therapy gone awry" to the attention of the
public and in helping affected families cope with the devastation. The
Foundation has amassed a valuable library of materials documenting the
nature, scope and impact of the FMS phenomenon. It has also developed
the most complete collection of legal resources available.
  The changes in public thought and the stirring of thought in the
mental health community during the three years of the Foundation's
existence may be without precedent. Still, the work of the Foundation
is far from completed, and the early programs must be continued. Now,
the great need is to find ways to help families reconcile and to
encourage the professional organizations and the public monitoring
agencies to respond to the mental health crisis.
  That is the basic work of the Foundation, and as indicated, the
board invites you to be an important part of its work. What is
involved in becoming a Friend?  Starting on December 1, 1994, a
contribution of $500 above the regular membership dues entitles a
family or professional to be a Friend of the FMS Foundation for the
1995 dues year. As you consider this invitation, please keep in mind
that the speed with which the Foundation's objectives can be attained
is closely correlated to dollars available for the Foundation's work.
  What are the benefits of becoming a Friend of the FMS Foundation?
Frankly, the primary benefit is the knowledge that your personal
commitment to the Foundation is helping to break down an
extraordinarily evil and destructive belief system and to restore
broken families. Beyond that, the privileges of membership include:

* Executive Updates - From time to time, special mailings will be sent
by our executive director to keep you updated on items of importance.

* Special Functions - Periodically, a special function for Friends
will be arranged.

* FMSF Newsletter - must reading for anyone who wants to be up-to-date
on FMS - will be mailed first class.

  To become a Friend of the FMS Foundation , send us a note indicating
that you would like to become a Friend and enclose a contribution
(over and above your membership fee) that will bring your gifts to the
Foundation since December 1, 1994 to at least $500.
  If you would like to give appreciated property or have questions,
please contact Lee Arning, Membership Director, at the FMS Foundation,
telephone him at 215-387-1865 or send him a FAX to 215-387-1917.

                           A REAL NIGHTMARE
                          by Adele Ferguson
               Reprinted with permission of the author
         Ellensberg Daily Record (Washington), March 21, 1995

  In 1992, all was right with the world for Ron Gillespie. He was a
respected pillar of the community in Bremerton, a former music teacher
and high school principal, devoted husband and father of two sons who
followed in his footsteps, along with their wives, to become
educators. At 77, he was enjoying retirement.
  Then, in June, the letters arrived, one each for him, his wife and
their sons, from a woman all knew as a child and a student a quarter
of a century before.  She was going to the West High School reunion,
wrote Linda Hunter, 38, and she didn't want to see Gillespie there
because he had ruined her life. She would cause a scene if he
  Linda Hunter was the adopted daughter of old friends of the
Gillespies, whom he had only seen twice since he forced her to
transfer from West to East High School because her family had moved to
the East side, and she was giving him disciplinary problems. Gillespie
did not attend the reunion. Screwed up kid, he thought. Why aggravate
her. A couple of months later, a letter arrived from Ms.  Hunter's
lawyer, indicating that a lawsuit was going to be filed against him
unless a substantial sum was paid. The sum was $300,000. No way, said
Gillespie, this is crazy.
  In December, a lawsuit was filed, alleging that when Linda Hunter
was 12, Gillespie engaged in revolting and malicious sexual abuse,
causing her mental and physical harm that required psychological
treatment. She had come to realize this, she said, while undergoing
counseling during the last three years.
  This time, Gillespie saw a lawyer, who investigated Ms. Hunter. She
had graduated with honors from Washington State University, sold real
estate and water beds, was twice divorced, had been in counseling over
many years, and currently was in medical training in Pennsylvania. The
abuse she claimed was inappropriate touching. My God, not me, said
Gillespie, not with any kid, ever.  He countersued.
  For the past year, nothing was heard from Ms. Hunter. Then, the
other day, her lawyer called Gillespie's lawyer. Would they accept a
dismissal? They would. It was over. The Gillespies don't know why the
lawsuit was brought, other than deep-seated resentment over
Ms. Hunter's being kicked our of West High School, or why it was
  All they know is that their family has been put through nearly three
years of stress and humiliation, that left Ron Gillespie broken in
health and considerably poorer. Echo the statement to Newsweek of
Chicago's Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, accused of sexual molestation of
a teen age boy 17 years earlier, an accusation withdrawn when the
accuser realized he had been led to it by false memories suggested by
an uncredited hypnotist: "My life will never be the same because of
this." Ron Gillespie's life will never be the same again. He was a
young 77. He is a very old 79.
  So in these days when so many people claim to be victims, often at
the prodding of poorly trained and inept therapists, whose livelihood
depends on conjuring up painful memories and finding someone to blame
them on, chalk up the name of Ron Gillespie. A good, decent man who
devoted his life to his community, its school and its children.
  His reward in his golden years was to be sacrificed on the alter of
the fad of assisted memory recall. A fad that has damaged the lives of
so many innocent people a False Memory Syndrome Foundation has been
established to assist the accused.
  "I think," said Anna Gillespie, of the woman who put her husband and family 
through their ordeal, "that the girl is a little bit sick."
  Maybe so, but who is the REAL victim here?

(Adele Ferguson can be reached at PO Box 69, Hansville, 98340.)


Produced by the Foundation, this video presents an overview of the
False Memory Syndrome, a devastating phenomenon that has affected tens
of thousands of individuals and families worldwide. Through images of
families and retractors, tragic, yet sometimes hopeful, stories are
told. Key psychiatric, psychological and scientific issues are also
discussed through interviews with world-renowned researchers and

Here is the perfect opportunity to learn about FMS while lending your
support to the Foundation. The price for each video is just $10.00
(plus $2.50 shipping and handling for each video to a maximum of $7.50
per order to a single address). To order, simply complete the form
below, enclose a check to the order of FALSE MEMORY SYNDROME
FOUNDATION and mail to:

                    3401 Market Street, Suite 130

This address and the phone numbers have changed as of July 15, 2000
                     Philadelphia, PA 19104-3315

I wish to order ______ FMS video(s) @ $10.00 per video (plus $2.50 for
shipping and handling for each video to a maximum of $7.50 per order
to a single address.)

My check for $____________ is enclosed:

Please send my video(s) to:
        (PLEASE PRINT))

Name _________________________________________________________________

Address ______________________________________________________________

City ________________________________ State ________ Zip _____________

Telephone (________)_________________

  We must work together to assure that our mental health practices are
  so good that they both encourage true victims of child abuse to come
  forth and discourage false accusations.
                                               Pamela Freyd, Ph.D.

                        ADVISORY BOARD UPDATE

  It is with great honor that we welcome two new Advisory Board
members. AARON BECK, M.D. (University of Pennsylvania) has world
recognition for his work in depression and his creative role in the
development of cognitive therapies.  HENRY M. ROEDIGER, III, Ph.D.
(Rice University) is a pre-eminent memory researcher and we have
reported in the FMS Newsletter on some of his recent work in
"remembering things that never happened."

  Dr. ROCHEL GELMAN has been honored by the American Psychological
Association for her Distinguished Achievement.

  Dr. LILA GLEITMAN won France's prestigious Fyssen Prize, presented
last month in Paris.

  Dr. LOUISE SHOEMAKER was one of six recipients to receive the
Wittenberg Award of the Luther Institute in Washington, DC.

                       JUNE 1995 FMSF MEETINGS




INDIANA - Indianapolis area/area code 317
Sunday, July 30, 1995 - 1:30-4:30 pm
  Speakers: Mark Pendergrast & Eleanor Goldstein
Call for info: Nickie 471-0922 or Fax 334-9839 
or Gene 861-4720 or 861-5832

Keynote Speaker: Mark Pendergrast
Saturday, June 10, 8:00 to 5:30 
(lunch included)
Members from other states invited. Call for info:
Chris (616) 349-8978 or Jaye (313) 461-6213

Saturday, June 24
Terry & Collette (507) 642-3630
Dan & Joan (612) 631-2247

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


ARKANSAS - Little Rock
Al & Lela (501) 363-4368
Northern California
 San Francisco & Bay Area (Bi-MO)
   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)
Central Coast 
    Carole (805) 967-8058
Southern California  
    burbank (formerly valencia)  
    Jane & Mark (805) 947-4376  
    4th Saturday (MO)10:00 am 
  central orange county
    Chris & Alan (714) 733-2925
    1st Friday (MO) - 7:00 pm
  orange county (formerly laguna beach)  
    Jerry & Eileen (714) 494-9704
    3rd Sunday (MO) - 6:00 pm
   covina group (formerly rancho cucamonga )  
    Floyd & Libby (818) 330-2321  
     1st Monday, (MO) - 7:30 pm
  west orange county  
    Carole (310) 596-8048
    2nd Saturday (MO)   

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

CONNECTICUT - New Haven/Area code 203  
  Earl  329-8365
  Paul 458-9173
Dade-Broward Area   
  Madeline (305) 966-4FMS  
Delray Beach PRT
  Esther (407) 364-8290
  2nd & 4th Thursday [MO] 1:00 pm
Tampa Bay Area   
  Bob & Janet (813) 856-7091

Chicago metro area (South of the Eisenhower)
  Roger (708) 366-3717 
  2nd Sunday [MO] 2:00 pm

INDIANA - Indianapolis area /area code 317
  Indianapolis Friends of FMS 
  Nickie (317) 471-0922 (phone); 
       334-9839 (fax)
  Gene (317) 861-4720 or 861-5832
IOWA - Des Moines
  Betty & Gayle (515) 270-6976
  2nd Saturday (MO) 11:30 am Lunch
KANSAS - Kansas City
  Pat (913) 738-4840 or Jan (816) 931-1340
Lexington - Dixie (606) 356-9309
Louisville - Bob (502) 957-2378    
  Last Sunday (MO) 2:00 pm

MAINE - Area code 207 
Bangor - Irvine & Arlene 942-8473
Freeport - Wally 865-4044       
  3rd Sunday (MO)
Yarmouth - Betsy 846-4268       
MARYLAND - Ellicot City area  
  Margie (410) 750-8694  
  Jean (508) 250-1055
MICHIGAN - Grand Rapids Area - Jenison
  Catharine (616) 363-1354
  1st Sunday (MO) -please note day change
  See State Meetings list

MINNESOTA - Minneapolis Area
  Terry & Collette (507) 642-3630
  Dan & Joan (612) 631-2247
  See State Meetings list

Kansas City
  Pat (913) 738-4840 or Jan (816) 931-1340
  2nd Sunday (MO)
St. Louis area
  Karen (314) 432-8789 or Mae (314) 837-1976
  Retractors support group also meets
Springfield - Area Codes 417 and 501 
  Dorothy & Pete (417) 882-1821
  4th Sunday [MO] 5:30 pm
NEW JERSEY (So.) See Wayne, PA
Downstate NY - Westchester, Rockland & others   
  Barbara (914) 761-3627 - 
call for bi-MO mtg info  
Upstate / Albany area
  Elaine (518) 399-5749
  Family group meets bi-monthly, call for info
Western/Rochester Area
  Call George & Eileen (716) 586-7942 [bi-MO] 

OHIO - Cincinnati  
  Bob (513) 541-5272
  2nd Sunday (MO) 2:00-4:30 pm

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

Harrisburg area 
  Paul & Betty (717) 691-7660
  Rick & Renee (412) 563-5616
Wayne (includes So. Jersey)  
  Jim & Joanne (610) 783-0396
  Saturday, June 10 - 1:00 pm.
TENNESSEE - Middle Tennessee
  Kate (615) 665-1160
  1st Wedmesday (MO) 1:00 pm

Central Texas  
  Nancy & Jim (512) 478-8395
Dallas/Ft. Worth  
  Charlie & Jane Boyd (214) 221-1705
  Jo or Beverly (713) 464-8970
VERMONT - Burlington Area
  Kim (802) 878-1089

  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

  Muriel (204) 261-0212
  Call for meeting information

  Adrian (519) 471-6338
  2nd Sunday: August 13 (Bi-MO)
  Eileen (613) 836-3294
Toronto - North York 
  Pat (416) 444-9078

 Irene Curtis, PO Box 630, Sunbury, 
Victoria 3429, Tel (03) 9740 6930

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

Mrs. Colleen Waugh, (09) 416-7443

The British False Memory Society
Roger Scotford (0225) 868-682


                 Deadline for JULY/AUGUST 1995 Issue: 
                         Wednesday, June 21st 
             Mark Fax or envelope "Attn: Meeting Notice"
              & send 2 months before scheduled meeting.

                               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 thought, isn't it?
  Please support our Foundation. We cannot survive without your
                   Reprinted from the August 1994 PFA (MI) Newsletter


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-News". You'll also learn about |
| joining  the  FMS-Research list  (it distributes reseach materials |
| such as news stories and research articles).  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.

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

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

Pamela Freyd, Ph.D.,  Executive Director

FMSF Scientific and Professional Advisory Board,         June 1, 1995:
AARON T. BECK, M.D., D.M.S., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia,
PA;  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;  FREDERICK C.  CREWS,   Ph.D., University of  California,
Berkeley, CA;  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;  HENRY C.
ELLIS, Ph.D., University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM; 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; EMILY K ORNE,
B.A., University   of  Pennsyllvania, The   Institute  of Pennsylvania
Hospital, Philadelphia, PA;  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;    HENRY L.  ROEDIGER,   III,  Ph.D. ,Rice
University, Houston,  TX;  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.