FMSF NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE - February 1, 1996 - Vol. 5, No. 2, HTML version

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    The FMSF Newsletter is published 10 times a year by the  False
    Memory  Syndrome  Foundation.  A hard-copy subscription is in-
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    ISSN #1069-0484
    Focus on Science
            Legal Corner
              From Our Readers

Dear Friends,

  "Are things really changing?"  Yes, they are. For families, of
course, the concern closest to the heart is "Are more accusers
returning to their families?"  Yes, they are.
  There are many ways to measure change. As you read the comments and
articles in this issue, try to compare what is taking place now with
the situation four years ago when the Foundation was forming.
  This past month we received a call unlike any we have ever received
before. We think it indicates a change. The producer of the HBO
documentary "Multiple Personalities: The Search for Deadly Memories"
(1993) called to tell us that the professionals involved in that film
no longer practiced the kind of sodium amytal abreactive work that was
shown. He mentioned that he thought that efforts of the Foundation had
helped to bring about this change in thinking. We thanked him for this
  "Multiple Personalities: The Search for Deadly Memories" is
extremely valuable as a record of the beliefs and practices of some
professionals. Based on an idea of Gloria Steinem and narrated by her
and by producer Michael Mierendort, it was a product made with the
cooperation of the participants. The unchallenged beliefs and
practices of the therapists involved were presented. Those who have
claimed that the penetrating exposure of the 5th Estate (1994) and
Frontline (1995) documentaries was not balanced and that the picture
of practice they showed was extreme should apply a similar standard
when addressing "Search for Deadly Memories."
  In 1993, the practice of shackling patients and giving them drugs to
try to find a memory seemed not to be publicly questioned -- even
though it had the potential to be dangerous and had never been shown
to be a scientifically valid treatment for anything.
  The setting of "Search for Deadly Memories" is a psychiatric
hospital in Texas with a ward of women diagnosed with MPD. The
patients are warned in group therapy that "Your memories may mean you
have to accept something about someone you don't want to." In other
words, the therapists claim to know the content of memories the
patients don't have yet.
  The three patients who are shown in depth seem to have little social
life but very intense relationships with their therapists, all of the
opposite sex.  Sessions involved physical contact as well as talking:
Gretchen's therapist helped hold her when she had her fits, John's
therapist gently rocked him, and then placed her hand on his bare leg,
Barb's therapist gave her a big hug after a tough day.
  The MPD therapists are convinced their patients are "survivors" of
child abuse they totally forgot, and if they recover their "memories"
they'll be on the road to "healing." After four months on the ward
where she was given "truth serum" ( barbiturate which has no proven
ability to "recover memories") Gretchen comes up with an image of "big
hands" and of being forced to perform oral sex -- but can't remember
with whom. John produces "memories" of being hooked up to an
electrical torture machine, and of being abused by "male and female
perpetrators, including a Priest." Barb's new "memories" involve her
late father, a dentist, forcing her to be a child prostitute for his
friends, and drilling away at her teeth for kicks. Nowhere do we hear
of any corroboration of these accusations from relatives, friends, or
from school, medical or dental records. Quite the opposite, we are
shown photographs of all the patients having happy childhoods.  The
credits for "Multiple Personalities: Search for Deadly Memories"

  NARRATED by: Gloria Steinem and Michael Mierendorf
  PRODUCED, WRITTEN & DIRECTED by: Michael Mierendorf
  SPECIAL THANKS: Kaleidoscope Treatment Program, Garland Community
  Hospital; Gary D. Letkof, M.D.; Pam Abernethy, L.P.C. Dissociative
  Disorders Program, Rush Northshore Medical Center; Bennett Braun,
  M.D.; Center for Abuse, Recovery and Empowerment; Barry M. Cohen,
  M.A., A.T.R.; Cottonwood Hospital; Michael DelSignore, C.S.W.;
  Christa White & Family; Kathleen & David Morris; Bernadette; Carry
  Applegate, Ph.D.; Walter Young, M.D.; George Frazier, M.D.; Moshe
  Torum, M.D.; Katherine Steele, M.D.; Jim Struve, L.C.S.W.; William
  H. Percy, Ph.D.; Sandra Bloom, M.D.; Pam Reagor, Ph.D.; Colin Ross,
  M.D.; River Oaks Hospital; Mark Schwartz, Sc.D.; Judith Peterson,
  Ph.D.; Many Voices Magazine; Treating Abuse Today Magazine; Jean
  Olsen, R.N.; I.S.S. M.P.D.; Joyce Kallio; Christopher Fichtner,
  M.D.; Lukasz Konopka, Ph.D.; Hines Veterans Administration Hospital.
  BASED ON AN IDEA presented by Gloria Steinem
It is in the best interest of our society that some professionals may
no longer support this dangerous abreactive work. Do we just move on,
however? If we do, how do we know that other equally dangerous
therapies will not emerge? Where are the safeguards? Those who have
led in the search for deadly memories have received the profession's
blessing in terms of awards and conference presentations.
  But things are changing and that is encouraging. That change must
continue until the public is guaranteed access to psychotherapy that
is safe and effective.

/                                                                    \
|                $2.5 Million Jury Award to Retractor                |
|                                                                    |
|   On Jan. 24, 1996, the jury in the second of an ongoing series of |
| malpractice cases filed against Dr. Diane Humenansky awarded E.    |
| Carlson $2.5 million for injuries suffered as a result of          |
| negligent psychotherapy to recover so-called "repressed memories." |
| Lawyer R. Christopher Barden, Ph.D., J.D., stated "If we can win   |
| this case, we may be able to win them all. It is now time for the  |
| mental health professions to take the legal rights of patients     |
| more seriously and stop using unproven and untested experimental   |
| treatments without adequate and informed consent."                 |

  A concrete example of change is that the State of Washington
Department of Health Counselors has filed a second Statement of
Charges that relate to recovered memory therapy. The professional in
this second complaint is a certified marriage and family therapist who
treated two sisters between March 24, 1990 and January 22, 1994 when
her certification expired. Following are the charges with the names

  * Respondent held a position of trust by virtue of providing
professional counseling.
  * Early in the period, the Respondent provided a copy of "The
Courage to Heal" but did not explain the controversy surrounding the
subject of "repressed memory therapy" and did not offer alternate
explanations or alternate therapy for their presenting physical and
mental problems.
  * Respondent focused on alleged childhood sexual abuse as the cause
of [the sisters'] mental and physical problems. Respondent "validated"
the memories of alleged childhood sexual abuse without seeking or
encouraging [patients] to seek information from others that would
objectively validate the memories of alleged childhood sexual
abuse. Respondent encouraged [patients] to explain their family's
response to their allegations of sexual abuse as their family's being
in denial and did not suggest or encourage alternate explanations for
their family's response. When the [patients] began having "memories"
of numerous killings allegedly perpetrated by their father in public
places, the Respondent did not explore alternate explanations or
interpretations of the "memories."  Respondent continued to validate
the "memories" after they were reported to the police and even after
negative results of subsequent investigations were revealed.
  * Respondent used "trance work" and hypnotism in her treatment and
did not discourage the[patients] from using hypnotism and "trance
work" on their own to "develop" their "memories." Respondent did not
provide treatment to decrease the [patients] tendency to dissociate.
  * Respondent encouraged the [patients] to set up boundaries with
their family and not allow family members to contact them during
counseling.  The isolation encouraged the [patients] to become
dependent on the Respondent. During the period of treatment, [one
patient] suffered from mental and emotional illness which caused her
to seek medical disability leave from her employment.
  * Respondent encouraged [the patients] to confront those who had
allegedly sexually abused them as children and young adults.
  * Respondent refused to talk with mother when [one patient] became
suicidal. Respondent told the mother that her therapy with the
[patient] was confidential and without a release she could not speak
with her, when in fact, RCW 18.19.180(2) specifically provides "That a
person registered or certified under this chapter is not required to
treat as confidential a communication that reveals the contemplation
or commission of a criminal or harmful act".
  * Respondent did not observe clear professional boundaries. This
lack of clear professional boundaries encouraged the [patients] to
become dependent on the Respondent.
  * Respondent convinced [patients] that even if they had no conscious
memory of past events that the cells in their somatic bodies could
"remember" traumas and that their body positions and actions revealed
such trauma during "trance work".
  * The conduct specified...constitute grounds for disciplinary action
pursuant to 18.130.180(4) which defines unprofessional conduct as
negligence, incompetence, or malpractice which results in injury to a
client or which creates an unreasonable risk a client may be harmed.
The conduct specified...constitutes grounds for disciplinary action
pursuant to RCW 18.130.180(24) which defines unprofessional conduct as
abuse of a client.  The defendants should have known that the
techniques they utilized were likely to produce mental images, ideas,
thoughts, and suggestions which would be misconstrued as real,
historically accurate memories and that group therapy would reinforce
these beliefs that the images were real and historically accurate.
  The following charges are from a lawsuit brought by a former patient
and pertain to the issue of informed consent.

The defendants failed to obtain informed consent. They had failed to
disclose that:
  1. The diagnosis and treatment of Multiple Personality Disorder is
highly controversial;
  2. The defendant's assessment of the plaintiff's mental condition
was based on her personal beliefs regarding the existence of a secret,
organized Satanic cult;
  3. The techniques used to recover memory are not based on current
science regarding memory;
  4. The techniques and treatment could lead to false accusations.

                      DON'T MISS THESE ARTICLES

* LINDSAY, D.S., & READ, J.D. (1995). "Memory work" and recovered
memories of childhood sexual abuse: Scientific evidence and public,
professional, and personal issues. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law,
1, 846-908. (Publication of the American Psychological Association)

* Psychiatric Annals 25:12 - special issue, December, 1995. Includes:
  FAWCETT. "A critical look at recovered memories."   
  LOFTUS & PICKRELL. "The formation of false memories."
  McELROY & KECK, Jr. "Recovered memory therapy: false memory syndrome
     and other complications."
  POPE & HUDSON. "Can individuals 'Repress' memories of childhood
     sexual abuse?  An examination of the evidence."
  SCHACTER & CURRAN. "The cognitive neuroscience of false memories."

                     OPINIONS AROUND THE COUNTRY

  "Reporters, the Cardinal [Bernardin] said, have asked him which was
worse, the cancer or the accusation. 'Without any hesitation, I said
the false accusation.
  "'Tat was an attack on my character, my reputation. This was
something that did not have to be, whereas the cancer was part of the
human condition.'"  
                   NEW YORK TIMES, November 18, 1995, Peter Steinfels

  "We can't think of anything worse than falsely accusing someone of
child abuse. We believe there should be stiff legal penalties for
anyone who makes frivolous charges. We should do everything possible
to eradicate child abuse.  But we must be careful not to turn the
campaign into a witch hunt."
                      IDAHO PRESS-TRIBUNE, November 8, 1995,Editorial 

  "The Salem Witch Trials lasted only five months before sanity was
restored.  The McCarthy Hearings hysteria took much longer to cycle
out. But far and away the greatest hysterical period in our country's
history is happening now, and is more than a decade old: sex abuse
hysteria flanked by a False Memory Syndrome epidemic of enormous
                      LINCOLN COUNTY WEEKLY (Maine), October 5, 1995
                                   Guest Commentary, Gladden Schrock

  "Rumors of violated children invoke both a decent rage and a strong
passion to vent it. But passion must not override reason, a lock on
the gates of hell. As they strung up their neighbors, Salemers thought
they were doing God's will too."
                      NAPLES DAILY NEWS, Editorial, December 2, 1995

  "Our legal system is based on the assumption that the accused is
innocent until proven guilty. In crimes like child abuse, however,
even a verdict of not guilty does not erase the harm done to the
accused, let alone the financial harm.
  "Such overzealousness does nothing to help fight child abuse. If
anything, it may well hurt by making the public more sympathetic to
defense claims of prosecutorial misconduct. The end result could be
the freeing of real child abusers, who could then continue to prey on
the young and innocent in our society."
                  THE ADVOCATE, Baton Rouge, Editorial, Dec. 18, 1995

  "The thing I've been most appalled by is the sense of so many
psychotherapists...that their job is to confirm their patients'
delusions rather than help them find out what really has happened. It
took a long time to convince myself that's what's happening, but it
certainly is happening. I don't know whether it's more likely among
social workers than Ph.D.s in psychology, or more likely among the
Ph.D.s than the psychiatrists, who have medical training.  But I do
find it astonishing that anybody in psychology should be ignorant of
the most elementary precepts of skeptical scientific scrutiny.
  "As someone who spent a lot of time reading Freud and his followers,
I also am distressed by the absence of a systematic effort to
demonstrate that psychoanalysis is more useful than going to your
priest or rabbi. Or whether there is such a thing as repression. It's
always very dangerous when the error-correcting machinery is not
working and there aren't systematic attempts to disprove what the
revered founder of your field maintains." (p 62)
              PSYCHOLOGY TODAY, January /February 1996, Carl Sagan

  "What is even more troubling is where the patient retracts a
'memory' and is told he or she is in denial and that is proof of
abuse. It is like the witch trials at Salem, where women were thrown
into ponds. If they floated they were guilty and burned, if they sank
they were innocent but dead. It is a no-win situation"
                                    MAIL ON SUNDAY, November 5, 1995

  "...the standard of proof required to use a new procedure clinically
should be considerably higher than the standard of proof required to
conduct research on its efficacy. This is particularly true in the
case of such conditions as PTSD, for which existing treatments have
already been shown to be effective.
                SKEPTICAL INQUIRER, Jan/Feb 1996, Scott O. Lilienfeld

  "They call it 'recovered memory' -- the phenomenon in which victims
of incest and abuse unearth buried recollections of bad, bad times
many years after the fact.  In America, it's a cottage industry in the
psychiatric world, the publishing world and the theater world, where
psychodrama continues to reign."
                                 LOS ANGELES TIMES, October 26, 1995
                    Valley Weekend; Theater Review by Robert Koehler

  "To make the sole basis of a conviction the uncovering of a
repressed memory, with no other validating evidence, would seem to me
to go beyond reasonable doubt -- not because we're skeptical of all
repressed memory, but because the state of the art, the state of the
science, is such that we're just not that good."  Dorothy Cantor,
president-elect American Psychological Association quoted in
                             "Recovered Memory Murder Case Unravels"
                        LOS ANGELES TIMES, Dec. 25, 1995, Dan Morain

  " All unhappy families may have been unhappy in their own fashion in
the days when Tolstoy wrote the famous opening lines of Anna Karenina,
but today's unhappy families -- at least in fiction -- seem pretty
much the same. It often happens that I am in a bookstore leafing
through one of the attractive new hardcovers, with its soft colors and
its matte sheen, when my eye catches a phrase on the inside jacket:
'...until she is forced to come to terms with the dark secret of her
harrowing past." I know without reading any further what the dark
secret is. My heart sinks: another novel about incest."
  "Sexual abuse, of course, is everywhere splashed across the culture,
wept about on talk shows, endlessly reported in the news...writers of
fiction have obligingly followed along; incest has become our latest
literary vogue..."
                     Making the Incest Scene (Review of eight books)
                    HARPER'S MAGAZINE, November 1995, Katie Roiphe


  A program is planned in Adelaide, South Australia, to educate
doctors about "Dissociative Identity Disorder" or D.I.D. Mental Health
consumers with a D.I.D diagnosis from a therapist are being advised
how to convince their doctors of the reality of this diagnosis. This
convincing of one's G.P. was the recommendation of the guest speaker
at the second Annual General Meeting of the Dissociative Identity
Society of South Australia Inc., DISSA, which met in Adelaide on
November 29. Dr. Stephen Bain spoke on the subject "Dissociative
Identity Disorder and the General Medical Practitioner". The reason
given for the advice was the ignorance of many medicos. Dr. Bain is
proposing to help overcome this ignorance by distributing an
information pack to doctors. Volunteers are also spreading the theory
of D.I.D to school students, through the Mental Health programs. The
South Australian Mental Health Services have made a grant of $10,000
to promote the movement.
  According to our Australian source, the D.I.D. education project is
meeting some resistance, but DISSA proposes to continue the campaign.

  /                                                                \
  |                        Jointly Sponsor                         |
  |                                                                |
  |                   Basic  Standards  of  Care                   |
  |   in  Diagnostic  and  Therapeutic  Practices  with  Memory    |
  |         and  the  Process  of  Family  Reconciliation          |
  |                                                                |
  |               San Diego, Saturday March 30, 1996               |
  |                Boston, Saturday, April 20, 1996                |
  |                 Chicago, Saturday June 1, 1996                 |
  |                                                                |
  |      For details: Office of Continuing Medical Education       |
  |               Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions               |
  |          410-955-2959 phone         410-955-0807 fax.          |

                       LEGISLATIVE INITIATIVES
               Repressed-Memory Therapy Target of Bill
  According to the Denver Post (December 19, 1995) two state
legislators have drafted a bill that has two main provisions. One
requires mental-health workers to document that they advised their
patients of the nature and possible consequences of repressed memory
therapy. The other says an alleged perpetrator can't be held liable
for civil damages more than six years after the abuse supposedly
occurred -- or more than six years after the alleged child victim
reaches the age of 18.
  Editor's Note: On January 1, 1996, a graduate student in clinical
psychology, Thomas M. Dunn, M.A. wrote to the Denver Post arguing that
the proposed legislation was not needed. He stated, "There is no
credible scientific evidence to support the absurd notion that false
memories about sexual abuse can be implanted in therapy."  He might

  December, 1993, American Psychiatric Association. "Memories also can
  be significantly influenced by a trusted person (e.g., therapist,
  parent involved in a custody dispute) who suggests abuse as an
  explanation for symptoms/problems, despite initial lack of memory of
  such abuse."

  June 1994, American Medical Association. "It is well established for
  example that a trusted person such as a therapist can influence an
  individual's reports, which would include memories of abuse." "The
  AMA considers the technique of 'memory enhancement' in the area of
  childhood sexual abuse to be fraught with problems of potential

  November 1994, American Psychological Association. "It is also
  possible to construct convincing pseudomemories for events that
  never occurred."
  According to J. Puerline in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, on
December 20, 1995,"The Wisconsin Assembly recently approved
legislation to establish criminal penalties for false reporting of
child abuse allegations. Assembly Bill 42 was approved 84-11 on
November 15 and has been sent to the Senate Committee on Health, Human
Services and Aging."
  State Senator Patricia Miller, Chairman of the Health and
Environmental Affairs Committee introduced Senate Bill No 210 in
January. The Synopsis of this bill: "Mental health patient protection:
Provides that a mental health provider may use uncovering
psychotherapy to help a patient recall memories of childhood sexual or
physical abuse if: (1) the mental health provider is a physician or
psychologist; (2) the provider completes all required study and
training; or (3) the provider is supervised by a provider qualified to
use uncovering psychotherapy."
  Uncovering psychotherapies are described as: dynamically oriented
psychotherapies; hypnoanalysis; hypnotic age regression; hypnotic
memory enhancement; insight therapies; psychoanalysis; and
psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapy. Mental health providers
include those licensed in Indiana: physician, registered nurse or
licensed practical nurse, clinical social worker, marriage and family
therapist, psychologist, and school psychologist.
  People in Indiana who are following this legislation tell us that
opposition to this legislation appears to be coming from many
sources. Some professionals such as social workers were opposed to
being required to work under the supervision of psychologists. Some
nurses said that nurses should not be doing that kind of
psychotherapy. Some families and professionals felt that writing the
bill in this manner would legitimate the use of unscientific, risky
techniques. The bill is currently being amended.

/                                                                    \
|                           Special Thanks                           |
|                                                                    |
| We extend a very special "Thank you" to all of the people who help |
| prepare the FMSF Newsletter.                                       |
|                                                                    |
|   Editorial Support: Toby Feld, Allen Feld, Peter Freyd            |
|   Research:  Michele Gregg, Anita Lipton                           |
|   Notices: Valerie Fling                                           |
|   Production:  Frank Kane                                          |
|   Columnists :Katie Spanuello and                                  |
|       members of the FMSF Scientific Advisory Board                |
|    Our Readers: Who send us such valuable information              |

                         Harold Merskey, D.M.

  Charles Whitfield, an internist and author of Memory and Abuse, said
the following in a talk entitled "Internal Corroboration and
Validation of Traumatic Forgetting."

    "Circumstantial evidence, however, proves a fact from which an
  inference of the existence of another fact may be drawn. So: I've
  got a patient who has PTSD.  That's a fact and the fact that could
  be drawn from that is that there was a trauma somewhere in that
  person's life because of the PTSD."

  In other words, because you have bad dreams of an accident and some
associated symptoms that proves that an accident occurred to you.
  Whitfield's argument is about as good as the following: A man is
found dead with a bruise on the side of his head. We can say that this
is an event which might indicate a murder. It could also indicate that
the individual stumbled and fell sideways, banged his head and
unfortunately suffered sufficient trauma to his brain to experience a
cerebral hemorrhage and to die from it, or he might have fallen and
been bruised while dying from a coronary thrombosis or one of the many
other possible causes.
  Whitfield assumes that if his patient has what he takes to be the
symptoms of PTSD that proves there was a trauma. But the symptoms such
as anxiety, bad dreams, low spirits and brooding thoughts could be due
to some other cause than trauma. They might result from a depressive
illness following a viral infection which is not a psychological
trauma, but an organic (chemical) change in the body, or cells of the
  His argument is circular. Because he thinks he knows the
consequence, he asserts a particular cause. But for that diagnosis to
be correct, the cause must come first and the symptoms must follow
it. Whitfield does not establish this.  He alleges the presence of
what he thinks he should find, notwithstanding the fact that the
symptoms of PTSD are frequently not unique to that state, not totally
reliable. He sees something brown with four legs and claims it must be
a brown cow because he is interested in brown cows, and it does not
matter if it is big enough to be a moose, or small enough to be a
  I have seen the same dangerous folly put forward in a trial on two
successive occasions. First, a counselling psychologist administered a
test for PTSD which depended on a series of four sets of criteria.
This test was the Clinician Administered Post Traumatic Stress
Disorder Scale of CAPS. The first criterion had to be a traumatic
event. Alleged recovered memories of abuse were taken by the
psychologist to satisfy the first criterion. She assumed the
truthfulness of the allegations because the patient was distressed and
brooding. Fortunately, she was prevented by the court from using her
evidence to draw a direct conclusion about the cause.
  In the second case, a child psychologist serving as an expert
witness argued that memories "recovered" seven years ago were
stressful when "recovered."  Interestingly this idea implies that
recovered memory treatment makes people worse, but that was not dwelt
upon. It was assumed that the "memories" being produced were accurate
and that facing their cause made the patient worse. As well, it was
presented in such a way as to support the belief that there was a
childhood trauma taking effect after 27 years. Again, symptoms were
taken to prove the hypothesis, although the test required that in a
true case a known trauma should be identified close in time to the
first symptoms. Like putting the cart before the horse, so the
argument put the pain before the wound (an unusually rare
occurrence). Incidentally, the accused in both trials were acquitted
by their juries.

  Reference: Whitfield, C. Talk presented at Fourth Annual Conference
  on Advances in Treating Survivors of Abuse and Trauma, Philadelphia,
  PA, December 7-10, 1995. Tape #H2568A, available from InfoMedia,
  12800 Garden Grove Blvd, Suite F, Garden Grove, CA 92643.

/                                                                    \
|                                                                    |
|  A. The person has been exposed to a traumatic event in which both |
| of the following were present:                                     |
|   (1) the person experienced, witnessed or was confronted with an  |
| event or events that involved actual or threatened death or        |
| serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or   |
| others,                                                            |
|   (2) the person's response involved intense fear, helplessness,   |
| or horror. Note: in Children, this may be expressed instead by     |
| disorganized or agitated behavior.                                 |
|  B. The traumatic event is persistently reexperienced in one (or   |
| more) of the following ways:                                       |
|   (1) recurrent and intrusive distressing recollections of the     |
| event, including images, thoughts, or perceptions. Note: In young  |
| children, repetitive play may occur in which themes or aspects of  |
| the trauma are expressed.                                          |
|   (2) recurrent distressing dreams of the event. Note: In children |
| there may be frightening dreams without recognizable content.      |
|   (3) acting or feeling as if the traumatic event were recurring   |
| (includes a sense of reliving the experience, illusions,           |
| hallucinations, and dissociative flashback episodes, including     |
| those that occur on awakening or when intoxicated). Note: In young |
| children, trauma-specific reenactment may occur.                   |
|   (4) intense psychological distress at exposure to internal or    |
| external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the          |
| traumatic event                                                    |
|   (5) physiological reactivity on exposure to internal or external |
| cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event.  |
|  C. Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma and |
| numbing of general responsiveness (not present before the trauma), |
| as indicated by three (or more) of the following:                  |
|   (1) efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings or conversations         |
| associated with the trauma                                         |
|   (2) efforts to avoid activities, places, or people that arouse   |
| recollections of the trauma                                        |
|   (3) inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma        |
|   (4) markedly diminished interest or participation in significant |
| activities                                                         |
|   (5) feeling of detachment or estrangement from others            |
|   (6) restricted range of affect (e.g. unable to have loving       |
| feelings)                                                          |
|   (7) sense of a foreshortened future (e.g. does not expect to     |
| have a career, marriage, children, or a normal life span)          |
|  D. Persistent symptoms of increased arousal (not present before   |
| the trauma), as indicated by two (or more) of the following:       |
|   (1) difficulty falling or staying asleep                         |
|   (2) irritability or outbursts of anger                           |
|   (3) difficulty concentrating                                     |
|   (4) hypervigilance                                               |
|   (5) exaggerated startle response                                 |
|  E. Duration of the disturbance (symptoms in Criteria B,C, and D)  |
| is more than 1 month.                                              |
|  F. the disturbance causes clinically significant distress or      |
| impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of    |
| functioning.                                                       |
|                                                                    |
|   pages 427-429 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental        |
|  Disorders -Fourth Edition, American Psychiatric Association, 1994 |

                           FOCUS ON SCIENCE

   From time to time, various scientific articles appear which discuss
issues of childhood sexual abuse, memory, and responses to trauma.
Since such studies are often widely cited in the scientific and
popular press, it is critical to recognize their methodologic limits.
It is particularly important to understand what conclusions can and
cannot legitimately be drawn from these studies on the basis of the
data presented. As a result, we periodically present analyses of
recent well-known studies, prepared with help from members of our
Scientific Advisory Committee.

                      *       *       *       *

  In both the scientific and popular debates about the issues of
childhood sexual abuse and "recovered memory," we often hear mention
of various studies of the characteristics of abuse victims. For
example, the October 1995 issue of Scientific American mentions two
recent studies which found that one region of the brain, the left
hippocampus, was smaller in victims of childhood sexual abuse than in
comparison subjects. Does this mean that childhood sexual abuse leaves
a measurable "mark" on the brain?
  There is something elegant and satisfying about a study that
exhibits a visible, measurable effect, such as a difference in brain
structure as determined by sophisticated imaging techniques. But we
must not allow the "high tech" aspects of such studies to distract us
from a careful examination of possible methodological weaknesses. One
common weakness is the failure to use a properly matched comparison
group. In particular, the subjects in the comparison group must be
chosen so that they exhibit the same levels of psychiatric symptoms as
the patients in the sexual abuse group, except for the fact that the
comparison subjects were not victims of a sexual abuse. If we fail to
match in this manner, and instead use psychiatrically normal
comparison subjects, then the abuse victims will of course differ from
the comparison subjects in countless ways. But these differences may
be simply nonspecific phenomena associated with overall psychiatric
illness, and may have nothing to do with having been traumatized at
all. Therefore, if we attributed our findings to the effects of abuse,
we would be in error.
  To illustrate this problem, suppose that we were to go back many
decades, to the era when it was widely believed that excessive
masturbation could cause mental problems, perhaps even insanity. We
find a practitioner of that day, and ask him to give us a sample of 20
of his patients whom he has diagnosed as suffering from masturbation-
induced mental illness. He provides us with 20 individuals, many of
whom display quite severe depression, anxiety, and other symptoms. We
then recruit a comparison group of 20 age- and sex-matched individuals
who show no evidence of mental disorders. We move our two groups
forward to modern times, and compare them using sophisticated
measurement techniques. We will probably find numerous statistically
significant differences. For example, the patients with "masturbation-
induced illness" will likely show higher scores on measures of
dissociation; they will probably show neuroendocrine abnormalities
such as higher cortisol levels; they may even have smaller hippocampi.
Can we now conclude that masturbation leaves a scar on the central
nervous system? Clearly, this would not be logical. We have merely
shown that a group of people selected because they were ill differ
from a group of people selected because they were well. We cannot
logically extrapolate from this observation to say that masturbation
caused the abnormalities which we have observed.
  By analogy, it appears that most present studies of victims of
childhood sexual abuse, even those using technologically advanced
measurement techniques, have only demonstrated that people with
psychiatric illness show more abnormalities than people without
psychiatric illness. Whether childhood sexual abuse or other traumas
actually cause any of these abnormalities remains unclear.
  There do exist methodologic strategies by which one could address
the question of whether childhood sexual abuse causes effects on the
brain. For example, one could do a community survey of several hundred
random subjects, then select those who reported a history of childhood
sexual abuse, regardless of whether they displayed any current
psychopathology. Then one would obtain a matched control group from
the same community sample, comprised of individuals who reported
similar rates of psychiatric disorder in their family trees and
similar rates of adverse experiences in their childhood, but who had
never been sexually abused. One could then compare these two groups on
all manner of measures; if the group with childhood sexual abuse
displayed a given finding significantly more often than the otherwise
matched control group, then - and only then - would we have compelling
evidence that childhood sexual abuse leads to a measurable abnormality
later on in adulthood.
  If this sounds like a difficult and expensive study, it is. But only
with a rigorous scientific design like this would it be possible to
state with reasonable confidence that childhood sexual abuse produces
lasting abnormalities. Pending studies with such scrupulous
methodology, we must remain very skeptical of any statements we hear
about the long-term effects of sexual abuse.

/                                                                    \
|            Articles Recently Added to FMSF Bibliography            |
|                                                                    |
| 142: ($3) RABINOWITZ, D. "Wenatchee, A true story _ I, II, III",   |
| and "Verdict in Wenatchee." Wall Street Journal.                   |
|                                                                    |
| 353: ($4) BRENNEIS, C.B,"Belief & suggestion in the recovery of|
| memories of csa." J of Am Psychoanalytic Assoc., 1994. Offers 2    |
| contrasting paradigms, suggestion and belief, to account for the   |
| processes by which fully repressed memories are recovered and      |
| discusses clinical implications for each.                          |
|                                                                    |
| 655: ($2) NALDER, E. "False memories." The Seattle Times, Nov.     |
| 1995. The story of Laura Deck's treatment, accusations, retraction |
| and lawsuit against her therapist.                                 |
|                                                                    |
| 752: ($4) BRENNEIS, C.B. "Can early childhood trauma be            |
| reconstructed from dreams?" Psychoanalytic Psychology, 1994. A     |
| critical review of the concept of traumatic dreams, the relation   |
| between dream content and trauma, and the use of dreams to         |
| reconstruct trauma.                                                |


                        August Piper Jr., M.D.

  It was late at night. I was sitting around wondering what to write
for the Newsletter, when all of a sudden, the clatter of little
reindeer feet rang on the roof. A bustling down the chimney, and who
should appear but jolly ol' St.  Nick! He started to reach into his
sack of goodies. "Oh boy," I thought, "Here's my reward for being good
this year." He pulled out an envelope. "What's this -- a big check?" I
asked Santa. But he spoke not a word. Then, laying a finger aside his
nose, and giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.
  The envelope contained not a check at all, but rather a gift from a
reader in Canada -- a letter answering the question of what to write
for this column. Here's the letter, only slightly edited:

  If I remember correctly, some time ago you were soliciting topics
  for your column from the readers of the Newsletter. Here is a
  handful of ideas:

  1. In the vast coverage of FMS-related topics, one group's voices
  are rarely heard. These are the people who had unwanted but
  remembered sexual experiences in their adolescence or childhood.
  Their voices are heard neither in support of the memory-recovery
  movement, nor of the false-memory movement. Where are these people?
  If I were in their shoes, I would be very angry with the "survivors"
  movement and I would speak up. I am quite puzzled by their silence.
  Do they consider their experience insignificant? Or do they just not
  want to be bothered?
  2. To uncover the fictitious events from their clients' pasts,
  "recovered-memory" therapists must create pornographic scenes from
  those peoples' histories. Most of these scenes satisfy criteria for
  hard-core child pornography. My question, therefore: are some or all
  trauma-focused therapists sexual deviants or psychologically
  disturbed individuals? How otherwise to explain the production of
  this fantastic smut?

  3. It is in the interest of patients to be rid of their therapy-
  induced delusions, to resume normal lives, and to reunite with their
  families. On the other hand, it is in the interest of therapists to
  keep their patients trapped in their delusional worlds forever. Why?
  Because therapists are aware of the lawsuits launched and won by
  retractors. These practitioners are thus inevitably afraid that
  patients who recover from their delusions may bring suit for
  malpractice. Rather than honestly admitting having made a grave
  mistake, the practitioners shield themselves from any information
  (such as facts about their patients' actual histories), and avoid
  any action, that might jeopardize their careers. These behaviors
  clearly occur at patients' expense.
  4. Finally, the "recovered-memory" debate is often presented as
  "polarized."  This statement is so often repeated that it is
  accepted as undeniable -- but it is not so. A continuum of opinions
  and beliefs exists in both professional and lay circles. One end of
  the spectrum is represented by those who think that "robust
  repression" does not exist. On the other end are those who perceive
  such repression as lurking behind every psychological phenomenon.
  Then, there are those in between who want to straddle both extremes.
    The irony of this situation is that although the opinions are, in
  reality, not polarized, they should be. Either the human mind has
  the strange ability to completely and selectively repress repeated
  traumatic events of a sexual nature and recover them decades later
  in minute detail, or it does not have this ability. Either the
  intrusive and coercive techniques used by trauma-search therapists
  can accurately access life histories previously unknown to the
  patient, or these procedures are prone to create  pseudomemories.
  Either the earth is flat or it is round. The truth cannot be
  somewhere in the middle.

                                * * *

  Although responding to a letter that is so well written, and that
contains such hard-hitting comments, is difficult, I will try. It goes
without saying that readers' thoughts may well be more helpful, or
more interesting, than those that follow.

  1. This is an interesting question: the answer to it is unclear to
me, also.  Readers: what do you think?

  2. Some years ago, I was asking another psychiatrist how recovered-
memory therapists could possibly treat patients the way they do. My
colleague's response: "August, these people are just different from
you and me."

  3. "Who rides the tiger is afraid to dismount." This Chinese proverb
neatly captures the dilemma facing these trauma-focused therapists.
Nevertheless, one or two are beginning to jump off the tiger's
back. For example, several weeks ago, the incoming president of the
International Society for the Study of Dissociation publicly
acknowledged that some of her colleagues may have indulged in a few
excesses in their efforts to help patients. One leading multiple
personality disorder theorist has conceded that the official
diagnostic criteria for the condition are far too lax. And finally,
evidence is accumulating that some trauma-search practitioners, for
whatever reasons, are changing their practice techniques: no more
hours-long "abreactive" sessions, for instance.

  4. A theory is available to explain why advocates for "our side" are
reluctant to state, boldly, definitively, and in capital letters, that
robust repression is bunkum. This reluctance grows out of a desire to
respect a fundamental principle of logic. The theory is as follows:.
  The "other side" is asserting the existence of a something: namely,
robust repression. Refuting such a claim requires asserting the
nonexistence of that something: "robust repression does not exist."
But according to the rule of logic, any such assertion forever totters
on weak and spindly legs, forever vulnerable to even a child's effort
that could send it crashing headlong to the ground. The child would
only need to demonstrate even one example, anywhere in the universe
and at any time, of the something: a single example of robust
repression. Thus, the logical principle is that solidly proving a
negative assertion is impossible.
  However, an assertion that stands on considerably stronger legs has
appeared.  An example of such an assertion is provided by Pope and
Hudson, in the January 1995 issue of Psychological Medicine. These
writers make clear that if reasonable criteria for robust repression
are established, not even one well-documented example of the
phenomenon can be found anywhere in the published literature.
  In other words, at this time, one is no more justified in believing
in robust repression than one is believing in jolly ol' St. Nick!

  August Piper, M.D. is in private practice in Seattle, Washington and
  is currently writing a book on multiple personality disorder. He is
  a member of the FMSF Scientific and Professional Advisory Board.

                             BOOK REVIEW
  Satan's Silence: Ritual Abuse and the Making of a Modern American
  Witch Hunt by DEBBIE NATHAN and MICHAEL SNEDEKER, Basic Books, 1995.

                  Reviewer: Jeffrey S. Victor, Ph.D.

  This book is an exceptional piece of investigative journalism, which
reads like a scientific detective story. The "crime" under
investigation is that of false accusations of ritual child abuse
against child-care workers, mostly women, many of whom were
imprisoned. The book is a powerful and passionate indictment of the
malicious mischief of child therapists, prosecutors and medical
doctors, carried away by moral zealotry. It is such fascinating
reading, that I found it difficult to put down the book. I was anxious
to learn who did what, how they did it and why.
  Debbie Nathan is an award-winning journalist and Michael Snedecker
is a lawyer who defended several people accused of ritual abuse. The
authors offer a definite point-of-view, but one based upon solid
scientific reasoning and extensive documentation. The authors' sources
included interviews with some of the principal characters, transcripts
and videotapes of therapists questioning children, testimony and
depositions from trials, besides abundant references to scientific
  The authors' familiarity with a broad range of scientific research
from child psychology to the social psychology of conformity pressure
is evident in their ability to critically evaluate the faulty research
and theorizing, which was used to support claims about ritual child
abuse. Their criticism of these pseudo-scientific psychological and
medical studies is better than is usually done by professional
  This book is very useful for both parents and professionals
concerned about false accusations of sexual child abuse. It is
informative and interesting reading for parents, well worth the
purchase price. Behavioral scientists and therapists will find that
many insights offered in the book will deepen their understanding of
the similar social dynamics which produce false accusations from two
seemingly dissimilar sources: children questioned by child protection
workers, and adults questioned by psychotherapists.
  The similarity is easier to grasp once we realize that accounts
voiced by adult psychotherapy patients about events in the distant
past and those voiced by children about events in the recent past are
both accounts regarded as memories. (Ultimately, both are mistaken
beliefs cognitively processed as memories.) The authors emphasize the
social dynamics of conformity pressures which lead people, adults as
well as children, to internalize false beliefs about recalled events.
The conformity pressures to internalize false recall of sexual abuse
existed between groups of fearful parents, between children's
friendship groups, and between children and their professional
questioners. Thus, the children being questioned by child therapists
and police were exposed to powerful conformity pressures, both inside
interrogation sessions and outside in their social network.
  The authors make crystal clear that false accusations of sexual
abuse originated in the preconceived suspicions of parents and child
protection workers, rather than in the minds of children. They provide
abundant evidence from interrogation sessions of highly suggestive
questioning and even coercive manipulation used by child protection
workers and police to get children to give accounts of sexual abuse,
in order to confirm their preconceptions. The authors show how these
preconceptions led child therapists and medical doctors to distort
findings from their newly developed, but highly flawed psychological
and medical tools of investigating sexual child abuse. Over-confident
in their judgment, lacking in self-doubt and carried away by moral
outrage, these people helped to convict innocent child care workers
and parents.
  The book also provides detailed information about the prime movers
and organizations which promoted the moral panic over child sexual
abuse and the major historical events which created that moral panic.
The authors do an excellent job of tracing how exaggerated claims
about the extent of child sexual abuse was influenced by political
manipulations of federal and state governments and by economic
interests. This needs to be more widely recognized. For example, the
authors demonstrate how an implicit alliance between some feminists,
political conservatives and religious fundamentalists helped to
provide the money needed to fuel the organizations searching for
satanic child molesters in child-care centers and in supposed group
sex abuse rings. (The authors make an important distinction between
these feminists whose thinking focuses upon male-female psychological
differences and other feminists, who focus upon socioeconomic forces
in society.)
  The authors comment briefly about the FMS Foundation. Their most
important observation is that: "the FMS debate, by legitimizing
skepticism about ritual abuse, is inspiring a second look at the early
children's cases (p. 239)".  However, some members of the FMS
Foundation may be offended by a few of the authors' other comments.
For example, the authors accuse the Foundation of being unduly
influenced by a few anti-cult activists (members of the anti-cult
American Family Foundation) on the Professional Advisory Board, in
accepting the analogy between "cult brainwashing" and psychotherapy.
I, for one, never accepted this misfitting analogy; and don't feel
much influenced by those who make it. I also don't believe that anti-
cult activists have had much influence on the research and scholarly
writings of professionals in the FMS Foundation.  The conformity
pressures outlined by Nathan and Snedeker in this book are more
consistent with scholarly thinking, than are any "pop" psychology
notions about "brainwashing" by psychotherapists.
  I am sure that many professionals in the FMS Foundation are aware of
the similar social dynamics between false accusations of ritual child
abuse voiced by adults in psychotherapy and those voiced by groups of
children, in cases of community rumor-panics. Contributions to the FMS
Newsletter provide evidence of this concern, as does the work of
several members of the Professional Advisory Board. However, members
of the FMS Foundation have preferred not to scatter their scarce
resources and diffuse the focus of their effort, by taking on this
related civil liberties issue. Perhaps it is now time to rethink this
  The major criticism I have of this book concerns its title. "Satan's
Silence" is a very unfortunate choice of a title. The title will
discourage many people from picking up the book and looking through
it, for possible purchase. The subtitle is much better. This book
offers an expose of a modern American witch hunt, with amazing
parallels to what occurred in Salem, when children falsely accused
adults of horrendous crimes and were believed by prominent

  Jeffrey Victor, Ph.D., professor of sociology at Jamestown Community
  College, is a member of the FMSF Advisory Board and the author of
  "Satanic Panic: Creation of a Contemporary Legend."

/                                                                    \
| Dear Mom,                                                          |
|   This is the most difficult letter I have ever had to write. Many |
| questions have arisen regarding my childhood. Your truth and       |
| honesty, as painful as it might be, will save me many hours of     |
| therapy.                                                           |
|  (1) Was I sexually abused?                                        |
|  (2) Who was my abuser?                                            |
|  (3) Who knew I was being abused?                                  |
|  (4) During what years of my life did the abuse take place?        |
|  (5) To what extend was my abuse:                                  |
|     a) very severe                                                 |
|     b) severe                                                      |
|     c) least severe                                                |
|     d) all of the above                                            |
|   Please direct your response to these difficult questions to my   |
| therapist via telephone, overnight mail or a personal visit with   |
| me in his office prior to your surgery. I want to deal with this   |
| immediately so that we both can start the healing process.         |
|   After reading The Wounded Heart, I feel that honesty and         |
| forgiveness will be major part of our healing.                     |
|                                              Love, Your daughter.  |
|                                                                    |
|    (Daughter later said she followed therapist form letter.)       |

                        Michael Simpson, M.D.

  A recent book in the area of memory is written jointly by a lawyer
and a therapist: Goulding & Schwartz's: The Mosaic Mind. The authors
give a supposedly even-handed discussion of FMS and memory (especially
pp 44-45). "Those who take the 'false memory syndrome' position claim
that repression over many years of repeated episodes of abuse is not
possible..." I have seen no one argue that it is impossible, but that
total repression (leaving no memory of such events) followed by
detailed and reliable recall is, rather, incredible: unsupported by
convincing research, and contradicted by scientific knowledge of the
nature of memory. They state that: "The 'false memory syndrome'
crusade sometimes offers unsupported assertions that memory recall is
nothing more than a fad..." It is far from clear what sort of support
they expect for the assertion that a phenomenon that behaves exactly
like a fad (and has less intellectual support than the hula hoop or
the pet rock), and whose supporters behave exactly like faddists, is a
fad. The sarcasm in the tone of this section betrays a bias against
FMS which it purports not to have. They express great sympathy for
Davis & Bass in the face of lawsuits, but make no mention of the more
numerous and serious trials based on unsupported memory evidence which
have led to people spending years in prison, and which are now
beginning to be overturned.
  They assert that: "The false memory group also contends (without
documenting evidence) that there are legions of therapists around the
country who are jumping to the abuse conclusion as soon as a client
mentions certain symptom patterns." But they do not quote any of the
books or articles which have been published which contain such
documentation. They portray the FMS group as working within a
conspiracy theory: "They insinuate that there are large numbers of
therapists making great sums of money or otherwise profiting by
pushing their clients toward victimhood..." Again, documentation of
these concerns is ignored.  Then they say, in skewed contrast, "On the
other side are the therapists who work with abused clients" : as if
all therapists who work with abused clients agree with the Recovered
Memory group, and as if no one associated with the FMSF position ever
works with people who have suffered abuse.
  However, they are far more fair in other sections. They do admit (p
46) that "the extreme positions from this camp include dismissing
concerns regarding the influence of therapist suggestion by contending
that clients could never construct elaborate mental images based
merely on hints from a therapist. This, despite the fact that decades
of research...reveal almost identical problems.  Some 'believers'
escalate the extreme sides of the polarization by encouraging clients
to confront or even sue family members based only on vague recovered
memories with little corroboration, and by paying little attention to
the consequences of such a suit." They comment: "For example, we
believe that the false memory crusade has been helpful in its forcing
therapists to be aware of undue influence they may bring to the
therapy session" and they cite with respect the research of Elizabeth
Loftus. They add: "But victim advocates who hug the extreme end of
their position feel that admitting that the FMS camp's work has
resulted in anything positive would constitute a betrayal of their
position." They continue: "It may be that the false memory movement is
part of another cultural backlash and that some are using it to
suppress news of abuse.  Yet there are people and positions associated
with the movement that have validity and need to be addressed by those
who help survivors. Similarly, there are too many therapists who lead
clients to abuse conclusions. Yet there are far more who do not and
whose clients are retrieving powerful memories that have been
dissociated. The false memory people are wrong to discount all delayed
memories because some may be false."
  They give some sound advice, for instance, to delay acting on
"delayed memories," saying at p 50 , that "clients should be
encouraged to not immediately bring the accusations out of therapy and
into the client's external world. The decision to confront, to sue, or
to cut off relations with one's family need not be made quickly." In
the recent Dutch literature, Onno van der Hart and colleagues (1995)
have been earnestly promoting the status of "recovered memories" and
of traumatic memories as a special phenomenon, claiming, mistakenly,
that studies of Holocaust, World War II, and torture victims, (which
are misquoted) had shown similar phenomena, when these have never been
described. Jansen & Merckelbach (1994) surveyed how therapists
construe False Memories. Wagenaar (1995) published a significant
rebuttal to van der Hart, with the significant title: "The therapist
cannot and must not determine the truth."
  This reminded me of the artist Salvador Dali, (in The Secret Life of
Salvador Dali, 1948) who wrote: "The difference between false memories
and true ones is the same as for jewels: it is always the false ones
that look the most real, the most brilliant."

  Goulding, R.A. Schwartz, R.C. 1995. The Mosaic Mind: Empowering the
Tormented Selves of Child Abuse Survivors. WW Norton, New York, 1995
  Jansen, A., Merckelbach, H. 1994. Valse herinneringen: Hoe
therapeuten trauma's construeren. [False Memories: How therapists
construe trauma's.] Intermediair, 1994, 30, 11, 38-39, 41.
  van der Hart O, van der Velden, K. 1995. Over het waarheidagehalte
van traumatische herinneringen. [On the truthfulness of traumatic
memories]. Dth, 1995, 15,2, 167-193. (Dutch).
  Wagenaar, W.A. 1995. De therapeut ken en moet de waarheid niet
vastatellen. [The therapist cannot and must not determine the truth]
Dth, 1995, 15, 2, 138-147.  (Dutch)

  Michael A. Simpson is Professor of Psychiatry at the Medical
  University of South Africa and Director of the National Centre for
  Psychosocial and Traumatic Stress in Pretoria, South Africa. He is a
  member of the FMSF Scientific and Professional Advisory Board.

             C O R R E C T I O N    C O R R E C T I O N

   (Erroneously reported in the January 96 Newsletter, page 4.)  

                             LEGAL CORNER
                              FMSF Staff
             Third-Party Lawsuit Settled in Pennsylvania
  A third-party lawsuit that the Foundation has been tracking since it
was filed in November 1992 has been settled. The insurance companies
of the defendant health care workers offered to award a settlement to
the third-party plaintiffs prior to the issuance of a court ruling on
the parents' third-party standing.  Following a lengthy settlement
conference, the parents accepted a cash settlement. However, a
customary confidentiality agreement prohibits them from releasing
information about the amount of the settlement or the names of the
parties, two health care workers and their employer.
  This insurance settlement on the parents was the culmination of more
than five years of litigation that began with their daughter filing a
civil lawsuit against them in 1990. In the first suit, both parents
were accused of sexually and satanic ritually abusing their daughter
from the time she was an infant until she was 19 years old. Their
daughter's suit, which was based entirely on images recovered in
therapy and had no corroboration, was dismissed with prejudice
(meaning that she can't file another suit against them on these
charges) four and one half years later. The parents strenuously denied
the charges. Their daughter has not retracted her allegations. At
least thirteen different law firms were involved at one point or
another in the various legal aspects of the two suits, as well as two
different county Courts of Common Pleas, the State Supreme Court and
two different federal courts. Six insurance companies were also
involved in the various litigations and in dealing with the complex
issues of responsibility in defending these kinds of cases.
Ultimately, the largest portion of the cost was borne by the parents
in defending themselves against what they strongly assert are false
accusations and in pursuing the lawsuit against the health care
workers and their employer. The parents reported that the settlement
award will more than defray those costs.
  The third-party suit that was filed in Montgomery County included
the following counts: Professional Negligence-Malpractice; Negligence;
Intentional infliction of emotional distress; Negligent infliction of
emotional distress; Loss of society, companionship and consortium;
Defamation, libel and slander; Wrongful use of civil proceedings; and
Invasion of Privacy.
  In discussing their experience with the judicial process, the family
felt that they were fortunate in that they had uncompromising support
from their son, all other family members, friends and colleagues. They
mentioned their extensive use of the Foundation bibliography and legal
resources. "We educated ourselves, and tried to help our attorneys
understand the scientific and therapy issues in what was a novel area
of law for them. We defended the suit against us and pursued our
third- party suit vigorously. We feel vindicated by the settlement,
but there are no winners here. Our family and our lives will never be
the same... Suing isn't for everyone. It was the right choice for us."
                 Iowa Supreme Court Rules Individual
     "Recovered Memories" Do Not Create Multiple Causes of Action 
  Each time a new "repressed memory" is "recovered", is a new cause of
action created for a Plaintiff? Does discovery of each new so-called
recollection restart the statute of limitations, so that a suit may be
brought for each and every new "recovered repressed memory"? This was
the issue before the Iowa Supreme Court in WOODROFFE v. HANSENCLEVER
1995 Iowa Sup. LEXIS 241 (Iowa Supreme Ct., Nov. 22, 1995).
  The Iowa statute of limitations for sexual abuse claims, Iowa Code
section 614.8A (1991), provides a Plaintiff "four years from the time
of discovery by the injured party of both the injury and the causal
relationship between the injury and the sexual abuse".
  Woodroffe's claim was based on newly recollected memories of sexual
abuse from ages 1-13 by her uncle. Her suit was filed when she was
over the age of 40, in November 1992. A notation in therapy records
from March of 1985, seven years prior to filing, indicated that
Woodroffe had a general recollection of the abuse at that time. The
therapist noted that Woodroffe had suppressed most of her reactions to
the abuse until seeing a T.V. program a few months earlier.  Woodroffe
agrees that the notation referred to her uncle but discounts its
importance, arguing that she was only vaguely aware of the abuse at
that time.  She states that it was not until four years later,
beginning in November of 1989, that she began to have a series of
detailed recollections of specific acts of abuse. She states that she
has only recalled the worst incidents recently and was only able to
relate "some of the causal relationships between a specific
psychological problem and the childhood sexual abuse" beginning in
December 1989. Woodroffe therefore argues that the limitations period
should not begin to run until she has recalled all of the abuse. Or,
she argues, at the very least, she should be permitted to bring an
action based on incidents that have only recently been recalled within
the limitations period. Woodroffe also argues that requiring her to
file based only upon her earliest recollection, would deprive her of
full and adequate compensation for her injuries because she did not
yet know the full extent of her injuries.
  Defendant Hansenclever characterized this proposed extension of the
statute of limitations as arguing in favor of a "rolling statute of
limitations" where each time Plaintiff recalls something new, the
"clock" would be reset and the Plaintiff would have additional time to
bring another lawsuit.
  The trial court had ruled that to adopt Plaintiff's theory would
render the statute of limitations meaningless. It noted that in many
personal injury cases, the statute of limitations period begins to run
before the full specifics of negligence and the full depth of injuries
are known. Iowa case law cited by the court determined that the
statute begins to run when the person gains knowledge sufficient to
put him on inquiry notice. Once a person is aware a problem exists, he
has a duty to investigate even though he may not have exact knowledge
of the nature of the problem that caused the injury. Duty to
investigate does not depend on exact knowledge of the nature of the
problem that caused the injury. It is sufficient that the person be
aware that a problem existed.
  Plaintiff appealed the trial court's summary judgment on the claim
for sexual abuse and a dismissal on the claims of assault and
intentional infliction of emotional distress. The Iowa Supreme Court
concluded that the trial court had been correct in applying the
principles of the case law described above to cases where "the
plaintiff is asserting multiple causes of action against a defendant
based on memory surfacing sporadically after many years." The Iowa
Supreme Court therefore affirmed the summary judgment on the claims of
sexual abuse and dismissal of the remaining claims as well.

  Editor's Note: Similar issue has been raised in other courts in the
  past as well. Those decisions include: BOWSER v. GUTTENDORF 373
  Pa. Super. 402 (Superior Ct., Penn., 1988); BYRNE v. BERCKER 176
  Wis.2d 1037 (Wisc., 1993); DOE v. MASKELL Circuit Ct., Baltimore
  City, Maryland, Case No. 94236030, 1995; DOE v. ROMAN CATHOLIC
  DIOCESE, 862 S.W.2d 338 (Mo., 1993); PRITZLAFF v. ARCHDIOCESE OF
  MILWAUKEE N.W.2d 780 (Wis., 1995); ROE v. DOE_ 28 F.3d 404 (4th
  Cir., 1994); VANDENHEUVEL v. SOWELL 886 S.W.2d 100 (Mo. App. Ct.,
                   George Franklin Will Be Retried:
   Case Based on Repressed Memories of a Murder Over 2 Decades Earlier
  On January 18, 1996, the San Mateo County District Attorney's office
announced that they would retry George Franklin for the 1969 murder of
Susan Nason.  Retrial is expected sometime in March 1996. This case
has attracted much attention nationally. The murder charges had
originally been brought in 1984 after Franklin's daughter, Eileen
Franklin-Lipsker, told police that she suspected that her father had
killed her childhood friend. She claims that it was not until 20 years
after the murder that she began recalling the incident.  Based on her
testimony, George Franklin was found guilty of first degree murder in
San Mateo County Superior Court in November 1990. He was sentenced to
life in prison in January 1991.
  Earlier this year, U.S. District Judge Lowell Jensen ruled that
Franklin must be given a new trial or released, concluding that "the
risk of an unreliable outcome in this trial is unacceptable." Jensen
wrote that "admissibility of the memory is but the first step; it does
not establish that the memory is worthy of belief." Among his
findings, Jensen ruled that the trial judge erred by refusing to
permit Franklin's trial attorney, Douglas Horngrad, to introduce 1969
and 1989 news accounts of the murder. Those accounts revealed many of
the details to which Franklin-Lipsker testified. "This is a tragic
event which cries out for resolution," Jensen wrote, "but it cannot be
resolved by a trial where violations of the Constitution have
eliminated the necessary presence of fundamental fairness."
  The crucial question facing prosecutors is expected to be whether a
jury should trust the reliability of repressed memories enough to
convict. Dr. Elizabeth Loftus commented to the Los Angeles Times
(12/25/95) on the expected role of repressed memories in the Franklin
case, "The psychotherapy community is viciously divided on the subject
[of repression] and that vicious division may play itself out in the
trial. . . . We should not be dragging people through the courts on
folklore." Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ortega, who argued the
prosecution's case on appeal is quoted in the same article as saying,
"Let's be honest, in the five years since the conviction, there is a
whole lot more skepticism about repressed memory".
                       Supreme Court of Canada
     Gives Accused the Right to Demand Private Counseling Records 
        The Globe and Mail, by Kirk Makin , December 15, 1995
   A Supreme Court of Canada ruling (REGINA v. BEHARRIELL decision not
yet published, 12/14/95), refused to create a privileged class of
communication for counselors comparable to solicitor-client privilege.
The Supreme Court unanimously held that defendants should have access
to private counseling records in certain circumstances, but their
analysis was splintered when defining those circumstances.
  The majority ruled that trial judges henceforth should place
considerable weight on the right of an accused to a full defense when
deciding on an application for records. The majority recognized that
defendants are faced with a Catch-22 situation in making these
applications because they cannot argue the relevance of material they
have not yet perused. According to the process proposed by the
majority, trial judges are to examine the counseling records to see
whether they pass the hurdle of probable relevance. "A relevance
threshold, at this stage, is simply a requirement to prevent the
defense from engaging in 'speculative, fanciful, disruptive,
unmeritorious, obstructive and time-consuming requests for
production,'" wrote Justices Lamer and Sopinka for the majority. The
trial judge then is to weigh: The extent to which the records are
necessary to a full defense; The probative value of the material; The
extent to which the victim has a reasonable expectation of privacy;
Whether ordering disclosure of the material would be premised on a
stereotype of bias toward rape victim; The potential prejudice to the
complainant's dignity or security of the person.
  In contrast, minority judges argued that the constitutional right of
a victim to privacy, equality and security should be a major factor in
determining whether to hand over counseling records, noting that most
counseling records are of questionable relevance to the defense.
  Alan Gold, one of the defense lawyers at the appeal, said counseling
records can be a crucial aid in proving that a fragmented account by a
vulnerable or suggestible complainant had been bolstered by
overzealous counselors.
Murder Charges Based on "Repressed Memories" Are Withdrawn by Prosecution;
                      Third Party Suit Initiated
  On October 25, 1995 Massac County prosecutors dismissed first degree
murder and arson charges for a woman's death in Illinois more than 28
years ago. Larry Stegman and Joe Rickman had been indicted in July
1993 for the death of Hattie Barnes on March 2, 1967, and arson in the
intentional burning of a farmhouse to dispose of her body. Criminal
charges were filed based on claims by Stegman's daughter Connie Sievek
that she had recently uncovered repressed memories of the murder and
her father's role in it. Sievek was 3 years old at the time when
remains believed to be those of Barnes were found in the ashes of a
rural home.  Sievek described detailed "recovered memories" of the
rape, murder, dismemberment and hiding of a woman in the kitchen and
back yard of her childhood home.
  Charges were withdrawn following a series of events beginning with a
February 1995 ruling by Judge Terry Foster that repressed memories
recalled after the first date Sievek saw a hypnotherapist could not be
used at trial. After ruling that hypnosis had tainted Sievek's memory,
the court was required to make a determination of what had, and what
had not been tainted, and to what degree. At this time, a motion was
filed requesting a pre-trial evidentiary hearing to determine the
reliability of repressed memories. The case was dismissed prior to the
court actually ruling on this motion.
  Whether Sievek had been hypnotized and if so whether her "memories"
were admissible was one of the first questions raised by the defense.
Mr. Stegman's defense attorney, Paul Henry of Metropolis, Illinois
provided the information for this report.
  On December 13, 1993, Henry filed a motion for psychological
examination of Ms. Sievek and production of her complete mental health
records. According to Sievek's parents, Sievek had a long history of
mental illness. There was suggestion in the grand jury proceedings and
statements that hypnosis and questionable therapeutic techniques may
have been employed to induce and enhance Ms. Sievek's memories. The
prosecutor vehemently denied the use of hypnosis and staunchly
resisted production of Ms. Sievek's medical and psychological records.
With reluctance, the Court ordered production of the records relating
to Ms.  Sievek's treatment. The forced disgorgment of these records on
March 18, 1994, led to profound revelations. Sievek's medical records
verified that Sievek had been hypnotized although the state at first
denied it.
  In December 1992, Ms. Sievek began therapeutic counseling sessions
with psychotherapist Sylvia Dickey Smith. Both patient and
practitioner agree that prior to entering therapy, Sievek had no
recollections of the alleged murder scene. The therapy records of
psychotherapist Smith were compiled from memory.  No audio or video
recordings of the sessions were made. There was no log of handwritten
notes or memoranda made during the actual sessions. Techniques such as
progressive relaxation, thought sequencing and imaging techniques were
  The notes of Ms. Smith reveal that on Jan. 26, 1993, during the
first attempt to hypnotize Ms. Sievek, Sievek was "relaxed and
cooperative but received only a light trance." The hypnotist, Dr.
Armando Martinez, indicated that to be "successful" would take a long
time. Records indicate that at least two of the several hypnotic
sessions were videotaped. One of these videotaped, sessions took place
the day immediately before the Massac County prosecutor and Metropolis
chief of police arrived to interview Sievek. Therapist Smith and
hypnotherapist Martinez were also present at this interview.
Inexplicably all videotapes of all hypnotic sessions were somehow
accidentally erased.
  Therapist notes reveal that just one month prior to the Grand Jury
indictment, therapist Smith, while on vacation, met Ms. Sievek's older
sister, Jennifer Striven. The evidence clearly established that Connie
and Jennifer discussed the matter in detail.
  The therapist's records, as poor as they were, contradicted the
prosecutor's statements that hypnosis and other suspect techniques had
not been employed to induce or enhance Ms. Sievek's memories. The
Court, therefore, granted a hearing on the issue of hypnotic taint
based on controlling Illinois precedent of _Zayas_.  At the hearing in
October and November of 1993 therapist Smith insisted that she had
refrained from influencing her patient's recall. She denied hypnosis
had occurred despite clear statements to the contrary in her notes.
Dr. Armando Martinez testified that he employed hypnotic techniques
nine times. The prosecutor expressed profound surprise that Martinez
had conducted so many sessions. The Court ruled that hypnosis had been
employed to enhance memory and barred any testimony which could not be
established as existing before hypnotherapy began.
  In January, 1995, additional motions were filed challenging the
competency of Connie and her sister, Jennifer, to testify regarding
any occurrence taking place when they were three or four years old.
Attorney Henry notes that if an infant is incompetent how can an adult
testify to the alleged memories of an infant? More significantly, a
motion was filed to determine admissibility of testimony derived from
repressed memory. The purpose was to force the court to rule on the
scientific reliability of the repressed memory process under _Frye_
and the more recent standards articulated in _Daubert_. In May, 1995,
supplements to this motion was filed based on the thoughts of the
_Hungerford_ court. Just prior to an expected favorable ruling on this
motion, the State entered a nol prose on October 25, 1995 and the case
was dismissed against both defendants.
  Attorney Henry wrote that, "there are rational and reasonable
explanations for the hysterical recollections of the girls but what
realm does reason rule when fear and ignorance usurp control? The
assault on the citadel will continue and the cost of defense is dear."
  In a related action, filed in summer 1995, Mr. Stegman has filed a
suit against his daughters Connie Sievek and Jennifer Strivens, as
well as Sievek's psychotherapist, Sylvia Dicky Smith, and
hypnotherapist, Dr. Armando Martinez.  The complaint contends that
Stegman's two daughters intentionally "designed and fabricated an
elaborate conspiracy" to inflict economic ruin and emotional distress
upon their father. The complaint also contends that in working with
Sievek, Smith and Martinez alleged that Stegman was guilty of the
crimes, and "purposely pursued his prosecution in order to gain fame,
notoriety and fortune." The lawsuit alleges that Smith and Martinez
should have known that they were pursuing an unsound course of
treatment, which "created a substantial likelihood of generating false
and fictitious results and memories". The lawsuit also alleges that
Smith and Martinez did not warn patients that the therapy plan was not
based on accepted scientific principles, that it was unproven, and
that it could create "inaccurate and false perceptions". Henry is
quoted (The Southern Illinoisan, 10/27/95) as saying that the lawsuit
is "intended to explore more thoroughly this question of verifiability
of repressed memory, and get some restitution for the severe financial
strain" that Stegman suffered.
              Assistant DA Found Innocent of Molestation 
   Woman Claimed Memory Surfaced of Incident More Than 20 Years Ago
          The Monitor, Texas, by Juan Antonio Ramos 12/2/95 
  A district court jury in Hidalgo County, Texas ruled against a San
Antonio woman who had accused Assistant District Attorney Omar Jaime
Garza of sexually molesting her as a child. Reagan Acker Centeno, 29,
filed a $5 million lawsuit on April 13, 1994, accusing Garza of sexual
assault when she was 4 years old and Garza was about 13 years old.
Centeno claims she repressed memories of the events until April 14,
1992 when she experienced her first memory flashback while she was
dressing her 4-year-old son.
  The jury verdict on 12/1/95 came after 4 days of trial testimony.
Dr. Kit Harrison, a psychologist, testified that there is no such
thing as Repressed Memory Syndrome and that professionals are not
entitled to diagnose that syndrome. Defense attorney William McCarthy
said in closing arguments that memory was the most important issue in
court, and several factors, including marijuana use, affected
Centeno's memory.
   Memories of Abuse Not Enough to Convict in Repressed Memory Case 
          The London Free Press , by Rory Leishman , 11/9/95
  On 11/7/95, a London, Ontario Canada jury found an accused father
not guilty of any of the counts of sexual abuse against him. Justice
Dougald McDermid had repeatedly advised the jury to, "use your common
  The complainant testified that when she was about 24, she began to
recover clear memories of having been sexually abused by her father
between the ages of one and 16. She recalled that the assaults,
including a rape at age 12, occurred two, three and sometimes four
times a week.
  Most attacks allegedly took place in the family home, but the girl's
mother and other family members testified that they knew nothing about
the attacks. The only independent evidence to support the
complainant's memory was provided by psychologist, Louise Sas, who
testified that child sexual abuse gives rise to the kind of anxiety
attacks, flashbacks and other symptoms complainant displayed.
  Sas also testified that client records had been destroyed for space
reasons. The defense bid to stay the charges because some of the
woman's counseling records had been destroyed and because research
indicated the possibility that false memories of abuse may be
triggered by questions asked during therapy.  Justice McDermid ruled
that the defense had not shown that those missing records were
relevant to the trial or that the defendant would be denied a fair
/                                                                    \
| When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall |
| one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.      |
|                                                       Edmund Burke |
|    Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontent Vol. i. p. 526. |

                          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 and a half
  years ago, FMSF didn't exist. A group of 50 or so people found each
  other and today more than 17,000 have reported similar experiences.
  Together we have made a difference. How did this happen?

  FLORIDA - You can make a difference even though your state
legislature is not in session. This is a time to educate legislators
and their aides about the FMS tragedy.
  A contingent of five Florida Friends of FMS members and two
sympathetic attorneys went to the state capitol in December before the
opening 1996 session.  The families were novices. Here are some things
they accomplished.
  In a meeting with the chairman of the Senate HRS Committee, two
families told their stories. An attorney discussed state laws that
make it difficult to defend falsely accused parents. The senator had
been totally unaware of the FMS problem.
  Although we were not on the agenda of the HRS Committee, the
chairman introduced us to the committee and arranged for our packets
to be distributed to members.
  A family member had arranged for FMS to be on the agenda of the
House Insurance Committee in which two attorneys testified.
  The family members met personally with various legislators and their
aides with whom the families had previously communicated by letter or
phone. A senator on the HRS Committee invited the families and
attorneys to testify at a public hearing to be held in January.
  Learn your way around your state capitol during committee meetings
and hearings. You'll find your legislators are sympathetic and they
will remember you if you need to contact them during the session.

  MAINE - Lately I've been doing something that FMSF readers might
also find effective: I've gone right into the operating bowels of the
criminal jury trials... four of them in the last five weeks, involving
false allegations and/or induced belief systems not grounded in
reality. I've simply watched the papers for notice of trial; have
called attorneys to get the details...then gone right into the venue
of the trial itself. I've had a chance to talk with expert witnesses,
prosecutors, counselors and some witness advocates - many of whom
seemed never to have had anyone look them in the eye and offer
challenge. I've had in-depth conversations with three circuit judges
and spoke to the state Attorney General and have started an ongoing
dialogue with three excellent defense attorneys who had been
functioning in isolation.

  NEW YORK - As a clinical social work psychotherapist and Mother of
an accusing daughter, I have long felt the need for change in social
work training and practice as it applies to False Memory Syndrome.
Through my contacts at my alma mater, a graduate School of Social
Work, I have been able to initiate a continuing education program for
Social Work therapists in our area on April 19, 1996. Allen Feld,
M.S.W. will present an all-day program to include a live interview
with a local accused parent.
  In addition to expanding our efforts in continuing education, it is
also necessary to address concerns for social work training curriculum
within all Social Work schools. To that end I will try to work at the
national level so that future clinicians can be correctly informed.
  Such efforts can be made by anyone, as noted in this column in
October. "Connections" are not necessary - only concern and the
willingness to speak out.  I am willing to speak with you if you would
like more information. Write to S.V.S c/o Katie Spanuello, "Make a

  VERMONT - A mom sent a letter and added educational material about
FMS to the Attorney General. As a result, the Attorney General
forwarded the information to the Chief of the State's Child Protection
unit and a meeting was arranged.
  So many people in public office know nothing about FMS and are more
than willing to learn and to help educate others in their departments.
But you have to get the ball rolling with letters and calls!

  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.

                      BUILDING BRIDGE NEWSLETTER 
               Contact: Diana Anderson for information
                            P.O Box 17864
                        Tucson, AZ 85731-7864
  The next issue of the newsletter for retractors will be in March.

/                                                                    \
| FREE LIBRARY DISPLAYS are now available through SIRS Publishers.   |
| Call 1-800-232-7477. This is an attractive and positive way to     |
| inform people about the many new books that are now available      |
| about false memories and the devastating effects this is having on |
| families.                                                          |

                        Thank you, thank you!
   We are pleased to let you know that we have surpassed our goal.

                              UNITED WAY
FMSF is now registered with United Way organizations across the
country. If it is not listed in your area, please take the initiative
and start the process.

/                                                                    \
| "In the early states of my recovery I attended a John Bradshaw     |
| workshop where I learned about original pain work or what I call   |
| age-regression visualization work. Age regression visualization    |
| work is going back to your childhood memory and trying to recall   |
| painful events. You can do this by allowing yourself to regress in |
| age as you visualize places and events, then by allowing your      |
| memories to resurface."                                            |
|                                           The Path to Wholeness    |
|                                   Covenant Communications, 1993    |

                           FROM OUR READERS 
                           Dad Is Important  
    Our 30 year old daughter has decided that Dad is important again.
I don't know what she believes about her thoughts of several years
ago. We don't talk about that.
  We spent several days together this summer on two different camping
trips and we both had fun. Lots to talk about since we are both in the
field of education. We also talked about the comfort of camping in
places we long ago enjoyed. She can hardly wait to bring her new beau
here for the Thanksgiving holidays. We can't either.
  Thank you for taking an interest. The newsletters have not only been
informative but have given me comfort and hope things would improve."
                                                          Mom and Dad
                           Prayers Answered
  We had a blessed Thanksgiving. Our daughter came to the family
gathering with her husband of one year and four year old daughter. She
truly seemed to enjoy the family love and fellowship and our
granddaughter seemed to love being with all her cousins. It's been
almost three years since she had any communication with her father and
brothers. She told her Dad that she loved him just as though nothing
had happened. We are so grateful to FMSF and to the support meetings
with other families. My husband didn't go to the meetings but he did
read all the literature. I wanted to let you know that all your
efforts have not been in vain. We feel that our prayers and the
prayers of those who know and love us have been an important part of
our joyful reunion.
                                    A Grateful Mom, Dad and Brothers
                              A Miracle
  Christmas eve, a miracle happened. Our daughter and grandchildren
were reunited with us. It was wonderful. She hugged me, her dad, like
I'd never been hugged before.
  It made us realize that in our case, anyway, that patience paid off.
We were so mad at her at times that I had wanted to call her boss. I
thought someone to whom she would listen could say something to her.
My wife felt like scolding her on the telephone. We didn't.
  And now, all that we have to do is not bring up the past. When my
daughter hugged me she said, "Let's make this a beginning and put the
past behind us." If I even get close, she reminds me.
  I should mention that something triggered this marvelous reunion. It
was a tragedy in our family and I don't want to talk about it.
  Your newsletters, the regional meetings, all helped keep our sanity
through this long three years. Thank you. To all of you out there,
don't give up hope, although I hope it doesn't take a tragedy to spark
a returning.                          An FMSF member from the Midwest
                              A Miracle
  Miracles happen. Our loved one is back with us. It was 5 years with
lots and prayers and a letter from a sibling. Thanks for the
support. Hope there are many more successes this year.      A Mom
                      Response to ISSD Statement
  I am writing in response to an article in the January 1996
Newsletter, "ISSD RESPONDS TO "SEARCH FOR SATAN'", in particular the
statement "The majority of people who suffer from Dissociative
Identity Disorder are not diagnosed impulsively or capriciously, as
was implied by this Frontline segment". It is noted in the ISSD
statement that, on the average, people have spent seven years in the
mental health system before the diagnosis is recognized.
  I recently attended a conference on "Advances in Treating Survivors
of Abuse & Trauma" in Philadelphia December 7-10, and one of the
workshops which I attended was "Advances in the Assessment of Post
Traumatic Disorders: the SCID-D", which discussed information on the
Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Dissociative Disorders
(SCID), a diagnostic tool for detecting dissociative symptoms and
  In this workshop, it was stated that the diagnosis and assessment of
dissociative disorders can be accomplished in only three sessions,
with administration of the full SCID-D requiring two to three
hours. In addition, it was recommended that certain at-risk patients
routinely be screened for dissociative symptoms, including those with
eating disorders and depression. The audience, which ran the gamut
from graduate students to Ph.D. psychologists, was delighted with this
information and the fact that the SCID-D could be purchased for just
$21.95 at the conference bookstore. Someone asked if it was necessary
to purchase the Interviewer's Guide also, since he attended the
workshop and became acquainted with its administration. The presenter
told him that it was desirable. But at the more hefty price of $60.00
for the set (Interview plus Guide), I wonder how many of those present
(and others just reading or hearing about this diagnostic tool), will
opt for purchasing the interview alone. It's frightening to me to
think that so many therapists untrained in administering this
interview, let alone treating dissociative disorders, will
indiscriminately be doing just that to clients who come to them with a
checklist of symptoms such as those mentioned above.
  I used to wonder about the many professionals who express concern
and skepticism about the increasing number of cases of DID that are
being diagnosed.
  I no longer wonder.                       A Conference Attendee
                              What Hurts
  What really hurts is their completely ignoring all that I have been
and done for them -- love, support, understanding -- as if it were
nothing, zero, non-existent. Forget consistent reality; my daughter's
delusional fiction, which is her private reality, is all that
matters. Her reality is never to be questioned."            A Dad
  For 2 1/2 years, we only had a minimum of written contact with our
son who lives on the opposite coast. From the very beginning, when we
had no idea what the problem was, our main goal was to keep
communications open. We also did a lot of research and reading. When
he finally confronted us (via letters) and accused both of us with
specific incidents of sexual abuse, we were devastated.  We denied the
accusations emphatically. After a number of fruitless accusations and
denials, both of us and our son finally reached the conclusion that we
might never agree whether or not the abuse actually did occur.
However, we all had one goal in common: we wanted a reconciliation.
Our son made it very clear that the only place he would meet with us
was with his therapist in the therapist's office. We knew that we
would be at a great disadvantage without having a spokesperson at our
side at such a meeting.
  As luck would have it, our therapist was going to be in the same
city at the time we were going to have a meeting. After a lot of
negotiations, our son finally agreed, at the persuasion of his
therapist, that it was O.K. to have our therapist present at the
meetings. The two therapists had various telephone conferences and
agreed on an agenda and that there would be two meetings. The main
prerequisites were that our son was not going to demand a confession
from us. We understood that he believed that the sexual abuse had
taken place and we knew he would not recant. These pre-conference
conversations were extremely helpful to us. This meeting took place
last May. It was a tense time for all of us but the groundwork for
future relationship was laid. We discussed at length our shared past
family history and how our family dynamics needed to be changed so we
could better meet each other's needs in the future.
    We have had regular telephone conversations with our son since
then and he visited us this past September. He wasn't ready to stay at
our home during his visit but did come to our house for dinner. It
will take time to strengthen our relationship. It cannot be the same
as in the past, but hopefully will develop into a strong and lasting
family bond.                                          A Mom and Dad 
                         Help to Professional
  I find the information from the Foundation to be very informative. A
patient of mine was accused by a daughter and, of course, this caused
much anguish to the rest of the family. Congratulations on your
organization and newsletter.                     A Professional, MSW
                          FMSF Meetings Help
  My husband and I went to the meeting in San Francisco last month. It
was great. We learned so much from authors Pendergrast and Goldstein.
I personally talked to a young woman, a recanter, who gave me hope not
to give up. FMS meetings are so much help to us all.           A Mom 
                         Torn Up And Returned
    At the advice of one of the retractors, I decided to send some
postcards to my accusing daughter, a doctor. I searched for cards that
related to events in her youth and wrote a comical or historical note
on them hoping to remind her of the good times in the past. My
daughter has returned all but the last three I sent.  She cut them up
and sent them back in an envelope so she at least took the time to
address the envelope and probably read them too. I don't know why she
didn't send back the last three.                             A Dad
            FMS and Attacks on Parents: What the _Bible_ Says
  There are reports about religious groups and individuals embracing
the "Recovery Movement" and developing false memories of sexual abuse
by parents. A case close to me involves a "born-again Christian" woman
who has falsely accused her father of incest. Do such people really
know what the _Bible_ says about attacks on parents? Both the FMS
children and their parents can benefit from such knowledge. Before
listing some basic references, I am well aware that "the devil can
quote scripture" and there is a strong Judeo-Christian tradition
against child abusers.
  The first, and strongest of all references is, of course, the Fifth
Commandment of the ten given to Moses by God. "Honor thy Father and
thy Mother" it reads. (Also relevant is number nine, "Thou shall not
  The Old Testament has much to say about the relations of children to
parents.  (There are no mentions of "recovered memories" as a
justification for attacking parents.) In Deuteronomy 27:16 Moses says
"A curse on him who treats his Father or Mother dishonorably."...
  Early in Matthew 10:21, the first book in the New Testament, Jesus
tells his apostles the bad things which can happen in their mission
and states "Children will rise against their parents and have them put
to death." St. Paul also lists abuse of parents among the future evils
of the "last days." He writes in 2Timothy 3:2 "People will be self
centered...arrogant and rude; disobedient to their parents."
  False Memory therapists and their willing patients may proudly tout
their righteous and moral behavior but it is clear that they are
flouting the greatest sources of moral guidance in our culture and
civilization -- the Holy _Bible_.        William C. Rogers, Ph.D.

                       Five Years and No Return
  As our situation is now five years old and showing no signs of
resolve, I thought I would share with you how I have dealt with the
pain so that it might be of help to others. Over the years I tried
putting our story in print on my computer or in handwriting but found
the task too upsetting. Our daughter had one child at the time of her
accusations and now has a son whom I have not seen.  It is the loss of
my grandchildren that disturbs me at this point. I have made a video
of the situation as I know it and directed the video to these two
grandchildren. The process of making the video was stressful but
easier than I thought it would be. The video is in our safety deposit
box with instructions that it be shown to them only when they are of
age to understand and only if they wish to see it. I have always
worried I would die or become unable to answer for myself and this has
relieved that worry somewhat.                              A Dad
                              An Apology
Dear "B,"
  Could you please send me your parents' address. Your father's
reputation was apparently damaged by something I said. Nobody really
knows how far a story like that gets.
  I want to write your father a long overdue letter of apology. There
has never been inappropriate contact between your father and me and I
doubt that I ever accused your father of exactly that. The remarks
were made at a time when my former friends were trying to take away my
custody of my children.
  At the present time, there is a great deal of money for therapists,
their clients and unscrupulous lawyers if they can get false memories
and accusations to stick in a court of law and collect damages.
Professionals like these should be reported in my opinion. I certainly
intend to do so.
  I would never deliberately hurt your father, my uncle, or damage his
reputation in any way. I recant any kind of accusation made on my
part. This is a difficult letter to write, so near the holiday season,
but I will feel a lot better for having done so. It was good to see
both your parents at the difficult time of my father's death. I hope
we may have many more happy visits in the future. The wake and funeral
were not.
  Thank you for your help, "B." Sincerely,
                                                     Your cousin "M"
September 24
  On September 7, I wrote the following letter to send to you for the
October newsletter. I didn't mail it.

   "Well, here we are, heading towards our 5th year of no meaningful
   contact with our daughter. Now we have also 'lost' our
   granddaughter. Does this nightmare ever end?...
                                            A Hurting Mom and Dad"

  Today, as I was sitting outside with a cup of coffee, a car pulled
up and parked by our house. To my amazement, my granddaughter was
standing by me. She apologized for the way she had acted the last
visit we had with her. There were tears and hugs. Wonder of wonders,
she stated that her mom (who was sitting in her car), wanted to talk
to us.
  By that time my husband had joined us, and we managed to hold our
breath and invite them in. There were more tears and hugs. Needless to
say, we are still numb from the experience. It seemed as if time had
stood still since our last contact on Christmas Day, 1991.
  She acted upbeat and was so glad to be back. No accusations were
made; we looked at a few family videos. Both daughter and
granddaughter seemed to want to rejoin the family. Now will her
brother be able to forgive?
  My prayers continue to be with the hurting ones. My prayers for us
have been answered for now.
  Thank's for being there FMS Foundation! This threat is real; it's a
killer.                                        A Happy Mom and Dad

/                                                                    \
|                       BEFORE THERAPY - 1985                        |
| Dear Mom and Dad,                                                  |
|  "The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of |
|  respect and joy in each other's life." - Richard Bach Illusions   |
|  Thanks for the call tonight. I was sort of expecting it. It was   |
| good to talk with both of you. Now let me think if there's any     |
| news that I can tell you that we haven't already talked about. I   |
| baked heart-shaped cookies with pink icing and cinnamon hearts on  |
| top to carry on ye olde family tradition. I wondered if you'll be  |
| sending out the annual Valentine's cards. I forgot to thank you    |
| for the cookie letter on the phone. It was good, though a tad      |
| stale and crumbled. Thanks for the fatherly advice over the phone, |
| Dad. I have a lot of decisions to make soon. I have to get some    |
| sleep now, will finish this letter tomorrow. Take care. Miss ya,   |
| Call again during exams if you want.                               |
|                                                           Love, M  |
|                        AFTER THERAPY - 1992                        |
| _Dad__This_is_what_I_expect_you_will_do_.                          |
| 1. You will pay for my past and present therapy costs.             |
| 2. You will reimburse me for educational debts accrued while I     |
| attempted to start post graduate studies twice during the early    |
| memory/crisis period of my healing.                                |
| 3. You will continue an individual counselling process of your own |
| once you return home, in which you will work to get out of denial  |
| and to realize that the things you did were sexually abusive and   |
| have been seriously damaging to me.                                |
| 4. You will look at the symptoms and effects in your immediate and |
| extended family and try to "get it" and piece together the whole   |
| picture. You will try to move from being an abuser to being a more |
| whole human being.                                                 |
| 5. You will point out sexism and inappropriate and abusive         |
| behavior in other people when you see it. You will educate         |
| yourself about the reality of men's violence against women and     |
| children in our society. You will try to understand the            |
| relationship between child sexual abuse, sexism, harassment, rape, |
| pornography, prostitution, wife-battering and the way you, as a    |
| male, have been socialized in our society.                         |
| 6. You will try to make up for what you have done.                 |
| 7. You will tell me that you believe me when I say that what you   |
| did was sexual abuse and was damaging. You will say, whether or    |
| not you are prepared to remember or come out of denial, that       |
| because I remember and my life shows the effects it did happen.    |

                     FEBRUARY 1996 FMSF MEETINGS
  (MO) = monthly; (bi-MO) = bi-monthly; (*) = see State Meetings list


CALIFORNIA-Central Coast Chapter
  Saturday, March 9  @ 9am
  Cecilia 310- 545-6064 or Carole 
  805-967-8058(phone), 967-4124(fax)

  Saturday, April 27  @ 9am-4pm
  speakers: PAM FREYD, Ph.D., BARBARA SKEES, psychiatric nurse
  Nickie 317-471-0922, 334-9839(fax)
  or Pat 219-482-2847

ARIZONA - (bi-MO) (*)
  Barbara (602) 924-0975; 854-0404(fax)

ARKANSAS - Little Rock
  Al & Lela (501) 363-4368

  Norhtern California
      Joanne (916) 933-3655 or
      Rudy (916)443-4041
      Gideon (415) 389-0254 or
      Charles 984-6626(am);435-9618(pm)
    EAST BAY AREA  (bi-MO)
      Judy (510) 254-2605
    SOUTH BAY AREA  Last Sat. (bi-MO)
      Jack & Pat (408) 425-1430
  Central Coast  Carole (805) 967-8058 (*)
  Southern California
    BURBANK -4th Sat. (MO) @ 10am
      Jane & Mark (805) 947-4376
      Chris & Alan (714) 733-2925
      1st Fri. (MO) @ 7pm
    ORANGE COUNTY -3rd Sun. (MO) @6pm
      Jerry & Eileen (714) 494-9704
    COVINA AREA -1st Mon. (MO) @7:30pm
      Floyd & Libby (818)  330-2321

  Denver-4th Sat. (MO) @1pm
  Ruth (303) 757-3622

  Earl (203) 329-8365
  Paul (203) 458-9173

  Dade/Broward Area (*)
    Madeline (305) 966-4FMS
  Boca/Delray 2nd&4th Thurs(MO) @1pm
    Helen (407) 498-8684
  Tampa Bay Area
    Bob & Janet (813) 856-7091

ILLINOIS - Chicago Metro Area
 (South of the Eisenhower) 2nd Sun. (MO) @ 2pm
  Roger (708) 366-3717

INDIANA -Indiana Friends of FMS
  Nickie (317)471-0922(ph);334-9839(fax)
  Pat (219) 482-2847 (*)

IOWA  -Des Moines
  Betty & Gayle (515) 270-6976
  2nd Sat. (MO) @11:30am Lunch

KANSAS  -Kansas City
  Leslie (913) 235-0602 or Pat 738-4840
  Jan (816) 931-1340

  Lexington- Dixie (606) 356-9309
  Louisville- Last Sun. (MO) @ 2pm
  Bob (502) 957-2378

LOUISIANA Francine (318) 457-2022

MAINE -Area Code 207
  Bangor -Irvine & Arlene 942-8473
  Freeport -3rd Sun. (MO)
  Wally 865-4044

MARYLAND -Ellicot City Area
  Margie (410) 750-8694

  Chelmsford- Ron (508) 250-9756

MICHIGAN-Grand Rapids Area-Jenison -1st Mon. (MO)
  Catherine (616) 363-1354

  Terry & Collette (507) 642-3630
  Dan & Joan (612) 631-2247

  Kansas City 2nd Sun. (MO)
    Leslie (913) 235-0602 or Pat 738-4840
    Jan (816) 931-1340
  St. Louis Area-3rd Sun. (MO)
    Karen (314) 432-8789
    Mae (314) 837-1976
  Springfield - 4th Sun. (MO) @5:30pm
    Dorothy & Pete (417) 882-1821
    Howard (417) 865-6097

NEVADA -Las Vegas Area
  Dani (702) 243-9450

NEW JERSEY (So.) See Wayne, PA

NEW MEXICO  Placitas Feb. 3rd
  Maggie (505) 662-7521 or 
  Martha 624-0225

  Downstate NY-Westchester, Rockland, etc.
    Barbara (914) 761-3627 (bi-MO)
  Upstate/Albany Area (bi-MO)
    Elaine (518) 399-5749
  Western/Rochester Area (bi-MO)
    George & Eileen (716) 586-7942

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

  Harrisburg -Paul & Betty (717) 691-7660
  Pittsburg -Rick & Renee (412) 563-5616
  Wayne (includes S. NJ) Mar. 9 @1-4pm
   Jim & JoAnn (610) 783-0396

TENNESSEE -Middle Tennessee
  Kate (615) 665-1160
  1st Wed. (MO) @1pm

  Central Texas
    Nancy & Jim (512) 478-8395
    Jo or Beverly (713) 464-8970

  Judith (802) 229-5154

  Katie & Leo (414) 476-0285

  Vancouver & Mainland
    Ruth (604) 925-1539
    Last Sat. (MO) @1-4pm
  Victoria & Vancouver Island
    John (604) 721-3219
    3rd Tues. (MO) @7:30pm

  Muriel (204) 261-0212

  London -2nd Sun (bi-MO)
    Adrian (519) 471-6338
  Ottawa -Eileen (613) 836-3294
  Toronto -North York
    Pat (416) 444-9078

  Alain (514) 335-0863

AUSTRALIA -Mrs Irene Curtis
  P.O. Box 630, Sunbury, VCT 3419
  phone (03) 9740 6930

  fax-(972) 2-259282 or 

  "Ouders voor Kinderen"
  Mrs. Anna deJong (31) 20-693-5692

  Mrs. Colleen Waugh (09) 416-7443

  The British False Memory Society
  Roger Scotford (44) 1225 868-682

                   Mar. 96 Issue Deadline: Feb. 22
  Mark Fax or envelope: "Attn: Meeting Notice" & send 2 months before
  scheduled meeting. You must be a state contact or group leader to
  post a notice in this Newsletter. If you are interested in becoming
  a contact, write: Valerie Fling, State Contact Coordinator.

/                                                                    \
|          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, court decisions 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,     February 1, 1996:
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, Ph.D.,  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, 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;   ROBERT
A. KARLIN,     Ph.D. , Rutgers  University, New    Brunswick, NJ; 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  CAROTA  ORNE,  B.A., University  of
Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA;  MARTIN ORNE, M.D.,  Ph.D., University
of   Pennsylvania, 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 University,  Bloomington,  IN; MICHAEL  A.  SIMPSON, M.R.C.S.,
L.R.C.P.,  M.R.C, D.O.M., Center for  Psychosocial & Traumatic Stress,
Pretoria, South  Africa;    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.

                           MEMBERSHIP  FORM

    Annual Dues for individual and/or family ($100.00)   $________

    Annual Dues for professionals ($125.00)              $________

    I enclose a tax-deductible contribution of           $________

                                               Total     $________

___Credit Card:

___VISA:  Card: #________-________-________-________ exp. date ___/___

___MASTER CARD: #________-________-________-________ exp. date ___/___

___Check or Money Order: Payable to FMS FOUNDATION in U.S. dollars.
  Foreign & Canadian payments may only be made with a Credit Card, a 
  U.S. dollar money order, or a check drawn on a U.S. dollar account.


Street Address or P.O.Box

City                                 State         Zip+4

Home Telephone                      Work Telephone


*  MAIL the completed form with payment to: 
FMS Foundation, 3401 Market ST, Suite 130, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3315

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

*  FAX your order to (215) 287-1917. Fax orders cannot be processed 
without credit card information.