FMSF NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE - March 1, 1996 - Vol. 5, No. 3, HTML version

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This address and the phone numbers have changed as of July 15, 2000
    The FMSF Newsletter is published 10 times a year by the  False
    Memory  Syndrome  Foundation.  A hard-copy subscription is in-
    cluded in membership fees (to join, see last page). Others may
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    ISSN #1069-0484
  Focus on Science  
      Legal Corner  
            Make a Difference
                From Our Readers

Dear Friends,

  "The False Memory Syndrome Foundation has been a needed corrective
in the mental health field."
  We have heard several versions of that opinion in the past few weeks
-- from professionals who have been sharp critics of the FMSF. We
think that is significant, that it marks a point of understanding from
which we can reach a resolution to the "memory wars."
  As we mark the fourth year of the existence of the FMS Foundation,
the issues on which all sides agree outweigh those points that are
still in contention. At the social level all agree that the abuse of
children is unconscionable and should not be tolerated. There is
agreement that false accusations cause real harm to real people --
both to those who make the accusations and to those who are accused.

Research shows that:
  * Memory is a constructive process. Memory does not act like a
    videotape recorder.
  * Whether they are continuous or not, some memories (of abuse or
    anything else) can be true, some can be a mixture of fact and
    fantasy and some can be false.
  * The only sure way to tell a true memory from a false memory is
    through external corroboration.
  * Unusual or traumatic events are more likely to be remembered.
  * Dissociation between explicit memory (memory for events) and
    implicit memory (memory for skills such as bike riding) has been
    demonstrated for both physical and functional amnesia..

Research does not support the following:
  * There is no research that traumatic stress induces dissociative or
    repressive processes that results in amnesia. (People have been
    looking for this for 70 years without success.)
  * There is no scientific evidence that children subjected to
    repeated trauma engage in defensive amnesia.
  * There is no evidence that digging for memories is important to
    help people get better.
  * There is no research on explicit and implicit memory that lends
    any support whatsoever to the notion that historical events can be
    inferred on the basis of mental and behavioral phenomena such as
    images and dreams, emotional feelings, bodily sensations, and
    intrusive behaviors.

  (For a thorough and readable overview of what is known and not
  known, see Kihlstrom, J. Suffering from reminiscences: Exhumed
  memory, implicit memory, and the return of the repressed. To appear
  in Conway, Ed. Recovered Memories and False Memories, Oxford
  U. Press)

  This is what we know in March 1996. While the majority of
professionals we talk to have been making an effort to understand this
research so that they can improve the care they give to patients, a
vocal minority continues to resort to smear tactics. They have no
evidence, so they attack those whose research does not say what they
want to hear.

  The Toronto Star this month wins top spot in our "hall of shame" for
its lack of fact-checking in reporting on the false memory issue and
for publishing sleazy ad hominem attacks. In a series of three
columns, the Star smeared a number of FMSF advisors and supporters by
printing wrong information, partial information and innuendo. One
column, for example, gave the impression that Elizabeth Loftus
recently resigned from the American Psychological Association because
two complaints had been filed against her for misrepresenting
repressed memory cases when writing or speaking about them. The
columnist started this rumor by omitting critical information In fact,
Dr. Loftus wrote to APA that she resigned because many subgroups and
members "...have moved away from scientific and scholarly thinking..."
The inability of APA to come to grips with a single report on memory
is more than enough evidence for that. In fact, Dr. Loftus said she
has never been notified of any complaints. Do the complaints exist?
Are they rumor?
  Smear works this way. That misleading column was sent around the
world on the internet by a group of women in psychology asking people
to write and applaud the Star. Rumors started flying. The Foundation
received calls: "I heard she was asked to resign!" Dr. Loftus received
calls: "Are you under investigation?"  Although we requested that the
Star print a correction for the misinformation about all the people it
smeared, it has not done so. Instead, the Ombud (Ombudsman) wrote a
column claiming that the Star was fair because they had received but
not printed the many letters from around the world in praise of the
column. That's how smear is done.
  How does one respond to smear? In the case of Dr. Loftus, she wrote
a letter to Raymond Fowler, Chief Executive Officer of the American
Psychological Association. "...In order to deal appropriately with
these false rumors, I must be shown the complaints that were filed. I
have only a minimal idea about one of those complaints... I can say
emphatically that so far as I am aware, all of my statements were
strictly accurate...I wish I could explain to the women in question
that while I may doubt the veracity of bizarre 'memories' acquired
during psychotherapy, and while I consider it a moral obligation to
continue to voice such doubts, I do not mean to trivialize the women's
anguish...While it may be painful for people to hear scientific
opinion, I know that is has to be voiced, to prevent further pain to
  Dr. Loftus suggests that, "To dispel the false rumors and end their
unfair damage, I want you to know that I would fully support your
asking the Board of Directors to investigate this situation. If the
Board would like any background material on these cases, the court
testimony, the scholarly chapters, or other nonprivileged documents
that are in my possession, I will be happy to supply them. Once again,
let me reassure you that I knew nothing about these complaints when I
resigned, and I am happy to defend APA by asserting just as strongly
that no one inside APA leaked any information to me. One ironic
benefit for me personally of having endured these false accusations is
that I now have even greater empathy for the numberless falsely
accused individuals and families that I have worked so hard to
  How does one respond to smear? James Randi, another advisory board
member who was smeared in the columns has written that he has
initiated a legal remedy.  Others who were smeared are protesting
through the Canadian Press Council. All that needed to be done to
prevent this waste was for the Star to do some fact checking. The
willingness to accept something as fact based solely on belief --
without further verification -- is a hallmark of what has been called
the "false memory syndrome phenomenon."
  Families are familiar with smear tactics since that is what was used
against them. For professionals this behavior has come as an
unpleasant shock. While outrageous and painful in the short term,
however, the use of smear tactics by our critics is strangely helpful
to FMSF. It provides a mirror for others to see more clearly that
critics have no evidence with which to respond to FMSF.
  That is why we repeat month after month memory claims that have been
verified and claims that have not. The success of the Foundation in
helping to clarify the issues can be seen in the gradual
institutionalization of this information in psychology text books, in
reference works, in novels, in television dramas, and in hundreds of
scholarly papers. Indeed, the Foundation has been a corrective to a
run-away belief system.
  We have come a long way in four years. We have turned around a
situation that once seemed hopeless. Thousands of families have
resumed contact with their children and most of these families are
continuing to help in the effort to reach the children who are still
caught in a web of horrible "memories." We will continue in our
efforts until contact is resumed with these people and until there are
mechanisms in place to prevent a repetition of this mental health

/                                                                    \ 
| "A devastating aspect of false accusations is that those who do    |
| not know you well, or who have some political or other gain to     |
| garner from the accusations, may show their colors. This orgy of   |
| feeding on the tribulations of the accused, found fortunately only |
| in a small number but sadly, often in persons of power, can have   |
| devastating psychological effects on the victim. When              |
| victimization is due to actions of individuals who could have      |
| stood up for truth and against cascading falsifications, and when  |
| the victimization occurs at the hands of persons previously        |
| trusted and of presumably high professional standing, the          |
| situation is fraught with fear and grave concern for one's         |
| personhood and one's family."                                      |
|                         Lewis P. Lipsitt, Ph.D., Brown University  |
|                       Professor of Psychology and Medical Science  |
|                                                                    |
|  Open Letter to APA Friends and Supporters about his activities    |
|  as science director for APA and the APA governance process that   |
|  posed a legal threat to his membership in that organization.      |

                             NEWS BRIEFS
          Daily Local News, Chester County, February 8, 1996
                           Michael Rellahan

  The Pennsylvania state licensing board has temporarily suspended the
license of Patricia Mansmann, a psychologist who is one of the owners
of the controversial Genesis Association that was shown in the
Frontline documentary, "Divided Memories" (April 11 & 17, 1995). The
state Board of Psychology accused Mansmann of being a "clear and
immediate danger to the public health and safety" because of the
treatment practices used at Genesis. The practices include
"detachments" of patients from family members, "rage work" therapy
sessions, and "snuggle dates" with other patients. The petition calls
the "detachment" substandard therapy that is unnecessary and
harmful. Mansmann was ordered to turn over her wallet card,
registration certificate and wall certificate. She is forbidden from
practicing psychology in Pennsylvania pending the outcome of a Feb. 21
preliminary hearing.

           The Houston Chronicle, Feb. 4, 1996, Mark Smith

  This article is an expose of the Texas Board of Examiners of
Psychologists, the state agency charged with disciplining wayward
therapists. An examination of a number of cases shows "an eerie
picture of pedophilia, sexual misconduct and violence by Texas
therapists and shows a state agency unable or unwilling to do anything
about it." For example, one therapist who has been sentenced to 40
years in prison for sexually assaulting four little girls still has
his license.
  The Texas Board receives more than 100 complaints each year yet only
a few of the more than 3,000 Texas psychologists have lost their
licenses. The Houston Chronicle was unable to determine if the Board
is investigating Houston psychologist Judith Peterson. There have been
at least five complaints filed against her by former patients and
nurses. At least eight of her patients have sued her, accusing her of
using coercion, hypnosis and drugs to plant false memories of satanic
ritual abuse. Peterson has denied all allegations and reached
confidential out-of-court settlements with at least five former
patients. The record shows that no disciplinary action has ever been
taken against Peterson.
  The Psychology Board's stated mission is to protect the public, but
it seems the board sees a duty to protect the psychologists.

             Houston Chronicle, Jan. 14, 1996 Mark Smith

  A Texas law passed last year which took effect in September forbids
regulators to give out any information about complaints against
psychologists unless the Texas Board of Examiners of Psychologists
punishes them. Before the law, consumers could check up on
psychologists by calling the board and asking whether any complaints
had been filed against them. While details could not be given, the
existence of a complaint against any of the state's 4,500 licensed
psychologists could.
  Only 12 psychologists faced any disciplinary action in 1994 and only
eight in 1995. Most of these were technically suspended, but continued
to practice while they completed therapy themselves and worked under
the supervision of their colleagues.
  A trade group of practicing psychologists lobbied hard for the
change in the law. The reason given was that a psychologist with an
outstanding complaint could not be accepted on a managed care
panel. "It sounds like the psychologists have tried to cover up their
tracks even more," said an advocate for the crime victims' rights
group, Justice for All.
            Boston Herald June 4, 1995, Michael Lasalandra

  Psychiatrists represent 10% of the doctors in Massachusetts but they
received nearly one-third of the disciplinary actions for sexual
misconduct over the last decade. They also had the most disciplinary
actions for drug abuse. According to the Division of Registration, the
percentages would be even higher if psychologists and social workers
were counted. "There are no figures available for people who bill
themselves simply as therapists because they are not licensed or
                    FOSTER MOTHER WON'T FACE PROBE
         Dallas Morning News, January 28, 1996, Victoria Loe

  Texas child protection officials will not investigate a foster
mother accused of physically forcing children to invent tales of
satanic cult. As a result of these tales, a police officer and seven
other people in the town of Gilmer were falsely accused of murder. The
decision by the child protection officials ignores promptings of a
veteran child protection worker and eminent child psychiatrist Dr.
Bruce Perry, who testified at a recent hearing that a technique used
by the foster mother, Ms. Bass, known as "therapeutic holding"
amounted to torture. Three children, in videotaped interviews, said
Ms. Bass squeezed them and rubbed their ribs with her knuckles until
they screamed, cried or fainted.  Since Dr. Perry's testimony, the
Basses were allowed to adopt two more foster children. Ms. Bass now
lives in another state with seven adopted children.
  When he was 7, Danny Kerr Jr., a foster child, sustained severe
brain damage as a result of therapeutic holding in the home of James
and Marie Lappe. Ms.  Lappe, who with her husband committed suicide
after Danny's siblings told the authorities the parents had banged his
head on the floor during a holding session, was previously an
assistant to Ms. Bass.
  "Therapeutic holding" was developed in the 1970s at the Attachment
Center in Evergreen Colorado. It is supposed to help traumatized
children express their feelings and bond with adult caretakers. Last
year the Texas protective services adopted a policy that holding is
only allowed under the direct supervision of a therapist and is not to
be practiced by the caretaker.

                        REHAB CENTERS RUN DRY
              Time, February 5, 1996,  Elizabeth Gleick

  Just five years ago, Sierra Tucson had 313 beds for people with
various mental health problems. Now it has only 70. Five years ago it
was "the Cadillac of the substance-abuse centers" with stays paid for
by insurance. Now those who visit must pay their own way at
$650-a-night. Sierra Tucson now has fewer clinic visitors and more spa
   Managed care has changed the marketing of rehab centers like Sierra
Tucson.  Between 1988 and 1993, the inpatient stay in a rehab center
dropped from 35 to 17 days.

         The Washington Post, Feb. 3, 1996, William Claiborne

  In a letter to Washington's Governor Lowry, U.S. Attorney General
Janet Reno has stated that the Justice Department has been unable to
establish that police and local prosecutors in Wenatchee acted in
"willful violation of federally protected rights" or were guilty of an
unconstitutional use of violence during an 18-month investigation that
critics have called a witch hunt. The Justice Department will not
undertake an investigation. Governor Lowry is said to be considering
whether to launch a state investigation into the prosecutions.


  According to a letter (1/4/96) written by the Colorado Association
of Psychotherapists president David Pasikov to Colorado legislators,
there are approximately 6,000 nonlicensed therapists in Colorado. The
letter notes that there are twice as many nonlicensed therapists as
there are licensed therapists.  It notes that nonlicensed
psychotherapists charge as much as one-half less than licensed
therapists. The letter was written in response to the "Schmitt
Report", a statistical study comparing complaints against licensed and
nonlicensed psychotherapists from 1988 to 1994. According to this
study, licensed psychologists registered 3.0% violations
vs. nonlicensed therapists at 2.7% violations.

/                                                                    \
|                                                                    |
| #103 $4.00  Bauerlein, M. "The mirror cracked" City Pages, August  |
| 23, 1995 Relates the story of a retractor who sued her             |
| psychiatrist, Dr. Diane Humenansky and was awarded $2.6 million.   |
| Over 100 "alter" personalities and memories of satanic cults were  |
| produces.                                                          |
|                                                                    |
| #352 $1.00  Boakes, J. "False Memory Syndrome." The Lancet.Vol 346,|
| Oct 1995.  Discusses how the "recovery" of vivid memories of       |
| events that never happened threatens to undermine the credibility  |
| of psychotherapy.                                                  |
|                                                                    |
| #432 $2.50  Pope, H. & Hudson, J, "Can individuals 'repress'       |
| memories of childhood sexual abuse? An examination of the          |
| evidence." Psychiatric Annals Vol 25 (2) Dec 1995, Cites criteria  |
| for demonstrating repression, and reviews the four studies that    |
| attempt to test whether repression occurs.                         |
|                                                                    |
| #660 $2.50  Pendergrast, M. "First of all, do no harm." Skeptic    |
| Vol 3 (4), 1995. Story of a recovered memory therapist who         |
| recanted, and is now trying to stop this form of therapy from      |
| ruining more lives.                                                |
|                                                                    |
| #779 $3.00  Roediger, H. "Creating false memories: Remembering     |
| words not presented in lists." J of Exper Psychology, Vol 21 (4),  |
| 1995. Describes two experiments that reveal remarkable levels of   |
| false recall and false recognition in a list learning paradigm.    |
|                                                                    |
| #831 $1.00  FMSF Legal Project. "Brief Bank Index - Third Party    |
| Suits." 1996.  Includes complaints and sample interrogatories as   |
| well as filings and opinions from 12 suits regarding duty to a     |
| third party.                                                       |

                           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.

                      *       *       *       *

  A recent paper, presented at the American Psychological Association
Annual Meeting in 1995, claims that the false memory syndrome is
uncommon, and that "no evidence for any sort of epidemic was found"
[1]. Certainly, an empirical study of this nature, assessing a group
of women for proposed features of false memory syndrome, is a welcome
contribution to the literature, provided that it is methodologically
sound. If it has methodological flaws, however, it can be misleading.
  Upon reading the study, unfortunately, we cannot rule out the
possibility of serious methodologic limitations. First, and perhaps
most important, the authors present little information about the
manner in which the sample of 113 women was collected. The paper
states simply that "the sample was collected through various methods,
including advertisements in the local media and notices posted on
electronic bulletin boards and throughout the community...", The
authors give no information, however, about what the advertisements
actually said, and what measures were used to ensure that the sample
was truly representative. Even if the advertisement were phrased in
the most careful and neutral of terms, and even if the authors were
scrupulously unbiased in their recruiting methods, we must ask what
proportion of women in treatment for possible childhood sexual abuse
would answer an advertisement asking them to spend two hours
discussing their experiences with a researcher that they had never
met? Only a select proportion of patients -- possibly very
unrepresentative of the overall population of such individuals --
would likely respond. Hence, generalizing from this group to the
overall population would be hazardous.
  In addition to this problem, known in epidemiology as "selection
bias," there is also the problem of "information bias," which refers
to the possibility that data obtained from the subjects might be
colored or skewed in some way. We are given little information about
the nature of the data collection, how the questions were designed to
ensure that they would not be "leading" or suggestive, and whether the
investigators were blinded in any way to prevent their own biases from
influencing the subjects' responses. It is obvious, from reading the
paper, that the authors are biased against the false memory
hypothesis. Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with having a
bias, provided that one carefully designs one's study to prevent that
bias from altering the results. Regrettably, however, the authors of
this paper provide us with little explanation of how they handled this
  Third, even allowing that the study controlled for these various
sorts of bias, the authors seem to be setting up a straw man. For
example, they find that the 51 women with "recovered" memories doubted
their memories more than the 49 women with continuous memories. They
claim that this finding contradicts the "false memory syndrome
hypothesis." But the validity of the false memory syndrome
"hypothesis" hardly depends on whether the memories are doubted or
not.  For example, several hundred "retractors" have contacted the
False Memory Syndrome Foundation. These individuals doubted their
memories so much that they retracted those memories and in some
instances successfully sued their therapists for implanting such
  Similarly, the authors argue that the women with "recovered"
memories reported more "trauma symptoms" in adulthood than women with
continuous memories. But one can draw no conclusions from this
observation unless one could show that the "trauma symptoms" are
unique to trauma and are not also commonly seen in many other
psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety and depressive disorders.
Perhaps, for example, women with prominent symptoms of anxiety and
depression are more likely to form false memories in an attempt to
"explain" their symptoms -- and these same women will score higher on
most checklists of "trauma symptoms" because of their prominent
anxiety and depression. And in any event, the presence or absence of
particular symptoms provides little evidence that false memory
syndrome is a rare occurrence.
  In short, although the authors must be credited for attempting to
explore this difficult area, their findings appear so vulnerable to
methodological difficulties and potential sources of bias that it
would seem hazardous to draw conclusions from them at this point.

  1.Hovdestad, W.E., Kristiansen, C.M., Felton, K.A., and Allard,
  C.B. "An empirical study of the incidence of false memory syndrome."
  Paper presented as part of the symposium entitled "False Memory
  Syndrome -- Science or Social Backlash?" at the Annual Convention 
  of the American Psychological Association, New York, August 1995.

  /                                                                \
  |                        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.          |

                             NOW WE KNOW!
                     ATM Phobia Caused by Parents

Some people have an irrational fear of bank technology. They will not
use automatic teller machines, for example. "Experts say these phobias
are caused by other deep-seated fears. 'We fear a specific object
because it reflects something else,' said Annette Lieberman, a
Manhattan psychotherapist. 'For example, if the only way your parents
showed affection was to give money, you could develop ATM fear.'"
     St. Louis Post Dispatch, Dec., 1995 (reprinted from NY Daily News)

                          Counseling Science
            "Numerology: An Objective Tool For Counseling"
         Sponsored by Mental Health Assn, Tompkins County, NY
                       Monday February 26, 1996

"Numerology is an ancient intuitive science, which by working with the
name and date of birth of an individual reveals a comprehensive
pattern of the qualities, talents and challenges that a person has
come to deal with in their life. A numerology reading gives a person
an objective picture of the lessons that they have come to master, and
as a result a person can deal with their situation more purposefully
and positively. Used as a diagnostic tool in counseling, numerology
can show the areas of intensity and of particular importance that a
person may need to focus on to gain a greater self-understanding.
Those attending the Forum will have the opportunity to learn a little
of their own numerological patterns and therefore to test the science
on themselves."
                        Diagnosis by Portrait

According to a report in the London Times, February 5, 1996 by Jeremy
Laurance, a psychiatrist, Dr. Elinor Kapp has studied the earliest
portrait of Elizabeth I and believes it shows that she was abused as a
child. "Her eyes are candid but the set of her head on the neck and
the folded lips show a wariness that gradually, as one studies the
picture, becomes the most striking thing about it.  There is a
haunting loneliness about its reluctant but obsessive secrecy...a
frozen watchfulness that recalls to me countless victims of deprived
or abused childhoods." Dr. Kapp points out that when Elizabeth was
three, her mother, Anne Boleyn, was beheaded, she was regarded as
illegitimate, had three stepmothers and was the subject of constant
scheming. If her childhood "were translated into modern terms, social
workers would have been round at Henry's door constantly."

                   Walk Through the Door Diagnosis

Wade: [Talking about sexual abuse victims] It's so common that I'll
tell you, I can within 10 minutes, I can spot it as a person walks in
the door, often before they even realize it. There's a trust, a lack
of trust, that's the most common issue. There's a way that a person
presents themselves. There's a certain body language that says I'm
afraid to expose myself. I'm afraid you're going to hurt me.
              Brenda Wade, Ph.D., CNBC Real Persons, April 27, 1992
                       (reprinted from FMSF Newsletter, May 1, 1992)
                                - - - 
Jean McCauley: I can almost spot these patients [survivors of abuse]
as they walk in the door. There's a certain pattern of both physical
and psychological complaints. There's a way that they fail to meet eye
contact. There's a certain distress and depressed look about them, or
anxious look about them that it's almost like I can tell as they walk
in the door.
                                    Assistant Professor of Medicine
                               Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
                         NPR all things considered December 9, 1995
                                - - -
Editors Comment: Three hundred years ago, during the Salem Witch
Trials, a witch could be recognized by the screams she caused as she
approached a panel of young girls. In the 1990s, however, the guilty
party needn't even be in the same room. A child abuser can be
recognized by a psychologist as the supposed victim approaches.

             Multiple Personalities Need Multiple Lawyers

"Knoxville - Murder suspect Thomas Huskey has multiple personalities
and the court should appoint counsel for each one, his lawyer, Herb
Moncier, said. Two of the personalities have confessed to several
                                        USA Today, February 9, 1996

                             No Memories

"How could it be a false memory when I have no memories, only
feelings?"  An accuser to her sister.

/                                                                    \
|                           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               |


                        August Piper Jr., M.D.

  If thy house must burn down, at least warm thyself from the flames.

  Years ago, the above proverb crossed the mind of someone who lived
in Italy.  Peoples around the world, over the millennia, have coined
similar expressions that speak to what today's social scientists call
  Newspapers, radio, and television constantly tell us of the evils
that befall people. Yet the stories do little to answer the deeper
questions: what allows people to endure these curses? What traits make
for overcoming the blows of an outrageous fortune?
  Studies of resilience tend to be relatively neglected in favor of
less demanding investigations that simply show how some noxious event
affects people months or years later. (This newsletter's readers know
about these. They take the form "Sexual abuse is correlated with
condition x.") However, some research has been done on mitigating the
effects of childhood sexual abuse:

  Green, A.H. (1993). Child sexual abuse: Immediate and long-term
  effects and intervention. Journal of the American Academy of Child
  and Adolescent Psychiatry 32:890-902.

  Romans, S.E. et al. (1995). Factors that mediate between child
  sexual abuse and adult psychological outcome. Psychological Medicine

  Widom, C.S. (1989). Does violence beget violence? A critical
  examination of the literature. Psychological Bulletin 106:3-28.

  A notable addition to this literature has just appeared. McMillen,
Zuravin, and Rideout, in the current issue of The Journal of
Consulting and Clinical Psychology (63:1037-1043) have published a
paper that frankly gave me butterflies when I considered citing it
here. The title of the paper explains why: "Perceived benefit from
child sexual abuse." I worried that our opponents would immediately
seize on this citation, reading no further, and reach for the tarred
brushed once again to smear the FMSF: "See, it's just like I told you
-- they're just a bunch of nasty pedophiles." Opponents: drop those
brushes!  Neither this organization, nor the paper's authors, endorse
sexual (or any other) mistreatment of children.
  So now, having said what the paper doesn't say, we can examine what
it does say. The authors studied a sample of 154 women who were
sexually abused as children. The women experienced a range of adverse
effects -- which, of course one would expect. However, almost half
reported some perceived benefit from their experiences. The benefits
fell into four main categories. First, the women learned more about
how to protect their own children from abuse. Second, they developed a
strengthened sense of self-protection. Next, they acquired both more
general knowledge of sexual abuse and pedophilia, as well as increased
empathy with other victims of childhood sexual maltreatment. And,
finally, as one woman put it,

  [The experience] made me stronger because I turned to God to help me
  not hold grudges. This has helped me be stronger in other situations.
  I learned how to build me up. Some lessons are necessary to help you
  be stronger. I think it helped me be strong in that way.

  The investigators note that "clinicians cannot change the abuse
experiences encountered by their clients; they can only hope to
influence reactions to the abuse." In so doing, McMillen and
associates urge practitioners to employ healing cognitive
interventions with their patients.
  This investigation should encourage practitioners to rethink what
they tell their abused patients. In particular, the results of the
study do not support the kind of mean-spirited retaliations sometimes
advocated by a few of some therapists. Those who have mastered
resiliency can teach us how to move out of the morass of hate and

  August Piper, M.D. is in private practice in Seattle, Washington.
  His book on multiple personality disorder will be published in the
  summer of 1996. He is a member of the FMSF Scientific and
  Professional Advisory Board.

/                                                                    \
| "Most booksellers agree that the trend in the self-help market has |
| shifted from topics on co-dependency and self-recovery from        |
| repressed childhood memories to books about New Age principles     |
| that help readers to achieve success in work and love in spite of  |
| psychological handicaps." Major books coming out have moved away   |
| from blaming your parents.                                         |
|                            American Bookseller, Dec 1995, page 33  |

                             LEGAL CORNER
                              FMSF Staff
      Second Patient Wins Malpractice Suit against Psychiatrist
          (Carlson v. Humenansky, District Ct., Ramsey Co., 
                  Minnesota, Case No. CX-93-7260)

  A 3-month-long psychiatric malpractice trial ended January 24,1996
with a jury award of over $2.5 million to one of the doctor's former
patients and her husband for injuries suffered as a result of
negligent psychotherapy to recover so-called "repressed memories."
During the trial the plaintiffs, Elizabeth, David and Lisha Carlson,
as well as several local and national experts in memory and psychiatry
argued that the defendant, Dr. Diane Bay Humenansky, by using
hypnosis, misinformation, coercion, threats and suggestions, had
implanted false memories of childhood abuse. The jury apparently
  Thought to be one of the longest malpractice trials in American
judicial history, the trial brought much national attention to
repressed memory theory and the necessity of obtaining informed
consent when memory recovery techniques are used. There was extensive
discussion of the nature of memory, the lack of proven reliability of
the repression theory, research on emotional responses to abuse and
accepted standards of care. During the 13-week-long trial, the jury
heard testimony from approximately 30 witnesses.
  Carlson accused Humenansky of planting false memories during
treatment. With hypnosis and sodium amytal, Carlson became convinced
she had created multiple personalities to deal with supposed sexual
assaults by her parents, relatives and neighbors. As a result of the
treatment, Carlson says she developed a false belief that she was a
part of an intergenerational satanic cult. Carlson now says the abuse
never happened and the treatment injured her and her family.
  Defense attorney David Patton argued that Carlson already had a
"significant history of physical and sexual abuses" before she became
Humenansky's patient and that the psychiatrist acted properly in
treating her. Edward Glennon, Carlson's lead attorney, told jurors
that Carlson was "much worse than she had been" because of what he
called Humenansky's unorthodox and negligent treatment.  Psychiatrist
August Piper testified that Humenansky had a responsibility to review
Carlson's early therapy records and, by not doing so prior to
embarking on her treatment plan, did not meet the standard of care for
a psychiatrist.  Piper testified that Carlson did not have MPD and any
characteristics of it were created by Humenansky.
  Dr. Humenansky and her defense experts testified that hypnosis,
drugs, coercion, group pressure and suggestion cannot produce horrific
and compelling false memories. This theory was criticized by
Plaintiff's experts including Elizabeth Loftus, who testified that the
theory of "repressed memory" is a myth that is unsupported by reliable
scientific evidence. Dr. Richard Ofshe described how through treatment
and threats a person can be coerced to remain with a therapist whose
treatment they might otherwise question. Ofshe detailed specific
coercive and suggestive statements made by Humenansky during a sodium
amytal interview she had conducted with Carlson.
  University of Minnesota medical school and psychology faculty
members including Dr. Glenn Lewis, Jr., Dr. Keith A. Horton, Dr.
Marian Hall and Dr. William M. Grove testified that Dr. Humenansky's
treatment methods were "reckless and dangerous" and caused significant
harm to the Carlson family.  Other former patients of Humenansky and
nurses from United Hospital in St. Paul testified that Humenansky had
attempted to instill false memories of participation in satanic cults
and sexual abuse by family members, telling the patients that they had
repressed those memories.
  Following within-trial hearings based on principles of Frye and
Daubert, Judge Bertrand Poritsky limited the ability of the defense to
argue the validity of repressed memory concept stating that there was
a lack of valid scientific evidence to support it. All hearings were
held outside the presence of the jury.
  The jury found Humenansky negligent in failing to meet recognized
medical standards and that her diagnosis, care and treatment were
direct causes of harm to Carlson. Elizabeth Carlson was awarded over
$83,000 for past and future medical expenses and $2,278,300 for past
and future pain and suffering. Carlson's husband was awarded $150,000
for loss of companionship. Defense attorney David Patton said they
would appeal.
  This is the second multi-million dollar award in a year against
psychiatrist Humenansky. The earlier case, Hamanne v. Humenansky, was
reported in the Sept.  '95 FMSF newsletter. The doctor still faces at
least eight more malpractice suits. The third trial against Dr.
Humenansky, Rohricht v. Humenansky, is scheduled to begin June, 1996.
  Plaintiffs were represented by Edward M. Glennon, R. Christopher
Barden, and Christopher H. Yetka of Linquist & Vennum, Minneapolis.
Defendant was represented by David Patton of Patton and Associates,
  R. Christopher Barden, one of the attorneys for the Carlson family,
said that this and the earlier verdict against Dr. Humenansky "send a
powerful message to psychotherapists that they must stop using
untested and unproven methods on their patients. These cases
demonstrate that therapists must obey the informed consent laws or
face serious legal consequences. People do not...suppress memories of
traumatic events. To have an entire treatment based on junk science is

     Tennessee Court of Appeals , in a Case of First Impression,
                   Declines to Apply Discovery Rule 
      to Toll Statute of Limitations in Repressed Memory Cases.

  In an opinion filed February 13, 1996, the Court of Appeals of
Tennessee in Hunter v. Brown, 1996 Tenn. App. LEXIS 95, a case of
first impression in that state, declined to apply the discovery rule
to toll the statute of limitations in repressed memory cases. It
determined that the legislature was the appropriate forum for
addressing the issue. The court's opinion was based on the same
concerns as those expressed by the Michigan Supreme Court in Lemmerman
v. Fealk, 449 Mich. 56, 534 N.W.2d 695 (Mich. 1995) and the
dissenting opinion of Justice Wright in Ault v. Jasko, 70 Ohio St.3d
114, 637 N.E.2d 870 (Ohio 1994).
  Relying on the language in Lemmerman, the court pointed out that,
unlike in medical malpractice and products liability cases where there
is always objective and verifiable evidence of an injury or illness,
in repressed memory litigation that component is absent. Adoption of
the discovery rule in repressed memory situations, therefore, "would
leave a determination of the onset of a limitations period an open
question within the subjective control of the plaintiff." Such a
scenario would obviate the policy of the statute of limitations,
increasing the possibility of fraudulent or speculative claims. For
that reason, the Court concluded that the debate on the application of
the discovery rule to repressed memory cases is more appropriately
suited to the legislature.
  The Tennessee Court of Appeals also quoted extensively from the
dissenting opinion written by Justice Wright in Ault v. Jasko. The
court agreed with his analysis that there was little agreement among
psychologists as to whether memories can be recalled at all after they
are repressed and, if so, whether they can be recalled accurately. He
also cited psychological authority for the proposition that the
methods used by psychologists and psychoanalysts to retrieve repressed
memories were "unreliable and are not sufficiently established." Thus
given the disputed reliability of the repressed memories and the
techniques employed to retrieve them, Justice Wright would have found
the appropriate forum for the determination on this issue to be the
legislature. The court then concluded: "We find that there is simply
too much indecision in the scientific community as to the credibility
of repressed memory."
  The court also went one step further. Even though it acknowledged
that a line of cases hold that the discovery rule is applicable in
repressed memory cases if there is independent corroboration of the
abuse [Olsen v. Hooley, 865 P.2d 1345 (Utah 1993) and Petersen
v. Bruen, 106 Nev. 271, 792 P.2d 18 (Nev. 1990)], it refused to follow
their lead. The court felt that even this corroborating evidence is
not sufficient to replace the policy behind the statutes of
  The decision also contains a concurring opinion which agrees with
the result but for a different reason. Justice Franks concludes that
while he would not apply the discovery rule to this plaintiff's claim,
he did not think it should be a determination for the legislature.
Rather, he writes, "I would follow the lead of the New Hampshire court
in State of New Hampshire v. Joel Hungerford, 1995 WL 378571
(N.H. 1995), which held that expert testimony is required for the
victim's testimony to be admissible."
  Justice Franks's interpretation of the holding in Hungerford caused
our legal staff to again review Judge Groff's written opinion in that
case. Having done so, we feel that Justice Franks may have misstated
the import of that decision.  The portion of Judge Groff's opinion
dealing with the requirement of expert testimony was a collateral
issue decided by the court and not the holding in the case. Our
reading of Judge Groff's holding reveals that he wrote:

  The court finds that the testimony of the victims as to their memory
  of the assaults shall not be admitted at trial because the
  phenomenon of memory repression, and the process of therapy used in
  these cases to recover the memories, have not gained general
  acceptance in the field of psychology; and are not scientifically
  reliable. [Op. page 1]

  While it is true that Judge Groff did an analysis of the requirement
for expert testimony, it was in response to an argument proffered by
the state that the purported victims could testify as lay witnesses
with their testimony "refreshed." However, the court disagreed and
stated that for a person to have experienced a traumatic event, and
have no memory of it whatsoever for years, transcends human
experience. [Op. page 7] The court found that expert testimony is
required if such testimony is to be admitted and the reliability of
that expert testimony must be established. [Op. page 8] Of course the
Hungerford court ultimately held, as stated above, that the expert
testimony being offered could not meet the test.
  It appears that the tenor of Justice Franks's opinion may stem from
his concern that the legislature "could validate a scientific theory
not generally accepted." Referring to the Daubert v. Merrell-Dow
Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 113 S.Ct. 1286, 2796-2797 (1993) decision of
the United States Supreme Court, he points out that the trial judge is
charged with acting as a "gatekeeper" to "ensure that any and all
scientific testimony or evidence admitted is not only relevant, but
reliable." He, likewise, expresses the opinion that the scientific
knowledge about repressed memory is too contradictory and inconclusive
to be a reliable basis for expert testimony at this stage of
scientific knowledge and development. When scientific evidence meets
the Daubert criteria for admission of repressed memory evidence, the
courts can, as they have done on other legal theories in the past,
equitably toll the statute of limitations.

   Repressed Memory Testimony Ruled Inadmissible in 3 Jurisdictions

  In recent months, three jurisdictions have ruled "repressed memory"
testimony inadmissible. In each of the cases, defendants' attorneys
were able to vitiate the plaintiffs' cases using preliminary motions
to outlaw the testimony of the plaintiffs and their proposed experts.
The cases are State v. Hungerford, Case No. 94-S-045 thru 94-S- 047 in
the Hillsborough County Superior Court for the State of New Hampshire
(criminal); Barrett v. Hyldburg, Case No. 95 CvS 793 in the General
Court of Justice, Superior Court Division of the State of North
Carolina (civil); and Engstrom v. Engstrom, Case No. VC016157 in the
Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Los
Angeles (civil).
  The Hungerford decision has been previously reported by us, but a
recap is in order. In that case there was an evidentiary hearing where
both sides presented expert testimony on the issue. Judge Groff then
did a thorough analysis of four specific areas: (1) the law dealing
with the requirement of scientific acceptance and reliability of
expert testimony, (2) the troubled background of the complaining
witnesses, (3) the phenomenon of repressed memory and (4) the process
of psychotherapy. He concluded that such memories are not reliable,
and therefore, could not be used as evidence. The decision was
appealed by the state to the New Hampshire Supreme Court. An opinion
is expected by the end of the year.
  In Engstrom, Judge James M. Sutton held that there is "insufficient
scientific evidence" to demonstrate the existence of repressed
memories. The judge, in his written order, relied on the Frye v.
United States, 193 F.1 1013 (D.C. Cir.  1923) and its acceptance by
the California courts in People v. Kelly, 17 Cal.3d 24 (1976). He
stated there was no general acceptance of this process in the
scientific community. The judge also indicated he was "impressed
particularly" by the 1995 article authored by Drs. Pope and Hudson
which reviewed literature in this field. A month later, the court
dismissed the entire plaintiff's case for lack of evidence.
  Finally, in Hyldburg, the court granted a Motion in Limine filed by
the defense to exclude repressed memory testimony. Although the
court's opinion was not available at time of publication, the
defense's motion argued that the plaintiff's claims of having
recovered forty-year-old memories of abuse could not be deemed
reliable. It cited the Hungerford decision and made specific reference
to the testimony of Dr. Alexander Bodkin who testified that there was
no general acceptance of this theory in the scientific community. It
pointed to that state's holding in State v. Catoe, 78 N.C. App. 167
(1985) which required that proffered evidence be both reliable and
  Filings from all three decisions may be ordered from the FMS
Foundation. Ask for FMSF Brief Bank Index, publication #830.

            Admissibility of Hypnotically Enhanced Memory
            Being Reconsidered by New Jersey Supreme Court

  The New Jersey Supreme Court in State v. Fertig, 1996 N.J. LEXIS 1
(1996) had occasion recently to revisit the issue of the admissibility
of hypnotically-enhanced testimony. The case was remanded to the trial
level for further proceedings. The court concluded that, absent a more
complete record, the ruling in State v Hurd, 86 N.J. 525, 432 A.2d 86
(1981), which stands for the premise that such testimony is admissible
as long as certain requirements to safeguard their reliability are
met, would continue to be followed. The defense in Fertig had asked
the court to overrule Hurd and adopt a rule of per se inadmissibility
of hypnotically-refreshed testimony.
  The Supreme Court pointed out that at the time of the 1981 Hurd
decision the majority of courts held such testimony to be admissible.
Now, however, the tide is running the other way. Twenty-six states
have concluded that hypnotically-refreshed testimony is per se
inadmissible. While some states continue to apply the procedural
safeguards analysis suggested by Hurd on a case-by-case basis, only 4
states consider such testimony to be generally admissible. The federal
courts, on the other hand, evaluate this form of testimony by
utilizing, on a case-by-case basis, a totality-of-the-circumstances
test. Still other courts, relying on Frye v United States, 293 F. 1013
(D.C.  Cir. 1923), render the testimony inadmissible because the
scientific community does not generally accept hypnotically-refreshed
  The court also noted that Martin T. Orne, on whose recommendation it
relied in Hurd, now believes that procedural safeguards cannot fully
protect against admission of testimony in which the witness confuses
hypnotic pseudo memory with waking recall. Recognizing this problem,
the court cautioned the trial courts to instruct the jury of the
effect hypnosis may have on that testimony. It even asked the
Committee on Model Criminal Jury Instructions to develop the
appropriate language for that instruction.

              GLF & KJF (daughters) v. R & KF (parents)
       King County (Washington) Superior Court No. 94-2-08264-7

  Two adult daughters, residents of Washington, sued their parents,
residents of Alaska, claiming recovery of previously repressed
memories of child sexual abuse by both parents and an older brother
when the family lived in Iowa and Alaska.  Pre-trial discovery
established that an M.S.W. therapist, who treated both daughters, used
hypnosis and other relaxation techniques and never questioned that the
daughters' evolving "memories" of increasingly violent forms of sexual
assault and of witnessing several sexual-sadistic homicides might not
be historically accurate. The daughters maintained their beliefs in
spite of declarations from police records custodians (where the
"homicides" supposedly occurred) that no missing persons or murder
investigations matched the daughters' detailed descriptions. A few
weeks before the trial, the state health department lodged a
professional misconduct complaint against the therapist regarding the
professional services given to these plaintiffs.Two days before the
trial was to begin, while the judge was considering motions in limine
(a) to exclude repressed memory evidence under Daubert/Frye and (b) to
exclude post-hypnosis testimony, plaintiffs sought to drop their case,
which was then, by agreement, dismissed with prejudice. The licensure
proceeding against the therapist remains pending.
  Copies of the parents' pretrial motions may be obtained from the FMS
Foundation. The parents' attorney was Steve Moen of Seattle.

  California Court holds that state statute 340.1 does not apply to
extend the statute of limitations to allow a suit under the theory of
negligent supervision (Chaney v. Superior Court of Los Angeles Co., 95
C.D.O.S. 8236, October 20, 1995)

  A civil suit was brought by Stephanie Kennedy at age 23 against a
family friend, Boyd Chaney, alleging sexual assault over an eight year
period ending 5 years prior to filing. The wife of the alleged
assailant was also sued on the theory that she had caused Kennedy to
suffer damages by negligently supervising her while she was in the
Chaney home.
  Whether the complaint based on negligent supervision was filed in a
timely way depended on which California statute applied. In California
the limitations period for an action for negligence is one year ($340,
subd. 3). Therefore, unless the California "discovery rule" ($340.1)
applies, the suit against the wife for negligent supervision is
time-barred. Section 340.1 provides, in pertinent part: "In any civil
action for recovery of damages suffered as a result of childhood
sexual abuse, the time for commencement of the action shall be within
eight years of the date the plaintiff attains the age of majority or
within three years of the date the plaintiff discovers or reasonably
should have discovered that psychological injury or illness occurring
after the age of majority was caused by the sexual abuse, whichever
period expires later."
  Citing Reynolds v. Superior Court, 25 Cal.App.4th 222 (1994) the
court concluded that the statute of limitations under 340.1 should not
be applied to a cause of action premised upon the allegation that the
wife of an abuser was negligent in supervising the child molestation
victim. In addition, the court noted that the motion to dismiss the
negligent supervision count should have been sustained because of the
insufficiency of the allegations.

      Molestation conviction overturned by Canadian Appeal Court
         Globe and Mail, February 5, 1996, by Thomas Claridge

  In a 28 page decision (2/2/96), the Ontario Court of Appeal quashed
convictions of a Toronto area man who had alleged sexually assaulted
his 15-month-old nephew. The judges cited lack of evidence and
inconsistencies in the child's testimony. The court noted the first
indication that the child might have been abused surfaced two years
later when the child began behaving inappropriately. The child was 6
years old at the time of trial. In their ruling, at least two of the
three judges accepted all seven grounds of appeal advanced. Grounds
for appeal included the trial judge's failure to warn the jury about
the inherent frailties of a child's testimony and his decision to
allow the child to give sworn testimony without first ensuring that he
understood the meaning of an oath and his failure to give the jury a
"fair presentation of the defense." Two of the three judges also found
that the trial judge had improperly allowed a social psychologist to
express an opinion that the absence of physical signs of abuse could
be explained by prior sexual misconduct by the abuser.

             Canadian Supreme Court Overturns Convictions 
     Saskatoon Star Phoenix, Feb. 1, 2, 1996, by Donella Hoffman

  Canada's highest court has thrown out the 1992 convictions of a
Saskatoon-area man found guilty of sexually abusing his girlfriend's
three minor children 10 years ago. The appeal had argued that the
convictions were unreasonable because the children "couldn't separate
fact from fiction." The Court ruled immediately after hearing the
lawyers' arguments to overturn the convictions and order a new trial.

                     FMSF Brief Bank Index Update

  The FMSF Brief Bank Index now contains filings from over 95
repressed memory and malpractice cases (including third party
suits). The format of the index has been expanded to include short
case scenarios. The Brief Bank makes available at nominal cost
important examples of complaints, deposition testimony,
interrogatories, settlement agreements, and unpublished decisions.
Also included are motions pertaining to the "discovery rule", access
to therapy records, duty to a third party, admissibility of repressed
memory testimony under Frye or Daubert.

#830  Full FMSF Brief Bank Index                               $ 2.00  
#831  Brief Bank  Index of filings from 12 third-party suits   $ 1.00

                       FMSF Legal Survey Report

  A California civil suit which had been filed in 1990 by an adult
daughter claiming she had repressed memories of childhood sexual and
ritual abuse was voluntarily dropped during trial by the Plaintiff
(1/20/96). The Plaintiff had sought $4 million when the suit was
filed. She settled for childhood photographs. No money changed hands.
                                - - -
  A medical malpractice suit for wrongful death was concluded for 90%
of the maximum allowable award following arbitration (12/8/95). The
suit had been brought by the mother of a young woman who committed
suicide in 1993 while on suicide watch in a Florida hospital. All
defendants went into arbitration admitting responsibility in the
wrongful death. In their defense they noted that the death certificate
filed by the hospital and attending doctor stated that the suicide had
happened because the young woman had probably been sexually abused by
her mother. None of the treating physician's therapy notes had stated
that she had been sexually abused.
                                - - -
  In an Illinois criminal suit, charges of sexual assault were changed
to aggravated battery (1/96). Charges were filed originally in 1991
after an adult daughter claimed to have recovered memories of sexual
abuse. Four grandchildren subsequently entered therapy. The defense
claimed that the children had false abuse memories that were developed
during sessions with therapists.
                                - - -
  A Portage County Ohio jury acquitted a step-father and mother of
criminal charges of sexual assault of their 18-year-old daughter
(1/25/96). The daughter had been in therapy at the time she first told
investigators she had "blocked" out memories of the assaults.
Testimony was ambiguous as to whether she meant she had not remembered
the abuse due to some unconscious blocking mechanism. The state
brought the criminal charges of sexual assault despite the fact that a
gynecological examination determined that she was a virgin.
                                - - -
  A repressed memory civil suit in Ohio was dropped by the Plaintiff
in mid-trial (1/17/96). The Plaintiff, Pamela Ross had claimed that
physical and sexual abuse as a child caused her to have multiple-
personality disorder and sought damages of $4 million. Plaintiff
claimed that her father repeatedly beat and sexually abused her, and
that her mother allowed the abuse to happen.  Plaintiff's therapist,
Gay Cable, testified that she had identified over 100 personalities in
  The suit was dismissed with prejudice at Ross's request just after
she had presented her case and before defense testimony began. Defense
attorney Chris Nolan said that he was prepared to present expert
testimony that Ross suffers from delusional disorder. Other siblings
were to testify that their parents did not beat them.
                                - - -
    After a week-long trial, a Maine jury found James Wright not
guilty of four-criminal counts of gross sexual assault against his
17-year-old daughter (12/16/96). The daughter had accused her father,
a state trouper, of sexually abusing her from the time she was 11.
                                - - -
  The Tennessee Supreme Court (Robinson v. Robinson, 1996 Ark. LEXIS
55(Tenn 1/29/96)) reversed and dismissed a negligence action against
the wife of a man accused of sexual abuse of his daughter. The court
held that under the state parental immunity doctrine, the suit against
Mrs. Robinson for negligence in failing to prevent the abuse was
barred. The parental immunity doctrine did not preclude a child from
suing his parent for willful and wanton conduct, but does bar actions
for an involuntary tort against a parent. Negligence was the sole
theory for the liability of Mrs. Robinson that was alleged in the
complaint and upon which the jury was instructed.

/                                                                    \
|             CE Program Slated for Philadelphia in May              |
|                                                                    |
| Appropriate Standards of Care in Working with Memories, a          |
| continuing education seminar sponsored by the FMS Foundation, is   |
| scheduled for Friday, May 17, 1996 in Philadelphia on the          |
| University of Pennsylvania campus. The seminar has Terence W.      |
| Campbell, Ph.D. as the principal faculty and also includes Pamela  |
| P. Freyd, Ph.D. Psychologists will be able to earn 7.5 continuing  |
| education credits and application has been made to be eligible to  |
| grant 7 continuing education credits to social workers.            |
| Certificates of attendance will be given to all registrants. The   |
| registration fee for Foundation members is $60.00 (non members     |
| $80.00) when received by May 10. (Add $15.00 after that date.) A   |
| brochure describing the program will be mailed to members within   |
| the Philadelphia area and will be included in the April Newsletter.|
| For more information about this program call the Foundation at     |
| 800-568-8882 or the direct line for continuing education,          |
| 215-387-8663.                                                      |

                             BOOK REVIEW
  The following review is of a book for professionals that presents a
  psychoanalytic approach to the problem of recovered memories.
                     To Believe or Not to Believe

  Remembering, Repeating and Working Through Childhood Trauma: The
  Psychodynamics of Recovered Memories, Multiple Personality, Abuse,
  Incest, Molest, and Abduction.
                        by Lawrence E. Hedges 
            Jason Aronson, 1994, ISBN 1-56821-3 336 pages

                      Reviewed by John D. Carter

  The therapeutic community has become divided, the lines drawn, and
opinions strongly held about the reality of recovered memories,
especially with respect to the issue of abuse. Years of zealous search
for the recovery of memories of abuse by some in the mental health
community have led to a crisis in which parents have been accused,
legal precedents have been set in cases of decade old memories, some
memories recanted, and therapists sued for planting memories, while
experimental researchers have attempted to clarify matters. Recently,
therapists are having to deal with the potential of false accusations
directed at them. At last there is a perspective that takes the
client's phenomenal experience seriously without participating in the
reification of the content of these memories.
  In Remembering, Repeating and Working Through Childhood Trauma,
nominated by the National Association for the Advancement of
Psychoanalysis as Best Book of the Year, Hedges argues that verbally
cognized abuse memories that emerge in therapy function metaphorically
to express early non-verbally cognized traumas of infancy. Hedges
says, "my thesis is that, while we are now aware of much more real
abuse than has ever been acknowledged before, this widely reported
class of memories surfacing in psychotherapy today is not new and
cannot be taken literally. Memories recovered during the course of
psychotherapy need to be taken seriously, considered
psychodynamically, and dealt with in thoughtful and responsible ways
by therapists, not simply believed in and acted upon (p.4)."
  Hedges develops this theme in four areas which become the basic
structure of the book: One, Taking Recovered Memories Seriously; two,
Multiple Personality Reconsidered; three, The Dual Relationship in
Psychotherapy; and four, Psychotic Anxieties and the "Organizing
  In the first section of the book the key insight Hedges puts forward
regarding recovered memories emerging in therapy is that they are
contextually dependent and need to be worked with in the therapeutic
setting. That is, (1) recovered memories occur in a supportive,
empathic, and caring relationship -- psychotherapy; (2) they occur in
the context of transference and countertransference; and (3) the
character and quality of these memories are dependent upon the current
developmental functioning level of the client. Using these key
insights Hedges analyzes the differential character of remembering at
each of four functioning developmental levels, with particular
emphasis on the earliest level, which he calls "organizing." He
describes how relatively minor strains produced by experiences early
in life can have a cumulative effect which operates like a major
intrusive trauma creating difficulties in relating and in remembering
traumas later in life.
  In the second section of the book Hedges reviews the literature and
phenomena of multiple personality. He maintains that the fragmentation
and multiple states in these persons reflect early trauma and
organizing level functioning, though often showing up in more
developed individuals. Hedges argues for a "listening perspective"
approach which focuses on the goal of listening to the current
immediate style of relating or not-relating of the client rather than
the value laden goal of mature functioning held by traditional
psychoanalytic approaches.
  In the third section of the book Hedges shows by concrete example
and a case history how working through early traumas in therapy via
transference and countertransference necessarily involves a "dual
relationship" as the therapist struggles realistically to contain the
re-emergence of early traumas in the therapeutic process while
simultaneously maintaining an adult client-therapist interpretive
relationship. He concludes this section with illustrations and
suggestions on how therapists can avoid accusations of abuse by
appropriate handling of client transference and awareness of their own
  In the final section Hedges reviews clinical theory on primitive
mental states, and the character of psychotic transference in the
organizing experience. He characterizes it in terms of rage, flight,
and frozen affect as distinguished from borderline fusing and
attacking. In the earliest organizing experience, Hedges suggests that
attachment is desired but authentic connecting is avoided because it
was once experience as painful or frightening. Whereas in the
developmentally later borderline or symbiotic level of relating the
fear of abandonment is primary.
  This book makes a great contribution to the psychoanalytic
understanding of recovered memory phenomena. As Elizabeth Loftus, a
leading memory researcher, says on the book's dust jacket, "He (Hedge)
shows how and why these memories -- whether true or false, or metaphor
-- must be dealt with in a thoughtful and responsible way and not
simply believed and used as tools for destruction."
  There is, however, a difficulty that does not reside in the book
itself but may be created by some of Hedges' potential "Sorcerer's
Apprentices." While Hedges' thesis and descriptions are clinically
clear and penetratingly insightful, there are enormous problems in
translating this knowledge into therapeutic practice. The pitfalls of
working with early affective experience are many. I fear that
inexperienced clinicians may grasp the idea of the organizing
experience but fall prey to the confusing convolutions of the process
of therapy with these clients.
  Hedges has shown therapists how to take clients' memories of trauma
seriously by examining the deeper developmental traumas, reflected in
sudden memories of past abuses that arise to prevent present
connection. He demonstrates and works with how to respect the
therapeutic context in which they occur. Hedges stresses the
importance of consultation and monitoring countertransference.
  Hedges' work is likely to be of more interest to clinicians actually
working with recovered memories than to the general public. It is
rich, complex and sophisticated. Remembering, Repeating, and Working
Through Childhood Trauma represents a revolution in the approach to
recovered memories that, should it be embraced by the therapeutic
community, will return the work of therapy to the struggle to love and
be loved rather than the more sensational struggle to see satisfaction
in retribution for unsatisfactory lives.

  John D. Carter, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist in private practice in
  Santa Ana and Dean of Doctoral Studies at Trinity College of
  Graduate Studies, Orange.

                           FLAWS OF MEMORY
                        Michael Simpson, M.D.

  In 1987, I was one of the invited international plenary speakers at
a major trauma conference in Baltimore. One of the other guest
speakers, whom I had long wanted to meet, was Primo Levi, the Nobel
Prize-winning author who had written so brilliantly of his
concentration camp experiences. Sadly, Levi committed suicide not long
before the conference, as someone who had remained tortured by
memories he had never lost, and, thus, never recovered. Recently,
re-reading his last great work, published posthumously, The Drowned
and the Saved (1988), I found this very relevant passage: 

  Human memory is a marvellous but fallacious instrument...The
  memories which lie within us are not carved stone; not only do they
  tend to become erased as the years go by, but often they change, or
  even increase by incorporating extraneous features.
  One area in which the impact of the FMSF is seen, is within the
texts of some recently published books which otherwise assume the
validity of Recovered Memory techniques. Phillips recently published
"Healing the Divided Self." She quotes Glannon's 1993 description of
the FMS as "a sociopolitical issue that must be confronted,"
(pp. 12-13). She also quotes Glannon's argument that "acceptance of
abuse as a reality in our society is a relatively recent historical
development," and "that when any issue so previously repressed
historically finally erupts into collective consciousness, it will
undergo a process of continuous unfolding until it encounters
resistance that places some limits on its further development."
Phillips quotes with approval Glannon's expressed concern that "with
its political fervor the FMS movement could overshadow contemporary
consciousness of child abuse and the status of adult survivors within
the community."
  This is a strangely recurrent argument, that expressing doubt that
every single "memory" of prior abuse recovered by methods known to
enhance the production of unreliable material, somehow denies the
reality of the almost universally acknowledged, very real and
extensive existence of child abuse. It is also surely relevant that
with regard to other forms of trauma which have been brought into wide
awareness within the same decades, but where therapists and
researchers have adhered to far more accurate scientific methods and
have made less extreme claims, there has been no such resistance, and
no denial of the extent or reality of the sources of trauma addressed.
  There is a section in Phillips' book of a sort unknown in earlier
books of this type published before the activities of the FMSF, In
"Therapeutic Abuses of Memory Material," (p 13) it is admitted that:
"In total fairness, it must be said that there have been serious
abuses in the eliciting of traumatic memory experiences and grave
abuses by therapists in the management of material they have
uncovered. Some therapists have invested too much of themselves in
discovering trauma. This type of countertransference bias can lead to
premature access to memory material with consequent increase in
distortion, as well as to access to traumatic memory experiences even
when they have not occurred. Through leading questions overzealous
therapists can suggest to their patients events that did not
transpire; this is especially easy to do with patients who are
suffering from 'hysteria.' We have heard of a few therapists who go
beyond suggestion with their patients, actually pressure them to "face
the truth," and/or inform them that their personalities are identical
with those of patients who have been abused."
  Since the Formation of FMSF, both the public and professionals have
come to understand that "The memories which lie within us are not
carved stone," and that some therapy interventions may be highly

   Reference: Phillips, C. Frederick. Healing the Divided Self;
Clinical and Ericksonian Hypnotherapy for Post-Traumatic and
Dissociative Disorders. WW Norton, New York, 1995.

  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.

                      The Shredding of Families
               L. Dunsmore, M.D. and R. Dunsmore, M.D.
                       Fallowfield Publications

  Written by two medical doctors, this book portrays the devastation
to families when child protection agencies act without thoroughly
checking .

/                                                                    \
| 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?

CALIFORNIA - CORRECTION We have subscribed to LifeLine/Amerivision for
our long distance phone service. This means that FMSF will receive a
check every three months from Amerivision in an amount equal to 10% of
our long distance billing for that period. If you are interested call
Life Line at 1-800-800-7550.

NEW JERSEY - In looking over our local Senior Citizen calendar of
events, it occurred to my husband and me how we could get out some
information on FMSF. We check all meetings that had any relationship
to FMS. We called the program chair and asked if we could hand out
information, show tapes and even speak. We were happy with the
interest shown and the courtesy extended to us.

TEXAS - A mom who is a R.N. was browsing over a continuing education
brochure from her university School of Nursing. There was a seminar on
Dissociation and Adult Survivors of Sexual Abuse. A call to the head
of the school of nursing indicated very limited knowledge of FMS. The
mom sent a copy of Most Frequently Asked Questions and has started a
good dialogue with the nursing school. She has offered to arrange a
speaker about FMS from the Foundation's Speakers Bureau for a future

  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 Bridges - Retractor Newsletter

Retractors - deadline for submissions for next issue is March 5. Try
to keep under 1,000 words. Everything received will be kept
  Due to unexpected difficulties, there will not be a Winter '95
issue. A one-year subscription costs $12.00 for retractors and $18.00
for all others. You may request a copy of the first issue at no charge
by writing to: "Building Bridges" P.O. Box 17864, Tucson, AZ
                                - - - 
  We regret to inform you of the death of Mr. W.N. (Taffy) Jones from
New Zealand. Taffy's death was due to a sudden massive heart attack on
November 7, 1995. Many FMSF families met Taffy when he attended the
Valley Forge Conference in 1993. Taffy had seemingly boundless energy
and determination to help families accused of satanic ritual abuse
accusations for which there was no evidence. One of his daughters,
Mrs. Caroline Henare, 13 Kairanga St, Papatoetoe, Auckland 1701, NZ
will be continuing his work.
                                - - - 
  The real Mark Barnes who is the Director of the Canadian Play
Therapy Institute was not the model for the fictitious Mark Barnes
described in Victims of Memory: Incest Accusations and Shattered Lives
by Mark Pendergrast. According to a notice sent in December, the real
Mark Barnes shuns the practices attributed to the fictitious character
who shares his name. The choice of name was inadvertent.


  Whenever you send us a check, money order, or a credit card charge,
please, PLEASE tell us what the money is for, otherwise we will assume
it is a donation.  Is it to renew your membership dues? Is it for the
purchase of an article? Is it a donation? Is it for a newsletter

Always be sure to include:
           Is this a new address?  __ yes   __ no
and if the payment is by Visa or MasterCard:
  What is your card number?
  What is the card's expiration date?
  How much do you want us to charge your card?

                           ADDRESS CHANGES 
  We must have your address change notice one month before you move.
Newsletter labels are printed at the beginning of each month, and we
must have your address change notice before then if we are to mail
your newsletter to the correct address.

Whenever you send us your new address, be sure to also include your
old address or an old mailing label.

  If you give someone a gift subscription or membership, please note
that we will send the gift recipient a letter informing them of the
gift and who gave it to them.
  These tips will help minimize confusion and assure the speedy
processing of your orders, memberships, and donations.

/                                                                    \
| 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.                                                          |


  Editor's Comment: The acrimony of the FMS controversy has been
further exacerbated by rudeness, misinformation and misinterpretation.
When a psychiatrist refers to the families who have contacted the FMSF
as "falsies," when a family refers to a professional in a disparaging
way, when a columnist makes ad hominem attacks that are untrue, it
lowers the level of discourse, raises the heat and makes it more
difficult for those who wish to reach a professional accord on the
topic. Although misinterpretation of another person's research results
is an ongoing problem, especially in the social sciences, it has
seemed particularly pernicious in the FMS discussions. Last week, for
example, we received a copy of, "Memory or mirage? The FMS debate"
(Toon, K., Fraise, J., McFetridge, M., & Aldwin, N, The Psychologist,
Feb, 1996, 73-77.).  In a section entitled, "Repression of memory"
papers by Herman & Schatzow (1987), Briere and Conte ( 1993) and
Williams (1992) were cited as evidence of "traumatic experiences
occurring over a prolonged period have been held back from
consciousness." But nothing in these three studies allows such a
statement!  Herman & Schatzow and Briere &Conte provide no independent
corroboration for any abuse, single incident or repeated over many
years. Williams questions people about a documented "target"
incident. If professional psychologists in a peer review journal so
misinterpret what has been printed as evidence for repression, what
can be done to raise the quality and accuracy of the discussion of

Dear Dr. Williams:

  I lost my beloved daughter to recovered memory therapy five years
ago. I also have a doctorate in chemical engineering and for the past
thirty five years I have applied critical thinking to solving
technical problems. I am writing to you both as a mother and as a
scientist. As a mother, I am deeply hurt by the recovered memory
therapy practices. Only people in a similar situation can fully
understand the pain, the sadness, and the fear for my daughter's
future that became part of my everyday life. As a scientist, I am
appalled by some of the nonsense that is presented as science by the
proponents of the repressed-and-recovered-memory movement.
  Let me share with you several thoughts on the ethics of belief. The
distinguished mathematician W. K. Clifford wrote, "It is wrong always,
everywhere and for anyone to believe anything on insufficient
evidence." T. H.  Huxley declared: "It is wrong for a man to say that
he is certain of the objective truth...unless he can produce evidence
which logically justifies that certainty." B. Blanshard proclaimed:
"Where great human goods and ills are involved, the distortion of
belief from any avoidable cause is immoral, and the more immoral the
greater the stakes." In other words, the more important is the issue,
the greater is our moral obligation to align our beliefs with valid
evidence, and to abandon our beliefs if the evidence is insufficient.
  In the view of many proponents of the recovered memory movement,
your recent work became the long-sought evidence for repression. But
is it? Repression or dissociation as presented, implicitly or
explicitly, by recovered memory believers, is characterized by
complete selective amnesia for repeated traumatic events of a sexual
nature from one's childhood and adolescence, and by the presumed
ability of the mind to recall these events years or decades later in
minute detail. Some proponents of this mechanism claim that even a six
months old baby "remembers" unwanted sexual experience via "body
memories." These unsupported beliefs would be laughable if they did
not receive such a wide acceptance among some mental care providers,
and if they did not cause untold suffering to probably millions of
people (the accusers and their families) in North America and other
English-speaking countries.
  Your work has been quoted as a proof of repression in purportedly
scientific papers, in popular magazines, in newspaper articles, and in
survivors' newsletters. You must be aware of this enormous popularity,
and yet, all that your work shows is that people may not report events
or they may forget and remember the forgotten events (traumatic or
other) later in life. But this is a very common experience. Your work
does not provide a shred of evidence for repression, as defined above.
The subjects of your study represent a different sample population
than the women who retrieved their memories in a therapy setting.
  I listened to your lecture at the conference "Memory and Reality" in
Baltimore in December 1994, and I read your recent article published
in the Journal of Traumatic Stress. I have a strong impression that
you do not view your findings as anything more than they are Q a proof
that people forget and may recall the forgotten events later in life.
Nowhere in your lecture and your article have you explicitly
proclaimed that your work provides the evidence for repression. In
your letter to Time magazine in May, 1995, your wrote: "...I found
that 38% [of surveyed women] appeared to have forgotten the sexual
abuse... This research suggests that long periods with no memory of
abuse should not be regarded as evidence that abuse did not occur."
This, to me, is a valid and reasonable interpretation of your results.
It is, however, a far cry from the interpretation of your work by
others, who victoriously claim that they finally have evidence for
repression. Having this presumed evidence, many therapists continue in
their harmful activity with clear conscience.
  If my research results were misinterpreted once, I would be upset.
If they were misinterpreted many times, and if this wrong
interpretation would hurt people and promote pseudoscience, I would
speak up and protect my work from distortion. I believe that it is
your moral obligation to stop the frequent misrepresentation of your
results by explicitly stating your position using a public forum, such
as a conference or a professional journal. You have this obligation to
your profession, to the unfortunate recipients of recovered memory
therapy and their families, and to the true sex abuse victims whose
plight has been trivialized by an explosion of false accusations.

P. T., Ph.D.

  * Clifford, W.K. "The Ethics of Belief" in J. Burr and M. Goldinger,
Philosophy and Contemporary Issues, (New York: Macmillan, 1984),
p. 142.
  * Huxley, T. H. Science and Christian Tradition (London: Macmillan,
1894), p. 310
  * Blanshard, B. Reason and Belief (New Haven: Yale University Press,
1986), p.  410. 

(Dr. T. first sent the above open letter to Dr. Bonnie Green,
Ph.D., the editor of the Journal of Traumatic Stress (JTS).)

                    REPLY FROM BONNIE GREEN, Ph.D.
Dear Dr. T:

  Thank you for your recent letter requesting that I print an open
letter to Dr.  Linda Williams in an upcoming issue of JTS. I reviewed
your letter and find that your focus is on Dr. Williams'
interpretation of her research data, and more specifically, the
interpretations that others have made. This is clearly an important
issue, and the possibility of previously forgotten memories emerging
after a period of time, and their possible psychological and
interpersonal consequences, are topics of scientific study and debate.
  Dr. Williams addressed this issue of the interpretation of her
findings most directly in a response to Dr. Beth Loftus' response to
her original article in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical
Psychology. [1994, Vol 62, No 6, 1182-1186, "What does it mean to
forget child sexual abuse? A reply to Loftus, Garry and Feldman" ]
...I feel that in Dr. Williams research, she has been very thoughtful,
careful and clear about the limits of her conclusions. While I
appreciate your concern that others are misinterpreting her work, I do
not agree with your assertion that she has an obligation to respond to
this interpretation beyond what she already does (I imagine quite
often) in professional settings.
  Thus, since you are not taking issue with her research or her JTS
article per se, I do not think it would be appropriate to publish your
letter in JTS, and I must therefore turn down your request...
  I am sorry for any pain that this issue may have caused you
regarding your own situation, and regret that I can not be more
responsive to your request. Thank you for your interest in JTS.

Bonnie L. Green, Ph.D.

                   REPLY FROM LINDA WILLIAMS, Ph.D.

Dear Dr. T.:

  I have only a few comments to add to the reasoned and compassionate
response of Dr. Bonnie Green to your recent "open letter" to me.
  On countless occasions I have clearly and carefully discussed the
limits of conclusions based on my follow-up research on women sexually
abused in childhood. I object to any implication that I have shirked
my moral duty or been improperly influenced by what you call "enormous
popularity." My study did not explore the specific mechanisms for the
forgetting evidenced by the women in my sample. The findings do
suggest, however, that for some women, having no recall of the abuse
is based on more than just ordinary forgetting associated with the
passage of time, their young age when abused, or lack of salience of
the event.
  It is my opinion that your statement that "probably millions of
people" have been caused "untold suffering" due to "unsupported
beliefs" about recovered memory would not withstand scientific
scrutiny you require of others. I believe that we do the best science
when we are modest in our conclusions and submit our work to
respected, peer-reviewed journals. This is a scientific tradition to
which I am proud to contribute. I would ask you to encourage all who
do research on trauma and memory to submit their work to such critical
  I am, of course, distressed by misrepresentations of my work. Such
misrepresentations, I am sure you are aware, are not the sole province
of the so-called "recovered-memory movement." For this reason, I
encourage anyone interested in the scientific evidence on trauma and
memory to consult the original journal articles and not to rely on the
popular press or the facile trashing or praising of research that may
find an outlet on the internet.

Linda Williams, Ph.D.

                           FROM OUR READERS 
                     Moral Obligation to Retract
  How do I describe the lifting of three and a half years of pain and
anger caused by our daughter's false accusations? Our daughter
recanted on a tape that we received four days after Christmas and her
Dad responded immediately by phone saying, in essence, that it felt as
though he had just been released from prison and could once again
breath fresh air.
  The tape was not unexpected as our daughter had left a message on
our answering machine Christmas night thanking us for our gift (framed
photographs of ourselves sent to all seven daughters) and saying that
"You will be receiving a tape by the end of the week that you can look
forward to."
  These are her words: "Mom and Dad, After months and months of sound
therapy and immense creativity in my artwork, now I have thought about
how to say this.  I have been moved this Christmas season, seasoned in
a spiritual way, to release my stand on those issues which have
separated us so painfully. I regret the suffering and grief for all of
us caused by my allegations. I feel a moral obligation to retract
them, to relieve you of their burden and their shadow."  She further
said that she hopes that we will want to know the person she has
become and to share in her wonderful life. She is this spring
completing her long delayed bachelors degree in art.
  She has written to her six sisters individually, as her Dad had
insisted "if and when she finds the truth." Each of us has different
feelings in the aftermath and questions which may never be answered;
her one stipulation is that "We are not to discuss [this] ever again.
This is the last I will speak of it."
  For myself, as both a recently retired MSW psychotherapist and a
mother of an accuser, I continue to feel shame and dismay for what has
occurred in the therapy profession. Too many of us "have done harm" in
the course of trying to help. Although belief systems die hard, the
key to change is in education. To this end each of us can try to make
a difference.
  How we hope each one of you still waiting can soon have your own
story to tell.
                                                Relieved Mom and Dad

"My two daughters have made no contacts but I must admit that I read
your continuing comments and encouragements on children rejoining
their parents with hopes that a parent can't extinguish. How they
would make peace with other family members is the bigger question."
                                                              A Dad
                     Abused and Always Remembered

  If you mean to alleviate suffering of sexually abused people, first
you must separate facts from the fantastic. You can't treat them
unless you learn who "them" are. I am one of these people.
  This is how I became interested in FMS. A few years ago, I couldn't
watch TV or read the paper without running across stories of adults
who claimed they had completely forgotten that they had been sexually
assaulted as kids. Many actually became multiple personalities,
playing out that condition for a TV audience. I thought it was
irresponsible for a therapist to allow such a sick and fragile person
to face an audience, but otherwise, I believed these folks had to be
for real. As a matter of fact, I sometimes envied them their selective
amnesia. I wished I could find a way to learn this trick. There was
only one of me and I remember way too much.
  In 1994, I saw a segment of CBC's "Fifth Estate" which featured an
outbreak of MPD in a small Ontario town. A therapist from California
had managed to convince many adults that they had been savaged as
children by their parents and others.  The documentary included
footage from a Multiple Personality Unit in Texas where, and it was
plain as day to me that these women were being driven and encouraged
to act quite mad! (If you don't believe me, get hold of this program
and you be the judge.) I wondered what, besides madness, this
"treatment" was supposed to accomplish. Everything I saw was
destructive. Had ethics taken a hike for profit? I had to conclude
that, in this case, it had. Most people in this film had recanted, but
not until their families had been smashed. To my mind, their therapy
was at the least misguided and at worse, evil.
  I subsequently saw the 4-hour Frontline program and any question I
had about whether it was possible to tinker with memory was answered.
Yes, it was possible, and yes, it was being done. I was enraged. That
is when I got in touch with FMSF. The cliche, "I would not wish this
fate on my worst enemy" is not a cliche to me. It is a literal
expression of my true feeling. I have been a victim (I hate that word)
of incest. The closest comparison I can draw is an amputation early in
life. One does not wake up 20 or more years down the road and say "No
wonder I've been having such a tough time getting around -- I'm
missing a foot!"
  I do not remember what it felt like to be pure. When I found out, in
my early teens, physical facts (like a hymen, etc.) that made one a
virgin, I made an excuse to leave class; I sat down in a stairwell and
cried and cried... There was never for me any virginity to consider
giving up. There was no honor left to protect (except my already
battered family name) so I kept my face shut.
  If a therapist means to find out if a patient has been sexually
abused, he or she might ask them about dirty jokes (or maybe tell them
one). When I was 14 or so, having a smoke with the girls, someone
would occasionally make with a dirty joke. All would giggle, but I
laughed the hardest. In some frozen seconds I thought, "They all know!
This joke is about me!" and then, "No one knows! Only two people
do. Calm down!" This happened over and over throughout my youth --
this sort of thing. Is it peculiar that I did not have a recess in my
mind where I could lock such stuff up? I suspect these reactions are
quite common with real victims. "Unrecovered Memory Lane" is a
nightmare enough, without zealots out to spread the pain around.
  When I took a critical look at my own past and compared it with
those claimed under "recovered memory," I noted there were no
day-to-day episodes like those I reported to you. I know there is a
problem. The problem is that REAL children are REALLY being damaged,
and afterwards they REALLY must live with these things. Maybe people
don't heal from that. Maybe the best that can be hoped for is that a
person can form a good, tough scab and carry on. People do overcome
terrible things. The very fortunate may find a good therapist, and
with age, a peaceful place in their hearts.
  I have faith that common sense will prevail and that therapists will
fulfill professional responsibilities and leave dangerous practices
                                                   Yours truly,  "J"
                    The Creation of False Memories

  The following are excerpts from a "Fairy Tale" that was written by
our daughter as an assignment by her therapist. We believe that it is
a peek behind the closed doors of therapy and blatantly demonstrates
how false memories can be created, as well as the cookie cutter aspect
of this kind of therapy (Bold type is emphasis added).

  Once upon a time there was a woman named Karen (name changed).  She
was a very sad woman.  Her eyes felt heavy and she felt sick in her
stomach almost all the time.  Karen wouldn't eat the way other people
ate.  She wanted to lose enough weight so that she could disappear.
Karen couldn't sleep very well either. . ..  . .she called Utopia and
made an appointment at the Magic Castle to talk to a Fairy
Godmother. . .
  "I'm your Fairy Godmother," the beautiful fairy princess said.
  "Why don't you have a magic wand?" Karen asked.
  "Oh Karen, magic wands are only make believe."
  Karen did not like that answer, and she wasn't sure if a Fairy
Godmother who had no magic power could help her. .
  As weeks went by, Karen began to be more comfortable talking to her
Fairy Godmother.  They spoke of Karen's unhappiness and slowly, slowly
she began to experience those things called feelings. . .
  One gray, dark day, the Fairy Godmother asked the scary question.
"Did a Big Ugly Monster ever do a bad thing to you?"
  "NO!" Karen answered, her voice quivering. She could not look her
Fairy Godmother in the eye. She wasn't really lying. No one had ever
asked her that question, and Karen's memory of the past was cloudy and
unclear. Big, Ugly Monsters were not supposed to do bad things to
little girls, so no monster could have hurt her.
  "Are you sure, Karen?" 
  "Did a Big, Ugly Monster ever do a bad thing to you?" The Fairy
Godmother's voice was very serious.
  Karen shivered. She hung her head and softly answered, "I don't know."
  As the weeks went by, Karen slowly began to remember bits and pieces
of her past. Some days she felt better about herself. Other days she
thought she was crazy and that she must have imagined the bad things.
  "You are not crazy. You did not imagine the bad things.  There was a
Big, Ugly Monster, and he was bad, not you." The Fairy Godmother told
her day after day, week after week, month after month, every time
Karen questioned herself. She knew that she was lucky to have such a
patient Fairy Godmother who didn't mind telling her the same things
over and over again.
  Dealing with the Big, Ugly Monster became a full time job for Karen.
She had to work every hour of the day, whether she wanted to or not.
It was hard work, too! . . .. . . the Fairy Godmother never lied and
she never made promises that she could not keep. "I believe you Fairy
Godmother. I really, really believe you." . . .

  We understand that writing is often "prescribed" (as in The Courage
to Heal), and recently in an article about an incest survivor's group
in The Daily World (Aberdeen, WA, 11/12/95), a new assignment is
discussed. Each group member is to write a fairy tale, and there is
one rule: "It has to end with hope."  Coincidentally (?), the last
three words of our daughter's story are, "She had hope."

What caused my daughter to decide to change counselors? From what I
can determine, she recognized within herself the need. She realized
she was failing to grow anymore and severed that tie. There was one
year with no counseling.  Then she started with her current therapist
early in 1995. She immediately started gaining ground. Within 10
months she was ready for reconciliation... She continues to improve
handling the intrusive thoughts with less trauma and terror and more
understanding. Her present counselor is giving her tools for coping.
                                                               A Mom
  Although our problems have never been as severe as others members,
we have been interested in FMSF because the modus operandi was so
similar to what we and our daughters went through. Two of our
daughters, after seeing a therapist, accused me, the mother, of mental
abuse. The therapist requires the patient to write an accusing letter
to the offending parent. One daughter said that is the standard
procedure. The accusers can't seem to remember any of the good things
such as going pollywog hunting, bird watching or nature walks - only
their twisted tormented imaginings. We took the advice from families
in the newsletter and did not confront our daughters and they have now
come around. They seek our company for family events or if they are in
trouble. We wish to remain members of FMSF because it has given us
insight into the seams of mental therapy. Too bad Consumer Reports
doesn't look into this.
                                                               A Dad
  I mailed a letter to my daughter yesterday and today I was able to
articulate what makes me the most angry. Even though I now more fully
understand the FMS phenomenon and the role of mind control in it, I
become most angry about the fact that our daughter would rather
continue to believe that we are criminal monsters than to question her
beliefs and risk finding us innocent. How much she and the others must
need this delusion to protect themselves from things which they cannot
face in themselves.
  My daughter has now dropped me our of her drama and states that I
was not involved. I am sorry that I did not ask her in the letter when
I could expect an apology from her concerning her false allegation, an
accusation which was delivered when I was physically sicker than I
have ever been in my life and one which devastated me emotionally. Do
you think any of us will ever receive an apology? I don't.  Even when
they begin to recover, they want to slink back into the family and not
talk about "it."
                                                                 A Mom

                       BEFORE AND AFTER THERAPY
                          Mothers Day, 1989

  Thank you for all your caring and support. I never would have made
it to today without such a great mom.
                                                      Love, "F"

                             April, 1992
  I am scared to say this, but I need to not have any contact with
you, verbal or written for the next six months. I was very hurt and
angry to hear you feel I am causing you pain by taking care of myself.
I suggest you go to your local AlAnon meetings if you would like to
resolve some of your pain. That is not my responsibility. My
responsibility is to resolve my pain and in order to do that I need no
contact with you.

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


INDIANA Saturday, April 27  @9am-4pm 
  Speakers: Pam Freyd, Ph.D.; Barbara Skees, psychiatric nurse;
    Karen, retractor 
  Nickie 317-471-0922, 334-9839(fax) or Pat 219-482-2847

WEST VIRGINIA Saturday, May 4 @10am-4pm 
  Bonanza Steak House in Weston 
  Liz (304) 269-5871  

NEW MEXICO Saturday, May 11 @1pm 
  Speaker:  Donald Tashjian, MD, PAPA 
  Maggie 505-662-7521 (after 6:30pm) 

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

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

  Norhtern California
      Joanne & Gerald (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

CONNECTICUT - New Haven Area code 203
  Earl 329-8365
  Paul 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 - 3nd Sun. (MO) 
  Eileen (708)980-7693 

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 or
    Mae (314) 837-1976
  Springfield - 4th Sun. (MO) @5:30pm
    Dorothy & Pete (417)
    Howard (417) 865-6097

NEW JERSEY (So.) See Wayne, PA

NEW MEXICO- area code  505
  Maggie 662-7521 (after 6:30pm) 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) 
   Jim & JoAnn (610) 783-0396

  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

  Pat (304) 269-5871 (*)  

  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

  London -2nd Sun (bi-MO)
    Adrian (519) 471-6338
  Ottawa -Eileen (613) 836-3294
    N. York - Pat (416) 444-9078
    Warkworth - Ethel (705) 924-3546 
    Burlington - Ken & Marina (905) 637-6030  

   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

                  April '96 Issue Deadline: March 21 
  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.

/                                                                    \
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| 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,        March 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; 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.