FMSF NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE - November/December, 1996 - Vol. 5, No. 10, HTML version

Return to FMSF Home Page

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

This address and the phone numbers have changed as of July 15, 2000
    The FMSF Newsletter is published 10 times a year by the  False
    Memory  Syndrome  Foundation.  A hard-copy subscription is in-
    cluded in membership fees (to join, see last page). Others may
    subscribe  by  sending  a  check  or  money  order, payable to 
    FMS Foundation, to the address above. 1994 subscription rates:
    USA: 1 year $30,  Student $15;  Canada: $35 (in U.S. dollars);
    Foreign: $40;  Foreign  student  $20;  Single issue price: $3. 
    ISSN #1069-0484.  Copyright (c) 1996  by  the  FMSF Foundation
  Focus on Science                           NOVEMBER/DECEMBER
      Legal Corner                            COMBINED ISSUE
        From Our Readers
Dear Friends,

   "Isn't there a middle ground in this debate?" we are sometimes
asked. (This question always puzzles us because incest either took
place or it didn't.) Our answer to the question, however, is "No. We
think there is common ground but not a middle ground." What's the
  _Common ground_ calls for finding points of agreement and working
from these toward a common goal. Finding common ground does not
require compromise. Common ground in this debate is emerging. There is
agreement that false memories can occur either spontaneously or under
the influence of an authority figure. There is agreement that most
people remember their abuse. There is agreement that the only way to
distinguish between true memories and pseudomemories is by independent
external corroboration. Practice that is built on these widely-
accepted facts should prevent most patients from developing false
memories and spare families from the torment of losing a child and
being falsely accused.
  At issue in the recovered memory controversy is whether there is
scientific evidence for a mental mechanism for "massive" or "robust"
repression as presented by the memory recovery movement. Whether it is
called "repression," "traumatic amnesia," "traumatic memory" or
"dissociation," the claim under the spotlight is whether the human
mind can completely and involuntarily push into unconsciousness
memories of repeated traumatic events, especially of a sexual nature,
and to recover them in full and accurate detail years or decades
later. The human mind either possesses this ability or it does not,
and for that there seems to be common ground. There is common ground
that the question remains unanswered by the scientists who have been
studying this question for a century.
  Often, people try to find a _middle ground_ in a misguided attempt
to achieve a "balanced" view of the false memory controversy. Middle
ground calls for compromise, but scientific evidence is not meant to
be balanced with speculations or unsubstantiated beliefs. Scientific
evidence stands on its own. The problem with taking the seemingly
inviting posture of "balance" is that the result can take on a life of
its own. We have seen that happen with such statements as "...both
genuine recovered memories and fabricated memories exist..."Such a
statement is certainly balanced, but it does not warrant the
conclusion of the existence of a "repressive mechanism."
  Such a statement is misleading, however well-intentioned, and adds
confusion and delay to the solution of the false memory crisis.
Talking about "genuine recovered memories" masks the critical issue
that memories of incest are either accurate or inaccurate. It does not
matter whether the memory is from yesterday or twenty years ago,
remembered continuously or forgotten for some period of time and then
recalled. In the absence of external corroboration, we have no way to
tell what actually happened.  Maybe we will in the future, but not
  Given the state of our knowledge, it seems that urging caution and
prudent practice in this area is another point of emerging common
ground. The False Memory Syndrome Foundation has been urging caution
since its formation. The actions of the Foundation to support this
have been to organize educational meetings and to make written
material available so that professionals and the public would have a
better understanding of important developments in the field of memory.
Nevertheless, our critics have tried to frame the Foundation in a
different light from the start.
  Recent attacks are at a more virulent level and attempt to portray
the Foundation as advocating violence. For example, in September,
Bessel van der Kolk, M.D. gave a talk in New Zealand. From a published
review of his talk by Ondra Williams (Trauma, Psychobiology, Memory
and Implications for Therapy, a seminar with Professor Bessel van der
Kolk, September 12, 1996):

  "He [van der Kolk] noted how today we see the wish to cover up the
  atrocities recently reported in Bosnia and recognized the historical
  equivalent of groups with energies and agendas similar to that of
  the False Memory Foundation."

Van der Kolk compares FMSF families with those who deny committing 
atrocities in Bosnia! Has he no shame?
  In September, the American Psychologist published a highly edited
version of Kenneth S. Pope's special address at the 1995 APA Annual
Meeting. In this piece, Pope does not deal with the responsibility
that may lie at his own feet, at the feet of therapists like him, or
with the very slow responses of the professional organizations and
licensing boards. Instead, he chooses to "assign blame" to those who
have been injured. He accomplishes much of this through innuendo and
selective quotation. He devotes a whole section to "picketing" as
though this was something that the Foundation engaged in or
encouraged. His evidence? He writes "As early as 1992 in an FMSF
newsletter article titled 'What Can Families Do?' the tactic of
picketing was discussed (October, 1992). He did not include the actual
statement. The mention of picketing was in the following sentence:

  "Some families have become so desperate for action that they have
  picketed a therapist's office (we must report that we did receive a
  phone call from a client of that particular therapist asking us to
  thank the picketing families for helping her to confirm her
  suspicions about the treatment she was receiving)."

This was the meaning of "the tactic of picketing was discussed"? For
the record, the context for this one-sentence discussion was the prior
three sentences:

  "Families tell us that they are profoundly frustrated. They write
  and phone and say they feel a sense of urgency. They tell us, 'My
  child seems to be growing worse, not better,' or they ask, 'How can
  this be good for my grandchildren that I am not allowed to see?'"

Picketing may simply be an act of people who see no other way to handle 
their problems because parents report that they believe that the 
professional organizations and licensing boards did not respond to their 
cries for help. Like it or not, it is indeed the case that in the whole 
nation the first (and almost only) third-party-complaint to be addressed 
by a licensing board was that of Chuck Noah who has been picketing for 
the past five years in the Seattle area. The FMS Foundation has chosen to 
be active by holding continuing education seminars, not by picketing. 
  The licensing agencies, although slow to respond, have finally
started to do so. In October, we were invited to make a presentation
at the annual meeting of the Council on Licensure, Enforcement and
Regulation (CLEAR) -- to the people who run the state licensing
boards. The invitation was a result of complaints filed by families
that had alerted these bodies to the FMS problem. At the conference,
we learned that two states are already in the process of reevaluating
what they can do about recovered memory therapy. We learned that in
Florida a class action suit was brought against a licensing board for
failing to protect the public against fraudulent contractors after
Hurricane Andrew. We learned that this happened because of the
licensing board's policies on confidentiality, a critical issue with
psychotherapy. That state is now changing many of its licensing
policies. We learned that because of rising consumer expectations in
many areas, licensing boards are reflecting deeply on their
policies. We learned that there are many people who take their job of
protecting the public seriously. We believe that the policies of
licensing boards could be critical in bringing the FMS problem to a
end. Families must continue to make their voices heard by these

  We hope that the coming holiday season is bright for families and
wish you all good cheer

/                                                                    \ 
|                   MEMORY AND REALITY: NEXT STEPS                   |
|              Saturday & Sunday, March 22 and 23, 1997          |
|                                                                    |
| Family conference will combine important presentations and special |
| social events for families and professionals who attend.           |
| Presenters will include: Drs. Chris Barden, Pamela Freyd,          |
| Elizabeth Loftus, Paul McHugh and the Foundation's Legal Task      |
| Force.                                                             |
|                  WHAT'S NEW IN THE MEMORY WARS?                    |
|                      Friday, March 21, 1997.                       |
|                                                                    |
| Continuing education program co-sponsored by the FMS Foundation    |
| and the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the    |
| Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Brochures for both programs    |
| will be mailed soon.                                               |
|                                                                    |

  The Annual Fund Raising Drive of the FMS Foundation has started. We
are pleased to announce that we have a $100,000 Matching Fund
challenge. Your contributions received before February 27, 1997 will
be matched. Pledge cards and further details are in the mail. Thank
you for your support.

    |                       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,                |
    |          Howard Fishman, Peter Freyd, P.T.                 |
    |   RESEARCH: Merci Federicia, Michele Gregg, Anita Lipton   |
    |   NOTICES and PRODCUTION: Danielle Taylor                  |
    |   COLUMNISTS: Katie Spanuello and                          |
    |       members of the FMSF Scientific Advisory Board        |
    |   LETTERS and INFORMATION: Our Readers                     |
                      WISCONSIN FAMILIES PROTEST
  If there is one thread that connects the majority of FMS families,
it is that they were given The Courage to Heal by their accusing
children. The book, whose premise is that if you think you were abused
you were and which promotes the idea of getting strong by suing,
contains a list of lawyers who specialize in suing families. It is the
self-help book most widely recommended by therapists. In October, when
families in Milwaukee learned that an author of that book had been
invited by Sinai Samaritan Medical Center to give lectures to
professionals, they reported that they felt as though the center had
thumbed its nose at their pain and their loss.
  The families wrote to say they had contacted the medical center and
Marquette University that hosted one of the programs asking for
another presentation that warned of the dangers of the beliefs and
practices promoted by that book. When the people with whom they spoke
said they had not read the book and did not expect to do another
program, the families decided to picket. They passed our flyers asking
participants to use their critical thinking skills in evaluating what
they heard.
On November 26, the Department of Labor and Industries will hold a
public hearing to consider administrative rule changes that will
mainly affect mental-health therapy for crime victims. Changes include
several new measures:
  * Criminal acts must either be credible or verifiable to be allowed
    under the crime victims act.
  * Some mental-health treatment techniques will not be allowed on
    accepted claims.
Written comments on the rules will be accepted until Dec 2 and may be
sent to Brian Huseby, Crime Victims Compensation Program, PO Box
44520, Olympia, WA 98504-4520.

|                        Are You a Snow Bird?                        |
| If you change your residence during the summer or winter, it is    |
| necessary for you to notify VALERIE EACH TIME YOUR ADDRESS CHANGES.|
| Please mail or Fax (215-387-1917) your address change one month in |
| advance to allow time for her to make the change.                  |
                           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 methodological
  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.
                      *       *       *       *
  Several studies are regularly cited as evidence that some people can
"repress" memories of childhood sexual abuse or other traumas.
However, as we have discussed in previous "Focus on Science" columns
(See "Focus on Science" columns from January, 1996 and October, 1996)
most of these studies are "retrospective" designs in which the
investigators had to rely only on patients' reports of things that
they remembered from the past. For example, many studies have used
what we have called the "do-you-remember-whether-you-forgot" design.
In these studies, the investigators asked patients if they thought
that there had been times in the past when they had forgotten a
traumatic event -- but there was no way to confirm that such
"forgetting" actually occurred. For this reason and many others which
we have discussed, the retrospective studies simply do not meet the
scientific standards necessary to represent acceptable evidence that
"repression" can really occur. (Note that it does not matter, for the
purposes of the discussion below, whether one uses the term
"repression," "dissociation," "psychogenic amnesia," or some other
word. In the interest of economy, we shall use the term "repression"
here as a generic term to describe the hypothesis that some
individuals are capable of developing amnesia for seemingly
unforgettable traumatic events.)
  Given the serious limitations of retrospective studies, then, the
proper way to test the "repression" hypothesis would be to design a
study which is not dependent on somebody's unconfirmed recollections
of any sort of information. To design such a study would not be
difficult. First, one would obtain the names of a large group of
people who had undergone a known, documented trauma. For example, one
could go to the records of a hospital emergency room and find 50
children who were seen for trauma -- severe injuries, physical abuse,
or sexual abuse -- and where there were specific medical findings in
the records to show that the trauma actually occurred. Alternatively,
one could identify 50 children who underwent a traumatic medical
procedure -- a painful rectal or gynecologic examination, for example
-- where once again, there would be indisputable medical documentation
that the trauma really happened. Then, one would locate all of those
trauma victims several years later, interview them, and simply ask
them if they remembered the traumatic event or not. If a certain
percentage of the subjects reported that they had completely forgotten
the event, then we would have persuasive evidence that some people can
"repress" the memory of trauma. On the other hand, if none of the
subjects in any of the studies reported forgetting the trauma, then we
would suspect that repression doesn't really happen (except, of
course, in the movies).
  We would have to be careful about several confounding effects in
such a study. The first is the normal amnesia of early childhood. If
someone has no memory of having been brought to the emergency ward at
age 1 or 2, that observation clearly provides no evidence of
"repression;" it is simply the normal amnesia that we have for almost
all events before the age of 3, and even most events before age
6. Second, we would have to exclude neurological or medical causes of
amnesia. If a child was knocked unconscious in an accident, of if she
received anesthesia for a medical procedure, we would expect her to
have amnesia without any need to postulate "repression." Third, we
would not want to study children with only mild trauma, because then
we couldn't rule out the possibility that the subject was just
experiencing ordinary forgetfulness for an event that was not
particularly memorable. In other words, to test whether one can truly
repress a memory, one would have to study a group of subjects who
experienced a trauma that no ordinary person would be expected to
forget. Fourth, when we interviewed our subjects to ask them about
their memories, we would have to take care to make sure that they were
not deliberately withholding information. For example, suppose that a
girl undergoes a painful and embarrassing gynecologic procedure at age
10. When she reaches age 15, a researcher sees her for an interview
and asks her if she has undergone any unusual medical procedures. Even
if the interviewer is very careful and very sympathetic, the girl may
still answer, "no," even though she actually remembers the event,
because she doesn't want to talk about it. There is no completely
effective way for the interviewer to deal with this situation, but the
best strategy would probably be for the interviewer to put her cards
on the table; and say: "I know from your medical records that when you
were 10, you were seen at the hospital for a special medical
examination. Do you remember that event?"
  In summary, then, a satisfactory scientific test of repression would
have to follow only a few simple rules: 1) locate a group of people
who were victims of a documented trauma, and 2) interview them years
later to see if any of them report amnesia for the trauma. We would
exclude cases where the failure to report might be due to a) early
childhood amnesia, b) neurological or medical causes, c) ordinary
forgetfulness, or d) deliberate non-disclosure. If after these
exclusions, we were still left with a fair number of patients who
profess amnesia for the event, we would have evidence that
"repression" really does occur.
  Those are the ground rules. What is the verdict? To our knowledge
every study in the world literature which has come even remotely close
to the above standards has failed to show any evidence that people can
"repress" memories.
  Here are some examples. In the 1960s, Leopold and Dillon (1) studied
34 men who had survived a terrible explosion when two ships collided.
In interviews conducted about four years after the explosion, many of
the men reported serious post-traumatic psychopathology, but none of
them displayed any amnesia. The authors wrote, "repression does not
appear possible." In another study, Terr (2,3) interviewed 25 children
who had been kidnapped and buried alive in a school bus four years
earlier. She found that "each child could give a fully detailed
account of the experience." Malt (4) interviewed 107 individuals who
had been seen at an emergency ward for traumatic injuries 16 to 51
months previously. The only amnesia found in these individuals was due
to neurological injuries; no one was described as having "repressed"
the memory. Wagenaar and Groeneweg (5) described 78 subjects who were
seen in relation to a Nazi war crimes trial in the 1980s. These
subjects were asked about their memories of having been in a
concentration camp 40 years earlier. Although many of the subjects
were quite elderly by the 1980s, most remembered the camp "in great
detail." Although the subjects had forgotten various specific items
from their experience, they had forgotten non-traumatic items just as
much as traumatic items; there was no evidence that they had
selectively "repressed" traumatic memories. Interestingly, there were
six men who had testified to various traumatic experiences when they
were originally liberated from the camp in the 1940s, but who did not
describe these memories when they were re-interviewed in the 1980s.
However, when they were reminded of their earlier testimony, all but
one of them promptly recalled the events. Peterson and Bell (6)
interviewed 90 children who had been seen at a hospital in
Newfoundland for traumatic injuries six months earlier. It appears
that every child, including even those only two years old at the time,
remembered the event. Among the children who were 9 to 13 years old at
the time of their injuries, there were so few errors in their recall
of the events that the investigators could not even include these
subjects in a statistical analysis of the causes of errors of memory.
  The above studies span a range of traumas, from single events like
the marine explosion to events of long duration like the concentration
camp experience. Some of the subjects in some of the studies had
spoken at length about their experiences to other people, or undergone
prior interviews, and hence might be expected to have particularly
clear memories. On the other hand, some of the subjects were being
studied for the first time, and had had no opportunity to "rehearse"
their memories previously. But the one feature that all of the
subjects in every study had in common is the fact that they remembered
their trauma.
  But some critics might still object to our evidence here. They would
argue that explosions, kidnappings, concentration camps, and hospital
visits are very different from "secret" traumas such as childhood
sexual abuse. Even allowing that repression does not occur for
ordinary traumas, perhaps it still does occur in certain special
situations, like that of a child who is forced to undergo repeated
sexual assaults from someone whom she is supposed to love. Therefore,
rather than be too quick to dismiss the possibility that repression
can occur, we owe it to ourselves to examine prospective studies which
look specifically at the memories of the victims of childhood sexual
abuse. There are four such studies in the literature, to our
knowledge. These studies, it will be seen, also fail to provide any
methodologically sound evidence that repression can occur. For a full
discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of these studies, see the
next "Focus on Science" column in the January 1997 issue of the FMSF


1. Leopold, R.L., Dillon, H: Psycho-anatomy of a disaster: a long term
   study of post-traumatic neuroses in survivors of a marine
   explosion. Am J. Psychiatry 119: 913-921, 1963.

2. Terr, L.C.: Children of Chowchilla: a study of psychic trauma.
   Psychoanal Study Child 34: 552-623, 1979.

3. Terr, L.C.: Chowchilla revisited: the effects of psychic trauma
   four years after a school-bus kidnapping.
   Am J. Psychol 140: 1543-1550, 1983.

4. Malt, U.: The long-term psychiatric consequences of accidental
   injury: a longitudinal study of 107 adults.
   Br J Psychiatry 153: 810-818, 1988.

5. Wagenaar, W.A., Groenweg, J: The memory of concentration camp
   survivors. Appl Cog Psychol 4: 77-87, 1990.

6. Peterson C., Bell, M.: Children's memory for trauma injury. Child
   Develop. In press.

/                                                                    \ 
| FALSE MEMORY SYNDROME: a psychological condition in which a person |
| believes that he or she remembers events that have not actually    |
| occurred.                                                          |
|                         Random House Compact Unabridged Dictionary |
|                              Special Second Edition, 1996, Addenda |

                    SUPPORT GROUPS: VIPERS' NESTS?
                      by August Piper, Jr., M.D.

   From A.G. in California comes a letter enclosing and discussing an
article in McCall's magazine (September 1996).
  The article concerns Leslie, an overweight woman whose physicians
had been unable to find a biological cause for her weight problem. To
a psychotherapist, Leslie revealed that she had difficulty sleeping,
"felt uncomfortable in closed spaces, and had recurrent nightmares
about being attacked." In the article, the therapist noted that these
symptoms "can be indications of post-traumatic stress disorder, a
psychiatric illness that sometimes occurs [after] a traumatic event."
  Indeed, Leslie did have such a history; an accidental death of a
dearly-loved sister, sexual mistreatment at the hands of an uncle, and
an alcoholic father who, when drunk, physically and verbally abused
family members. All these events had taken place at least twenty years
before Leslie consulted the therapist.
  After several months of individual psychotherapy, the therapist
referred the patient to a "long-term group for survivors of sexual
abuse." Since then, the therapist says, "Leslie's PTSD symptoms have
improved and she has been gradually losing weight through exercise and
by reducing the fat content in her diet."
  A.G. and I both wish to raise a few concerns about Leslie's
treatment. But first, we want to commend the therapist for what didn't
take place during that treatment. As A.G. notes, the therapist makes
no mention of confrontations, threats of lawsuits, discontinuation of
family contacts, demands for monetary remuneration, or any of the
other tiresome impediments of what A.G. calls "hate therapy." (I wish
I had coined that phrase!)
  Having said that, now let us examine a few concerns about the
article. The therapist assumes that Leslie has PTSD -- that the
patient's symptoms result from past trauma. Although they may, they
also may not, and it is difficult in the extreme to be confident that
anyone's present difficulties stem from events occurring two decades
  The other concern with Leslie's PTSD diagnosis is one of definition.
Originally, the diagnosis was intended for people who had suffered
events not only truly beyond ordinary human experience, but also ones
that provoked extreme fear and terror about threats to one's life or
limb. But clinicians proved unable to agree on exactly what kinds of
events should be considered to satisfy these criteria. The result?
PTSD diagnoses began to be given to people with less severe and even
trivial traumas: one case where two men engaged in a fistfight in
which perhaps six punches in all were thrown; another in which a
woman's shampoo dramatically changed her hair color; a third where a
supermarket patron was asked -- politely -- if he had taken a pack of
cigarettes without paying for them.
  The point of all this: the term "PTSD" is now being bandied about so
casually that it is in danger of becoming trivialized to death
(Remember "hypoglycemia" of a few years ago? For a while, it seemed
that every second person who came into the office claimed to be
suffering from that quite uncommon disorder). If any diagnosis is
stretched so widely that it applies to every event, it ceases to mean
anything at all.
  Specifically, in Leslie's case, it seems reasonable to at least ask
one question: Were her stressors, although admittedly unfortunate, so
"beyond ordinary human experiences" as to warrant a PTSD diagnosis? It
also seems reasonable to wonder whether the symptoms' very long
persistenceQ twenty years -- should raise a question about the
accuracy of the PTSD diagnosis. The question is warranted because
according to the DSM-IV, about half of those suffering from this
condition recover completely within three months.
  This discussion is relevant to FMSF members because many members'
relatives receive this diagnosis. Surprisingly, a significant number
of people so diagnosed do not develop any post-traumatic symptoms
until after they have contacted a therapist. This, of course, strongly
suggests that the therapist's interactions with the patient trigger
the manifestations of PTSD. For example, as FMSF members know only too
well, such manifestations can be triggered by psychotherapists who
overzealously try to convince a patient that he or she has been
sexually mistreated as a youngster.
  A.G. has another concern. She says:
  Before our experience with a false accusation of sexual
  mistreatment, and the resulting destruction of my family, I wouldn't
  have thought anything about a therapist referring a patient to a
  support group for survivors of sexual abuse. Now I cringe at this
  "help," because such a group fueled the beliefs of my sister-in-law
  and encouraged her lawsuit.

A.G. does not trust any of these groups because she now believes that
even if they are well-meaning, they are wellsprings of the false
memory syndrome cult.
  Her question: are there any guidelines that good therapists follow
to ensure that the groups to which they refer are not breeding grounds
for the destructive Courage to Heal type of therapy?
  To guard against therapist misconduct like that mentioned by A.G.,
two lines of defense exist. The first is the referring professional's
knowledge of the group leader's qualifications, skills, and practices.
But this defense is rather porous: if you are seeking a good auto
mechanic, roofer, or surgeon, for example, rarely does anyone have
extensive intimate knowledge of how that mechanic or surgeon actually
works. Thus, the referral may well rest mostly on the person's
reputation -- sometimes a frail and vaporous thing.
  The most important defense, rather, lies in the hands of the
individual seeking help. If, on the basis of what you know, you think
something a little quirky is going on in your treatment, simply ask
the professional to explain his or her practices. A good practitioner
should not object to this opportunity to educate his or her patient
(Remember, the word "doctor" comes from the Latin word meaning "to
teach"). If you still feel uncomfortable, get a second opinion--or
just get a new therapist. Trust your intuition.
  Finally, A.G., I refer patients to support groups; not all are nests
of vipers. Beware of criticizing all because of misdeeds of a few!

  August Piper, M.D. is in private practice in Seattle, Washington. He
  is a member of the FMSF Scientific and Professional Advisory Board.
  PERSONALITY DISORDER, published by Jason Aronson Inc. will be
  available in January 1997.
    "By encouraging a more critical evaluation of what is called MPD,
  this book will help clinicians in their efforts to help those rare
  patients who truly should be given that diagnosis, as well as the
  much larger number who might otherwise be incorrectly diagnosed."

/                                                                    \ 
| I am not sure what "the Crucible" is telling people now, but I     |
| know that its paranoid center is still pumping out the same darkly |
| attractive warning that it did in the fifties. For some, the play  |
| seems to be about the dilemma of relying on the testimony of small |
| children accusing adults of sexual abuse, something I'd not have   |
| dreamed of forty years ago. For others, it may simply be a         |
| fascination with the outbreak of paranoia that suffuses the play   |
| -- the blind panic that, in our age, often seems to sit at the dim |
| edges of consciousness.                                            |
|                                                     Arthur Miller  |
|                                 New Yorker, Oct 21 & 28, 1996  |

                      WHAT DO CONSUMERS EXPECT?

The public expects that mental health care will be safe and that it
will be effective. The following five bold items indicate public
expectations of mental health providers. Under each of these
categories are the grounds for legal action taken in one case against
D. Humenansky, M.D. because she failed to act responsibly. (From
slides prepared by Christopher Barden, Ph.D., Esq., 1995.)

  * Defendant negligently failed to follow appropriate guidelines for
    evaluating and treating patients with symptoms such as those
    manifested by the Plaintiff.
  * Defendant failed to take a proper history from the Plaintiff.
  * Defendant failed to perform appropriate examinations and
    diagnostic tests.
  * Defendant failed to properly investigate/recognize Plaintiff's
    underlying psychiatric difficulties.
  * Defendant failed to obtain previous medical/therapy records.

  * Defendant breached standard of reasonable care expected because of
    profession and claimed expertise.
  * Defendant negligently failed to properly monitor Plaintiff's
    ongoing symptoms and the degeneration of her/his mental condition.
  * Defendant negligently failed to consult with other professionals
    regarding the appropriate diagnosis, evaluation, treatment and
    care of Plaintiff.

  * Defendant negligently misused hypnosis and other suggestive
    procedures and techniques on Plaintiff.
  * Defendant misused drugs, medications, hypnosis and/or sodium
    amytal which would be expected to increase Plaintiff's
    responsiveness to suggestions.
  * Defendant uncritically accepted the existence of "repressed"
    memories of childhood sexual abuse in Plaintiff without making any
    effort to obtain independent verification for the truth or falsity
    of such "memories."
  * Defendant misapplied the concepts of "denial" and "resistance" in
    the treatment of Plaintiff.
  * Defendant failed to explore and/or recognize the effects of
    his/her personal beliefs on Plaintiff.

  * Defendant negligently undertook and sustained a course of
    treatment which improperly and inappropriately extended the length
    of the course of Plaintiff's treatment.
  * Defendant failed to discharge Plaintiff from the hospital when it
    was apparent that conditions did not require inpatient treatment.

  * Defendant negligently and carelessly failed to inform the
    Plaintiff of the risks of his/her chosen treatment techniques.
  * Defendant failed to warn Plaintiff of the possibility of an
    adverse psychiatric condition.
  * Defendant failed to advise Plaintiff that the techniques utilized
    had the capacity to produce false memories of events which never
    occurred but which nevertheless may seem real to the patient.
  * Defendant failed to adequately advise Plaintiff of experimental
    nature of drug regimen and possible side-effects of the use of
    prescribed psychotropic drugs in combination with others.
  * Defendant failed to advise Plaintiff that the diagnosis of
    multiple personality disorder is controversial and that there are
    disputes within the mental health community as to its existence.
  * Defendant failed to advise Plaintiff that a person can be taught
    to display behaviors of "multiple personality disorder" through
    the use of psychotherapy (iatrogenesis).
  * Defendant dissuaded Plaintiff from seeking services from other
    mental health professionals and from seeking a second opinion.
  * Defendant failed to inform patient of alternative treatments
    including those proven safe and effective in scientific research
    trials (e.g., cognitive-behavioral therapy).

                             Rex A. Frank
           Applied & Preventive Psychology 5:135-164 (1996) 

  This paper provides specific guidelines for therapists and the
clinical, legal and ethical rationale that ground the guidelines. It
warns that "if a therapist induces, reinforces, or validates an abuse
recollection he or she may be open to charges of false diagnosis,
negligence, fraud, and infliction of emotional distress as occurred in
the case against Dr. Diane Humenansky." The author believes that "the
legal and treatment implications of the repressed memory issue demand
that standards of care be considerably tightened." The article
concludes, "Mindfulness of the potential impact of therapy on
nonclient parties enhances the care for the client by thwarting
criticism of the procedures used in treatment. Prudent care reduces
the potential for malpractice litigation by clients and nonclients,
while preserving material that may become evidence in court."

Dos for Therapists (p 126)
  Do conduct ongoing informed consent.
  Do explain limits of confidentiality.
  Do get a written history.
  Do use precise language.
  Do avoid suggestion.
  Do know the content of assigned readings.
  Do maintain competency on human memory.
  Do record and document.
  Do keep a present orientation.
  Do match techniques to goals of therapy.
  Do support the client. (Support of the client does not require
     support for the veracity of the reported history.)

                             BOOK REVIEW

                Margaret Thaler Singer and Jana Lalich
                Jossey-Bass Inc. 1996 $23.00 288 pages
                              FMSF Staff

  This book was written to help consumers who face a formidable array
of choices when they need psychotherapy. The gamut of psychotherapies
spans a wide range from those that are scientifically based or are
traditional but less scientifically researched to those that are the
result of individual creations. Crazy Therapies focuses primarily on
the latter group of therapies that most often have little grounding in
scientific validation or even professional acceptance. In nine clearly
written chapters, the authors provide historical information about
some of the "crazy" therapies, moving accounts from people who have
been harmed by them and the legal remedies taken by former patients.
  Of special interest to readers of this newsletter is the second
chapter, "Back to the Beginning: Regression, Re-parenting, and
Rebirthing." This chapter traces the history of regression,
reparenting and rebirthing back to Freud, who readily blamed parents
for his patients' supposed problems. Most of the blame was actually
focused on mothers who were considered responsible for just about
every misery including schizophrenia."The assumption behind these
practices is that an adult patient first needs to be regressed in
order to act like and be treated as a small infant; then, through
'corrective parenting' by the therapist, the patient will emerge as a
more ideal person." These techniques, which have been tolerated by the
professional organizations and the licensing boards, have led to
bizarre clinical practices such as therapists who put diapers on adult
patients. Although there have been many requests for empirical
evidence that these techniques might be effective, none has been
  Chapter eight is called, "Alphabet Soup for the Mind and Soul: NLP,
FC, NOT, EMDR." The authors note how new therapy fads come and go.
They warn that just because something has become "hot" does not mean
that it is going to help someone get better. In case anyone doubts the
alphabet-soup-therapy-trend, the Family Therapy Networker last summer
(July/August 1996) described new therapies to treat Post-Traumatic
Stress Disorder. Featured were EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and
Reprocessing), TIR (Traumatic Incident Reduction), VKD (Visual
Kinesthetic Dissociation) and TFT (Thought Field Therapy). Last July,
the publication Common Ground listed the following therapies as being
on the "cutting-edge:" astrological psychotherapy; bioenergetics;
body-centered psychotherapy; expressive arts therapy; facticity;
holistic counseling/psychotherapy; Jungian psychotherapy;
neurolinguistic programming (NLP); neurotherapy; rebirthing;
regressing therapy (including past life); spiritual
counseling/psychospiritual counseling; transformational hypnotherapy;
transpersonal psychology; and voice dialogue training.
  Singer and Lalich hypothesize why so many crazy therapies have
developed. They suggest that there are three factors: "(1) the special
nature of the relationship between client and therapist, (2) the
emergence of the blame-and-change approach in the field of
psychotherapy, and (3) the flight from rational thought in our society
as a whole." We wonder if it is also the result of a desperate search
for the effects that newness or change may bring in a field that is
not well-grounded in empirical research.
  Crazy Therapies is a much-needed book to help consumers navigate the
unregulated field of psychotherapy. Singer and Lalich provide readers
with some warning signs of bad therapy and they analyze those features
shared by bad therapies. The impetus for the book came from a talk by
Dr. Singer at the FMSF Memory and Reality Conference, Valley Forge,
PA, 1993.

/                                                                    \ 
| "At this time the pieces that are needed to regulate counseling    |
| and psychotherapy are not in place, perhaps not even in existence. |
| But, these pieces can be developed."                               |
|                             Jim C. Fortune & David E. Hutchins |
|                                  "Can Competence in Counseling and |
|                          Psychotherapy Be Identified and Assured?" |
|      Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation (CLEAR) 1994 |

                      Seattle Post-Intelligencer
                           October 4, 1996
                           Steven Goldsmith
  The state Examining Board of Psychology barred Brian Lee Ford, Ph.D.
from practicing for the next 20 years. Dr. Ford, who was found guilty
of malpractice because he had sex with a patient, "practiced
'corrective parenting' and encouraged his patients to call him 'dad'
while he helped them replay their childhood traumas." In corrective
parenting, "patients make 'contracts' and agree to regard their doctor
as their 'healthy mom' or 'healthy dad.'" One critic of this method,
Gary Schoener, a psychologist from Minneapolis stated that "It's the
therapist as a god."
  Corrective parenting, which began in the 1960s and 1970s, outraged
people when some therapists had patients wear diapers or simulate
breast feeding. Reparenting "springs from one of the central tenets of
psychology: that the therapist cast as a symbolic parental figure can
help clients work through childhood issues and traumas."
  There are 40 to 50 practitioners of corrective parenting
(reparenting) in the Seattle area. One of these is Elaine Gowell who
defends corrective parenting and notes that any form of therapy can
turn destructive. She commented that corrective parenting can heal
deep-seated psychic wounds that mainstream techniques can't
touch. "Some people get their traumas as early as conception -- for
instance, if there was rape involved. Those pre-verbal issues cannot
be dealt with on the verbal level."
  A lawsuit brought by the former patient against psychologist Ford
did not complain about the quality of the therapy, only the sexual
contact. "Hanna Lerman, a Los Angeles psychologist who counsels
victims of therapist misconduct, said the power differential between
therapist and patient means, 'it is never the patient's

                             LEGAL CORNER
                              FMSF Staff
       Illinois Appellate Court Refuses to Apply Discovery Rule 
                       to Repressed Memory Case
  M.E.H. v. L.H., 1996 WL 492172 (Ill. App. 2 Dist.); 1996 Ill. App.
              LEXIS 641, decision dated August 28, 1996.
  The Illinois Appellate Court, Second District specifically broke
with previous Illinois appellate decisions to hold that the discovery
rule does not apply to cases where the plaintiff allegedly represses
conscious awareness of sexual abuse as a child and remembers it years
later. The court found that, by definition, an individual claiming
"repressed" memories must know of the alleged event at the time it
  The suit before the court had been filed by two adult daughters in
their mid-40's. Both claim their father sexually abused them from age
4 until their high school years. And both women allege they had no
knowledge of the abuse until therapy sessions two years prior to
filing. In support of their complaint, the plaintiffs attached
affidavits of their therapists, which corroborated the alleged dates
and claims. The women also sued their mother for intentional
infliction of emotional distress and breach of parental duty.
  Between 1991 and 1994, the Illinois legislature twice changed the
statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse. Statute 735 ILCS
5/13-202.2(b), which became effective Jan. 1, 1991 contains a two-year
discovery rule and a twelve year statute of repose.
  [Footnote: Statutes of limitations for sexual abuse are generally
  structured in one of two ways: 1) A "discovery rule" allows a claim
  to be filed within a specific number of years after "discovery." 2)
  A statute of repose, on the other hand, allows a suit to be brought
  anytime during a specific number of years after the plaintiff
  reaches the age of majority. It does not limit allowable claims to
  those which were "discovered."]
The statute of repose barred complaints alleging childhood sexual
abuse by persons 30 years of age or older. When the statute of repose
was repealed effective January 1, 1994, only the two year discovery
rule remained. The appellate court was obviously cognizant of the
equitable and evidentiary goals of the statute of limitations as it
considered the application of the statutes to the repressed memory
claim. The court noted that in childhood sexual abuse cases, just as
in the medical malpractice context, there is a need to balance the
policy of requiring a remedy for every wrong with the need to prevent
problems of proof caused by stale claims (citing Mega v. Holy
Hospital, 111 Ill. 2d 416, 95 Ill. Dec. 104 (1990)).
  The plaintiffs filed their complaint on October 14, 1994, over 26
years after they reached the age of majority. The court held that the
statute of repose would bar the claim no matter when the cause of
action accrues; it began to run when plaintiffs reached the age of 18
and expired 12 years later. The subsequent amendment of the act in
1994 could not be applied retroactively to revive the claim. The
father had a vested right to be free from suit which could not be
taken away by a subsequent statute.
  The court further rejected the argument that the 1991 discovery rule
allowed them to file within 2 years after they recalled the abuse. It
held that a traumatic assault by its very nature puts the individual
on notice of their injury and that the actionable conduct might be
  [Footnote: Several other courts have ruled similarly.See, e.g.,
  Blackowiak v Kemp, 1996 Minn. LEXIS 245.]
  The plaintiffs alleged that they "subconsciously repressed and
denied the existence and impact of the sexual assaults from or about
the time of each event." The court noted that the dictionary
definition of repress is "to keep down or under by self-control" or
"to exclude from consciousness." This, the court said, implies that if
an individual claims to have repressed a memory they must have had the
memory at an earlier time. There had to be a memory to repress or
"exclude from consciousness." "Therefore," the court wrote, "the
plaintiffs do not allege that they were never aware of the
abuse....Because they were aware of the abuse when it happened and the
injury was immediate and caused by external force, the plaintiffs knew
or should have known that the defendant's conduct was actionable when
it occurred."
  The court noted that they were not the first to hold that the
discovery rule does not apply to cases in which a plaintiff has
repressed childhood sexual abuse from memory and cited Tyson
approvingly: "If we applied the discovery rule to such actions, the
statute of limitations would be effectively eliminated and its purpose
ignored. A person would have an unlimited time to bring an action,
while the facts became increasingly difficult to determine. The
potential for spurious claims would be great and the probability of
the court's determining the truth would be unreasonably low." Tyson,
727 P.2d at 229-230.
                      Criminal Charges Withdrawn
               in Ontario Canada Repressed Memory Case
  Criminal charges were withdrawn by the Crown on October 1, 1996 at a
preliminary hearing prior to retrial in a repressed memory case filed
in Ontario Canada. The Crown withdrew all charges, resulting in a full
acquittal. A retrial had been ordered by the Court of Appeal for
Ontario in the case Regina v. Campbell, 1996 Ont. C.A. LEXIS 45, on
January 18, 1996. The defendant, a retired ordained minister with the
Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada, had appealed his 1994 conviction
which followed a trial before a judge.
  The criminal charges of sexual abuse were based on allegations by a
15-year-old girl that her grandfather, age 64, had sexually assaulted
her when she was between 5 and 8 years of age. The girl had originally
gone into counseling to cope with the divorce of her parents.
  Reverend Allan Saunders, an assistant pastor at another church,
counseled the girl and her mother. According to the record, Saunders
repeatedly asked the girl whether her grandpa had tried to touch her
inappropriately. The girl recalled nothing. He told her that she had a
lot of feelings buried inside and "that's why she got so upset." He
also asked her to write down "any memories or nightmares or anything
you may have as a result of this trauma." Saunders gave the girl's
mother a list of 20-25 symptoms displayed by incest victims and told
her there was a possibility that the grandfather had abused her
daughter. According to Reverend Saunders, memories "began to flood
into her mind" when she saw a man who resembled her grandfather walk
toward her.
  The defendant testified that the allegations of sexual abuse were
not true and that the alleged events simply did not happen. The trial
judge, however, speculated that the defendant "himself may have
repressed or dissociated from any recollection of what to his moral
background and makeup would be repulsive and horrible acts...I could
take it that [defendant] could be testifying completely honestly as to
what he recalls, and he just does not and cannot recall these acts."
  This unsupported conjecture of the trial judge provided sufficient
grounds for the Ontario Court of Appeals to reverse the conviction and
order a new trial. In reviewing the case, the appeals court emphasized
that there was no suggestion in the evidence that the appellant had
repressed or dissociated any memories of the alleged conduct.
"Accordingly, the trial judge could not, without entering the realm of
speculation, reject the [defendant's] evidence on the basis that he
had repressed his recollection of the relevant events. Consequently,
the trial judge erred in holding that he could accept that the
appellant had testified honesty but still reject his evidence based on
the theory that he had repressed his recollection of the relevant
events." Because the trial court had, on the basis of sheer
speculation, rejected the evidence of the defendant, the Ontario Court
of Appeal on January 18, 1996 set aside the verdict and ordered a new
  Defense attorneys for Mr. Campbell state that the retrial would have
been significantly different from the original trial. The repressed
memory of the complainant would have been thoroughly examined.
      State Plans to Retry Lawyer on Child Molestation Charges;
   State's Case Hinged Largely on Recovered Memories of his Accuser 
       Providence Journal-Bulletin, Tracy Breton Sept. 22, 1996
  The Rhode Island attorney general's office has decided to retry John
Quattrochi III. In 1994 Quattrocchi was convicted of sexual assault
based on allegations of a woman, now in her early 20's. She testified
that she first experienced flashbacks in 1992 of long-forgotten
assaults by Quattrocchi, who had dated her mother between 1978, when
she was 4, and 1983. She testified that she repressed her memories of
being sexually assaulted and remained close to Quattrocchi. In fact,
she said she viewed him as a surrogate father.
  In July, after Quattrocchi had served about two of his 40-year
sentence, the Rhode Island Supreme Court 
  [Footnote: State of Rhode Island v. Quattrocchi, 1996 WL 427875,
  1996 R.I. LEXIS 213. See discussion FMSF Newsletter, September 1996,
overturned his conviction, expressing skepticism about criminal cases
that hinge on recovered memories. The court ordered a new trial
because the trial court had failed to hold a preliminary hearing-
without a jury present -- to determine whether the accuser's
"flashbacks" of abuse were reliable.
  After his conviction was overturned, Quattrocchi was freed and
earlier this month, the state supreme court reinstated his law
license. According to the attorney general's office, the case is
unlikely to be retried until January.
               Former Teacher Sues Church Over Charges 
        Great Falls Tribune, MT, Michael Babcock Aug. 9, 1996
  A former Seventh-day Adventist teacher who was accused of raping
students in Great Falls, Montana, but who was never tried on criminal
charges, is suing the church for failing to defend him and for
defaming his character. Russell Hustwaite says the church ruined his
life when it settled the civil lawsuits brought by the students who
claimed they were Hustwaite's victims. Hustwaite's attorney Joan Cook
says her client "does not admit to any guilt in any of [the
cases]. Those settlements have basically ruined his life."
  The suit, filed 9/6/96, says that altogether the ordeal cost
Hustwaite over 12 million dollars. He says in the suit that his
reputation was damaged, he lost his occupation, he had to defend
himself in a criminal proceeding and he lost his home, among other
things, when he filed for bankruptcy. The lawsuit also says that the
church association was guilty of negligence for settling the suits
when a further investigation of the allegations would have proved them
  Court affidavits filed with the criminal charges in 1993 indicate
that the allegations of each former student were based on repressed
memories recovered in therapy. The criminal charges of sexual abuse
were eventually dismissed when prosecutors decided their evidence was
too weak. The former students filed civil suits soon after.
             Judicial Response to Repressed Memory Claims
  In the decade since the first repressed memory case reached an
appellate court in 1986, such claims have forced courts to reassess
the scope of statutes of limitations and, in particular, the grounds
for tolling the statute under the so-called discovery rule. Courts
have also increasingly taken into account mounting serious criticism
by a scientific community that has not generally accepted repressed
memories as valid or reliable.
  In a growing number of case opinions, objections are voiced that:
repressed memory claims are often presented without corroborating
objective evidence of the alleged wrongdoing; there exists no reliable
evidence that the source of a "recovered repressed memory" is an
actual event rather than a suggestion; there can be no objective
evidence that the claimant "was blamelessly ignorant of" rather than
"chose not to think about" the alleged events, as the discovery rule
requires; there can be no objective evidence that a claimed injury was
caused by specific events alleged to have occurred decades earlier. A
decision in this area often comes down to one person's word against
another's and the basis of one of these person's statements is a
"repressed memory" for which, according to position statements of
several professional associations, there is no expertise available by
which that memory may be evaluated for its truthfulness.
  This situation differs significantly from other areas, such as
medical malpractice or environmental torts, to which the discovery
rule or disability exceptions have been applied. In all other areas
the fact that an event (the surgery, the exposure to asbestos, etc.)
took place can be objectively verified. The injury is usually a
physical one. Even under circumstances where the wrongful action and
the resulting injury can be objectively verified, courts have been
reluctant to violate the underlying purpose of a statute of
limitations. In applying the discovery rule, courts have sought to
balance two needs: On the one hand, the need to allow a wronged person
who could not discover their injury an extended period of time within
which to sue, while at the same time protecting the legal system from
stale claims. Juries cannot reasonably be expected to evaluate such
cases because over time evidence is lost, witnesses disappear and
memories fade.
  Only a decade ago, in 1986, the Washington Supreme Court ruled on
the first repressed memory claim to reach the appellate courts. In
  [Footnote: Tyson v. Tyson, 107 Wash.2d 72, 727 P.2d 226 (1986).
  Superseded by statute, Wash.Rev.Code Ann. 4.16.340.]
that court specifically declined to extend the discovery rule to
repressed memory cases due to the absence of "empirical, verifiable
evidence of the original wrongful act and the resulting injury." That
court anticipated most of the equitable and evidentiary problems
associated with these claims and its thoughtful ruling has often been
quoted in recent decisions: "It is proper to apply the discovery rule
in cases where the objective nature of the evidence makes it
substantially certain that the facts can be fairly determined even
though considerable time has passed since the alleged events occurred.
Such circumstances simply do not exist where a plaintiff brings an
action based solely on an alleged recollection of events which were
repressed from the consciousness and there is no means of
independently verifying her allegations in whole or in part. If we
applied the discovery rule to such actions, the statute of limitations
would be effectively eliminated and its purpose ignored. A person
would have an unlimited time to bring an action, while the facts
became increasingly difficult to determine. The potential for spurious
claims would be great and the probability of the court's determining
the truth would be unreasonably low." Tyson at 230.
  The decision to apply the discovery rule in most areas rests on
determination of when a "reasonable person" would have discovered the
elements of his claim and be on notice that he may sue. Once a
discovery rule opens the door to repressed memory claims, the issue of
how to apply the "objective reasonable person standard" immediately
presents itself.
  [Footnote: Should a plaintiff who first recalls "vague" memories,
  but claims they later developed into detailed images be allowed to
  determine the point she had sufficient understanding to sue? Should
  a person who states he/she knew of wrongful events but only later
  realized that these events caused his/her psychological problems be
  allowed to extend the statute of limitations? Discussion of these
  examples is found in FMSF Newsletter, June 1996.]
The Texas Supreme Court emphasized that repressed memory claims must
be subject to the same rules that apply in other cases.
  [Footnote: S.V. v. R.V., 39 Tex.Sup.J.386 (Tex., 1996).]
In focusing on the equitable and evidentiary principles behind the
statutes of limitations, several courts noted the hazard of allowing
the emotional content of the allegations themselves to prejudice
judges and jurors in their determinations.
  [Footnote: See, e.g., Baily v. Lewis, 763 F.Supp. 802, 803 (USDC
  Pa. 1991), [It is imperative ... that the shocking nature of the
  alleged facts not affect the judgment of the courts with respect to
  the controlling legal principles.]; Burpee v. Burpee, 152 Misc.2d
  266, 578 N.Y.S.2d 359 (NY, 1991) [Law, not feelings, must govern us
  or there will be no law at all.].]
  Some courts have held that an injury is known, as a matter of law,
at the time of an assault.
  [Footnote: See, e.g., Blackowiak v. Kemp, 1996 Minn. LEXIS 245 [The
  Minnesota Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeal's ruling,
  stating that court's "misapprehension" of the statute caused it to
  focus on the concept of causation. As a matter of law, one is
  injured if one is sexually abused.); Woodruff v. Hansenclever, 540
  N.W.2d 45 (Iowa, 1995) (It is sufficient that the person be aware
  that a problem existed to be on notice to make a reasonable
  inquiry.); Doe v. Roe, 1996 Ariz. App. LEXIS 169 (The statute of
  limitations begins to run when a person has enough facts to prompt a
  reasonable person to investigate and does not wait for a person to
  know all facts about their claim.).]
Other courts have responded to these questions by applying the
discovery rule on a case-by-case basis, determining for each set of
facts whether the complainants had reason to know of their cause of
  [Footnote: See, e.g., Boggs v. Adams, 45 F.3d 1056 (U.S. App. 7th
  Cir., 1995); K.G. v. R.T.R., 1996 Mo. LEXIS 32; Doe v. Roman
  Catholic, 1995 La.App. LEXIS 1135; Wollford v. Mollett, 1995 WL
  258258 (Ky.App.); 1995 Ky. App. LEXIS 90; Detweiler v. Slavic, 72
  Ohio St.3d 1521, 649 N.E.2d 280 (Ohio, 1995), O'Connor v. Zimmer,
  1995 WL 307756 (Ohio App.8 Dist.); Horn v. Reese, 1995 Ohio
  App. LEXIS 4481. Datolli v. Yanelli, 1995 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19982
  (U.S. Dist., New Jersey, 1995) [hearing ordered to determine whether
  plaintiff fulfilled burden of proving, other than by his own
  assertion, when he discovered sufficient facts.].]
Some early decisions which applied the delayed discovery rule, holding
that the reliability of the evidence was a question of fact for the
jury, but, nevertheless, giving specific directives to the lower
courts to require corroborating, verifiable evidence of the alleged
injury and/or the phenomenon of memory repression itself.
  [Footnote: See, e.g., McCollum v. D'Arcy, 138 N.H. 285, 638 A.2d
  797 (1994) [The court noted that on remand, plaintiff has the burden
  to "validate the phenomenon of memory repression itself and the
  admissibility of evidence flowing therefrom."]; Meiers-Post v.
  Schafer, 427 N.W.2d 6060 (Mich Ct. App., 1988); Peterson v. Bruen,
  792 P.2d 18 (Nev., 1990); Olsen v. Hooley, 865 P.2d 1345 (Utah,
Most courts have been quite blunt in stating that allowing plaintiffs
to arbitrarily and subjectively determine at what point the "discovery
rule" ought to be applied "would have unacceptable ramifications."
  [Footnote: Fager v. Hundt, 610 N.E.2d 246, 250 (Ind. 1993). See
  also, Ernstes v. Warner, 860 F.Supp. 1338 (U.S. Dist., Indiana,
  1994); Tyson v. Tyson at 229-230; Woodruff v. Hansenclever, 540
  N.W.2d 45 (Iowa, 1995); Byrne v. Becker, 176 Wis.2d 1037, 501 N.W.2d
  402 (Wisc., 1993). Baily v. Lewis, 763 F.Supp. 802 (U.S.Dist.,
  Pa. 1991). Lemmerman v. Fealk, 534 N.W.2d 695 (Mich., 1995).]
However, two California appellate courts 
  [Footnote: Lent v. Doe, 40 Cal.App. 1177, 47 Cal. Rptr.2d 389
  (Cal.Ct. App. 1995); Sellery v. Cressey, 1996 WL 500372
  (Cal.Ct.App.1996). See, FMSF Newsletter, October 1996.]
and a Hawaiian court relying on California law
  [Footnote: Dunlea v. Dappen, 1996 Haw. LEXIS 98. The Hawaii Supreme
  Court held that when a plaintiff discovered, or should have
  discovered, that her alleged injuries were caused by abuse is a
  question of fact for the jury to decide. The plaintiff did not claim
  repressed memories. In fact, she had reported a rape in 1964 to the
  police and she was removed from her father's custody at that time.
  She claimed that only after psychological counseling, did she
  become aware that the acts had caused her psychological injury and
recently ruled that the statute of limitations extends until a
complainant states that he/she was sufficiently aware that the alleged
events decades earlier "caused" their current psychological
difficulties regardless of whether plaintiffs claimed repressed
memories. As a review of the facts of those cases suggest, the courts
have presumed that there is a scientifically accepted causal
connection between a set of psychological injuries and decades-old
  Despite the relatively short judicial history of repressed memory
claims in the courts, several trends appear to be emerging as
appellate courts in nearly three-quarters of the states have
considered these cases. Nearly one half of all the higher court
decisions in this area have been rendered within the past two years.
It was also during these past two years that a strong scientific
critique of the theory of repressed memory was brought before the
  A growing number of courts are severely restricting repressed memory
claims. The twin concerns about lack of scientific proof regarding the
validity of repressed memory theory and the absence of objective
verification have lead some courts to four positions: (1) that the
discovery rule does not apply to repressed memory claims; (2) that
repressed memory claims do not per se extend the statute of
limitations as a statutory disability; (3) that independent
corroboration is required in order to apply the discovery rule; or (4)
that the reliability of repressed memory theory must be determined
prior to extension of the statute of limitations.

CLAIMS: In July, 1995, the Michigan Supreme Court
  [Footnote: Lemmerman v. Fealk, supra.]
held that neither the discovery rule nor the disability statute extend
the limitations period for tort actions brought on the basis of
repression of memory. "We cannot conclude with any reasonable degree
of confidence that fact finders could fairly and reliably resolve the
question before them, given the state of the art regarding repressed
memory and the absence of objective verification."
  Other courts have focused on the lack of reliability of the
repressed memory theory. In July, 1996, the highest court in Maryland
  [Footnote: Doe v. Maskell, 1996 Md. LEXIS 68.]
concluded, "After reviewing the arguments on both sides of the issue,
we are unconvinced that repression exists as a phenomenon separate and
apart from the normal process of forgetting. Because we find these two
processes to be indistinguishable scientifically, it follows that they
should be treated the same legally."
  In August of this year an Illinois Appellate Court
  [Footnote: M.E.H. v. L.H., 1996 WL 492172 (Ill.App.2Dist.).]
declined to apply the discovery rule to a repressed memory claim,
finding that, by definition, an individual claiming "repressed"
memories, knew of the alleged event at the time it occurred.
  In June, 1995, the Wisconsin Supreme Court
  [Footnote: Pritzlaff v.Archdiocese of Milwaukee, 533 N.W.2d 780
  (Wisc., 1995).]
ruled that the statute of limitations barred a memory claim holding
that the action accrued at the time of the alleged events. That court
noted that "any time a claim is raised many years after the injury
occurred, the potential for fraud is exacerbated...where the alleged
damages are all "emotional" and "psychological"...we are not convinced
that even careful cross-examination in this esoteric and largely
unproven field is likely to reveal the truth."
  In April, 1996, the Supreme Court of Maine
  [Footnote: Nuccio v. Nuccio, 1996 Me. LEXIS 82 (Maine Supreme Court,
accepted the plaintiff's claim of repressed memory as true for
purposes of summary judgment motion and held that regardless of the
cause of an alleged repressed memory, the claim accrues at the time of
the alleged abuse or when the victim reaches the age of majority. The
statute of limitations is not suspended during the period that the
plaintiff's memories remain repressed.
  Similarly, the Tennessee Court of Appeals
  [Footnote: Hunter v. Brown, 1996 Tenn. App. LEXIS 95. Currently on
  appeal before Tenn. Supreme Court.]
declined to apply the discovery rule to toll the statute of
limitations in repressed memory cases. The court found that "there is
simply too much indecision in the scientific community as to the
credibility of repressed memory. In general, psychologists have not
come to an agreement as to whether repressed memories may be
accurately recalled or whether they may be recalled at all...
[I]nherent lack of verifiable and objective evidence in these cases
distinguishes them from cases in which Tennessee courts have applied
the discovery rule." The adoption of the discovery rule in repressed
memory situations "would leave a determination of the onset of a
limitations period an open question within the subjective control of
the plaintiff."

Alabama Supreme Court
  [Footnote: Travis v. Ziter, 1996 WL 390629, 1996 Ala. LEXIS 180.]
ruled that alleged repressed memories do not qualify as a disability
to extend the statute of limitations. After a review of the literature
regarding repressed memories, the court concluded, "there is no
consensus of scientific thought in support of the repressed memory
theory." And referring to the important public policy goals behind the
statute of limitations, wrote, "If this Court accepted [repressed
memories] as constituting 'insanity,' then plaintiffs...would be in
subjective control of the limitations period and would be able to
assert stale claims without sufficient justification or sufficient
guarantees of accurate fact-finding." The Michigan Supreme Court
  [Footnote: Lemmerman, supra.]
found similarly: "Placing a plaintiff in a discretionary position to
allege the onset of the disability of repressed memory and the
termination of that condition within an applicable grace period would
'vitiate the statue of limitations as a defense' and is a circumstance
we have rejected in the past."
  [Footnote: Other courts have made similar points. Cases are reviewed
  in FMSF Working Paper VIII.D.]

APPLY THE DISCOVERY RULE: In March, 1996, the Texas Supreme Court
  [Footnote: S.V. v. R.V., 39 Tex.Sup.386 (Tex., 1996).]
ruled that in order to apply the discovery rule to any set of facts,
including repressed memory claims, the wrongful event must be
"objectively verifiable." Expert testimony regarding repressed memory
theory, the court concluded, does not satisfy this .requirement.
"Opinions in this area simply cannot meet the 'objective
verifiability' element for extending the discovery rule...[E]xpert
testimony on subjects about which there is no settled scientific view
-- indeed not even a majority scientific view- cannot provide
objective verification of abuse." After a review of rulings in other
jurisdictions on this issue, the Texas court noted that the presence
or absence of corroborative evidence has often been critical to those
decisions particularly because the scientific community was split as
to the reliability of "recovered" memories. The court concluded that,
"[t]he scientific community has not reached consensus on how to gauge
the truth or falsity of 'recovered' memories."

1996, the Rhode Island Supreme Court
  [Footnote: Kelly v. Marcanonio, 678 A.2d 873 (R.I., 1996).]
held that the scientific reliability and validity of repressed memory
theory must first be determined prior to extending the statute of
limitations. If and only if the theory is found scientifically valid
by the trial court, will the court then determine the reliability of
the specific claim. During the same month, the Rhode Island Supreme
  [Footnote: State of Rhode Island v. Quattrocchi, 1996 WL 427875
  (R.I., 1996).]
overturned a conviction in a repressed memory case because the trial
court failed to hold a preliminary hearing, without a jury, to
determine whether the accuser's "flashbacks" of abuse were reliable.
  A Superior Court in Pennsylvania
  [Footnote: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Crawford, 1996
  Pa. Super. LEXIS 2507.]
recently reversed a murder conviction based on testimony derived from
repressed memories and opined that the trial court should have
analyzed whether, in Pennsylvania, the admission of the revived
repressed memory testimony was appropriate.
  A number of trial level courts, following pre-trial evidentiary
hearings have concluded that the theory of repressed memory and expert
testimony derived therefrom do not meet the criteria under standards
for admission of scientific evidence, including Frye, Daubert, or the
Federal Rules of Evidence.
  [Footnote: Barrett v. Hyldburg, Superior Court, Buncombe County,
  North Carolina, Case No. 94-CVS-0793 (January 23, 1996).]
For example, in 1996 a North Carolina Superior Court stated "this
court is of the opinion, considering all of the evidence that has been
presented, the arguments of counsel, the scientific evidence, the
deposition evidence, the case law, and the matters contained in the
file, that the evidence sought to be introduced is not reliable and
should not be received into evidence in this trial." In 1995 in Los
Angeles Superior Court,
  [Footnote: Engstrom v. Engstrom, Superior Court, Los Angeles County,
  California, Case No. VC-016157 (October 11, 1995).]
Judge James Sutton granted a motion to exclude testimony of a
plaintiff and his witnesses, including expert witnesses, regarding
"repressed memories," "repression" or "dissociation" finding that the
phenomenon of memory repression is not generally accepted as valid and
reliable by a respectable majority of the pertinent scientific
community and the techniques and procedures utilized in the retrieval
process have not gained general acceptance in the fields of psychology
or psychiatry."
  In a criminal case which received national attention, State of New 
Hampshire v. Hungerford/Morahan,
  [Footnote: State of New Hampshire v. Hungerford, 1995 WL 37571
  (N.H. Super., May 23, 1995). Decision available as FMSF Publication
  #836. Currently on appeal before New Hampshire Supreme Court.]
the New Hampshire Superior Court dismissed the repressed memory claims
following a pre-trial hearing in which Justice Groff determined 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."

  As recent decisions have indicated, to allow these cases to proceed
based on an unproven and unsubstantiated theory, unsupported by
objective, verifiable and corroborative evidence in cases of such
serious consequences, vitiates common sense and the legal principles
underlying the statute of limitations and compromises the judicial
integrity of our courts and legislatures.

/                                                                    \
| 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?

COLORADO - This month, our members will work toward helping others
with a "Make a Difference" Day. We also decided to make a difference
with a donation to the Foundation. We are grateful for all that it

IOWA - Every year when my daughter's birthday occurs, I feel like my
heart has broken all over again. I don't know where she is or if she
is safe. This year, I have decided to donate a gift to the FMS
Foundation in her honor. In an indirect way that will help her.
MINNESOTA - FMS families invited the Attorney General to attend a
local meeting. A deputy attorney general came and she appeared very
interested in what she heard. The issue of consumer fraud was topmost.
The deputy attorney general has set up another meeting with families
to explore how they can work together.
PENNSYLVANIA - I typed up this list of books which I have read and
found most useful and informative. I plan to take copies to the local
libraries. I will check to see if they have these books and if not, I
will offer to buy new copies and donate them to the library. Books:
"Beware the Talking Cure: Psychotherapy May be Hazardous to Your
Health" by Terence W. Campbell; "The Memory Wars: Freud's Legacy in
Dispute" by Frederick Crews; "True Stories of False Memories" by
Eleanor Goldstein and Kevin Farmer; "The Myth of Repressed Memory:
False Memories and Allegations of Sexual Abuse" by Elizabeth Loftus
and Katherine Ketcham; "Satan's Silence: Ritual Abuse and the Making
of a Modern American Witch Hunt" by Debbie Nathan and Michael
Snedeker; "Making Monsters: False Memories, Psychotherapy, and Sexual
Hysteria" by Richard Ofshe and Ethan Watters; "Victims of Memory:
Incest Accusations and Shattered Lives" by Mark Pendergrast; "Survivor
Psychology: The Dark Side of a Mental Health Mission" by Susan Smith;
and "Suggestions of Abuse: True and False Memories of Childhood Sexual
Trauma" by Michael Yapko.

VERMONT - Our support group was asked to set up a display on FMS at
the annual meeting of the Vermont Association for Mental Health
(VAMH). The VAMH is a statewide citizens group that promotes mental
health and mental health services. More than three hundred of its
thousand members attend the annual meeting. The members include state
agencies, private institutions and clinics, professional
organizations, members of legislature, individual psychotherapists,
consumers and their families. This meeting gave us the opportunity to
speak individually to many professionals about FMS, the foundation and
our own family tragedies. We were astounded at the number of
professionals who asked what FMS meant.
  There were five of us who took care of our display. We had several
different components. First we had a 3-part bulletin board that opened
like a book. One section listed all of the upcoming conferences that
related to FMS. Another part of the bulletin board had newspaper
clippings of interviews with families and even some cartoons. The
third section had articles about the accomplishments of FMSF such as
the two national conferences. On one display table we placed every
book about FMS and every brochure and poster that we had. On another
display table we showed all of the articles and materials available
through the Foundation. We even had a copy of Daddy's Girl with the
letter in the September Newsletter from Charlotte Vale Allen beside
  The professionals expressed the most interest in obtaining the
statements about recovered memories that had been put out by the
professional organizations. That tells us that WE HAVE A LOT OF WORK
TO DO TO IMPROVE PUBLIC AWARENESS. I am convinced that individual
contact is the most positive way to do this. Does your state have a
Mental Health Association? Is someone from your support group in
contact with them? This is a fine way to help educate people about
the devastating problem of FMS.

  Send your ideas to Katie Spanuello c/o FMSF.

/                                                                    \
|              ACCUSED PARENTS WHO ARE ALSO THERAPISTS               |
| Do you want to connect with other accused parents who are in the   |
| mental health field? Do you want to be in touch with other         |
| therapists whose families are experiencing false memory syndrome?  |
| What can we learn from each other? What might we contribute to     |
| professional practice because our situation is unique -- we are    |
| both accused parents and work in the helping professions. Let's    |
| get together in Baltimore in March, 1997. I am "between a rock and |
| a hard place" and willing to get it started. Call me (Ellen        |
| Starer, ACSW, BCD, LSW) 215-247-4376 or contact Allen Feld at the  |
| Foundation 800-568-8882.                                           |

The Wisconsin Association of Family and Children's Agencies (WAFCA) is
sponsoring a seminar on False Memory Syndrome on April 29, 1997 in
Waukesha. The program will have a retractor, a falsely accused family,
a clinical psychologist, an attorney and a panel discussion. The
organizers have worked with families in Wisconsin to prepare this
program which is primarily for mental health providers who wish to
learn about FMS and earn continuing education credit. Other interested
people may attend but active participation will be limited to members
of WAFCA. The cost is $75 per person. To register call Erica at
608-257-5939 or write to her at 131 W. Wilson St., Suite 901, Madison,
WI 53703.
           |                    Notice                    |
           |                                              |
           |           1996 TAX YEAR-END COMING           |
           |                                              |
           | Time to get your paperwork into your company |
           | personnel department for processing of your  |
           |          donation and the company's          |
           |                                              |
           |            ANNUAL MATCHING GIFT.             |
           |                                              |
           |        Many firms have a 2:1 or a 3:1        |
           |           Matching Gift Allowance            |
           |              Please do it now!               |
           |  FMSF needs your help to continue its work   |
           |                                              |
           |                  THANK YOU                   |

                           FROM OUR READERS
			  The Accuser's Life
  To Whom It May Concern:
  I feel that it is important for me to explain the "other" side of
this nightmare so that other families may benefit (hopefully) from the
information and perhaps in some small way this letter may help others.
  First of all please do not think that the false accusations come out
of hate. It is important to remember that the daughters and sons truly
believe what they accuse you of, and all they are trying to do is
protect themselves and their families from what they honestly believe
to be more possible harm.
  The Thomas theory boils everything down to....WHAT ONE BELIEVES TO
BE TRUE, IS TRUE IN ALL OF IT'S CONSEQUENCES! Now let me tell you what
is my experience to give you an idea of what may be happening on the
"other side."
  Loss of Family.
  Loss of Friends.
  Increasing Isolation.
  Medication, Increased Medication, New Medication.
  Therapist's Who Believe and Encourage Memory Recall.
  Writing, Writing, Writing, Writing and More Writing.
  3 Hour Appointments (Because Your Therapist Thinks You Need It).
  Therapist/Patient Relationship Get Away from "Ethical" Behavior.
  Any Disagreement with Therapist Means...DENIAL
  Suicidal Thoughts And Possible Attempts.
  Medical Leaves from Work Encouraged by Therapist.
  Encouragement of No, No, No, No, No, No, 
  NO CONTACT with Anyone that Doesn't Believe You!
  Reading of Books and Articles.
  Bringing in Family Pictures.
  Screaming at Chairs.
  Role Reversal.
  And The List Goes ON and ON and ON.
Trust me, it is no picnic from the side of the accuser. 
   So what does this list tell you? It tells you how impossible it
starts to feel to leave the therapist...after all nobody knew me or
understood me better (I thought). As with others (true or false) I
became a "sexual abuse survivor" and it dominated my entire life.
People were not permitted to question me because then it felt like
they were calling me a liar. And who would lie about sexual abuse?
Nobody. Neither did I, like the theory I believed it to be true! I had
my sanity to protect and my children and because of the total
isolation I stuck by my therapist even after I, myself, had serious
doubts regarding my memory. There was no fun in my life during this
time, no laughter, just tears, tears and more tears.
  Why would anyone accept me back after everything was said and done
...would I? I wasn't sure until I had my own kids and then I realized
that no matter what I would always want them back. I (like you with
your kids) love them with every ounce of my being. Perhaps my parents'
love was stronger than my accusations. Thank Heavens it was.
  When I look back now I define the last four years like I was in a
cult; the only member of the cult was me and the cult leader was my
therapist. If your child was in a cult would they be held responsible
for everything that occurred?... probably not.
  Your child is probably doing everything they feel is right to
protect themselves. If the abuse was true their strong conviction for
safety and due process would be honoured in our society and by people
like yourself.
  How did I get home? My mom, my sister and my dad. Even though I
would swear at them, scream and slam the phone on them, we remained in
contact. Minimal but enough for me to know when the time was right
that there might be a hope and a prayer of acceptance. 
  My doctor's inadequacies remained the same throughout my therapy, as
my confusion grew and he would not allow me to explore it. I started
questioning his credentials. Finally I asked him to help me get off
the drugs I never wanted to be on in the first place.
  He wouldn't...he told me I was far too vulnerable and that I should
increase my dosage by 100%. Fancy that -- another prescription! I took
the prescription, left the office and never returned.
  My sister was the first person I told and I was scared out of my
mind to see her reaction. She hugged me. We both cried and then also
had a good laugh. 3 million pounds were lifted from my shoulders...for
the first time in years I felt like myself. I truly was home again! If
my sister could accept it, I knew my parents could -- after all she
was a product of their belief system. I took the plunge...I recanted
...and I'm slowly rebuilding my life with my family.
  I love you Mom and Dad; D, M, C. and A
  Thank you FMSF for being there when my parents needed you.
                    Paying for Mental Health Care
  The mental health category is quite different from physical health.
A physical illness is usually apparent to everyone and the absence of
that illness is well-defined. The same is true for serious mental
illness like schizophrenia. Schizophrenic patients are relatively easy
to diagnose but very expensive to treat. They are high-cost patients.
The real money is found in treating neurotics or people who are
troubled by specific life problems like unhappy marriages or inability
to lose weight or difficulty making friends. Under most insurance
these sorts of problems can be treated (talked about) with low cost
(one or two hours of talk a week) and high return. In addition, these
problems are not "cured" until patients believe that they are cured.
Talk therapy with an analyst allows us to talk about ourselves with a
paid listener as long as we enjoy doing so or until the money runs
  Consider an employee who has health insurance covering mental
health. The basic cost, say $3,500 per year, must be paid to cover the
possibility of expensive surgery, etc. Few of us will seek surgery
simply because the marginal, out-of-pocket cost for us is quite small.
The same is not true for talk therapy. Once the stigma is gone from
"being in analysis," the urge to tell a paid, sympathetic listener
about our troubles can be a strong one. We can usually be sure that
the analyist will not tell our secrets and we can certainly be sure
that she/he will not say, "don't be such a cry baby, pull your socks
up and get a life." She is much more likely to tell you to get in
touch with your wounded inner child. Nothing that you have done or
said is really your responsibility. Once the analysis gets going, the
search is on to find the real source of your discomfort. Your parents
are the first suspects.
  The economic motive encourages analysts to do the following:
  1. If the patient has a genuine mental illness, refer them to a
psychiatric hospital or other provider. The mentally ill are high
cost, difficult to treat, and disruptive. Private psychiatric
hospitals will take and keep patients as long as they can pay rates
that cover costs. Insurance will often do so for thirty or sixty
days. Once insurance payments stop, the patient is discharged unless
other funds are available. Treatment ends.
  2. If the patient is merely troubled by a life-event and having
difficulty coping, the talking cure is financially attractive under
insurance coverage. If insurance covers 50% of the cost up to say,
$1,000, until that point is reached the analyst receives twice as much
revenue as the patient pays out-of-pocket. To subsidize anything is to
encourage it. Visits to a friendly analyst are comforting and they are
heavily subsidized by most employer insurance plans. The government
subsidizes education and other social goods to encourage us to consume
them. Most health plans subsidize telling your story to a friendly
social worker.
  When you raise questions about the benefits of therapy and the net
social gain from continuing to subsidize it, you threaten a large and
growing segment of middle-class incomes.
                                                          An economist
                What's the Cost of Repressed Memories?
  We have been wondering whether information might be collected on the
cost of false memories. Our daughter, for instance, has been on Social
Security Disability for years and there was a time before her false
memories when she was self supporting. Now somebody is paying for her
therapy and upkeep. The costs extend to the family also -- above the
emotional expenditure. In my own case, office visits to a cardiologist
increased from twice annually to "on demand" or five or six visits a
year. My pill intake has tripled. The last batch of pills cost $99 for
a 45-day supply. It's hard to put a dollar sign on many of the costs
but the dollars, both public and private, continue to go out.
                                                       A Mom and Dad
                        My Daughter's Birthday
  It's my daughter's birthday today so I think I'll buy myself a FAX
machine. Below is what I wrote on her birthday card. I guess it is
dumb but it might get through to her. I always used to write dumb
poems to the kids on their birthdays. I wonder if she remembers.

  Roses are Red
  Violets are Blue
  Your "repressed memories"
  Are simply NOT TRUE!

The memories I have of you as a child are of a wonderful, bright,
happy, little girl full of love and life with a great sense of
humor. How could your memories and mine be so different?
                                                         Love Mom.
                             Dear Editor:
  I am writing regarding Allen Feld's review of the second edition of
my book, Victim's of Memory (Oct. FMSF Newsletter). I was, of course,
pleased that Allen praised my skills as a writer and investigative
journalist and his observation that "the book is well-researched and
includes an extensive bibliography." I was fundamentally disappointed,
however, that he failed to review the book in any meaningful way. He
spent a fair amount of time discussing what I took OUT -- the detailed
account of my personal situation -- but he did not inform readers that
I added a substantial amount of material in this second edition.
Rather than simply tacking on an addendum, I thoroughly revised the
book in its entirety. The new edition includes not only updates on
legal issues, but many insights gleaned from my national tour with
Eleanor Goldstein speaking to families and professionals, as well as
much more research on topics such as the neuroscience of the brain.
There are also amplified recommendations to professionals, as well as
new advice to parents, siblings and children, particularly regarding
  I also added a great deal of information about Christian counselors
who have helped unearth recovered memories, including a critique of
James Friesen's Uncovering the Mystery of MPD and of Minirth-Meier New
Life Clinics. The most hopeful addition is an interview with a
Christian "retractor therapist" who once helped clients "remember"
supposed abuse but who has realized she was encouraging fantasies that
were destroying families. To her great credit, she is now attempting
to undo the harm, one case at a time. Finally, I added an appendix of
"Myths and Realities" (cowritten with Bob Koscielny), providing a 29
point summary of major conclusions regarding memory and therapy.
  More disturbing to me, however, were Allen's concluding remarks:
"Pendergrast is generous with his opinions on various subjects and
situations. Interestingly, at times he offers his personal
observations based only on his beliefs, similar to what some
therapists have done and with whom he would disagree." I am, frankly,
mystified by these remarks. It is certainly true that I expressed
opinions in Victims of Memory, but they were based not only on my
beliefs, but on extensive research and scholarship. I would have been
quite remiss had I not expressed my opinion, particularly in a book on
such an important topic. Since Allen did not specify WHICH opinions he
found objectionable, I cannot address his concerns. If he would
respond with specific points, I will be glad to consider changing the
text, if it appears warranted, in a third edition -- though let us all
hope that another edition proves unnecessary, as families are
  Finally, I am surprised that Allen has drawn any comparison between
my conclusions and those of therapists who encourage a belief in
recovered memories.While I believe that such therapists are, in
general, well-meaning, I am appalled at their use of pseudoscientific
methods and their effects on people's lives and families. As a parent
who has suffered the loss of both of his daughters to such therapy, I
find Allen's remarks objectionable.
                                                    Mark Pendergrast
                        Our Daughter is a Pawn
  We now have a court date for our proceedings. Things have taken an
interesting turn since we started proceedings against our daughter's
therapist. During the past year, our daughter contacted us three times
and allowed us to be with our two grandsons. The therapist must have
told our daughter about the lawsuit because our daughter recently
asked us, "What do you expect to gain from the law suit?" She said
that if we wanted a relationship with her, we would have to drop the
suit. We feel that the therapist is using our daughter as a pawn.
                                                         Mom and Dad
                            A Commendation
  Elizabeth Loftus, Ph.D. is to be commended for speaking out against
the smear tactics used against her. In the last few issues of the
newsletter, I've seen a trend of finally focusing on the methods of
abuse and intimidation that the accused are subjected to. I'm glad she
is speaking out and hope she continues to do so.
  As a mom who has been accused for four years, I too have been
subjected to the same methods of abuse: smear, threats, intimidation,
bullying, humiliation, isolation and destruction. When I speak out
about FMS, people tell me that they cannot imagine this happening in
their own families. But it can. It can happen to ordinary people and
not all accusations are of the sensational variety of incest and
satanic rites. In my own family, my children claim they didn't
repress their memories and FMS does not apply. But it does -- the
methods of bullying and intimidation are all there.
                                                            A Mom
                            The Test Call
  I am the former spouse of a victim of FMS. FMS has destroyed our
family, our mutual future and very nearly our next generation. I,
however, had the unique but unfortunate experience of being on both
sides of the fence during this process. By that I mean that I was on
the originating end of the phone line when the first accusations were
made. I was part of the therapy sessions and thought process. I was
living with the growing anger and self-destruction day in and day out
and saw first-hand what happens in this downward spiral.
  I can empathize with the pain that parents must feel when they are
accused from seemingly "out of the blue." It is also understandable
that parents can feel a lot of anger toward the child or therapist. It
is to these parents in particular that this statement is addressed.
  After an accusation is made, it is common for there to be a long
period of time before any direct contact is made again, perhaps months
or years. Quite often, however, a patient will come to a point where
she will want to make a phone call to her parents. In therapy sessions
this call is referred to as an attempt at "reconciliation." From what
I saw as a participant in RMT, this is usually strongly discouraged by
the therapist unless the patient is sufficiently angry to ensure its
failure. If a patient becomes very angry during a therapy session, it
is my experience that the therapist may actually encourage the phone
call at that point. There may be an expectation of a confrontation
with the parents and a reaffirmation of the abusive past. I therefore
call this the "test call" rather than the reconciliation call. In my
therapy group this was usually done without any warning or chance for
  There are two things that the therapist predicted would happen
during this test call:
  1. She told the patients that the parents would eagerly try to
     convince them that their growing up was idyllic.
  2. She told them that parents are by nature abusive and they should
      expect "reabuse" in the form of confrontation.
  What I saw was that if even one statement was made by the parent
that indicated that there were no problems (even trivial ones) in
childhood, the therapist can and will focus on this as a false
statement and paint the parent as an obvious liar and a deceiver.
Patients have been taught that their growing up was dysfunctional and
therefore, by definition, not normal. Any attempt to convince them
otherwise is categorized as denial by the family and an additional
indication of the abnormality. There is no way to win an argument on
this subject. The deck is stacked.
  Another point is one where I have seen a number of parents not do
well. It is easy to see how a parent after not hearing from a child
for a number of years, would want to get in every word of defense
possible. This defense statement can be as innocent as "I wished you
would have told us how unhappy you were while growing up." Any
significant defense is interpreted as "reabuse." Again, the decks are
stacked. Saying too much will often only reveal your own weakness,
innocent as you may be, which a therapist can use against you. From
what I saw, the best results from this phone call have been from
parents who leave it with statements of "It is very nice to hear from
you" or "we love you." Almost anything more than this plays into the
hand of an unscrupulous therapist.
  As tough as it may seem, I do not think that this first phone call
is a time when the battle of the accusation can be fought and won. It
is a time when the patient, your child, is especially vulnerable. If
your goal is to make peace and reclaim trust, just offer your love.
Then nothing can be twisted and used against you if this is a test
call and, even if it is not, you have said what is really most
important between parents and children.
                                                          Been there
                       How Did She Break Loose?
  Your May issue runs a letter from "A Retractor" on page 16. It is
heartwarming, but useless as hope for estranged parents. The retractor
says that, in therapy, there's "no sense of reality outside the
therapist's belief and support." How in heaven's name did Retractor
break loose? Did someone intervene?
                                                             A Mother 
                       Why Did This Have to Be?
  Thank you for your letter regarding the upcoming seminar. It came at
a very appropriate time. My daughter, my accuser, died very suddenly
on June 8. She was buried on June 10, 1995. She was 34 years old. She
died from complications following an asthma attack. My oldest daughter
is taking it very hard. I, her mother, for some reason am not.
Instead, I feel a sense of relief, perhaps because I know she cannot
hurt me so badly any more. If you have information from other parents
who have experienced this, I would appreciate hearing from you. It
feels as though my sadness comes from, "Why did all of this have to
be?" I feel such a sense of regret for what could have been a
wonderful mother-daughter relationship, for the kind I have with her
older sister. I felt such pity for her as she lay there. Where was her
anger and pain coming from? She hated me right up to the end for
something I didn't do. That is the sad part that I felt for her. When
I sat in church the day after she died, the fourth commandment kept
running through my mind... "Honor thy father and thy mother that it
may be well with thee, and those mayest live long on this earth."
                                                             A Mom
                            Before Therapy
Mom & Dad -
  Hi just thought I would drop you a line to say hi! I have been so
busy lately I have forgotten to tell you guys how much I love you. You
two have done so much for me...You have continually supported me,
loved me, and helped me work through my various problems and
adventures...I just wanted you guys to know that you are appreciated.
I seldom tell you how I feel or how much you guys mean to me...I love
you more than words can say.
                                                           Love "C"
                            After Therapy
Dear First Name & Last Name,
  Why am I writing this letter: To state the truth -- Dad I remember
just about everything you did to me. Whether you remember it or not is
immaterial -- what's important is I remember. I had this experience
the other day of regressing until I was a little child just barely
verbal. I was screaming and crying and absolutely hysterical. I was
afraid that you were going to come get me and torture me. That is what
sexual abuse is to a child -- the worst torture...I experienced what
professionals call a "body memory." My body convulsed for hours -- the
pain started in my vagina and shot up and out my mouth...I felt I was
a small child being brutally raped. I knew I was remembering what I
had experienced as a child...I asked who could have done such a thing
-- initially I thought Mom, since I had a vague dream about her -- but
that did not fit -- then I blurted out, "Oh my God, my father
repeatedly raped me"...I needed your protection, guidance and
understanding. Instead I got hatred, violation, humiliation and
abuse....I don't have to forgive you...I no longer give you the honor
of being my father...I'm not the victim anymore...
        | Videotapes of presentations at family meetings    |
        | and at FMSF-sponsored conferences are available   |
        | to members of the FMS Foundation for the cost of  |
        | the tape and postage. Send a stamped self-        |
        | addressed envelope to the FMSF Office for details.|

/                                                                    \
| "Because so many survivors do not get to enjoy the holidays, we    |
| have included the session "Handling the Seasons And Holidays," and |
| have chosen to give the evening entertainment a slight holiday     |
| theme, including Christmas desserts and some Christmas songs. This |
| will not be designed to trigger anyone, but will, hopefully, allow |
| us all to experience some of the enjoyment that non-survivors take |
| for granted."                                                      |
|                                    From a brochure advertising the |
|                                  Fifth Annual Survivors Conference |
|                                  sponsored by Mungadze Association |
|                                            (received October 1996) |

                            COAST TO COAST
                            NOVEMBER  1996
  (MO) = monthly; (bi-MO) = bi-monthly; (*) = see State Meetings list

                           *STATE MEETINGS*

                   Saturday, November 9, 9am - 2pm
                 Ft. Snelling Officers Club, St Paul
           Dan & Joan (612) 631-2247 or fax (612) 638-0944

                              NEW MEXICO
                      Saturday, December 7, 1pm
                Presbyterian Hospital, Southwest Room
                  1100 Central SE, Alberquerque, NM
                      Speaker: Dr. Paul Simpson
            Maggie (505) 662-7521 or Martha (505) 623-1415

                      Sunday, December 8, 1:45pm
                    Unitarian Society of New Haven
                  700 Hartford Turnpike, Hamden, Ct
        Speaker: Carlotte Vale-Allen, author of "Daddy's Girl"
                         Paul (203) 458-9173

ALASKA - Bob (907) 586-2469
ARIZONA - (bi-MO) 
    Barbara (602) 924-0975; 854-0404 (fax)
ARKANSAS - Little Rock
    Al & Lela (501) 363-4368  
      Joanne & Gerald (916) 933-3655 or
      Rudy (916) 443-4041 
    San Francisco & North Bay  (bi-MO) 
      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 
    Cent. Orange Cnty. 1st Fri. (MO) 7pm
      Chris & Alan (714) 733-2925
    Orange County - 3rd Sun. (MO) 6pm
      Jerry & Eileen (714) 494-9704 
    Covina Area - 1st Mon. (MO) 7:30pm
      Floyd & Libby (818) 330-2321 
    South Bay Area - 3rd Sat  (bi-MO) 10am
      Cecilia (310) 545-6064
COLORADO - Denver - 4th Sat. (MO) 1pm
    Art (303) 572-0407
    Earl 329-8365 or Paul 458-9173 
    Madeline (305) 966-4FMS
  Boca/Delray 2nd & 4th Thurs(MO) 1pm
    Helen (407) 498-8684 
  Central Florida -Area codes 352, 407, 904
    4th Sunday (MO), 2:30 pm
    John & Nancy (352) 750-5446
  Tampa Bay Area 
    Bob & Janet (813) 856-7091
ILLINOIS - 3nd Sun. (MO) 
  Chicago & Suburbs
    Eileen (847) 985-7693
    Bill & Gayle (815) 467-6041
  Rest of Illinois
    Bryant & Lynn (309) 674-2767
INDIANA - Indiana Friends of FMS
    Nickie (317) 471-0922(ph); 334-9839(fax)
    Pat (219) 482-2847 
IOWA - Des Moines - 2nd Sat. (MO) 11:30am Lunch 
    Betty & Gayle (515) 270-6976 
KANSAS - Kansas City
    Leslie (913) 235-0602 or Pat 738-4840
    Jan (816) 931-1340  
  Covington - Dixie (606) 356-9309 
  Louisville- Last Sun. (MO) 2pm 
    Bob (502) 957-2378 
LOUISIANA - Francine (318) 457-2022  
MAINE - Area Code 207
    Irvine & Arlene 942-8473 
  Freeport - 4th Sun. (MO) 
    Carolyn 364-8891
MARYLAND - Ellicot City Area 
    Margie (410) 750-8694  
  Chelmsford - Ron (508) 250-9756  
  Grand Rapids Area, Jenison - 1st Mon. (MO) 
    Bill & Marge (616) 383-0382
  Greater Detroit Area - 3rd Sun. (MO)
    Nancy (810) 642-8077 
    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 - Area Code 314
     Karen 432-8789 or Mae 837-1976 
  Springfield - 4th Sat. (MO) 12:30pm 
    Dorothy & Pete (417) 882-1821
    Howard (417) 865-6097  
NEW MEXICO (*) - Area Code 505 
  Albequerque, 1st Sat. (MO), 1 pm 
   Southwest Room - Presbyterian Hospital
    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 
  Pittsburgh - Rick & Renee (412) 563-5616 
  Wayne (Includes S. NJ) - 2nd Sat. Oct, Nov, Dec
         - Jim & Jo (610) 783-0396  
TENNESSEE - Wed. (MO) 1pm
  Kate (615) 665-1160
  Central Texas - Nancy & Jim (512) 478-8395 
  Houston - Jo or Beverly (713) 464-8970 
UTAH -  Keith (801) 467-0669  
VERMONT (bi-MO) - Judith (802) 229-5154  
VIRGINIA - Sue (703) 273-2343  
    Pat (304) 291-6448
    Katie & Leo (414) 476-0285
    Susanne & John (608) 427-3686


  Vancouver & Mainland - Last Sat. (MO) 1-4pm
    Ruth (604) 925-1539
  Victoria & Vancouver Island -  3rd Tues. (MO) 7:30pm
    John (604) 721-3219
  Winnipeg - Nov. 8, 7:30pm
  Joan (204) 284-0118
  London - 2nd Sun (bi-MO)
    Adrian (519) 471-6338 
  Ottawa - Eileen (613) 836-3294 
  Toronto/N. York - Pat (416) 444-9078 
  Warkworth - Ethel (705) 924-2546
  Burlington - Ken & Marina (905) 637-6030 
  Sudbury - Paula (705) 692-0600  
  Montreal - Alain (514) 335-0863  
  Mrs Irene Courtis P.O. Box 630, 
  Sunbury, VCT 3419 phone (03) 9740 6930  
  fax-(972) 2-259282 or E-mail:  
  Task Force FMS of Werkgroep Fictieve Herinneringen
    Mrs. Anna deJong (31) 20-693-5692 
    Mrs. Colleen Waugh (09) 416-7443 
  Ake Moller, fax: (48) 431-217-90
  The British False Memory Society
    Roger Scotford (44) 1225 868-682  

  JANUARY '97 Issue Deadline: DEC 13. Meeting notices MUST be in
  writing. Mark Fax or envelope: "Attn: Meeting Notice" & send 2
  months before scheduled meeting.

|          Do you have access to e-mail?  Send a message to          |
|                                         |
| if  you wish to receive electronic versions of this newsletter and |
| notices of radio and television  broadcasts  about  FMS.  All  the |
| message need say is "add to the FMS-News". You'll also learn about |
| joining  the  FMS-Research list  (it distributes reseach materials |
| such as news stories, court decisions and research  articles).  It |
| would be useful, but not necessary, if you add your full name (all |
| addresses and names will remain strictly confidential).            |

  The False Memory Syndrome Foundation is a qualified 501(c)3 corpora-
tion  with  its  principal offices in Philadelphia and governed by its 
Board of Directors.  While it encourages participation by its  members
in  its  activities,  it must be understood that the Foundation has no 
affiliates and that no other organization or person is  authorized  to
speak for the Foundation without the prior written approval of the Ex-
ecutive Director. All membership dues and contributions to the Founda-
tion must be forwarded to the Foundation for its disposition.

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

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

Pamela Freyd, Ph.D.,  Executive Director

FMSF Scientific and Professional  Advisory Board,    November 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; 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; SUSAN L.   McELROY,  M.D.   , University of Cincinnati,
Cincinnati,   OH;  PAUL    McHUGH,  M.D.,   Johns  Hopkins University,
Baltimore, MD;  HAROLD  MERSKEY, D.M., University  of Western Ontario,
London, Canada;  SPENCER  HARRIS  MORFIT, Author, Boxboro,   MA; 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,  Boston,  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; CHARLES A. WEAVER, III, Ph.D. Baylor University, Waco,

                           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 (minimum $25):

___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