FMSF NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE - October 1, 1996 - Vol. 5, No. 9, HTML version

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This address and the phone numbers have changed as of July 15, 2000
    The FMSF Newsletter is published 10 times a year by the  False
    Memory  Syndrome  Foundation.  A hard-copy subscription is in-
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    ISSN #1069-0484.  Copyright (c) 1996  by  the  FMSF Foundation
    Focus on Science
          Legal Corner
            From Our Readers
Dear Friends,

  The cross-examination of the appellant and his wife by Crown counsel
  was replete with improper questions. Both the appellant and his wife
  were asked time and again why the complainant would fabricate the
  allegations and were called upon to comment on the credibility of
  the complainant. These questions were not isolated instances but
  part of an obvious strategy that was both considered and deliberate.
                   Court of Appeal for Ontario, August 28 and 29, 1996

Here are some examples of questions that were given in the decision:

  Q. If your husband is convicted, would you believe it then?
  A. If my husband was convicted, I'd have to believe it wouldn't I?
  Q. What else would make you believe it? If you saw it?
  A. I would have to see something out of my husband.
  Q. Okay. So now it's just if you saw it or is it if you saw it and if
       he's convicted.
  A. If I saw it, I would believe it
  Q. What about if he's convicted, would you believe it if you didn't
       see anything?
  A. If he's convicted, I would not believe it.

  As the Ontario Court noted, the problem with such questions is that
they place the witnesses in the position of having either to impugn
the potential jury verdict and the jury system or to concede. This is
the first decision that has passed our desk that has made note of the
prejudicial questioning that has been so difficult for families.
  Almost all families have had to deal with prejudicial questions --
even from well meaning friends. Is there a family that was not
expected to provide the answer for why their own child had become
delusional on the topic of her childhood? Is there a family that has
not had to explain that while a "denial" is certainly not proof of
innocence, neither is it proof of guilt? Is there a spouse who has not
been asked, "Did you ever think it could be true?" with the
implication that if such a thought could have occurred then maybe "it"
happened. Learning how to handle such questions, like learning how to
live with the grief of child-loss is what FMSF families have had to
  Has the FMS Foundation been too successful? When a child dies,
friends rally round, professionals offer sympathy, there is closure.
FMS families, however, have had to live with suspicion, with attacks
rather than compassion and with no closure to their grief. Has the
Foundation been so successful that the mental health field has lost
sight of the fact that most families joined the FMS Foundation to seek
help in enduring the agony of child-loss.
  FMSF families chose to deal with their personal pain by educating
themselves and the public about the nature of memory rather than
wallow in self-pity. They asked those who made claims about the nature
of memory for the scientific evidence of those claims. They chose to
fight for justice in the courts when they were accused. They chose to
point out some misdirections of thinking on the part of some
professionals. They asked, "Please, will therapists make a good faith
check into the accuracy of "recovered memories" before destroying the
reputations, families and lives of people."
  Is it because the Foundation has been so successful that some
professionals respond with attacks and smear tactics rather than with
compassion for people who are trying to cope with one of the worst
stressors that life can bring: the loss of a child? We do not have the
answer to that question that observers of this acrimonious controversy
ask. Where is the compassion?

  The legal summaries this month present another remarkable series of
decisions and settlements that capture the nonsense and waste of
resources of the FMSF phenomenon and also the depth of harm that can
come from false accusations in either repressed-memory or child cases.
A jury in San Diego ordered a therapist to pay $1.9 million for
negligent treatment that caused a lawsuit and alienated a child. A
judge in Missouri dismissed a repressed memory case and ordered the
plaintiff to make $125,000 restitution to the grandparents she had
accused. The description of the settlement of a case in Oregon boggles
the mind, and a mental health consumer must ask how could such
outrageous things have gone on without any intervention from
professional peers?
  The awful tragedy is that during the past seven years while the
media has been riding on the "sex and gore" of the repressed memory
stories, and the courts and lawyers have been prosecuting cases that
are decades old, and families have been using all their resources to
defend themselves, there has been a big rise in child abuse according
to a study issued in September by the Department of Health and Human
Services. While the incidence of child abuse is reported to have
increased by 107 percent, the number of cases that were investigated
actually fell from 44 percent in 1986 to 28 percent in 1993. "This
picture suggests that the child protective system has reached its
capacity to respond to the maltreated child population," notes the
report. The study noted that children of single parents had 77 percent
greater risk of being harmed by physical abuse and an 87 percent
greater risk of being harmed by physical neglect, and an 80 percent
greater risk of suffering serious injury or harm than children living
with both parents.
  How are we using scant resources to help real children in the
here-and-now? This is a question that we have raised before in this
newsletter. Recalling that the incidence of child abuse reflects
approximately 15% sexual abuse, 28% physical abuse and about 50%
neglect, we ask: how are we using our resources?  The data from two
sources are revealing.

  Crime Victims Compensation Reports for two states show the following:

California (6/18/96) Grants for Victimization Breakout
  14 Child Physical Abuse
  83 Child Sexual Abuse
  70 Adult Sexual Assault
  69 Adults Molested as Children

Oregon (6/18/96) Grants for Victimization Breakout
  14 Child Physical Abuse
  48 Child Sexual Abuse 
  40 Adult Sexual Assault
  37 Adults Molested as Children

  The National Institute of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and
Deliquency Prevention, June 1995, Prosecuting Child Physical Abuse
Cases: A Case Study in San Diego, Barbara Smith, included the
following comment:

  "More cases of child sexual abuse are prosecuted than cases of child
  physical abuse and neglect although the incidence of physical abuse
  is significantly higher. One reason for this situation is the common
  assumption that the prosecutor is unwilling to process these cases.
  San Diego was studied because it actively prosecutes child physical
  abuse cases."

  To ask the obvious question of why more resources are poured into
sexual abuse rather than physical abuse or neglect which represent a
much greater percentage of the problem does not mean that stopping
sexual abuse is not vitally important. It raises the question,
however, of where the money is going and what should be the
priorities. Where ever the increases in funding of the past seven
years have gone, it has not been for more investigations as the
Department of Health and Human Services Study so clearly notes. We
believe that the welfare of children is important enough to ask people
to reflect on their priorities.

  The Foundation has moved its office, although readers will not have
noticed because we have been able to keep all our telephone numbers
and even our suite number the same. The move has been planned for a
year and a half during which time we have had rooms that were not only
over-crowded but located on different sides of the building. We invite
our members and our critics to visit us.
  "Why do you need more space? Aren't the calls decreasing?" families
might ask. The decrease in calls, of course, will be the indication
that an important part of the work of the Foundation has been done.
Unfortunately, the FMS problem still exists. We still receive
approximately 85 calls a month from first-time callers who are asking
for help because someone in their family has undergone a personality
change, cut-off contact and made some accusation. An increasing number
of the calls come from spouses who have lived through several years of
"trauma-memory search" for parental abuse only to find that eventually
they, too, are accused.
  The number of calls seems still directly related to publicity about
the Foundation. For example, a letter was published in a weekly
magazine in Thunder Bay, Ontario. It contained the telephone number of
the FMS Foundation. As a result of this letter, we received three
telephone calls from individuals questioning their recovered
memories. At least one is a retractor of her false memories who did
not know about the Foundation.
  Perhaps that tells us what we still need to do. 

/                                                                    \ 
|                   MEMORY AND REALITY: NEXT STEPS                   |
|                       March 22 and 23, 1997                        |
|                                                                    |
|   The family conference scheduled for Baltimore's Renaissance      |
| Hotel has been designated the Foundation's official fifth          |
| anniversary celebration and will combine important presentations   |
| and special social opportunities for families and professionals    |
| who attend. The results of the legal survey conducted by the       |
| Foundation's Legal Task Force will be one of the featured          |
| presentations. Speakers will include: Drs. Chris Barden, Pamela    |
| Freyd, Elizabeth Loftus, and Paul McHugh.                          |
|   A continuing education program jointly sponsored by the FMS      |
| Foundation and Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions is slated for    |
| Friday, March 21, 1997. Brochures for both programs will be mailed |
| later in the fall.                                                 |
|                                                                    |

                        August Piper Jr., M.D.
  The masses think it is easy to flee from reality, when actually, it
  is the most difficult thing in the world.
                                                 Ortega y Gasset, 1948

  A woman -- who lives in Philadelphia, oddly enough -- wrote last
month to say that she had heard the False Memory Syndrome Foundation
had gone out of existence. I called her to say that although probably
any number of people most ardently wished this were indeed the case,
the rumor contained neither jot nor tittle of the truth. A phone call
to the FMSF office assured her that I had spoken correctly.
  The main reason for the letter, however, was to ask a question about
her 26-year-old daughter, Linda, who has become convinced that she is
a victim of sexual abuse (she is not sure by whom) and satanic ritual
abuse. "And in the past few years," the mother's letter continues,
"with the help of two therapists, she has discovered she has some
seventy different personalities."
  The mother said that she had half believed Linda's story as it
evolved. Though she had never seen evidence that her husband had
improperly touched her daughter, it was hard to argue with the
therapist. For one reason, she claimed to be an expert. For another,
she refused to meet with Linda's mother or to even talk to her on the
  Over the years, Linda's memories became more and more incredible.
Finally, she came to remember being sexually molested in a ceremony in
her parents' house -- while her mother watched, doing nothing to
assist Linda. The mother's letter says, "This accusation, though
painful, nonetheless brought me an odd kind of relief. Whereas I
didn't know whether or not my daughter's earlier claims were based in
reality, I knew beyond any doubt that this one was absolutely false.
So this preposterous accusation helped me see that my daughter had
fallen victim to a cruel delusion; it helped me finally realize that
her memories were unreliable."
  She has told her daughter of this realization -- to no avail: "Linda
continues to cling firmly to all her beliefs, including that her
brother is part of a huge cult."
  This story, in all its dismal sordidness, must smell depressingly
familiar to many of us: Childhood maltreatment that is remembered for
the first time during psychotherapy. The ubiquitous "cult" -- for
which no one can ever seem to produce evidence. The expert therapist,
so confident of his or her ability to unearth the truth buried in the
past. Multiplication of "personalities," as far as the eye can see.
Ever-more fantastic memories of evermore fantastic mistreatment. The
dreary features of this story are staples of the lawsuits, now
blossoming all over the country, against both major and minor
practitioners of recovered-memory psychotherapy.
  In her letter, the mother asks the impassioned question voiced by so
many FMSF members:"What can I do to help my daughter?"
  Some research, based on sound cognitive-behavioral principles, might
help answer this question. In treating patients who have delusions --
that is, beliefs that are held firmly, despite a lack of evidence to
support them, and in the face of evidence against them --
psychiatrists have found that attempting to argue against the
delusional belief usually accomplishes little. Rather, the research
indicates a better course: simply ask the patient to generate his or
her own alternative hypothesis for the phenomenon under discussion.
After such explanations come forth, therapist and patient rationally
discuss and weigh the merits and demerits of the various alternative
  Beauty and elegance lie in this admittedly rather passive approach:
in essence, patients are asked to argue against their own beliefs. It
avoids the struggle that occurs when one side attempts to press its
beliefs on the other. The therapist might offer an hypothesis, but
only as something that the patient might -- or might not -- want to
examine; the therapist is not passionately invested in one position or
  So Linda's mother might say something like this: "Yes, dear, I
understand you believe you were raped on an altar in our living room
by the pastor and assistant pastor of our neighborhood Lutheran church
while I watched. But is there any other hypothesis we might want to
consider here?" She then refuses to discuss the matter further until
daughter does the work of generating another theory that, one hopes,
would conform more closely to the reality that most of us hold close.
  Yes -- the problems of this approach are many. It's slow. The
accusing family member may never develop an alternative theory. It
requires conveying the message that a delusional belief deserves the
same credence as a reality-based belief. It requires cool, rational
discussion of a hot, emotional issue. But I don't know any other
research-validated method that tackles the vexing problem of therapy-
induced false memories. Let me hear from all you wise readers who have
other suggestions for Linda's mother!

    /                                                            \
    |                       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   |
    |   RESEARCH: Merci Federicia, Michele Gregg, Anita Lipton   |
    |   NOTICES: Valerie Fling                                   |
    |   PRODUCTION: Frank Kane                                   |
    |   COLUMNISTS: Katie Spanuello and                          |
    |       members of the FMSF Scientific Advisory Board        |
    |   LETTERS and VALUABLE INFORMATION: Our Readers            |

                           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.
                      *       *       *       *
  In the last six months, several new studies have described
individuals who reportedly "repressed" and then recovered a memory of
childhood sexual abuse or other trauma, and where it was later
"corroborated" that the traumatic event actually occurred (1-4). It is
likely that we will see these studies cited in the future as new
evidence that some people can develop amnesia for seemingly
unforgettable traumatic events. (This phenomenon has been discussed
under various terms in the literature, such as "repression,"
"dissociation," and "psychogenic amnesia." For purposes of simplicity,
we will use the term "repression" below.)
  Do these studies provide legitimate evidence that "repression" can
occur? In response, we must recognize that all of these studies were
retrospective in design, in the sense that the investigators
determined both the existence of the "repression" and the validity of
the traumatic event at time points after each had occurred.
Unfortunately, such evidence, as in other retrospective studies in
science, is subject to serious methodologic limitations. Here are some
examples which typify the studies cited above.
  First, suppose that Ms. A recovers a "memory" that she was sexually
abused by Mr. B. Evidence later emerges that Mr. B indisputably abused
several other children. Does it follow that Ms. A's "memory" has now
been corroborated? No. Ms. A may well have known since her childhood
that Mr. B was a bad character, and thus he would be the obvious
"candidate" to become the perpetrator in her "recovered" memory, even
if her memory were false and he had never abused her at all. Thus, the
discovery that Mr. B is an abuser is not a corroboration, but a
circularity: it may be simply a reaffirmation of something that Ms. A
knew (or at least sensed) before she ever formed her "memory."
  Now, suppose that Mr. C reports to the police that he has just
recovered a memory that when he was an altar boy 20 years ago, he was
sexually abused by Reverend D. An investigation ensues, and Reverend D
actually confesses to the crime. Unlike the previous example, here we
have clear corroboration (barring the possibility that Mr. D has made
a false confession). But now we have a different problem: we cannot
establish whether Mr. C actually repressed his memory, or merely
claimed to have repressed it when in fact he remembered it all along.
For example, Mr. C might need to allege repression in order to toll
the statute of limitations and be able to prosecute Mr. D in court. Or
more simply, Mr. C may have been embarrassed to disclose this
homosexual encounter to anybody for the last 20 years. He may even
have tried hard not to think about it himself, although in truth he
never actually forgot it. Now, rather than admit that he never told
anyone, it is easier to simply claim that he "repressed" it.
  Next, suppose that Ms. E, a patient on a ward specializing in post-
traumatic stress disorder, remembers that she was sexually abused as a
child by Mr. F. Evidence shows that the abuse really happened.
Although she remembers the event currently, Ms. E claims that she had
no memory of the abuse for several years when she was in high school
and college. Did Ms. E repress the memory? Again we cannot assume so.
If we had encountered Ms. E during her college years, and asked her
about the abuse episode, there is no proof that she would actually
have professed amnesia for it at the time. (This last example is a
study of the "do-you-remember-whether-you-forgot" type, the flaws of
which have been discussed in detail in a previous "Focus on Science"
article in the October, 1995 Newsletter.)
  Of course, these scenarios are speculative. Perhaps Ms. A, Mr. C,
and Ms. E really did repress their memories. But the point is that one
cannot discriminate, in retrospective situations like these, whether
repression did or did not happen. For this reason, as in many other
areas of scientific study, retrospective studies are untrustworthy.
  It might seem that we are imposing impossibly high standards on
these retrospective designs. Unfortunately, however, experience has
shown that lesser standards would be naive. Faulty conclusions from
retrospective reports happen all the time in science, and often create
sad consequences. Periodically, for example, a report will appear
stating that patients with cancer or AIDS have benefited from some new
drug or herb. Immediately, victims of the disease flock to obtain the
treatment, even if they must fly to Mexico or obtain it on the black
market. Eventually, someone does a legitimate prospective study of the
treatment, assigning one group of subjects to the treatment and the
other group to an inert placebo -- and the treatment proves valueless.
  The same logic applies in testing the hypothesis that it is actually
possible to "repress" a memory of a traumatic event. Further
retrospective reports, based on cases like those described above, do
almost nothing to advance our knowledge on this topic -- any more than
would additional retrospective accounts claiming that schizophrenia
was cured with megavitamins, cancer with laetrile, or AIDS with
Chinese herbs. The time has come to insist on properly designed
prospective studies, in which victims of a documented traumatic event
are followed up and actually asked by the investigators, at a later
date, whether they remember the event or not. So far, the evidence
from properly designed prospective studies indicates that people do
not repress the memories of traumatic events. We will discuss the
available prospective studies in a later Newsletter issue.


  1. Herman JL, Harvey M. Adult memories of childhood trauma.
  Presented at Trauma and Memory: An International Research
  Conference, Durham, New Hampshire, July 26-28, 1996.

  2. Kluft RP. True lies, false truth, and naturalistic raw data:
  Applying clinical research findings to the false memory debate.
  Presented at Trauma and Memory: An International Research
  Conference, Durham, New Hampshire, July 26-28, 1996.

  3. Whitfield CL, Stock WE. Traumatic memories in 50 adult survivors
  of child sexual abuse. Presented at Trauma and Memory: An
  International Research Conference, Durham, New Hampshire, July
  26-28, 1996.

  4. Grassian S, Holtzen D. Memory of sexual abuse by a parish
  priest. Presented at Trauma and Memory: An International Research
  Conference, Durham, New Hampshire, July 26-28, 1996.

/                                                                    \ 
|                        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.                  |

           The Columbus Dispatch, Aug. 8, 1996, Robert Ruth

  The parents of Christian singer Jeffrey Fenholt have sued their son
for $12 million, saying he knowingly lied in interviews about being
beaten as a child. Janet and Robert Fenholt contend their son made
false claims of abuse in recent years on Christian TV shows, a World
Wide Web site, in his autobiography and in Christian magazines.
  The complaint filed 8/7/96 in U.S. District Court in Columbus Ohio,
states that Fenholt knew his claims "were false, defamatory and
libelous." The suit demands that Fenholt stop making the claims and
that any unsold copies of his 1994 autobiography, From Darkness to
Light, be destroyed.
  The couple are also suing the book's publisher, Harrison House;
Fenholt's record company; and Trinity Broadcasting Network, a
Christian network on which Fenholt and his wife, Maureen, perform.

                         GOOD NEWS BAD NEWS!
                    Indeed the truth does matter!

 Reactions to Bottoms, B. L., Shaver, P. R., & Goodman, G. S. (1996).
           An analysis of ritualistic and religion-related 
                       child abuse allegations.
            Law and Human Behavior, Vol. 20, No. 1, 1-34.

  This article describes a well-designed survey of clinical
psychologists about ritualistic and religion-related child abuse
allegations. It has many potential audiences, especially those
interested in ritualistic and/or religion-related abuse. It should
also interest those wanting greater insight into the practices and
beliefs of some clinical psychologists, and in that respect is an
excellent companion to the research of Poole et al (1995) and Yapko
  The authors objectively report the results of their survey of a
stratified random sample of clinical members of the American
Psychological Association. These scientists avoid editorializing and
minimize politicizing even when they detail comments or material from
respondents that at the very least might be deemed questionable and
perhaps can even be described as bizarre. Approximately 6000 
randomly-selected APA psychologists from various clinical specialties
received letters explaining the research and asking respondents to
indicate the number of cases of ritualistic abuse and/or religion-
related abuse they encountered during the ten years ending January 1,
1990. Since there are no agreed-upon definitions of either of these
two forms of abuse, the surveyed psychologists were provided with a
list of 21 features that may readily be accepted as representing the
abuses studied in this research.
  There was a return rate of 46%, with 803 psychologists reporting
encounters of ritual or religion-related abuse. These 803 replies
created four distinct sub-groups for statistical analysis: children
under age 18 reporting ritual abuse, children under 18 reporting
religion-related abuse, those over age 18 making reports of
experiencing these two kinds of abuse when they were younger than 18.
Strikingly, a handful of psychologists (2% of the 803 who indicated
such encounters) reported more than one hundred cases apiece. A
geographical breakdown of reported incidences is included in the
article. For those interested in the differentiation between these
two forms of abuse made in this research, that information is also
  A follow-up detailed survey was mailed to the 803 respondents
yielding 338 replies (a 42% rate), and 297 of these surveys were
deemed appropriate for analyses. This second questionnaire was
designed to elicit more specific details of the experiences clinicians
had with these kinds of situations, the respondents' degree of belief
in their clients' claims and their participation in ritual abuse
workshops and seminars. Additionally, each respondent was asked to
describe no more than eight representative cases (or all of their
cases if less than eight).
  The authors applied various statistical tests and interpreted these
results. They also reacted to some of the cases and some interesting
direct quotes cited in the responses. Differences between allegations
reported by children and adults are discussed. Interestingly, ritual
forms of abuse reported by adults are dramatically more extreme than
those reported by children, but in religion-related abuse this was not
so. There are additional data described: presenting symptoms,
DSM-III-R diagnoses, characteristics of victims and perpetrators,
legal responses to these kinds of allegations, believability, evidence
about the claim (e.g. little concrete evidence of ritualistic abuse,
more compelling evidence for religion-related abuse-more so for
children than adults, yet similar belief of validity by clinicians
about these claims). There are only two circumstances in which the
authors express personal opinions. One circumstance deals with areas
for future research and here their commitment to science becomes
evident. They define and strongly advocate future areas for research
The other appears in a brief paragraph titled, "Does the Truth
Matter?"  Here, again, they make effective use of quotations from some
of the psychologists who responded to the survey, finishing their
article with this statement: definitely does matter whether the cults actually exist. To
  the extent that such claims are false, they undermine the
  believability of actual victims of child abuse and create a backlash
  against child protection, prosecution of actual abusers, and
  psychological treatment -- a backlash from which these endeavors
  cannot easily recover.

  The concerns about the impact on those who have truly experienced
abuse, along with the adverse reactions to the helping professions,
have frequently been expressed by the Foundation as well. One wishes
that these respected authors would also have included at least three
additional groups in their concerns: those who wrongly believe they
have been victims of ritual abuse, those who are imprisoned because of
false accusations of abuse, and the families that have been torn apart
and are still devastated because some therapists have not learned that
indeed the truth does matter.

Poole, D. A., Lindsay, D. S., Memon, A. Bull, R. (1995) Psychotherapy
and the recovery of memories of childhood sexual abuse; U.S. and
British practitioners' opinions, practices and experiences. Journal of
Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 63,3, 426-437.

Yapko, M. D. (1994). Suggestions of abuse: True and false memories of
childhood sexual trauma. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  Editors Note: Belief in an intergenerational cult conspiracy is
  alive and well in spite of the information provided by the Bottoms
  et al article. Here are some examples that have crossed our desk
  this summer:

          Satan abuse zealots meet to plan a new witch hunt.
                 The Mail on Sunday, Sept. 15, 1996. 
Two hundred social workers, psychologists, counsellors, police
officers, lawyers and clergy attended a conference organized by the
Ritual Abuse Network. According to the Mail, one of the speakers was
Katherine Gould who believes that both child victims and the adults
who abused them have no memory of what happened because the cults
force them to adopt multiple personalities. The conference, which was
closed to the press and the public, may have been inspired by the
knowledge of a recent Belgium paedophile ring.
                  Satanism, Cults, and Ritual Crime
is the title of a chapter in a training book for policemen, Criminal
Investigation, by Osterburg and Ward (Anderson Publishing, 1997).
There was no reference at all to the Goodman et al study and the
Lanning report was dismissed as the work of a "skeptic."
                  Holistic Healing and Ritual Abuse:
         Honoring the Body and Mind While Healing the Spirit
was the title of a conference sponsored by the Minnesota Awareness of
Ritual Abuse Network in August, 1996 in Minnetonka, MN. Caryn
StarDancer, the Executive Director of Survivorship, a non-profit
organization for survivors of ritualistic abuse, mind control and
torture, was one of the presenters. She also presented at the
conference in England mentioned above. According to the Mail,
StarDancer switches between a variety of personalities including a
prostitute and "turtle boy" in front of audiences. There was no talk
listed as presenting the information from the Goodman et al study.
               Christian Treatment of Trauma Recovery,
sponsored by Mungadze Associates and the Christian Society for the
Healing of Dissociative Disorders, was held in Irving, Texas on August
8, 9. & 10. Catherine Gould, Ph.D, who also spoke at the conference in
England mentioned above, presented several sessions on Healing from
Mind Control & Cult Involvement.

                          A BOOK OF INTEREST 
                The Politics of Child Abuse in America
              Costin, L.B., Karger, H.D. and Stoesz, D.
                    Oxford University Press, 1996

  An historical overview and analysis of the contradiction of a
rapidly expanding child abuse industry consisting of enterprising
psychotherapists and attorneys that consume enormous resources with
the fact that thousand of poor children are still being harmed while
being "protected" by public agencies. The authors suggest that the
growing interest in child abuse as a middle class problem has led to a
frenzied pursuit of offenders that has harmed many. They recommend the
creation of a "Children's Authority" solely dedicated to protecting

Some headlines that crossed our desk this summer that indicate that
the child welfare system is in need of a reexamination of priorities.

                       An Unqualified disaster
                           Scott Farmelant
             Philadelphia City Paper, June 28-July 4 1996

  "Half of Family Court's so-called psychologists are unlicensed and,
in most cases, they ignore recognized testing guidelines when
evaluating juvenile offenders and youths at the center of custody
disputes. Does this decades-old system place children in danger?"
              No More Convicted Felons as Foster Parents
                 DDS to Curb Foster Care by Criminals
                     Boston Globe April 29, 1996

  The state will immediately begin a case-by-case review of all foster
homes operated by criminals who received a waiver from the Department
of Social Services... The state has knowingly approved violent
criminals, drug dealers, child abusers and habitual drunk drivers to
be foster parents in the past two years.. In all, DSS granted waivers
to 115 foster homes operated by individuals with criminal records...
Waivers were granted because of a shortage of foster parents and
because of a policy encouraging the placement of foster children with
family members.
        Policy of Keeping Abused Kids in Tents to be Reviewed
                         Dallas Morning News
                         Friday July 19, 1996

  Some abused and neglected children in Texas have been housed for for
more than a year in rural tent camps. The Texas Department of
Protective and Regulatory Services has licensed eight "therapeutic
camps" run by private nonprofit agencies. The children in the camps
are aged 10 to 17 and have been sexually and physically abused or
abandoned. Also included are those who have had run-ins with the
law. The state pays tent camp operators between $50 and $100 a day to
keep the children. The level of pay depends on the severity of the
child's problems.


  Editor's Note: The following "Reconciliation" form was received by a
  mother from her son. The son received it from his therapist. The
  therapist is neither certified nor licensed in the state where she
  is practicing, Arkansas. Her business card states "Psychotherapist -
  Jung method." The licensing Board in the state where she is
  practicing informed the mother that it is illegal for this therapist
  to have a card that says "Psychotherapist" if she is not licensed.


  1. Person who feels harmed identifies specific behavior which hurt,
and how that wound impacts life today. Must be stated in Behavioral
terms. List:
  2. Person who did harm acknowledges the experience and feelings of
wounded person.
  3. Person who did harm apologizes. "I am sorry, what can I do to
make up for my behavior." - may be need for restitution.
  4. Wounded person forgives. - if cannot forgive, may take time or
may take more restitution.
  5. Renewal: agreement of mutual behavior to prevent further hurt.
  6. Checking back or reporting back with positive feedback.

General Policy:
  1. Give person this process in writing.
  2. Disqualifiers: "I know you did not intend to but..."
  3. Ask for ample face to face for processing.
  4. Stop at any step where process breaks down and say: "I will try
again later..."

                          DID YOU KNOW THAT?

  Two Rivers Psychiatric Hospital in Kansas City pleaded no contest to
charges it paid a psychologist $41,000 for referring patients to it in
1990-91 and agreed to pay $63,000 in restitution (According to USA
Today, August 29, 1996).

                        CHARLOTTE VALE ALLEN,

  author of Daddy's Girl and whose letter appeared in the September
  issue, has offered to respond to letters from readers of the FMSF
  Newsletter. Send them c/o FMSF Office.


                             BOOK REVIEWS

                           MAKING MONSTERS 
                          VICTIMS of MEMORY 
                        Reviewed by Allen Feld

  Richard Ofshe and Ethan Watters have added an important chapter to
SEXUAL HYSTERIA. The revision of their 1994 book appears in the First
Paperback Printing (1996) by University of California Press and is
published by an arrangement with Scribner (an imprint of Simon &
Schuster). The original book was impressive because of its
forcefulness and no-holds-barred approach to identifying serious
lapses of science and questionable therapeutic techniques practiced by
some therapists. The book contains descriptions of real situations
which serve to highlight both the pain caused by recovered memory
therapy and the absurd beliefs and practices of some professionals.
This new chapter fits well within the framework of the original text,
updating the changing picture in the false memory debate.
  The twenty-page addition, "Afterword: Recovered Memory Therapy in
Perspective," is a brief description of some of the changes that have
taken place since the original manuscript was published. It draws some
historical comparisons between the fields of medicine and mental
health, notes the changing legal climate and introduces some of the
legislative efforts to help monitor professionals. Consistent with the
directness of their approach in the original manuscript, Ofshe and
Watters candidly describe what they believe are efforts by some
therapists to recognize that there is a problem with other therapists
without taking responsibility for their own recovered memory
work. There are references to the important role that the False Memory
Syndrome Foundation, its Scientific and Professional Advisory Board
and Pamela Freyd, the Foundation executive director, played in
creating the significant societal changes that are occurring. (Ofshe
is a member of the FMSF Scientific and Professional Advisory Board.)
Anyone who is aware of the problems created by false memories should
realize that the length of this chapter can only be a glimpse of what
has happened in the two years since the book was published.

SHATTERED LIVES is a second edition of his highly-praised book and
this edition should get similar accolades. His skills as a writer and
investigative journalist are readily apparent. The book is well-
researched and includes an extensive bibliography that is an excellent
resource for those who are beginning to explore the false memory
phenomenon. Pendergrast states that there was a need for a second
edition just one year after the first because so much has happened in
that relatively short period of time. Pendergrast keeps his original
work fresh by updating the evolving scientific and legal developments.
His personal material has been excluded because the author felt that
too often this became the focus when the original book was reviewed
and because erroneous assumptions were made as to his motive for its
  One wonders if that will deter similarly misguided assumptions by
those who are prone to criticize material that doesn't conform with
their beliefs. Excluding that material does not diminish the
importance of this book. The revision still contains many personal
stories about sexual abuse allegations, including several of the most
highly profiled cases. 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.

  Both of these books speak to the head and to the heart. Their
contribution to public understanding of the misuse of science and
therapy should be a part of any documentation that is written about
this unfortunate episode in the annals of mental health.

  Allen Feld is a licensed social worker who was on the faculty of the
  School of Social Work at Marywood College for the past 26 years. He
  is a member of the FMSF staff.

  Editor's comment: As the false memory phenomenon runs its course,
  books and articles published by professionals provide a lens on
  changing conceptual understanding about techniques that have been
  used in therapy. Hypnosis has been the technique singled out as
  being most problematic, and many professionals now provide warnings
  about its use. We think that the following review provides a
  fascinating insight into one therapist-author's partial
  understanding of how false memories may be created in therapy. From
  the training seminar brochures that continue to cross our desk
  promoting the use of hypnosis in reliving trauma, we have reason to
  think that many people have a partial understanding of why hypnosis
  is problematic.

       Freeport, PA: ZIOTECH International 120 pp; $12.95 (US). 
                 Ronald L. Stephens, MscD, CHt (1996) 
                  Reviewed by Campbell Perry, Ph.D.

  This slim volume consists of 105 pages of text, a one-page reference
section consisting of eight cited works (although several others are
discussed in the text, but not referenced), a three-page index, a
potted biography of the author, and a quite remarkable disclaimer that
"mistakes, both typographical and in content, may exist" (p.8). This
turns out to be an understatement; the book is riddled with
misspellings, errors of fact, and some poor grammar (e.g.
"[p]revention of a negative scenario is preventable with a little
knowledge" (p. 93)).
  More troubling is the spate of factual errors that run through the
book. For instance, readers learn that Eileen Franklin's "recall began
as flashbacks while watching one of her own children lying on the
floor" (p. 14). In actuality, this was Ms. Franklin's fourth account
of the source of her memory (MacLean, 1994), and the evidence suggests
that she initially "recovered" the memory in hypnosis. The flashbacks
occurred during therapy, not prior to it.
  Stephens' account of the Chowchilla, CA, kidnapping of a busload of
children is also in error, but then so is just about every account I
have read of this case. It is true that the bus driver had attempted
to memorize the license plate numbers of two vehicles that were
employed to transport the children to a remote area where a moving van
had been buried so as to imprison them underground, while the
abductors attempted to extract a ransom. It is true, also, that the
bus driver was hypnotized subsequently, and was able to recall all but
one digit of one of the license plates; on the other one, he was
completely wrong.
  More importantly, the land on which the moving van was buried was
owned by the father of Woods, one of the defendants, and the
prosecution established, also, that the moving van had been purchased
recently by Woods. The hypnotic recall of the driver was never
introduced at trial; given that the FBI had more basic information on
land and van ownership, it was not needed (Giannelli, 1995).
  Also in error is the statement that "[t]he electroencephalogram
(EEG) tests that have determined six recordable levels of hypnosis
encompass that spectrum between the preconscious and the unconscious"
(p. 35). The EEG of a hypnotized person cannot be distinguished from
that of an individual who is relaxed, awake, with eyes closed, and
thus far, psychophysiologists have not been able to identify a
preconscious / unconscious spectrum.
  Another problem with this book, which may simply be a matter of
interpretation, is the manner in which the author links accusations of
sexual molestations of children in day-care with "recovered" memory
cases. In two purple paragraphs (p. 98-99), he runs a common thread
between the cases of Eileen Franklin, the Little Rascals Day Care
Center case, Cardinal Bernardin and the Kelly Michaels Wee Care Day
Nursery case.
  Obviously, there are some affinities between these adult and
pre-school children cases. All involve sexual abuse accusations, and
in none of them was there independent corroboration to substantiate
the accusations. Perhaps, also, all of them illustrate an
Inquisitional mode of thinking that is becoming all too common in
society -- there appears to be a growing tendency to accuse, and to
judge as guilty, without benefit of a presumption of innocence, due
process, or even, of evidence.
  There is, however, a big difference between extracting an abuse
narrative from pre-kindergarten children, and convincing an adult
patient in therapy that s/he was sexually abused during childhood.
While the author demonstrates some understanding of the FMS
phenomenon, his primary emphasis is upon leading questions, and the
belief that just one inappropriate word can create a false memory.
  While there is no question that leading questions are part of the
FMS mix, as the outstanding work of Elizabeth Loftus (cited in the
text, but not in the Reference section) has demonstrated eloquently,
there are other ingredients. Individuals turn to therapists when they
feel that they are unable to grapple successfully with major
psychological difficulties. They may become, as Frank and Frank (1991)
have put it, "demoralized;" this means that they may become
particularly vulnerable to explicit suggestions from a therapist that
a repressed memory requires "recovery" in order to effect therapeutic
  What is truly remarkable is that "recovered memory" therapists
(RMT's) have accepted, uncritically, the untenable belief that all
human distempers, from abulia to zoophilia, are the product of
repressed memories of having been sexually abused during childhood by
a parent. When a patient indicates that s/he has no such memories of
incest, the "recovered memory" therapist indicates that s/he is "in
denial." All of this occurs, on many occasions, without benefit of
even a skeletal case history; the mind-boggling certainty of RMT's of
their beliefs about etiology precludes the possibility of differential
  Most RMT's prescribe The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women
Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse (Bass & Davis, 1988) as bibliotherapy.
This book (which is not cited by Stephens) is premised upon the theory
that repressed incest memories underlie all human psychic disorders,
and is a handbook of techniques for "recovering" these memories
(Perry, 1994). The procedures they describe, such as staging an angry
confrontation with the putative abuser, breaking off all contact with
the family, and "getting strong by suing" may, in themselves, be
sufficient to create a false memory of sexual abuse which comes to be
believed as veridical.

  When combined with hypnosis, or one of its "disguised" variants
  (such as Guided Imagery, dream analysis, and "regression work"), the
  possibility of a false memory is greatly magnified. This is because
  hypnosis can be characterized as a situation in which the person is
  asked to set aside critical judgment, without abandoning it
  completely, and asked also, to engage in make-believe and fantasy
  (Gill & Brenman, 1959; E. Hilgard, 1977).

  Given this, it should come as no surprise that the individuals who
experience hypnosis most profoundly are people who can experience
imagined events so vividly that they become credible and believable. A
number of contemporary investigators have focussed upon these
characteristics as central to the understanding of the hypnotic
process -- among these, the notion of hypnosis as "believed-in
imaginings" (Sarbin & Coe, 1972) and as "imaginative involvement"
(J. Hilgard, 1970/79) emphasize this notion of fantasied events that
come to be accepted as veridical.
  Stephens shows little awareness of these broader concerns -- for
instance, there are only two brief references to the role of
imagination in the entire book. Instead, as indicated, the FMS
phenomenon is represented as almost entirely a product of leading
questions. Stephen's proposed solution to this problem thus becomes
one of inducing hypnosis while refraining from asking leading
questions. While this may be possible, what is recalled in hypnosis
may still be confabulated -- no amount of technical skill in inducing
hypnosis can prevent a fantasy-prone individual from having fantasies
  Despite his warnings about the possibility of creating false
memories with hypnosis, Stephens believes in the pristine purity of
hypnotically-elicited memories. Sprinkled throughout the book are
statements such as that hypnosis is "usually considered the best
possible method of retrieving uncontaminated memories" (p. 34).
Further, there are some quotations, attributed to a Department of
Justice manual (not cited in the References, and essentially a rehash
of Guidelines for the forensic utilization of hypnosis that were
originally formulated by Martin Orne) that "memory recall through the
application of hypnosis, properly induced and properly questioned, can
provide the most accurate information available" (p.106). It should be
emphasized that Orne does not share this latter opinion.
  The reader is also told that "[R]esearch associated with recall
finds that information obtained from a hypnosis state is reliable"
(p. 107).

  Actually, research on hypnosis and memory finds that (a) hypnosis
  increases productivity, but that most of the new information is
  error; (b) that it increases confidence for both correct and
  incorrect material, thus creating a witness who is impervious to
  cross-examination; and (c) that these effects can be found at all
  levels of hypnotizability, including low hypnotizability. They are
  most pronounced, though, among high hypnotizables in hypnosis.
  Interestingly, some low hypnotizables have been found to have
  imagination of comparable vividness to that of more susceptible
  people; they appear though to be less likely to find these
  imaginings believable. Nevertheless, they may be as equally
  vulnerable to believing memories of incest suggested by an RMT under
  the conditions of low morale described earlier.

  I would have liked to have been more positive about this book, and
in one basic respect I am. Stephens is clearly seeking to sound an
alarm, and rightly so. The letters after his name (Doctor in
Metaphysical Science and Clinical Hypnotist, which is a lay hypnosis
credential) suggest that his target audience is the clergy who utilize
hypnosis as a part of pastoral care. Though there may be a few Elmer
Gantrys among them, (as there are in most professions), these are
usually highly ethical, though not necessarily highly knowledgeable
people, and their utilization of hypnosis for pain relief among the
elderly can significantly reduce suffering, drug dependence and
medical bills.
  Hopefully this audience will heed his warnings without succumbing to
the belief that hypnosis is a reliable method for enhancing accurate
memory. Also, it is hoped they will not be lulled into a false sense
of security in thinking that if they can avoid leading questions, they
will not elicit confabulated memories from hypnosis. Finally, whenever
new information is elicited in hypnosis, particularly from litigation-
leaning patients, therapists must seek to corroborate it by
independent means.


  Bass, E. & Davis, L. (1988). The courage to heal: A guide for women
survivors of child sexual abuse. New York, N.Y.: Harper Collins.

  Frank, J.D. & Frank, J. B. (1991). Persuasion and healing: A
comparative study of psychotherapy (Third Edition). Baltimore, MD: The
Johns Hopkins University Press (originally published in 1961).

  Giannelli, P.C. (1995). The admissibility of hypnotic evidence in
U.S. courts. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental
Hypnosis, 43, 212-233.

  Gill, M. M., & Brenman, M. (1959). Hypnosis and related states:
Psychoanalytic studies in regression. New York: International
University Press.

  Hilgard, E.R. (1977). Divided consciousness: Multiple controls in
human thought and action. New York: Wiley-Interscience.

  Hilgard, J. R. (1979). Personality and hypnosis: A study of
imaginative involvement. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, (2nd
edition) (originally published in 1970).

  MacLean, H. (1994). Once upon a time: A true story of memory, murder
and the law. New York: Dell.

  Perry, C. (1994). Review of Ellen Bass & Laura Davis (1988) The
courage to heal: A guide for women survivors of child sexual
abuse. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis,
42, 450-455.

  Sarbin, T. R., & Coe, W. C. (1972). Hypnosis: A social-psychological
analysis of influence communication. New York: Holt, Rinehart &

  Campbell Perry, Ph.D.has retired as a professor of psychology at
  Concordia University in Montreal. A member of the FMSF Advisory
  Board, Dr. Perry has published widely in the area of hypnosis,
  including a recent article "The False Memory Syndrome and
  'Disguised' Hypnosis."  (FMSF Article Order # 580)

  The Holidays are approaching! This is the time of year when we
recall with gratitude -- even in difficult times -- the good that has
come into our experience in the past year and consider ways of sharing
with institutions and individuals dear to us.
  For you to be reading our newsletter suggests that you share our
concerns. If so, please help us continue our work by participating in
our fund raising drive with a payment or a pledge. Details due late in
October. Watch your mail.

/                                                                    \ 
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|                     Never Gave Up on Them  --                      |
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|   Stocks, bonds, and mutual fund shares often are utilized as      |
| charitable gifts. For many donors, an important benefit is the     |
| avoidance of tax on your capital gain, if you have owned the       |
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| a separate envelope. Your signature on the form needs to be        |
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|   For more information contact Lee Arning at 609-967-7812. All     |
| inquiries will be held in the strictest confidence.                |

                             LEGAL CORNER
                              FMSF Staff

    U.S. District Court of Appeals Dismisses Repressed Memory Suit
       Knode v. Hartman, U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, 
            No. 94-11120, unreported, dated Sept. 9, 1996.
    [Footnote: See FMSF amicus curiae brief submitted in the case 
              Knode v. Hartman, FMSF Publication #806.]
  A federal court, applying Texas law, found a repressed memory claim
was barred by Texas' two-year statute of limitations. The plaintiff,
age 44, alleged that her father had sexually and physically abused her
during her childhood but that "memories" of the alleged sexual abuse
only became known to her through therapy decades after the events were
alleged to have occurred.
   Under a Texas Supreme Court ruling, S,V. v. R.V., 39 Tex. Supp.J.
386 (Tex. March 14, 1996), the discovery rule applies to repressed
memory suits in Texas only when the claim is both "inherently
undiscoverable and objectively verifiable."
  [Footnote: The Texas Supreme Court specifically stated that, expert
  testimony cannot meet the "objective verification" requirement
  because there is no settled scientific view, or even a majority
  scientific view, regarding the subject of "repression." Decision is
  available as FMSF Publication #840.]
The only "corroboration" Knode appeared to present was an affidavit
from her sister. The plaintiff's sister asserted that she had also
been sexually molested by Mr. Knode but that she was unaware of any
abuse until 1991 when she recovered vivid memories while in therapy.
The court concluded that these "recovered" memories of sexual abuse
were not sufficient to establish the objective verification of the
plaintiff's sexual abuse. Apparently the court agreed with the
defendants' argument that two recovered memories are not somehow more
reliable than one repressed memory claim and one cannot serve as
objective verification of the other. The decision is unreported and
cannot be cited as precedent.
          Court of Appeal for Ontario Chastises Prosecution
           Regina v. Fawcett, Court of Appeal for Ontario, 
                  No. C21980, dated Sept. 10, 1996.
  The Court of Appeal for Ontario sharply criticized Crown counsel (in
English and Canadian courts, the name given to the prosecutor) in a
short, but pointed, decision overturning two convictions for gross
indecency and indecent assault. The appellate court concluded that
the Crown's cross-examination of defense witnesses was so improper and
abusive, that it prejudiced the defendant and deprived him of a fair
trial. A new trial was ordered.
  The criminal charges in the case related to alleged events which
occurred from 1965 to 1972 when the complainant, the appellant's
daughter, was 8 to 14 years of age. At trial, both the defendant and
his wife were repeatedly asked by the prosecutor why their daughter
would fabricate the allegations and were called on to comment on their
daughter's credibility. The court concluded that such questioning not
only put the parents in the position of having to call their own
daughter a liar, but also suggested the parents had the responsibility
to provide a motive for her testimony. The court wrote, "This kind of
examination undermines the fundamental principle of the presumption of
  The court specifically referred to a series of questions aimed at
the defendant's wife and another daughter who gave evidence for the
defense. Both were asked how they "felt" when they heard of the
allegations and whether they would believe them if the defendant were
convicted. The court reasoned these questions either pitted the
defense witnesses against the jury or forced them to concede that
their belief in the defendant had been misplaced. This line of inquiry
was also found to be highly prejudicial.
  As startling as it may seem, defense counsel made no objection to
any of the cross-examination and did not request any limiting
instructions from the court that there was no onus on the appellant to
provide a motive for the daughter's allegedly false accusations. Under
the law, the appeals court could have simply refused to hear any of
the defendant's arguments on these issues since they were not properly
preserved for appeal. Rather, relying on the comments in a 1994
decision, the court stated: "The failure of counsel to object does
not, however, give Crown counsel carte blanche at trial or immunize
the cross-examination from appellate scrutiny." In no uncertain terms,
the court gave Crown counsel notice that unless it stopped this kind
of "improper and prejudicial cross-examination, the court would have
to remit these difficult and sensitive cases back for a new trial at
great expense to the emotional well-being of the parties, not to
mention the added burden to the administration of justice."
             California Appellate Court Follows Minority
               Interpretation of Statute of Limitations
            Sellery v. Cressey, 55 Cal. Rptr.2d 706 (1996) 
In August 1996, a California Court of Appeal applied the California
"discovery rule" to extend the time during which a person may file
until he or she has "discovered the connection between the alleged
abuse and their injuries."
  [Footnote: California statute 340.1 (1990) provides in part, "In any
  civil action for recovery of damages suffered as a result of
  childhood sexual abuse, the time of commencement of the action shall
  be within eight years of the date the plaintiff attains the age of
  majority or within three years of the date the plaintiff discovers
  or reasonably should have discovered that psychological injury or
  illness occurring after the age of majority was caused by the sexual
  abuse, whichever occurs later."] 
25 states have statutory language similar to that found in California.
However, four state supreme courts have recently heard cases based on
similar claims and dismissed each of them, concluding that they are
  [Footnote: See, FMSF Legal Working Paper VIII(A) "Statute of
  Limitations; Discovery Rule."]
  The plaintiff in Sellery at age 39, sued her father for sexual abuse
from age 2 to 19. She stated that some of her memories of the alleged
abuse were repressed while others were never forgotten. The repressed
memories of the most profound abuse came about only after Sellery
underwent therapy which included dissociative trance work, hypnosis,
guided imagery, massage, and "body work." She claims that she did not
appreciate the wrongfulness of the acts until she saw the connection
between her current psychological ailments and her abuse in 1991 while
she was in therapy. The trial court had dismissed the suit as barred
by the statute of limitations because she admitted conscious memory of
some of the abuse.
  The appeals court reversed this dismissal after reviewing the intent
of the legislators who had drafted the statutory amendment in 1990.
The court concluded that the statute was intended to extend the
limitations period even for plaintiffs who always recalled their
abuse. The court cited another Appellate level decision, Lent v. Doe,
40 Cal.App.4th 1177 (1995), as supporting their analysis. The Sellery
court held that the date when the plaintiff should have discovered the
causal connection between her abuse and injuries is a triable issue of
fact; it is not proper to dismiss the suit on summary judgment.
  Supreme courts in four states have addressed these same issues head
  [Footnote: Woodruff v. Hansenclever, 540 N.W.2nd 45 (Iowa, 1995)
  (it is sufficient that the person be aware that a problem existed to
  be on notice to make a reasonable inquiry.); Blackowiak v. Kemp,
  1996 Minn. LEXIS 245 (The nature of criminal sexual conduct is such
  that, as a matter of law, one is injured if one is sexually
  abused.); Kelly v. Marcantonio, 1996 R.I. LEXIS 187 (plaintiff must
  show theory of repression is scientifically accepted and valid and
  must prove that she actually repressed a recollection); Byrne v.
  Becker, 176 Wis.2d 1037 (Wisc. 1993) (rejected argument that statute
  was tolled until plaintiff was able to "shift the blame" to the
  defendant and "accept the reality of the abuse."). See also e.g.,
  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.).
All four have held that the statute of limitations must be interpreted
under an objective reasonable person standard. When a reasonable
person is put on notice that they may have a cause of action, they are
given a period of time to investigate and file a suit. To construe the
statute subjectively as dependent on when the victim may "acknowledge"
or "appreciate" some harm, effectively eliminates the statute of
limitations. The statute of limitations can no longer afford
protection either to society or to the courts against stale claims.
Plaintiffs could say at any time that they only now "understand" an
injury was caused by a long past event.
    Third-Party Suit, Fultz v. Carr and Walker, Settles in Oregon 
                         by J. Michael Dwyer
              [Footnote: See FMSF Newsletters Sept. 1996 
                  and June 1996 and Brief Bank #72.]
The recovered memory case brought by Jennifer and Kevin Fultz and
their family against two psychologists practicing in Portland, Oregon,
has now been settled in its entirety. This was the first Oregon case
alleging professional malpractice for recovered memory therapy. Dr. 
Cyril Walker settled with the Fultz family for $1.15 million dollars
in August. In mid-September, Dr. Sophia Carr settled with the Fultz
family for a confidential amount. Trial was scheduled for September
30, 1996.
  The lawsuit was brought by Jennifer Fultz, who was in therapy with
Dr. Carr from 1991 to 1994, her husband Kevin Fultz, their two young
children, and Kevin's parents. Dr. Walker treated Jennifer's "child
alters" in group therapy and then saw the Fultz children for one year.
  Upon commencing therapy with Dr. Carr, Jennifer was immediately
suspected of suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder. During the
course of her therapy over the next three years, she would come to
believe as a result of her therapy that she had over two hundred
personalities, that she had been abused since her youth by a Satanic
cult which included her family and her husband's family, and that her
husband had sexually abused their children. Under the influence of
this belief system, Jennifer obtained restraining orders against her
family and fled twice with the children to shelters to escape Kevin
and the cult. After the second time, Jennifer and Kevin became
involved in a divorce and heated custody battle (while Kevin was
undergoing chemotherapy treatment for Hodgkins Disease). When none of
the custody evaluators except the children's therapist found any
evidence of sexual abuse, Kevin obtained custody of the children.
After the trial, Jennifer's belief system began to crack with the aid
of a competent therapist. She and Kevin attempted a reconciliation and
filed the lawsuit.
  Jennifer sought help from Dr. Carr, who was known as a Christian
counselor, for depression, anxiety and marital problems. She admitted
to feelings of emotional neglect as a child and a history of
depression but she specifically denied any prior history of sexual
abuse (much less ritual cult abuse). There was never any evidence to
suggest that she had ever displayed multiple personalities. Soon into
therapy, however, Jennifer was providing biographical sketches
pursuant to her therapist's instructions, of her various 
personalities. Jennifer readily identified twenty or thirty moods,
impulses, thoughts, feelings, or inclinations, put a name on each, and
was told they were all different personalities. The number of
personalities proliferated.
  Moreover, they started work immediately to retrieve the memories
that were the supposed cause of her multiple personalities. Carr
testified in deposition that she never tried to do memory work with
Jennifer, because Jennifer was frequently suicidal and unable to
handle volatile memories. The memories emerged spontaneously with the
re-association of Jennifer's dissociated alters. Carr also said she
could never be sure whether Jennifer's reports were historically
accurate, because they could be confabulations. While she admitted to
the use of hypnosis, it was primarily to relax her distraught patient.
On only a couple of occasions did she use hypnosis to work on memories
(including regressing Jennifer to age 6 in her brother's room).
  Jennifer claimed that the focus of therapy was to retrieve memories
of the horrible traumas which were responsible for her emotional
problems, including the creation of her "recovered" memories of abuse
by her brother, then her sister, then her parents. Jennifer grew
increasingly isolated and dependent on her therapists, and the
"memories" grew. But, according to Carr, sexual abuse alone was not
sufficient to explain the proliferation of personalities. Only Satanic
Ritual Abuse held the explanation for such egregious damage. Jennifer
came to believe her therapist's theory -- that her family was all part
of the Satanic cult.
  Carr drew upon isolated fragments of the family history and wove
them together to knit a story in accord with her own belief in the
existence of Satanic cults. In this way an anatomical skeleton named
Charlie in her sister's bedroom, a trip to a historic graveyard in
Southern Oregon with the family, and a sister's collection of African
masks and artwork all became magnified and used as supporting evidence
by the therapist when Jennifer balked at her conclusions. Moreover,
Carr used her own personal history to overcome Jennifer's initial
skepticism, telling Jennifer that she herself was MPD and had been a
survivor of satanic ritual abuse.
  When Carr referred Jennifer's four-year-old and two year old
children to Dr. Walker because Carr suspected that they had been
sexually abused, Dr. Walker quickly diagnosed the children as
suffering from a dissociative disorder. She wrote that this meant they
must have suffered trauma. Indeed, their play under her watchful eye
indicated they had been ritually abused. For example, the children's
crashing of cars over and over indicated to her repetitive play, hence
ritualized behavior. Their coloring with blue crayons while expressing
emotion meant that the color blue was associated with a traumatic
experience. The children's father and his parents soon came under
suspicion, Jennifer claimed that both Walker and Carr led her to
believe that Kevin Fultz and his parents were also part of the Satanic
cult. To ensure her children's safety, Jennifer fled with the children
to shelters in the Fall of 1993. During this time her already
disturbed mental state deteriorated further and she became highly
  A divorce and custody trial ensued. None of the evaluators except
the children's therapist found any evidence of sexual abuse. Jennifer
lost custody of the children. She and her husband obtained a legal
separation and attempted reconciliation after Jennifer was referred to
a competent therapist and her belief system cracked.
  The key to the case was to obtain corroborating evidence that Carr
and Walker held personal beliefs in the existence of organized, secret
cults. This evidence would corroborate Jennifer's testimony and avoid
a two-on-one credibility contest. In depositions both Carr and Walker
distanced themselves from anything having to do with cults. In
deposition Carr said she was not an expert in satanic ritual abuse.
She expressly testified that she did not know whether cults of the
type Jennifer described existed. She was constantly investigating the
phenomenon but never came to any conclusion. Jennifer merely reported
these things to her, and it was up to Jennifer to check the reality of
the emerging memories.
  In the discovery phase of our case, however, we unearthed several
pieces of evidence which supported our contention that Jennifer's
belief system was inculcated by her therapists. In 1990 Carr told a
local television audience that she was a survivor of satanic ritual
abuse and described a horrible personal incident when she was a
teenager. (In deposition she testified that she never told anyone
about this after it happened, and only remembered bits and pieces of
it until years later.) Also, she had lectured on Satanism and Satanic
Ritual Abuse. She confided in a police officer sympathetic to SRA
issues that she was MPD as a result of Satanic abuse and wrote to that
police officer in 1992 that a man was going to kill her if she did not
return to the cult. The Clinical Director at her clinic testified that
Carr said in five different conversations that she believed there were
organized intergenerational cults. We were also prepared to offer
evidence from Carr's own family that Carr had accused her family of
involvement with Satanic cults. This evidence directly contradicted
Carr's numerous denials under oath that she had never formed a belief
in the existence of Satanic cults.
  As for Walker, a detective testified in the underlying divorce trial
that Walker told him in an extensive private interview that our
community, including the local child abuse evaluation unit at the
hospital, had been infiltrated by organized, intergenerational Satanic
  This view was in accord with the theories and beliefs espoused by
Jim McCarthy and Dr. James Friessen. Carr and Walker, according to the
Clinical Director of the office where they were practicing, became
staunch believers in the offerings of Jim McCarthy, a cult
deprogrammer from Colorado. He spoke, among other things, about
Marionette Abuse -- that is, intentional cult programming of
individuals who then function as unknowing (because MPD has been
created by the cult) robots who are trained to carry on the work of
the cult. Friessen's theory is set forth in his book entitled
Understanding the Mysteries of MPD, which Jennifer and Kevin Fultz
said was recommended to them by Carr to help Kevin understand what his
wife was going through. The general theme of the book is that Satanic
cults are widespread but secretive, are creating MPD, and that healing
must ultimately come through Christ's saving grace. Carr and Walker
also consulted and relied upon Catherine Gould of Encino, California.
Gould has advised her seminar audiences that the cult is everywhere.
  Jennifer and Kevin's relationship, already badly bruised from a
serious lack of trust as a result of the false accusations, has not
been able to withstand their having to relive in litigation that
painful time period; they will now divorce. Also, Jennifer never got
to see her father again after she filed a restraining order against
him. He died a few months before the divorce trial commenced.
  As in other jurisdictions, except in sexual contact cases it has
been difficult to prove psychotherapy malpractice because the standard
of care is usually not clearly delineated. Moreover, there are
inherent credibility problems in such a relationship, where the damage
is done in the privacy of a therapist's office and one of the dueling
story tellers is tagged as crazy. This case, however, has sent a
strong message to the mental health community in Oregon that the type
of therapy practiced by Carr and Walker carries significant legal
  Strides were also made in the representation of third parties in
such lawsuits. The trial judge permitted Kevin Fultz and his parents
to bring claims based on intentional infliction of emotional distress
and negligence; however, because Oregon continues to require physical
contact to recover for psychological damage in negligence cases, they
were restricted to recovery for economic damages on that claim.

  Michael Dwyer of Portland represented Jennifer Fultz. Kevin Fultz
  and his family were represented by Michael Shinn of Portland.

              Missouri Repressed Memory Claim Dismissed;
             Jury Awards Defendants $125,000 in Damages;
                   Plaintiff's Attorney Sanctioned
A Missouri jury and federal judge recently exonerated a grandmother
and grandfather who were wrongfully accused of abusing their
granddaughter years ago. In August, U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple
dismissed the repressed memory suit mid-trial, saying the Plaintiff
had offered no evidence to support her claim. The original suit,
Jennifer Stocker v. Ralph and Marjorie Stracke, was filed in 1994 in
federal court in Springfield, Missouri. The judge also allowed the
grandparents to continue their countersuit against their accuser,
Jennifer Stocker. A jury subsequently returned a $125,000 verdict in
the Strackes' favor.
  At roughly the age of 20, plaintiff Jennifer Stocker allegedly
"recovered" memories of childhood abuse by her grandfather, Ralph
Stracke. Ms. Stocker states that she first became aware of her
repressed memories when she experienced a "flashback" after running
over an opossum while driving on a dark highway. She later entered
prolonged therapy with therapist Gloria Spratt. Ms. Spratt subjected
Jennifer Stocker to guided imagery and age regression, as well as to
"affirmation reprogramming." Ms. Stocker ultimately "recovered"
graphic "memories" of several instances of abuse by Mr. Stracke. (In
April 1996, in an independent action, the State of Missouri found that
Ms. Spratt had practiced counseling without a license and a permanent
injunction was entered restricting her to counseling only substance
abusers, which Jennifer was not.)
  After recovering her memories, Jennifer and her parents confronted
the Strackes and demanded that they pay Jennifer $500,000 in a lump
sum, plus $2,500 per month for life. When the Strackes refused,
Jennifer sued them. The litigation was very acrimonious. When Jennifer
refused to appear for a court-ordered psychological examination by the
Strackes' expert psychologist, Judge Whipple precluded her from
offering expert testimony to support her case. By way of further
sanction, Judge Whipple held Ms. Stocker's attorney, Mitchell
B. Martin of Kansas City, in contempt of court.
  At the close of the Plaintiff's case, Judge Whipple ruled that
therapeutically-enhanced memories are unreliable in the absence of
specified procedural safeguards, none of which were employed by Gloria
Spratt. With Jennifer's testimony limited, and with her expert witness
stricken for her earlier failure to cooperate in discovery, the Court
sustained the Strackes' motion for judgment as a matter of law at the
close of the plaintiff's case.
  The case then proceeded on the Strackes' counterclaims against
Jennifer and her parents, Greg and Patricia Stocker. The Strackes
alleged that Jennifer and her parents were subjecting them to
intentional infliction of emotional distress in an attempt to extort
money from them. The jury ultimately held that both Jennifer and her
parents were liable for intentionally inflicting the Strackes' obvious
emotional distress. The jury awarded the Strackes $25,000 against
Jennifer Stocker, and $50,000 against each of Jennifer's parents, Greg
and Patricia Stocker.
  Defense attorneys were able to show that most of Jennifer's factual
claims were impossible. One of her "memories" was of an event which
supposedly took place in the family home six years before it was
built. Even though Jennifer claimed she "remembered" a murder, a check
of police records showed no missing persons or unexplained deaths in
the area during that period.
  The Strackes were represented by Lynn Hursch and Doug Richmond of
Armstrong, Teasdale, Schlafly & Davis in Kansas City, Missouri. The
Stracke's homeowners insurer provided for their defense.
         California Jury Orders Therapist to Pay $1.9 Million 
                       for Negligent Treatment;
 Jury Gives No Punitive Damages in Therapist Case, Questions License 
         San Diego Union Tribune, Aug. 30, 1996,Anne Krueger
A San Diego jury ordered therapist Virginia Humphrey to pay $1.9
million in a malpractice suit brought by a father on behalf of his
minor daughter who had been treated by Humphrey. The girl's mother had
taken her to the therapist following the parent's divorce. After
several therapy sessions with the child, who was then five years old,
Humphrey concluded that the girl had been molested by her father and
reported him to Child Protective Services. The child's allegations
against her father grew more and more bizarre. A petition was filed in
juvenile court accusing the father of molesting his daughter. A ruling
was finally entered in the father's favor but he was unable to see his
daughter for more than a year and a half. Eventually the father was
awarded custody.
  In a statement read in court, jurors said Humphrey showed a "serious
lack of competence" in her handling of several issues in the case, and
still does not recognize her errors. They said Humphrey's treatment of
her patient in over 200 sessions "resulted in major deleterious
effects on her patient, each of her parents and the relationship
between the individual family members. Further, these effects were due
to a serious lack of competence in her handling of several issues."
The $1.9 million in damages were awarded to the girl and her father
for their suffering and their future health care costs. The jurors
also voted 9-3 that Humphrey should pay punitive damages, meant to
punish or deter future misbehavior, but the jury left the amount blank
on the verdict form. The jurors instead recommended that state
officials investigate whether Humphrey should be allowed to keep her
professional license and sent their statement to state licensing
  Attorney Dan Stanford, who represents the father and his daughter,
said he believes the verdict is the largest of its kind in the
state. Neither the father nor his daughter were named in the press to
protect the identity of the girl, who is now 11 years old. Brandt
Caudill and Julian Hubbard are the defense attorneys for therapist
  The case was cited in a 1992 San Diego County Grand Jury Report
critical of the county's child protective system. Without using names,
the grand jury concluded that the girl's allegations of molestation
were "very probably contaminated" by a therapist hired by the mother.
  [Footnote: San Diego County Grand Jury Report No. 8 is available
  from the FMS Foundation as Publication #850.]
                      Colorado Court of Appeals
  Does Not Grant Absolute Immunity to Therapist in Third-Party Suit
          Byrnes v. Clare Haynes-Seman, CO Court of Appeals, 
        Unpublished Decision, Judges Kapelke and Pierce concur.
The Colorado Court of Appeals recently reversed dismissal of a suit
against a therapist who conducted an evaluation regarding allegations
of abuse. The plaintiff alleged that therapist Clare Haynes-Seman as
an employee of the Kempe National Center for Prevention and Treatment
of Child Abuse and Neglect acted willfully and wantonly in conducting
and reporting the evaluation, and caused plaintiff severe emotional
and physical distress. Defendant asserted that because her actions
were not willful and wanton, she was entitled to immunity from
prosecution under Colorado Governmental Immunity Act, 
C.R.S. 24-10-101.
  The court ruled that under City of Lakewood v. Brace, P.2d
(Colo. No. 95SC196, June 24, 1996), the qualified immunity normally
granted to public employees, is lost by any employee whose conduct is
found to be willful and wanton. "Since the public employee's immunity
is a conditional defense to liability rather than a bar to the action
...the question of whether the employee's conduct was willful and
wanton is a fact-based issue ordinarily to be resolved by the
fact-finder at trial." Accordingly, the court reversed the judgment
and remanded the cause to the trial court for further proceedings.
               Former Clients Sue Sex-Abuse Therapist;
              They Say They Were Coaxed Into Admissions
          Detroit Free Press, Sept. 5, 1996 by Jack Kresnak
Eight former clients from three families have sued their counselor,
Joseph Gardner, alleging that he brainwashed them into making false
claims of sexual assault by their families. Also named as defendant is
Gardner's employer, Eagle Village, a Christian-based program in a
rural setting near Cadillac, Michigan. Gardner has a master's degree
in theology and divinity. He has treated dozens of adolescent girls
for suspected sexual abuse, his testimony has been accepted in many
Michigan courts and he has often spoken at professional conferences
about the needs of sexually abused girls.
  Two former employees at Eagle Village have also criticized Gardner's
methods. But the director of program development at Eagle Village,
Wendy Samuels, said it is not unusual for child sexual abuse victims
to recant.
  The suit, filed in 49th Circuit Court earlier this year, seeks more
than $100 million in damages. Attorney David Ritchie, who is
representing the former clients, said there are at least five more
young women who plan to sue Eagle Village. Ritchie said Gardner was
acting "beyond the scope of his authority" by allegedly coercing girls
into believing they were sexually abused by their parents.
  The defendants raised the question of whether their actions are
shielded from prosecution by government-granted immunity. In Michigan,
as in many states, agencies and individuals who undertake evaluations
for the state may be granted either absolute or partial immunity from
prosecution for their actions. A recent Appeals Court decision,
[Footnote: Plaintiffs v. Children's Aid Society, et. al, 215 Mich.App.
88 (1996).] which the Michigan Supreme Court has been asked to review,
extended the governmental immunity enjoyed by government agents to
private child-care agencies operating under the auspices of the
court. Juvenile court judges frequently rely on the reports from
private agencies when making decisions. Often, however, the therapists
are not state-licensed and their work is seldom reviewed by
independent professionals.
       Genesis Associates Litigation Continues in Pennsylvania
       The Legal Intelligencer, Aug. 21, 1996, Shannon P. Duffy
Four new lawsuits have been filed in the past few weeks against
Genesis Associates, Pennsylvania, and two of its therapists. These
suits were filed following a confidential settlement in a third party
suit which had alleged that therapists had implanted false memories in
their daughter that caused her to change her identity and flee.
  [Footnote: Tuman v. Genesis Associates, Mansmann, Neuhausel, 1996
  U.S. Dist. Lexis 5406. See also FMSF Newsletter July/Aug. 1996 and
  Sept. 1995.]
  One of the suits was brought by the Tuman's daughter who had entered
therapy for treatment of bulimia, and now repeats the charges of false
implanted memories. The second suit filed by another former Genesis
patient who claims she was "encouraged and have
flashbacks and/or memories from her past that were false...some of
which involve participating in Satanic rituals." She says that she,
too, was encouraged to "detach" from her children, husband, mother and
sisters and told that if she ever left the Genesis program she would
"go insane and/or die."
  Therapist Mansmann, who was dismissed as defendant from the Tuman's
suit for taking no role in their daughter's therapy, has filed a suit
claiming that the Tumans and their lawyers defamed her and made the
allegations without first conducting any investigation.
  In the most recent suit, Genesis, Mansmann and Neuhausel have sued a
group of critics they say have defamed them and have plotted to drive
them out of business. The suit accused the group of former patients
and parents of patients of spreading false reports that describe their
therapy "as a cult" and of forming a racketeering enterprise designed
to shut Genesis down.
  The cases are Lujan v. Mansmann, et. al., 96-cv-5098; Diament v.
Genesis Associates, et. al., 96-cv-5342; Mansmann v. Tuman, et. al.,
96-cv-5252 Mansmann, et. al. v. Smith et. al., 96-cv-5768. All four
cases have been assigned to U.S. District Judge John R. Padova.

/                                                                    \
| 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?
CANADA: The Counsellor Training Institute of Canada in Vancouver
offers a certificate in counselling by correspondence. I read their
brochure and noticed Courage to Heal in their reading list. I wrote
and complained and sent an accompanying critique of said book (Perry,
International Journal of Clinical Hypnosis,XLII (4), Oct 1994). They
have removed the book from the reading list. Letters can be powerful!
OREGON: In July a member wrote to tell us that after checking the laws
that govern professionals, he had called the attention of his state
licensing board to individuals who appear to be misrepresenting their
credentials, such as a hypnotherapist leading people to believe he is
a psychologist. Since then, the Oregon State Board of Psychologist
Examiners has responded and sent cease and desist letters informing
those individuals of the law regulating the practice of psychology.
The Board has also offered to meet with families and discuss concerns
regarding the advertisements.
PENNSYLVANIA: For a period of time after I was falsely accused, my
broken heart and broken family left me immobile. But now I am moving
again. I have educated myself on FMS. Here are my thoughts:
  How can the ethics boards of psychologists, psychiatrists and social
workers say that parents of their patients are not involved in the
therapy in those situations in which the therapists advised their
patients to confront or to cut off contact from their family? If a
doctor advised a patient to take some medication, that medication is
part of the treatment plan. The doctor is responsible for knowing the
potential adverse affects of taking that medication.
  In advising patients to confront and cut off, therapists have made
the family part of the treatment plan. How can a doctor possibly know
the effects that will come from such action with absolutely no
knowledge of the family?
  I have decided to file a complaint. In an effort to help other
families, here is how to do it. Obviously if you do not know who the
therapist is, you cannot do this.
  To file a complaint, you need to know what rules and regulations
govern the person in question. Such rules and regulations apply only
to "licensed" professionals. You can find out if a person is licensed
by calling the appropriate board in the state in which the person
practices. Licensing is regulated at the state level. You should have
as much information as you can such as where the person practices and
what the person's credentials are (Ph.D., M.D., M.S.W., M.F.C.C.,
  If you find out from the licensing board that the professional is
not licensed, contact the Attorney General of your state. At least one
non-licensed person has been charged with performing psychotherapy and
counseling on patients without being licensed to do so. (St. Louis
Post-Dispatch, April 26, 1996 "Psychologist, hypnotist are charged
with fraud.")
  If the therapist is a "massage therapist" who appears to be
performing psychotherapy and he or she practices in one of the states
that licenses this specialty, you should consult the guidelines that
govern their practice. The following states license massage
therapists: Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa,
Louisiana, Maine, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North
Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Washington. Massage
therapists seem to be encouraged to think they can do psychotherapy. I
recently read, "Massage therapists who facilitate the release of
emotions via therapeutic massage ideally will be prepared to engage in
directive dialogue with their clients. To be effective, this dialogue
demands a certain level of knowledge in psychology; therefore this
form of bodywork is, in essence, a form of psychology -- and a
background in psychology is certainly helpful."(The power of touch to
heal the fear of touch by Tamara Nielsen. Massage, 60, 114-117).
  If the person in question is licensed, ask the licensing board to
explain the procedure for filing complaints. Request that a copy of
the code that governs the professional be mailed along with the
complaint form. In filing a complaint, you should list the exact code
number(s) that you believe have been broken and describe clearly and
specifically how this is so.
  Many therapists belong to professional organizations that hold their
members to an ethical code. A professional may belong to a state-level
professional organization or to a national organization or to both. To
find out if a professional is a member of a professional organization,
you can call the organization and ask for their membership services.

  Send your ideas to Katie Spanuello c/o FMSF.
     /                                                         \
     | Please remember to send FMS-related clippings from your |
     | newspapers, magazines, etc. or articles to FMSF,        |
     | Philadelphia, PA. Please include the source and date.   |

                           FROM OUR READERS
                             A True Story
This summer we stopped to visit some old friends we had not seen in
twenty years since we moved to another state. We revealed our problem
when they asked about our daughter. Two mouths dropped open in three-
quarter time before they announced that their daughter had done this
to them ten years ago. Even worse. Our friends were not familiar with
FMSF. I have shipped them a pile of material and expect that you will
be hearing from them.
                                                                A Dad

                             To Parents,
I am troubled by a trend I see in recent letters from parents in the
Newsletter. It seems that more and more parents are lashing out
against their accusing children, refusing to have any contact unless
the adult child retracts everything at one time and begs forgiveness.
Some say they want no contact even if there is full recantation. I do
really understand your pain, but I think you are making a mistake.
  I never had a chance to recant to my adoptive father and mother. He
was already dead when I began "recovering memories." She was existing,
not living, with senile dementia , recognizing nobody. However, I did
confront her when she was still somewhat cognizant. She was terrified
of me, but could not communicate at all. I really wish they could have
lived to hear my heartfelt apologies; it would have given me much
healing. Instead, I will carry to my grave the horrendous guilt for
all the lies I told.
  So, please, leave the door open, just a little. Yes, you have been
terribly wronged. But so have we. If there is no chance of
reconciliation, you will continue to hurt, and we will have much less
chance of throwing off our cloak called "Victim of Therapist Abuse."
                                                          A Retractor
                    Families Should be Interviewed
I have viewed sexual trauma as a rape crisis counselor, and I am a
staunch feminist who takes sexual abuse seriously. I serve on the
boards of a Women's Crisis Aid group and the National Organization of
Women in my state. I am a member of the Alliance for the Mentally Ill.
I also support the False Memory Syndrome Foundation because I am
acutely aware of the damage that treatment incorporating a false
report of sexual trauma can do. I am a mother who is still trying to
put the pieces of a family back together. Four years ago my youngest
daughter at age 30 was persuaded that she was a victim of horrendous
familial sexual abuse. The therapists are now under investigation.
  None of us want to do injury to our clients or their families.
Without exploring historical data with other family members, we have
only the patient's report. Before any group of professionals begins a
treatment plan incorporating sexual abuse trauma, I would hope that a
family interview for pertinent histories be required.
                                             A Mom, M.S.W, L.I.C.S.W.
                                A Sham
I know you are interested in how FMS daughters return to their
families. This is what has happened in our family.
  We found out about our daughter's accusations, including accusations
of satanic ritual abuse, in February, 1992, at which time we talked,
in our daughter's presence, with her therapist, a licensed social
worker. During this interview the therapist said the abuse "had
happened" and that our denial wasn't even "discussable."
  The next day we visited with our daughter's psychiatrist, Dr. "K,"
who was supposed to be supervising the therapy. During this interview,
our daughter said the abuse was all very foggy in her mind and that
she couldn't put faces to it. The psychiatrist responded, "Well,
maybe somebody else did it."
  Frustrated by this run-around, we suggested a second opinion and our
daughter chose the "R" Clinic. At the end of a month of inpatient
treatment there, the R Clinic psychiatrist suggested, in our presence,
that our daughter change therapists.
  After a few months, we called Dr. "K" to see why our daughter was
still seeing the same licensed social worker. He said he would speak
about a change with our daughter, but nothing ever came of it.
  For over four years we have not visited with our daughter. Last fall
I called the doctor at the "R" Clinic to tell him that our daughter
had not followed his advice. He recommended that we get in touch with
FMSF for moral support and that I call Dr. "K." When I said that Dr.
"K" really did not want to discuss this with me, he said, "Call him.
Times have changed."
  I called Dr. "K." When he came to the phone, he said he was glad I
called because he wanted to "get closure on this thing." In March of
this year, I received a birthday card from our daughter for the first
time in five years. This was followed by a telephone call on Memorial
Day. She spoke pleasantly with both me and her dad and we made
arrangements for her to spend the day with me at the hospital where I
was undergoing radiation treatments. She was pleasant and
friendly. The whole FMS topic was never mentioned.
  Finally last week she attended an 80th birthday party given in honor
of her father by his nieces and nephews from around the country and by
our other children. Our daughter participated courteously in all these
activities although she had told a cousin that it would probably be
very hard for her. One of our other children called her after that
party and suggested that her alienation and cutting off had started
under the influence of her former husband. Our daughter replied, "No,
it started when I started having flashbacks."
  During all of these encounters our daughter showed no recognition of
the harm she is doing us nor do we get any feeling of emotional
closeness. We are now dealing with a pleasant stranger. Consequently,
we feel that our daughter has not come back to us but that she has
been sent back to us. She visits with us bodily, but her therapist has
possession of her mind. She still has the paranoid delusions that were
implanted by recovered memory therapy and her therapist is still
controlling her behavior. In other words, this "reconciliation" is not
"closure." It's a sham.
                                                                 A Mom
      From a Retractor to a Member of her Former Survivor Group
Dear "K,"
  I hope you are doing well. I have wanted to write this letter to you
for a long time because I care about you and want to inform you of
what has happened to many people who have sought Christian counseling.
  I want to inform you how false memories can happen and to make you
aware of how many people have fallen into this trap.
  With my husband's help, I realized my "recovered" memories were not
true. Some things that helped me realize the memories were not true
  1. I had no memories of abuse before counseling.
  2. It is a Freudian theory that a person can repress years of abuse
and remember it as an adult.
  3. There is no Biblical support for repressed memories. My husband
challenged me as to why I was believing something that was based on a
psychological theory and not based on the Bible.
  4. One of my counselors told me "God has you forget your memories of
abuse as a child and has you remember them when you can cope with them
as an adult." This is not true and is an example of false teaching
(Colossians 2:8). There is no Biblical basis for this. Unfortunately I
succumbed to this belief system for a period of time.
  5. My husband told me of articles and books telling the stories of
many other women (and men also) who have gone into counseling for
various problems and have ended up believing they have been abused as
a child. However they have since realized the new memories were not
true and the abuse had never happened.
  6. There was no proof or evidence of abuse other than my "new"
  I am concerned because this psychological theory is being taught by
"Christian counselors." Christian families are being torn apart by
"Christian" counselors.
  I am concerned for other women who might have been in support groups
like yours in the past who have false memories and are believing a
terrible lie. I am including a list to help identify a person whose
memories may be false.
  My memories were very real to me and I adamantly believed them.
Fortunately they were not true; and through the grace of God I no
longer believe the terrible lies I once did.
  I am willing to get together to talk if you are interested.
                                                Sincerely, "Susan"
                  What is her reality after therapy?
Three years ago (June 1993) our daughter, "Nancy" returned to the
family after 15 months of devastation and separation. She and her
young family were devastated and our family was devastated. Initially
and for quite a long time it was like walking on egg shells. She was
very defensive and would flare up at any controversial topics, even
minor ones. We avoided such situations as much as possible and didn't
bother to enter into debate. We watched what topics were introduced
into conversation. Once in a while her father would throw out a
comment to see how Nancy would react and how strong she really was.
  In spite of all this, Nancy did not hesitate to let her father put
our little granddaughter to sleep -- partly because Nancy had
difficulty doing it and partly because her dad has a knack for
relaxing our granddaughter and putting her to sleep. Nancy did not
mind leaving her dad alone with his granddaughter. She didn't mind
him taking the two granddaughters shopping. Maybe that was because it
took the kids off her hands for a while. Nancy acted as if nothing had
happened in those 15 months of separation.
  Several times, between long intervals, we asked her if she would
like to talk about the 15 months. She said, "Not now, I'm not ready."
So we told her to let us know when she thought she was ready. Several
times in the past six months she told me that she could not believe I
was about to turn sixty. She said, "You're going to be fifty-nine." I
said, "No, I'm going to be sixty." Then Nancy said, "I've lost a year
  One month ago when Nancy and I were on a shopping trip, I mentioned
to her over supper at a cafe how proud I was of her dad's behavior. He
was given a hard time by investigators and therapists who tried to
force him to admit to doing things he did not do, but he stuck to his
ground saying, "I never molested anyone." I said people were very hard
on him and tears welled up in Nancy's eyes. I said no more.
  Our relationship is slowing improving. Once in a while Nancy even
returns to her own bubbly self and even taunts and teases her Dad --
but not for long. It's far from what it used to be. We expect it will
never be the same again. We can live with that so long as Nancy gets
strong enough to function effectively for her own good.
  In spite of all this we have not discussed what happened while she
was in therapy. We wonder if she'll ever be ready. We wonder what her
"inner self" is like. What is her reality after therapy? Does she
remember anything she said about us -- all the negative things and
false accusations -- while in therapy? Does she still believe them to
be true or was all this wiped out by hypnosis? Does she have guilt
feelings? Was she counseled in therapy not to talk about it? Was she
counseled to forget about it because it was our fault? What is her
  We would like to know how to approach this problem -- how to
approach her. We know of one good private therapist but cost is
prohibitive. A facilitator could be useful -- but we don't know if
Nancy would accept and we're not sure how to approach the matter
without offending or frightening her away after her very negative
experience with a therapist.
  Such is the situation now. We are glad she is back in the family in
spite of the limitations. We will continue to support her and relate
to her as best we can. We are thankful for our support groups.
                                                               A Mom
   /                                                             \ 
   |   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. These  |
   | are only available prepaid. If you would like a list and    |
   | description of the tapes that are available, send a stamped | 
   | self-addressed envelope to the FMSF Office. Be sure to say  |
   | that you would like the FMSF conference video list.         |

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

                           *STATE MEETINGS*

                    Saturday, September 28, 1-3 pm
                      76 Anglesey Blvd, Toronto
                     Call local contact for info

                            WEST VIRGINIA
                     Saturday, October 19, 10-3pm
                   Bonanza Steak House, Weston, WV
  SPEAKER: Claudette Wassil-Grimm, author of Diagnosis for Disaster
                          Pat (304) 291-6448

            Sunday, October 27, 1:30 pm, Indianapolis Area
        Indiana Assn. for Responsible Mental Health Practices
               Nickie (317) 471-0922 fax (317) 334-9839
                          Pat (219) 482-2847

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) - 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
  London - 2nd Sun (bi-MO)
    Adrian (519) 471-6338 
  Ottawa - Eileen (613) 836-3294 
  Toronto/N. York - Pat (416) 444-9078 
  Warkworth - Ethel (705) 924-2547
  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 
  The British False Memory Society
    Roger Scotford (44) 1225 868-682  

  NOV/DEC '96 Issue Deadline: OCT. 15. Meeting notices MUST be in
  writing. Mark Fax or envelope: "Attn: Meeting Notice" & send 2
  months before scheduled meeting.

NEWSLETTER. If you are interested in becoming a contact, write: 
       FRANK KANE, State Contact Coordinator

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

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

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

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

Pamela Freyd, Ph.D.,  Executive Director

FMSF Scientific and Professional  Advisory Board,     October 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

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    Annual Dues for professionals ($125.00)              $________

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  U.S. dollar money order, or a check drawn on a U.S. dollar account.


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