FMSF NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE - September 1, 1996 - Vol. 5, No. 8, HTML version

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    The FMSF Newsletter is published 10 times a year by the  False
    Memory  Syndrome  Foundation.  A hard-copy subscription is in-
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    ISSN #1069-0484.  Copyright (c) 1996  by  the  FMSF Foundation
  Focus on Science
    Canadian Psychiatric Assoc. Statement
      Vale Allen
        Legal Corner
          From Our Readers 

Dear Friends,

  "After reviewing the arguments on both sides of the issue, we are
  unconvinced that repression exists as a phenomenon separate and
  apart from the normal process of forgetting. Because we find these
  two processes to be indistinguishable scientifically, it follows
  that they should be treated the same legally."  
                                         Court of Appeals of Maryland 
                         Jane Doe, et al. v. A. Joseph Maskell, et al.
                  No. 102, September Term, 1995, July 29, 1996, Filed.

  The summer of 1996 finds the number of repressed memory cases
exploding at the higher-court level, an inevitable consequence of the
hundreds of cases brought against parents. There have been six more
important higher court decisions in the past few weeks. As you read
the legal section of the Newsletter, note that these courts routinely
either have refused to extend the statute of limitations for repressed
memory claims or have issued detailed instructions to trial courts to
explore the reliability of the claims before allowing the cases to
proceed. A vital job for families at this moment in time is to help
educate legislators about how the courts view repressed memory cases.
  Other legal decisions about repressed memories may be setting new
patterns. Although it was at the trial level, Judge McLean's detailed
and thorough opinion in the Althaus case establishes strong arguments
that a therapist owes a duty to a third party under certain
circumstances. This summer, for the first time, we note a case in
which a church is being sued for a patient's false memories. Also for
the first time, we note that a father and son have sued a therapist in
a repressed memory case.
  This summer more people have been released from prison as earlier
decisions have been reversed. George Franklin and John Quattrocchi,
both repressed memory cases, have been released from prison.
Franklin's case will not be retried. Decisions were overturned in two
more day-care cases: a minister in New York was released after 10
years and two couples in Kern County, California were released after
14 years.
  How does a nation ever adequately apologize to these people? January
14, 1997 will mark the 300th anniversary of the Massachusetts Day of
Repentance, the official apology for the Salem Witch Trials. Who will
apologize to all the people devastated in the 1980s and 1990s because
of "repressed memory hysteria?"  Perhaps a change in climate will have
to suffice. In 1996, no one is in charge.
  We don't expect that mental health professionals will apologize.
While we are aware of some therapists who have said that they are
sorry and attempted to make amends to families, most professionals
seem to be "returners" much like the accusers who try to reenter the
family without talking about or taking responsibility for the harm
they have done. Some professionals whose past books and papers placed
them solidly in the repressed memory camp are now the voice of
moderation in standards of care for memory work -- with no reference
to their past position.
  This summer several new case studies appeared in which external
corroboration was offered to show the accuracy of some memories
recovered in therapy. In one newspaper report, this was presented as
"evidence for repression." There are several important points. First,
the position of the FMS Foundation has always been that whether they
are continuous or recovered -- some memories are true, some a mixture
of fact and fantasy and some false. Of course some recalled events
will be true, but that does not change the fact that the only way to
determine the historical accuracy of a memory is through external
corroboration. Second, these case studies do not constitute proof
that there are special mental mechanisms for repression. Third, they
do not address the problems of therapeutically prompted
visualizations. Prudence suggests that a good faith effort for
external corroboration be made before destroying lives and families.
  The reality of false memories was firmly established this summer
when researchers captured brain-scans of false memories in the
brain. This summer Charlotte Vale Allen, author of Daddy's Girl, one
of the first books about being an incest survivor, sent us the
remarkable letter published in this issue. She expresses concern that
her book may contribute to the repressed memory phenomenon, "And the
only way I know how to prevent that happening is by affiliating myself
with a foundation whose work I believe in."
  The summer of 1996 presented us with more moving letters from
families. As we read them, we were impressed by the great range of
concerns. For some families, time has taken its toll and, either
through death or "good-bye" letters, closure has been forced. Other
families struggle with how to talk about "the big problem." A few have
begun to report what we want to hear again and again: "It is hard now
to remember the terrible anger and deep resentment I felt so often
just a short time ago."

/                                                                    \ 
|                   MEMORY AND REALITY: NEXT STEPS                   |
|                       March 22 and 23, 1997                        |
|                                                                    |
| What are the next steps for dealing with the personal tragedies,   |
| injustices and social problems created by false memory syndrome    |
| and false accusations? Speakers will include: Drs. Chris Barden,   |
| Pamela Freyd, Elizabeth Loftus, and Paul McHugh. Round tables, a   |
| popular feature of the two previous conferences, are also          |
| scheduled. Brochures will be mailed during the fall. Plan to       |
| welcome spring 1997 with your fellow members of the Foundation.    |
|  Baltimore's Renaissance Hotel will be the site of the meeting and |
| will follow a professional continuing education program on March   |
| 20 and 21 that is jointly sponsored by the FMS Foundation and      |
| Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.                                |


  "If you think a witch-hunt like the one in Arthur Miller's 'The
Crucible" could not occur in this enlightened age, consider the case
of George Franklin..."
                             San Francisco Chronicle, July 9, 1996

  "Several famous cases -- the McMartin Pre-School in Los Angeles, the
Wenatchee witch hunts, day-care teacher Kelly Michaels in New Jersey
-- came apart when witnesses recanted, officials confessed to coercing
fraudulent testimony and appeals courts examined kangaroo proceedings.
That is what has happened in the Franklin affair. None of this
signifies an end to 'repressed memory' in American justice; but it
does suggest the beginning of the end, and a healthy measure of public
skepticism and common sense."
                           Providence Journal-Bulletin, July 15, 1996

  "What happened to Franklin should be a cautionary tale for a society
that treats trendy psychiatric theories as though they were fact,
while at the same time disregarding common sense and basic
                                 San Mateo County Times, July 9, 1996

  "...Prosecutors announced Tuesday that Franklin will be set free
today because they do not have enough evidence to retry him for the
1969 murder.... The final blow to the prosecution came with Janice
Franklin's testimony about being hypnotized before testifying against
her father. In California, testimony influenced by hypnotic suggestion
is inadmissible."
                                   The Press Democrat, July 3, 1996

  "Whether or not recovered memories are windows into real events must
be fascinating fodder for debate among therapists. But when those
memories become the basis for criminal charges, there is much more at
stake than just the emotional well-being of the accuser. Also on the
line is the freedom and reputation of the accused -- people plunged
into the Kafkaesque nightmare of having to defend themselves against
charges arising from events decades in the past. Where were you on the
night of July 9, 1976?"
                                              Newsday, July 8, 1996 

  "In recent years a small industry has emerged in which therapists
help patients recover memories of past abuses for which there is no
evidence. Lives have been ruined and families torn apart by false
recovered memories, which also are destructive to the people with the
recovered memories."
                                  Waco Tribune Herald, July 20, 1996

  "Forensic DNA recently has been decisive in proving the innocence of
men wrongly imprisoned. In each case, the convictions had been
obtained primarily on repressed memory testimony...Franklin-Lipsker
also told investigators in 1990 that she remembered her father
committing two more murders. She remembered her godfather, Stan Smith,
raping Veronica Cascio and her father murdering her. DNA semen tests
proved neither Franklin nor Smith could have raped Cascio. Details of
the other murder were too vague to investigate."
                            Santa Barbara News Press, July 21, 1996

  "Prosecutors might be slow to take cases which will blow up in their
face without a lot of other evidence to make a case," said University
of Louisville law professor Jacqueline Kanovitz.
                                        Sacramento Bee, July 4, 1996

  /                                                                \
  |                         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               |

                          OCTOBER IN CHICAGO
                 Continuing Education Program: Oct 4
  Loyola University is the location of a Friday, October 4, 
Foundation-sponsored continuing education program, "Clinical Issues in
Dealing with False Memories: Prevention and Family Reconciliation."
Terence Campbell, Ph.D. and Carolyn Saari, Ph.D. from the FMSF
Scientific and Professional Advisory Board will be joined by Jack
Wald, DSW to discuss the research on memory, appropriate clinical
techniques and family issues and reconciliation. Brochures have been
mailed. The program will include an interview with a retractor and a
second interview with her family. Continuing education credits for
psychologists and social workers have been confirmed. Contact the
Foundation for more information.
                       Friends To Meet: Oct. 5
  Plans have been finalized for a meeting of the Friends of the False
Memory Syndrome Foundation in Chicago on the evening of October 5,
1996."Friends" are Foundation members who contribute a minimum of
$400.00 above their dues. Richard Ofshe will be the featured speaker
at this dinner which will be held at Loyola University in Chicago. Lee
Arning, Chair of Friends and a Director of the Foundation, extends an
invitation to all members who would like to become a Friend to join
him and other Friends in Chicago.
  For details call Lee at 609-967-7812 or leave your number for him at
the Foundation.
  The Illinois False Memory Syndrome Society has scheduled its annual
meeting for Chicago 5, so Friends who travel to Chicago can plan to
participate in a full day of programs. For details about the Illinois
False Memory Syndrome Society meeting call Eileen at (708) 980-7693.

/                                                                    \ 
| "Fortunately, some sobriety is being restored. Dorothy Rabinowitz  |
| of The Wall Street Journal has led a one-woman crusade to throw    |
| light on this subject. The Philadelphia-based False Memory         |
| Syndrome Foundation, founded and run by physicians, psychologists  |
| and psychiatrists, has been monitoring the phenomenon, and         |
| combatting hysteria..."                                            |
|                                          Editorial, July 15, 1996  |
|                                       Providence Journal-Bulletin  |

                           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.
  Medical and psychological myths can become so widely accepted in the
general population, and even among professionals themselves, that
everyone begins to accept them as axiomatic. So indoctrinated do we
become that we may even pass laws based on these myths, without
stopping to question their validity.
  A classic example of such a myth is the belief that salt restriction
prevents normal people from developing high blood pressure. Every day,
we see authoritative publications discussing salt consumption and the
sodium content of various foods; restaurants and supermarkets offer
foods with reduced sodium; and even the United States Food and Drug
Administration has published daily reference values for daily sodium
intake. Indeed, by federal law, all foods sold in the United States
must be labeled with the amount of sodium per serving and the percent
of the daily reference value. Surely, then, it must be firmly
established scientifically that restriction of sodium intake is
helpful for preventing high blood pressure.
  But is it true? Recently, a comprehensive statistical analysis of
the research in this area was published (1). The authors examined 56
studies, chosen according to rigorous criteria, and found that
diastolic blood pressure (the lower of the two figures in a blood
pressure reading, and the one considered more important in determining
health risk) was not significantly affected by reducing sodium, either
in people with high blood pressure or people with normal blood
pressure. For example, looking at the 28 studies that examined
individuals with normal blood pressure, sodium restriction reduced the
diastolic pressure by an average of only 0.1 mm. In other words, for
people with a blood pressure of 120/80, the mean diastolic pressure
was reduced only to 79.9. And even this minute difference might be
false, since the investigators were able to show that studies failing
to find an effect of salt on blood pressure were probably less likely
to be published than studies with a positive result. This phenomenon,
called "publication bias," would tend to cause an exaggeration in the
apparent effect of salt on blood pressure. Thus, when we correct for
the possible effects of publication bias, the effect of salt may
vanish completely!
  How, then, did we become so attached to the salt myth? One reason
may be that early studies, comparing the blood pressures of people in
different countries, found that people who had less salt in their
diets also displayed lower blood pressure. It turns out, however, when
one controls this data for confounding variables, such as obesity and
alcohol consumption, that salt consumption has little or no effect on
blood pressure at all. But despite these flaws, the findings of
earlier studies were quoted and re-quoted, until eventually everybody
"knew" that salt was bad for you.
  Medicine is full of such myths. We all "know" that bad weather can
exacerbate the pains of arthritis, that eating chocolate can make acne
worse, that stress causes stomach ulcers. It appears, however, none of
these beliefs is true. It's just that we have heard them so often that
we have come to accept them as established facts. And these beliefs
have all arisen in fairly scientific branches of medicine. In
psychiatry, we have far fewer definitive biological or physical
methods to test the truth of hypotheses. Therefore, if myths can take
root so easily in general medicine, myths in psychiatry might
proliferate even more wildly.
  The lesson of all this is that we must be humble about what we know
in psychiatry. Our field has already made some terrible mistakes
because we lacked that humility. In past years, for example, numerous
mothers were accused of having made their children schizophrenic,
because of theories that (bad) mothering caused schizophrenia. These
mothers suffered shame and guilt all of their lives -- unnecessarily,
because it is now almost universally conceded that schizophrenia is
caused by biological abnormalities. Similarly, gay men in the past
were treated with years of psychotherapy, and even with behavioral
techniques using electric shocks, in an attempt to "cure" their
homosexuality and make them heterosexual. Mental illness was, for a
time, claimed to be a "myth," and helpless patients with chronic
psychotic disorders were released from mental hospitals on the
assumption that their only problem was that society defined them to be
ill. What other follies might psychiatry be endorsing at this very
moment? Which of our current beliefs will become the laughing stock of
the next generation?
  One candidate for such a belief is the assumption that childhood
sexual abuse causes people to develop psychiatric disorders in
adulthood. Everybody "knows" that this is true, just as everybody
"knows" that salt is bad for blood pressure. Even to question the
pathogenic effects of childhood sexual abuse is often considered
heretical -- just as it would have been almost scandalous, a
generation ago, to question whether bad mothering could turn children
into schizophrenics. Yet, the studies suggesting that childhood sexual
abuse causes adult psychopathology generally suffer from the same
multitude of confounding variables that bedeviled the old cross-
cultural studies of blood pressure. Specifically, most individuals
who have been sexually abused have also been subject to countless
other events; they have often been victims of broken families,
physical abuse, psychological neglect, and other adverse environmental
influences. Also, they may have inherited psychiatric disorders from
the very individuals in their families who have abused them. Alcohol
dependence, for example, may be a provocative factor in sexual abuse,
but it also has an established genetic component, and may be passed on
to a child. It is not at all clear, therefore, if one removed all of
these confounding variables, whether childhood sexual abuse would have
any effect on adult psychopathology, or whether, like the effect of
salt on blood pressure, it would vanish into insignificance.
  Now, this does not mean that we should ever ignore or forgive
childhood sexual abuse. Bank robberies and car thefts rarely cause
people to develop psychiatric disorders, but we still have criminal
laws against such activities. Motor vehicle accidents do not cause
cancer or heart disease, but no one condones motor vehicle accidents.
In other words, the scientific question of the effects of childhood
sexual abuse must not be confused with the moral and legal issue of
dealing with this problem. But if we treat adult psychiatric disorders
on the assumption that they are caused by childhood sexual abuse, and
this theory turns out to be another myth, then we may be wasting
valuable time and energy that could be better used for more effective
treatments of these disorders much as people trying to prevent high
blood pressure may be distracted from getting effective treatment by
their pursuit of salt restriction.


  1. Midgley, J.P., Matthew, A.G., Greenwood, C.M.T., Logan, A.G.
  "Effect of reduced dietary sodium on blood pressure. A meta-analyses
  of randomized controlled trials. JAMA 1996; 275:1590-1597.

/                                                                    \
| "This racket [recovered memory therapy] flourished during the past |
| decade in the United States until the American Medical Association |
| and above all the False Memory Syndrome Foundation warned the      |
| courts of law that they were being taken in. Thanks to this        |
| reaction the number of lawsuits of that type has started to        |
| decline. This is not to deny that many children are sexually       |
| abused by their relatives."                                        |
|                                                        Mario Bunge |
|                                         "Charlatanism in Academia" |
|                                 The Flight from Science and Reason |
|                        New York Academy of Sciences, June 24, 1996 |


         In the Matter of the License to Practice Psychology:
  Mark D. Stephenson Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order.
       Idaho Attorney General's Office Case No. Psy-03-95-005

  A hearing was conducted before the Idaho Board of Psychologist
examiners in April, 1996 to consider the issues raised by three female
patients who claimed Dr. Mark D. Stephenson had violated 12 of the
American Psychological Association ethical standards in his treatment
of them. Dr. Stephenson had developed a theory that some patients
suffered because they had a cognitive structure that could be
controlled by external parties. If the structure was removed, he
hypothesized, the patients would feel better. In his practice he used
ideomotor signalling to help his patients discover their controlling
structure so that they could remove it. Dr. Stephenson claimed that
his Agency Retrieval Process was a type of guided imagery. He agreed
that this practice was an intervention and not therapy. The
complainants alleged that Dr. Stephenson used his memory retrieval
process to retrieve memories involving satanic and sexual abuse which
they never had prior to seeing Dr. Stephenson.
  Following are some of the conclusions:
  (Violation of APA Standard 4.02(a). Informed Consent to Therapy.)
"...Respondent's theory that consent can be implied from the patient's
return for therapy is unacceptable in this case. Even if that argument
can apply in certain situations, there is no evidence to satisfy the
requirement that any of the patients were given significant
information concerning respondent's procedures, or that they freely
expressed consent."

  (Violation of APA Standard 1.07(a). Describing the nature and
Results of Psychological Services.) "... information required by this
section, including a treatment plan (that is, a plan of therapy,
detailing what would be done, and how often, and for what purpose);
treatment options; assessment of lethality to self or others; a
history of prescription or non-prescription drug use; and a mental
health history, including prior hospitalizations or therapy, is

  (Violation of Ethical Standard 4.01 (a) and (d). Structuring the
Relationship) "... it doesn't appear that any treatment alternatives
to hypnotherapy or ideomotor signalling were discussed. There is
nothing in the record to indicate that the patients were aware of how
their problems would be approached in therapy, how much time the
therapy would take, what would be expected of them, whether the
patients' questions were answered, and how and whether the patients
were kept informed during therapy."

  (Violation of Ethical Standard 1.14. Avoiding Harm.) "Respondent's
files do not document that he took reasonable steps to protect any of
the complainants from harm, and the harm does not have to be proven,
or validated by a mental health professional, in order for a violation
to exist; it is the psychologist who must take reasonable steps to
avoid harm, regardless of whether a complainant can prove a tort or
establish damages in a disciplinary hearing. Although complainants
provided genuine testimony that they suffered harm by respondent's
treatment, that isn't deteminative as to a violation of this ethical
  The entire record, not just the respondent's files, is again devoid
of any evidence that respondent took any precautions to prevent harm
to the three complainants prior to engaging in the therapy which
resulted in retrieval of memories, actual or otherwise."

  (Violation of Ethical Standard 1.06. Basis for Scientific and
Professional Judgments) "Respondent did not have enough scientifically
or professionally based knowledge to conclude that the complainants HB
and VN had been sexually and satanically abused by members of their

  (Violation of Ethical Standard 1.15. Misuse of Psychologists'
Influence.) "A licensed psychologist exercises great influence over
the life of a patient, and must be acutely aware of the potential for
misuse of this power. Respondent encouraged the patients to confront
their families concerning their retrieved memories of past abuse,
which were discovered during the counseling process. The memories or
recollections retrieved during the counseling process of each of the
three patients lacked the reliability necessary to prudently encourage
disclosure to others, especially family members, given the predictable
emotional upheaval that would follow from such disclosure."

Other comments of interest:

* "Respondent assumed that 'organized' abuse exists, without adequate
scientific basis."

* "There was no foundation for the premise that a 'structure' actually
exists, yet respondent created a treatment procedure to remove it."

* "Expressed informed consent is necessary for any patient who is
treated with this procedure since it is clearly experimental."

/                                                                    \ 
|                        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.                  |


  "Psychiatry sets limits on memory"
                                     (London Free Press, May 30, 1996)
  "Exercise caution with repressed memories"
                                          (Medical Post, June 4, 1996)
  In a recent interview with CBC's "As it Happens," CPA President
  Dr. Diane Watson explains that the CPA statement stems from concern
  that for some therapists recovered memory therapy becomes not just a
  technique of therapy but an ideology. "What we want to do," she says,
  "is inform the public and the counselling profession that this is
  something that needs to be put into the proper perspective."
    Bulletin of Canadian Psychiatric Association, June 1995, Vol 1 No 3 
                    JUNE, 1996 POSITION STATEMENT 
       The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry Vol 41, No 5 305-306

  Stella Blackshaw, MD, FRCPC, Praful Chandarana, MBChB, ABPN, FRCPC,
  Yvon Garneau, MD, FRCPC, Harold Merskey, DM, FRCPC, 
  Rebeka Moscarello, MD, FRCPC

  This paper was prepared by the Education Council of the Canadian
  Psychiatric Association, chaired by Dr. Yvon Garneau, and approved
  by the Board of Directors of the Canadian Psychiatric Association on
  March 25, 1996.
  Sexual abuse of children is a serious and common problem in our
society, although exact estimates of its frequency are understandably
difficult to obtain. Sexual abuse involves both girls and boys, but
all population studies concur in finding that girls are more
frequently affected. Broad definitions of sexual abuse include
incidents of exhibitionism and touching nongenital areas of the body.
More narrow definitions are confined to incidents of unwanted genital
touching or penetration by significantly older persons. Until
recently, attention to these problems was limited, and their scope was
not recognized.
  Sexual abuse, like other types of abuse or trauma, is now considered
to be a nonspecific risk factor for many psychiatric conditions. These
include disorders of anxiety, mood, dissociation, personality, and
substance abuse. Although many sexually abused persons do not become
psychiatric patients, studies of inpatient and outpatient psychiatric
populations have found a higher than expected incidence of a history
of sexual abuse. The psychiatric profession is acutely aware of the
need for the prevention of sexual abuse and the treatment of victims.
  There are many survivors of childhood sexual abuse. This position
statement does not refer to survivors of childhood sexual abuse with
continuous memories of their ill-treatment, nor does it deal with
individuals who have recovered memories that have been corroborated.
Serious concern exists about uncorroborated memories recovered in the
course of therapy that is narrowly focussed on the enhancement of
memory of what is hypothesized to be repressed sexual abuse.
Differences of opinion have emerged about the frequency and the
veracity of such recovered memories of sexual abuse, which have also
been referred to as part of a "false memory syndrome." A further
important concern is that poorly trained or misguided therapists have
been urging patients, as a specific part of their therapy, to confront
and accuse the alleged perpetrators of the abuse once they have been
identified. As a consequence of this type of therapy, members of the
patient's family are most often identified and accused. When recovered
memories are found to be false, family relationships are unnecessarily
and often permanently disrupted. Furthermore, such therapists have
been sued for malpractice.
  In well-conducted psychotherapy, the focus is on the patient's
perceived experience, and a search for proof of the veracity of
memories has not been customary. However, when others are publicly
accused, especially if legal action is undertaken, the veracity of
memory becomes a fundamental issue. The issue then is whether or not
recollections of earlier events can be relied upon when they appear
after an interval of time (usually years) during which they were not
available in consciousness until questions, pressure to recall,
suggestions of abuse, or "memory recovery techniques" like hypnosis or
narcoanalysis were employed. It is argued that these memories are less
reliable than memories that have always been available in
  Developmental psychology casts doubt upon the reliability of
recovered memories from early childhood. The older the child at the
time of the event, the more reliable is the memory. Cognitive
psychology further finds that memory is an active process of
reconstruction that is susceptible to fluctuating external events and
to internal effort or drives. If memories of events have not been
revisited and cognitively rehearsed in the interval between the
occurrence of the events and attention being paid to them some years
later, it is not clear that such memories can endure, be accessible,
or be reliable.
  The controversy over recovered memory has been compounded by certain
therapists who use a list of symptoms that are said to indicate the
likelihood of individuals having been abused. Common symptoms such as
depression, anxiety, anorexia or overeating, poorly explained pains,
and other bodily complaints have all been used as proof of alleged
sexual abuse. There is no support for such propositions. Psychotherapy
based on these assumptions may lead to deleterious effects. Increases
in self-injury and suicide attempts have been reported in some
patients given recovered memory treatment.
  In response to this controversy, at least four separate bodies have
issued statements. These include the American Psychiatric Association
(December 12, 1993), the Australian Psychological Society Ltd. (Board
of Directors, October 1, 1994), the American Psychological Association
(November 11, 1994), and the American Medical Association (1994 Annual
Meeting). All of these statements recognize and emphasize the
seriousness of childhood sexual abuse and of false accusations of
childhood sexual abuse. The American Medical Association took the view
that it is not yet known how to distinguish true memories from
imagined events and that few cases in which adults make accusations of
childhood sexual abuse based on recovered memories can be proved or
  The present position statement of the Canadian Psychiatric
Association offers brief advice to all members involved in
circumstances where recovered memories of sexual abuse play a
role. This advice is set out in the form of conclusions and
Conclusions and Recommendations
  * Sexual abuse at any age is deplorable and unacceptable and should
always be given serious attention. All spontaneous reports should be
treated with respect and concern and be carefully explored.
Psychiatrists must continue to treat patients who report the
recollection of childhood sexual abuse, accepting the current
limitations of knowledge concerning memory, and maintain an empathic,
nonjudgemental, neutral stance.

  * Lasting serious effects of trauma at an early age very probably
occur, but children who have been sexually abused in early childhood
may be too young to accurately identify the event as abusive and to
form a permanent explicit memory. Thus, without intervening cognitive
rehearsal of memory, such experiences may not be reliably recalled in
adult life.

  * Reports of recovered memories of sexual abuse may be true, but
great caution should be exercised before acceptance in the absence of
solid corroboration. Psychiatrists should be aware that excessive
emphasis on recovering memories may lead to misdirection of the
treatment process and unduly delay appropriate therapeutic measures.
  Routine inquiry into past and present experiences of all types of
abuse should remain a regular part of psychiatric assessment.
Psychiatrists should take particular care, however, to avoid
inappropriate use of leading questions, hypnosis, narcoanalysis, or
other memory enhancement techniques directed at the production of
hypothesized hidden or lost material. This does not preclude
traditional supportive psychotherapeutic techniques, based on
strengthening coping mechanisms, cognitive psychotherapy, behaviour
therapy, or neutrally managed exploratory psychodynamic or
psychoanalytic treatment.
  Since there are no well-defined symptoms or groups of symptoms that
are specific to any type of abuse, symptoms that are said to be
typical should not be used as evidence thereof.

  * Reports of recovered memories that incriminate others should be
handled with particular care. In clinical practice, an ethical
psychiatrist should refrain from taking any side with respect to their
use in accusations directed against the family or friends of the
patient or against any third party. Confrontation with alleged
perpetrators solely for the supposed curative effect of expressing
anger should not be encouraged. There is no reliable evidence that
such actions are therapeutic. On the contrary, this type of approach
may alienate relatives and cause a breakdown of family support.
Psychiatrists should continue to protect the best interests of their
patients and of their supportive relationships.

 * Further education and research in the specific areas of childhood
sexual abuse and memory are strongly recommended.

                            DID YOU KNOW?

According to "The Public Interest," 6/ 22/95 there are:

    45,000 psychiatrists with M.D.s
   144,000 psychologists with Ph.D.s
   484,000 masters-level social workers
   154,000 school counselors
   189,000 human-service workers -- including marriage and family
           counselors, employee-assistance / geriatric aides
     1,237 psychiatric hospitals
     1,674 general hospitals with psychiatric units
     2,232 outpatient clinics

* Between 1987 and 1991, the cost per employee of the average
company's mental-health bill actually doubled.

* In 1990, so dramatic was the increase that Texas Attorney General
Dan Morales initiated the first of many state investigations around
the country.

* These showed widespread patterns of abuse among the nation's
therapists and mental-health hospitals -- all aimed at milking
insurance policies.

* In 1991, insurance companies started to get a grip on exploding
mental-health costs and reduced the number of days they would cover
inpatient. They set limits on reimbursements and said some therapies
were needlessly time consuming and empirically untested.

* Cigna and Prudential began experimenting with use of databases that
compared outcomes. Some corporations moved to managed-care networks.

* National Medical Enterprise collapsed from $234 million profit in
1991 to $3 million in 1993.

* In some states managed-care networks reduced average private
therapist's income by nearly 50%.

* There has been a move to Christian-based therapy that is less
                              *  *  *  *
  According to The Los Angeles Times, 11/13,94:

* An example of how Christian-based therapy is provided can be seen in
New Life Treatment Centers (Minirth Meier). It acts as a a "contract
management company" collecting from the hospitals a portion of what
patients and their insurance companies pay. In exchange, New Life
manages the psychiatric units and provides non-nursing care.

   /                                                             \ 
   |   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.         |


  Editor's Comment: Several issues ago, a reader wondered why we had
  not heard from the people who always remembered their abuse? We
  have. Charlotte Vale Allen, author of one of the very first books
  about incest, "Daddy's Girl."

Dear FMSF Members,

  While I was trying to decide what, specifically, I wanted to say in
this letter, I couldn't help thinking that the central issue in my own
well-remembered experience of incest was power. I had none, my father
had it -- at least in that situation -- completely. Now, looking at
the issue of "recovered memories" what keeps catching my attention is
the same issue of power. The "therapists" directing these "recoveries"
seem to be playing my father's role: exercising an inordinate degree
of power and control over people who, for whatever reason, feel they
have none. I find the situation very scary, and absolutely
  Those of us (and since 1977 I have met with literally thousands of
others) who have always been aware of our abuse have spent our time in
the aftermath of the experience seeking two things primarily:
absolution from any responsibility for having in some unknown fashion
brought the abuse upon ourselves, and a degree of power over our own
lives. The majority wished to be able to live without self-hatred and
to comprehend why this monstrous thing had happened to us. Certainly,
many longed to have the truth come out about a problem that had been
kept secret for far too long; some, understandably, wanted never to
see the abusive parent again; all of us were angry, alienated to some
degree, fearful, yet, overall, trying to be optimistic. We wanted our
futures and some measure of inner peace. Not once, in the almost ten
years years I traveled extensively, speaking out on the subject, did I
ever encounter a professional who advocated an individual's complete
break from his or her family. Common sense dictated that in most cases
it would be disastrous to sever connections with our entire families
and, therefore, our composite pasts.
  The very notion of assisted "recovered memories" drives me wild.
People recover memories every day. A particular perfume, the scent of
fresh-mown grass, a toy, a book -- countless things can revive
something that's rested dormant in a distant corner of our minds for
years. Until fairly recently I'd never encountered anyone -- man,
woman, or child -- who'd forgotten being abused. We remembered every
bit of it, and had the attendant fears and psychological tics that go
along with having lost our right to privacy and to our own bodies.
  But in the past couple of years I've started getting calls from
people wanting validation for their recovered memories. After all, I
wrote the book; I'm the genuine article -- an honest-to-god abuse
victim who opened a door that had been very firmly closed for far too
long. I can offer sisterhood, fraternity, if I'll just apply my
personal stamp of approval to the tales these callers tell with
alarming, almost ghoulish, relish. What is this?
  A woman I've known for over thirty years who's always been searching
for her "gift," for the career move that will finally bring her
happiness has now got memories that fill her with purpose. After
falling out of touch for a decade, she telephoned to say, in essence,
"Guess what? Me, too!" But in the very new tones of tremendous self-
importance. This woman who'd never been able to find something to do
in life that would bring her any satisfaction was now positively
brimming with it. With the help of her therapist, she'd at last found
her calling -- as a victim!
  She had ludicrous, unbelievable tales to tell of satanic abuse -- in
the heart of one of Toronto's oldest, wealthiest areas. Right! Somehow
I couldn't help thinking the neighbors in the flanking houses (built
very close together) would have seen or heard something. And what
about her housewife mother? Wouldn't she have noticed that her work-
at-home husband up in the attic studio was performing bestial acts
upon their young adopted daughter? And how come school didn't fit into
any of this? Didn't she go? She was legally removed as co-executor of
her father's (substantial) estate because her brother, also adopted,
vehemently denies anything happened and is sickened by her
proliferating claims. She was pretty bitter about all of that. But
she'll get her inheritance regardless. And there's a happy ending to
her ongoing story. At the age of 50-something, she's planning to go
back to school to become a therapist, and then she'll be able, at long
last, to exercise her newfound power.
  What is going on? It's as if some sort of collective lunacy has
taken hold of people -- the patients and therapists, both lockstepped
in a march toward finding a past history of abuse at all costs.
Victimhood as a desirable status is anathema to me, and to all the
others like me who lived in shame for so long because ours was a
secret too terrible to reveal. And if we took the risk and told
somebody, there was the very real likelihood that we'd be condemned as
vicious liars.
  Nevertheless, after my father's death (and without ever naming the
members of my family) I took it upon myself to reveal the secret in
the hope that it would help others. I hate the idea that Daddy's Girl
might become the equivalent of that underground "cookbook" on how to
create home-made bombs. And the only way I know how to prevent that
happening is by affiliating myself with a foundation whose work I
believe in.
  I am in the fairly unique position of having acquired objectivity
about my childhood -- not then or now do I blame anyone; I believe
that my father loved me; and I have never broken contact with my
family -- and of being fully cognizant of the many, many long-term
effects of incest. So, to help, I am committed to speaking out once
again in order to try to stop this madness.
                                                      Most sincerely,
                                                 Charlotte Vale Allen

/                                                                    \ 
|  "My students like to pretend that they had traumatic childhoods   |
| so they can write poetry about it. But lots of times they don't    |
| even have any real memories.  They have to borrow them; they're    |
| not even their own memories that they can remember. I'd like to    |
| open the Bureau of Recovered Memories and sell memories to people  |
| in this country. It's all an indication of the boredom and vacuity |
| that fills people's lives."                                        |
|                                                     Andre Codrescu |
|                                  Rocky Mountain News March 8, 1995 |

                             LEGAL CORNER
                              FMSF Staff
       Maryland Court of Appeals Rules Repressed Memory Claims
            Insufficient to Extend Statute of Limitations
             (Doe, et. al. v. Maskell, et. al., 1996 Md.
                    LEXIS 68, dated July 29, 1996)

  [Footnote: See FMSF Newsletter, July/Aug. 1995.]

  The Maryland Court of Appeals held that "repression of memories is
an insufficient trigger" to justify extension of the statute of
limitations for filing civil suits. In so doing, it refused to allow
two women who claimed "recovered memories" of longtime sexual abuse by
a Roman Catholic priest during their high school days to pursue a $40
million suit against him and the Archdiocese of Baltimore. The ruling
upheld former Baltimore Circuit Judge Hilary D. Caplan's dismissal of
the suit following a weeklong hearing in May 1995.
  The women, identified only as Jane Doe and Jane Roe, accused Father
Maskell who served as school chaplain of brutal sexual assault while
they attended a Baltimore City Catholic school in the late 1960's and
early 1970's. They claimed that they repressed the memories of abuse
so that they were "blamelessly ignorant" of their injuries. Their
delayed filing, they said, was due to more than mere "forgetting."
  [Footnote: The term "blamelessly ignorant" indicates that the
  plaintiff, through no fault of his or her own was unable to
  understand and investigate the alleged wrongdoing. "Repression," it
  is argued, renders a plaintiff "blamelessly ignorant" because it is
  posited as an unconscious phenomenon, taken to be beyond the control
  of the Plaintiff, in a way that mere "forgetting" would not be. It
  is quite unlikely that any court would extend the statute of
  limitations indefinitely merely because a plaintiff states that they
  "forgot" they had reason to sue.
    [This issue has been raised recently in several cases where the
  reliability and admissibility of repressed memories have been
  challenged. Some plaintiffs have argued that repression is, in some
  ways, similar to normal memory and forgetting. Since courts do not
  limit admissibility of testimony based on normal recollections,
  admissibility of repressed memory testimony should not be limited
  either. This court countered that view by stating that if no
  reliable evidence exists that repression is indeed a separate
  mechanism from forgetting, or if a claim of repression cannot be
  distinguished from an event which is forgotten or not thought about,
  then courts must treat a claim of repression as it would any delay
  in filing because the plaintiff "forgot." The suit must be
  The appellate court considered the conventional definitions of
repression and the various forms of arguments against repression
concluding that "In crafting a rule we must consider the apparently
very real dangers of iatrogenic (therapist created) memories of sexual
child abuse." The majority said they tried to find a difference
between forgetting and repression of memories, and, in the end, could
not distinguish between them legally. The decision, written by Judge
Robert L. Karwacki, concluded, "We are unconvinced that repression
exists as a phenomenon separate and apart from the normal process of
forgetting. Because we find these two processes to be
indistinguishable scientifically, it follows that they should be
treated the same legally. Therefore, we hold that the mental process
of repression of memories of past sexual abuse does not activate the
discovery rule. The plaintiffs' suits are thus barred by the statute
of limitations."
  Maskell's attorney, J. Michael Lehane, said his client may pursue
some action through civil or ecclesiastical courts against the
archdiocese. After Doe brought her complaint to the archdiocese in
1992, Maskell was suspended following an investigation in which church
officials said they could not corroborate her allegations.
           Rhode Island Supreme Court Overturns Conviction
             and Orders Retrial in Recovered Memory Case
   (State of Rhode Island v. Quattrocchi, 1996 WL 427875, 1996 R.I.
                   LEXIS 213, dated July 31, 1996) 
       Providence Journal-Bulletin, (8/1/96) Jonathan Saltzman

  Expressing skepticism about criminal cases that hinge on recovered
memories, the Rhode Island Supreme Court overturned the 1994
conviction of John Quattrocchi, III, who was serving 40 years for
sexual molestation based on recovered memories. In a ruling that
establishes guidelines for such cases, the high court ordered
Quattrocchi to be retried because the trial court judge failed to hold
a preliminary hearing without a jury to determine whether his
accuser's "flashbacks" of abuse were reliable.
  In its majority opinion, the R.I. Supreme Court reviewed the
controversy over "the reliability and admissibility of testimony,
expert and otherwise, relating to repressed recollection," but decided
not to resolve this controversy. The court did point out that studies
show that the psychoanalytic process can lead to a distortion of the
truth of events in the subject's past life and that "therapists may
unintentionally create narrative truth as opposed to actual truth."
  [Footnote: Citing Loftus, E.F. (1993) "The reality of repressed
  memories," American Psychologist, 48:5:518-537; Wesson, Historical
  Truth, Narrative Truth, and Expert Testimony, 60 Wash.L.Rev. 331
Based on these findings, the court instructed trial justices in both
civil and criminal cases to "exercise a gatekeeping function and hold
a preliminary evidentiary hearing outside the presence of the jury in
order to determine whether such evidence is reliable and whether the
situation is one on which expert testimony is appropriate....The
failure to hold such a hearing constitutes error."  The hearing under
Rule 702 is to follow State v. Wheeler, 496 A.2d 1382 (R.I. 1985) and
the guidelines provided by Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals,
Inc. 509 U.S. 579, 113 S.Ct. 2786 (1993). The court specifically
concluded that cross-examination alone is an insufficient means to
determine the reliability of such testimony and is unlikely to lead to
the truth. 
  [Footnote: Citing Pritzlaff v. Archdiocese of Milwaukee, 194 Wis.2d
  302, 533 N.W.2d 780 (1995) and State v. Cressey, 137 N.H. 402, 628
  A.2d 696 (1993).]
  The court also ruled that evidence of uncharged sexual encounters
was prejudicial, "This evidence was of such extreme prejudice that no
curative instruction would have been adequate to overcome or even to
palliate its effect."
  It is now up to state Attorney General Jeffrey Pine whether to retry
          Rhode Island Supreme Court Instructs Trial Courts 
        to Hold Evidentiary Hearings in Repressed Memory Cases 
                (Kelly, et al. v. Marcantonio,, 
           Heroux,, v. Carpentier,, 1996 R.I. 
                      LEXIS 187, July 11, 1996)

  [Footnote: See FMSF amicus curiae brief, Publication #803.]

  The Rhode Island Supreme Court recently gave the responsibility of
determining the reliability and validity of claims based on repressed
recollections to individual trial courts. The court set out a number
of stringent hurdles a repressed recollection claim must pass in order
to be found "scientifically accepted and valid," and to qualify as
"unsound mind" thereby extending the statute of limitations under RI
Statute 9-1-19. 
  [Footnote: The R.I. Supreme Court did not specifically define the
  term "unsound mind." However, in a 1993 case, Miller v. Rhode
  Island Hospital, 625 A.2d 778, 875 (R.I. 1993), the court had
  referred to the "inability to govern one's self and manage one's...
  The ruling came in response to four certified questions based on
litigation from over 20 lawsuits pending in state and federal courts
bought by 42 plaintiffs against 9 priests for alleged sexual
molestation dating back 20-30 years. Some plaintiffs claimed
"recovered memories." Others claimed a delayed understanding of
injuries resulting from incidents that were always remembered.
Perhaps because of the wide range of claims represented by these
lawsuits, the RI Supreme Court declined to issue a blanket dismissal
-- or acceptance -- of all the claims. Instead the high court
determined that each trial judge was in the "best position to decide."
  The burden on the trial judge is considerable. Specifically, the
trial justice, after "hearing and considering expert medical and
scientific evidence and opinion" and a "review of the entire
scientific theory of repressed recollection and the scientific method
through which such recollections are recovered," is to determine
whether the specific "repressed recollection" is "sufficiently
relevant, reliable, and scientifically and/or medically established"
so as to constitute "unsound mind," and thus extend the statute of
  [Footnote: Trial courts are instructed to follow State v. Wheeler,
  496 A.2d 1382 (R.I.1985). The court acknowledged that "the theory
  or principle of repressed recollection is one that figures
  prominently in legal, scientific, and medical debate" and cited a
  long list of sources to be reviewed by the trial judge.]
  The court described in detail four possible conclusions that a trial
court might reach; only one of which would allow the suit to go
  First, the trial court must determine whether the theory of
repressed recollection constitutes a "scientifically accepted and
valid theory." If it does not, the plaintiff's claim can have no basis
and the suit is dismissed. If the theory were to be shown as
"scientifically accepted and valid," but the plaintiff did not prove
that she actually repressed a recollection, the case is dismissed.
Third, if the theory is found "scientifically accepted and valid," but
the evidence does not show plaintiff to be of "unsound mind," the suit
is dismissed. Only if the trial court finds the theory "scientifically
accepted and valid" and evidence shows plaintiff to be of "unsound
mind," may the claim be brought until within 3 years after "the
unsound mind disability ends and the repressed recollections are
  The Rhode Island Supreme Court also held that the Rhode Island
"discovery rule," G.L.$ 9-1-51, applies only to the person actually
alleged to have committed the abuse, and not to other persons in
supervisory roles. A suit may be filed against so-called non-
perpetrator defendants three years after the alleged incident occurred
(under G.L. $ 9-1-14(b)) or after the victim reaches adulthood (under
G.L. $ 9-1-19). The court also ruled that the current 7-year statute
of limitations period cannot be applied retroactively to suits filed
before July 26, 1993. 
 Pennsylvania Superior Court Orders Retrial in Repressed Memory Claim
(Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Crawford, 1996 Pa. Super. LEXIS 2507,
               Superior Court of Penn., July 30, 1996.)

  The Pennsylvania Superior Court reversed a murder conviction and
ordered a new trial in a case that was supported only by 20-year-old
repressed memory claims of a witness who was 17 at the time. The court
ruled that because the Commonwealth was allowed to present an expert
who testified regarding the recalled repressed memory of the witness,
it was error to exclude the testimony of a defense witness.
  The defense psychiatrist would have testified that the alcohol and
hallucinogens taken by the witness could disturb his memory and cause
hallucinatory activity once he became convinced of a mistaken belief.
The expert also characterized the witness' character as naive
impressionability that would be vulnerable to repressed fantasies and
that he would be likely to take the fantasies seriously.
  The Superior Court stated that this case did not specifically raise
the issue of whether the repressed memory testimony of the witness was
admissible, but did state that, "the trial court initially should have
analyzed whether, in Pennsylvania, the admission of the revived
repressed memory testimony was appropriate."
  The court noted that the theory of repressed memories is "widely
debated and many are critical of the theory." It is not a subject
juries are normally familiar with or able to "draw conclusions as to
its accuracy or credibility" without the assistance of expert
testimony. The court concluded by listing many issues that an expert
could explain to a jury if repressed memory testimony by a witness
were admitted. 
   Arizona Appeals Court Affirms Dismissal of Repressed Memory Case
        (Doe v. Roe, 1996 Ariz. App. LEXIS 169, Aug. 8, 1996)

  The Arizona Appeals Court affirmed dismissal of a repressed memory
claim. The court found that a plaintiff who claimed she was of
"unsound mind" due to repression of memories of childhood sexual abuse
by her father could not extend the statute of limitations under the
disability exception. Evidence showed that she was "able to function
on a day-to-day basis and manage ordinary affairs" and understand her
legal rights during the period she claimed to be of "unsound mind."
Plaintiff had, for example, worked as a stock trader and was promoted
to a vice president position during that time.
  The court, however, agreed that "the discovery rule applies to cases
of repressed memory alleged to arise from childhood sexual abuse." In
this case, the court rejected the plaintiff's argument that the
statute of limitations should be extended until she was "able to
accept [the recovered memories] as true after extensive therapy." The
court said that with this argument, the plaintiff, is in effect,
creating an additional category of "unsound mind." The court held that
the statute of limitations begins to run when a person knows enough
facts to prompt a reasonable person to investigate and does not wait
for a person to know all facts about their claim. 
  [Footnote: Citing Franke v. Geyer, 209 Ill. App.3d 1009, 568 N.E.2d
  931 (Ill. App. 1991); Byrne v. Becker, 176 Wis.2d 1037, 501 N.W.2d
  402 (Wis. 1993). See also, FMSF Newsletter, June 1996 for a
  discussion of this issue.]
  The majority also rejected, under most circumstances, the dissenting
opinion's proposal to permit a plaintiff to sue, presumably in
separate actions if she so chose, each time she experienced a new
recovered memory of a specific incident of childhood abuse. The
majority argued that this interpretation would, in effect, extend the
statute of limitations for "an indefinite and unascertainable term."
The majority concluded that such a change, if it is to be made, must
come from the legislature. 
       Alabama Supreme Court Rules that Repressed Memory Claims 
   Do Not Extend Statute of Limitations Under Disability Exception
(Travis v. Ziter, 1996 WL 390629, 1996 Ala. LEXIS 180, July 12, 1996.)

  The Alabama Supreme Court ruled that alleged repressed memories do
not qualify as a disability to extend the statute of limitations.
[Footnote: under Ala. Code 1975, $ 6-2-8.] After a review of the
literature regarding repressed memories, the court concluded, "there
is no consensus of scientific thought in support of the repressed
memory theory." The court emphasized that no court which addressed
"the speculative nature of the repressed memory theory" allowed the
issue to be decided by the jury.[Footnote: Citing Lemmerman v. Fealk,
534 N.W.2d 695 (Mich. 1995); Lovelace v. Keohane, 831 P.2d 624 (Okla.
1992); Burpee v. Burpee, 1252 Misc.2d 466 (N.Y.S. 1991).] The court
referred to the important public policy goals behind statutes of
limitations and wrote, "If this Court accepted [repressed memories] as
constituting 'insanity,' then plaintiffs...would be in subjective
control of the limitations period and would be able to assert stale
claims without sufficient justification or sufficient guarantees of
accurate fact-finding."
                Malpractice Suit Settled Out of Court
                     (Heusted v. DeGroot,, 
       Superior Court, Santa Barbara Co., Calif., No. 204645.)

  [Footnote: See FMSF Brief Bank #74.]

  A malpractice suit filed against MFCC Reatha DeGroot was recently
settled out of court for a reported $90,000. The suit, filed in 1995,
alleged that DeGroot had led Heusted to falsely believe she had been
molested as a child. DeGroot and the other defendants were charged
with professional malpractice, negligent treatment, and fraudulently
representing to Heusted that she had MPD as a result of repressed
memories of childhood sexual abuse and SRA. The complaint stated that
as the therapy continued, Heusted's condition deteriorated. DeGroot
was employed by the Santa Barbara Dept. of Mental Health Services
which, the suit claimed, enabled DeGroot to continue therapy
malpractice. The department no longer provides recovered memory
                 Another Malpractice Suit is Settled
  (Carl v. Peterson, Spring Shadows Glen Psychiatric Hosp.,,
      U.S. Dist. Ct., Southern Dist., Texas, Case No. H-95-661)

  [Footnote: See FMSF Newsletter, March 1995.]

  The final defendants in a malpractice suit filed against
psychologist Judith Peterson, Spring Shadows Glen Hospital and at
least 23 other mental health practitioners and businesses settled on
July 1, 1996 for an undisclosed sum under a confidentiality agreement.
Some of the defendants had settled out-of-court earlier this year.
  The suit, filed by Lynn Carl, originally sought $18 million for
misdiagnosis of MPD and SRA and instructing Carl to report herself to
the police as a child abuser- even though she had no memory of ever
abusing her own children. Carl has recently reconciled with her
husband and children.
  According to The Houston Chronicle, 2/4/96, at least eight former
patients of Houston psychologist Judith Peterson have sued her in
district courts for coercion and the use of hypnosis and drugs to
plant false memories of satanic ritual abuse. Peterson, who has denied
all allegations of professional or ethical impropriety, has reached
out-of-court settlements with at least five former patients. Terms of
the settlements are confidential. At least five complaints against
Peterson have been filed with the state psychology board by former
patients and nurses. Spring Shadows Glen hospital in Houston and its
Dissociative Disorders Unit were shut down by the state of Texas in
     Therapist Defendant Settles Out of Court in Third Party Suit
               (Fultz v. Carr and Walker, Circuit Ct.,
                Multnomah Co., Oregon, No. 9506-04080)

  [Footnote: See FMSF Newsletter, June 1996 and Brief Bank #72.]

  In Portland, Oregon, the Fultz family has settled their case against
Dr. Chyril Walker, one of the two defendants in the case, for
$1,150,000. The case against Dr. Sophia Carr is scheduled for trial on
September 30, 1996.
  Jennifer Fultz, her husband Kevin Fultz, their two children, and
Kevin's parents have sued two psychologists, Dr. Sophia Carr and Dr.
Chyril Walker, in a case involving recovered memories. Plaintiffs
alleged that Dr. Walker misdiagnosed the children as suffering from
ritual abuse at the hands of their father, their grandparents, and the
satanic cult to which the family allegedly belonged.
  Jennifer Fultz was seen in therapy by Dr. Carr for three years.
Jennifer and the other plaintiffs allege that Dr. Carr implanted in
Jennifer the belief that she and her children had been ritually abused
by her family and their cult.
  On July 11, 1996, the court heard motions regarding whether the
plaintiffs would be able to conduct discovery into Dr. Carr's personal
life. Plaintiffs argued that Dr. Carr's personal life was subject to
discovery because Dr. Carr had disclosed personal facts to Jennifer
during therapy and there was extrinsic evidence which corroborated
plaintiff's account. Dr. Carr had announced in a local television show
that she had been a survivor of satanic ritual abuse. During the
years of therapy with Ms. Fultz, Dr. Carr was telling a local police
officer that she was being harassed by the cult, which included her
own family. Dr. Carr's attorneys argued that plaintiffs should be
prohibited from discovery into personal matters. The judge ordered
Dr. Carr to answer deposition questions regarding her personal life,
including the television disclosure and the complaints to the police
officer. He also ruled that she produce documents she faxed to the
police officer. He further ruled that plaintiffs could inquire
regarding whether Dr. Carr had been sexually abused to the extent that
Dr. Carr had disclosed incidents of abuse in therapy.
  Jennifer Fultz is represented by J. Michael Dwyer of Portland. Kevin
Fultz, the children, and Kevin's parents are represented by Michael
Shinn of Portland.
      Court Rules Therapist Did Owe Duty to Third-Party Parents
     (Althaus, et. al. v. Cohen, et. al., Court of Common Pleas, 
Allegheny County, Penn., No. GD 92-20893, Opinion dated May 28, 1996.)

  [Footnote: See FMSF Newsletter, Dec. 1994 and Brief Bank #2.]

  In a strongly worded Opinion and Order, Judge James H. McLean denied
all Post Trial Motions brought by defendants Judith A. Cohen and the
clinic that treated Nicole Althaus in 1991. The defendants sought
reconsideration of rulings in a 1994 malpractice suit.
  In Dec. 1994, following a three-week long jury trial, dozens of
witnesses, and an abundance of motions, objections and evidentiary
rulings, a jury had awarded Nicole Althaus and her parents more than
$272,000 in compensatory damages for failure to properly diagnose
Nicole and encouraging her to believe that she had been sexually and
ritually abused by her parents. Judge McLean, referring to the record,
described Nicole's memories as becoming "progressively more
outlandish" and noted that despite many apparent inconsistencies in
Nicole's stories, her credibility was never challenged by Dr. Cohen.
Dr. Cohen also refused input from other family members and
professionals who knew the family.
  On reconsideration of whether a duty was owed a third party, Judge
McLean referred to a growing recognition of a "broader duty of care"
in Pennsylvania courts, and cited, among others, Tuman v. Genesis
Assoc., 894 F.Supp. 183 (E.D. Pa. 1995). He concluded that, "under
the bizarre and troubling facts of this case, Pennsylvania law does
point to the existence of such a duty, and the facts adduced at trial
clearly delineate its breach....Expert testimony demonstrates
overwhelmingly that Cohen deviated from that standard" of care. Nor
did the court find any evidence of contributory negligence on the part
of either the parents or Nicole. Judge McLean stated that precisely
because of Nicole's state of mind at the time, he could not accept the
defendants' implication that they were entitled to take Nicole's
statements at face value. After detailing his reasons for rejecting
the numerous additional motions, Judge McLean concluded, "The jury in
this case showed a remarkable degree of tolerance, good nature and
attentiveness. Their principled decision is based on sound evidence of
record and should not be disturbed."
  Church, Therapist Sued for $12 Million; Family Says False Memories
           of Abuse were Planted during Counseling Sessions
           Springfield News-Leader, Aug. 4, 1996, Ron Davis

  [Footnote: See FMSF Brief Bank #109.] 

  A Missouri family is suing a therapist and the church where she
worked for planting false memories of childhood sexual abuse in the
mind of the family's eldest daughter. Tom and Joyce Rutherford, their
daughter Beth, and two other children say counselor Donna Strand is
guilty of malpractice, negligence and defamation. The complaint
alleges that Strand's treatment convinced Beth that her father, an
Assemblies of God minister, repeatedly raped and sodomized her as a
child. She believed that she underwent numerous forced abortions. But,
Beth was a virgin, according to a medical report.
  When the allegations were made public, Tom Rutherford was fired from
his job and lost his ministerial credentials. Attorney for the
Rutherfords is Sidney Willens of Kansas City.
       Father, Son Sue Therapist in 'Repressed Memories' Case;
               Lawsuit Challenges Therapist's Treatment
            Des Moines Register, June 10, 1996, Dan Eggen

  Early in June, an Iowa man and his young son sued a Des Moines
therapist and psychiatric clinic, alleging that their ex-wife and
mother had been subjected to "false memories" of ritual Satanism and
abuse. The suit states that, as a result of the treatment by Anita
Jordan, the woman abandoned her family. The woman sought treatment for
depression after her family's home was deluged by record floods in
1993. According to the complaint, Jordan misrepresented her
credentials and expertise as a counselor and "sexologist" and used
hypnosis, but was not qualified to render hypnosis or memory-recovery
  The complaint, filed in District Court, Polk Co., Iowa, seeks
compensation, punitive damages and legal costs under the following
theories: professional negligence, fraudulent misrepresentation,
public nuisance, intentional infliction of emotional distress, failure
to obtain informed consent and negligent hiring. The plaintiffs are
identified only by initials: the father, RMH and his minor son, JAH.
They are represented by Fort Dodge attorney, Janece Valentine.
                Court Imposes Sanctions against Father
              Who Made a False Allegation of Child Abuse

  Anne Arundel County, Maryland Circuit Court Judge Lawrence H.
Rushworth recently awarded sanctions against a father who made a false
accusation of sexual child abuse against an acquaintance of the mother
in the matter of William L. Sapp, III v. Robert V. Hansen, Case No.
C-93-9528-OT. The award was the culmination of litigation that lasted
3 years.
  The court found as a matter of fact that Mr. Hansen's minor child
Alex "had never been abused by Mr. Sapp and that Mr. Hansen had made a
false accusation of abuse to further his own agenda in an on-going
divorce case." The court expressed skepticism of Mr. Hansen's claim
that he suspected Alex was being abused from May to December 1992, but
yet he did not inform the police, the Dept. of Social Services, Alex's
pediatrician, the mother, grandparents or anyone else. The judge also
noted in his opinion that Mr. Hansen was unable to provide any answers
to pointed questions that Mr. Sapp had asked about the specifics of
the purported abuse.
  Mr. Hansen entered an appeal to the Maryland Court of Special
Appeals last month. A decision is expected in the spring of 1997.
              Repressed Memory Case Won't be Tried Again
                   The New York Times, July 3, 1996

 [Footnote: See FMSF Brief Bank #52.]

  Prosecutors have decided not to retry George Franklin, Sr.
Mr. Franklin had been convicted in 1990 of a 20-year-old murder after
his daughter testified that she had suddenly remembered the murder.
  San Mateo County prosecutors had planned to retry Mr. Franklin after
his conviction was overturned last year. However, the recent
disclosure that Mr. Franklin's daughter, Eileen, had been hypnotized
before she testified has virtually ruled out her testimony. District
Attorney James Fox said, "It just creates a case where we don't
believe we're going to be able to meet our burden of proof."
               Minister is Released in Child-Abuse Case
            The New York Times, July 12, 1996, David Stout

  Rev. Nathaniel T. Grady was released from prison after 10 years
behind bars for child-abuse crimes he swears never happened. His
release followed a ruling by the Southern District Ct., New York that
he be given a new appeal because he had been inadequately represented
on earlier appeals. Rev. Grady was convicted in 1986 of sexual abuse
involving children at a day-care center in his church. A 3-year-old
told his parents about "a robber" who abused him at nap time.
Although the FBI videotaped over 640 hours in the day care center but
recorded no instances of abuse, Rev. Grady and four others were tried.
During the trial, all the children had trouble picking out Mr. Grady.
In fact, one child pointed to the judge as the abuser. Joel B. Rudin,
the lawyer representing Grady, said that he believed that prosecutors
had gone too far in coaxing wild stories out of children too young to
appreciate what they were saying. All four other defendants have since
had their convictions overturned.
 Judge Frees 2 Couples Imprisoned 14 Years in Child Molestation Case 
                San Diego Union-Tribune Aug. 14, 1996

  Two couples will be freed from prison following dismissal of their
convictions of child molestation because authorities repeatedly asked
the children leading questions thereby tainting their testimony. Scott
and Brenda Kniffen and Alvin and Deborah McCuan will not be retried
because so many years have passed and because two Kniffen boys now say
they were not molested.
  In the Kern County Superior Court ruling, Judge Jon Stuebbe wrote,
"It is apparent to this court that the result of the interviewing
techniques used in this case was to render fundamentally unreliable
the children's testimony at trial." This included "telling the child
reports of abuse would help their parents and they could all go home
and live together again."
  These families are two of several who were prosecuted for sexual
molestation in Kern County in the 1980's and have since had their
convictions overturned.
                       LEGAL ARTICLES AVAILABLE

#806 "FMSF Amicus Curiae Brief filed in the case, Knode v. Hartmann.
Reviews the scientific literature regarding "repressed memory" and
recent decisions concerned with the reliability of such claims.

#830 "Brief Bank Index -- Listing of 110 repressed memory and
malpractice cases." Pleadings include motions, deposition testimony,
interrogatories, and unpublished decisions.

#833 FMSF Legal Survey: "Suits Against Therapists" Summarizes 30
malpractice suits against mental health care workers brought by former
patients or third parties which have been reported in the media.
  (Minimum order of $25.00 for credit card purchase).

/                                                                    \
| When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall |
| one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.      |
|                                                       Edmund Burke |
|    Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontent Vol. i. p. 526. |

                          MAKE A DIFFERENCE

  This is a column that will let you know what people are doing to
  counteract the harm done by FMS. Remember that three and a half
  years ago, FMSF didn't exist. A group of 50 or so people found each
  other and today more than 17,000 have reported similar experiences.
  Together we have made a difference. How did this happen?

CALIFORNIA: A family read an article in The Modesto Bee on the
"Unfortunate Franklin case," that made some important points: (1)
"repressed memory" is a tenuous thread for a criminal prosecution and
(2) prosecutorial enthusiasm for repressed memory as core evidence in
criminal cases seems to be waning. That was a springboard for a letter
to the editor. The letter to the editor of the Modesto Bee, in turn,
prompted a page one article. The article then prompted radio stations
to pick up the story. Never underestimate the power of your letters!

MICHIGAN: I am a new member. Thank you for the suggestion found in a
back issue of one of your newsletters about donating the book
Confabulations to your local library. I noticed my library did not
have this book. I lost my only sibling, a brother to FMS in 1992. As
the years go by both his birthdays and holidays are becoming
increasingly painful. I will be donating the book Confabulations to a
library on his birthday and at Christmas. This will give me a way to
remember him. I will also enclose a note when donating the
aforementioned book, telling the librarian that this book is about
False Memory Syndrome.

MISSOURI: The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare
Organizations is the chief accreditation agency of hospitals and
treatment centers. Hospitals need certification in order to receive
Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement. During the triennial survey for
accreditation, consumers and the public have an opportunity to present
information to the Joint Commission about non-compliance with the
Commission's standards of care, including the rights of patients and
their families. This is initiated by a request to the hospital or the
Commission for a public information interview.
  The Joint Commission requires that hospitals post public notice of
the survey four weeks prior to the inspection. If anyone inquires
about the survey, hospitals must inform them of the date. Requests for
a public information interview must be made in writing and reach the
Commission at least two working days before the survey begins. Address
requests to:
    Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations
    One Renaissance Boulevard
    Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
This is an opportunity to be heard if someone has been treated
inappropriately or harmed in an inpatient recovery program. Complaints
also serve to alert the Commission to incompetent, unsafe practices in
the mental health field.

  Please remember to send FMS-related clippings from your newspapers,
  magazines, etc. or articles to FMSF, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  Don't forget to include the source and date of the article. 
  Thank you.

Send your ideas to Katie Spanuello c/o FMSF.

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

                           FROM OUR READERS
                    Brother Falsely Accuses Sister
  It all started in the early 1990's, perhaps 1990 or 1991. My sister-
in-law entered therapy and during that time period she accused her
father of severe sexual abuse.
  In early 1992 my brother started behaving in a very hostile manner
toward me. He was also in therapy. During this time period my Dad
became terminally ill. The more debilitated my Dad became the angrier
my brother became toward me.
  My brother seemed to work himself into a frenzy of anger until
finally, during the summer of 1992, he falsely accused me in very
graphic and vivid detail of approaching him sexually. The vivid and
animated nature of his false accusations always bothered me until I
realized that they were a scene right out of Courage to Heal. About
one month after "the confrontation" and "the cutoff" my Dad died.
  Perhaps it should be noted here that in one of his letters he said
his memories were recovered six months prior to his "confrontation." I
honestly thought my brother had lost his mind. I regret that I did not
know about FMS then. My husband was told he was in denial. My husband
responded that he could not deny something which had never taken
  At this point my brother changed his story and said he had always
remembered the memories. I contacted a former girlfriend who knew him
during the time period directly following his memories and she had no
knowledge of his memories and was shocked and stunned.
  That summer of 1992, when both my sister-in-law's father and I were
accused, I often wondered how he was holding up. In the fall of 1992
my sister-in-law's father hung himself.
  After two years of sleepless nights I started having blinding,
incapacitating headaches. It was at this point that I sought help from
a MATURE therapist. She advised me when my headaches were first
starting to write down everything I was feeling about my brother and
to hold nothing back in my writings. She called this my "brother
journal." My feelings were of intense anger at the injustice of being
falsely accused and having been left no opportunity for dialogue.
Miraculously my headaches lifted and I could function again.
  It should also be noted that I attempted a reconciliation with my
brother. His response to this was to leave the state and change
careers. He says we are "radically polarized" on many issues.
  My Dad and I were always close. My Dad was my anchor. Perhaps this
is the source of my brother's anger towards me.
                                                         A Sister

  P.S. My brother, when falsely accusing me through "the letter," said
he would take these accusations with him to his grave.
                        It's Hard to Remember
  It is hard now to remember the terrible anger and deep resentment I
felt so often just a short time ago. I think now our relationship with
our daughter and family will continue to grow in warmth and renewed
love. Our daughter has written specifically to my husband of her
family's desire to enjoy my husband's company. As we rejoice in our
renewed contact, I still feel apprehension for the future of our whole
family. Our returning daughter and one of her sisters still barely
speak. But compared to a year ago, there has been such tremendous
growth in family unity that perhaps eventually this rift too will be
healed. We never could have gotten this far without all of you at the
Foundation. I could not have survived the sorrow I felt for the last
few years. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
                                                         A Mom
                  Reconciliation with Your Daughter: 
                 Excerpts from the Indiana Conference
  The first question that is always asked is just how do you reach
your daughter. Make an all out personal campaign to get information
about false memories to any and everybody your daughter has contact
with. Send information to her relatives or in-laws, her co-workers,
teachers, neighbors, and friends. Get FMS information in any library
your daughter may visit. One retractor said she had gone into the
library looking for information on "false memory syndrome" and could
not find any.
  Don't be afraid to send your daughter information. Will it make her
mad? You bet your boots it will. What is she going to do? Not talk to
you? Make more rules? Someday she may realize you cared enough to send
her information. One day she may pick it up and say, "Wow, that's me
they are talking about." At least send a post card.
  Do not close the doors to your daughter. There is no way to know how
hard your daughter has tried to resist the therapist's suggestions or
how much she has even doubted her own memories. Your daughter's
therapist has an answer and excuse for everything; and interprets
things anyway he wants.
  As hard as it may be to believe, one retractor said that it never
occurred to her that her parents were heartbroken. The therapist had
painted a picture of her parents as angry perpetrators -- angry
because the big secret had been found out. In the article "First of
all do no harm," the retractor therapist said she had never considered
what the parents were going through.
  Don't get upset with the wrong person. Don't blame your daughter for
all the grief that has been wrought. Blame Recovered Memory Therapy!
  Don't ask your daughter why she fell for the brainwashing of the
therapist. She will not know why. Only after she starts to heal and
learns more about the false memory syndrome will she begin to
understand what has happened. When your daughter starts the process of
returning she may still have only bad memories of her childhood. Be
patient, the good memories will return.
  Your daughter will need a lot of encouragement and support. Listen
to her stories even it it hurts. She needs you and other compassionate
friends to listen to her or just to hold her while she cries. Don't
deny your daughter the opportunity of talking about her ordeal.
  Try not to talk about the grief you went through; your daughter may
already be carrying around a tremendous amount of guilt.
  The best medicine for your daughter is to spend time with her
parents and family. Too many parents want to work out all the details
or have a complete retraction and apology before contact. If we had
done that, we might not have our daughter back. Welcome her with open
arms. Remember: Mediation is a process. Returning is a process.
Reconciliation is a process.
                                                   Mom of a Retractor
                       Good-bye to Our Daughter
Dear "H,"
  I am writing this to wish you a Happy 40th Birthday. For a normal
family, one that has not been destroyed by bad therapy, this would be
a special occasion. In our case, it will just be a day for your mother
and me to remember all of the happy times we had together when you
were growing up and after you first had children. These we will have
always. We will never forgive the profession for what it did to you.
  So you won't be shocked when the time comes, we have set up a trust
to provide for our grandchildren when they reach adulthood. The only
stipulation is that they view some videos and read some articles that
present our side of this tragedy.
  We have always loved you and were proud of you. We could not have
asked for more than you were -- a sharp mind, an engaging personality,
a loving person who was in turn loved by many friends.
  We have fought for you in the only way we have known how, and we
will continue to do so -- if for no other reason than to help
others. I hope that you enjoy your birthday. Who knows, someday we may
meet and be a family again. I'll always love you
                                                            Your Dad 
Dear "H,"
  Forty years ago today you came into this world. So tiny. Over the
next twenty years we had our ups and downs. I made a ton of mistakes,
mistakes I can't change or take back, mistakes I have apologized for
and for which I thought I was forgiven. Then out of the blue when you
were 33, we parted ways. You chose a world full of the horrors of
abuse and satanism. I chose this world that until then we had
shared. How could you believe such horrors of me? How dare you? I am
not a satanist. Even though you seem to want to resume contact with
us, I cannot be in your life if you believe that I am capable of the
horrors you imagine.
  I will love you and your children until I die. But I can no longer
live with this pain; so even though my heart is breaking, I am saying
goodbye to you. I wish you happiness and health and all that you ever
want life to be, but I will not be a part of your life any longer
under this cloud.
  I hope the grandchildren will want to see us someday when they are
older. We are leaving tapes and information for them if we die before
that time, however.
  Goodbye, my daughter. Thank you for the 33 years of happiness that
you gave. I will live what remains of my life with that memory and not
the pain of the last seven years. You will always be my daughter. You
will always be a cherished memory. Love always.
                              A Question
  Your May issue runs a letter from "A Retractor" on page 16. It is
heartwarming, but useless as hope for estranged parents. The retractor
says that, in therapy, there's "no sense of reality outside the
therapist's belief and support." How in heaven's name did Retractor
break loose: Did someone intervene?
                                                           A Mother
                              One Answer
  My name is Kimberly Mark. I want to inform you that my family,
friends and I have struggled through a senseless illness. Five years
ago I started seeing a hypnotherapist for chest pains. Within a visit
or two, the hypnotherapist had escalated to "recovered memory"
therapy. Over the next two years an MFCC and a psychiatrist also
became involved in my treatment. My physical and mental well-being
seriously deteriorated. I supposedly developed 269 different
personalities; I did develop anorexia; I did show dissociative
behavior; and I did exhibit a few other mental illnesses. I eventually
deteriorated to the point where I weighed only 72 pounds and had to be
hospitalized in a psychiatric ward. I haven't been the same since.
  For almost a year after I stopped going to the hypnotherapist, my
husband and I still didn't have a clear idea of what was wrong and
where to go for competent professional help. Finally a friend
suggested we read an article about "recovered memories" in Time
magazine. That prompted us to get in touch with the False Memory
Syndrome Foundation. They in turn referred us to people with similar
experiences and who were recovering. Shortly after than my husband and
I found two absolutely wonderful doctors in Monterey that I am
currently still seeing. I have made a tremendous recovery, although I
still have a way to go.
  Obviously, the whole point of this letter is to serve as a warning
to people considering undergoing hypnotherapy. I didn't go into a lot
of detail about how horrifying, terrible and traumatic this type of
treatment is but experiencing abuse through hypnosis is just as
painful as the real thing. I hope that anyone who reads this will
re-examine exactly why they think they need hypnotherapy and will
fully and completely check out the hypnotherapist's credentials and
beliefs regarding "recovered memories."
                         The Clouds Disperse
  The clouds of gloom and horror have begun to disperse. Our daughter
left her husband (who also accused his parents) and began to live on
her own. It was then that I began a campaign to reconnect with her and
finally got her to talk to me when I called to tell her of her mother-
in-law's death which she had not known about. This conversation which
lasted about 5 minutes was followed by several angry phone calls in
which I was accused of not respecting her space, etc. In January she
began to calm down and we began to talk weekly and continue to do so.
                                                              A Mom
                          Obituary Question
  Lately I have been wondering how accused parents are handling the
names of their estranged children and grandchildren in their
obituary. (That gives you some idea of how much hope we have for
retraction or reconciliation!) The most satisfactory thing we have
come up with so far is to name the ones who are still a part of our
live and then simply add "other members have been lost to the
'recovered memory' craze." What are other families doing?
                                                              A Mom
                            FMS in Sweden
  Founding of a Swedish FMS Society On May 4, 1996 fifteen Swedish
families met in Stockholm and decided to found a Society: "Families
against False Incest Memories," shortened to FIM. They represent
families who were accused two to six years ago. A group of four (a
neurologist, a general physician, a nurse and an editor) was elected
as the Working Party. One of the primary goals of the Society is to
meet representatives of three official boards to inform them about the
FMS in Sweden: 1) the government Social Board that acts in the field
of incest has recommended the book The Courage to Heal; 2) the Society
of Swedish Psychologists, has started a group for incest matters and
wishes to know names of legal therapists involved in FMS accusations
and 3) the Society for Swedish Psychiatrists, who see this "incest
wave" as a kind of "induced paranoia." Media In February 1995, the
Government Radio Channel aired a program about the horror caused by
FMS. In March 1995, commercial TV aired a program about incest based
only on verbal statements of a person who "recovered memories" with a
therapist in San Diego. This program was a violation of the rules for
TV because of the smear of persons who could be identified and the
lack of objectivity of the program. In September this program was
condemned by the Government Council for Supervision of Radio and
TV. In the fall of 1995, there were several articles in a major
Swedish newspaper about the unreliability of recovered memories.
  In 1996, there were two major television programs. One was a showing
of the US Frontline program. The other was about falsely imprisoned
men accused of incest who were now being cleared. These programs
generated many newspaper articles.
  In April of 1996, the first general Swedish book about FMS was
published. Using 40 case histories, journalist Lilian Ohrstrom
discussed parallels to the witch-hunts of the 16th century. Paul
Svensson, a lawyer, published a book about the way in which sexual
abuse cases are handled by Swedish courts. And Max Scharnberg has
published a two-volume book entitled, A scientific approach for
assessing cases of sexual abuse. FMS Activities in Sweden Sweden is
a small country with very strong activity for equality between sexes,
equal advancement, salaries and civil rights. We have a growing
feminist movement that has worked for these issues, but also has some
  The new activities against therapy-induced FMS and the freeing of
accused males has influenced public opinion. Incest accusations based
on FMS are now questioned. Experts in law predict that within a few
years there will be 4 to 5 men a year released from prison because of
false accusations. This is a high level of failure by the legal
forces. One case in ten years could be accepted in Sweden.
  In 1996, the Swedish Psychological Society started a working group
to see what failures have been made by psychologists and licensed
therapists. In June of this year, the Swedish Society for Civil Rights
and Against Injustice was formed. That group is working to help people
who suffer from injustice, to assure the rights of families against
authorities and to conduct studies about abuse.
                            A Dark Shadow
  It is three years since I wrote to you about my eldest daughter who,
after 40 years, accuser her father of raping her when she was five
years old. Since then she has been denounced by her two sisters. Only
one of her sisters has had any communication with her -- talking on
the phone once in a while. When this sister told her that her memories
of many things seemed distorted, the accuser said that the phone calls
should stop.
  Last August my husband died. He had requested that our accusing
daughter be sent a copy of his obituary. When she received the
obituary, she called her sister and told her that she felt a victim
because no one had contacted her about the death. Did she forget that
she had been told months before by my sister that her father was
  Since 1993 I have had no contact with my daughter and will not until
she recants. Unlike most of your correspondents to the Newsletter, I
have no desire to see her or speak to her. She has put a dark shadow
on our lives with her obscene accusations which just won't go away.
The most cruel thing of all is that my beloved husband, her father,
died and now it is too late for her to ever apologize to him. I have
no reason to want her in my life again.
  The FMSF Newsletter is a big help to me. I understand and feel the
anguish of the letters sent to you and know I am not alone. It has
given me peace of mind and helped me in my everyday coping with
life. Keep up the excellent work.
                            Happy Epilogue
  I had so many years of joy with my second daughter. I rocked her, I
loved her and nurtured her when she was little. I cared for her when
she got divorced. I loved her when she became a young mother. She was
my best friend.
  Then something happened to her -- she went to see a psychologist and
decided that I had abused her. What a terrible lie. Now I am
frightened of her -- don't want to be with her at all. I stay away
from her. Now I live in fear and have had two strokes from the stress.
                                                        A Broken Mom
  The daughter has come back to Broken Mom and to her Dad. She is
  reluctant to talk saying only -- "How can I forgive myself." The Mom
  has forgiven her and is improving. She is now able to walk around
  the house.
                       FMS and Cult Difference
  Four years ago when I started talking to FMS families, I began to
see many similarities between the cult mentality and that of our FMS
victims. The techniques of brainwashing are different, but the results
are the same. With our cult indoctrinated son we did the kidnap,
deprogramming, and rehabilitation routine. It was successful -- why
not do the same with the FMS victim?
  In examining this, it became clear that those involved with the
cults were in an isolated society. Cult members have no or few
obligations outside the group, so taking someone from that situation
affects no one but the cult. On the other hand our FMS victims, for
the most part, are functional individuals with a problem in this one
area. Most have work obligations and their own families. They are
involved socially with friends and associates, as well as religious
and social organizations; thus it is impractical to consider isolating
them for even a brief period of time to deprogram or educate them
about what has been done to them in therapy. Hopefully someday we will
find a program or a tested means of reaching these victims of FMS.
                                                            A Mom
            Toxic Parents? Dysfunctional families? C'mon. 
                 Stop casting blame and move on . . .
  This was the headline of a Guest Column in our local newspaper. The
columnist is a free-lance writer and former professor of sociology at
a Community College. What she has to say speaks to the parent-bashing
trend so popular these days on some psychoanalysts' couches.
  She states how the term "toxic parents" is now part of the psycho-
babble language that sees parents as the root of all evil. In most
situations, the parent is depicted as the villain, while the adult
child must come to grips with the demons of childhood, working through
anger and sometimes "forgiving" the parent. Of course parents can harm
their children. Physical abuse and sexual abuse happen. "But," she
writes, "And a very big BUT. Most families are not dysfunctional Most
parents are not abusive. Most parents are not responsible for the
problems of their adult children." Hear, Hear!
  Some strategic advice is offered for these adult children: "Stop
recycling your problems back to your parents. Try cognitive therapy
instead of Freudian. Skip resurrecting the past; concentrate on the
present and future. What are your options and choices in life? What
can you do to improve the quality of your life?" She continues,
"Celebrate the joys of family life. Past and present. . . Love each
other. Accept each other. Don't judge. Human beings are not perfect."
And finally, "Let go of the past. Live in the present. Plan and dream
for the future." Simple, but sound advice.
                                                              A Mom
                           For Even One Day
  If every therapist was subjected to even one day of the pain, fear
and loneliness being inflicted on the falsely accused, they would move
heaven and earth to get the truth out of a client. They would pursue
all avenues of motive for false accusations before they would send a
family into the horror that they are subjected to by therapists and
the legal system.
                                                              A Dad
                     Concentrate on What You Have
  My daughter began getting her new "memories" more than eight years
ago. It began with minor false accusations and gradually grew to
become accusations of me, her mother, sexually abusing her and on to
accusations that all my family and our friends were perpetrators and
satanic worshippers and baby killers, unless they were victims and in
  Until I found False Memory Syndrome Foundation shortly after the
organizations was formed, I thought it was a singular aberration or
illness my daughter was suffering from. Maybe the cliche "misery loves
company" has some merit, because somehow I felt better when I found
FMSF and others in the same anguishing situation.
  Becoming involved with FMSF and trying in some way to help others
undergoing the same wrenching experience, has made me feel less
helpless. Instead of feeling as though I'm just handwringing as in a
hospital waiting room, I feel I'm doing something constructive so that
perhaps others won't have to endure what our family has.
  Those of us in this unhappy position are fortunate to have such
capable and dedicated workers, volunteers, directors and eminent
advisory board to shine light on what is going on. Any money I donate
to FMSF I feel good about because we get so much bang and intellect
for our buck.
  My daughter, her four children and her husband have had no contact
with any of the rest of the family for over five years. I almost think
I'm better off than parents whose child pops up occasionally only to
withdraw suddenly; or who wants the comfort of the family but "doesn't
want to talk about it." I have a scar; not a wound and not a scab and
I prefer it that way. "Keeping the door open," might be fine for the
adult child but it's hell on the parent. I don't choose to live in
  I recognize that I can say this because I'm fortunate enough to have
another child who is very supportive and another grandchild. So
although I have a smaller cup now, it is still full. I concentrate on
what I have, not on what I don't have.
  My thanks to FMSF and its workers for all their efforts and for
helping us find each other.
                                                              A Mom
/                                                                    \ 
|                           Before Therapy                           |
|                                                                    |
|   Now that I am a mother, I can see all the little ways in which I |
| hurt you and how we misunderstood each other. I have been          |
| thoughtless to a terrible fault. I wish I knew how to make up all  |
| this to you. Please forgive me for any pain I have been in the     |
| past....I want you to come here and meet me and see my new life.   |
| Please come soon. I have so much to show you and I do miss you.    |
| Much love from us all.                                             |
|                           After Therapy                            |
|                                                                    |
|   Last May I started having memories of being sexually abused:     |
| first by you, then by you and my father together. How dare you do  |
| such things to a sweet little girl who so wanted to be loved and   |
| protected?  You made me kiss both of you good-night and you did    |
| these horrible things to me...How could a mother hurt her child    |
| this way again and again? ...I want a written reply to this letter.|
| Do not come here or call me or my family. This is not a secret any |
| more. It will not go away.                                         |

                     SEPTEMBER 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 27, 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
    Ruth (303) 757-3622 
    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) 
    Catherine (616) 363-1354 
  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  

  OCTOBER '96 Issue Deadline: SEPT. 13. 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,   September 1, 1996:
AARON T. BECK, M.D., D.M.S., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia,
PA;  TERENCE W.  CAMPBELL,  Ph.D.,  Clinical and Forensic  Psychology,
Sterling Heights,  MI; ROSALIND CARTWRIGHT,  Ph.D., Rush  Presbyterian
St. Lukes Medical Center, Chicago, IL; JEAN CHAPMAN, Ph.D., University
of   Wisconsin, Madison,  WI;    LOREN CHAPMAN,  Ph.D.,  University of
Wisconsin, Madison, WI;    FREDERICK C.  CREWS,   Ph.D., University of
California, Berkeley,   CA; ROBYN M.    DAWES,  Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon
University,  Pittsburgh,  PA; DAVID F.   DINGES,  Ph.D., University of
Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; HENRY C.   ELLIS, Ph.D., University of
New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM; GEORGE K. GANAWAY, M.D., Emory University
of Medicine, Atlanta,  GA; MARTIN GARDNER, Author,  Hendersonville, NC
ROCHEL GELMAN, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, CA; HENRY
GLEITMAN, Ph.D., University   of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia,  PA; LILA
GLEITMAN, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; RICHARD
GREEN, M.D., J.D., Charing Cross  Hospital, London; DAVID A. HALPERIN,
M.D., Mount Sinai School  of Medicine, New  York, NY; ERNEST  HILGARD,
Ph.D., Stanford  University, Palo Alto, CA;   JOHN HOCHMAN, M.D., UCLA
Medical School, Los Angeles, CA; DAVID S. HOLMES, Ph.D., University of
Kansas, Lawrence, KS; PHILIP  S.  HOLZMAN, Ph.D., Harvard  University,
Cambridge,   MA; ROBERT A.  KARLIN,  Ph.D.   , Rutgers University, New
Brunswick,  NJ;   HAROLD  LIEF,  M.D.,  University    of Pennsylvania,
Philadelphia, PA; ELIZABETH  LOFTUS, Ph.D., University  of Washington,
Seattle,   WA; SUSAN L.   McELROY,  M.D.   , University of Cincinnati,
Cincinnati,   OH;  PAUL    McHUGH,  M.D.,   Johns  Hopkins University,
Baltimore, MD;  HAROLD  MERSKEY, D.M., University  of Western Ontario,
London, Canada;  SPENCER  HARRIS  MORFIT, Author, Boxboro,   MA; ULRIC
NEISSER, Ph.D.,  Emory University, Atlanta,  GA; RICHARD OFSHE, Ph.D.,
University  of  California, Berkeley,  CA;   EMILY CAROTA ORNE,  B.A.,
University  of Pennsylvania,   Philadelphia, PA;  MARTIN  ORNE,  M.D.,
Ph.D., University  of Pennsylvania,  Philadelphia, PA; LOREN PANKRATZ,
Ph.D.,   Oregon  Health Sciences  University,  Portland,  OR; CAMPBELL
PERRY,  Ph.D.,  Concordia   University, Montreal,  Canada;  MICHAEL A.
PERSINGER, Ph.D.,  Laurentian University,  Ontario, Canada;  AUGUST T.
PIPER, Jr.,   M.D., Seattle, WA;  HARRISON   POPE, Jr.,  M.D., Harvard
Medical  School,  Boston,  MA;  JAMES   RANDI,  Author and   Magician,
Plantation,   FL; HENRY L.    ROEDIGER,  III, Ph.D.  ,Rice University,
Houston,  TX; CAROLYN  SAARI, Ph.D., Loyola   University, Chicago, IL;
THEODORE   SARBIN, Ph.D., University of    California, Santa Cruz, CA;
THOMAS A.  SEBEOK, Ph.D., Indiana University, Bloomington, IN; MICHAEL
A.    SIMPSON,  M.R.C.S.,   L.R.C.P.,   M.R.C,   D.O.M., Center    for
Psychosocial &   Traumatic Stress,  Pretoria, South   Africa; MARGARET
SINGER, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, CA; RALPH SLOVENKO,
J.D.,  Ph.D., Wayne State University   Law School, Detroit, MI; DONALD
SPENCE, Ph.D.,  Robert Wood  Johnson  Medical Center,  Piscataway, NJ;
JEFFREY VICTOR,  Ph.D.,  Jamestown Community  College, Jamestown,  NY;
HOLLIDA   WAKEFIELD,  M.A.,   Institute   of Psychological  Therapies,
Northfield, MN; CHARLES A. WEAVER, III, Ph.D. Baylor University, Waco,

                           MEMBERSHIP  FORM

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

    Annual Dues for professionals ($125.00)              $________

    I enclose a tax-deductible contribution of           $________

                                               Total     $________

___Credit Card (minimum $25):

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

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

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


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