FMSF NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE - March, 1998 - Vol. 7, No. 2, HTML version

Return to FMSF Home Page

ISSN #1069-0484.           Copyright (c) 1998  by  the  FMS Foundation
    The FMSF Newsletter is published 10 times a year by the  False
    Memory  Syndrome  Foundation.  A hard-copy subscription is in-
    cluded in membership fees (to join, see last page). Others may
    subscribe  by  sending  a  check  or  money  order, payable to 
    FMS Foundation, to the address below. 1998 subscription rates:
    USA: 1 year $30,  Student $15;  Canada: $35 (in U.S. dollars);
    Foreign: $40;  Foreign  student  $20;  Single issue price: $3. 
    3401  Market  Street  suite  130,  Philadelphia, PA 19104-3315

This address and the phone numbers have changed as of July 15, 2000
                 Phone 215-387-1865, Fax 215-387-1917
  Focus on Science
    Legal Corner
      August Piper, M.D.
        From Our Readers
          Bulletin Board

Dear Friends,

  Seven years and we are still here. While there have been tremendous
changes in that time, some things have not changed. This past week we
received a newspaper advertisement from New York City in which a
therapist invites us to explore our important issues "in a past life
regression session" using hypnosis. In another advertisement (Patriot
-Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) a social worker informs us that he
"specializes in the use of hypnosis as a therapeutic tool" and one of
the things he does is "childhood memories of trauma such as sexual
abuse." An advertisement from the February 1998 NASW News invites us
to buy anatomical dolls. Some of the dolls have oversized mature
genitals and breasts protruding from infant bodies, bringing into
question the use of "anatomically correct." A glance at the Legal
Corner shows that the courts are moving toward scientific
understanding of memory. Dr. Bennett Braun's travails continue. Last
year he was forced by his insurance company to agree to a record
($10.6 million) settlement. This year he will face another ex-patient,
Mary Shanley (see page 9). But as we write, we fear for the fates of
the Souzas (p. 11) and the Amiraults (p. 12).
  At the more theoretical level, too, while the issues have shifted,
the underlying beliefs still seem to hold. Recently proponents of
repressed memory have focused on the issue of the accuracy of
continuous versus delayed memory of traumatic events. For example:

  "[T]wo recent studies have found the same rate of accuracy for
  corroborated delayed memory and corroborated continuous memory 
  of traumatic events."[1]

Others have suggested that this rate of accuracy is the important
issue in the recovered memory debate.[2] While a discussion about the
frequency of accurate or invented memories appears to be different
from the often stated view that recovered memories are more "pristine"
than ordinary ones,[3] in fact, this frequency is not known. Indeed,
there is a critical flaw with this line of thinking.
  Those who would claim that recovered memories are no more or less
accurate than ordinary memories rely on two studies that are designed
in such a way that they can only find what they are looking
for. Psychologists call this "confirmation bias."
  The problem is that the studies cited to show the rate of accuracy
start out with corroborated cases (events that are known to have
happened) rather than with a memory (where the historical accuracy is
not known). The samples are based on "events" rather than on "memories
of events". The samples were selected because the subjects had
"events" that had been corroborated. In the Williams study, the sample
of corroborated events is then divided into those who always remember
the events ("continuous memory") and those who claim to have forgotten
and now remember ("recovered memory"). (See Science Corner.)
  The proponents then announce that in the study they discovered that
the remembered events actually occurred. Of course since they started
with events that they already knew had occurred -- the very
construction of the sample guaranteed that they would avoid false
  Perhaps if we take the extreme unverified cases it will be easier to
see what is happening. Imagine the nature of the results if, instead,
one measured the accuracy of recovered memories of such things as
alien abduction, past lives, or satanic ritual abuse. Of course,
there's not much chance of finding a control sample here: there's no
way of comparing the accuracy of recovered memories and ordinary
memories of, say, being sexually abused by an extra-terrestrial alien
or by a villain from a previous century.
  That is, the very idea of comparing the accuracy of recovered and
ordinary memories begs the issue: there is no sense in measuring the
accuracy of a false memory; hence any such study that directly
compares recovered and ordinary memories must necessarily avoid the
issue of false memories.
  Even if one could measure the accuracy, that is still not the
important issue. The important issue in the recovered memory debate is
whether attempting to recover memories is justified by what is
currently known about the nature of memory. Are there any documented
benefits for memory recovery in the therapy process to justify the
risks of false memory creation? From the evidence available to us at
the present time, the answer is "No."  We can not do better than quote
from the Encyclopedia of Mental Health:

  "Unfortunately, however, the debate about recovered repressed
  memories has degenerated into claims and counter claims about
  whether they can exist, or the -- totally unknown -- frequency with 
  which they are accurate or invented, rather than around the question 
  of whether attempting to recover them is justified by what is known. 
  In fact it is not; the real question is whether doing so is 'out of
  bounds' behavior, and given we do know a lot about the
  reconstructive nature of memory, but very little about whether
  memory of trauma differs from other memories -- and if so in exactly
  what way -- such recovery must be categorized as out of bounds, that
  is, practice that violates standards."
  (Dawes, R. p S-15-7, Vol X, 1998, Academic Press.)

  [1] Courts and delayed memories, Grant Fair: Globe and Mail,
1/28/98. "[S]cientific studies so far support the conclusion that
repressed memories are no less accurate than always remembered
memories."  Scheflin, A. (1996) Commentary on Borawick v Shay. Cultic
Studies 13(1) p 26.
  [2] "The really important question is whether recovered memories are
any more or less accurate than continuous memories" (Freyd, J. Feb 5,
1998 Register Guard) (cites Williams 1995 as evidence for accuracy).
  [3] From the FMSF Newsletter, Vol 2 No. 7, July 3, 1993: Another
paper that therapists have told us offers evidence for repression of
repeated events taking place over many years is that of Lenore Terr,
1991, "Childhood traumas: An outline and overview," American Journal
of Psychiatry 148:1. Terr argues that a single traumatic event will be
remembered but that a series of traumatic events will be repressed.
She claims that the recovered repressed memory of these events will be
more pristine. This is a theory. The weight of current scientific
evidence is that memories of events are reconstructed and
  (Friday, December 27, 1996, 10 a.m.) Bessel A. van der Kolk, M.D.,
first having been duly sworn by the Notary Public, testified as
follows: "But as a clinician I'm quite impressed that when I've seen
this happen, it's like uncovering Tut's tomb, anyway, that you find
these really pristine memories coming out, which would fit in with the
neurobiological models of how the memories get distorted. The mind has
no capacity to mess with them because it's out of our consciousness.
When they first come up, I think they're amazingly accurate,
oftentimes very incomplete, but it's quite, quite impressive." p

     |                      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 Federici, Michele Gregg, Anita Lipton   |
     |  NOTICES and PRODUCTION: Ric Powell                      |
     |  COLUMNISTS: Katie Spanuello and                         |
     |      members of the FMSF Scientific Advisory Board       |
     |  LETTERS and INFORMATION: Our Readers                    |

/                                                                    \ 
|                     HAVE YOU MADE YOUR PLEDGE?                     |
|                                                                    |
| Have you made your contribution to the Foundation's annual         |
| fundraising drive? If not, please take a few minutes to think how  |
| professionals now recognize what false memory syndrome is and how  |
| it devastates families. If you are one of those families, try to   |
| imagine what it would have been like if there had been no one to   |
| call. Without your support, affected families, former patients,    |
| professionals, and the media will have no place to turn. Please be |
| generous. Whatever you are able to contribute is deeply            |
| appreciated. To those who have already returned your pledge card,  |
| our thanks for helping to ensure that those who need the           |
| Foundation's help will continue to receive it.                     |

   Are Scientific Studies About Memory Applicable To Clinical Work?
A number of clinicians have written that scientific studies showing
that memories for events can be implanted are not relevant to clinical
settings. We recently read, for example, that Elizabeth Loftus, Ph.D.
"is a reputable researcher in the field of memory; she admits that she
has never actually worked with traumatic memory, but rather with
simulated trauma. 'Simulated' cannot possibly equate actual trauma."
(Marlene Hunter, Vancouver Sun, January 21, 1998)
  Ian Begg, Ph.D., a psychologist from McMaster University, writes
that scientific studies do have relevance.
  "Memory researchers do not usually generalize results from the lab
to any population. They generalize the laws they find in the lab to
other places, but laws may play out differently in different places.
For example, lab studies of gravity used bricks sliding down boards,
and deduced laws that apply to race cars and flying planes. This does
not mean that they generalized the results from bricks to planes.
  "It is a far smaller step to generalize laws from a careful lab
study to a clinical population than it is to generalize from one
clinical population to another. If one finds that it is possible to
cause subjects to accept suggestions that (false) events happened to
them, one can conclude that personal memories are mutable and subject
to suggestion. It is a moot point whether any particular narrative by
a client was attributable to suggestive influence, and no experimental
psychologist worth two cents would conclude with certainty that it was
caused by such influences.
  "But the experimental psychologist is on firm ground rejecting any
statement that 'it is impossible to get someone to believe that bad
things happened when they didn't.'
  "There is a big difference between generalizing and universalizing.
It is correct to say, for example, that men are generally taller than
women. But it is indefensible to conclude, on that basis, that women
would be inappropriate for a job requiring height. Such decisions
should be made on a case by case basis.
  "People like Loftus are especially careful about toeing this line.
She is careful to say that she is generalizing laws from lab studies
to domains that include emotional and traumatic memories. This is not
to say that lab studies allow us to predict with certainty how
emotions will affect memories. But it is to say that the onus is on
those who say that the laws governing memory become vastly different
when emotion is added to the mix to give some evidence."

                          Traumatic Amnesia?
The confusion, ambiguity and muddled thinking that has increased the
difficulty of keeping focused on the primary issues of the recovered
memory controversy have been exacerbated by the use of the term
"traumatic amnesia" to refer to the claimed phenomenon of massive
psychological amnesia due to sexual trauma. In the December issue of
the APA Monitor, for example, Evvie Becker, quoting a judicial
decision, wrote that traumatic amnesia is a listing in the Diagnostic
and Statistical Manual IV. In a January letter to the Washington
Times, Charles Whitfield, MD stated that "traumatic amnesia" is a
listing in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV. (1/24/98)
  "Traumatic amnesia" is not a listing in the DSM IV. It is not a
listing for a very good reason. The term has a long history of use in
reference to amnesia due to a physical cause. For, example, a search
of the computer database MedLine in the summer of 1997 showed that the
125 articles containing the term "traumatic amnesia" used it to refer
to amnesia resulting from physical trauma.
  The online Encyclopedia Britannica defines "traumatic amnesia" as

  On recovery of consciousness after trauma, a person who has been
  knocked out by a blow on the head at first typically is dazed,
  confused, and imperfectly aware of his whereabouts and
  circumstances. This so-called posttraumatic confusional state may
  last for an hour or so up to several days or even weeks. While in
  this condition, the individual appears unable to store new memories;
  on recovery he commonly reports total amnesia for the period of
  altered consciousness (posttraumatic amnesia). He also is apt to
  show retrograde amnesia that may extend over brief or quite long
  periods into the past, the duration seeming to depend on such
  factors as severity of injury and the sufferer's age. In the gradual
  course of recovery, memories are often reported to return in strict
  chronological sequence from the most remote to the most recent, as
  in Ribot's law. Yet this is by no means always the case; memories
  seem often to return haphazardly and to become gradually
  interrelated in the appropriate time sequence. The amnesia that
  remains seldom involves more than the events that occurred shortly
  before the accident though in severe cases careful inquiry may
  reveal some residual memory defect for experiences dating from as
  long as a year before the trauma. It is thought by some that, after
  recovery, the overall period of time for which there is no
  recollection may indicate the degree of severity of the head injury.

   Rush Presbyterian Dissociative Disorders Unit Scheduled to Close
On December 19, 1997. Channel 5 in Chicago (NBC Affiliate) broadcast
an exclusive investigative report that disclosed the closing of the
Rush Dissociative Disorders Unit scheduled for early 1998. It was
reported that the closure comes amid mounting legal difficulties faced
nationwide by proponents of MPD therapy. It quoted Rush Hospital
officials stating that the closure was a business decision.

         Denver's Center for Trauma and Dissociation Closing
On December 18, 1997 Columbia/HealthONE announced that it will
decentralize the facility that has housed 107 employees full time and
55 per-diem employees. A buyer is being sought for the building that
housed the Adult and Senior Inpatient and Partial Care, an Eating
Disorders Program and the Center for Trauma and Dissociation. While
the other programs will be relocated, The Center for Trauma and
Dissociation will close.
  The facility was founded in 1910 for the treatment of TB patients
and was converted to a psychiatric care facility in the late 1940s. It
was known as Bethesda PsychHealth and became part of HealthONE in 1994
and then a part of Columbia in 1995. In April 1996, Columbine Hospital
DID Program was relocated to Bethesda.
  The Center for Trauma and Dissociation has been listed in a number
of books and lists as a resource for DID treatment and/or reported
ritual abuse. Examples include: Oksana (1994), Whitfield (1995), Cohen
(1991) Survivors and Victims Empowered (1996), Many Voices (1996) and
The Wounded Healer Journal website (1998).

              Important Guidelines from the Netherlands
Important guidelines for investigating accusations made by an adult
about sexual abuse which started a long time ago or which took place
at least five years ago have been developed in the Netherlands.
Unlike the United States and Canada, the Dutch government is
implementing the strong guidelines immediately. The guidelines are a
response to the FMS problem that was brought to the attention of the
government by affected families in the Netherlands (Task Force of FMS
of Werkgroep Fictieve Herinneringen).
  The guidelines are included in a report entitled "Recovered Crimes:
On Accusations of Sexual Abuse after Therapy" that was prepared for
the Minister of Justice of the Netherlands by P.J. van Koppen of the
Netherlands Institute for the Study of Criminality and Law
Enforcement. Included in this thorough report are suggestions for when
it might be appropriate to drop a case. For example, "Should it be
impossible to determine what story the accuser initially told the
therapist, [prior to the employment of memory enhancement techniques],
this matter should be laid to rest because fact and fiction can no
longer be separated."
  Full copies of the report or comments about the report should be
directed to
  P.J. van Koppen (email:
Institute for the Study of Criminality and Law Enforcement (Niscale)
Leiden, PO Box 792, 2300 AT Wassenaarseweg 72, The Netherlands
  Adriaan Mak, editor of the Canadian FMS newsletter, has prepared an
English translation. Contact by email:

                  Recovered Memory: Second Thoughts
         New Jersey Lawyer 6 (26) December 8, 1997 page 1 & 6
                           by Nancy Ritter
John S. Furlong, a criminal trial lawyer in Trenton, represented the
father of a 36-year-old woman who "recovered" memories during therapy.
That raised questions about whether he might also have abused his
granddaughter. Eventually the girl said there had been some vague
inappropriate contact. With no other evidence, a New Jersey grand jury
charged the man with endangering the welfare of the grandchild. The
author of this article noted that "The day before arraignment,
Furlong's client killed himself. In his suicide note, he told his wife
he couldn't face having everything they'd worked for eaten up by legal
costs to defend himself against something he didn't do."

           Repressed Memory and Other Controversial Origins
       of Sexual Abuse Allegations: Beliefs Among Psychologists
                     and Clinical Social Workers
              Dammeyer, M., Nightingale, N. & McCoy, M.
             Child Maltreatment 2(3) August 1997, 252-263
The authors conducted a national survey of psychologists and clinical
social workers. The results indicated that experimental psychologists
and clinicians differ regarding belief in repressed memory. Clinicians
expressed more confidence that such memories can and do exist,
regardless of their academic training. Academic degree and level of
research involvement, however, were related to views of the
possibility of therapeutic techniques leading to false allegations of
sexual abuse. In their comments, the authors noted that the idea "that
the debate is between clinicians who are believers and experimental
psychologists who are nonbelievers is not entirely accurate. Rather,
differences that do exist seem best characterized as between believers
and skeptics."
                  A Meta-Analytic Review of Findings
from National Samples on Psychological Correlates of Child Sexual Abuse
                     Rind, B. and Tromovitch, P.
          Journal of Sex Research 34 (3), 1997  pp 237-255.
Much attention has been given to the psychological consequences of
child sexual abuse. This paper systematically examines these possible
consequences by reviewing seven studies using national probability
samples which are more appropriate for making population inferences
than are clinical or legal samples. The authors found that CSA is not
associated with pervasive harm and that a substantially lower
proportion of males reports negative effects. They found that
"conclusions about a causal link between CSA and later psychological
maladjustment in the general population cannot safely be made because
of the reliable presence of confounding variables." They note that
"when CSA is accompanied by factors such as force or close familial
ties, it has the potential to produce significant harm."

         Trauma and Memory: Clinical and Legal Controversies
           Appelbaum, P. Uychara, L. and Elin, M. (Editors)
                1997 New York: Oxford University Press

This is a comprehensive textbook examining the trauma and memory
controversy from different perspectives: memory research, clinical
aspects, legal and policy issues. Included are chapters from Elizabeth
Loftus, Stephen Ceci, Fred Frankel who are skeptical of memory
repression and from Judith Herman, Bessel van der Kolk and Colin Ross
who argue in favor of repression theory.

/                                                                    \
| "But scientific discoveries are deep, difficult, and complex. They |
| require a rejection of one view of reality (never an easy task,    |
| either conceptually or psychologically) and acceptance of a        |
| radically new order, teeming with consequences for everything held |
| precious. One doesn't discard the comfort and foundation of a      |
| lifetime so lightly or suddenly. Moreover, even if one thinker     |
| experiences an emotional and transforming eureka, he must still    |
| work out an elaborate argument and gather empirical support to     |
| persuade a community of colleagues often stubbornly committed to   |
| opposite views. Science, after all, is as much a social            |
| enterprise as an intellectual adventure." p 26                     |
|                   Stephen Jay Gould, Natural History Magazine 2/98 |

                   F O C U S   O N   S C I E N C E

  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 studies, with input from members of our Scientific
  Advisory Committee.

                       Garbage In, Garbage Out
                       Harrison Pope Jr., M.D.
Little noticed in the annals of social science research, but good
reading for any beginning student of psychology, is the Tucson Garbage
Project (1). In this study, a group of archaeologists decided to study
the garbage discarded by randomly selected households in Tucson,
Arizona during 1973 and 1974. More than 70 student volunteers, dressed
in lab coats, surgical masks, and gloves, sorted through the garbage
of 624 Tucson households and divided the refuse into more than 200
categories. Meanwhile, a group of trained personnel went out and
interviewed individuals in a random sample of 1% of the households in
the city. The interviewers asked, among other questions, how many cans
or bottles of beer were consumed in the household in an average week.
Then the data from each of Tucson's census tracts were analyzed. The
average reported weekly beer consumption of all households in a given
census tract (standardized as the number of 12-ounce bottles or cans)
was compared with the actual number of bottles and cans found in the
  The reader has probably already guessed what happened. The number of
beer cans and bottles in the garbage vastly exceeded the number that
people had admitted to in their interviews. Looking, for example, at
Tucson's census tract number 10, more than 86% of the household
reported to interviewers that they did not consume any beer at all in
an average week, and not a single household (out of 60 interviewed)
claimed a weekly consumption of more than 8 cans. But the garbage from
tract 10 told another story. Only 23% of the households had no beer
cans in their garbage, whereas 54% of households had more than 8
cans. In fact, the average number of cans in the garbage from that 54%
of households was 15 per week -- in other words, 2 1/2 six-packs. And
even these findings may underestimate the true discrepancy between
interview data and garbage data, because, in 1973, most beer cans in
Tucson were recyclable.
  What does this have to do with studies of repression? Those who have
read our previous columns (see FMSF Newsletters Nov/Dec 1996 and Nov
1997) will quickly recognize the point: people regularly fail to
disclose sensitive information to interviewers. Like the subjects in
the Femina study, who remembered but chose not to reveal their
histories of childhood physical and sexual abuse, the people of Tucson
were unwilling to tell an interviewer their true histories of beer
consumption. They had not repressed the memory of all those beer cans;
they just did not want to tell a stranger about it.
  As with other concepts in epidemiology discussed elsewhere in past
columns, this phenomenon has a name: response bias. Response bias has
been studied extensively, in hundreds of investigations, for at least
50 years, and we now know a great deal about it. But before continuing
with this discussion, we must take some time out to introduce the best
known prospective study which has been claimed to show that people
repress memories of childhood sexual abuse -- the study of Linda Meyer
Williams (2).
  Many readers will already have heard of the Williams study. It is
regularly cited as the single most powerful piece of evidence that it
is actually possible to repress memories. Frequently, in the popular
media, in scientific articles, and even in courtrooms, the study is
cited as though its findings were established, without even a passing
mention of its methodological flaws (3). But these flaws are so
critical that they deserve a careful review, and hence we describe the
methods of the study in some detail.
  Williams examined 129 women who had been evaluated at a city
hospital in Philadelphia in the early 1970s for possible sexual abuse.
At the time of that evaluation, which might be called the "index
episode," these subjects were young girls between 10 months and 12
years of age. Williams possessed the hospital records from this "index
episode." Then, approximately 17 years after the time of the index
episode, Williams arranged for two interviewers to locate these women
and ask them about their histories. The women were not informed that
the investigators were specifically looking at their histories of
childhood sexual abuse; they were simply told that they were being
asked to participate in an important follow-up study of people who had
been seen years earlier at the city hospital. During the course of the
interview, each woman was asked about various types of traumatic
experiences which she might have experienced during childhood,
including sexual abuse. The interviewers also asked the women to
describe any episodes which they themselves had not considered to be
sexual abuse, but which other people had considered as such.
However -- and this is the important part -- the two investigators
interviewing the women were blind to all information about the women's
sexual abuse history; in other words, they had no knowledge of the
specifics of the "index episode" when they interviewed their subjects,
and they asked the subjects only in general terms about sexual
  Forty-nine, or 38% of the 129 women did not describe the index
episode of alleged sexual abuse in the course of the interview.
Williams suggests in her paper that these women "did not recall" the
episode. She supports this interpretation by noting that many of the
women reported other traumatic events, or sensitive details of their
histories -- such as substance abuse, sexually transmitted diseases,
and even other instances of physical or sexual abuse -- while still
not reporting the index episode. Therefore, Williams argues, it seems
likely that the women would have reported the index episode if they
had remembered it. But can we conclude that any of these 49 women had
actually repressed the memory of the index episode?  Several
methodological problems immediately become apparent. First, only 37,
or 28% of the 129 women had been found to display genital trauma when
they were examined by the doctors at the time of the index evaluation.
By contrast, as discussed in our column of January 1996, studies by
gynecologists have shown that as many as 96% of girls subjected to
genito-genital contact will display genital tract findings even on an
unaided medical examination (4). Clearly, something is wrong here. It
appears that a majority of Williams' subjects, if they were sexually
abused, were not victims of genito-genital penetration.
  Williams admits to this. In another paper, in fact, she notes that
approximately one-third of the cases involved only "touching and
fondling." (5) And in an earlier description of this same sample of
subjects, written back in 1979, Williams and her colleagues imply that
for many of the girls, the alleged instance of sexual abuse was not
particularly traumatic and therefore not particularly memorable:

  "Whereas the event [the index episode] is disturbing to the victim,
  it is perhaps no more disturbing than many other aspects of a
  child's life. In the first year following the rape [in the broad,
  statutory definition of the term], the victim's family may
  deliberately maintain an "everything-is-normal" posture. These
  efforts, combined with the child's natural tendencies to forget and
  to replace bad feelings with good feelings, usually result in the
  appearance of few adjustment problems..."  (6; bracketed inserts

  In other words, looking both at the lack of medical evidence and at
Williams' own words, it seems that many of these girls may have
experienced episodes which were not particularly severe. An episode of
only touching and fondling, without any medical evidence of
penetration, might not be perceived as particularly traumatic or
particularly memorable to a young child, even though an adult might
recognize it as clear sexual abuse. When we consider that Williams
herself found these episodes "no more disturbing than many other
aspects of a child's life," and subject to "the child's natural
tendencies to forget," it becomes clear that many of the women,
interviewed 17 years later, might simply have forgotten the event.
They had not repressed the memory of the index episode; it had simply
seemed too minor to be worth remembering.
  Of course, we can debate back and forth the question of how many of
the women might fall into this category. But at the least, it seems
clear that the most scientifically reasonable approach is to restrict
our analysis in the Williams study to the 37 women who did show
evidence of genital trauma at the time of the index evaluation. These
represent the cases where there can be no dispute that serious sexual
abuse really occurred, and where the victim would not be expected
simply to forget. Among these 37 cases, we are left with 18 who failed
to report the episode in the follow-up interview.
  But this number may need to be reduced even further when we allow
for the effects of early childhood amnesia. Recall that the subjects
were as little as 10 months old at the time of the index episode. As
we have mentioned in past columns, failure to recall an event from
one's infancy clearly does not represent evidence of repression.
Looking at Williams' data, we find that about one quarter of the total
sample of 49 non-reporting women were aged 4 years or younger at the
time of the index episode. Applying this ratio to the subgroup of 18
cases described above, we would estimate that there were only about 14
women who 1) had medically documented genital trauma; 2) were old
enough at the time to remember the experience; and 3) did not report
the experience on the follow-up interview 17 years later. In short, we
are left with only about 14 subjects in the only remaining study which
we have left to analyze. The case for repression of memories of
childhood sexual abuse, therefore, now hangs on only 14 people. But we
have not yet considered the problem raised at the beginning of this
column, response bias.
  When we factor in response bias, what is left of the Williams study
collapses completely. Remember that none of the subjects in the study
was ever asked directly whether or not she remembered the known index
episode; none of the non-reporting subjects was ever given a
"clarification interview" in the manner of the Femina study described
in the column of November, 1997. Recall also that 38% of the subjects
in the Femina study chose not to disclose their history of abuse
during an initial interview -- but when given clarification
interviews, 100% revealed that they actually remembered. When we
consider the roughly 14 still-unexplained cases out of the 129
subjects in the Williams study, we see that this number falls well
within the range to be expected from non-disclosure alone-indeed, it
is surprisingly small -- without any need to postulate the existence
of "repression."
  Response bias due to non-disclosure is a well recognized problem in
social science research, documented in hundreds of studies throughout
the last 50 years. In 1956, for example, the United States Congress
authorized a continuing program of health surveys by the Public Health
Service to provide reliable statistical information about health
status in the United States population. This mandate produced a long
series of studies over the next 20 years, in which scientists examined
the accuracy of survey methodology. They found that people, even when
carefully interviewed by trained personnel, consistently underreported
life events which were known to have occurred. In one study, for
example, 28% of subjects failed to report a one-day hospitalization
which they were known to have undergone within the past year (7). In
another, approximately 30% of subjects did not disclose a known car
accident (without head injury or loss of consciousness) which was
documented to have occurred 9 to 12 months previously (8). In yet
another, 35% of subjects did not report a doctor's visit which they
were known to have made just within the last two weeks (9). Clearly,
these subjects had not repressed the memory of having just gone to the
doctor; the interviewers were simply witnessing response bias.
  The scientists in these studies performed numerous analyses to
determine what caused underreporting of life events (10). They found,
for example, that people were more likely to withhold information
about undesirable, threatening, or sensitive material as opposed to
neutral material. They also discovered that non-disclosure of
information was generally more common among non-White subjects than
among White subjects, and more common among subjects of lower
socioeconomic class than among subjects of higher socioeconomic
class. It is worth noting, in this connection, that Williams' subjects
were mostly African-American women of lower socioeconomic class. And
it need hardly be added that childhood sexual abuse would certainly
rank among the most sensitive categories of information.
  Another typical study of response bias was the National Crime Survey
(11). Several studies in this survey used a "reverse record" system to
validate reports of victimization. This technique involved sampling
victims of crime from a record system, such as police files, and then
locating the victims and interviewing them using a survey
questionnaire. Information from interviews was then compared to actual
records to establish the accuracy of the survey instrument. The
studies consistently found that victims often failed to disclose
crimes which they had recently experienced. In one study in Baltimore,
for example, victims underreported burglaries by 14%, robberies by
24%, and assault by 64%. In another study in San Jose, assault was
underreported by 52% and rape by 33%. In several of the studies, the
interviewers probed in detail about the victims' histories, while
still not directly confronting the subjects regarding the known
crime. But even with probing, high rates of underreporting
persisted. Again, there is nothing to suggest that these people
repressed the memory of the crimes; a certain percentage of them
simply withheld the information on interview.
  The list of studies of non-disclosure goes on and on (12). In every
study, people have been found to underreport sensitive or embarrassing
information of all types, such as alcohol consumption (13), drug use
(14), having declared bankruptcy (15), drunk driving charges (15),
arrest records (16), HIV infection (17), other medical conditions
(18), psychiatric history (19), and, of course, childhood sexual abuse
(20-22). Indeed, in one of these latter studies (21), no less than 72%
of 116 self-acknowledged victims of childhood sexual abuse said that
they had denied their history of abuse when initially interviewed -- a
figure even more striking than the 38% non-disclosure rate in the
Femina study. The recurring theme from all of this literature is
obvious: when interviewees fail to report sensitive information from
their histories, the investigators should immediately suspect response
bias. Until they have addressed this problem (for example, by means of
clarification interviews), they absolutely, positively, must not slip
into the assumption that their subjects have forgotten (much less
repressed) the information.
  We return, now, to the Williams study. Remarkably, Williams does not
mention any of the literature on non-disclosure which we have briefly
reviewed above. Even the Femina study is not cited. Of course,
Williams admits that none of her subjects was directly asked about the
known index episode. She also admits to the existence of response
bias. But she does not seem to recognize that many of the women in her
own study might have chosen to withhold information about their index
episode of childhood sexual abuse. If 35% of interviewees in a
government study fail to disclose a simple doctor's visit occurring
within the last two weeks, and 64% of recent assault victims fail to
reveal the incident even when interviewed in detail, how many victims
of childhood sexual abuse, interviewed by an unfamiliar person, of
higher socioeconomic class, 17 years later, might choose to withhold
information which they actually remembered?
  And if this is not enough, it is worth noting that Williams herself
is an author of a large review article which seems to contradict the
conclusions of her own study (23). In collaboration with two other
authors, she reviewed the aftereffects of childhood sexual abuse in 45
studies examining 3,369 victims. As far as can be seen from the
review, none of the victims in any of these studies was described as
showing repression.
  In a word, then, despite its wide publicity and frequent uncritical
acceptance, the Williams study suffers from methodological problems
which collectively render its results completely inadequate as a
demonstration of repression. Indeed, when we add together the factors
of lack of documentation, ordinary forgetfulness, childhood amnesia,
and deliberate non-disclosure, it seems remarkable that only 38% of
the women failed to report the index episode. In other words, the
observation that a full 62% of the women described an event that had
occurred 17 years earlier -- in the face of all of these opposing
factors, and even when they were not asked specifically about it --
would seem to offer a persuasive demonstration that repression does
not occur.
  In conclusion, we do not mean to be unduly harsh on Williams. Her
study methodology is vastly superior to most of the previous studies
of repression discussed in previous columns. But the study is still
subject to certain methodological limitations. In short, when
assessing any prospective study of this type, the reader would be wise
to remember the Tucson Garbage Project.

  1. Rathje, W.L. & Hughes, W.W. The garbage project as a nonreactive
approach: Garbage in...garbage out? in Sinaiko, H.W. and Broedlins,
L.A. (Eds.) Perspectives on attitude assessment: Surveys and their
alternatives. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution. 1975.
  2. Williams, L.M. Recall of childhood trauma. A prospective study of
women's memories of child sexual abuse. J. Consult Clin Psychology 62:
1167-1176, 1994.
  3. For a detailed discussion of the misuse of the Williams study in
courtrooms, see Hagen, M.A. Whores of the court: The fraud of
psychiatric testimony and the rape of American justice. New York:
Regan Books, 1997.
  4. Muriam, D. Child sexual abuse -- genital tract findings in
prepubertal girls I. The unaided medical examination. Am J Obstet
Gynecol 160: 328-333, 1989.
  5. Williams, L.M. Adult memories of child sexual abuse: Preliminary
findings from a longitudinal study. American Society for Prevention of
Child Abuse Advisor 5: 19-20, 1992.
  6. McCahill, T.W., Meyer, L.C., & Fischman, A.M. The aftermath of
rape. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books, 1979.
  7. National Center for Health Statistics: Reporting of
hospitalization in the Health Interview Survey: A methodological study
of several factors affecting the reporting of hospital episodes.
Washington, U.S. Dept. of Public Health, Education, and Welfare,
Publication No. 584-D4, May 1961.
  8. National Center for Health Statistics: Optimum recall period for
reporting persons injured in motor vehicle accidents. Vital and Health
Statistics. Series 20No. 50. Washington, U.S. Dept. of Public Health,
Education, and Welfare, Publication No. 72-1050, April 1972.
  9. National Center for Health Statistics: Health interview responses
compared with medical records. Vital and Health Statistics.
Washington, Public Health Service, PHS Pub. No. 1000-Series 20 No.7,
July 1965.
  10. United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare,
Health Resources Administration. A summary of studies of interviewing
methodology. Washington, DC: DHEW Publication No. (HRA) 77-1343,
  11. Lehnen, R.G. & Skogan, W.G (Eds.). The National Crime Survey:
Working Papers. Vol I: Current and historical perspectives.  U.S.
Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, NCJ-75374,
December 1981.
  12. Numerous reviews and entire books have been written about
non-disclosure and other pitfalls of interviewing techniques. See for
example Taner, J.M. (Ed.) Questions about Questions. Russell Sage
Foundation, New York, 1992; Mangione, T.W., Hingson, R. & Garrett, J.
Collecting sensitive data. Soc Methods & Res 10: 337-346, 1982;
Belson, W.A. Validity in survey research. Grower Publishing Co.,
Aldershot, England, 1986; Fowler, F.J. Improving survey questions
design and evaluation. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA, 1995;
Fowler,F.J., Survey research methods, 2nd edition. Newbury Park, Sage
Publications, 1993, pp 69-93; and Zdep, S.M., Rhodes, I.N, Schwartz,
R.M. & Kilkenny, M.J. The validity of the randomized response
technique. In Singer E. & Presser S. (Eds.) Survey Research Methods:
A Reader. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, 1989.
  13. See among many studies in this area, Polich, J.M., Armor, D. &
Braiker, H.B. The course of alcoholism: Four years after treatment.
Santa Monica: The Rand Corporation, 1979; Cooke, D.J. & Allan, C.A.
Self-reported alcohol consumption and dissimulation in a Scottish
urban sample. J. Stud Alcohol 4: 617-629, 1983; and many others such
studies reviewed by Midanic, L.T. Validity of self-reported alcohol
use: A literature review and assessment. Br. J. Addiction 83:
1019-1029, 1988.
  14. Among the numerous studies on this topic are: Swerdlow, N.R.,
Geyer, M.A., Perry, W., Cadenhead, K., & Braff, D.L. Drug screening in
"normal" controls. Biol Psychiatry 38: 123-124, 1995; and Blynn, S.M.,
Gruder, C.L. & Jegerski, J.A. Effects of biochemical validation of
self-reported cigarette smoking on treatment success and on
misreporting abstinence. Health Psychol 5: 125-136, 1986.
  15. Locander, W., Sudman, S. & Bradburn, N. An investigation of
interview method, threat and response distortion. J. Am Stat Assoc
1971; 71:269-275.
  16. Tracy, P.E. & Fox, J.A. The validity of randomized response for
sensitive measurements. Am Sociological Rev 1981; 46:187-200.
  17. A large literature has arisen in this area. Among the many
studies, see Marks G., Bundek. N.I., Richardson, J.L., Ruiz, M.S.,
Maldonado, N. & Mason, H.R. Self-disclosure of HIV infection:
Preliminary results from a sample of Hispanic men. Health Psychology
11: 300-306, 1992; and McCarthy, G.M, Haji, F.S. & Mackie, I.D.
HIV-infected patients and dental care: nondisclosure of HIV status and
rejection for treatment. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol
Endod 80: 655-659, 1995.
  18. See, for example, National Center for Health statistics.
Interview data on chronic conditions compared with information derived
from medical records. Vital and health statistics data: Evaluation and
methods research. Washington, DC, U.S. Department of Health, Education
and Welfare, Publication No 1000-Series 2- No. 23, May, 1967; and
Salinsky, M.C., Wegener, K. & Sinnema, F. Epilepsy, driving laws, and
patient disclosure to physicians. Epilepsia 33: 469-472, 1992.
  19. Examples include Sacks, M.H., Gunn, J.H. & Frosch,
W.A. Withholding of information by psychiatric inpatients. Hosp Comm
Psychiatry 32: 424-425, 1981; and Bennett, M. & Rutledge, J.
Self-disclosure in a clinical context by Asian and British psychiatric
outpatients. Br J Clin Psychol 28: 155-163, 1989.
  20. Farrell, L.R. Factors that affect a victim's self-disclosure in
father-daughter incest. Child Welfare League of America 67: 462-468,
  21. Sorensen, T. & Show, B. How children tell: The process of
disclosure in child sexual abuse. Child Welfare League of America 70:
3-15, 1991.
  22. Faulkner, N. Sexual abuse recognition and non-disclosure
inventory of young adolescents. Doctoral dissertation. Available
through University of Michigan Library, 300 North Zeeb Road, P.O. Box
1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346.
  23. Kendall-Tackett, K.A., Williams, L.M. & Finkelhor, D. Impact of
sexual abuse on children: A review and synthesis of recent empirical
studies. Psychol Bull 113: 164-180, 1993.

  This column appears as a chapter in the book, Psychology Astray:
  Fallacies in Studies of "Repressed Memory" and Childhood Trauma, by
  Harrison G. Pope, Jr. M.D., Upton Books, 1996. Copies of this book
  are now available and may be obtained by writing to Social Issues
  Resources Series at 1100 Holland Drive, Boca Raton, Florida, 33427,
  or by calling 1-800-232-7477.

   | "It helped me realize what my daughter went through!" A Dad |
   |                        Don't miss it.                       |
   |                  Order form on last page.                   |
              | I saw a bumper sticker in our travels: |
              |  "Ignorance is a renewable resource"   |
              |    Thank you to FMSF for making the    |
              |    resource a little less renewable    |

                       L E G A L   C O R N E R
                              FMSF Staff
                  U.S. District Court Rejects Motion
  to Dismiss Psychiatric Malpractice Claim Against Dr. Bennett Braun
        Shanley v. Braun, et al., 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20024
     Memorandum Opinion and Order, docketed December 10, 1997.[1] 
In December 1997, a U.S. District Court in a Memorandum Opinion
rejected a motion to dismiss a psychiatric malpractice claim brought
by Mary Shanley against her former psychiatrist Bennett Braun and 17
other individual and corporate mental health care providers in the
Chicago area.[2] After a thorough review of the affidavits submitted
by both parties, the court held that "undisputed facts are completely
insufficient for this Court to conclude that Shanley's claim is barred
by the applicable statutes of limitation and repose."
  In 1989, Shanley entered therapy in Illinois after undergoing a
serious medical operation. During the period she was in defendants'
care,[3] she states that some of the defendants applied "hypnotic and
other suggestive and coercive techniques with the goal of uncovering
supposed 'repressed memories' of early childhood trauma." Shanley
contends that the psychotropic drugs administered in an effort to
decrease "switching" between her supposed "alter personalities" were
actually of a type that would be expected to increase her tendency
towards suggestion, coercion and manipulation by her treaters and
  Defendants allegedly informed Shanley that her dreams of abuse were
real memories, that she suffered from a "dissociative disorder,"
possibly caused by Satanic ritual abuse (SRA), and that therapy might
elicit such memories. Dr. Braun confirmed that Shanley was a survivor
of SRA in need of additional treatment.[4] Shanley's husband was told
that he should protect the couple's young son from ritual abuse by
Shanley. Shanley was informed that, unless she "proved herself" by
coming up with information to identify other Satanists in her
community and "save" her son from the Satanic cult, she would not be
admitted to the specialized dissociation unit at Rush North Shore
Hospital. At the same time the treaters allegedly informed Shanley
that she and her family were in immediate danger from the Satanic cult
because she had divulged "cult secrets" during her therapy.
  Shanley was discharged from Rush North Shore Hospital in 1991 after
eleven months of continuous hospitalizations. From May 1991 to June
1993 Shanley was treated for MPD and SRA at Spring Shadows Glen
Hospital [5] in Houston. Her young son was sent to the children's
unit where he was diagnosed with MPD as the result of supposed satanic
abuse. During this time, Shanley's already high levels of medication
were allegedly increased further to produce more "memories" of her
involvement in the supposed Satanic cult. As part of her "treatment,"
Shanley was deprived of contact with the outside world, and was
allegedly informed that she would face criminal action and/or be
involuntarily committed if she were to attempt to leave her
"voluntary" treatment.
  Mary Shanley filed this suit in 1995, approximately 4 years after
she was discharged from treatment with the Illinois group and
approximately 2 years after she left treatment at Spring Shadows Glen
in Texas. Defendants' motion to dismiss argued that Shanley's suit
was, therefore, barred by the statute of limitations. Shanley counters
that she did not comprehend the "incredible harm that had been done"
to her or "the malpractice that had been committed" and was "legally
disabled" from the start of her treatment in early 1989 until the
cessation of her treatment in June 1993.
  Following a lengthy discussion of the definition of "legal
disability" for purposes of tolling the limitations period, the court
concluded that a genuine issue of material fact exists with respect to
Shanley's alleged legal disability sufficient to withstand the motion
for summary judgment and to send the matter to trial.
  The court explained that defendants' arguments are contradictory:
"On one hand, [defendants] assert that Shanley was mentally competent
and able to understand her rights and her cause of action, while on
the other, they maintain that Shanley's mental condition was serious
enough that it required that she be hospitalized, medicated and
psychologically treated for four years of her life." For example,
defendants presented voluntary restraint authorization forms in which
Shanley agreed to the use of leather restraints in order to help
uncover repressed memory and maintain her safety while in treatment.
Defendants argue that these forms show Shanley was able to make
decisions about her medical care at that time. The court disagreed. On
the contrary, the court wrote, the forms Shanley signed showed that
she felt she did not have the ability to keep from physically harming
herself even under Defendants' care. The court wrote, "it would be
strange to suggest that she was able to consider and exercise her
legal rights against Defendants" in that condition. Furthermore, the
court questioned whether Shanley really knew or understood what she
was signing. The court concluded that defendants' own exhibits
demonstrate that Shanley could not control herself and believed that
she was still being controlled by her "alters."
  The court quoted from extensive medical records which also supported
the view that Shanley was legally disabled at the time. One of her
caregivers wrote, "the results of the psychological examination
indicate that Mrs. Shanley is much more seriously disturbed than she
clinically presents. A great deal of trauma appears to have been
experiences [sic] early in life that she is not aware of. Serious
pathology is involved in sequestering this material behind amnestic
  Shanley contends that as a result of her "treatment," she lost all
ties with her son, underwent more than three years of unnecessary and
improper treatment, incurred more than $2 million in medical expenses,
lost her career as a school teacher, and was divorced by her
husband. Mary Shanley is represented by Zachary M. Bravos of Wheaton,
  1. See, FMSF Brief Bank # 42b. The summary of this case is drawn
from the U.S. District Court decision.
  2. Current defendants are Bennet Braun, M.D., Dale Giolas, M.D.,
Forest Health System, Inc., Forest Hospital, Robert J. Simandl, Elaine
Shepp, A.C.S.W., and David McNeil, M.D.
  3. Shanley was also treated by Karen Gernaey, Rush North Shore
Hospital, Roberta Sachs, Raymond Kozial, and Frank Leavitt. Each of
these defendants had previously settled out-of-court.
  4. The Court quoted extensively from Shanley's discharge summary
written in 1990 by defendant Braun: "Patient is a victim of satanic
ritualistic abuse. Diagnosis of MPD. Apparently someone outside the
family is activating her or an alter personality to attempt suicide
... One of the inside parts states that the body will be in danger
from March 22nd to April 13th. The right side remembers cult
activities such as the rites of spring occurring on March 21st. This
is apparently a time for initiation into one of three levels and also
a time for blood sacrifice...One of the goals [of therapy] was to
teach Mary some self-hypnosis techniques in order to help the alters
communicate more appropriately between [sic] each the end
of March, Mary was working quite hard, but some internal parts were
sabotaging her progress in therapy...She was struggling with the
acceptance of the diagnosis of MPD and dissociation, having a high
level of denial, frequently refusing her Inderal, not participating in
group activities, maintaining an isolative [sic] and withdrawn
demeanor...At this point, Mary was able to identify five generations
of cult involvement, going back to Ireland, and an alter named Nura
came out..."
  5. See, Shanley v. Peterson, et al, U.S. Dist. Ct., Houston Div.,
Texas, No. H94-4162. See also FMSF Brief Bank #42a and FMSF
Newsletters Jan. 1995, Jan. 1996.

    State Suspends License of Therapist; Close Supervision Ordered
         after Charges of Inducing False-Memories in Patient
  In the Matter of the License to Practice as a Physician Assistant
 of John W. Laughlin, Department of Health, Medical Quality Assurance
             Commission, Washington, No. 95-05-0053PA.[6]
A Washington State therapist, accused of inducing false memories of
sexual abuse and satanic rituals, was found to be practicing below the
standard of care. The Washington State Medical Quality Assurance
Commission ordered the suspension of physician's assistant, John
Laughlin's license for a period of eight years. The suspension,
however, was stayed and Laughlin placed on probation providing he does
not use hypnosis, is closely supervised, reports regularly to the
commission, completes continuing medical education courses as
required, and pays a $5,000 fine. Laughlin is ordered to bear all
costs associated with the monitoring ordered by the Commission.
  The Commission investigated Laughlin's treatment of a former female
patient.The Commission and Laughlin agreed that he prescribed ever-
increasing doses of antidepressants and used hypnosis and other
methods which he believed revealed his patient's history of sexual and
satanic ritual abuse. The Commission wrote, based on therapy records,
that Laughlin spent a great deal of time in therapy sessions
attempting to break through what he described as "victim denial" by
the patient.
  Laughlin repeatedly told his patient that she had to be very careful
because "cult members" might be watching her. When the patient wanted
to terminate therapy, Laughlin told her that she would be in great
danger if she did so. The Commission said, "Subsequent therapy by
other health-care providers cast doubts on (Laughlin's) treatment and
the reliability of the information means of hypnosis."
  In 1995, Laughlin settled one malpractice suit brought by a former
patient alleging that he had altered her memories and coerced her into
believing she had been sexually abused as a child. At least one
additional malpractice suit making similar charges is currently
pending against Laughlin.
  6. See FMSF Brief Bank #142 for Statement of Charges (4/7/97) and
Findings of Medical Quality Assurance Commission (12/11/97).

            Malpractice Suit Filed Against Utah Therapists
                       Taylor v. Larsen, et al,
    Third District Court, Salt Lake Co., Utah, No. 970907633MP.[7]
In October 1997, a malpractice suit was filed against three social
workers and a physician who treated a Utah family. The suit, brought
by a father and his minor children, alleges medical malpractice,
fraud, violation of the Consumer Practices Act, emotional distress,
and defamation. The wife is not a party to the suit, though a charge
of third-party medical malpractice regarding her treatment is
  All members of the family, including three minor children, were
treated for MPD and for a supposed history of satanic cult
activities.Therapy included hypnosis, guided imagery, antidepressants,
and "deprogramming." The suit alleges that as a result of the
treatment received, the entire family came to believe it was the
victim of and participant in satanic ritual abuse, murders,
infanticide, and cannibalism. The family moved from hotel to hotel
with the help of the therapists in order to evade the supposed
continued threats of the cult. During this period, therapy continued
in the hotels. The family was told by one defendant that she sensed
the presence of evil in the hotel.
  The Complaint states that no informed consent was sought or
obtained. The family was not informed that memories recovered under
hypnosis are unreliable. Nor were they told that the therapy methods
employed are capable of causing false memories. Defendants
communicated to Plaintiffs their own personal beliefs in the existence
of an organized, secret Satanic cult which is engaged in systematic
ritual abuse and mind control or "programming." The family was not
informed that other diagnoses could account for all their problems
and, as a result, plaintiffs relied on defendants' fraudulent
misrepresentations. Due to the breaches in the standard of care in the
treatment given, Plaintiffs state they suffered emotional and mental
harm, including destruction of the family unit, severe emotional
distress, paranoia, hallucinations, and creation of false memories.
Attorney for the Plaintiffs is Jennifer Lee of Salt Lake City.
  7. See, FMSF Brief Bank # 181.

              Wenatchee Child-Rape Convictions Reversed;
       Interview Methods Sharply Criticized by Washington Court
           State of Washington v. Carol M.D. and Mark A.D.,
            1997 Wash. App. LEXIS 2021, December 9, 1997.
Early in December 1997, another case associated with the Wenatchee
child abuse investigations was thrown out. In a 2-1 ruling the
Washington State Court of Appeals overturned the April 1995 conviction
of Carol and Mark Doggett on charges of first-degree child rape and
complicity to commit first-degree child molestation. The convictions
involved their youngest daughter, then 9.
  The Washington State Court of Appeals sharply questioned methods
used to gather evidence-methods that have been criticized repeatedly
by those accused in the Wenatchee sex-ring cases.[8] Detective Perez'
questioning method described by the Doggett children is conduct, the
court wrote, that "courts generally regard as improper in the context
of an interview of a child."  For example, the court noted that
Detective Perez reportedly told one child who denied being abused, "I
have all today and all night and almost all of tomorrow to sit here
and wait until you tell me the truth."
  The appellate court based its decision to reverse on two points: The
trial judge incorrectly refused to authorize money for the Doggetts to
hire an expert in false-memory syndrome. Defendants had hoped to
present expert testimony to explain how improper questioning can cause
a child to honestly believe she has been molested when, in fact, she
was not. Secondly, the court held that a therapist should not have
been allowed to testify about sexual abuse the girl had described
without prosecutors first demonstrating that the child understood the
importance of being truthful and accurate during therapy sessions.
  It is not known at the time of this writing whether the prosecution
will retry the Doggetts. Before any retrial, the appellate court
ordered Chelan County authorities to hold a hearing to consider
whether the child witness in the Doggett case was coerced by the
police or by Child Protective Services caseworkers.
  8. During 1994 and 1995, more than 50 children were interviewed
about possible abuse and interlocking child-rape rings involving
hundreds of people. Three dozen people were accused, 14 pled guilty to
child rape or molestation and 5 others were convicted. Charges were
dismissed or greatly reduced against six people, and three were
acquitted. Many of the adults subsequently recanted their confessions
and a number of young alleged victims recanted their statements. All
of the youngsters reported that they had been bullied by Wenatchee
police Detective Bob Perez, who also handled the Doggett case.
  An editorial published in The Columbian (Vancouver, WA), December
12, 1997, concluded, "the Wenatchee cases have degraded righteous
prosecution of real abuse with real victims. That error needs
correction." The events in Wenatchee in the mid 1990's are the
subject of a recent book by lawyer Kathryn Lyon, Witch Hunt: A True
Story of Social Hysteria and Abused Justice, (Avon Books).

       Souzas May Go to Prison After Five Years of House Arrest
                        Commonwealth v. Souza,
      Massachusetts Appeals Court, No. 95-P-1105, Feb. 2, 1998.
On February 2, the Massachusetts Appeals Court refused to grant a new
trial to Shirley and Raymond Souza. The Souzas' appeal raised several
issues, including the denial of their right to confront the child
witnesses who testified against them.[9] The Appeals Court agreed that
the special seating arrangement during the Souzas' trial did violate
their Constitutional right to face-to-face confrontation, but held
that the Souzas waived the issue on appeal because the defense had
made no objection to the seating arrangement during the trial in 1993.
The court wrote that they found "no substantial risk of a miscarriage
of justice" and said that the "error in allowing the special seating
arrangements played no part in the trial judge's guilty verdicts."
  In August 1995, the Massachusetts Appeals Court [10] ruled that
trial judge Elizabeth Dolan had properly barred the Souzas from
introducing information they contended would show that the their
grandchildren were influenced by a daughter and former daughter-in-law
to make false allegations of sexual abuse. The Souzas argue that the
"recovered memories" of the children's mothers eventually influenced
the grandchildren to make many improbable allegations that included
being locked in a cage in a basement which was, in fact, too small to
hold such a thing.
  The couple have spent nearly five years under house arrest since
being convicted of sexually abusing their two granddaughters. The
Souzas, now 66, received identical 9- to 15-year sentences, but that
sentence was stayed while their case was being appealed. Daniel
Williams, the Souzas' lawyer, said he will seek a rehearing from the
Appellate Court on the question of whether the confrontation issue
was, in fact, raised at the appropriate time. Williams said that he
also intends to appeal to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on
a number of issues if the motion for rehearing is rejected.
  9. During the early 1990's when the Souzas were tried, many courts
allowed special seating arrangements for young child witnesses in
order to reduce the child's emotional distress at testifying in a
courtroom. During the same period, several decisions found certain
special arrangements impermissible. For example, placing a screen
between the child witness and the defendant (Coy v. Iowa, 487 U.S.1012
(1988)) or allowing the child witness to testify outside the physical
presence of the defendant (Commonwealth v. Bergstrom, 402 Mass. 534
(1988)) was held to be unconstitutional in that it violated the Sixth
Amendment. The Bergstrom court stated that "[t]o interpret the words
of [art. 12] as requiring only that the defendant be able to see and
hear the witness renders superfluous the words 'to meet' and 'face to
face'" under the Sixth Amendment. In 1994, while the Souza's first
appeal was pending, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decided
Commonwealth v. Johnson, 417 Mass. 498 (1994). In that case, a
conviction was reversed because the defendant was not given the
opportunity to observe the faces of all witnesses testifying against
him at trial.
  10. Previous appeal, Commonwealth v. Souza, 39 Mass. App. Ct. 103
(1995). See also FMSF Newsletter September 1995.

               Amirault Case Returns to Superior Court
Attorneys trying to win a new trial for Cheryl Amirault LeFave in the
Fells Acres Day School case will call several expert witnesses to
testify that new scientific evidence shows children's memories to be
far more susceptible to suggestion than once believed and to
demonstrate how County prosecutors mishandled interviews with toddlers
who were allegedly molested at the school. A hearing is scheduled
February 17 before Massachusetts Superior Court Judge Isaac
  In 1995, after eight years in prison, a Superior Court judge granted
Cheryl and her now-deceased mother a new trial finding that special
seating arrangements given the child witnesses deprived the defendants
their right to confront their accusers. The Massachusetts Supreme
Judicial Court reinstated the convictions. But in May, Judge
Borenstein granted the women a new trial and said they could remain
free on bail pending prosecutors' appeal of their release. LeFave, one
of the three defendants in the case, continues to assert her innocence
in the 13-year-old child molestation case. LeFave's mother and
codefendant, Violet Amirault, died of cancer last September. Gerald
Amirault, who was tried separately, will not be directly affected by
the outcome of this hearing.
                  After Three Trials and Five Years,
   Canadian Educator is Finally Acquitted in Repressed Memory Case
         Regina v. Kliman, Supreme Court of British Columbia,
          No. CC930630, date of decision, Jan. 8, 1998.[11]
In January 1998, a British Columbia educator was acquitted of sexually
assaulting two former Grade 6 students in a controversial case
involving repressed memories of sexual abuse. Since 1992, Michael
Kliman has undergone three trials on the same set of charges relating
to assaults and a rape he allegedly committed against two pupils he
taught more than 20 years ago. Both women, now in their 30's,
testified that they were abused during class time in a small room
between their classroom and an adjoining classroom once or twice a
day, three or four times each week.
  Mr. Kliman had been convicted in 1994. He appealed and was granted a
new trial in 1996. The second trial ended with the jury failing to
reach a decision. The charges were pursued a third time early this
  In a 20-page decision, the B.C. Supreme Court (a Canadian trial
level court) dismissed all charges against Mr. Kliman. Justice Peter
Fraser wrote that he found too many inconsistencies and
improbabilities in the women's testimony and therefore the "recovered
memory aspect" of the trial was not the determining factor in his
decision: "Had the evidence of the complainants been more persuasive
in general, concerns about recovered memory might well have been a
factor leading to acquittal." He noted that Mr. Kliman taught in a
two-classroom open space in which he and his students were always
visible to the teacher of the other class. The women's accounts of
what had taken place changed on several occasions, conflicting with
earlier statements. One woman said the abuse took place in a certain
room even though it was built years after she had left the
school. Other incidents supposedly happened in a highly visible spot
with windows opening onto a major hallway.
  According to the decision, one of the women had no memory of sexual
abuse at school prior to therapy with a counselor specializing in
repressed memory syndrome. The therapist reportedly spotted symptoms
of a repressed memory of sexual abuse that had not surfaced previously
despite the fact that the woman had been in intensive psychiatric
treatment 15 years earlier. The therapy records from the earlier
period show that sexual abuse was discussed repeatedly, but no teacher
was mentioned. The woman testified that her therapy records covering
the 5-year period are in error. A policeman repeatedly called the
other complainant until she recalled the alleged abuse.
  David Gibbons, lawyer for Mr. Kliman, said his client was an
innocent man "who has been put through hell for five years."
Mr. Gibbons questioned the decision to lay charges against Mr. Kliman
based solely on repressed memories. Their unreliability has been
extensively documented, he said, arguing that a person should not be
charged without independent corroboration of allegations.
  Mr. Kliman spent more than $500,000 fighting the charges and was
suspended without pay, though he hopes to get his job back. The worst
part of the entire experience, he said, was his portrayal as a person
who would harm children. "To be accused of the very thing that you
find most despicable and deplorable is the most hurtful thing that
could happen to an educator."
  11. FMSF Brief Bank # 184.

       New Zealand Appeal in Highly Publicized Child Abuse Case
           A. Gray, "Hundreds falsely accused, says group,"
           The Dominion (Wellington, New Zealand), 12/2/97.
A petition for the pardon of child care worker Peter Ellis, who was
convicted of child abuse, was presented to the New Zealand
Governor-General and the Justice Minister early in December 1997. The
governor-general has the authority to grant a pardon on the advice of
the justice minister.
  Ellis, found guilty of sexually abusing seven children at the
Christchurch Civic Childcare Centre between 1986 and 1992, has served
four years of a 10-year sentence. Several recent articles in the New
Zealand press and an investigative TV program have renewed doubts
about the handling of the police inquiry and the trial. For example,
it was revealed that a detective on the case had affairs with two of
the mothers of the children and had harassed a third. It was also
recently discovered that the jury foreman was the marriage celebrant
of the crown prosecutor.
  The New Zealand organization, Casualties of Sexual Allegations
Inc. (Cosa) notes that while the Peter Ellis case has attracted a
great deal of media attention, there are many innocent New Zealanders
who have been falsely accused in less sensational abuse cases. Cosa
president Felicity Goodyear-Smith is quoted as saying the group has
records of dozens of cases where men have been convicted on the basis
of uncorroborated testimony. Dr. Goodyear-Smith says there certainly
was a need to change the way abuse victims were treated in the
1980's. However, she says, the pendulum has now swung too far in the
complainants' favor. Dr. Goodyear-Smith says she is concerned that
current ideology assumes some behavior in children is automatically
the result of sexual abuse and that there is little understanding of
just how easy it is to feed ideas to children. She says children who
deny any abuse are not believed. However, she says, interviewing
techniques have vastly improved and there is now a lot more knowledge
now about suggestive techniques.

                     |  FMSF Contact searching  |
                     | for families from Quebec |
                     |     Contact Mavis        |
                     |     514-537-8187         |

/                                                                    \
|                   A View of Hypnosis (Synopsis)                    |
|                         by Robert A. Baker                         |
|          The Harvard Mental Health Letter, February, 1998          |
|                                                                    |
| "Cognitive-behavioral theory provides a persuasive account of      |
| hypnosis. It involves communication between a person in the role   |
| of an authority called the hypnotist and another person called the |
| hypnotic subject or person under hypnosis. There is no single      |
| state or condition or practice that includes all the present       |
| meanings of the word. There is no overall theory, no common cause, |
| no physiological indicator or hypnotic phenomena. The concepts of  |
| hypnotic trance, somnambulism, and dissociation are unnecessary:   |
| no unusual state of consciousness is involved. Although the Greek  |
| roots of the word mean "sleep," hypnosis in no way resembles       |
| sleep. The hypnotic subject is simply complying with the           |
| hypnotist's suggestions while physically relaxed and directing     |
| attention inward. Nothing stranger is happening...                 |
|                                                                    |
| "Confabulation -- the confusion of fact with fiction through an    |
| effort to fill gaps in memory -- occurs without fail whenever      |
| hypnosis and other suggestive techniques such as guided imagery    |
| are used. Especially unreliable are reports of anything horrible   |
| or frightening -- molestation, incest, cannibalism, rape, torture, |
| and murder...                                                      |
|                                                                    |
| "Hypnosis is a particularly unreliable way to elicit memories of   |
| child abuse. True victims of child abuse have trouble forgetting   |
| the events rather than remembering them. All memories recovered    |
| for the first time during psychotherapy are highly suspect and     |
| those recovered under hypnosis are doubly suspect. Any             |
| psychotherapeutic technique emphasizing the recall of forgotten    |
| childhood events is certain to elicit fictions based on            |
| suggestion. If the apparent memories are detailed, vivid, and      |
| emotionally intense, as hypnotic memories often are, both the      |
| therapist and the patient may be all the more convinced of their   |
| accuracy. I cannot emphasize strongly enough that emotional        |
| intensity is not a sigh of truth...                                |
|                                                                    |
| "Ultimately, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. It is a serious        |
| misunderstanding to credit hypnotists with special powers or       |
| arcane techniques. Hypnotic subjects are always in control of      |
| their mental processes. They have made a kind of social contract   |
| to comply with the hypnotist's suggestions, which in effect are    |
| merely requests. We can all relax, turn our thoughts inward, and   |
| use our imaginations -- play the hypnosis game...                  |

                      F M S F    F E A T U R E S

          Reflections from Germany; Reflections on Lawyers
                       August Piper Jr., M.D.
Pick up nearly any recent issue of many American psychiatric journals,
and what do you find? Almost certainly there will appear a paper on
childhood sexual abuse, traumatic experiences, dissociative identity
disorder (formerly called multiple personality disorder), the effects
of trauma on memory, or dissociation. These are all hot topics in the
United States today-especially dissociation.
  Not too long ago, I began to wonder: what do people in other
countries think about these topics? After initiating a few contacts
with colleagues in Europe, I went to Germany to try to answer this
question for myself.
  While there, I visited the very courtroom in Nuremberg in which Nazi
physicians were tried as war criminals after World War II. What, you
may ask, does this room have to do with traumatic memories and alleged
childhood sexual abuse? Just this: many clinicians are presently
facing suits alleging improper treatment of patients who enter therapy
because of these kinds of complaints. And in these recovered-memory
cases, so much a part of the legal landscape in present-day America,
one theme appears time and again: the defendant clinicians often
treated patients using methods for which there is next to no support
in the scientific literature. In other words, the clinicians' patients
were being used as experimental subjects.
  Worse, almost never were these patients informed that more
efficacious, and less damaging, treatments were available to them. In
other words, the clinicians' patients did not have the opportunity to
give genuine informed consent to treatment.
  Avoiding improper experiments on patients, and scrupulously
attempting to ensure that patients provide genuinely informed consent
to medical procedures -- these are the lessons the Nuremberg judges
wanted to hand down to today's physicians:

  "A central lesson from the Nazi era is that medical ethos is not
  immutable, but can be severely distorted by social and political
  forces and by perversions in the application of science and
  technology. The core values of medicine require an
  informed, engaged, and concerned profession."[1]

  "The judges of the Nuremburg Tribunal...envisioned a world in which
  free women and men could make their own good or bad decisions, but
  not decisions unknowingly imposed on them by the authority of the
  state, science, or medicine."[2]

  I learned much else in Germany: what is happening to the accused
parents there (they tend to be very isolated, partly because few
organizations like the FMSF exist in that country), the attitude of
mainstream psychiatry toward DID (skeptical), and why there seem to be
so few German cases of therapy-induced "recovered" memories (this has
an interesting explanation).
  Unfortunately, we will have to visit these topics next month,
because they require more space than is available in today's column.
The reason: some months ago I promised to publish one reader's
thoughts on interactions between attorneys and their clients --
particularly those accused of "sexual abuse."
  This reader, a social worker in Washington state, has training and
experience working in legal settings. She's not impressed, she says,
with how family members are sometimes treated by legal professionals
on our side. I quote her comments:
  I once watched a lawyer almost miss the trump card because he wasn't
listening to his clients. Many of the parents involved in these cases
do not have university educations or professional degrees, and are
unsophisticated in systems, psychological, or legal issues. It may
seem that they're babbling. Listen to them anyway. Learn to decode
what they're saying.
  For many reasons, parents may not reveal concerns and fears to their
legal representatives. Some are intimidated and therefore "freeze" in
the attorney's office. Some see even their own lawyers as necessary
evils, or perhaps project their feelings toward opposing counsel onto
their own attorneys. Some have a lifelong mistrust of attorneys. I
advise attorneys to ask clients about their concerns and fears about
pending legal actions. Though such inquiries are not glamorous, they
may pay off when the client gives a deposition or testifies.
  An elderly woman I know suffered full-blown panic symptoms because
of the stress of litigation, but was ashamed to reveal these reactions
to her lawyer. I had earlier heard this attorney make patronizing
comments about FMSF families, so perhaps the panic-stricken client had
sensed the lawyer's attitude.

  As I've said before -- probably more times than readers wish -- your
letters and comments breathe life into this column, so please keep 'em

  1 Medicine Against Society: Lessons From the Third Reich. Journal of
the American Medical Association 276: 1657-61, 1996.
  2. The Nuremburg Code and the Nuremberg Trial: A Reappraisal.
Journal of the American Medical Association 276: 1662-66, 1996.

  August Piper Jr., MD is the author of Hoax and Reality: The Bizarre
  World of Multiple Personality Disorder. He is in private practice in
  Seattle and is a member of the FMSF Scientific Advisory Board.

          |         E S T A T E   P L A N N I N G          |
          |                                                |
          | If you have questions about how to include the |
          |     FMSF in your estate planning, contact      |
          |         Charles Caviness 800-289-9060.         |
          |  (Available 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Pacific time.)  |

/                                                                    \
|                            Kathryn Lyon                            |
|            New York: Avon Books, 1998, $5.99 paperback             |
|                                                                    |
| One of the largest child abuse scandals that has occurred in       |
| America is taking place in Wenatchee, Washington. Kathryn Lyon     |
| left her job as a Public Defender in Tacoma and went to Wenatchee  |
| as this tragedy was unfolding and spent the next few years         |
| obtaining documents and interviewing the people involved. She was  |
| not just an observer. In her efforts to bring attention to the     |
| plights of the unjustly convicted and the developmentally delayed  |
| victims who took plea bargains, Ms. Lyon worked hard to encourage  |
| federal and state intervention.                                    |
|                                                                    |
| The Wenatchee cases came to public attention in 1995 when 50 men   |
| and women, many of them poor and disabled, were charged with       |
| participating in child sex abuse rights. The key child witness was |
| a foster child in the home of Wenatchee police detective Robert    |
| Perez. Soon she had named over 100 people as molesters. Hysteria   |
| resulted.                                                          |
|                                                                    |
| According to government documents, recalcitrant children were      |
| withdrawn from school, isolated from all their former social       |
| contacts, housed in locked, out-of-state mental facilities without |
| any legal intervention and subjected to dangerous courses of       |
| psychotropic medication. All these things were done to facilitate  |
| the investigation!                                                 |
|                                                                    |
| How could these things actually have happened in America in the    |
| 1990s? This page-turner of a book shows how the checks and         |
| balances ruptured at all levels of the justice system.             |

                   F R O M   O U R   R E A D E R S

  My sister (age 54) has been in therapy for about 5 years. During
this time, her claims of "recovered memories" have gotten more and
more bizarre. Beginning with claims that our father incested her, her
"memories" soon included our mother killing a man with a butcher knife
in our own kitchen and disposing of the body in our septic tank. There
were countless other such memories that I knew to be false.
  Her therapist diagnosed her as MPD, and soon she had names for
dozens of "personalities." Recently, my sister claims to have
remembered that she was abused by a Satanic Cult in our small barn
when she was four years old. (I would have been an infant at the
time.) Needless to say, none of these things occurred.
  Coincidentally, most of the other clients of my sister's therapist
are also MPD, with Satanic Ritual Abuse in their history. My sister
once had a successful career as a freelance artist. Her ability to
maintain her career has steadily decreased with this therapy, until
she cannot now even hold a paintbrush.
  The reason that my sending this post is so urgent is that, this
evening my sister called me (we live 300 miles apart) and she told me
that she had been "cutting" herself. She called 911 and asked to be
admitted to the psych ward at the county hospital. She told me that
she had called her therapist about the cutting, and the therapist said
that the cult had "programmed" her to kill herself if she ever told,
and that one of her "Multiple Parts" wanted to see blood.
  I am furious at this therapist!  She has literally destroyed my
sister's life and livelihood. My sister tells me that anybody who says
that SRA does not exist is "one of them."
  Does anyone out there have a course of action for me? A friend has
suggested that I sue to become my sister's legal guardian. She's 54,
and I'm 50. Any suggestions or advice will be warmly received.
                                                      A Caring Brother

  My daughter accused her father in 1992, then included me as time
went on. Later her brother was convinced and came up with his own
accusations that included bodies buried in our yard and Satanic Ritual
Abuse. It seems to have no end. I haven't seen my only three
grandchildren since 1992. It is good to read of so many accusers
recanting...but there are still many of us hurting. And it's not the
sort of hurt you can share with most people.
                                                                 A Mom

  Can you imagine how widespread this FMS horror is? In this era of
rapid communication, nobody is spared from its pernicious influence.
The FMS parents we know are happy things have turned around as far as
the public knowledge, but none of them are seeing any dramatic changes
in their afflicted daughters.
                                                                 A Mom

  I am going into the hospital next week for surgery (colon cancer).
Because my doctor told me that it may be a type of tumor that may be
inherited and that I should warn my kids to get a cancer screening, I
contacted my former wife. I told her to pass the word on to the
children because I had no way to get through to them.
  Yesterday I got a message on my answering machine from my daughter!
The first time I've heard her voice in five years. She said she was
praying for me and wanted to know the exact time and place of my
surgery so she could pray more intensely at that time and she gave me
her phone number.
  I returned her call and got her machine. I gave her the information
and that is where it stands at the moment. I am trying not to get my
hopes up but that is a first contact. If it takes a cancer surgery to
make a breakthrough with my daughter, it's worth it.
                                                                 A Dad

  I wish I could see my daughter's beautiful face again and hold my
two grandchildren to my heart. I thank God for our other children and
grandchildren who are so supportive. No matter how we try to put the
pain aside, my husband and I still miss our daughter. We treasure the
memories of her growing-up years and her wedding and the coming of her
children. Sadly, after seven years her face is growing dimmer but our
heartache is stronger. How can this be?
                                                                 A Mom

  Our family is still healing and is in good shape. Our returning
daughter and family are in frequent touch with us. Our relationship is
not 100 percent but is improving steadily. We are lacking trust still,
but that will come.
  Our other children are gradually coming together with our returning
daughter. We have never received apologies and we don't expect any.
That is harder to accept for my husband than for me. But we thank the
Lord and you people for the family closeness we have.
  May all of your families grow in love as ours is doing.
                                                                 A Mom

  Dear Newsletter Readers,
  We are one of the first families to join the Foundation and like
many of you became avid readers of the Newsletter and other important
writings to try to understand what could have made our daughter make
such crazy and false accusations. All that reading has left me with
strong opinions about the importance of the Foundation, the wonderful
work it is doing, what created this awful mess and what I would like
the Foundation to do. I want to share my thinking.
  1. It is impossible to know the situation of each of the more than
18,000 families who have called the Foundation without examining each
case. However it is safe to assume that many more families have been
harmed by false accusations who have not called the Foundation.
  2. The devastating results of being falsely accused are directly
attributable to therapists and institutions staffed by them. Some are
surely misguided, but far too many therapists are ignorant of the
science. Many are driven by the large sums of money that are
available through insurance and other subsidies, both public and
private. Their actions are an unconscionable violation of the seminal
principle that physicians should "do no harm".
  3. One can not ignore the writings of some who call themselves
feminists without concluding that there is an element in that movement
that depict men as evil. My readings lead me to the obvious conclusion
that many of these same self-declared feminists are involved in this
horrendous problem.
  4. Repressed memory and MPD (now DID) diagnoses and treatment are
not just a fad. Such diagnoses are usually absurd, most often
iatrogenic, and contrary to the overwhelming opinions of prominent
  5. Some FMSF members, early on, reached the conclusion that the
falsely accused could only find protection and possible vindication in
the courts, at first defensively and then aggressively against the
perpetrators of these pseudo-therapeutic atrocities.
  6. These people seemed to be right in this conclusion. Many of the
innocent are out of jail; fewer are being prosecuted on flimsy
evidence such as repressed memories; the falsely accused are no longer
losing civil suits and as a result the number of new suits are
reported to be dropping; and as anyone can see from reading the
Newsletter, the falsely accused and a growing number of retractors are
winning judgments and settlements against therapists, sometimes
running into the millions. FMSF must continue to prepare amicus briefs
and provide whatever information that it can to those who are falsely
accused at any level of judicial proceedings.
  7. The proliferation of repressed memory and MPD diagnoses in the
eighties and nineties has been permitted by the benign neglect of the
professional associations. Without exception, these groups seem to
refuse to police their membership, are cautious and conservative when
they ultimately are prodded to take positions that expose the
"quackery" of some of its members, and spend significantly more effort
in the self-interest and economic well-being of their members than the
suffering caused by their membership to many patients in their care. I
can only conclude that the professional associations with clout
(i.e. both APAs) have abandoned any vestige of responsibility and have
adopted the posture of trade associations devoted primarily to
profit. The public and the Foundation should recognize that conclusion
in developing strategies in dealing with those groups.
  8. Ascribing the repression of memory to MPD or DID is a device
conceived to obfuscate the fact that the alleged abuse is totally
                                                                 A Dad

  It Isn't Greed
  As a retractor, I am sometimes frustrated by parents who want to
simplify the FMS crisis into an issue of greed. They believe that the
therapists causing this problem are doing it for the money. While I do
not deny that many people are supporting themselves quite well because
of RMT, parents are not facing reality if they refuse to believe that
most of these therapists truly believe they are helping people. They
think their clients must "get worse before they get better" to "heal."
  As ridiculous as that seems to us, they believe it with the passion
of a religion. This is precisely why the FMS crisis has occurred and
maintained itself for so long. While it is tempting to want to create
an "enemy" who is evil (motivated only by greed), we are deceiving
ourselves to believe this. And if you tell your regression-believing
children their therapists are motivated by greed, they will become
angry because their therapists are probably caring people.
  In Victims of Memory, Mark Pendergrast says about RMT therapists:
"If I had met the (RMT) therapists at a party and the subject of
repressed memories had never come up, I would have thought they were
interesting, vital, caring people. And in their own ways, they are."
  It is important to realize that we are dealing much more with a
belief system in the therapeutic community than we are with greed so
that we can work to change this belief system. The only way to do
this is to keep the lines of communication open with the regression-
believing therapists. If we simply call them greedy, we hinder this
very necessary communication.
                                                        Donna Anderson

*                    S T A T E   M E E T I N G S                     *
*                           ______________                           *
*                           TEXAS MEETINGS                           *
*                         "Is It Over Yet?"                          *
*                        PAMELA FREYD, Ph.D.                         *
*                 Executive Director, FMS Foundation                 *
*                                                                    *
*                  Pamela Freyd and Eleanor Goldstein                *
*                   will talk about their new book                   *
*                       SMILING THROUGH TEARS                        *
*                                                                    *
*                                DALLAS                              *
*                 Saturday, March 28 1998 @ 1:00 PM                  *
*          Great Hall of the Episcopal Church Good Shepherd          *
*                         11122 Midway Road                          *
*         Church is south of Interstate 635 on Midway Road.          *
*               Go south on Midway about 1 3/4 miles.                *
*  The church is red brick and it is on the east side of the road.   *
*            For further info. call George:  214-239-5108            *
*                                                                    *
*                               HOUSTON                              *
*                  Sunday, March 29, 1998 @ 1:00 PM                  *
*          Memorial Forest Clubhouse, 12122 Memorial Drive           *
*Clubhouse is south of Interstate 10 & one block East of Gessner.*
*Enter the driveway at the corner of Plantation & Memorial Drive.*
*              For further info. call Jo:  713-464-3942              *
*                                                                    *
*                              _______                               *
*                              INDIANA                               *
*         Saturday, April 18, 1998   8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.          *
*                  Speakers: THE RUTHERFORD FAMILY                   *
*                                                                    *
*       Continental breakfast and delicious luncheon included.       *
*      The meeting will be in Indianapolis and is sponsored by       *
*  the Indiana Association for Responsible Mental Health Practices.  *
*                     For more information call:                     *
* Nickie:  (317) 471-0922; Fax:  317-334-9839  or Pat:  219-482-2847 *
*                                                                    *
*                       ________________________                     *
*                      NEW MEXICO - ALBUQUERQUE                      *
*               April 18, 1998  8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.               *
*         Albuquerque Hilton Hotel  1901 University Blvd, NE         *
*          For more information contact: Sy at 505-758-0726          *
*                                                                    *
*                       Speakers will include:                       *
*             Pamela Freyd, Ph.D.     Eleanor Goldstein              *
*             Don Tashjian, M.D.      Paul Simpson, Ed.D.            *
*                        Lee McMillian, Esq.                         *
*                                                                    *
*             Future Meetings featuring Eleanor and Pamela           *
*               Family Meeting  May 3 Clifton Park, NY               *
*                         May     Vancouver                          *
*                         May     Seattle                            *
*                         May 30  Toronto                            *

                F M S    B U L L E T I N    B O A R D
  Key: (MO)-monthly; (bi-MO)-bi-monthly; (*)-see State Meetings list

Contacts & Meetings:

        Bob (907) 556-8110
  Barbara (602) 924-0975; 854-0404(fax)
  Little Rock
        Al & Lela (501) 363-4368
  Sacramento - (quarterly)
        Joanne & Gerald (916) 933-3655
        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) 376-8221
  South Bay Area - Last Sat. (bi-MO)
        Jack & Pat (408) 425-1430
        3rd Sat. (bi-MO) @10am
  Central Coast
        Carole (805) 967-8058
  Central Orange County - 1st Fri. (MO) @ 7pm
        Chris & Alan (714) 733-2925
  Orange County - 3rd Sun. (MO) @6pm
        Jerry & Eileen (909) 659-9636
  Covina Area - 1st Mon. (MO) @7:30pm
        Floyd & Libby (818) 330-2321
  San Diego Area 
        Dee (619) 941-4816
  S. New England  - (bi-MO) Sept-May
        Earl (203) 329-8365 or
        Paul (203) 458-9173
        Madeline (954) 966-4FMS
  Boca/Delray  - 2nd & 4th Thurs (MO) @1pm
        Helen (407) 498-8684
  Central Florida - 4th Sun. (MO) @2:30 pm
        John & Nancy (352) 750-5446
  Tampa Bay Area
        Bob & Janet (813) 856-7091
        Wallie & Jill (770) 971-8917
  Carolyn (808) 261-5716
  Chicago & Suburbs - 1st Sun. (MO)
        Eileen (847) 985-7693
        Bill & Gayle (815) 467-6041
  Rest of Illinois
        Bryant & Lynn (309) 674-2767
  Indiana Assn. for Responsible Mental Health Practices
        Nickie (317) 471-0922; fax (317) 334-9839
        Pat (219) 482-2847
  Des Moines - 2nd Sat. (MO) @11:30 am Lunch
        Betty & Gayle (515) 270-6976
  Kansas City - 2nd Sun. (MO)
        Leslie (913) 235-0602 or
        Pat (913) 738-4840
        Jan (816) 931-1340
  Louisville- Last Sun. (MO) @ 2pm
        Bob (502) 361-1838
        Francine (318) 457-2022
        Irvine & Arlene (207) 942-8473
  Freeport -  4th Sun. (MO)
        Carolyn  (207) 364-8891
   Ellicot City Area
        Margie (410) 750-8694
   Andover - 2nd Sun. (MO) @ 1pm
        Frank (508) 263-9795
  Grand Rapids Area-Jenison - 1st Mon. (MO)
        Bill & Marge (616) 383-0382
  Greater Detroit Area - 3rd Sun. (MO)
        Nancy (810) 642-8077
  Ann Arbor
        Martha (313) 439-8119
        Terry & Collette (507) 642-3630
        Dan & Joan (612) 631-2247
  Kansas City  -  2nd Sun. (MO)
        Leslie (913) 235-0602 or Pat 738-4840
        Jan (816) 931-1340
  St. Louis Area  -  3rd Sun. (MO)
        Karen (314) 432-8789
        Mae (314) 837-1976
    Retractors group also forming
  Springfield - 4th Sat. (MO) @12:30pm
        Dorothy & Pete (417) 882-1821
        Tom (417) 883-8617
        Lee & Avone (406) 443-3189
  See Wayne, PA
  Albuquerque  - 1st  Sat. (MO) @1 pm
  Southwest Room - Presbyterian Hospital
        Maggie (505) 662-7521 (after 6:30 pm)
        Sy (505) 758-0726
  Westchester, Rockland, etc. - (bi-MO)
        Barbara (914) 761-3627
  Upstate/Albany Area  - (bi-MO)
        Elaine (518) 399-5749
  Western/Rochester Area -  (bi-MO)
        George & Eileen (716) 586-7942
  Susan (704) 481-0456
  Bob & Carole (216) 888-7963
  Oklahoma City
        Dee (405) 942-0531
        HJ (405) 755-3816
        Rosemary (405) 439-2459
        Paul & Betty (717) 691-7660
        Rick & Renee (412) 563-5616
        John (717) 278-2040
  Wayne (includes S. NJ) - 2nd Sat. (MO)
        (No meeting in Mar.)
        Jim & Jo (610) 783-0396
  Wed. (MO) @1pm
        Kate (615) 665-1160
        Jo or Beverly (713) 464-8970
   El Paso
        Mary Lou (915) 591-0271
        Keith (801) 467-0669
        Judith (802) 229-5154
        Sue (703) 273-2343
        Phil & Suzi (206) 364-1643
        Pat (304) 291-6448
        Katie & Leo (414) 476-0285
        Susanne & John (608) 427-3686

  Vancouver & Mainland - Last Sat. (MO) @ 1- 4pm
        Ruth (250) 925-1539
  Victoria & Vancouver Island - 3rd Tues. (MO) @7:30pm
        John (250) 721-3219
        Joan (204) 284-0118
  London -2nd Sun (bi-MO)
        Adriaan (519) 471-6338
        Eileen (613) 836-3294
  Toronto /N. York
        Pat (416) 444-9078
        Ethel (705) 924-2546
        Ken & Marina (905) 637-6030
        Paula (705) 692-0600
        Alain (514) 335-0863
  St. Andre Est.
        Mavis (514) 537-8187
        Irene (03) 9740 6930
  FMS ASSOCIATION fax-(972) 2-625-9282 
  or E-mail
  Task Force FMS of Werkgroep Fictieve 
        Anna (31) 20-693-5692
        Colleen (09) 416-7443
        Ake Moller FAX (48) 431-217-90
  The British False Memory Society
        Roger Scotford (44) 1225 868-682
            Deadline for the April Newsletter is March 15
                  Meeting notices MUST be in writing 
    and should be sent no later than TWO MONTHS PRIOR TO MEETING.

|          Do you have access to e-mail?  Send a message to          |
|                                         |
| if  you wish to receive electronic versions of this newsletter and |
| notices of radio and television  broadcasts  about  FMS.  All  the |
| message need say is "add to the FMS-News". You'll also learn about |
| joining  the  FMS-Research list (it distributes research 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.

Pamela Freyd, Ph.D.,  Executive Director

FMSF Scientific and Professional  Advisory Board,        March 1, 1998
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,

   Y E A R L Y   FMSF   M E M B E R S H I P   I N F O R M A T I O N
Professional - Includes Newsletter       $125_______

Family - Includes Newsletter             $100_______

                       Additional Contribution:_____________


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

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

___Check or Money Order: Payable to FMS FOUNDATION IN U.S. DOLLARS.



Street Address or P.O.Box

City                                 State         Zip+4

Telephone                           FAX

              V I D E O   T A P E   O R D E R   F O R M
                "W H E N   M E M O R I E S   L I E...
              T H E   R U T H E R F O R D   F A M I L Y
                 S P E A K S   T O   F A M I L I E S"

Mail Order To:
  FMSF Video
  Rt. 1 Box 510
  Burkeville, TX 75932

                                   DATE:   /   /

Ordered By:                        Ship to:

Please type or print information:
| QUANT- |  #  |            DESCRIPTION             | UNIT  | AMOUNT |
|  ITY   |     |                                    | PRICE |        |
|        | 442 | The Rutherford Family              | 10.00 |        |
|        |     |               Speaks to Families   |       |        |
                                                   SUBTOTAL |        |
                                                            |        |
                                    ADDITIONAL CONTRIBUTION |        |
                                                            |        |
                                                  TOTAL DUE |        |
                                                            |        |

U.S. Shipping & packaging charges are included in the 
price of the video.

  Canada                $4.00 per tape
  All other countries  $10.00 per tape.

Allow two to three weeks for delivery. Made all checks payable to FMS
Foundation. If you have any questions concerning this order, call
Benton, 409-565-4480.

The tax deductible portion of your contribution is the excess of goods
and services provided.

                     THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST