FMSF NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE - January/February 1999 - Vol. 8, No. 1, HTML version

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F M S   F O U N D A T I O N   N E W S L E T T E R     (e-mail edition)
January 1999 Vol 8 No. 1
ISSN #1069-0484.           Copyright (c) 1999  by  the  FMS Foundation
    The FMSF Newsletter  is published 8 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. 1999 subscription rates:
    USA:  $30,  Student  $15;  Canada:  $35,  Student $20 (in U.S. 
    dollars); Foreign: $40, 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
    Allen Feld
        Legal Corner
            From Our Readers
                Hungerford v Jones decision
                    Bulletin Board

                       1999 NEWSLETTER SCHEDULE
               1 Jan/Feb; 2 March; 3 April/May; 4 June;
            5 July/Aug; 6 September; 7 Oct/Nov; 8 December

Dear Friends,

   No one called in tears. What a contrast to previous years when the
weeks before Christmas were the Foundation's busiest and most
difficult. Desperate parents cried for help in getting through the
holidays without their children. Telephone calls to the Foundation, in
fact, showed a dramatic drop in 1998. While calls had been declining
since 1995, the number of families newly accused on the basis of
recovered memories is now no more than a trickle.
   The vast majority of the many hundreds of new families who have
called in the past year have concerns about young children and
child-protective services. These are tragic stories, showing a system
intended to protect children to be instead seriously out of control.
But the Foundation remains focused on recovered memories, continuing
the work we set out to do, lest that movement spring to life again.
   What are the remaining problems? Those that we have mentioned many
times: too many families not yet reconciled; the continued support by
the therapy community for the belief system that fueled the recovered
memory disaster; and the lack of an acceptable system to protect
mental health consumers.
   Evidence abounds for problematic beliefs within the mental health
community: blaming problems on others outside the therapy setting and
believing that current problems stem from childhood trauma. We need
look no further than the writings of professionals in positions of
authority. For example, Paul J. Fink, M.D., a past president and
currently a trustee of the American Psychiatric Association went on
record last November writing that psychotherapy-as he practices it-is
incompatible with informed consent. He goes so far as to say that
informed-consent would "destroy dynamic psychotherapy."[1] Rather than
reflect on the problems that brought about the recovered-memory
fiasco, he incorrectly credited the FMSF for informed consent
legislation and called the members of the FMSF scientific advisory
board "some prestigious psychiatrists and psychologists who are
trotted out by the FMSF to assert that we who practice this 'vile form
of alchemy' called psychotherapy are, at best, unproven, and at worst,
charlatans." (When asked about the alchemy quote, Dr. Fink failed to
provide its source.)
   Gerald P. Koocher, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School and a director
(treasurer) of the American Psychological Association, sees the memory
wars mainly as an effort of FMSF to silence therapists. "Not
surprisingly, the most vocal attempts to silence competent
professionals speaking out on or treating genuine abuse victims have
come from organizations populated or led by individuals who have been
ruled abusive or otherwise discredited in courts of law."[2] That no
one in a leadership position of the FMSF has ever been "ruled abusive
or otherwise discredited in a court of law" doesn't seem to matter,
nor does balance. Koocher conveniently omits that to date the only
person known to have been silenced is FMSF advisory board member
Harold Lief, M.D. who was shouted down by a group from Carleton
University psychology department at a presentation at McGill
   As the editor of a special journal issue of Ethics and Behavior,
Koocher cited the authors of several puerile attacks on the FMSF as
"well-credentialed." One of these was David Calof, a registered
counselor in Washington whose highest academic credential is a high
school diploma. Calof wrote: "For nearly 3 years proponents of the
so-called FMS hypothesis-including members, officials, and supporters
of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation, Inc. (FMSF)-have waged a
campaign of harassment, defamation and psychological terrorism against
me...." (p. 162) While it is not surprising that Calof views the
recovered memory debate as a campaign by the FMSF of "psychological
terrorism" against him personally-given his belief in an
intergenerational satanic cult that programs and threatens his
clients-it is revealing that Koocher claimed that Calof's meanderings
were "meticulously documented." In so doing, he conveniently overlooks
the many errors and distortions. For example, the FMSF is not and has
never been engaged in a "conspiracy of harassment and psychological
terrorism," as Calof wrote. When Mr. Calof implied that this writer
lied when she wrote about a "Mrs. Morris" he was wrong. When asked for
the documentation for this statement by Calof, the editor failed to
provide it. When Mr. Calof wrote that Michele Gregg "transcribed,
edited and illegally distributed transcriptions" of his copyrighted
material, he misstated the facts. Neither the editor nor the
publisher, Erlbaum, seemed to feel an obligation to correct the
record, an attitude that exemplifies the recovered memory movement:
make an uncorroborated accusation, defame characters and leave it up
to the accused to try to defend themselves.
   As long as some professionals at the American Psychiatric
Association and the American Psychological Association focus their
efforts on attacking what they incorrectly believe the FMS Foundation
stands for rather than doing something to solve the problems that
brought about the existence of the FMSF in the first place, we have a
job to do. Because the mental health profession has not satisfactorily
addressed the fundamental problems that brought about our existence,
either through a reevaluation of professional training or by increased
monitoring, the courts are assuming the consumer protection function.
   In December a decision by the New Hampshire Supreme court took a
giant step toward holding some mental health professionals accountable
by opening the door to third-party lawsuits in that state in specific
circumstances: when an accusation becomes public because of
encouragement, recommendation or instruction of the therapist and/or
if publicized misdiagnosis results from the use of techniques not
generally accepted in the mental health community or from the lack of
professional qualification. Details of this important decision may be
found in this newsletter.
   The Foundation will adapt to the changing needs of FMSF families.
Because families need less personal support, in the future we can put
more effort into "watch dog" activities. Because families are no
longer in crisis and there are now many sources for information about
FMS, we can reduce the number of newsletters this year. But
educational efforts by all of us remain paramount. Within a few weeks
all members will receive a new pamphlet: "Recovered Memories: What the
Experts Say" that contains important excerpts from professional
statements. This information needs to be distributed and thanks to the
generosity of UPTON Books, we will be able to provide you with as many
copies of the pamphlet as you need.
   As the new year begins, think about who still needs information
about the devastation of the FMS problem and what you can do
personally through educational efforts to help bring this tragic
episode of psychiatric misadventure to an end.

[1] Fink, P.  (1998, Nov.) "The Attack on Psychotherapy" Clinical
    Psychiatry News, p. 23.
[2] Koocher, G. (Ed.) (1998) "Editor's Note" Ethics & Behavior:
    Special Issue: The Science and Politics of Recovered Memory, 8(2),
[3] Calof, D. (1998) "Notes from a Practice Under Siege: Harassment,
    Defamation, and Intimidation in the name of Science".Ethics and
    Behavior, 8(2), 161-187.

   THANK YOU for your generous contributions to the Foundation's
annual fund raising drive. Your support will enable us to continue 
the important work we have begun.
   If you have forgotten to return your pledge, please take a few
minutes to think how professionals now recognize what false memory
syndrome is and how it devastates 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.

      |                     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, Janet       |
      |   Fetkewicz, Howard Fishman, Peter Freyd, August Piper |
      |  RESEARCH: Michele Gregg, Anita Lipton                 |
      |  NOTICES and PRODUCTION: Ric Powell                    |
      |  COLUMNISTS: August Piper, Jr. and                     |
      |      members of the FMSF Scientific Advisory Board     |
      |  LETTERS and INFORMATION: Our Readers                  |

          |             HAVE YOU WRITTEN YET?              |
          |                                                |
          |        American Psychiatric Association        |
          |     Steven Mirin, M.D., Executive Director     |
          |   1400 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20005       |
          |                                                |
          |       American Psychological Association       |
          | Raymond Fowler, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer |
          |    750 1st St. NE, Washington, DC 20002        |

/                                                                    \
| "Medical history is replete with flawed remedies..... Mistakes,    |
| after all, are the price of progress. In history's final verdict   |
| ...analysts will incur culpability not because their theories were |
| vacuous but because they 'took pains to insure that critical       |
| voices would not be heard.'"                                       |
|                                     Thomas Lewis, December 6, 1998 |
|                                             San Francisco Examiner |
|                                    Review of Madness on the Couch: |
|                 Blaming the Victim in the Heyday of Psychoanalysis |
|                        by Edward Dolnick. NY: Simon & Schuster |

                      Identity of Sybil Revealed
                              FMSF Staff 
The best-selling book Sybil was published in 1973. That book and the
1976 movie starring Sally Field as Sybil and Joanne Woodward as
Dr. Cornelia Wilbur helped to popularize multiple personality
   Sybil was a patient of Dr. Cornelia Wilbur and the book was written
by Flora Rheta Schreiber. Wilbur died in 1992 and Schreiber in 1987.
Before Sybil, MPD was not considered to be a result of child abuse.
Before Sybil, MPD was considered rare-it was not even listed in the
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric
Association. According to the December, 1998 New Yorker: "[Sybil,
Wilbur and Schreiber] are responsible for shaping the modern notion of
multiple personality disorder, and Sybil-whose royalties they split
three ways-became the movement's bible. Before 1973, there were fewer
than fifty known cases of MPD; by 1995, more than forty thousand had
been diagnosed, prompting skepticism in the mental-health field."[1]
   The Sybil story has come under scrutiny in recent years. In April
1997, the New York Review of Books published an interview with Dr.
Herbert Spiegel who was at one point involved with Sybil's therapy
when she was a patient of Wilbur.[2] Spiegel said that in his opinion
Sybil was not a multiple personality but instead a suggestible
hysteric. (See FMSF Newsletter May 1997) In August, 1998 Robert
R. Reiber, Ph.D.-after listening to long-forgotten audiotapes of
conversations between Wilbur and Schreiber -- argued that the story of
Sybil was a fraud. (See FMSF Newsletter December 1997) "It is clear
from Wilbur's own words that she was not exploring the truth but
rather planting the truth as she wanted it to be," he said. (quoted in
New Yorker) However, Reiber thinks that this was as "much self-
deception as deception of others."[3]
   The most recent information about Sybil comes from Peter Swales, a
literary critic who has exposed the true names of a number of Freud's
patients, and Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen, a professor of literature at
University of Washington. Swales and Borch-Jacobsen have identified
Sybil as Shirley Ardell Mason, born in Minnesota. While the book
indicated that Sybil separated from her therapist after her eleven-
year analysis, that appears to be false. When Dr. Cornelia Wilbur
moved to Lexington, Kentucky to become a professor of psychiatry at
the University of Kentucky, Shirley Mason followed her there from New
York. Dr. Wilbur left Mason $25,000 in her will. Mason died last
February at age seventy-five. According to Mason's former neighbor in
Lexington, Mason and Dr. Wilbur were very close friends. "When Dr.
Wilbur wasn't there, Ms. Mason was at Dr. Wilbur's house."
   Swales and Borch-Jacobsen are not the only people to have
discovered the identity of Sybil. A Lexington art collector named Mark
Boultinghouse bought a number of Mason's paintings after her death.
Twenty-seven of these paintings were on sale at a recent New York
Antiques Show.

  Borch-Jacobsen is coauthoring a book about Sybil and 
  Swales and   Borch-Jacobsen are working on a documentary 
  called "Sybil: Who's Who?"

[1] Boynton, R S. (1998, Dec. 28) "Who was the real Sybil? The New
    York Antiques Show holds the key," New Yorker. p. 39-40.
[2] Associated Press (1998, Dec. 22) "Historian: Famous psychiatric
    patient might be former Minnesotan."
[3] Borch-Jacobsen, M. (1997, April 24) "Sybil -- The Making of a
    Disease: An interview with Dr. Herbert Spiegel," New York Review
    of Books, p. 60-64.

                        Grannies Take a Stand
Liz LaPlante of Des Plaines and Mattie Zimmerman of Schaumburg,
Illinois caused a stir on the Northwestern campus in October leading
to a front page story in the student newspaper. LaPlante and Zimmerman
went to Northwestern to hand out information outside the meeting place
of a controversial conference featuring psychiatrist Judith Herman
that was sponsored by the Women's Center.
   The women, both grandmothers, called the university for permission.
As a result they were closely watched by eight Northwestern University
Police officers requested by the conference organizers. According to
the student paper, Herman said that the officers were necessary
because of the threats and intimidation that often accompany her line
of work.
   Both Zimmerman and LaPlante have children who underwent recovered-
memory therapy and subsequently accused their fathers of sexual abuse.
"This is part of the hysteria involved," Zimmerman said. "Here we are,
two little grandmothers, and they are calling out the troops."
   The conference, "Trauma: The Challenge of the Enlightened Witness,"
was attended by about 150 people. Zimmerman and LaPlante said that
they took this action because they wanted to alert students to the
possible effects of recovered memory therapy. "We are just devastated
for our children and all the vulnerable people who may be here and not
asking any questions. If we can cause one person to investigate this
and doubt this, we have accomplished what we came to do."
   According to the student paper, Herman defended the therapy,
likening it to feminist and abortion movements because it liberates
woman. She said that convincing patients they were abused in their
childhoods when they were not would be very difficult. She also said
that "We need to safeguard against the wrongly accused. I approve of
raising questions about this. But coercive manipulation is also how
perpetrators can bully their victims into retracting their
   LaPlante and Zimmerman said that they had written to Northwestern
administrators asking that the conference attendees also hear the side
of parents whose children accused them of abuse after they had gone
through therapy. Zimmerman said she received a letter from the
administrators stating that they considered the conference to be
balanced. Zimmerman said that "Now they have a moral responsibility to
show the other side, to have a conference with the experts."
                     Amirault Decision Challenged
On January 6, 1999, the organization One Voice filed an amicus curiae
brief with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court arguing that the
victims in the Cheryl Amirault (Fells Acre) case be allowed to
testify. In 1997, Judge Borenstein overturned the conviction of Cheryl
and her now deceased mother Violet and ruled that because the
testimony of the children in the day care case was forever tainted by
suggestive questioning, they should not be allowed to testify in any
future retrial. Prosecutors appealed Borenstein's decision.
   In a press release on January 7, One Voice president Sherry Quirk
claims that the Bruck and Ceci research on children's suggestibility
on which Judge Borenstein relied was not "newly discovered." She
writes, "Our searches turned up examples of case law more than a
decade old in which children's suggestibility was argued by the
defense." [1] A number of organizations have cosigned the amicus, from
the Alabama Coalition Against Rape to The Victim Center. Individual
signers include Kathleen C. Faller, Alan Scheflin and Charles
Whitfield. No researchers or research organizations appear to be
represented by the signers. (See FMSF Newsletter July/Aug. 1998 for
description of Borenstein decision).

[1] Editor's comment: This implies that avoiding suggestive
    questioning was the standard at the time. It is unclear why Quirk
    would then argue that tainted testimony should be allowed. Quirk's
    position was forcefully argued by the prosecution at trial and was
    rejected by Judge Borenstein.

    Readers interested in the admissibility of children's testimony
    may obtain copies of the Borenstein decision by ordering Brief
    Bank #197; the amicus brief written by Stephen Ceci in the Kelly
    Michaels case. #821; and. the decision in the Kelly Michaels case
                      Continuing Education Watch
"At first I thought this was a joke, but its not. Do you know anything
about this. What is "regression" sans hypnosis business?"
   This comment was forwarded from the internet. It was made about a
notice for a program in "Traumatic Incident Reduction" (TIR) for which
APA-approved continuing education credits were available. According to
the notice:
   TIR is a technique which is used to help clients eliminate the
unwanted negative effects of traumatic incidents in their lives.
Basically, this method uses regression (without hypnosis) to assist
the client in looking at what happened and how/why it is affecting
them in unwanted ways. The client finds answers from within
themselves, as opposed to many methods where the therapist evaluates
the client's situation for her/him.
   The workshop is scheduled for January 19-22, 1999 (4 days) from
9:00-4:00. $595.00 Student $395.00.
   TIR is one of a number of therapies that are called "power
therapies." But TIR is "not an approach that directly addressed the
bio-energetic field." (See FMSF newsletter October 1998.)
   And what is "Bio-Energetics"? Eva Reich, daughter of Wilhelm Reich,
is a retired physician in Maine developed Bio-Energetics.[1] In her
practice she had observed that touch therapy worked on all ages to
melt stress and release memories of primal experiences and she then
did workshops around the country. Her father, Wilhelm is best known
for his work with orgonomy, an attempt to measure "orgones," units of
cosmic energy. His commercialization of the orgone box brought him
into conflict with government authorities in the early 1950s. He was
convicted of contempt of court and died in prison.[2]

[1] Currie, C. "How to calm your baby's constant crying with the
    butterfly touch" Asheville Citizen-Times, October 28, 1998,
    Lifestyle page D1

2. "Reich, Wilhelm" Britannica Online, g
   i-bin/g? DocF=micro/498/40.html. [Accessed 18 January 1999].

   "It has now come to the point where I am unable to distinguish
   between what is parody and what is actually going on in

Another internet comment, this one made in reference to the following
actual program:

   "Hi Traumateers! I wanted to take a brief minute to let list
   members know that we (Traumatology Institute @ FSU under the
   direction of Charles Figley, Ph.D.) have developed a curriculum of
   training which results in certification as "Compassion Fatigue

The training appears to be "for treatment with other clinicians and
care-givers." "Clients and trainees, including the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, have provided a hearty endorsement."


           Two Articles of Interest to the Legal Profession
                              Allen Feld
Attorneys who are representing retractors and parents may find two
articles that appeared in December to be of special interest.

   "Tales of Sexual Panic in the Legal Academy" by Edward Greer [1] is
a comprehensive critique of Cynthia Grant Bowman and Elizabeth Mertz's
[2] position that falsely accused fathers should have no legal remedy
against therapists, even if the accusations are a result of a
therapist's intervention. Instead, Bowman and Mertz suggest that
fathers should sue their accusing daughters. The Bowman and Mertz
article is often cited in legal briefs by those antagonistic both to
the Foundation and to the legal interests of members and retractors.
   Greer shows how Bowman and Mertz misuse the successful Ramona 3rd
party case. He goes on to demonstrate why it is essential that parents
have access to the courts to sue their accusing daughter's therapist,
if they choose. Greer also challenges Bowman and Mertz's use of
Sullivan v. Cheshier to justify the political position they have
taken.  Attorneys may find Greer's well-reasoned examination of the
Bowman and Mertz position helpful in defending parents' access to the

  "The Scientific Status of Research on Repressed Memories" [3] by
Harrison G. Pope, Jr. , Paul S. Oliva and James I. Hudson is a
long-awaited paper reviewing 33 studies of various traumatic events
(i.e. fires, various explosions, holocaust survivors, Mt. St. Helens,
children in surgery or who witnessed violence and so forth) conducted
between 1960 and 1996. Presented in table format, the analysis clearly
demonstrates that claims of amnesia for traumatic events are rare and
typically associated with a physical incident or have a biological
explanation. In fact, the three studies that mention amnesia for
trauma present no scientific basis to support the concept of
repression. Two of these alleged examples of amnesia could be more
easily explained by physical insult (a lightning strike and a fire
that resulted in "blood carbon monoxide levels 'sufficient to kill'")
and the third by the age of the children (childhood amnesia).
  The authors explore the scientific reasons why several often cited
studies of child abuse fail to support the claim that repression
exists. Members of the bar will find this article useful in dealing
with the issue of repression.

[1] Greer, E. (1998) Tales of sexual panic in the legal academy. 
    Case Western Law Review, 45, 513-558.

[2] Bowman, C. & Mertz, E. (1996) A dangerous direction: Legal
    intervention in survivor therapy. 109 Harvard Law Review, 549.

[3] Pope, H.G., Oliva, P.S. & Hudson, J.I. (1999) The Scientific
    Status of Research on Repressed Memories. In (Faigman, D L; Kaye,
    D H.; Saks, M J. and Sanders, J., Eds.) Modern Scientific
    Evidence: The Law and Science of Expert Testimony, Volume 1,
    St. Paul, MN: West Group 112-155.

    Moral Panics and the Social Construction of Deviant Behavior:
      A Theory and Application to the Case of Ritual Child Abuse
                          Jeffrey S. Victor
               Sociological Perspectives 41(3): 541-565
Victor uses current information about criminal accusations of ritual
child abuse by secret, satanic cults to explain forms of collective
behavior previously labeled panics, scares and persecutions. He
notes: "Moral panics are a product of sociopolitical processes and not
psychological characteristics of individuals, such as suggestibility,
a disposition to fantasize, delusions, or personal anxieties. The
implications of this concept sharply differ from psychiatric concepts,
such as 'mass hysteria' or 'emotional contagion'. Psychiatric concepts
focus upon emotionality (labeled as 'irrational'). In contrast, the
concept of moral panic focuses upon cognition and communication
behavior." A sociological perspective shows how difficult it is for
"individuals to challenge the conformity pressures that enforce
consensual beliefs within their own social networks."

/                                                                    \
|                         Editorial Opinion                          |
|                                                                    |
| How can a court handle cases which may have been reduced by time   |
| to what is fundamentally a he said/she said scenario? Proof of     |
| guilt beyond a reasonable doubt can be all but impossible when,    |
| unsupported by corroborative evidence, the vagaries of human       |
| memory render tenuous testimony about decades-old events.          |
| Recently, courts have become embroiled in debates over the         |
| validity of amnesia claims, recovered memories, false-memory       |
| syndrome and other quirks of the human mind.                       |
|                                                                    |
| We all know the paths long-ago events take in our memories. They   |
| fade and we pick up the crayons and colour them in again a little  |
| brighter than before and in slightly different hues. The edges     |
| unravel and we embroider them anew. Faces blur, events jumble and  |
| rearrange themselves, the timbre of voices heard long ago is lost  |
| forever and when we try to pin down distant details they dissolve  |
| into shimmery pools of doubt.                                      |
|                                                                    |
| Remembering is not a simple, straightforward act. It is            |
| reconstruction, and in that subconscious tearing down and building |
| up, events are altered and scenes subtly shift. Some memories are  |
| erased, others created.                                            |
|                                                    Calgary Herald, |
|                                                  November 16, 1998 |

			  N E W   B O O K S
	    When Is It Legitimate to Help People Remember
                         Lena Hellblom, Ph.D.
A concept known as "cognitive interviewing" is recommended in a new
Swedish book, Advanced Interrogation-and-Interview Methods (Natur och
Kultur, Stockholm 1998) by memory researcher Svenke Christiansson and
two of his students. The cognitive method is used to help witnesses
remember by establishing similarity between the encoding and interview
situations, by not demanding a strict time schedule and by encouraging
a shift of perspectives. The presentation of the method is correct,
but combined with the writer's beliefs about amnesia and remembering,
it is likely to be misused.
   The book is recommended by the director of the Swedish criminal
police for use in the training of policemen nationwide. I hope that
does not happen because of the author's speculations about human
memory. I quote:

   "If an experience is so traumatic that you cannot get mental
   control over your experience, this can lead to dissociative
   reactions, and sometimes to following problems with remembering the

   The combination of the cognitive method with unscientific
speculations about repression/dissociation is very dangerous. It
legitimates policemen and others helping those they question to
remember events that may never have happened. In the book MPD is
presented as a form of psychogenic amnesia, that in turn is explained
as a defense dissociative reaction, which gives rise to a state where
you do not have access to your memories. Christiansson teaches that
not only the victims, but also the perpetrators, can dissociate (my

   "In the cases where you have perpetrators with psychogenic amnesia
   you can see a tendency to a certain behavior. It's often 
   individuals that during their childhood have not been confirmed by
   their parents, never have considered themselves as seen and
   therefore have learned to shut off the feeling of abandonment and
   deceit that was the consequence. Following this they learned how to
   establish and master a behavior that implies that they can shut
   their feelings on and off as they apprehend the situation calls for
   that kind of defense reaction. Therefore, they can commit serious
   crimes and shut off the actions from their consciousness by help of
   the automatic shut off they so cleverly handle."

   The argument is circular: It takes time to remember, therefore the
best way of interrogating is to question repeatedly and to have long
   When giving lectures to policemen and social workers and when
interviewed in the press, Christiansson has stated that it is
necessary to put leading questions to a child in order to get the
child to tell about trauma. Christiansson's recommendations are
against Swedish and international recommendations for interrogation
and must be questioned based on everything we know about
   However, the debate is not about rational arguments. A police
officer attending an international seminar on true or false memories
in Stockholm in June 1998 provided an example of what is actually
occurring. She said that she "believed in repression." To hear her now
say, after having read this new book, that she "believes in
dissociation" is no improvement.

  Lena Hellblom Sjogren, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist in Sweden.

                  Why Some Families Chose to Picket
                              FMSF STAFF
Behind the Barrier by Susan Hoxter opens with a quote that sets the
stage for the American tragedy of the 1990s:

   "Rachel is weeping for her children, and she cannot be comforted,
   for they are gone. But the Lord says: 'Don't cry any longer, for I
   have heard your prayers and you will see them again; they will come
   back to you from the distant land of the enemy.'"
                                                     Jeremiah 31:15-16

   This tragic saga of a Seattle, Washington family begins when a
woman turns to the wrong therapist at a vulnerable time in her life.
In what is now an all too familiar scenario, the woman recovered
"memories," accused her father, and even had her own children taken
from her and placed in foster care. Written by the mother of the
victim, the story describes a women's shelter that did not do its job,
a child protective service more interested in protecting itself than
children, and a regulatory board that seems not to care what is going
on. For many readers, this book provides an explanation for why a
small determined group of people in Seattle decided to picket. The
author explains:

   "Once a finger has been pointed: You are accused; You have been
   symbolically charged; You have been tried; You have been convicted;
   and You have been sentenced and destroyed. (After all, something
   must have happened!)"

   "You never have an opportunity to confront the therapist. You are
forbidden to talk to the accusing child. You are told that the only
way to put your family back together is to confess. (How can someone
confess to something he or she did not do?)"
   "We are totally frustrated, confused, depressed and ashamed. We
have nowhere to turn. It is impossible to prove that something didn't
happen 35 years ago. A few of us have tried to go to court, but a
typical retainer fee is $150,000. Justice is far too dear for most of
   "What can be done except picket?"

   (Edmonds, WA: Downey Press, Price $25.00 includes shipping and
   handling) Contact FMSF for ordering information.

                       L E G A L   C O R N E R
                              FMSF Staff

 New Hampshire Supreme Court: Therapist Owes a Duty to Accused Parent
     Hungerford v. Jones, 1998 N.H. LEXIS 94, December 18, 1998.

   What recourse does an accused person have against false allegations
of sexual abuse believed to result from suggestive intervention by a
mental health professional? Specifically, does the therapist have a
duty to avoid the use of suggestive techniques known to create false
memories, to consider available information which contradicts the
developing beliefs, and to follow professional guidelines which exhort
therapists not to accept "repressed memory" images as true without
external corroboration? Should that therapist be held liable for
damages when her patient acts on false memories developed in therapy,
especially if civil or criminal charges are filed? Should the
therapist be held accountable to an injured third party if she
"validates" allegations of sexual abuse she knows to be of
questionable truth to others or in court? These are the questions
often raised in third-party suits.
   At the time of this writing, this area of law is still in its
infancy. Almost half of the nearly 160 third-party cases identified by
the FMSF have not yet been resolved. At least six malpractice cases
are currently on appeal, and the issue of whether a mental health care
worker owes a _duty_to_a_third_party_ rests squarely before each
court. These courts are expected to consider whether the
_foreseeability_ of the harm to the accused and the fact that the
accused person was _directly_injured_ by the allegations which
developed during therapy are sufficient to generate a duty. In
addition, courts may consider the characteristics peculiar to
so-called repressed memory therapy which often create a special
relationship with the person newly accused of a criminal act. The
courts are also expected to consider several public policy issues to
balance the need to protect abuse victims' rights with the need to
protect citizens from falsely made criminal charges.
   Given the potential of grave injury to a falsely accused
individual, several courts-most recently the New Hampshire Supreme
Court (Hungerford v. Jones, 1998 N.H. LEXIS 94) have held that a
therapist does have a duty to the accused person "throughout the
therapeutic process." The New Hampshire Supreme Court concluded that a
therapist owes a duty of care when diagnosing and treating an adult
patient for sexual abuse [1] and that "the severity and likelihood of
harm is compelling and clearly foreseeable when false accusations of
sexual abuse arise from misdiagnosis."
   No one disputes that a false allegation of criminal sexual
molestation would directly and foreseeably endanger the accused
person's reputation and cause serious injury and damage. The New
Hampshire Supreme Court held that the duty arises from the need for
protection against reasonably foreseeable harm: [2]

   Even when such an accusation is proven to be false, it is unlikely
   that social stigma, damage to personal relationships, and emotional
   turmoil can be avoided. In fact, the harm caused by misdiagnosis
   often extends beyond the accused parent and devastates the entire
   family. Society also suffers because false accusations cast doubt
   on true claims of abuse, and thus undermine valuable efforts to
   identify and eradicate sexual abuse. (citations omitted)

   In addition, the court identified four circumstances alleged in
Hungerford which magnify the potential for harm: 1) when the accused
person is the patient's father; 2) when the therapist lacks
appropriate experience and qualifications; 3) when the therapist uses
a psychological phenomenon or technique (such as repressed memories)
that is not generally accepted and has been criticized as being
suggestive and resulting in false memories; and 4) when the therapist
takes public action based on the false accusations or encourages
patients to do so.
   The characteristics of recovered memory therapy singled out by the
New Hampshire Supreme Court as "exponentially compounding" the
potential for harm to an accused parent are peculiar to repressed
memory therapy. It has been noted that recovered memory therapy,
unlike other therapy practices, creates a _special relationship_
between the therapist and the accused third party. Not only does the
third party -- often a close family member -- find himself accused of
a heinous crime, but he may also face denunciations, sometimes public
or legal, purportedly undertaken for their "therapeutic" value. For
example, the defendant therapist in Hungerford contacted police to
"validate the truth" of her patient's recovered memories of assault by
Hungerford and encouraged his prosecution as a means of "empowering"
her patient. Under these circumstances, the New Hampshire Supreme
Court concluded, "a therapist's diagnosis...consists of a conclusive
determination concerning the suspected abuser as well as the patient,
(emphasis added) In fact, the frequency with which therapists
working in this area use certain suggestive techniques and recommend
family confrontation, "detachment" from family members, and litigation
has led many professional organizations, ethics panels, and clinicians
to offer new safeguards and standards of practice.
   Practice guidelines set forth by professional organizations in the
United States and abroad have been reviewed in earlier editions of
this newsletter. In general, the statements note the "raging debate"
in the scientific field over the reliability of repressed memories and
conclude that there is currently no expertise available with which to
determine the truth of a particular repressed memory without
corroboration. Therapists are instructed to take care to avoid
inappropriate use of leading questions, hypnosis, narcoanalysis, or
other memory enhancement techniques directed at the production of
hypothesized "hidden" or "lost" material. Therapists are also
cautioned that repressed memories, however emotionally intense and
significant to the individual, do not necessarily reflect factual
events. Therapists are further encouraged to discuss these cautions
with their patients -- especially if the patient intends to take
action outside the therapeutic situation. Meeting these professional
guidelines is not believed to limit the effectiveness of therapy or to
pose too great a burden on the therapist.
   Nevertheless, one common defense argument asserts that any
extension of a therapist's duty beyond the patient to a third party
would be unreasonably burdensome because it would cause therapists to
be overly concerned about the possible impact of their actions on some
third party who was not a patient. In addition, defendants often argue
that imposing a duty to a third party would have a chilling effect on
the treatment and reporting of child abuse and is, therefore, contrary
to public policy. The Illinois Supreme Court accepted this 
argument.[3] In June 1998, it dismissed a third party malpractice
claim brought by an accused father against his adult daughter's
psychologist. The majority expressed concern that allowing the action
would improperly enlarge a physician's duty of care and would be
inconsistent with the therapist's duty of confidentiality to his or
her patient. A strongly worded dissent, however, said that the
majority failed to see "what this case is about at all." The dissent
felt that the majority's focus on protecting medical providers from
liability to some indeterminate class of nonpatients is misplaced. The
accused person in this case, the dissent noted, was used as a tool in
the plaintiff's treatment program; the therapist specifically arranged
to have him join the patient's therapy sessions and did so with the
patient's consent. The dissent concluded that the damage to the
accused father was foreseeable and while "[t]he likelihood of injury
was great, the burden of guarding against that injury was slight, and
there would be no adverse consequences from placing that burden on the
   In March 1998, a Wisconsin appeals court refused to dismiss a
third-party claim and concluded that allowing recovery by a third
party for psychological harm due to negligence would not put too great
a burden on the therapist.[4] Despite defendant therapist's argument
that she had no duty to determine the truth of what her patient was
saying, the court held that the therapist did have a duty to ensure
that her therapy did not cause foreseeable harm to others. This ruling
has been appealed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. In April 1998, a
Pennsylvania appellate court upheld a jury award and held that a duty
was owed to the accused parents as well as the defendant therapist's
patient.[5] The Pennsylvania court emphasized that there is no social
interest in shielding negligence which leads to false allegations:
   While we recognize that great social utility arises from allowing
therapists to diagnose sexual abuse, no social utility can be derived
from shielding therapists who make cavalier diagnoses that have
profound detrimental effects on the lives of the accused and their
   Similarly, the New Hampshire Supreme Court in Hungerford disagreed
with the argument that therapists would be discouraged from performing
sexual abuse evaluations of children out of fear of liability to the
persons whose conduct they may implicate. "This reasoning," the court
wrote, "overlooks the fact that the standard of care by which a
therapist's conduct is measured is not heightened." The court
   Imposing a duty of care on therapists who elect to publicize
accusations of sexual abuse against parents, or who encourage patients
to do so, should not unreasonably inhibit sexual abuse diagnosis or
therapy. Recognizing such a duty where parents are implicated,
however, should result in greater protection for parents and families
from unqualified therapists or unaccepted therapeutic diagnoses. While
imposition of this duty may impair societal efforts to bring some
sexual abusers to justice, we recognize its need due to the increased
foreseeability and devastating consequences of publicized false
accusations against parents.
   The Hungerford court went on to cite the Pennsylvania ruling with
approval, and concluded that, under the circumstances, allowing a duty
to a third party imposes "no more [duty] than what a therapist is
already bound to provide -- a competent and carefully considered
professional judgment. Because the therapist is in the best position
to avoid harm to the accused parent and is solely responsible for the
treatment procedure, an accused parent should have the right to
reasonably expect that a determination of sexual abuse, touching him
or her as profoundly as it will, will be carefully made."

/                                                                    \
|               FMSF Legal Survey of Third-Party Suits               |
|                                                                    |
| As of December 1998, the FMSF Legal Survey included 158            |
| malpractice claims brought by a third party against a mental       |
| health provider for alleged encouragement of a false memory.[6]    |
| This number is likely an underestimate of the total number of      |
| similar suits. Fifty-nine suits were brought by the parents of     |
| adult patients who allege their son or daughter was led, through   |
| negligent therapy practices, to falsely believe they had been      |
| abused as a child. Ninety-nine suits were brought by an accused    |
| parent of a minor child.  In many of these suits, the parent       |
| claims that through suggestive interview techniques a minor child  |
| was led to make false allegations which often resulted in criminal |
| charges against a parent.                                          |
|                                                                    |
| Most third-party lawsuits allege malpractice and/or negligence.    |
| Some also alleged intentional and/or negligent infliction of       |
| emotional distress, loss of society and companionship, public      |
| nuisance, breach of contract, abuse of process, invasion of        |
| privacy, fraudulent misrepresentation, or defamation.  Copies of   |
| court documents from many of these suits are found in the FMSF     |
| Brief Bank. In the first "repressed memory" third-party suit to go |
| to trial, Ramona v. Isabella, No. C61898, Superior Court, Napa     |
| Co., Calif., a father successfully sued his daughter Holly's       |
| therapists for implanting false memories of sexual abuse.          |
| Immediately following his daughter's accusations of sexual abuse,  |
| Mr. Ramona suffered the breakdown of his marriage and family, loss |
| of his job, and civil charges of child sexual abuse. The trial     |
| court recognized that, as a matter of public policy, the defendant |
| therapists owed a legal duty of care not only to the patient but   |
| to the patient's immediate family. In May 1994, the jury awarded   |
| Mr. Ramona half a million dollars and specifically found the       |
| defendants to be "negligent in providing health care to Holy       |
| Ramona by implanting or reinforcing false memories that plaintiff  |
| had molested her as a child."                                      |
|                                                                    |
| Of the few third-party suits that have gone to trial,nearly three- |
| quarters have ended in a jury verdict in favor of the injured      |
| third party. Some higher courts have held that under certain       |
| circumstances a duty may be owed.[7] Other courts have dismissed   |
| claims holding that no duty is owed a third party [8] or that the  |
| third-party claim was time-barred.[9]                              |
|                                                                    |
| A number of third-party claims filed by an accused parent of a     |
| minor child have been dismissed when the court held that the       |
| therapist's actions were protected from liability by statutes      |
| mandating the reporting of suspected child abuse. Other appellate  |
| courts have allowed such cases to go forward, holding that         |
| defendants' actions went beyond those protections for reporting in |
| good faith.[10] These courts held that negligent or reckless       |
| actions independent of the reporting are subject to the same       |
| standards applied to other members of society and rejected a       |
| policy of "blanket immunity" for all therapists' actions.          |

[1] The New Hampshire Supreme Court, State v. Hungerford, 697 A.2d
    916, had in 1997 examined the reliability of the repressed memory
    claims made by Hungerford's adult daughter and the therapeutic
    technique used by her therapists. At that time the New Hampshire
    Supreme Court concluded that the phenomenon of recovery of
    repressed memories is not reliable and the criminal charges
    against Mr. Hungerford were subsequently withdrawn.

[2] See also, Sawyer v. Midelfort 579 N.W.2d 268 (Wisc. App. 1998)
    ("Society's justifiable repugnance toward [sexual abuse of a
    child) the reason why a falsely accused [person] can be
    gravely harmed."); Caryl S. v. Child & Adolescent Treatment, 614
    N.Y.S.2d 661, 666-67 (Sup. Ct. 1994) (It is indisputable that
    "being labeled a child abuser [is] one of the most loathsome
    labels in society" and most often results in grave physical,
    emotional, professional, and personal ramifications); Zamstein v.
    Marvasti, 692 A.2d 781, 794 (Conn. 1997) (Berdon, J., dissenting,
    noting that therapist's negligent diagnosis of sexual abuse could
    destroy relationship between accused parent and child).

[3] Doe v. McKay, 700 N.E.2d 1018 (Ill.,1998).

[4] Sawyer v Midelfort. 579 N.W.2d 268 (Wisc. App. 1998)

[5] Althaus v. Cohen, 710 A.2d 1147 (Pa. Super. 1998),The Althaus
    court noted that the psychiatrist specifically treated the
    daughter for parental sexual abuse, that the parents were directly
    affected by the psychiatrist's negligent misdiagnosis and
    treatment when criminal charges were filed against them, and that
    it was foreseeable that the parents would be harmed by the
    negligence. The court noted that the psychiatrist knew at least
    some of the girl's allegations were not true, but she "essentially
    validated...unwittingly false testimony" during and before the
    criminal proceedings. "Dr. Cohen became deeply enmeshed in the
    legal proceedings against the Althauses and, in doing so, placed
    herself in a role that extended well beyond the therapeutic
    treatment context," the majority wrote. "However, because she
    chose to take this active role, the Althauses, as alleged child
    abusers, had a reasonable expectation that Dr. Cohen's diagnosis
    of [their daughter] affecting them as it did, would be carefully
    made and would not be reached in a negligent manner." The
    appellate decision has been appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme

[6] In addition to these third-party suits, the FMSF Legal Survey
    contains records of over 50 related actions taken by the accused
    person. They include wrongful death suits brought by accused
    family members after an adult child committed suicide while under
    the care of a therapist providing treatment for recovered
    memories; defamation actions against the accuser and/or her
    therapists; and other miscellaneous suits. A few third-party
    claims have been filed as cross-complaints, most of which were
    dropped or dismissed at the same time the original "repressed
    memory" suit was dropped.

[7] Hungerford v. Jones, 1998 N.H. LEXIS 94, dated December 18, 1998;
    Althaus v. Cohen, 710 A.2d 1147 (Pa. Super. 1998), cert granted;
    Sawyer v. Midelfort, 579 N.W.2d 268 (Wisc App 1998), cert granted;
    Tuman v. Genesis Assoc., 894 F.Supp. 183 (U.S. Dist., 1995);
    Sullivan v. Cheshier, 846 F.Supp. 654 (U.S. Dist. 1994).

[8] Doe v. McKay, 700 N.E.2d 1018 (Ill., 1998); Flanders v. Cooper,
    706 A.2d 589 (Me, 1998); Strom v. C.C., 1997 Minn. App. LEXIS 327,

[9] Glasspool v. Seltzer, Superior Court, Appellate Div., New Jersey,
    No. A-1662-95T5, unpublished; Lundgren v. Eastern Montana Community,
    1998 Mont. LEXIS 62.

[10] James W. v. Superior Court (Goodfriend), 21 Cal. Rptr.2d 169
    (Cal. App., 1993); Wilkinson v. Balsam, 885 F.Supp. 651 (U.S.
    Dist., 1995); Montoya v. Bebensee, 761 P.2d 285 (Colo.App.,
    1988); Peterson v. Walentiny, 1995 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4290; Caryl
    S. v. Child & Adolescent Treatment, 614 N.Y.S.2d 661 (1994);
    Byrnes v. Haynes-Seman, No. 93-CV-3125, Court of Appeals, Colo.

/                                                                    \
| [W]e hold that a therapist owes an accused parent a duty of care   |
| in the diagnosis and treatment of an adult patient for sexual      |
| abuse where the therapist or the patient, acting on the            |
| encouragement, recommendation, or instruction of the therapist,    |
| takes public action concerning the accusation. In such instances,  |
| the social utility of detecting and punishing sexual abusers and   |
| maintaining the breadth of treatment choices for patients is       |
| outweighed by the substantial risk of severe harm to falsely       |
| accused parents, the family unit, and society. The duty of care    |
| to the accused parent is breached by the therapist when the        |
| publicized misdiagnosis results from (1) use of psychological      |
| phenomena or techniques not generally accepted in the mental       |
| health community, or (2) lack of professional qualification.       |
|        New Hampshire Supreme Court, Hungerford v. Jones, 12/18/98. |

          Criminal Trial Against Texas Therapists Continues
            United States of America v. Peterson, et al.,
       U.S. Dist. Ct., Southern Dist., Texas, No. H-97-237.[11]

A federal criminal trial resumed January 5, 1999, in which five former
employees of a Houston private mental hospital are charged with
insurance fraud. Prior to a 3-week holiday break, 14 weeks of trial
testimony from some 28 witnesses had been heard. The defendants face
61 criminal counts alleging that from 1991 to 1993, they used
hypnosis, drugs, isolation and other techniques during which patients
allegedly recovered memories of participation in cult ritual abuse.
The indictment also alleges that these techniques were used as part of
a conspiracy to unnecessarily prolong patient hospitalization so as to
continue to collect insurance payments. The defendants are all
associated with the former Spring Shadows Glen mental hospital:
psychologist Judith Peterson, psychiatrists Richard Seward and Gloria
Keraga, therapist Sylvia Davis, and former hospital administrator
George Mueck.

[11] This report is taken from a series of articles by Mark Smith
    appearing in the Houston Chronicle. See also FMSF Brief Bank #176
    and FMSF Newsletters. For the latest trial developments, check
    the website:

       Souzas Won't Go to Prison, But Still Under House Arrest
Shirley, 66, and Ray Souza, 67, who have been under house arrest since
their 1993 child abuse conviction, will not go to prison. Instead
they were ordered placed on probation and confined to their house for
a total of nine years. The ruling is retroactive to May 10, 1993.
They must, therefore, serve another 3 years under house arrest. On
December 11, 1998, Massachusetts Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Dolan,
who presided over the Souza's nonjury trial, revoked the couple's
original prison sentence of 9 to 15 years in prison.
   The Souzas' ordeal began in the late 1980's when the couple's
youngest child, an adult, went into therapy and had a dream which her
therapist interpreted as a "recovered memory." Eventually, accusations
were made that the Souzas had abused two of their young grandchildren.
The Souzas have maintained their innocence throughout the case. They
were represented in their appeals by Kevin Nixon of Boston and Daniel
Williams of New York.

           Illinois Appellate Court Reverses Earlier Ruling
    re: Applicability of Discovery Rule Ferrer v. Kuhl, et al and
   Clay v. Kuhl, et al, 1998 Ill.App. LEXIS 864, Nos. 2-98-0164 and
               2-98-0179 cons, dated December 18, 1998.

In December 1998, an Illinois Appellate Court held that the Illinois
common law discovery rule applies to toll the statute of limitations
in childhood sexual abuse cases when the victim represses memories of
the abuse. In doing so, the court disagreed with an earlier ruling[12]
in which it had determined that the discovery rule did not apply to
repressed memory claims. The court referred to an expert statement
submitted by the plaintiffs when it indicated that it accepts the
claim that victims of childhood sexual abuse often do not realize the
causal connection between their present psychological injuries and the
past abuse.
   The facts of the case as summarized by the appellate court indicate
that there is some question as to whether the claims presented are
actually of "repressed memories." Plaintiff Clay, age 28, made a Type
1 claim, that she was unable to realize the causal connection between
her psychological problems and the abuse for a period of 23 years.
Plaintiff Ferrer, age 29, also claimed that she was unable to
understand that the sexual encounters caused her injury until 15 years
after the abuse ended. She further stated that after the realization
of the causal connection, she remembered additional incidents of abuse
that she had not previously recalled.
   This ruling highlights inconsistencies in application of Illinois
statutes by that state's appellate courts. An appeal is expected.

[12] M.E.H. v. L.H., 669 N.E.2d 1228 (1996), aff'd, 685 N.E.2d 335
    (Ill., 1997). In 1996, the appellate court held that the law
    presumes that a person is on notice of injury as soon as it occurs
    and that the discovery rule does not apply to repressed memory
    claims. The Illinois Supreme Court affirmed dismissal and held
    that the 12 year statute of repose had expired. However the
    Supreme Court sidestepped the issue of whether the discovery rule

Editor's Comment: Allegations like the following highlight the need to
apply an objective standard to cases filed after a significant delay:
              Minnesota Appellate Court Dismisses Claim
     by 54-year-old Man Alleging Sexual Abuse at Age 36 by Priest
      Ivers v. Church of St. William, 1998 Minn. App. LEXIS 1397
                       dated December 22, 1998.
Plaintiff, 54, claimed that a priest made inappropriate sexual
advances on two occasions 16 years earlier when plaintiff and his wife
sought marriage counseling from the priest. Plaintiff claims that he
did not know whether his mental anguish was attributable to his
marital problems and chemical dependency or was caused by the priest's
actions until 1992. The appellate court, following a Minnesota Supreme
Court ruling, Blackowiak v. Kemp, 546 N.W.2d 1 (Minn. 1996), affirmed
dismissal of the claim, holding that as a matter of law one is
"injured" if one is sexually abused. The Minnesota court applied an
objective reasonable person inquiry.

                   F R O M   O U R   R E A D E R S
                             Good Advice
I read with great interest and agreement the article signed "Mother of
a Retractor" in the December newsletter. After the break by our
daughter we kept sending her greeting cards, post cards and letters,
presents to our two young granddaughters. We also sent notes and FMS
articles to our son-in-law for several years. We finally stopped after
our daughter cut off her grandparents and threatened to cut off her
in-laws if they continued to give us her addresses as she and her
husband moved around the country.
   This nightmare started abruptly in April 1990 and we have not been
allowed to see any of my daughter's family in that time nor
communicate in any way for most of the time. Being unable to
communicate, we believe, means that this sad affair is unlikely to be
resolved. We are happy for those parents who have had a better
outcome and encourage those who can to follow "Mother of a
Retractor's" advice to keep loving communication open. We hope that
1999 will be a better year for us all.
                                                         A Waiting Dad
                        Hugs for the Holidays?
After six years of little but negative contact, our daughter invited
her accused father and me to meet with her six children at a shopping
mall the Sunday before Christmas. Before leaving the children with us
for the day, she gave both her father and me a loving hug. We are
trying not to analyze this simple act of love; it spoke for itself.
Thank goodness we never made retracting and apologizing a condition of
reconciliation because this event defied words.
   Although we consistently and unfailingly remembered the
grandchildren with cards and gifts for birthdays and holidays over
these six years, at first we had no word that they had even been
received. Later, simple acknowledgment was passed on, often through
third parties. More recently, stamped, pre-addressed thank-you cards
that we had enclosed with the gifts were returned.
   For these six long years, the False Memory Syndrome Foundation has
been there for us. What would we have done without the people who were
willing to establish and maintain this organization? Where would we
have found the information needed to explain this societal problem?
Who would have challenged the mental health industry to investigate
harmful therapeutic practices? Who would have developed the legal
strategies to fight this phenomenon in the courts? What would we have
done if there had been nowhere to call, no understanding voice to
console and advise us? How many acts of desperation have been
prevented because we were advised that sometimes being patient, doing
nothing, and waiting would be most productive?
   We will continue to support the Foundation, not only for the help
we have received from it, but for those still out there "floundering
in a sea of polluted memories."
                                                                 A Mom
                         Cult-Like Experience
These women entered a make-believe world where there was no one to
rescue them from their plight. They are, in effect, no different than
the followers of Jim Jones or David Koresch and would drink poisoned
Kool-Aid or burn themselves to death had their therapists requested
them to do so. This is why when speaking to my daughter I continue to
refer to her experience as "what happened to you in therapy."
   I suggest to parents that they accept their children back
unconditionally while protecting themselves from any further
accusations, i.e., having them sleep elsewhere, never being alone with
them on a one-to-one basis, etc. When their children do recover, they
will have the rest of their lives to experience the pain of what was
done to them and what they, in turn, inflicted upon innocent loved
   Even with the wonderful breakthrough we have had, it is difficult
to recover from so many years of trauma and horror. I have never been
party to something this bizarre and it is difficult to comprehend. I
have not spoken with my daughter about our terrible suffering, but I
am beginning to share some of our experience with her partner. After
all, these RMT victims had a number of "enablers" who were supporting
them in their insanity and I believe they are not entirely guiltless.
My objective is not to make them suffer or even feel guilty. My
objective is to have them understand the depth of the horror of it all
and learn from this experience never to join in an accusation against
anyone who has not been give a fair hearing or trial and been found
guilty by reason of evidence and due process.
                                                Mother of a Retractor.

/                                                                    \
|              Cutting Off from Family Is What Cults Do              |
|                                                                    |
| "People don't join cults, they join self-help groups, they join    |
| religious movements, they join political organizations, they join  |
| groups where they can be a part of something larger than           |
| themselves," says Deborah Layton, author of Seductive Poison, her  |
| story of joining the People's Temple in 1971 and escaping from     |
| Guyana in May 1978. In a review of this book, Diana Wright         |
| (Everett Herald, 11/8/98) says: "A must read for anyone thinking   |
| of joining an organization that believes their way is the only way |
| or which suggests cutting off from the family and old friends."    |

                 After the "Before and After" Letters
Our daughter was away from us for ten years, trapped in her false
memories. We are most grateful for the help we received from FMSF
through the difficult years and hope that the following letter will
give other families hope.

   Dear Mom and Dad,

   As you have heard me say many times, Thanksgiving is my favorite
   holiday. I love my memories of our Thanksgivings. I think of
   warmth, the warm kitchen from all the cooking, the warmth in the
   dining room as we all gathered around the table and the warmth in
   my heart listening to Dad read that poem before we ate, and the
   warmth of feeling stuffed to the gills afterwards. I remember my
   uncle falling asleep in the living room and the plates of food we
   would take down to Aunt "M" because she couldn't come. What I liked
   most, I think, is that the day is meant for people simply to gather
   together and enjoy each other and be thankful. The last time we
   were together at Thanksgiving was the beginning of a long nightmare
   for us all, the beginning of my descent into those false memories.

   I would love to be with you this year to celebrate the end of that
   false mess, to be with the two people who have taught me the most
   about love, trust, honor, integrity, forgiveness and faith. Every
   day I try to live up to the example you have set. I am so thankful
   to have you back in my life! I hope you have a warm-filled day and
   I look forward to talking to you to wish you a happy Thanksgiving.

   All my love
                    Don't Wallow in Old Sufferings
The December 1998 edition of the FMSF Newsletter contains these words
from "a retractor," under the title "Reconciliation." They somehow
touched me and provoked me at the same time, and I felt a need to

   I could not face the horrible thing I had done to my parents.
   Unfortunately, my mother initially made that a condition of my
   re-joining the family...I had to clear my father's name. I was not
   capable of doing that, because, of course, I had real problems at
   that point. It was easier for my self-esteem to pretend that I had
   been sexually abused by someone and it was still my parents' fault
   because they should have protected me.

   Over the years, my mother and I talked first about every year, then
   every 6 to 8 months about trivial stuff, then were able to meet 7
   years after the "incident." She implicitly dropped the condition
   that I needed to clear my father's name, which helped a lot. I
   wasn't as embarrassed and ashamed. And by that point I was
   correctly placing responsibility on the therapist's doorstep as
   opposed to blaming myself.

   A Retractor

   They aren't pretty words. "I'm too weak to do basic justice to my
father, so it was unfortunate that my mother asked for that. The
responsibility is the therapist's, not mine; I am victim, I need not
blame myself."
   I sincerely wish "a retractor" and her family strength and vision
to move on past that standpoint some day soon; not to "blame" herself,
but just to quit worrying about blame, embarrassment, apology,
whatever -- they're about the past, which is gone and immutable, and
it seems they're hindering the rebuilding of life in the here and now,
where there's yet hope.
   My own daughter has not yet faced what she and her therapists did
to her parents -- and especially to herself: her own sufferings, so
tragically needless, were far worse -- by adopting false beliefs of
abuse. Though a part of me passionately longs to have my name cleared
-- I too once thought of vindication as an obvious prerequisite to
reunion -- I have not asked her to do that. Some day, I believe, it
will come naturally, and almost painlessly -- but that's not a
priority now. What happened was our joint misfortune, and we shall
overcome it together. Our goal is to relegate that era to the dead
past, not to rake up and wallow in our old sufferings.
   What she and I wish for and work for is that she build the strength
to take charge of her life; to be victim no longer; to be the master
of her fate, and the captain of her soul. It's a challenging
undertaking, but she will someday win through and put victimhood
behind her for ever. That's what matters.
   For us all to abjure victimhood and expel it from our lives, rather
than to focus on apology, is the path that can lead to reconciliation,
and much more important, to true recovery. At least, it seems so to
                                                                 A Dad
          Excerpts from Letter to Canadian Attorney General
Editor's Comment: During the summer of 1998 a movement took place in
Canada to request that the Attorney General reexamine all Canadian
convictions based solely on "recovered memories." The following
excerpts are from one letter that was sent to the Attorney General.
The movement was successful and several cases are now under review.

   "Any such [recovered memory] conviction is at best unsafe. It is
highly likely that it is completely wrong. If...there are several
dozen men in jail in Canada under such convictions, the amount of
sheer injustice and tragedy is incalculable. An investigation is
overdue, not premature.
   "The issues of reliability and admissibility of evidence are for
the courts. The problem is that for a time the courts were simply
sandbagged by complainants' "recovered memories" and the experts who
testified in support of them. For a number of years after "recovered"
memories became fashionable and before their existence was questioned,
there were solid criteria. They are encapsulated in the following
questions and answers:
   Question 1
   Question: Why would she say these things if they weren't true?
   Answer: Of course she wouldn't.
   Question 2
   Questions; Why wouldn't this abuser deny the abuse if he committed
   Answer: Of course he would.
   Verdict: Guilty
   "Monitoring the case law will not comfort or relieve the wrongfully
convicted. Nor will having departmental lawyers read files with a view
to seeing whether there was enough evidence to convict. I would
confidently expect every transcript to be packed with meticulous
evidentiary detail -- in one American case, for example, a daughter
gave vivid and detailed evidence about abuse which took place over
time in an attic which turned out to be non-existent -- and to exude
the complainant's passionate conviction of the truth of their
evidence. In ordinary cases, all of this would provide a firm
foundation for a conviction. I would expect that in many cases the
complainant's evidence will be supported by an expert whose expertise
has been developed by seeing dozens of cases in which women (or men)
in their twenties and thirties have "recovered" "repressed"
memories. Judges and juries can be forgiven for not realizing that
memory doesn't work that way; for not noticing that the expert had not
made any contact with verifiable fact; and that 100 times zero is
                                  William Hurlburt , LL.D. (Non). Q.C.
                     A New Family's First Meeting
I'm sorry it has taken me so long to write. We enjoyed meeting all of
the people in Toledo in October; I'm only sorry that we met under such
terrible circumstances.
   We have had some work to do since we got home. The first thing we
found was the difficulty of changing our thinking from thinking we
were dealing with a mean-spirited spoiled brat, to realizing what a
terrible thing had been done to her. Our struggles to live with what
had happened to us never included the thoughts that someone had preyed
on a vulnerable mind at a time when they needed help the most. These
last few weeks we have been trying to readjust our thinking and not be
overwhelmed by the pain our daughter must be feeling.
   We have done a lot of educating since the meeting. I ordered some
of the FAQ fliers and sent them to various friends and family. We also
have passed out many copies of Smiling Through Tears. Also, through
all of this we have maintained a very close relationship with the
State Police and our local Prosecutor's offices. We spent a morning
with the victims advocate going over all of the information we have on
the subject. They were very receptive and have asked us to forward
anything else we think they should know and also to let them know
whenever there are TV news programs relating to the subject. We have
done what we can and perhaps it will save another family from going
through this tragedy. We are deeply saddened -- the Holidays loom. We
pray daily for our family and for all of the families who are torn and
                                                         A Mom and Dad
            Response to November newsletter - August Piper

Take your daughter by the hand and run.
Run as fast as you can.
Run as far away as you can go.
Run to the ends of the Earth if you have to.
Just run.

Away from every doctor, every hospital, every trained, licensed,
  certified counselor, therapist, psychologist, psychiatrist and
  trained professional.
Just run. Don't look back.
Don't stop to rest.

When you come to a safe place, wrap your arms around your daughter and
  just hold her and love her.
Love her and hold her and don't let go, but keep running.

Don't let her look back.
Don't let her reach out to "them."
Keep running.

Show her the trees, the flowers, the sun, moon and sky.
Play, laugh and cry with her.
Hold her and love her and
Keep running.

Don't let her reach back to her psychotherapist, her counselor, her
  trained experts.
Keep running forward, don't stop.
Run as hard as you can.

But if she wakes up one day and seeks the sunshine and smells the
If she smiles at you with clear eyes and
Wraps her arms around you and loves you,
Then and only then, can you stop running.
                                                                 A Mom

/                                                                    \
| "I used to be terrified of going to sleep because my dreams were   |
| so awful but when I got out of therapy, I stopped having them. I   |
| suddenly had time to think about what I was saying. It was like    |
| coming out of a fog. I started to realize how different these      |
| "memories" were from my other memories. The problem was I couldn't |
| admit my doubts. To me, it was better that it had happened and so  |
| Mum deserved what happened to her than to admit that it wasn't     |
| true and take responsibility for the terrible consequences of my   |
| accusations."                                                      |
|                                                                    |
|         Sarah Dresser, quoted in Mail on Sunday, December 13, 1998 |
|  "Together again -- the mother and daughter torn apart by therapy" |
|                                                    by Fiona Barton |

*                           N O T I C E S                            *
*                                                                    *
*              Have You Checked Your Library Recently?               *
*                                                                    *
* Many retractors have reported that reading materials about FMS     *
* motivated their questioning of their false memories. For a         *
* retractor who is already questioning memories or who has decided   *
* that her memories are false, access to books about FMS is very     *
* important. Reading about FMS helps retractors in this group to     *
* understand their experience. Retractors have also said that it was *
* a great comfort to know that they are not the only person to have  *
* had false memories.                                                *
*                                                                    *
* Parents should realize that sometimes the little things can make   *
* such an enormous impact. Someone made sure that those books were   *
* on the shelf of this particular library. I know that this woman    *
* benefited from that person's actions. So did her parents. Perhaps  *
* others have too.                                                   *
*                                                                    *
*                                 *
*       is the address of the website that FMSF is developing.       *
*        The site currently has background information on the        *
*             U.S.A. v Peterson trial in Houston, Texas.             *
*                                                                    *
*                       EXPLORING THE INTERNET                       *
*                                                                    *
*       A new web site of interest to FMSF Newsletter readers:       *
*                             *
*             Useful information on this site includes:              *
*                                                                    *
* * Phone numbers of professional regulatory boards in all 50        *
*   states.                                                          *
*                                                                    *
* * Links for e-mailing the American Psychiatric Association, the    *
*   American Psychological Association, the American Medical         *
*   Association, and the National Association of Social Workers.     *
*                                                                    *
* * Lists of online and printed resources: links, articles, books    *
*                                                                    *
*                         PSYCHOLOGY ASTRAY:                         *
*                   by Harrison G. Pope, Jr., M.D.                   *
*                            Upton Books                             *
*                                                                    *
* This is an indispensable guide for any person who wants or needs   *
* to understand the research claims about recovered memories. A      *
* review by Stuart Sutherland in the prestigious Nature magazine     *
* (July 17, 1997) says that the book is a "model of clear thinking   *
* and clear exposition." The book is an outgrowth of the "Focus on   *
* Science" columns that have appeared in this newsletter.            *
*                                                                    *
*                 Pamela Freyd and Eleanor Goldstein                 *
*                       SMILING THROUGH TEARS                        *
*            Upton Books * ISBN No 9-89777.125.7 * $14.95            *
*                                                                    *
* Over 125 cartoons by more than 65 cartoonists lead the way through *
* a description of the complex web of psychological and social       *
* elements that have nurtured the recovered memory movement. Ask     *
* your bookstore to order the book or call 1-800-232-7477.           *
*                                                                    *
*                         AREA CODE CHANGE?                          *
*            Please help us save time trying to call you!            *
*                                                                    *
*              Any FMSF parents of retractors visiting               *
*                     Champaign-Urbana, Illinois                     *
*               are invited to stay free at our house.               *
*                  Carole Ann and David P. Hunter,                   *
*              2511 Bedford Drive, Champaign, IL  61820              *
*                            217-359-2190                            *
*                                        *
*                                                                    *
*                 ADDRESS CHANGE and SNOWBIRD ALERT!                 *
* Please remember, we need your address change every time you move.  *
*                                                                    *
*      The Foundation gratefully acknowledges the contribution       *
*      made in memory of Rose Neuman by her friends in Florida.      *
*                                                                    *
*                          ESTATE PLANNING                           *
*                 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.)            *
*                                                                    *
*  We are looking for other families whose children participated in  *
*          the program at Evanston Hospital, Evanston, IL.           *
*                    Confidentiality guaranteed.                     *
*                     Please call 847-885-9515.                      *
*                                                                    *
*   We would like to contact others whose adult children have had    *
*    experience with the Michigan Counseling Center (Ann Arbor).     *
*   Please forward your message to SHO care of the FMS Foundation.   *
*                                                                    *
*                     Is Your Daughter Missing?                      *
*                                                                    *
* Several FMSF families whose daughters have disappeared would like  *
* to network in order to share tips on how to find children. Are     *
* they alive or dead? Are they functioning? Do they have a home, a   *
* job? Are they hiding in "safe houses"?                             *
*                                                                    *
*   Contact FMSF if you would like to network with these families.   *
*                                                                    *

    J O E L   H U N G E R F O R D   v.  S U S A N   L.  J O N E S
                    Supreme Court Of New Hampshire
                    No. 97-657, 1998 N.H. LEXIS 94
                      December 18, 1998, Decided

OPINION: BRODERICK, J. Pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 34, the United
States District Court for the District of New Hampshire (McAuliffe,
J.) certified to us the following questions of law:

   1. Does a mental health care provider owe a legal duty to the
   father of an adult patient to diagnose and treat the patient with
   the requisite skill and competence of the profession when the
   diagnosis is that the father sexually abused or assaulted the

   2. Does a mental health care provider owe a duty to act with
   reasonable care to avoid foreseeable harm to the father of an adult
   patient resulting from treatment or other action taken in relation
   to mental health conditions arising from the diagnosis of past
   sexual abuse or assault by said father?

We respond affirmatively to both questions with the limitations
expressed below.


   Because these issues arise in the context of a motion to dismiss,
we assume the truth of the factual allegations recited by the
plaintiff in his complaint and by the district court in its
certification order, and construe all inferences in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff.
   In August or September 1992, defendant Susan L. Jones began
treating Laura B., who was then in her mid- twenties. Jones, a social
worker, had limited experience in treating patients allegedly
afflicted with repressed memories of sexual assault. In fact, her only
training in the area consisted of a lecture on memory retrieval
techniques that she attended during a weekend symposium. Nevertheless,
Jones represented to Laura that she was a qualified and experienced
mental health therapist in the treatment of problems associated with
incest and sexual abuse. She failed to inform Laura of her limited
experience and training in memory retrieval or explain the controversy
in the mental health community regarding the reliability and validity
of the phenomenon and techniques she was employing, including the
potential for implanting false memories. In addition, Jones did not
discuss other treatment options with Laura.
   Laura had no knowledge or memory of being sexually abused by her
father when she began therapy. During the course of therapy, however,
Jones led Laura to believe that her nightmares and anxiety attacks
were actually "flashbacks" and "recovered memories" of episodes of
sexual assault and abuse by her father. Jones also persuaded Laura
that her physical sensations and pain were "body memories" indicative
of memory repression or traumatic amnesia involving incidents of
sexual abuse. Jones concluded that Laura's psychological problems,
including her difficulties with intimate relationships, were caused by
her father's sexual abuse.
   Jones' repressed memory therapy included a memory retrieval
technique she referred to as "visualization" or "imagery," in which
she led Laura into a self-induced trance to uncover allegedly lost
memories of sexual abuse. As a result, Jones caused Laura to "recall"
five episodes of sexual assault by her father. The alleged episodes
first began when Laura was five years old and ended only two nights
before her wedding. Jones never consulted any mental health
professionals for assistance in Laura's therapy.
   After learning of his daughter's accusations, plaintiff Joel
Hungerford authorized his therapist to communicate with Jones in an
effort to help his daughter realize that her "memories" were false. In
the face of their communications, Jones remained firm in her
   At Jones' direction, Laura ceased all contact with her father in
October 1992. The following spring, Jones' continuing direction and
support led Laura to file a complaint against her father for
aggravated felonious sexual assault with the Amherst Police Department
(police). Jones contacted the police to validate the truth of Laura's
recovered memories, convey her belief that Laura was assaulted by
Hungerford, and encourage his prosecution as a means of "empowering"
her patient. Jones also met with the Hillsborough County Attorney to
further assist in the prosecution.
   Jones' actions in therapy and with the police led to indictments
against Hungerford charging two counts of aggravated felonious sexual
assault. In May 1995, the Superior Court (Groff, J.) ruled that
Laura's "memories" of assault recovered during therapy were not
admissible at trial because they were not scientifically reliable.
This court affirmed. See State v.  Hungerford, 142 N.H. 110, 134, 697
A.2d 916, 930 (1997).
   Thereafter, Hungerford filed suit against Jones in the federal
district court alleging that Jones' negligent treatment and diagnosis
of his daughter resulted in false accusations of sexual abuse and
criminal charges. Jones moved to dismiss the complaint, asserting that
she owed Hungerford no duty of care. The district court then certified
two questions to this court asking whether, and to what extent, a
mental health care provider (therapist) owes a duty of care to the
father of an adult patient when he is identified as the perpetrator of
sexual abuse in the course of the patient's therapy. Both questions
present issues of first impression.


   "Whether a duty exists in a particular case is a question of law."
This court has recognized that a professional owes a duty of care to
third parties in limited circumstances. In so doing, we reasoned that
the existence of a duty does not arise solely from the relationship
between the parties, but also from the need for "protection against
reasonably foreseeable harm." While "not every risk [of harm] that
might be foreseen gives rise to a duty ...a duty arises [if] the
likelihood and magnitude of the risk perceived is such that the
conduct is unreasonably dangerous." Thus, parties owe a duty to those
foreseeably endangered by their conduct with respect to those risks
whose likelihood and magnitude make the conduct unreasonably
   When determining whether a duty is owed, we examine the societal
interest involved, the severity of the risk, the likelihood of
occurrence, the relationship between the parties, and the burden upon
the defendant.
   Jurisdictions which have considered a therapist's duty to
nonpatient third parties have commonly recognized the social utility
in detecting and eradicating sexual abuse.  We agree and further
recognize the critical role of mental health professionals in
identifying sexual abuse. Protecting children from such abuse and
promoting healing for abuse survivors are important goals.  We must,
however, be vigilant in balancing these critical societal interests
against the need to protect parents, families, and society from false
accusations of sexual abuse. Though not a simple task, such a delicate
balance must be achieved in light of the potentially devastating
consequences stemming from misdiagnosis.
   It is indisputable that "being labeled a child abuser [is] one of
the most loathsome labels in society" and most often results in grave
physical, emotional, professional, and personal ramifications.  This
is particularly so where a parent has been identified as the
perpetrator. Even when such an accusation is proven to be false, it is
unlikely that social stigma, damage to personal relationships, and
emotional turmoil can be avoided. In fact, the harm caused by
misdiagnosis often extends beyond the accused parent and devastates
the entire family. Society also suffers because false accusations cast
doubt on true claims of abuse, and thus undermine valuable efforts to
identify and eradicate sexual abuse.
   The severity and likelihood of harm is compelling and clearly
foreseeable when false accusations of sexual abuse arise from
misdiagnosis. As explained below, the potential for harm is magnified
when, as alleged in this case: (1) the accused is the patient's
father; (2) the therapist lacks appropriate experience and
qualifications; (3) the therapist uses a psychological phenomenon or
technique not generally accepted in the mental health community; and
(4) the accusations of abuse are made public.
   First, due to the prevalence of intrafamily sexual abuse, family
members are more likely victims of false accusations than nonfamily
   Second, the likelihood of harm is considerable where an unqualified
therapist, e.g., one lacking in appropriate training or experience,
attempts a diagnosis.
   Third, the prospect of misdiagnosis and resultant false accusations
is enhanced where a therapist bases a diagnosis on a psychological
phenomenon or technique not generally accepted in the mental health
community. The concept of repressed memories of sexual abuse is
extremely controversial.  Moreover, the various techniques used by
therapists to "recover" allegedly repressed memories of past sexual
abuse are also controversial and have been criticized as being
suggestive and resulting in false memories.
   Finally, the likelihood of harm to an accused parent is
exponentially compounded when treating therapists take public action
based on false accusations of sexual abuse or encourage their patients
to do so. Public action encompasses any effort to make the allegations
common knowledge in the community. In this situation, the
foreseeability of harm is so great that public policy weighs in favor
of imposing on the therapist a duty of care to the accused parent
throughout the therapeutic process. We recognize, however, that there
are circumstances in which the therapist is immune from liability.


   Several jurisdictions have struggled with determining whether, and
under what circumstances, therapists owe a duty to third parties, and
have reached differing conclusions based on competing public policy
considerations. Those courts refusing to recognize a duty of care
commonly reason that to do so "would carry with it the impermissible
risk of discouraging [therapists] ... from performing sexual abuse
evaluations of children altogether, out of a fear of liability to the
very persons whose conduct they may implicate." This reasoning,
however, overlooks the fact that the standard of care by which a
therapist's conduct is measured is not heightened. Our holding today
imposes "no more than what a therapist is already bound to provide --
a competent and carefully considered professional judgment." Althaus
v. Cohen, 710 A.2d 1147, 1157 (Pa. Super. Ct. 1998.)
   We recognize that in most circumstances, the balance between
protecting children from sexual abuse and guarding against false
accusations is best struck by permitting the therapist broad latitude
in ferreting out signs or symptoms of past sexual abuse without fear
of liability to the accused.  Where the alleged perpetrator is the
patient's parent and the accusation is made public by, or at the
encouragement of, the therapist, however, the circle of immunity can
be justifiably diminished. In fact, a therapist's diagnosis of sexual
abuse that identifies a perpetrator inherently consists of a
conclusive determination concerning the suspected abuser as well as
the patient, regardless of the accused's involvement in the therapy
process.  Because the therapist is in the best position to avoid harm
to the accused parent and is solely responsible for the treatment
procedure, an accused parent should have the right to reasonably
expect that a determination of sexual abuse, "touching him or her as
profoundly as it will, will be carefully made," S. v. Child &
Adolescent Treatment, 614 N.Y.S.2d at 666, in those cases where the
diagnosis is publicized.


   Imposing a duty of care on therapists who elect to publicize
accusations of sexual abuse against parents, or who encourage patients
to do so, should not unreasonably inhibit sexual abuse diagnosis or
therapy. Recognizing such a duty where parents are implicated,
however, should result in greater protection for parents and families
from unqualified or unaccepted therapeutic diagnoses. While imposition
of this duty may impair societal efforts to bring some sexual abusers
to justice, we recognize its need due to the increased foreseeability
and devastating consequences of publicized false accusations against
parents. "No social utility can be derived from shielding therapists
who make cavalier diagnoses that have profound detrimental effects on
the lives of the accused and their family."  Althaus, 710 A.2d at
   Accordingly, in response to the district court's questions, we hold
that a therapist owes an accused parent a duty of care in the
diagnosis and treatment of an adult patient for sexual abuse where the
therapist or the patient, acting on the encouragement, recommendation,
or instruction of the therapist, takes public action concerning the
accusation. In such instances, the social utility of detecting and
punishing sexual abusers and maintaining the breadth of treatment
choices for patients is outweighed by the substantial risk of severe
harm to falsely accused parents, the family unit, and society. The
duty of care to the accused parent is breached by the therapist when
the publicized misdiagnosis results from (1) use of psychological
phenomena or techniques not generally accepted in the mental health
community, or (2) lack of professional qualification.
   Accordingly, we answer the certified questions in the affirmative
with the limitations outlined herein. We offer no opinion concerning
whether the scope of the duty may include third parties other than a
patient's parents.

                F M S    B U L L E T I N    B O A R D
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        Ethel (705) 924-2546
        Ken & Marina (905) 637-6030
        Paula (705) 692-0600
        Alain (514) 335-0863
  St. Andre Est.
        Mavis (450) 537-8187
        Mike 0754-842-348 
         fax 0754-841-051 
  FMS ASSOCIATION fax-(972) 2-625-9282 
  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 March Newsletter is February 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". 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,      January 1, 1999

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 Wiscon-
sin, Madison, WI; FREDERICK C. CREWS, Ph.D., University of California,
Berkeley,  CA;  ROBYN M. DAWES,  Ph.D.,  Carnegie  Mellon  University,
Pittsburgh,  PA;  DAVID F. DINGES, Ph.D.,  University of Pennsylvania,
Philadelphia, PA; HENRY C. ELLIS, Ph.D.,  University  of  New  Mexico,
Albuquerque, NM; FRED H. FRANKEL, MBChB, DPM, Harvard University Medi-
cal School,  Boston MA;  GEORGE K. GANAWAY, M.D.,  Emory University of
Medicine,  Atlanta,  GA;  MARTIN GARDNER,  Author,  Hendersonville, NC
ROCHEL GELMAN, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, CA; HENRY
GLEITMAN, Ph.D.,  University of Pennsylvania,  Philadelphia, PA;  LILA
GLEITMAN, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; RICHARD
GREEN, M.D., J.D., Charing Cross Hospital, London;  DAVID A. HALPERIN,
M.D.,  Mount Sinai School of Medicine,  New York, NY;  ERNEST HILGARD,
Ph.D.,  Stanford University,  Palo Alto, CA;  JOHN HOCHMAN, M.D., UCLA
Medical School, Los Angeles, CA; DAVID S. HOLMES, Ph.D., University of
Kansas,  Lawrence, KS;  PHILIP S. HOLZMAN, Ph.D.,  Harvard University,
Cambridge,  MA;   ROBERT A. KARLIN,  Ph.D.,  Rutgers  University,  New 
Brunswick, NJ;  HAROLD LIEF, M.D.,  University of Pennsylvania, Phila-
delphia,  PA;  ELIZABETH LOFTUS, Ph.D., University of Washington, Sea-
tle, 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,  Westford, MA;  ULRIC NEISSER, Ph.D., Cornell
University, Ithaca, N.Y.; RICHARD OFSHE, Ph.D., University of Califor-
nia, Berkeley, CA;  EMILY CAROTA ORNE, B.A., University of Pennsylvan-
ia, Philadelphia, PA; MARTIN ORNE, M.D., Ph.D., University of Pennsyl-
vania, 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.,
Washington  University,  St. Louis, MO;  CAROLYN SAARI, Ph.D.,  Loyola
University,  Chicago, IL;  THEODORE SARBIN, Ph.D., University of Cali-
fornia,  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 Uni-
versity, Waco, TX.

   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

*  MAIL the completed form with payment to: 
FMS Foundation, 3401 Market ST, Suite 130, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3315

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

*  FAX your order to (215) 287-1917. Fax orders cannot be processed 
without credit card information.

              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:
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  Rt. 1 Box 510
  Burkeville, TX 75932

                                   DATE:   /   /

Ordered By:                        Ship to:

Please type or print information:
| QUANT- |  #  |            DESCRIPTION             | UNIT  | AMOUNT |
|  ITY   |     |                                    | PRICE |        |
|        | 444 | 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