FMSF NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE - March/April 2002 - Vol. 11, No. 2, 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)
March/April 2002 Vol. 11  No. 2
ISSN #1069-0484.           Copyright (c) 2002  by  the  FMS Foundation
        The FMSF Newsletter is published 6 times a year by then
        False  Memory  Syndrome  Foundation.  The newsletter is 
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      Legal Update                 The next issue will be combined
        Gallagher                             May/June
          From Our Readers 
            Bulletin Board 

Dear Friends,
    Last week the postman delivered an "award" to the FMSF. Actually,
it was an unsolicited advertisement from a company selling things the
Foundation could buy to celebrate ten years of existence. But for the
FMSF, that is not something to celebrate. Rather it is sad evidence
that the FMS problem has not been solved and that even though the
number is diminishing, there are still families who need the
newsletter and the Foundation.
    It defies reason that the problem continues. It is distressing
that there are families who have not yet reunited and, perhaps, never
will. What needs to be done is a matter of will. Here are two steps
that might be helpful: First, families often need help to get
communication started. A doctor who was treating a recovered-memory
patient called a family meeting. "For that meeting, the doctor had
decided that we would not rehash the sexual abuse issue but seek to
bring us together on the common ground we shared." (from family
    It is tragic that so many professionals sat silently on the fence
during the height of the recovered memory fad. It is inexcusable in
2002 that they do not now take active steps to attempt to set things
right for families. Just imagine if all families could be reconciled
as this one was.
    Second, professionals should use only safe and effective
therapies. It is the shame of the mental health profession that
although there are now many evidence-based therapies that are
recommended by professional organizations, most therapists don't use
them -- indeed, their use appears to be diminishing. What an
indictment! (See Sanderson below)
    It is no surprise, then, that there are still therapists who work
on excavating the past, even though no part of the recovered memory
belief system has stood up to science. There are no contemporary signs
or symptoms that are diagnostic of past abuse. There is no scientific
evidence that memories of traumatic events are more accurate; that
traumatic events cause amnesia or multiple personality; that memory-
recovery techniques can be used reliably to recover accurate memories;
or that this type of therapy does any good (is effective).
    There is scientific evidence that false memories can be created
with techniques often used in therapy and that memories for events
with great personal meaning can be confabulated. There is
incontrovertible evidence that digging for memories can do harm and,
therefore, is not safe. The failure to adopt evidence-based therapies
can only have a "disastrous impact on the viability of psychotherapy
as the healthcare system evolves."[1]
    Unfortunately, the climate of over-reaction in sex-abuse cases has
not abated even thought there is sound evidence that sex abuse is
declining. (see below) For example, in spite of a unanimous
Massachusetts Pardon Board recommendation, Governor Swift will not
release Gerald Amirault. A "Teacher's Story" in this issue describes
the ongoing nightmare of false accusations in education. The FMSF gets
just as many calls as it always has from families in which accusations
are made by young children, almost always in the context of divorce
and custody proceedings.
    But the recovered-memory movement has declined in spite of the
climate surrounding charges of sex abuse and in spite of
professionals' reluctance to adopt evidence-based therapies. It is
unlikely that you will now find a therapist stating publicly that he
or she can tell if someone is abused when they walk through the
door.[2] The vast majority of "survivor" newsletters are now defunct.
The FMSF telephones are increasingly quiet for new FMS cases.
    Why has the decline occurred? In his column Allen Feld discusses
some specific changes that have taken place. History will ultimately
provide the answer, but we are very sure that the legal actions
against negligent therapists will be viewed as a primary reason. In
this issue attorney Christopher Barden gives a timely explanation of
the legal strategies, heavily based on the use of science, that
brought a turn-around in the legal aspects of the recovered memory
movement in less than a decade.
    A decade ago, all families were at the beginning of the continuum
from newly accused to reconciled and living "happily ever after." The
recent FMSF survey shows, however, that close to half (44%) of the
families who responded to the survey have resumed contact and are
working at reconciliation. That's good news. The survey also shows
that retractors are significantly younger (p = <0.001) than either
returners or refusers. Perhaps it is not realistic to expect that all
offspring will eventually retract.
    The survey indicated that there was a significant difference
between families of retractors, returners and refusers to the question
of whether someone acted as a mediator (family member, clergy, etc.).
Families with retractors were significantly more likely to have had
that help. [p=<0.001]. The majority of the FMSF families desperately
need that same kind of assistance to bridge the impasse. Obviously
that kind of help must come from a person with whom the accuser has a
good relationship.
    The implication of this is that the Foundation needs to continue
and expand efforts to reach professionals and others who could help in
this way. We will do that through talks and articles in professional
publications. We hope that FMSF supporters will continue to be active
educators. This month, we take off our hat to Kathy Begert, a member
from Ohio who has been the driving force behind some excellent
conferences for professionals. Each of us can make a difference.
    We give our deepest thanks to all who have provided the financial
support for us to continue our work. New technologies that didn’t
exist a decade ago and the changing needs of people who contact the
Foundation should enable us to continue with greatly reduced expense
in the future.  For how long? We will know when it is time to stop the
newsletter when we stop getting your letters.

[1] Sanderson, W.C. "Are Evidence-Based Psychological Interventions
    Practiced by Clinicians in the Field?" Medscape Mental Health
    7(1), 2002.
[2] O'Brien, M.,"Abuse memories trigger double-edged debate" The Hour
    - Norwalk CT, Feb 5, 1994.

   /                                                              \
   |                       SAVE THESE DATES                       |
   |                                                              |
   |    When?   SAT. OCTOBER 5 and SUN. OCTOBER 6, 2002           |
   |    Why?    A National Conference on Family Reconciliation    |
   |    Where?  Glenview, Illinois (Chicago suburb)               |
   |    Who?    Cosponsored by the FMS Foundation and the         |
   |            Illinois-Wisconsin False Memory Society           |

                     A REMINDER OF THE EARLY 90s
              Abuse memories trigger double-edged debate
                           Michael O'Brien
                  The Hour - Norwalk CT, Feb 5, 1994

    "It generally starts with focusing, clearing the mind and dropping
into your body," [Mignon] Lawless said. "Then you ask your body to
give a word, phrase or image, then you pull out the videotape and
watch it."
    Lawless said people's memories are in a "storage room" with access
to videotapes, books or filing cabinets, "depending on what modality
works best. Usually, we work with videotape."
    Other memory-retrieval methods Lawless advocates include past-live
regression, and certain kinds of touch "that can bring back memories
of sexual abuse."
    "It's all out there," she said. "You can't quantify it, and you
can't prove it, but when a person has a traumatic experience, the body
remembers and stores it."
    Lawless, who said 70 percent of her patients are incest survivors,
said she can tell if someone has a history of abuse the minute they
walk into her office.
    "I'm very interested in (skeptics), because I'm not so sure those
on the questioning bandwagon aren't survivors themselves, and don't
want to touch it with a 10-foot pole," Lawless said.

        |                   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   |
        |  COLUMNISTS: August Piper, Jr. and members         |
        |           of the FMSF Scientific Advisory Board    |
        |  LETTERS and INFORMATION: Our Readers              |

                           THOMAS A. SEBEOK

Thomas A. Sebeok, FMSF Advisory Board member and an expert in
nonverbal communication in all organisms, died on December 21, 2001 in
Bloomington, Indiana. Dr. Sebeok was 81 years old.
    Dr. Sebeok was a pioneer in the field of semiotics and worked in
the areas of folklore, anthropology, linguistics and animal
communication. Dr. Sebeok revolutionized the field of semiotics with
the publication of "Approaches to Semiotics" in 1964. He received the
Distinguished Service Award of the American Anthropological
Association and he held visiting appointments at 33 universities in 17
/                                                                    \
| "Six months after her own parole board unanimously called for      |
| commutation of his sentence -- and pointed out, in a way           |
| unprecedented for such a body, the ludicrous charges, the grave    |
| doubts as to the justice of this prosecution -- Gov. Swift has     |
| still been unable to bring herself to act one way or another."     |
|              Rabinowitz , D, "The Liberation of Jack Henry Abbott" |
|                                   The Wall Street Journal 2/15/02. |

                          MEMORY FOR MEMORY
          Joslyn, S., Loftus E., McNoughton, A. & Powers, J.
              Memory & Cognition, 2001, 29 (5) 789-797.

Those who support the argument that people can recover repressed
memories of sexual abuse generally cite retrospective studies that ask
subjects to remember the past -- specifically, to remember that they
had forgotten the memories. The research by Joslyn et al. addresses
the accuracy of people's memory about a past memory in retrospective
    Participants read short passages and by telephone a day later
answered questions about the passages. After six weeks, they again
answered the original questions but also some new questions about
their previous answers. Participants accurately remembered past memory
successes about 80 percent of the time but only poorly remembered the
failures. People consistently judged their memory to be more accurate
than it actually was. The authors suggest that this may indicate that
people may not necessarily have access to explicit memories that they
claim to remember, but that they infer from an "inflated analysis of
their own abilities."
    The authors cite a study by Schooler, Bendiksen, & Ambadar (1997)
[1] that describes a situation in which a person claimed to remember
an abusive event for the first time while in therapy. Other people
close to the patient, however, said that they had discussed the event
with her several times before the therapy event. The authors note that
this "sequence of events could give the appearance of lifting `total
repression,' when actually the specific incident was consistently
available to memory."

[1] Schooler, J.W., Bendiksen, M., & Ambadar, Z (1997) Taking the
    middle line: Can we accommodate both fabricated and recovered
    memories of sexual abuse? In M. Conway (Ed) False and Recovered
    Memories (pp.  251-192). Oxford University Press.

                           Sanderson, W.C.
                  Medscape Mental Health 7(1), 2002.

The author notes that even though there are now many evidence-based
treatments (EBT) for specific psychiatric disorders and even though
these are recommended for use by professional organizations,
practitioners typically do not use them. Sanderson uses treatment for
panic disorder as an example. In a previous study the author found
that only 15% to 38% of patients with this condition received an
evidence-based psychological intervention. Even more disturbing is
that an identical study done 5 years later showed that the use of EBT
treatment had declined for this disorder.
    Why don't therapists use therapies that have been shown to be safe
and effective? Sanderson suggests that (1) they do not have the skills
to administer these treatments; (2) continuing-education programs do
not require training in EBTs and (3) many clinicians have a negative
bias toward them.
    The author concludes that the failure to adopt evidence-based
therapies may have a "disastrous impact on the viability of
psychotherapy as the healthcare system evolves."

    |                            FREE                            |
    |         "Recovered Memories: Are They Reliable?"           |
    | Call or write the FMS Foundation for pamphlets. Be sure to |
    | include your address and the number of pamphlets you need. |

                   Ost, J., Costall, A. & Bull, R.
  Journal of Forensic Psychiatry Vol. 12 (3) December 2001, 549-579

Although observations have been made about the parallels between false
confessions and the recovery of abuse memories, this is the first
research to explore that possibility. The research on false
confessions has documented that in response to strong social
influence, people do sometimes make false claims about their past in a
way that can have serious negative implications for themselves. The
authors note that in 1997, Kassin [1] observed that both suspects who
falsely confess and `false memory syndrome patients' are in a
situation in which an authority figure claims to have privileged
insight into an experience in the individual's past. Both "are in a
state of heightened vulnerability regarding their memories, the
interaction takes place in a context devoid of external reality, and
in both cases the `expert' convinces the individual to accept a
negative and painful self-insight."
    Ost and colleagues write that three types of false confessions
have been noted in the literature: Voluntary, Coerced-compliant and
Coerced-internalized. After analyzing a questionnaire administered to
22 retractors, they found that retractors could also be grouped by
these three categories. The researchers determined that three of the
retractors fit into the Coerced-compliant category and these people
reported retracting their claims as soon as they had escaped the
immediately stressful context. Four of the participants fit into the
Voluntary category. These people had entered therapy with the
suspicion that they had been abused. The rest seemed to belong to the
Coerced-internalized category in which the person enters therapy with
no idea that she or he had been abused but in time becomes convinced
that the abuse did occur.
    The balance of the paper examines the social pressures that appear to
have existed for those in the Coerced-internalized category.

[1] Kassin, S. M. (1997) "False Memories Turned against the Self"
    Psychological Inquiry 8: 300-2.

/                                                                    \
| "Although caution is required in generalizing from laboratory to   |
| life, the findings also imply that therapists who encourage        |
| clients to `tell more' may elicit extra information, but it is     |
| more likely to be incorrect than correct. In particular, the false |
| recognition results imply that if a therapist suggests an event    |
| that is consistent with other recalled information, then it may be |
| accepted as having happened when it actually did not.              |
|                                                 Stuart J. McKelvie |
|                  Effects of Free and forced Retrieval Instructions |
|                                   on False Recall and Recognition" |
|               Journal of General Psychology, July, 2001,  261-278. |

                  Harvard Mental Health Letter, [1]
                             January 2002

According to a study by L.M. Jones and colleagues, the number of
substantiated cases of child sexual abuse peaked in 1992 but has
declined by 39% in intervening years. Strangely, some of the
administrators of Child Protection Services were unaware of this fact
and many who did know had not given it much thought. When pressed by
interviewers, administrators in 43 states "offered a variety of often
mutually contradictory explanations." They seem to find the numbers
    The researchers noted that changes in reporting and processing of
cases could not fully explain the decline.
    Jones and colleagues conclude that people in the child protection
field are not very interested in using statistics to evaluate
programs. They say that it will be difficult to maintain confidence in
the system if the people who are in charge don't know what the drop in
substantiated cases means.

[1] The HMHL report is based on Jones, L.M. et al. "Why Is Sexual
    Abuse Declining? A survey of State Child Protection
    Administrators," Child Abuse and Neglect, Vol 25, (2001)

       |                    DID YOU MOVE?                     |
       | Do you have a new area code? Remember to inform the  |
       |                  FMSF Business Office                |

               Johnson, R.C., Edman, J.L. & Danko, G.P.
                Personality and Individual Differences
                  Vol. 18 (6) 793-795, June,1995 [1]

Many advocates of recovered memories argue that dissociation results
from having experienced a traumatic event such as sexual abuse. This
report examines the association between dissociation and the frequency
with which people report that a variety of bad things have happened to
them. Ninety-seven college students completed a 22-item "bad things"
scale and the Bernstein and Putnam dissociation scale. The "bad
things" items ranged from serious ("I was sexually abused") to trivial
(e.g. "I have been short changed in stores.")
    Dissociation scores were predictable from either the non-traumatic
or the traumatic items. The authors write: "These results suggest that
dissociation is linked with a general tendency to recall and report
negative experiences rather than solely with having experienced major
traumatic events. Claims of having experienced traumatic events and
dissociation may share a common underlying basis in neuroticism."
    They conclude: "We can say, with confidence, that persons who
report having experienced a larger number of negative events also are
more likely to report dissociative experiences, and that these
negative events do not have to do exclusively or even largely with
what most of us would regard as traumatic events."

/                                                                    \
| "Using art and truth for smaller purposes is not new: Sybil, a     |
| 1973 bestseller, worked a similar smoke and mirrors on a gullible  |
| public. Sybil purported to be about a real woman who developed 16  |
| personalities. Claimed `multiple personality disorder' diagnoses   |
| surged after the book and a subsequent movie. But in 1998, a       |
| psychologist discovered tape recordings that indicate `Sybil's'    |
| multiple personalities were perpetrated on a very suggestible      |
| patient by an ambitious doctor and documented by an equally        |
| ambitious author. The diagnosis now has lost its cachet.           |
|                                                      Curtiss, A.B. |
|                                   Creative history distorts truth" |
|                                          USA Today, 1/24/02, p 15A |

                     THE FALSE LITIGANT SYNDROME:
                      Scheflin, A.W. & Brown, D.
                     Journal of Psychiatry & Law
                      Fall-Winter 1999, 649-705

Whereas the Ost et al. paper cited above compares the false confession
literature with former therapy patients at the time that they recover
memories of abuse, Scheflin and Brown compare the false confession
literature with former patients at the time they retract the therapy
beliefs. They argue that retractions in "every one of the 30 cases" in
which author Daniel Brown, Ph.D. served as a defense expert were the
result of post-therapeutic social influence. They claim that sugges-
tion came from exposure to false-memory information, participation in
groups of other retractors, media exposure, consultations by pro-false
memory experts and that "sometimes litigious patients, plaintiff
attorneys and other individuals intentionally solicit other former
patients in order to influence them."
    Scheflin and Brown set up their argument by casting doubt on the
retractor's believability. They note that of the 30 cases they
studied, 37% had received diagnoses of Dissociative Identity Disorder
(DID) and 53% received diagnoses of Dissociative Disorder Not
Otherwise Specified (DDNOS). The authors suggest that this shows that
the doctors questioned the "the legitimacy of the alter behavior or of
a full DID diagnosis." They note that a "clinically significant
factitious [fabricated] behavior was found in 33% of the cases,
although defendant clinicians had not always detected the pattern of
deception." The authors also note that: "contrary to the bad-therapy
hypothesis, the main finding was that the great majority of the cases
adhered to a generally accepted model of phase-oriented trauma
    Unfortunately it is impossible to confirm these observations
because no list of cases is provided. Most of the 18 cases mentioned
were those in which retractors received substantial awards. Obviously
Brown was not able to convince juries that the "generally accepted
model of phase-oriented trauma treatment" was good for these patients.
    For the Scheflin and Brown argument to be sustained, it is
necessary to accept the notion that the beliefs that former patients
held while in therapy were historically accurate. This leads to
preposterous beliefs about murders never discovered, duck
personalities and other impossible acts.

                by R. Christopher Barden, Ph.D., J.D.
                    Copyright (c) R. Chris Barden

I recently read an article by Alan W. Scheflin and Daniel Brown
entitled, "The false litigant syndrome `Nobody would say that unless it
was the truth,'" The Journal of Psychiatry & Law, 27/Fall-Winter, 1999.
This article is another example of the error-ridden, rambling material
we have come to expect from pro-dissociation "experts". [1]
    This disjointed article begins with global pronouncements we can
all agree with (e.g., there are too many improperly obtained, false
confessions in the criminal justice system). These obvious platitudes
are then coupled in an illogical fashion with wildly inaccurate and
misinformed speculations about "false memory litigation." Although it
would take dozens of pages to fully dissect the errors and inaccurate
information within this odd article, a few specific examples will
hopefully be instructive.
    On page 677, we see a summary of highly idiosyncratic
interpretations of psychotherapy negligence litigation. The authors
write, "[I]n essence, as many experts have written or testified in
court, the therapist is being sued for believing the patient." The
authors provide other detailed, odd speculations on individual cases
and then ramble on and on as if to give the overall impression that
the legal system was duped in case after case into finding innocent
therapists guilty of malpractice. These musings -- from two
individuals who apparently have never litigated a single such case --
are wildly inaccurate and misleading.
    As a participating trial attorney and/or science-litigation
consultant in many (very many) of the major lawsuits in this field,
perhaps I can help set the record straight. How were we -- using
science-intensive litigation methods -- able to set several records
for jury verdicts and settlements in psychotherapy-negligence
lawsuits? How were we able -- again and again and again -- to convince
judges and juries that the analyses of "dissociation" experts like
Brown, Scheflin, Ross, Braun, van der Kolk and others were not
credible? Were we really simply convincing judges and juries that
therapists were guilty of believing patient reports? The truth is far
more interesting and far more important.
    To create a viable national group of lawyers helping to regulate
the mental health system we knew it would be necessary to convince
attorneys across America that lawsuits -- for negligent therapy
causing emotional injuries (not involving death of patient, homicide,
suicide or physical injury) -- were winnable and economically viable.
As we began the trial of Hamanne v. Humenansky in the summer of 1995
there were no examples of million-dollar verdicts in such suits and
lawyers everywhere believed large verdicts in such cases were
"impossible." Using a radical new trial strategy now known as
"science-intensive litigation" -- multidisciplinary teams of
professionals educated juries in scientific methodologies while
exposing the methodological and ethical errors of defendants and
defense experts. This new strategy worked so well it produced two
multimillion dollar verdicts within six months (despite enormous sums
spent to defend these cases). The psychotherapy-negligence Bar was
thus born and the psychotherapy industry and licensing boards began to
pay serious attention to our efforts.[2]
    Why did we enjoy such success in these supposedly "impossible"
cases -- and in the dozens of similar settlement cases?  What did the
jury learn in science intensive litigation? First we proved that the
"therapists" had grossly violated the patients' fundamental right to
informed consent protections.[3]
    We used Frye/Daubert hearings to exclude testimony from defense
"experts" based on junk science theories like "dissociation,"
"repressed memories" and "recovered memories." Experts whose testimony
was wholly or partially excluded by anti-junk science hearings in
these cases have included Mr. Scheflin (our client won a $2.5 million
verdict) and Dr. Brown (our client won a total dismissal of all
criminal charges).[4]
    In addition, we presented peer-reviewed scientific literature to
judges and juries proving that "dissociation," "repression,"
"recovered memories" and similar concepts have no empirical support --
"it's a bunch of crazy nonsense" as one juror reported. Jurors thus
viewed these "therapists" as dangerous, reckless quacks, not as
innocent professionals who "believed the patient."
    Jurors also uniformly reported that the most powerful process in
these trials was the devastating contrast between experts. The
plaintiff's experts (e.g., Profs. Loftus, McHugh, Ofshe, Grove and
others) were world class scholars from major institutions who
testified with knowledge and power and were unscathed in cross
    In stark contrast, defense experts were typically individuals with
shocking educational deficits -- not tenured scholars from major
institutions -- who were decimated by cross examination questions from
an attorney/scientist. In sum, we subjected the defendants -- and the
defense experts -- to a detailed social science cross examination
(e.g. explain the terms "reliability and validity," tell us the
methodological errors in your research, define the term `Kappa
coefficient'). The defendants -- and defense experts -- failed these
exams miserably and the jury knew it. This was a particularly
devastating phase of these trials as many jurors noted "it was quickly
apparent to us that the examining attorney knew far more about these
matters than the defendants or defense repression experts." Were these
juror impressions accurate? The chart below documents some basic
educational differences between the cross examining attorney and two
typical defense experts in the major false memory lawsuits.

Ph.D. or M.D. From a Graduate Training Program Approved by
Professional Associations (e.g. APA, AMA)?:
    Dr. Brown-NO;  Mr. Scheflin- NO;  Dr. Barden-YES.
Tenured or Tenure Track Appointment at Major University Department
of Psychology or Medical School?:
    Brown-NO;   Scheflin-NO;   Barden-YES.
Principal Investigator on Relevant Research Grants with Federal,
Major Institutional or Foundation Funding?:
    Brown-NO;   Scheflin-NO;   Barden-YES.
Editorial or Consulting Editorial Board Position on APA, AMA or APS
    Brown-NO;   Scheflin-NO;   Barden-YES.
National Research Award in Relevant Field?:
    Brown-NO;   Scheflin-NO;   Barden-YES.
Appointment by Governor to State Licensing Board?:   
    Brown-NO;   Scheflin-NO;   Barden-YES.
Publications in the leading APA Journal in Social Psychology?:
    Brown-NO;   Scheflin-NO;   Barden-YES.
Publications in the leading APA Journal in Child Psychology?:
    Brown-NO;   Scheflin-NO;   Barden-YES.
Publications in the leading APA Journal in Personality Psychology?:
    Brown-NO;   Scheflin-NO;   Barden-YES.
Publications in the leading APA Journal in Law and Psychology?:
    Brown-NO;   Scheflin-NO;   Barden-YES.

and so on and so on and so on. These educational discrepancies were
apparent to jurors in the courtroom. Even more devastating,
plaintiff's experts (Loftus, McHugh, Ofshe, Grove, etc.) -- some of
the most important social/medical scientists in the world -- were
clearly understood and uniformly respected by juries while defense
experts -- under the harsh spotlight of science intensive cross
examination -- fared poorly indeed with judges and juries.
    Even this limited, truncated analysis should help to clarify why
so many verdicts and settlements in the millions of dollars were
obtained by science intensive litigation specialists suing "recovered
memory" therapists. Scheflin and Brown's lengthy diatribe about
"recanters" and "diagnoses" and "social influences" are simply
inaccurate and irrelevant misperceptions of these landmark cases. As
for the plaintiffs in these cases they are and remain heroes who
regained mental health and dignity by escaping the clutches of
reckless and abusive therapists. The fact that so many of these
"therapists" are no longer practicing at all demonstrates that
licensing boards, attorneys general and professional organizations
agreed with the analyses offered by plaintiffs, plaintiffs' attorneys,
and plaintiffs' experts.
    Clearly, one of most powerful and lasting societal lessons to be
learned from these cases is the essential need to use science-
intensive methods in complex litigation -- especially in family and
criminal law. Despite the overwhelming success of these science/law
team methods, too many attorneys remain mired in the "horse and buggy
days" -- in which even the most experienced JD-only attorneys fare
very poorly in attempts to cross examine even mediocre social science
and medical experts. As Professor Will Grove and I noted some time

  "..In the world of Daubert/Kumho analysis, a science-law team should
  be the minimal standard of legal practice, to help ensure that these
  complexities are properly addressed. We believe attorneys have an
  affirmative duty to consult with or defer to expert attorneys or
  scientists in the relevant fields. Improper loss of a Daubert/Kumho
  hearing may yield dire consequences for clients (e.g., loss of an
  important legal action, false imprisonment of an innocent client, or
  an innocent child's continued exposure to an abusive environment)
  and could even lead to a new area of legal malpractice claims. The
  demand for specialized education and knowledge created by Daubert,
  Kumho, and related decisions is likely to hasten the advent of the
  multidisciplinary team approach to science-intensive litigation."

The multidisciplinary litigation-education-regulation-prosecution-
legislation process that led to the precipitous decline of the
"recovered memory" and "dissociation" industries is an important
lesson in how scientists, families, legal professionals and others can
band together to stop widespread consumer frauds in the health care
industries. Future chapters in this continuing saga remain to be

[1] See the detailed critique of the work of these authors by Piper A
    Jr, Pope HG Jr, Borowiecki JJ. Custer's last stand: Brown,
    Scheflin, and Whitfield's latest attempt to salvage "dissociative
    amnesia." J Psychiatry Law 2000;28 Summer:149-213.
[2] To learn more about this history read Barden, R.C., Informed
    Consent in Psychotherapy: A Multidisciplinary Perspective, The
    Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, Vol 29,
    No. 2, pgs. 160-166, 2001.
[3] To better understand how this process appeared in open court read
    Cannell, J., Hudson, J.I., & Pope, H.G., Standards for Informed
    Consent in Recovered-Memory Therapy, J Am Academy Psychiatry and
    the Law 29: 138-47 2001.
[4] To learn more about this important process read Grove, W. M. and
    Barden, R.C. (2000) Protecting the Integrity of the Legal System :
    The Admissibility of Testimony from Mental Health Experts Under
    Daubert/Kumho Analyses, Psychology, Public Policy and Law, Vol 5,
    No. 1, 234-242.
[5] See, Grove and Barden, Psychology, Public Policy and Law, Vol 5,
    No. 1, 234-242.

  Christopher Barden, Ph.D. (U of Minnesota, U. of C. Berkeley, Palo
  Alto V.A./Stanford); J.D. (Harvard Law School); is a Licensed
  Attorney; Licensed Psychologist; and Science Consultant in private
  practice in Salt Lake City, Utah.

/                                                                    \
|                     The Ultimate "To-Do" List                      |
|                                                                    |
| The trio also kept meticulous to-do lists. One found in their      |
| kitchen included the following: "Call lawyers, study multiple      |
| personalities, go to dentist, get guns, get a divorce, declare     |
| bankruptcy."                                                       |
|                                                                    |
|   Kim Curtis, "Preliminary hearing for trio accused in five deaths |
|  expected to wrap up" The Associated Press State & Local Wire, |
|                                                 December 20, 2001, |

                              Allen Feld

March 2002 marks the completion of the FMSF's 10th year as a formal
organization. In 1992, a small group of professionals and falsely
accused parents believed an organization was necessary to correct a
serious societal problem. An early step was the formation of an
illustrious and prestigious Professional and Scientific Advisory Board
that included people with outstanding credentials and membership in
widely accepted professional organizations. The members of this board
showed great courage in their confrontation of a "politically correct"
position and in their willingness to be identified with families who
claimed they were falsely accused of incest.
    The FMSF decried the fact that the science of memory was ignored
or distorted by too many therapists, the popular media and the public
at large. It brought attention to the egregious harm suffered by many
families and sought to find avenues to avoid similar mistakes in the
future. The Foundation worked to address the seemingly gross
injustices experienced by parents within the courts and the return to
the rules of evidence. The founders of the FMSF recognized that the
self-policing mechanisms put into place by the voluntary professional
organizations and the state-created licensing boards were not working.
    (Lest anyone believe that this sad episode is over, as I got to
this point in a first draft, I learned that an 86-year-old woman who
had just been accused by her 57-year-old son had called the office.)
    Honoring the many people who have been so helpful to families
would be an impossible task. Additionally, specifying the role that
the Foundation played in the significant changes that occurred since
1992 is beyond my capability. I cannot even begin to objectively
measure what contributions FMSF has made to alleviate the problems
that were mushrooming at the time of its inception. However, the fact
that so many important improvements occurred during the Foundation's
existence does not warrant, in my opinion, a claim of "victory."
Indeed, I don't believe that the concept of victory, or even the term
is appropriate for a situation like FMS. It is obvious that the
problem still exists, although on a lesser scale than a decade ago.
    What follows are some important changes that have occurred during
the Foundation's existence. It is not intended to be a comprehensive
list and undoubtedly other observers would develop different lists.

  * As we enter 2002, there is now a vast and growing literature
  available to the public about memory, false memories, and false

  * Research concerning false memories and how they may be created is
  widely available.

  * There is virtual unanimity among the major professional
  organizations that external corroboration is required to establish
  the truth of a memory.

  * While it is hard to document, I suspect that fewer cases against
  parents may be entering the courts and I hear less about the kinds
  of threatening letters to parents from lawyers that were so common
  in the early days of the Foundation.

  * Although third-party lawsuits continue to be a difficult legal
  remedy for families to pursue, several parents have been successful
  in this relatively novel legal venture.

  * There have been many high profile and successful lawsuits against
  therapists by retractors. That fact may have contributed to what I
  believe is a decrease by therapists in using practices that may
  create false memories.

  * The number of retractors and returners continues to grow.

  * The number of calls from new families is currently a mere trickle
  of what it was in the first several years of the Foundation's

Obviously I believe that many positive changes have taken place since
1992, and I leave it to others to decide what role the Foundation
played in these changes. FMSF was wrestling with an international
problem and its constituents were widely dispersed. It relied heavily
on volunteers to augment its small paid staff, and it dedicated much
of its efforts to activities that might contribute to a change in the
environment. A climate change, it was believed, would reap several
benefits: significantly diminish legal actions against parents based
solely on uncorroborated new "memories"; pave the way for falsely
accused parents to work toward family reconciliation; help those
making false accusations to reexamine their newly-created beliefs; and
reduce future problems concerning false accusations against parents.
The Foundation's resources, structure, staff and efforts were far more
suited to work at those societal levels than with the intensive
face-to-face work required by the large number of individual families.
    On a more personal level, the Foundation provided services to
families and individuals by phone and by letter. Callers and writers
sought help in dealing with the initial shock of being falsely accused
and of losing a child. The Foundation also responded to a variety of
requests and questions from members, retractors, those questioning
their memories, professionals, researchers, the media, students and
the public at large. Other Foundation activities were dedicated to
public education, helping attorneys find resources to better represent
their clients in FMS issues, documenting what was happening in
families and in the legal system and preparing more than a dozen
amicus briefs.
    It is disappointing that many families do not have the
reunification for which they hoped. The Foundation grieves for those
parents who passed away before there was a retraction. We reluctantly
accept the probability that some families may never experience
reunification. The Foundation knows that important changes have
occurred, but fears the damage done may never be fully repaired for
far too many.
    As it completes its 10th year, the Foundation is grateful for
important changes that have taken place. The Foundation is pleased for
the many families that have reunited and we remain hopeful that many
more families will reach that status. The Foundation will continue to
focus its attention and efforts on activities that bring families back
together again.

/                                                                    \
|                 Memories Reflect Our Current Views                 |
|                                                                    |
| Jennifer Hoult, a musician, computer scientist and currently a law |
| student, won a lawsuit against her father in the early 90s. Ms     |
| Hoult recently appeared on a BBC radio program describing her      |
| flashbacks of abuse. Compare it with her from a decade ago. (BBC   |
| LiveFive 1/27/02)                                                  |
|                                                                    |
|                      FROM THE BBC PROGRAMME:                       |
|                                                                    |
| INTERVIEWER: She started having flashbacks of her father abusing   |
| her. At any point did the therapist suggest to you that you might  |
| have been abused?                                                  |
|                                                                    |
| HOULT: No                                                          |
|                                                                    |
| INTERVIEWER: It never came from her.                               |
|                                                                    |
| HOULT: No, not at all. She certainly never steered me in any       |
| direction towards sexual abuse. You know, I guess some people have |
| very fragmented flashbacks, but mine were really entire            |
| incidents. For me it was like completely re-experiencing what had  |
| happened.                                                          |
|                                                                    |
|                      FROM HER SWORN TESTIMONY                      |
|       U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts        |
|                      (Hoult v. Hoult, 1993).                       |
|                                                                    |
| Before October 1985, Jennifer testified, she didn't "know" that    |
| her father had ever put his penis in her vagina, or that he had    |
| put his penis in her mouth, or that he put his mouth on her vagina |
| (p. 290). She paid her therapist $19,329.59 (p. 155) to acquire    |
| that knowledge.                                                    |
|                                                                    |
| "Well, my memories came out . . . when I would sit and focus on my |
| feelings which I believe I call visualization exercises because I  |
| would try to visualize what I was feeling or be able to bring into |
| my eyes what I could see" (pp. 247-248).                           |
|                                                                    |
| "In Gestalt therapy, the sub-personalities are allowed to take     |
| over and converse with one another and hopefully resolve their     |
| conflicts. Each personality gets a different chair, and when one   |
| new one starts to speak, the individual changes into that          |
| personality's seat. It sounds weird, and it is. But it is also an  |
| amazing journey into one's self.  I've come to recognize untold    |
| universes within myself. It feels often very much like a cosmic    |
| battle when they are all warring with one another" (pp. 287-288;   |
| see also page 249).                                                |

                      L E G A L   U P D A T E S
                              FMSF Staff
                     Kidd vs Our Lady of the Lake
                     Case No. 400,881 c/w 414635
On February 1, 2002 after five days of trial, a Baton Rouge jury
awarded Frances Kidd $182,516 for harm done in 1992 when the then
16-year-old was a patient at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. Ms Kidd's
parents had taken her there because she suffered from anorexia and
depression. While in the hospital, Ms. Kidd, now 25 years old, came to
believe that her father had abused her and that it would be dangerous
for her to live with him. At 16 years old, she moved alone to Atlanta.
    Daniel Brown, Ph.D., the defense expert testified that Ms. Kidd
experienced no harm at the hospital but he failed to convince the
jury. The jury believed John Cannell, M.D., the expert for Ms Kidd,
who explained the history of false memories, mental health's
misadventure. The jury awarded Ms. Kidd $100,000 for past mental pain,
psychological injury and suffering; $32,516 for past medical expenses
and $50,000 for future medical care. Because the case was tried 9
years after the fact, fault for injuries during those 9 years was
apportioned between the hospital, Frances Kidd and others.
    Attorneys for Frances Kidd were Skip Simpson and Jerry Meek of
Simpson and Meek, P.C., in Dallas, TX and also Wade Webster, of
Middleburg Riddle and Gianna in New Orleans, LA.
    Attorney for the Patient Compensation Fund was George Cotton of
Lane & Cotton in Baton Rouge, LA.
                       Settlement in N Carolina
                          Trivette vs Coward
             Case No 00 CVS 542 Sup Ct Div Watauga, N Car
A confidential settlement has been reached in the case of Trivette v
Coward. According to the complaint, Robin Trivette had sought
counseling with psychologist Lynn Coward in July 1996 after the death
of her grandfather whom she always knew had abused her. Very early in
his treatment, Coward recommended that his patient read The Courage to
Heal. Trivette's symptoms grew worse and she was diagnosed as
suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder.
    Prior to her care with Coward, there had never been a hint of
alters. After reading The Courage to Heal and being under the
influence of powerful prescribed drugs, she started referring to
herself with different names. Coward recommended that she receive
inpatient treatment at Sheppard Pratt Hospital in Baltimore. When
Trivette questioned her diagnosis Coward recharacterized this
suspicion as denial which, he suggested, was itself a symptom of the
disorder. During the course of treatment, the patient was hospitalized
several times for depression and suicidality at other hospitals. In
October 1999, Coward abruptly terminated his treatment. No details of
the settlement are available.
    Attorney for the plaintiff was Skip Simpson of Dallas,
Texas. Attorneys for the defendant were Alan Duncan and Lisa Garrison
of Smith, Helms, Mullis & Moore in Greensboro, NC.

/                                                                    \
|                   Parents Against Cruel Therapy                    |
|   To receive the free monthly newsletter for FMS parents and       |
|   retractors, anywhere, call 217-359-6667 or email    |
|                            David Hunter                            |

                       THE TEACHER'S NIGHTMARE
                          Michael Gallagher

The doorbell rang that cold December day in 1997 and my life changed
forever. Two detectives from the local police department asked if I
was Michael Gallagher. They stated that a complaint had been filed
against me. I was asked to go with them to the station. I asked if I
needed a lawyer and they said, "No" which was their first lie. Without
an attorney and with full trust in law enforcement I went with
them. At the police station they told me that a student I had taught
twelve years ago said that I had sexually molested her back then at
least twenty times. This female stated that I had raped her in my
fifth grade classroom, in my car, and in an unidentified apartment in
our county. Flabbergasted, I denied everything. I was asked to take a
polygraph and to permit the detectives to search our house for
pornographic pictures of her. I agreed to both. Of course, they found
nothing in my house and I passed the polygraph test.
    That evening I hired a lawyer. A month later the police abused my
trust in them from that December day and arrested me. They turned
around what I had honestly told them and created an Affidavit of
Probable Cause which falsely showed that I might be guilty. The
so-called polygraph operator contacted the district Attorney's Office
and said that I had not passed the lie detector test. It is
interesting to note that in later months the township police
department conveniently "lost" the test.
    I was then lead, in handcuffs, to the district Judge while all the
television news stations in the Delaware Valley recorded my entrance.
Humiliated, I still held my head high because I knew I was innocent.
The judge, whom I knew, bound me over for trial even though there were
no witnesses nor any evidence to this young woman's charge.
    The police were hoping that, with my picture being shown on
television, other former students would come forward against me and
their work would be done. No one ever did. Frustrated, the authorities
then began their investigation, questioning all the former students
from that class and others from recent classes that I had taught. All
related that I had never touched them nor had they ever seen me alone
with my accuser. The next day after my arrest, I was suspended without
pay by my school district. I thought, "How will I ever survive? How
will my family live?" Without even a trial, my school district had
decided I was guilty by their cruel action. They wanted no contact
with me although I had served as an outstanding teacher for
twenty-five years in the township's elementary schools. My union
president, however, went to our local, and to the state and national
conventions in order to raise money for me so I could live. My sisters
loaned me money so I could afford my lawyer. A school volunteer who
was also a friend gave me $10,000 and when I went to write a
promissory note he told me that was not a loan. I received money,
hundreds of cards and letters and phone calls from all my friends and
fellow teachers. Without the help of all those good people I don't
know how I would have survived.
    Winter turned into spring, and spring into summer, but nothing was
happening. I began to feel lonely and depressed. In the fall of the
year the prosecutor decided, at my attorney's urging, to call in this
female again for further questioning. Her story, told so believably
according to them last year, now fell apart. She had dropped some
details and added new ones. Deciding to polygraph her, the prosecutor
found that she was lying about the whole accusation. She had claimed
to remember everything about these "rapes" since she was in my class
in 1985. I, however, was in possession of an anonymous letter which we
had determined she had written to my superintendent in 1993. In that
letter she claimed that she had just recovered repressed memories of
my assaults on her. My attorney was going to spring this letter at
trial to show the jury just what a liar she was.
    On October 22, 1998, I was exonerated and a press conference was
held. This time the media showed me in a more positive light. I was
the top story that evening on the local news and my story aired on
Dateline NBC that December. The school district reimbursed me all my
back pay and I took a medical leave for the rest of the school year.
    In June of 1999 I retired and have been active ever since trying
to get a bill passed by the state legislature that would make false
accusations of serious crimes into felony offenses.
    I have been speaking to student teachers at local colleges about
my story and how best they can protect themselves from false
accusations. I used to think such allegations against teachers were
rare but now I know differently. After my story ran in the NEA Today,
the official newspaper of the National Education Association, many
teachers throughout the country contacted me. They had their own
stories to tell me about their false accusations. Some, in fact, were
still going through this nightmare. Larry, a fourth grade teacher in
Monroeville, PA said that he had been accused of improper touching by
three female students. He was presently suspended without pay and
awaiting trial. His first trial ended in a hung jury but in his second
trial, four months later, the jury very quickly found him innocent of
all charges.
    Jan, a teacher in Colorado, e-mailed me a story of how she was
falsely accused of witchcraft and demonology for doing relaxation
techniques to help students learn math facts. A man named Jack from
Massachusetts had alleged charges of sexual abuse filed against him by
the Department of Social Services, charges that to this day are still
pending although he was completely exonerated by the grand jury.
    Last year a false accusation was reported on national television
that concerned a Maryland physical education teacher and seven
students from a sixth grade class. After he was falsely accused of
sexual misconduct, the students recanted their story saying that they
did it because they didn't like him. And just recently in Bucks County
in my home state of Pennsylvania, a teacher in the Pennridge School
District was completely exonerated of sexual wrong-doing by a jury
after three of his social studies students brought charges against
him. Incredibly, the superintendent refuses to give him back his
teaching position because he doesn't believe the jury and still thinks
this teacher guilty. I have in my possession twenty-four e-mails from
teachers as a result of that NEA story. Of that total, thirteen are
from teachers who have been falsely accused of sexual molestation. And
I believe there are many, many more cases that just don't make the
news. The president of the Maryland State Teachers Association is
quoted as saying that a few years ago they received one or two calls a
week from teachers saying a student was making a false claim against
them. He now states that they get one or two calls a day.
    Many teachers today, as a result of cases like mine, are wary of
students. They keep their doors open when teaching and will not be
alone with a child. I tell the student teachers that I address, to not
answer any serious false allegation without a union representative or
an attorney present. What a shame that teachers are fearful of giving
a lonely child a hug or a struggling student a pat on the back! But
the reality is that we are all faced with a litigious society and
teachers are extremely vulnerable because of their dealings with not
only children but with their parents.
    Sometimes I am asked how I ever got through my false accusation
without a physical or mental problem. I tell them it is because of
three supports: my faith, my family and my friends.
    I am now left with a negative opinion of our law enforcement
agencies. When I was young I was taught that the police were our
friend and I believed that until 1998. My trust was used against me in
order for a few members of the police and district attorney's office
to enhance their careers instead of trying to find the truth. It is
unfortunate that these officials did not investigate my accuser before
arresting me. Just how many innocent teachers and other citizens are
hurt by their vicious methods we will never know. I pray every day for
all the falsely accused.

/                                                                    \
|       In the newly published NEW OXFORD AMERICAN DICTIONARY        |
|                                                                    |
| FALSE MEMORY, n., Psychology, an apparent recollection of an event |
| that did not actually occur, esp. one of childhood sexual abuse    |
| arising from suggestions during psychotherapy. [as adj.] FALSE     |
| MEMORY SYNDROME                                                    |
|                                                                    |
|       And on  OED ONLINE, NEW EDITION, draft entry Dec 2001        |
|                                                                    |
| FALSE MEMORY, n. The reporting as a memory of an event that did    |
| not occur; (now spec.) the apparent recollection, esp. during      |
| psychotherapy or psychoanalysis, of childhood sexual abuse (esp.   |
| in FALSE MEMORY SYNDROME). Also as a count noun: an instance of    |
| this; a supposed memory of something which has not occurred.       |
| Cf. recovered memory s.v. RECOVERED ppl. a. Most examples of false |
| memory in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, then considered  |
| to be a form of paramnesia, would now be regarded as delusion or   |
| confabulation.                                                     |
|                                                                    |
| 1876 _Mind_ 1 554 It was an exaggerated form of the common         |
| consciousness of previous action identical with that being         |
| performed, which was described by Jansen &c., as Double-       |
| Consciousness, and by Sander as False Memory                       |
| (Erinnerungtduschungen).                                           |
|                                                                    |
| 1894 _Philos. Rev._ 3 361 False memory is a total illusion, which  |
| reasoning cannot destroy.                                          |
|                                                                    |
| 1914 _Jrnl. Abnormal Psychol._ 8 411 Many alleged cases of such    |
| false memory center about ideas which are abhorrent to the         |
| ordinary introspective consciousness, for all repressed complexes  |
| are ipso facto thus abhorrent.                                     |
|                                                                    |
| 1948 _Mind_ 57 81 An extravagant scepticism might even suggest     |
| that we might all have been created with ready-made false memory   |
| images of a past which never existed.                              |
|                                                                    |
| 1987 _Brit. Jrnl. Exper. & Clin. Hypnosis_ 4 101, 31 students  |
| viewed a videotape of a simulated bank robbery and were exposed to |
| false memory suggestions under hypnosis.                           |
|                                                                    |
| 1993 _N.Y. Rev. Bks._ 18 Nov. 66/1 By virtue of his   |
| get his patients to 'recall' nonexistent sexual events, Freud is   |
| the true historical sponsor of 'false memory syndrome'.            |
|                                                                    |
| 1997 _Daily Tel._ 25 Mar. 6/2 The report..hopes that the number of |
| practitioners who create false memory in patients is very low.     |
|                                                                    |
| on the "etymology" button yields: < FALSE a. + MEMORY n.;    |
| in quot. 1876 translating German Erinnerungstduschung (W. Sander   |
| 1874 in Arch. f. Psychiatrie 11 244);cf. also German               |
| Erinnerungsfalschung (E. Kraepelin 1886 in Arch. f. Psychiatrie u. |
| Nervenkrankheiten 17 830).                                         |

                   F R O M   O U R   R E A D E R S
                            Christmas 2001
                            Jaye D. Bartha
This holiday season was one of unexpected delights.
    The most treasured gift I received was the sound of my parents
laughter heard through telephone wires 1700 miles away on Christmas
morning. They giggled as they opened the treasures I mailed them a
week earlier, and were bursting with joy that I had begun a new phase
in my life ? one that promised stability and prosperity after years of
recuperating from repressed memory therapy.
    Three days after Christmas I realized the most precious gift I
gave was the letter I spent several hours crafting to someone I'd
never met. The recipient of my letter was the adult daughter of dear
friends. Their daughter is entrenched in repressed memories which have
her believing her parents are monsters ? not the caring people I've
known for 10 years. I wrote with hopes of shedding light into her dark
corner, a corner well known to me because I spent many Christmas
holidays there too. I can only press on regardless.... And hope.

                 Steps in the Reconciliation Process
My daughter found it necessary to "save face." She partially let us
off the hook when she attended my mother's memorial service in May
2000. She asked me to go for a walk with her upon return to our hotel
after a family supper that was after the service and a reception.
Unfortunately, I was too tired to cope with a late evening walk after
such a day. I asked her if she'd like to have her dad walk with
her. To my surprise she said yes. They were gone for a long time. Her
dad reported that she had more or less said she didn't think he'd
molested her, but quickly noted that someone did and we should have
protected her from that. (Would that parents could protect their kids
from all harm.) For some time after that she was wavering back and
forth. Any comment she didn't like in an email or letter was met with
    For many months she still would not visit us (she insisted on having her
own room at the hotel for the funeral). When she came to our city to
attend her best high school friend's wedding, she would not stay with
us, although she did come to visit us briefly and walk though the new
home we had bought in her absence.
    All that has changed since then. She is now much less apt to
respond to things with fury, will stay with us, is quite loving and
cheerful during visits and in phone conversations.
    I believe she still clings to some of the RMT
teachings. Occasionally, however, she will make a comment about how
apt people are to blame their parents for everything, when what they
need is to get their own life together and stop the blame game. So, I
think she is questioning some of the ideas so firmly in place several
years ago. She doesn't want to discuss the matter of her therapy or
beliefs. I don't know if that will ever become a possibility. I'd like
to know more about how she got into this stuff and how she began to
question her parents' being to blame, but if she can't do that -- I
can live with it. It is such a joy to have her back.
                                                                 A Mom
                        What Got Her Thinking?
After several years, the right opportunity came to ask my daughter
what got her thinking she might have made a mistake in her
accusations. She replied that in the first place, after several years
of counseling and several different counselors, she didn't like the
path the last one was taking her down, i.e., trying to find multiple
    But the real breakthrough in her thinking came when she started
attending Al-anon meetings to help her deal with an alcoholic husband.
There, she said, nobody gave advice except to tell you it doesn't
matter what all has been done to you, or what your situation is. Your
job is not to find whom to blame, but to decide what you can do about
what is happening around you. She said the emphasis on personal
responsibility and taking charge of your own attitudes and actions was
what brought her around to seeing that blaming us was not helpful for
her own healing.
    It was later that she began wondering whether she even had
anything to blame us for, in light of the fact that neither her sister
not her brother would believe her.
                                                                 A Mom
                      No Longer an FMS Statistic
My daughter became an FMS statistic eleven years ago. She sought
therapy when she was in the process of divorce and also pregnant. Her
therapist, a medical doctor, diagnosed her as MPD caused by
intergenerational satanic ritual abuse and sexual abuse. She
immediately divorced herself from all her family, tried to commit
suicide, and began years of unsuccessful therapy. She is considered
disabled, on SSI, and has had a difficult eleven years trying to
support herself and her two children without help from family.
    My family and I tried to reconcile with her and even contacted
Paul Simpson for help -- all to no avail. About four years ago,
however, in the middle of the night, for the first time, my daughter
called and talked to me for two hours about her health and other
superficial things. She never called again. Two years ago, I moved to
a city that is only two hours from where she lives. I wrote her a nice
letter informing her where I was now living and suggested that we work
with a mediator to try and work things out. Her reply was short and
curt. She asked me never to try to contact her or her children again
and if I did she would get a restraining order against me. I took her
at her word until this holiday season.
    Her sister and elderly grandmother planned to visit me during the
holidays so I wrote a note to my daughter and asked her and her
children to come for dinner and visit with us, knowing full well that
she might possibly throw my letter in the trash. To my surprise, I
received a very nice note from her inviting us to come to her city
instead. She wanted us to tour the school her children are attending
and also to go to their musical recital followed by dinner. I
responded saying that we would love to come. As it turned out, the
grandmother was unable to come. I was afraid that she might be the
only reason my daughter was willing to see us. I wrote her the news
but she responded that she would be expecting the two of us, her
sister and me. As you can imagine, when the big day arrived, I was
somewhat anxious. Not nearly as much as I might have been years
earlier, however. The good thing about time passing is that it is
healing or maybe numbing.
    When we met, we hugged and exchanged niceties. I had not seen my
grandchildren since they were very small. I felt somewhat awkward
about meeting them. When they got out of the car, I reached and hugged
them and they hugged me back. After that, I knew I would be able to
handle the rest of the visit. Nothing was said about the past or about
the future. She did not inquire about her family and revealed little
about herself. All in all, the visit went very well. At the end of the
day when my daughter and I were leaving to go home, there was no
mention of seeing one another again. I thought at the time, I might
not see her again for another eleven years. I did feel elated having
seen my two grandchildren, knowing that a door had been opened to
future interactions at some later date. I returned home feeling okay
but still somewhat puzzled over the visit.
    It was Christmas week and I had given everyone gifts so I was
hoping I would receive a thank you note. After a week passed, I wrote
to my daughter and told her how much I had enjoyed seeing her and that
I hoped we could get together again. Another week passed so I assumed
I would not hear from her again. However, this week I received a phone
call from her. She said that she had called so the children could
thank me for their Christmas gifts. Again I was so surprised. We
talked about an hour and then she said, "Mom, you mentioned that you
wanted to get together again." We then made plans to get together for
lunch in my city. This will be the first time that I will be alone
with her. I have no idea how long this will last or why she agreed to
see me. I do know that she is still seeing her original doctor twice a
week and most likely would not have anything to do with me without his
approval. Since I filed a complaint against him, I am certain he does
not feel kindly toward me.
    In every issue of the Newsletter, I read the stories of other
parents who have had some contact from their child and I always say to
myself that it would never happen to me. Something has happened for
which I am very thankful. I know I must handle every encounter very
carefully and it is hard, but not nearly as hard as not having my
daughter and grandchildren.
    I will keep you informed of the progress.
                                                                 A Mom
      /                                                        \
      |                  FMS THERAPY PROFILE                   |
      |                                                        |
      |  Before Therapy      After 4 Years of Therapy          |
      |  --------------      ------------------------          |
      |  Happily married     Divorce Proceeding                |
      |  1 child             Child-custody battle              |
      |                                                        |
      |  Loving, caring,     No contact with monther, family.  |
      |  supportative        Occasional contact with brothers  |
      |  family              (walking on eggs)                 |
      |                                                        |
      |  Practicing          Unable to work                    |
      |  attorney            Future bleak                      |
      |  bright future       No husband                        |
      |                      No child                          |
      |                      No family for support             |
      |                      No job                            |
      |                      No money                          |
      |                                             A Mom      |

                    ONE FAMILY'S JOURNEY - PART 2
                   Follow up and a memorial service
The beginning of this story appeared in the November/December 2001
Vol. 10 No. 6 FMSF Newsletter - "It's hard to know where to begin. A
couple of months ago, we were in shock to receive a letter from our
34-year-old son who, after l8 years, was reaching out for contact."
    Our son was driven to reach out to us because his younger sister
was diagnosed with an aggressive life threatening cancer. For six
months, my daughter struggled for her life and in the end, refused to
have any contact with us.
    Our son tried to bridge the 18-year gap for my daughter,
encouraging her to open-up to our love and support and let us make
contact with her. She would not or could not let go of a hatred that
festered from the rewritten and false history that her mother and
therapists helped her to cast in cement many years ago. My son was
torn, and conflicted about all of this.
    In the end she forgave him for re-establishing his family ties
with us but kept him to a promise not to reveal her whereabouts. She
wanted to die with- out having to endure the psychological and
emotional anguish she thought such a meeting would be for her.
    I received a grief-stricken phone call from my son early December
2001. We did not get to see her or say goodbye.
    The maternal side of the family did not want their stepmother and
me to attend the memorial service. My son felt angry with this and
took a leadership role informing them that not only would his father
and stepmother be present, but also some of his extended paternal
family. None of my family had made contact with or said goodbye to my
    My wife and I attended the reception after the service and stayed
close to our son, his wife and our grand children. It was difficult to
say the least, but I feel that in my heart I had to do this. After
all, for my family and me, this is as much closure as we can get, not
seeing her before she passed away. I do not have the words to convey
what it was like delivering a eulogy and leaving with the sorrow of
not seeing her before she passed away. This is the close of a chapter
in a book that I thought ended a long time ago.

/                                                                    \
|                       FROM RUMOR TO REASON:                        |
|                                                                    |
|                 Accusations of Child Sexual Abuse:                 |
|        Current Scientific, Legal, and Cultural Perspectives        |
|                                                                    |
|         A One-day Conference for Psychologists, Attorneys,         |
|           Social Workers, and Law Enforcement Personnel            |
|                                                                    |
|                           APRIL 13, 2002                           |
|       McConomy Hall, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh        |
|            Sponsored by Center for Applied Psychology,             |
|          Indiana University of PA CMU and Education Plus+          |
|                                                                    |
|                          MARK PENDERGRAST                          |
|                    Memory Creation and Science                     |
|                                                                    |
|                     TERENCE W. CAMPBELL, Ph.D.                     |
|        Children, Suggestibility and Autobiographical Memory        |
|                                                                    |
|                       JACK QUATTROCCHI, Esq.                       |
|             The Roles of the Legal System and Experts              |
|                                                                    |
|       Students and interested non-professionals are welcome.       |
|                                                                    |
|                        FOR MORE INFORMATION                        |
|       Kathy Begert, 1134 Rathburn Road, Wooster, OH  44691,        |
|          phone: 330-263-7798. E-mail:           |

                F M S    B U L L E T I N    B O A R D

Contacts & Meetings:

  See Georgia
  Kathleen 907-333-5248
        Pat 480-396-9420
  Little Rock
        Al & Lela 870-363-4368
        Joanne & Gerald 916-933-3655
        Jocelyn 530-873-0919
  San Francisco & North Bay - (bi-MO)
        Gideon 415-389-0254 or
        Charles 415-984-6626 (am); 415-435-9618 (pm)
  San Francisco & South Bay
        Eric 408-245-4493
  East Bay Area - (bi-MO)
        Judy 925-376-8221
  Central Coast
        Carole 805-967-8058
  Palm Desert
        Eileen and Jerry 909-659-9636
  Central Orange County - 1st Fri. (MO) @ 7pm
        Chris & Alan 714-733-2925
  Covina Area - 1st Mon. (MO) @7:30pm
        Floyd & Libby 626-330-2321
  San Diego Area 
        Dee 760-439-4630
  Colorado Springs
        Doris 719-488-9738
  S. New England
        Earl 203-329-8365 or
        Paul 203-458-9173
        Madeline 954-966-4FMS
  Central Florida - Please call for mtg. time
        John & Nancy 352-750-5446
        Francis & Sally 941-342-8310
  Tampa Bay Area
        Bob & Janet 813-856-7091
        Wallie & Jill 770-971-8917
  Carolyn 808-261-5716
  Chicago & Suburbs - 1st Sun. (MO)
        Eileen 847-985-7693 or
        Liz & Roger 847-827-1056
        Bryant & Lynn 309-674-2767
  Indiana Assn. for Responsible Mental Health Practices
        Pat 219-489-9987
        Helen 574-753-2779
  Des Moines - 1st Sat. (MO) @11:30 am Lunch
        Betty & Gayle 515-270-6976
  Wichita - Meeting as called
        Pat 785-738-4840
  Louisville- Last Sun. (MO) @ 2pm
        Bob 502-367-1838
        Carolyn 207-942-8473
  Protland - 4th Sun.(MO)
        Wally & Boby 207-878-9812
   Andover - 2nd Sun. (MO) @ 1pm
        Frank 978-263-9795
  Grand Rapids Area-Jenison - 1st Mon. (MO)
        Bill & Marge 616-383-0382
  Greater Detroit Area
        Nancy 248-642-8077
  Ann Arbor
        Martha 734-439-4055
        Terry & Collette 507-642-3630
        Dan & Joan 651-631-2247
  Kansas City  -  Meeting as called
        Pat 785-738-4840
  St. Louis Area  -  call for meeting time
        Karen 314-432-8789
  Springfield - 4th Sat. Apr,Jul,Oct @12:30pm
        Tom 417-753-4878
        Roxie 417-781-2058
  Lee & Avone 406-443-3189
  Mark 802-872-8439
        Sally 609-927-5343
        Nancy 973-729-1433 
  Albuquerque  -2nd Sat. (bi-MO) @1 pm
  Southwest Room - Presbyterian Hospital
        Maggie 505-662-7521 (after 6:30 pm)
        Sy 505-758-0726
        Michael 212-481-6655
  Westchester, Rockland, etc.
        Barbara 914-761-3627
  Upstate/Albany Area
        Elaine 518-399-5749
  Susan 704-538-7202
        Bob 513-541-0816 or 513-541-5272
        Bob & Carole 440-356-4544
  Oklahoma City
        Dee 405-942-0531
        Jim 918-297-7719
  Portland area
        Kathy 503-557-7118
        Paul & Betty 717-691-7660
        Rick & Renee 412-563-5509
        John 717-278-2040
  Wayne (includes S. NJ) - 2nd Sat. (MO)
        Jim & Jo 610-783-0396
  Nashville - Wed. (MO) @1pm
        Kate 615-665-1160
        Jo or Beverly 713-464-8970
   El Paso
        Mary Lou 915-591-0271
        Keith 801-467-0669
        Mark 802-872-8439
        Sue 703-273-2343
        Katie & Leo 414-476-0285 or
        Susanne & John 608-427-3686

  Vancouver & Mainland 
        Ruth 604-925-1539
  Victoria & Vancouver Island - 3rd Tues. (MO) @7:30pm
        John 250-721-3219
        Roma 240-275-5723
  London -2nd Sun (bi-MO)
        Adriaan 519-471-6338
        Eileen 613-836-3294
        Ethel 705-924-2546
        Ken & Marina 905-637-6030
        Paula 705-543-0318
  St. Andre Est.
        Mavis 450-537-8187
  Roger: Phone & Fax 352-897-9282
  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
        Madeline (44) 1225 868-682
           Deadline for the May/June Newsletter is April 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,         March 1, 2002

AARON T. BECK, M.D., D.M.S., U of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA;
TERENCE W. CAMPBELL, Ph.D., Clinical and Forensic Psychology, 
    Sterling Heights, MI;
ROSALIND CARTWRIGHT, Ph.D., Rush Presbyterian St. Luke's Medical
    Center, Chicago, IL;
JEAN CHAPMAN, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI;
LOREN CHAPMAN, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI;
FREDERICK C. CREWS, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, CA;
ROBYN M. DAWES, Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA;
DAVID F. DINGES, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA;
HENRY C. ELLIS, Ph.D., University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM;
FRED H. FRANKEL, MBChB, DPM, Harvard University Medical School;
GEORGE K. GANAWAY, M.D., Emory University of Medicine, Atlanta, GA;
MARTIN GARDNER, Author, Hendersonville, NC;
ROCHEL GELMAN, Ph.D., Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ;
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., (deceased) Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA;
JOHN HOCHMAN, M.D., UCLA Medical School, Los Angeles, CA;
DAVID S. HOLMES, Ph.D., University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS;
PHILIP S. HOLZMAN, Ph.D., Harvard University, Cambridge, MA;
ROBERT A. KARLIN, Ph.D. , Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ;
HAROLD LIEF, M.D., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA;
ELIZABETH LOFTUS, Ph.D., University of Washington, Seattle, WA;
SUSAN L. McELROY, M.D., University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH;
PAUL McHUGH, M.D., Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD;
HAROLD MERSKEY, D.M., University of Western Ontario, London, Canada;
ULRIC NEISSER, Ph.D., Cornell University, Ithaca, NY;
RICHARD OFSHE, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, CA;
EMILY CAROTA ORNE, B.A., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA;
MARTIN ORNE, M.D., Ph.D., (deceased) U of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
LOREN PANKRATZ, Ph.D., Oregon Health Sciences Univ., 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 California, Santa Cruz, CA;
THOMAS A. SEBEOK, Ph.D., (deceased) U of Indiana, 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 Ctr, Piscataway, NJ;
JEFFREY VICTOR, Ph.D., Jamestown Community College, Jamestown, NY;
HOLLIDA WAKEFIELD, M.A., Institute of Psychological Therapies,
    Northfield, MN;
CHARLES A. WEAVER, III, Ph.D. Baylor University, Waco, TX

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