FMSF NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE - November/December 2003 - Vol. 12, No. 6, 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)
November/December 2003, Vol. 12 No 6
ISSN #1069-0484.           Copyright (c) 2003  by  the  FMS Foundation
        The FMSF Newsletter is published 6 times a year by  the
        False  Memory  Syndrome  Foundation.  The newsletter is 
        mailed to anyone  who contributes at least $30.00. Also
              available at no cost on
           1955 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-5766
                 Phone 215-940-1040, Fax 215-940-1042
      Pendergrast                     The next issue will be 
        Legal Corner                   January/February 2004
          From Our Readers 
            Bulletin Board

Dear Friends,

The end of another year is creeping up, eager to startle us with its
speed. But we are ready. For the past few months, we have been
immersed once again in the the early 1990s as we transfer videotapes
of that period to DVDs for the FMSF archives. When we take a break and
look around us, however, we can see how much has changed in the
recovered memory arena in the past decade. If time has moved fast, so
has increased understanding of memory, false memory and false

You, the readers of this newsletter, are responsible for that change.
Your willingness to speak out about your situations (if you are a
family member) and your willingness to speak out about the research
(if you are a professional) are what was needed. If families had not
been willing to put themselves in the limelight, then scholars would
not have known about the problem.

  "One reason the whole study of false memories is so popular are
  these horrific cases coming out of some false-memory therapy."
                                    FMSF Advisor Henry Roediger [1]

For many fortunate families the FMS tragedy is over as their children
reconnect. It is easy to read letters from these families and feel
their relief and joy. This issue contains a letter from one such
family in which their daughter provides an especially clear
explanation of how someone could come to believe in horrors that never

For other families, unfortunately, the loss continues. Some still hope
-- others are resigned. Following is a letter from a resigned family:

Although our daughter has not reconciled with us, and will not even
allow her brother to tell us anything about her present situation, we
deeply appreciate the psychological effect the Foundation has made on
our lives. We have been able to accept the permanence of our loss,
while feeling gratitude that hundreds of would-be victims will be
spared the trauma we have lived with for two decades. All because of
the Foundation's work. My wife has never read any newsletter articles
because of the pain, but even though every word is not read, the
knowledge that the Foundation is there for us is worth far more than
we can afford to donate.

This father's letter is to all of you, the members of the community
that formed to cope with a dangerous misdirection. The "thanks" belong
to you. Your caring and understanding have been vital to families
whose tragedy goes on. This letter also speaks to the consequences of
the Foundation's work beyond helping individual families to the
broader effort of stopping the problem.

Your ongoing financial support makes it possible for the Foundation to
engage in efforts to stop the FMS problem and to create the newsletter
that keeps readers informed about events and allows families a forum
in which to share thoughts. Thank you for your generous response to
the current fund drive.

The Foundation has only one financial appeal each year and does so at
the same time as it updates the newsletter mailing list. In that way,
we keep fund-raising expenses to only one percent of the Foundation
budget. But it also means that if we do not hear from you, you will
automatically be dropped from the newsletter mailing list.

Much of the Foundation work these days is behind the media spotlight
and involves trying to correct misinformation about memory in books
and on the web, one of the lingering effects of the FMS phenomenon.
For example, in September a member sent us some pages from the website
of a prestigious publisher that listed "uncovering memories" as one of
the uses of hypnosis. A brief letter to the editors resulted in an
almost immediate correction.

An FMSF member who is a physician came across a medical book that
suggested assigning readings from The Courage to Heal. His letter to
Wiley & Sons brought "an immediate phone call thanking me for the
note," and saying that they would make "appropriate modifications in
any ensuing editions of the publication."

In response to the Status of Women report that was described in the
July/August 2003 issue, a contingent of Canadians submitted a brief to
and met with the Honourable Jean Augustine, Secretary of State on the
Status of Women. Although the offensive blacklisting of the FMSF and
the AFMA will not be removed from the web site, the group was invited
to submit a research proposal to address the topic. The Canadian group
has been meeting with prominent academics to discuss possible

Continued monitoring of published material is a job for us all. In
general, these efforts are usually well-received and they are an
important way in which to address lingering FMS effects. Letters to
authors and publishers can be powerful tools.

Several items in this issue of the newsletter take us back to the
early 1990s when belief in satanic ritual-abuse cults ran amok. With
the exception of some small groups of people who still cling to their
ritual abuse victimhood, most of the media and general public now
dismiss SRA -- a huge change in opinion. Paul Quinnett's article on
page 3 provides an inside look at a mental health service during the
heyday of the belief in SRA.

Attitudes about multiple personality disorder have been slower to
change, but the descriptions of three cases in the legal section give
evidence that therapists who diagnose and pursue treatment for this
condition do so at their own risk. These articles point even more
strongly to the failure of the boards that are supposed to monitor
professionals and to protect the public. That is a problem far broader
than the FMS problem, but the legal actions taken by FMSF families and
retractors have done an enormous amount both to hold some
professionals accountable for their actions and to inform the public
of the situation.

We are delighted to report this month that it seems highly likely that
Gerald Amirault will be out of prison by April, 2004 in time for the
wedding of one of his daughters. We also report the case of Richard
Klassen in Saskatchewan. In a David and Goliath like story, Klassen
has been trying to hold accountable those who destroyed his family and
life when they accused him of child molestation and satanic
ritual-abuse in the early 1990s.

We think you will find the letters from families particularly
interesting this month. For a smile, check out the checklist on page 9
to see if you have perhaps been abducted by aliens but didn't know it.

Again, we thank you for your ongoing support, and we send best wishes
for the upcoming holiday season.

[1] Henry Roediger quoted in Almas, E. (2003) Oct 24) Psychology
    expert discusses false memory. Duke University Chronicle News.

/                                                                    \
|                      We Want to Hear From You                      |
|                                                                    |
| We rely on our readers to keep us abreast of local news and events |
| relevant to the FMSF, so please take a moment to send us items of  |
| interest in your local media.                                      |
|                                                                    |
| Newsletter readers tell us how much they value the letters from    |
| other readers. If you have a comment about an article, about your  |
| own situation or about other FMSF-related topics we would like to  |
| hear from you.                                                     |

        |                   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              |

                         CONTAGION CONTROLLED
                         Paul Quinnett, Ph.D.

In the early 1990s we had an outbreak of Multiple Personality
Disorders coming into our outpatient service reporting weird goings
on: satanic cult activity, ritual sex orgies, eye-witness accounts of
outlaw priests butchering babies in the foothills above Spokane. One
patient reported she would rather kill herself than be kidnapped,
tortured and raped again.

As the director of the service I was sorely tested by these reports
and what, if anything, I should do about them. Riding to the rescue,
some of the therapists wanted to use hypnosis (not allowed by me or
the other clinical directors), age regression (ditto), and EMDR
(ditto) to deal with these complaints. Not unexpectedly, these
therapists were the same ones who'd made the original diagnoses and
defended them in clinical staff meetings.

In spite of my instructions, some of these therapies were employed.
Many of the patients were reported to be suicidal and, in my view,
were being made worse by my therapists' relentless pursuit of the
bizarre and unbelievable. The weekly patient-reported stories repeated
in meetings and in the staff lounge were absolutely spell-binding, and
any day I was expecting to hear that a patient's head had rotated a
complete 360 degrees.

A born skeptic, I challenged my staff (including a senior
psychiatrist) to produce "hard evidence" of any of these patients'
claims of abduction, abuse, infanticide, etc. etc. etc. One patient
report claimed her parents had died in a double homicide on a certain
date in a certain city. I asked the therapist to call the city library
research department and have them confirm the double murders, as I was
sure such a tragedy had made the papers.

No evidence was produced and, somehow, the patient may have gotten the
date wrong. The hysteria continued unabated. I feared for the safety
of some of the patients, and even some of the staff, since patients
were being abducted not two blocks from our clinic in broad daylight.
Halloween was approaching and I was assured that a half dozen infants
were scheduled for destruction. So, a practical guy, I called the
Chief of Police (a friend) and asked if he had any reports about all
these goings on: kidnappings? children gone missing? Satan on the
loose?  "Nope," was his reply.

With All Hallows Eve upon us, and with approvals in place, I hired an
ex-cop private investigator to set up surveillance and video taping
cameras at the precise locations where I was assured someone would be
kidnapped and taken into the hills to be raped and ritually mutilated
by "certain persons in the Catholic church and police department."

As predicted, on the Monday morning after Halloween the staff told me
of all the awful things that had happened to their patients on
Halloween night, how a child had been sacrificed, etc. I called them
all together and explained that I had been so concerned that I'd hired
a private investigator to try to catch the felons on tape. I then made
them watch more than an hour of video tape showing the "victims"
entering their apartments and spending what appeared for all the world
to be a quiet evening at home. None of the victims had visitors or
even left their homes until Sunday. The tape was signed and witnessed.
My "true believers" were not particularly pleased with my efforts to
be of assistance.

Did this intervention make a difference?

Not much. I was able to rehabilitate one therapist, but had to fire
the two who said the tape had "obviously been altered" by (of course)
"those involved in the conspiracy."

I interpreted this to mean that I, too, was in it up to my eyeballs.
After all, I'd hired a private investigator named Murphy, who used to
be an ex-cop, who worked for the police department, who was Irish
Catholic, and so on. I asked them if they would like to use our
Employee Assistance Program to try to "sort things out." They
declined. I then explained that I understood why they would need to
resign. From an ethical standpoint, I certainly couldn't expect them
to continue to work for a Satanist with a Ph.D.

After the firings, the rate of MPD diagnoses fell like a stone.
Therapists who'd been flirting with experimental therapies appeared to
have, as we say in the trade, "a blinding moment of insight," or
perhaps "a corrective emotional experience." I didn't care so long as
their temperatures dropped and they returned to traditional,
evidence-based practices where, at least, they couldn't do too much

I don't know if the intervention impacted our suicide attempt or
completion rate, but at least I was sleeping better. The scary end to
this story is that these therapists ? and many more like them ? are
now working in the private sector where, when it comes to supervision,
oversight and prudent controls of psychological practice, it's too
often a free-for-all involving every form of quackery imaginable.

  Paul Quinnett, Ph.D., is the Executive Director of QPR Institute, an
  agency that that specializes in suicide prevention. He is the author
  of Suicide, the Forever Decision, a well-received book that is
  available as a free download. Information about the book and a free
  e-newsletter is available at:

/                                                                    \
| "The International Statistical Classification of Diseases-9        |
| approach omits some important topics. Clinical health              |
| psychologists cannot help but be affected for better or worse by   |
| newly coined diagnoses, many of them heavily promoted by           |
| pharmaceutical manufacturers. `Recovered memory syndrome' soon may |
| be swept into the dustbin of history, but other new diagnoses are  |
| on the way."                                                       |
|                                  Opton, Edward M. Jr. (2003, Aug.) |
|                                                   Am J. Psychiatry |

                          NEWS FROM GERMANY

                     Adapted from description of
                   "MPD: A delusion of therapists"
                             on German TV
       by Sebastian-Anders and translated by Adriaan J. W. Mak.

For nine years, Elisabeth Reuter was certain that she had 32 different
personalities. In 1992, a psychotherapist had convinced this
illustrator and author of children's books that her father had
sexually abused her, and that she split into different personalities
in order to cope. The personalities emerged under hypnosis during
lengthy therapy sessions in search of traumatic childhood experiences.

The 59-year-old Reuter is one of many such "multiples" in Germany, but
she was one of the first to speak openly about her disorder. In a 1995
TV documentary, she described how her father had sexually abused her.
In a new documentary, author Felix Kuballa has put Elisabeth Reuter in
the limelight again, but in an entirely new perspective. Reuter
recently lodged complaints against her therapist. She is now certain
that she was never sexually abused nor suffered from Multiple
Personality Disorder. "I had become the victim of a misdiagnosis by my
therapist," she said.

To discover more about this most spectacular illness in the history of
psychiatry and psychotherapy, Felix Kuballa went to the USA where the
notion of MPD found its beginnings about 25 years ago. What he
discovered is astonishing and disturbing: In the United States, MPD
has been around for many years and is now criticized both as a therapy
and a diagnosis. Not only that, it has led to hundreds of complaints
against therapists. A number of shocking court cases now fully call
into question the therapeutic methods that were employed.

This documentary is the story of the rise and fall of the therapy-fad
of the last decade.

/                                                                    \
| "McNally resists the conciliatory impulse to take a middle ground, |
| perhaps along the lines of `recovered memories occur more often    |
| than some people think but less than others think.' Nonsense, he   |
| says. Some people think the world is round and others may say it   |
| is flat, but `neither science nor reason requires us to conclude   |
| that the world is therefore oblong.' There are no oblong           |
| compromises in Remembering Trauma, only the most scrupulous        |
| conclusions based on what the evidence shows, or fails to          |
| show. `The notion that the mind protects itself by repressing or   |
| dissociating memories of trauma, rendering them inaccessible to    |
| awareness,' McNally summarizes, `is a piece of psychiatric         |
| folklore devoid of convincing empirical support.' So, too, is the  |
| belief in the widespread occurrence of psychogenic amnesia, in     |
| which a person cannot remember key events because they are         |
| psychologically shocking."                                         |
|                                      Carol Tavris  (2003, Aug. 15) |
|                      "Just Deal With It" Times Literary Supplement |
|                                       Review of Remembering Trauma |
|                        by Richard McNally (Harvard U. Press, 2003) |

                        BENNETT BRAUN: UPDATE

Dr. Bennett Braun, a 63-year-old psychiatrist who was disciplined in
Illinois for his recovered memory treatment of Pat Burgus and her
family, has obtained a medical license in Montana. In 1999, Dr. Braun
agreed to a two-year suspension of his medical license and five years
probation. The nine-count Illinois complaint had accused him of
"dishonorable, unethical and unprofessional conduct." Braun's
malpractice insurer had previously agreed to a multimillion-dollar
settlement with the Burgus family.

Braun, for years esteemed by the feminist movement and endorsed by
Gloria Steinem, has stated that he intends to stay in Montana. He has
sent out a letter to area doctors announcing his practice. The letter
makes no reference to his past problems.
                                             Anez, B. (2003, Oct. 15) 
                            Psychiatrist gets Montana medical license.
                                                     Associated Press.

                         THE COURAGE TO HEAL

The manager of the Toronto Women's Bookstore is celebrating its 30th
anniversary. Manager Ajula Gogi says that it is more than a bookstore.
It has "become one of the centers for the feminist and women's
community in Toronto." The store announced a list of their all time
best sellers. Second on the list is The Courage to Heal by Ellen Bass
and Laura Davis.
                                              Black, D. (2003, Oct 25)
                            Bookstore anniversary a feminist milestone

                      THANK YOU FROM McGRAW-HILL

The Foundation received a "thank you" letter from editors at
McGraw-Hill for calling their attention to inaccurate information on
their web site ,AccessScience, about the use of hypnosis as an
"uncovering device" for memories. The editors said that they would be
"mindful of these errors when the article is reviewed for our next
encyclopedia edition."


ELIZABETH LOFTUS, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Social Ecology at
the University of California, Irvine, received an award for
"distinguished scientific applications of  psychology" from the American
Psychological Association at their annual meeting in August, 2003.

HENRY L. ROEDIGER, III, Ph.D.,  James S. McDonnell Distinguished
University Professor at Washington University in St. Louis and
Department Chair, has been elected president of the American
Psychological Society.

/                                                                    \
| "Modern psychology and multiple personality theories may still be  |
| subjects of controversy, but there's no doubt that some            |
| storytellers and moviemakers are avid devotees. Got a problem with |
| the novel or screenplay's ending? Has your convoluted plot painted |
| you into a corner?  In all honesty, did you have a clue about what |
| you were doing in the first place?                                 |
|                                                                    |
| "Just trust psychological pot-boiling to bail you out. Introduce   |
| some psycho-jargon about personality schisms and illusions --      |
| preferably explicated by a man who inexplicably has an English     |
| accent -- and presto.  The film's former difficulties are now a    |
| figment of your (or, rather, the movie's central protagonist's)    |
| imagination."                                                      |
|                                      Duckett, R. (2003, April, 28) |
|                                    Cop-outs weaken Identity's plot |
|                          Telegram & Gazette (Massachusetts) C5 |

                           Mark Pendergrast

Pam Freyd asked if I might write something for the FMS Newsletter
about what people might expect as they try to sort out their lives in
the wake of recovered memory therapy, once they realize that the
repressed memories of sexual abuse that they "remembered" were not
true. It turns out that I have written a book proposal on this very
topic called Recovering from Recovered Memories that has never found a
publisher. It is aimed not only at returning children, but their
families. So I will excerpt portions of it in this newsletter, with
more to follow. Those of you who would like the complete proposal and
sample chapter, email me at And if you find a
publisher for it, let me know!

As a long-time investigative journalist, I have interviewed people in
all walks of life, and I have heard stories that moved me almost
beyond my capacity to write about them. I will never forget, for
instance, the beautiful older woman who told me, in simple, halting,
dignified sentences flavored with a strong Polish accent, how she had
survived the Holocaust. She had never spoken of her experience to
anyone before -- not even to her children. I felt honored and humbled.

Yet no stories I have heard have shaken me or moved me as much as
those I have heard from the casualties of the "recovered memory"
phenomenon of the late 1980s and early 1990s. I sometimes retreated in
tears before the agony, the pain, and the confusion in the voices of
the accusing children, the torn siblings, and the bereft parents. Two
such parents, survivors of the Holocaust, told me that losing their
children in this way was worse than living in a concentration camp. I
find that difficult to believe, but there is no question that their
pain -- like that of their children -- is overwhelming. Overwhelming,
and completely unnecessary. It didn't have to happen. And it can be

That is why I am writing this book. I believe that I am in a unique
position to help, to go the next step towards healing this horrible
misunderstanding that has ripped apart thousands, probably millions,
of families over the last few years.

Early in 1995, Victims of Memory, my first book on the recovered
memory phenomenon, hit bookstores. At the time, there was a raging
controversy surrounding the issue of "massive repression." Could
people completely forget years of traumatic events such as rape, only
to recall them later? Through psychotherapy, self-help books,
television programs, and support groups, millions of adult children
had come to believe that their parents had committed incest on them,
without their conscious awareness. The predictable results were
virulent, angry accusations, heart-felt denials, and then years of
isolation and silence, sometimes punctuated by lawsuits.

I imagine that many readers are torn and confused. If their recovered
memories of abuse are not real, where did they come from? Why do they
seem so compelling? How could intelligent, caring people come to
believe something so awful if there wasn't at least some truth to the
memories?  It is now becoming clear, thanks to a good deal of solid
research on human memory, that "massive repression" is probably not a
human capacity. More and more adult children who had recovered
memories of abuse are realizing that perhaps they were wrong -- and
even if they still believe they are incest survivors, many are taking
the tentative first steps to re-establish contacts with their
estranged families.

This book is intended as a self-help primer to ease that difficult,
delicate process of reconciliation. All too often, in the wake of
incest accusations and fractured relationships, families continue to
suffer from the repercussions. Love has never disappeared, but trust
has been damaged almost irrevocably on both sides. And, understandably
but unfortunately, many family members are too distrustful of mental
health professionals to seek appropriate help in coping. As a
consequence, much remains unspoken, and resentments and
misunderstandings continue to create misery and havoc.

Recovering from Recovered Memories provides a first step towards
understanding, compassion, and healing. Recovery is possible.
Forgiveness and reconciliation are human traits. And, for most
families, a new closeness and honesty, along with recognition of how
important being there for one another is, can mean richer, fuller,
more loving lives for everyone involved.

/                                                                    \
| "Most doctors in the mental health field now accept that some      |
| so-called recovered memories can be false memories unwittingly     |
| induced in therapy by leading questions and suggestions.... Janet  |
| Boakes, head of psychotherapy services at St George's Hospital,    |
| London, told the conference: `Most clinicians now accept the       |
| reality of the `false memory syndrome,' but few recognise that     |
| they could themselves be responsible for creating or fostering     |
| false memories.'"                                                  |
|                                  Rosie Waterhouse (2003, Sept. 15) |
|                                                      New Statesman |

                      PENNSYLVANIA SUPREME COURT

                      Pennsylvania vs. Delbridge
  No. 150 MAP 2001 PA Sup. Ct. 2003 filed Sept 25. 2003. LEXIS 1754

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that defendants in sex abuse
cases are entitled to a pretrial "taint" hearing in which they can
attempt to show that a child's memory may have been influenced by
improper interviewing techniques. The decision recognizes that
children who accuse adults of sexual abuse can have false memories.

Pennsylvania is one of a handful of states that allow such hearings
and the decision is expected to have wide consequences including a
revisiting of some old convictions.

The appeal was brought by Tom Pavlinic, an attorney who has previously
filed FMS Foundation amicus briefs. According to the court's ruling:

  "Common Experience informs us that children are, by their very
  essence, fanciful creatures who have difficulty distinguishing
  fantasy from reality; who when asked a question want to give the
  `right' answer, the answer that pleases the interrogator; who are
  subject to repeat ideas placed in their heads by others; and who
  have limited capacity for accurate memory."
           Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Chief Justice Ralph J. Cappy

/                                                                    \
| "We are driven by an `unconscious urge to satisfy the questioner,' |
| and that can lead to delivering the truth that we think is wanted, |
| which can mean `embroidering' memories. In its more extreme form,  |
| this takes the shape of `false memory syndrome,' in which people,  |
| responding to questions from a therapist or counselor, recall      |
| memories of events that have never happened"                       |
|                                      Coughlan, S. (2003, Sept. 26) |
|            p. 20. Can anyone tell the whole truth and nothing but? |
|                                  Times Higher Education Supplement |

                            CHANGING TIMES

For many years, the University of Wisconsin Continuing Education in
Madison has held the "Mid-West Sex Abuse Conference." We first wrote
about this meeting in October, 1993, when we were first approved and
then denied permission to host an FMSF vendor table to distribute
literature about false memories. The approved list of venders included
the survivor publication The Healing Woman (no longer published), and
treatment centers. The conference has traditionally drawn large
numbers of attendees, often over a thousand, we have been told.

Over the years families in Wisconsin have monitored the programs
offered at the annual conferences, and they have frequently stood
outside passing out literature. They have written and called in an
effort to spur the sponsors to include information about false
memories and try to balance the presentations. Indeed, the FMSF
families are well-known to the organizers, and to their credit, the
organizers have always included some outstanding memory researchers at
their meetings such as Elizabeth Lotus and Stephen Lindsay.
Unfortunately, the victim bias has prevailed.

We were surprised this year when an FMSF application for a vendor
table was accepted. The conference is significantly smaller than in
past years with about 500 attendees.

/                                                                    \
|                       A Web Site of Interest                       |
|                                                                    |
| The National Center for Reason and Justice has a web site that     |
| many FMSF newsletter readers will find of interest. This new       |
| organization is directed by Bob Chatelle and champions the causes  |
| of people for whom they have evidence to believe have been falsely |
| convicted. Many important papers are posted on this site.          |
|        Go to "Reading Room"                 |

          Award Winning Play Addresses Mental Health Issues
                      Jeanette D. Bartha. Denver

British playwright, Joe Penhall's "Blue/Orange" uses comedy to address
problems with the mental health system and the subsequent effect it
has on patient's well-being. Set in a modern London psychiatric
hospital, Robert, and Bruce, are psychiatrists of different
generations who become embroiled in heated debates and a battle of
wills over a patient's diagnosis, treatment, and impending discharge.
Christopher, is an Afro-Caribbean patient who sees the color blue when
he peels an orange. Furthermore, he claims to be a son of former
Ugandan dictator, Idi Amin. Is Christopher suffering from
schizophrenia, requiring additional in-hospital treatment, or
borderline personality disorder, which will enable him to be released
into the community? Is he lying? Or can he be Amin's son? What is
normal, anyway? As the psychiatrists argue over these questions, in
addition to funding and bed space, Christopher becomes distraught and
his symptoms and subsequent behavior change as each psychiatrist
attempts to influence Christopher's opinion about his readiness for

Director Anthony Powell consulted Richard Warner, medical director of
the Boulder County Mental Health Center who admits that "psychiatry is
already the most inexact of all sciences." The issue that a
psychiatrist can implant symptoms was also addressed by Warner who was
quoted in the Denver Post, "This was a big issue 10 years ago when we
had this plague of multiple personality in America, as well as a wave
of satanic ritual abuse and false memory syndrome, where memories seem
correct to the patient but in fact have been placed there by an often
well-meaning examiner."

Presented by the Denver Center Theatre Company, this play is an
outstanding humorous commentary on the current state of the
psychiatric industry in both Britain and America where the patient is
often manipulated by mental health professionals who cannot agree on
anything, and where money and politics take priority over patient

/                                                                    \
| "Accused of murder? Evidence stacked against you? Don't despair -- |
| there is a new get-out-of-jail card to play. No, for once you      |
| cannot call upon the Human Rights Act (even Europe's courts have   |
| yet to recognize the human right to commit homicide). But you can  |
| try another fashionable legal device: the plea that you were       |
| abused as a child, and therefore cannot be held responsible for    |
| your actions as an adult.                                          |
|                                                                    |
| "We might call it the abuse excuse, or perhaps -- given that       |
| parents are usually blamed for the abuse -- the Mother of All      |
| Mitigating Arguments. It is a confession, not of your own sins,    |
| but the sins of somebody else from your past. You are not really   |
| seeking forgiveness, since you do not accept that anything is your |
| fault.                                                             |
|                                                                    |
| "Instead, you demand recognition that you, too, are a victim, a    |
| "survivor" in need not of punishment but of support."              |
|                                                                    |
|                                        Mick Hume (2003, Sept. 22)  |
|               Abusing the system, or just making childish excuses  |
|                            What's the verdict? The Times (London)  |

                       L E G A L   C O R N E R
        Virginia Board of Medicine Suspends License of Doctor
                    Who Practiced Memory-Recovery
               Based on a Washington Post investigation
               by Sandra Boodman and Patricia Davis [1]

The Virginia Board of Medicine has suspended the license of Martin
Stein, M.D. saying that he used hypnosis, suggestion, massage,
psychiatric drugs and in 1998 accompanied a 36-year-old Fairfax,
Virginia patient on trip to another state for the purpose of
recovering memories. The woman recovered horrific memories -- of her
father as the leader of a racist satanic cult, of being sexually
abused by him and other cult members and of being forced to kill and
eat a baby. She also "remembered" her father shooting a handyman who
worked for the family. There was never any corroboration for her
beliefs and it was discovered that the handyman died in a hospital
after a long illness. The woman had consulted Stein in September 1997
because she was concerned that she might have attention deficit
disorder. Within a few weeks Stein met with the woman and her husband
telling them that she had bigger problems. He showed them a baby cup
saying it was used by satanic cults.

Dr. Stein later urged the woman to divorce her husband and told her
that it would be therapeutic for her to spend her inheritance. Stein
also misdiagnosed the patient's 4-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter
and gave them powerful psychiatric drugs. The woman's former husband
sued Stein who settled for about $200,000, the approximate amount that
the woman had paid Stein in her 2 1/2 years of therapy. All records of
that case were sealed. This case was one of ten complaints brought to
the Virginia Board about Dr. Stein's treatment between the years 1991
and 2000. In another case, Dr. Stein tried to convince a teenage
patient that her father had been in a satanic cult. The patient, who
is now 22, claims that Stein threatened to have her put in a hospital
if she did not remember the abuse.

The Stein case provides a detailed examination of the failure of the
state's monitoring system to protect patients. The father of a teenage
patient filed a complaint with the Virginia board in 1995. It was
closed in 1998 without any action. In 1999, a doctor in Virginia
started a second investigation of the case and Stein's license was
suspended three years later. During the interim, no one would have
been able to learn that Stein was under investigation. Nine of the 10
patients mentioned by the Virginia Board went to Stein after 1995. The
board did not suspend Stein's license even though 6 malpractice suits
had been filed since 1995.

In October 2002, the 63-year-old board-certified psychiatrist agreed
to surrender his license for at least a year. Stein can now apply for
reinstatement in Virginia.

  Boodman, S. & Davis, P. (2003, Sept. 28) A broken marriage and a
  `life destroyed.' Washington Post p. A21.

  Boodman, S. & Davis, P. (2003, Sept. 28) Va. Doctor's misconduct
  left trail of broken lives. Washington Post p. A01.

/                                                                    \
| "A key reason Stein practiced so long with so little oversight is  |
| psychiatry's elastic standards. Although it is clearly malpractice |
| for a surgeon to cut off the wrong leg, psychiatric malpractice is |
| less clear-cut and harder to prove. Diagnosis and treatment tend   |
| to be more subjective, there are rarely witnesses, and the victim, |
| who is being treated for mental illness, is regarded as inherently |
| less credible."                                                    |
|                       Boodman, S. & Davis, P. (2003, Sept. 28) |
|                 Va. Doctor's misconduct left trail of broken lives |
|                                             Washington Post. p. A1 |

                           Retractor Cases

Retractor cases have dwindled since the late 90s, but some are still in
the courts. Following are two examples:

                       SMITH vs. GENTILE et al.
          o C20000888 Sup Ct. Arizona. (filed Jan. 4, 2002)

Mary Smith began therapy in 1989 to help her deal with ending her
10-year abusive marriage. At the time she was trying to support her
three children with two jobs. Although she was unaware of it, she also
had a thyroid condition.

According to the complaint, her therapist admitted Mary to a Tucson
hospital. Her children were also admitted to the hospital at the same
time and kept for six weeks.

The complaint alleges that, at the hospital, Dr. Gentile diagnosed
Mary Smith as having a Dissociative Disorder. The doctors who treated
her used or allowed the use of age regression, abreactions and
hypnosis in an effort to recover memories. They failed to inform her
of the risks of recovering memory or to get her consent for these
techniques. As a result of her treatment there, Ms. Smith began to
self-mutilate, she became suicidal, and she was estranged from her
family. Mary's children were removed from her home and placed in
foster care for more than two years because the defendants convinced
Child Protective Services that Mary could not care for them.
Essentially, Mary went to therapy for divorce counseling, having never
heard of multiple personality, and 7 years later she believed she had
over 30 alters.

It took Mary Smith a number of years after leaving treatment to
understand what had happened to her.

  Lawyers for plaintiff: Skip Simpson and Michael Stacy (Lead
  Counsel), Michael McNamara, and Elizabeth Claiborne.

  Lawyers for defendants: Jill Covington, Carol Romano, Kari Zangerle,
  Charles Trullinger, and Charles Davis.

                           GRAY vs. POWERS
        No CI-98-08860, Ct. Common Pleas, Lancaster County, PA
                        (filed Oct. 23, 1998)

In 1988, Rose Gray was diagnosed with major depression at St. Joseph's
Hospital in Lancaster, PA and referred to Stephen Powers, M.D.
According to the complaint, Dr. Powers also diagnosed the plaintiff
with major depression. He began treatment that included medications
and psychotherapy. During 1989, he expanded her prescriptions to
include various anti-psychotic drugs and also began to use hypnosis.
Soon Dr. Powers told Rose that she had revealed disturbing memories
from childhood and that different personalities had emerged. According
to attorney Skip Simpson, this was Dr. Power's first MPD case and he
found it fascinating.

Powers changed the diagnosis to multiple personality disorder and
instructed the plaintiff to break off contact with her entire family.
She did so with the exception of her husband and daughter. As therapy
and hypnosis progressed, Dr. Powers told Rose that she had been a
victim of satanic abuse by her parents and that she had spent her
entire life in a satanic cult. Dr. Powers also told Rose that her
husband was a member of the satanic cult. Dr. Powers became convinced
that the cult might be trying to kill him and expressed fear for his
life. Rose and her husband separated and then divorced in 1995. Until
the divorce, Rose Gray's husband had paid for the therapy sessions.
After the divorce, Rose continued in therapy with Powers, but was
later discharged by him for failing to pay $300.

In March 1998, Rose Gray saw a television program showing that some
therapists used techniques similar to those used by Dr. Powers for
monetary gain. She then sought treatment with another psychiatrist who
is successfully treating her.

  Lawyers for Rose Gray: Skip Simpson, Michael Stacy (Lead Counsel),
  and Joseph Rizzo.
                Update of Cases We Have Been Following

                       AMIRAULT (Massachusetts)

On October 17, 2003, Gerald Amirault was finally granted parole and
could go free in April, 2004 after serving 17 years in prison.
Amirault and his mother and sister were convicted of abusing children
in the family's day care center. His mother, Violet, and his sister,
Cheryl LeFave were released in 1995. Amirault could be free by April,
2004 or possibly earlier unless District Attorney Martha Coakley files
a petition to keep Amirault in prison as a sexually dangerous person.

In July, 2001, the Massachusetts Board of Pardons recommended that
Amirault's sentence be commuted, but acting Gov. Jane Swift rejected
the recommendation. Between 1988 and 1997, the Pardons Board
recommended only 7 commutations out of 270 requests. Swift's action
was stunning. Some of the children who were involved in the day care
case are upset about the parole, an indication of how this has
affected their lives. According to the Boston Globe, there were
sixteen children affected and they were awarded $20 million in civil
settlements for the alleged abuse.[1]

The Amirault case was one of about 100 day care cases following the
Manhattan, CA, McMartin case in the 1980s. Gerald Amirault, who is
about to finish his liberal arts degree, was surprised recently when
he read about this period of hysteria in a sociology book and found
his own case listed.[2]

[1] Peter, J. (2003, Oct. 17) Gerald `Tooky' Amirault, at center of
    abuse scandal, granted parole.  Boston Globe.
[2] Editorial (2003, Oct. 20). Wall Street Journal.

                        KLASSEN (Saskatchewan)

In July 1991, Richard Klassen and 11 other people were charged with
sexually abusing three foster children. The charges against them,
including bizarre satanic rituals, were eventually stayed. Klassen
claims that the impression was left that they were all guilty. Since
then, the children have said that they fabricated the stories of
abuse. For many years Richard, who is representing himself, wrote and
picketed in an effort to clear his name and gain attention for the
case. That happened when the CBC featured the story in 2000.

Klassen and the others are suing for $10 million. They claim that the
questioning of the children was selective, leading and intimidating
and that the defendants did not have an honest belief in their guilt
but proceeded with the prosecution anyway. The defendants -- therapist
Carol Bunko-Ruys, a former Saskatoon police corporal, and the
prosecutors in the original case -- have tried repeatedly to have the
suit dismissed, but Klassen, who is representing himself, has thus far
prevailed and the trial began early in September.

The plaintiffs presented their case, including thousands of pages of
documents and many videotapes. The defense asked once again to have
the trial dismissed. On October 2, the judge said there would be a
three-week delay while he decides whether to grant the defendant's

  See FMSF Newsletter 12 (1).

  Warick, J. (2003, Sept. 30). Questions persist after woman asked for
  lawyer. Star Phoenix (Saskatoon). p. A1.

  Warick, J. (2003, Oct. 5). Judge ponders request to drop Klassen
  lawsuit. Star Phoenix (Saskatoon). p. A3.

/                                                                    \
| "Richard Klassen and all others who have been falsely accused of   |
| child sexual abuse deserve our apology. As the saying goes, "the   |
| only thing worse than being sexually abused is to be falsely       |
| accused of sexually abusing someone."                              |
|                                 Froese-Kooijenga, M. (2003 Oct. 2) |
|                                           The Star Phoenix. p. A14 |

                           ALIEN ABDUCTION

Harvard psychologist Richard McNally and his colleagues have
demonstrated that people who believe that they have been abducted by
aliens exhibit physiological changes that are also associated with
post-traumatic stress disorder. When subjects recall their abduction
by aliens, they experience rapid heart beats and may perspire. These
findings indicate that the intensity of a memory cannot be used to
judge the veracity of the memory.

McNally also found that all of the 10 abductees studied had
experienced sleep paralysis, which is the phenomenon of waking during
dream (REM) sleep but being unable to move. Sleep paralysis is often
accompanied by hallucinations and may also explain why some people
believe they have seen ghosts. In another study by the Harvard
research team, Susan Clancy, Ph.D., found that two groups of subjects
were more likely to identify words inaccurately in word list studies:
subjects who identified themselves as alien abductees and subjects who
said that they had repressed memories of child sexual abuse. In these
studies, subjects received lists of words that were all associated
with one other word such as "drowsy," "bed" and "dream" being
associated with the "critical lure" word "sleep." The word "sleep,"
however would not be on the list. Then subjects were asked to recall
the word lists. Abductees and repressed memory subjects were more
likely to recall "sleep" as being on the list. These results indicate
that some people may be more prone to develop false memories.

The Harvard researchers noted that they could distinguish abductees
from people who had suffered documented traumas by asking them if they
wished their trauma had never happened. Abductees said no; although
frightened, they felt there was a spiritual aspect to the experience.
Krista Henricksen, who received her masters degree in Anthropology
from Simon Fraser University studied more than 60 abductee cases and
also found that being abducted was generally regarded as a positive

Reporters from the Halifax Daily News were concerned that most people
do not remember being abducted. They contacted several researchers
specializing in abductees and found that there is a commonly used
checklist that has been compiled from past abductee cases. The Halifax
reporters noted that it had a lot in common with checklists for
repressed memories. See side bar.

  Clancy, S.A., et al.  Memory distortion in people reporting
  abduction by aliens (2002, Aug).Journal of Abnormal Psychology Vol
  111(3). 455-461

  Richard J. McNally , R.J. (2001, Aug).Cognitive psychology of
  repressed and recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse: Clinical
  implications Psychiatric Annals 31 8.  509-514.

  Almas, E. (2003, Oct 24) Psychology expert discusses false
  memory. Duke University

/                                                                    \
|                You may be an alien abductee if you:                |
|                                                                    |
| * Have found unusual scars or marks on yourself with no            |
| explanation, like a small scoop indentation, triangular marks or   |
| scars behind your ears.                                            |
|                                                                    |
| * Have seen beams of light outside your home, or have come into    |
| your room through a window.                                        |
|                                                                    |
| * Have a cosmic awareness, an interest in ecology, the             |
| environment, vegetarianism or are very socially conscious."        |
|                                                                    |
| * Have a secret feeling that you are "special" or "chosen,"        |
| somehow.                                                           |
|                                                                    |
| * Have awoken in the middle of the night startled.                 |
|                                                                    |
| * Have inexplicably strong fears or phobias.                       |
|                                                                    |
| * Have experienced self-esteem problems much of your life.         |
|                                                                    |
| * Have a memory of having a special place with spiritual           |
| significance, when you were a youngster.                           |
|                                                                    |
| * Have had unusual nose bleeds at any time in your life.           |
|                                                                    |
| * Have awoken with soreness in your genitals that can not be       |
| explained.                                                         |
|                                                                    |
| * Have had back or neck problems, or awoken with an unusual        |
| stiffness in any part of your body.                                |
|                                                                    |
| * Have had electronics around you malfunction with no explanation  |
| (including street lights going out as you walk under them).        |
|                                                                    |
| * Have seen a hooded figure in or near your home, especially next  |
| to your bed.                                                       |
|                                                                    |
| * Have had frequent or sporadic ringing in your ears, especially   |
| in one ear.                                                        |
|                                                                    |
| * Have unexplained insomnia or sleep disorders.                    |
|                                                                    |
| * Have been afraid of your closet, now or as a child.              |
|                                                                    |
| * Have had sexual or relationship problems.                        |
|                                                                    |
| * Have a difficult time trusting other people, especially          |
| authority figures.                                                 |
|                                                                    |
| * Have an interest in UFO sightings or aliens, or are compelled to |
| read about the subject a lot.                                      |
|                                                                    |
| * The final, and apparently one of the most significant signs of   |
| alien abduction is that you can't remember anything about being    |
| abducted by an alien.                                              |
|                                            West, J. (2003, Oct. 9) |
|                                      Ever been abducted by aliens? |
|                                     The Halifax Daily News. p. H12 |

                   F R O M   O U R   R E A D E R S
                            Never Give Up

To Our Loyal Friends:

After 11 long years of separation we were reunited with our daughter
in September, 2001. It took another year and a half for her to realize
she had been wrong and several more months to send the following
letter. She has given us permission to share this with you. To those
of you in similar situations: Never give up, but open your hearts to
any overtures your daughters might make.
                                                         A mom and dad
  To My Dear Family,

  I apologize for taking so long to write this most important letter.
  After much soul-searching, therapy, ego-wrestling and meditation, I
  have come to be certain that none of the accusations of abuse that I
  ever believed and/or made against Dad and Mom ever occurred. I hope
  you will allow me to explain how all of this happened in the first

  Our family has had its share of issues to deal with, and each of us
  has had our problems. I had a number of sexually abusive incidents
  occur as an adolescent and young adult that were very traumatic,
  that robbed me of self-esteem, and left me filled with shame about
  myself and my body. By 1990, I was severely depressed and
  dissociated much of the time. In the middle of a board meeting at
  United Way one day in late May, I suddenly burst into tears. I raced
  into the bathroom and sat on the floor for two hours sobbing -- not
  having a clue why -- as co-workers tried to coax me out. All I knew
  is that I was in so much emotional pain that I couldn't continue to
  live my life that way.

  I decided to take a retreat and headed to Connecticut for a week
  armed only with a notebook and pen. As I began journaling my
  feelings, it became clear that I needed to deal with the issues that
  had been haunting me. When I returned to Norfolk I began attending
  group and individual therapy sessions at the local rape crisis
  center. It was enormously validating to hear other women's stories
  and to talk about the things I remembered. That was great for the
  things I remembered quite clearly, but over time, as I talked about
  nightmares and fears as a small child, I was constantly confronted
  by the other women to "face the facts" that I had initially been
  abused by my father. For months I vehemently denied that anything
  like that could ever have happened. But as my words and fears were
  thrown back at me, I began to doubt myself and thought that maybe
  they were seeing a picture emerge that, as they said, I just didn't
  want to face. My declarations of intense love and devotion to Dad
  were twisted around to appear as a co-dependent response to my

  I am sorry to say that this kind of validation was common to every
  group I ever attended. I can truthfully say that my therapist NEVER
  attempted to "plant" false memories or suggest anything to me. But
  once the idea of repressed memories raised its ugly head, it grew
  arms and legs and a tail. It was a process of constant confrontation
  and badgering to "remember the truth," followed by total approval
  and acceptance once I was able to remember again. But through all
  the intervening years, my inner voice kept confronting me about
  whether these amorphous "memories" were really real. Whenever I
  tried to question their validity to friends or my therapist, I was
  urged not to go back into denial and I was reassured that it was
  important to deal with "what really happened." The therapy, weekend
  workshops, psychodramas and groups were designed to help legitimate
  victims go through the healing process. Unfortunately, the nature
  and dynamics of such programs (believe the victim above all) make it
  very difficult for very confused victims to sort through what is
  authentic and what is not.

  The thought that I was so suggestible -- that I could convince
  myself anything like that was true -- sickens me. Everyone likes to
  see themselves as an honest, good person. No one wants to admit that
  they can be manipulated or that they could be capable of
  self-creating a history that never happened. It was a running
  sarcastic joke that all our parents were card-carrying members of
  the False Memory Syndrome Foundation -- which is reviled by all in
  the advocacy and victim communities. The very idea that we -- mainly
  educated, middle-class, intelligent women -- were accused by our
  "abusers" of creating false memories was beyond insulting to us; it
  was merely their attempt to discredit us and shift the blame from
  themselves. Even when I reconciled with the family, I still believed
  that the abuse had probably occurred and that I was just moving past
  it all into true forgiveness. A couple of times Dad tried to broach
  the subject of false memories and I felt really hurt and insulted,
  to the point of asking Mom to tell him never to use that term
  again. But, I wondered, what if this WAS all based on false
  memories?  For a long time, the idea that I could have inflicted so
  much pain on the most important people in my life -- all for nothing
  -- was far too horrible to contemplate.

  But folks, after two years of "what if" and "Oh my God, what does
  this mean about the kind of person I really am," I am convinced that
  absolutely none of the abusive memories I ever believed about our
  parents ever occurred. The memories of incidents involving other
  people in my past are crystal clear in my mind and I stand by them.
  But Dad and Mom NEVER hurt me and I need each of you to know that.

  It kills me that there is no way to take back the pain, anguish and
  humiliation I have caused Dad and Mom and my other family
  members. Dad and Mom have forgiven me, but I recognize that it may
  take others longer to do so. Not only did you have to witness their
  pain all these years, you have chosen to check your own anger toward
  me in order to ensure you don't chase me away again. Well, guys, you
  couldn't chase me away if you tried. I promise that if you call me
  or write me and tell me what you really think of what happened, I
  will not cut you or the family off ever again. If you can't confront
  me directly, I encourage you to write a good long letter and then
  burn it. I just think it's important for you to have a chance to
  express your legitimate feelings about all the pain I have caused.

  The only thing I can possibly to do to make amends is to offer my
  most honest and sincere apologies to all of you, ask for your
  forgiveness, and spend what time I have left showing Dad and Mom how
  much I love them. If there was more I could do, I would. I believe
  that everything happens for a reason, even though those reasons
  don't always reveal themselves as quickly as we would like. Although
  Mom, Dad and I experienced tremendous spiritual and personal growth
  as a result of all this, I still cannot fathom why this horrific
  episode ever occurred. Again, the fact that I am responsible for it
  galls me, and I have to live with that.

  Thank you for allowing me to explain from my perspective what
  happened. Thank you for inviting me back into the fold, despite all
  that occurred. Please feel free to share this email with all who
  need to see it. I love you all.
                        From Good to Bad Again

My relationship with my daughter had been good for the past three
years, but now she is starting to talk about her false memories
again. What is going on?
                                                                 A dad
            What She Said She Did and What She Really Did

You probably have never heard of my therapist. She actually doesn't
believe in recovered memories and describes herself as very cautious.
She is an academic, does a lot of research, and also teaches.

I think that is partly what was so crazy making about the whole thing:
her disdain of pop psychology, both of us agreeing that we didn't
believe in recovered memories, her disgust at fringe therapists, guru
therapists, people trapped in therapy... Yet what she did and what she
said were two different things. She used laundry-lists on me when I
asked if she thought I had been sexually abused. Then she started
asking whether I had `body memories.' By the end of the therapy, all
we were working with were `flashbacks' of memories I never had at the
start of my therapy.

The whole way through I fought and fought and fought...and constantly
questioned her about whether I could be making it all up. I constantly
questioned myself. In turn, she constantly reassured me that I "wasn't
the sort of person to make things up." It was a living hell. I am
really amazed, now, that I survived.

It is all very puzzling. It would have been easier if she had been
overtly flaky -- then I would have just walked out and never gone
back. But she seemed so professional and sensible. I don't know why it
all went so wrong. We had a terrible fracas over boundaries (her
wheedling her way into my life), and I truly think after that she was
so afraid I would lay a complaint (she had really crossed the line,
for many months) that she would do anything to keep me in therapy with
her to stop me talking to others. Anything including encouraging,
supporting, helping me confabulate.
                                                      A former patient
                        A Change but No Change

My last note gave great news. My son had implored me to telephone my
daughter just to say hello. After much hesitation, I agreed and I was
amazed at her friendly response. My daughter seemed delighted to hear
from me.

We maintained contact by mail and phone for many months and then last
June we met with her and our grandchildren. We went for a pizza, a
very warm get-together. Subsequently, my daughter has been busy
restoring her house. We continued to exchange phone calls and met once
when she was again warm and attentive. That is how it progressed over
the summer: friendly exchanges with no meaning or real interest on her
part. I say there was not real interest because I was in the hospital
for 9 days, and she never came to visit or call. Her sister, on the
other hand, came every day. In short, I feel that something continues
to be as wrong as it was before.

I'm sending this note as an update of our journey on this very
tortuous road. I cannot add any wisdom. Perhaps there are other
families who can do that.
                                                                 A dad
                             My Two Cents

In the September/October newsletter, there was information about
author Laura Davis' changed attitude. I am not impressed. How sweet
for her to have been reconciled with her mother! My sister is still
nowhere to be seen, despite my father's death at 90 after a full, rich
life. She did not come and see him when he was dying. Laura Davis is
responsible for tremendous damage with her poisonous tome, The Courage
to Heal. I wish I could say otherwise, but I feel nothing but
bitterness towards her.
                                                       An angry sister
Dear FMS,

Sadly, I report that my estranged 35-year-old daughter committed
suicide this past year. She disengaged contact with loving family
members in 1991 after seeking counseling for low self-esteem.
Counselors suggested that she may have been sexually abused as a
child. She attended some tough counseling sessions over a number of
years in an effort to reveal or recall the alleged abuse. Although an
accusation was never made, we understand that she was led to believe
that her father had sex with her. The details of her beliefs were
never revealed. I understand that she put herself through hell trying
to recall something that never happened. Therapists apparently told
her that she had to get worse before she could get better!

She attempted suicide in the mid 1990's. I don't know if she continued
the struggle to recall events that never happened after that attempt.
Reportedly, she obtained medication for depression and the quality of
her life had improved in recent years. Her suicide note made no
reference to any abuse nor did any of her personal effects. The
suicide was triggered by an unrelated tragedy.

We learned after her death that in recent years, when people would
inquire about her family, she would not answer. Her eyes would glaze
over and she would remove herself to a quiet place to be alone.
Something was obviously troubling her. Was it a recalled memory of
abuse or, more likely, the fact that she had years ago alleged that
her father did some horrible thing and later came to realize that the
allegation was false?

At the funeral, I asked my deceased daughter's closest confidante if
she could enlighten me about the details of the abuse my daughter
thought I had perpetrated. She told me "it was mostly psychological
and verbal abuse, put-downs, having to be a high achiever and things
like having to keep a diary of events while on family vacations so she
could do a school essay, etc." When I asked about the sexual abuse,
she told me that my daughter could not come up with anything specific!

Although my daughter will never return home, I want to continue to
belong to the FMS family. Words cannot describe the comfort I have
received from the Foundation over the years. Continue to help others
                                                                 A dad
                      A Letter to FMSF Contacts

Dear Carol and Bob,

The problems with our daughter started thirteen years ago in 1990. We
have abided by her rules all these years, which meant no
communications of any kind. About two years ago she started sending us
greeting cards on birthdays, anniversaries, Mother's Day, Christmas,
etc. We responded by sending greeting cards at all the same times.
Only once did she write a note to tell us that she and her husband had
built a new house into which they had moved. She gave us her new

The new house is in a different county from the one in which they had
lived for thirty years. In the newspaper last Sunday there was an
insert that listed the unclaimed funds for their previous county and I
found my son-in-law's name listed as having money to claim. I assumed
that there was little chance that he would see it in his new location
and after much thought, I decided to send the insert to him with a
short note wishing him luck.

I knew the letter might come back unopened. Much to our amazement,
however, a greeting card came with a kind note from both our daughter
and son-in-law. My daughter's note said:

  "After all of our "water under the bridge" it is so nice to know
  that you are still watching over us. Thanks for caring about our
  best interests.

We consider this to be quite a good step toward more communication in
the future but we will not try to rush it. We have always followed the
theory of letting them lead the way, so we will not rush into anything
different right now. Most likely some other opportunity will present
itself, hopefully in the near future, and more communication will
occur. It has taken a lot of patience for these thirteen years so I
guess we can go on a little longer if necessary even if we are now
seventy-six years old. All of the FMS parents have given us this
patience and hope; otherwise I don't know how we would have handled
it. Only FMS parents can understand what a difficult situation this is
to live through.

Thank you, Carol and Bob, for all that you have done for us and for
the other hundreds of FMS families you have helped over these many
                                      With much love and appreciation.

/                                                                    \
|                      An Accusation Sticks                          |
|                                                                    |
| Yesterday, we went to our favorite store -- the Christmas Tree     |
| Shop. It is lots of fun at this time of year. While walking        |
| around, I noticed an older woman correcting the behavior of a      |
| young boy who was attempting to climb a mountain of neatly stacked |
| dinnerware. At just that moment, I heard over the loud speaker the |
| words, "age three, in a gray shirt." I was looking right at him,   |
| and I asked "Did you lose your mommy?"  He nodded "Yes" but then I |
| froze -- afraid to touch him. I turned to a group of women and     |
| said "Here is the lost child."                                     |
|                                                                    |
| The little boy had already walked over to me for help. What a      |
| life!  Fear is a terrible thing, but it is mine.                   |
|                                     An accused mom (Shirley Souza) |

*                           N O T I C E S                            *
*                                                                    *
*                                                                    *
*         S. O. Lilienfeld, S.J. Lynn and  J.M. Lohr (eds.)          *
*                  New York: Guilford Press (2003)                   *
*                                                                    *
*                         Highly recommended                         *
*                                                                    *
*                       THE RUTHERFORD FAMILY                        *
*                       SPEAKS TO FMS FAMILIES                       *
*                                                                    *
* The video made by the Rutherford family is the most popular video  *
* of FMSF families. It covers the complete story from accusation, to *
* retraction and reconciliation. Family members describe the things  *
* they did to cope and to help reunite. Of particular interest are   *
* Beth Rutherford's comments about what her family did that helped   *
* her to retract and return.                                         *
*                   To order video send request to                   *
*                    FMSF Video,   Rt. 1 Box 510                     *
*                       Burkeville, TX  75932                        *
*                          $10.00 per tape                           *
*                     Canada add $4.00 per tape                      *
*                Other countries add $10.00 per tape                 *
*                       Make checks payable to                       *
*                           FMS Foundation                           *
*                                                                    *
*                                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.     *
*                                                                    *
*                         PSYCHOLOGY ASTRAY:                         *
*  Fallacies in Studies of "Repressed Memory" and Childhood Trauma   *
*                   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.            *
*                      To Order:  800-232-7477                       *
*                                                                    *
*                          "ASK AN EXPERT,"                          *
*                         This American Life                         *
*                           June 14, 2002                            *
*                                                                    *
* About people who turned to experts and got horrible advice.        *
* Features the Rutherfords and a retracting therapist.               *
*                                                                    *
*                    *
*            Tapes: "Ask an Expert," # 215, 6/14/02, $12             *
*                       Producer: Alix Spiegel                       *
*                                                                    *
*                      WEB  SITES  OF  INTEREST                      *
*                                                                    *
*                        *
*            The Lampinen Lab False Memory Reading Group             *
*                       University of Arkansas                       *
*                                                                    *
*                              *
*                  The Exploratorium Memory Exhibit                  *
*                                                                    *
*                                      *
*                   Hartford Courant memory series                   *
*                                                                    *
*                                       *
*                     The Memory Debate Archives                     *
*                                                                    *
*                                         *
*                      French language website                       *
*                                                                    *
*                                    *
*               Contains phone numbers of professional               *
*                 regulatory boards in all 50 states                 *
*                                                                    *
*                                       *
*                   Illinois-Wisconsin FMS Society                   *
*                                                                    *
*                                   *
*                             Ohio Group                             *
*                                                                    *
*                                           *
*                Australian False Memory Association.                *
*                                                                    *
*                                           *
*                    British False Memory Society                    *
*                                                                    *
*                               *
*            This site is run by Laura Pasley (retractor)            *
*                                                                    *
*                          *
*             This site is run by Deb David (retractor)              *
*                                                                    *
*                         *
*                            Upton Books                             *
*                                                                    *
*                   *
*                   Having trouble locating books                    *
*               about the recovered memory phenomenon?               *
*                     Recovered Memory Bookstore                     *
*                                                                    *
*                        *
*               Information about Satanic Ritual Abuse               *
*                                                                    *
*                                      *
*                   Parents Against Cruel Therapy                    *
*                                                                    *
*                               *
*                       New Zealand FMS Group                        *
*                                                                    *
*            FALSE MEMORY GROUP in SCANDINAVIA WEB SITE              *
*                                *
*                       contact: Janet Hagbom                        *
*                                                                    *
*                                       *
*                       Netherlands FMS Group                        *
*                                                                    *
*                                   *
*           National Child Abuse Defense & Resource Center       *
*                                                                    *
*                    MARK PENDERGRAST'S WEB SITE                     *
*              contains excerpts from many chapters in               *
*                         Victims of Memory.                         *
*                                  *
*                                                                    *
*                         PAUL McHUGH, M.D.                          *
*                    Perspectives for Psychiatry                     *
*         *
*                                                                    *
*                   *
*                         Ross Institute                             *
*                                                                    *
*                     LEGAL WEBSITES OF INTEREST                     *
*                                        *
*                                           *
*                                       *
*                                           *
*                                      *
*                                                                    *
*   Victims of Memory:  Sex Abuse Accusations and Shattered Lives    *
*                        by Mark Pendergrast.                        *
*                        Upper Access Books.                         *
*                                                                    *
* "An impressive display of scholarship...a comprehensive treatment  *
* of the recovered-memories controversy.... Pendergrast offers a     *
* broader portrayal of the social and cultural contexts of the       *
* recovered-memories phenomenon [than other books on the subject].   *
* His treatment is also distinguished by some welcome historical     *
* perspective....Pendergrast demonstrates a laudable ability to lay  *
* out all sides of the argument....[He] renders a sympathetic        *
* portrayal of recovery therapists as well-intentioned but           *
* misinformed players in a drama that has veered out of control."    *
*                                                 Daniel L. Schacter *
*                                                Scientific American *
*                     To order:  800-310-8320 or                     *
*                       *
*                                                                    *
* **********************************************************************
*                       REMEMBERING TRAUMA                           *
*                       by Richard McNally                           *
*                    Harvard University Press                        *
* The most comprehensive review of research about trauma and memory  *
*                                                                    *
*                       Highly recommended                           *
*                                                                    *
*                             SNOWBIRDS                              *
*            Please send the FMSF your change of address.            *
*                                                                    *

                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 
        Charles 415-984-6626 (am); 415-435-9618 (pm)
  San Francisco & South Bay
        Eric 408-738-0469
  East Bay Area
        Judy 925-952-4853
  Central Coast
        Carole 805-967-8058
  Palm Desert
        Eileen and Jerry 909-659-9636
  Central Orange County - 1st Fri. (MO) @ 7pm
        Chris & Alan 949-733-2925
  Covina Area 
        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 727-856-7091
        Wallie & Jill 770-971-8917
  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 260-489-9987
        Helen 574-753-2779
  Wichita - Meeting as called
        Pat 785-738-4840
  Louisville- Last Sun. (MO) @ 2pm
        Bob 502-367-1838
        Carolyn 207-364-8891
        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 - Quarterly (Apr., Jul., Oct., Jan. - 
            last Sat. of month) @12:30pm
        Tom 417-753-4878
        Roxie 417-781-2058
  Lee & Avone 406-443-3189
  Mark 802-872-0847
        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 918-582-7363
  Portland area
        Kathy 503-655-1587
        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 802-872-0847
        Sue 703-273-2343
        Kathy 503-557-7118
        Katie & Leo 414-476-0285 or
        Susanne & John 608-427-3686
        Alan & Lorinda 307-322-4170

  Vancouver & Mainland 
        Lloyd 250-741-8941
  Victoria & Vancouver Island
        John 250-721-3219
        Roma 204-275-5723
        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
  FMS ASSOCIATION fax 972-2-625-9282 
  Task Force FMS of Werkgroep Fictieve 
        Jan 31-184-413-085
        Colleen 09-416-7443
        Ake Moller FAX 48-431-217-90
  The British False Memory Society
        Madeline 44-1225 868-682

     Deadline for the January/February Newsletter is December 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,      November 1, 2003

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 California, Irvine, CA;
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., (deceased) 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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