FMSF NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE - September/October - Vol. 12, No. 5, 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)
September/October 2003, Vol. 12 No 5
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
  Legal Corner                       The next issue will be 
    Fishman                          November/December 2003
      From Our Readers 
        Bulletin Board 

Dear Friends,

  "Memories fade, and witnesses can die or disappear. Such problems
  can plague child abuse cases, where recollection after so many years
  may be uncertain, and `recovered' memories faulty, but may
  nonetheless lead to prosecutions that destroy families. Regardless,
  a constitutional principal must apply not only in child-abuse cases,
  but in every criminal case."
                                      Justice Breyer
                                      in opinion for
                                      Stogner v. California
                                      U.S. Supreme Court
                                      June 26, 2003

The specific mention of "recovered memories" by the U.S. Supreme Court
in Stogner v. California is ample evidence of the shift of opinion
about the reliability of such memories that has occurred in the past
decade. (See Legal Corner)

In overly simple terms, the State of California sought to remove the
criminal statute of limitations retroactively in child sex abuse cases
because of the heinous nature of such crimes. The U.S. Supreme Court
said that they may not do that. In response to the decision, some
people who believed that they had been abused in the past, but who had
not filed actions in a timely way, were very angry. Indeed, some
individuals whose guilt seemed highly likely will not be prosecuted.
Tensions such as this, however, are to be expected in a democracy
based on a system of laws and the balance of power. Life may not
always be fair, and the past may be ambiguous.

More evidence of the welcome shift in thinking about recovered memory
and the diagnosis and treatment of adults who may have been sexually
abused appeared in the summer issue of the Psychotherapy Networker[1]
whose cover featured: "Beyond victimhood: Psychotherapy enters a new
era." In his editorial, Richard Simon, Ph.D., noted:

  "[The] polarization reached its zenith (or nadir) during the
  vitriolic debate over recovered memories of sexual abuse during the
  early `90s. Survivors regarded therapists as their best friends and
  saviors. The only ones who believed their stories and would help
  them recover. But an indignant chorus of critical voices -- notably
  the False Memory Syndrome Foundation -- accused therapists of
  manipulating clients into manufacturing their own abuse histories
  and creating a culture of victimhood."

  "[T]oday, a dozen years down the line, therapists and the recovery
  movement itself have grown wiser about the perils of perpetually
  reexperiencing old injuries. We now know that the self-defined
  identity of survivor -- necessary early in the recovery process --
  can become a straitjacket if maintained too long. Nobody knows this
  better than Laura Davis, coauthor of The Courage to Heal -- the
  bible of the recoverymovement -- who's profiled in this issue. As
  Davis puts it, "Eventually identifying only as a survivor is like
  wearing a sweater that is too small, and you need to take it off, to
  stand up and say, `I'm responsible for my own life, for what I do
  and who I am.'"

Senior Networker editor Mary Sykes Wylie wrote about Laura Davis:

  "Davis was curious. `I ask my mother what finally enabled her to
  accept `the elephant in the room' -- the fact that I am sure her
  father abused me and she is sure he did not.' Hesitantly, her mother
  replied that FMSF literature enabled her to see her daughter not as
  her willful tormenter; but as a person `under the influence of
  people who had convinced you that these memories were true. That
  helped me stop feeling that I had to protect myself and my family
  against you.' Davis receives this somewhat startling confession with
  good grace, saying `That's amazing: The False Memory Syndrome
  Foundation helped you make peace with me!'"

Dusty Miller, Ed.D., a therapist and another Networker author openly
questioned past recovered memory practices in her article.

  "[W]hen the False Memory Syndrome Foundation burst on the scene in
  1992....I felt ambivalent. On the one hand, they represented such a
  backlash. On the other hand, as I quietly said behind closed doors,
  they had a point. We were walking into dense fog where it was hard
  to tell what was real and what wasn't. Given the way I hadn't been
  believed myself for so many decades, I wanted the story told by
  victims about their victimizer to be always simple and always true.
  It wasn't turning out that way. Yet it was almost taboo among us to
  admit that much of what we were doing wasn't working. Anyone who
  criticized therapeutic practice risked being identified with the
  FMSF, whose members were presumed to all be Abusers and Non-
  Protecting Bystanders. A new elephant had entered the consulting
  room and we were in denial all over again."

The Networker change in perspective is remarkable and encouraging.
Cultural change tends to be slow, a person at a time. We shouldn't be
surprised, therefore, that we can still find people who believe in
things for which there is no evidence such as satanic ritual abuse
(SRA). What is changing is that those who cling to such beliefs are
found increasingly away from the mainstream. The Healing of
Satanically Ritually Abused Multiple Personality Disorder,[2] a
recently published book is an example. It was published by 1st Books
Library, a "vanity press," that is, a publishing house that publishes
books at the author's expense. We are not aware of any new books
promoting belief in satanic ritual abuse published by a mainstream
publisher in many years. The topic has been thoroughly debunked and
marginalized by informed, serious writers and scientists such as
Goodman, et. al. who examined over 1,300 claims of SRA only to find
there was no evidence to support any of them.[3]

Conferences about or including sessions on SRA can still be found, but
they seem more self-validating gatherings than scholarly meetings.  In
August, for example, the "Sixth Annual Ritual Abuse, Secretive
Organizations and Mind Control Conference" sponsored by S.M.A.R.T.
(Survivors of Masonic and Ritual Torture) was held near Hartford,
Connecticut. Most of the speakers were described as survivors of this
kind of abuse. In September, the group "Survivorship" will hold a
"West Coast Conference on Ritualistic Abuse" in Oakland, California.
Again, most presenters are described as survivors of SRA.

Some of the same SRA-conspiracy theory groups that list the above
conferences in their calendars also list the "8th International
Conference on Family Violence" in San Diego, California in
September.[4] We wrote extensively about last year's conference
because the inclusion of two sessions on SRA in a meeting generally
concerned with real issues of family violence gave credence to
nonsense. (See FMSF Newsletter, 11(5)) Unfortunately, almost identical
SRA presentations are offered again this year. But there is a
difference. The names found on the conference "Platinum" co-sponsors
list last year included the California Department of Social Services
and the California Department of Health Services. This year, most of
the government co-sponsors are gone from the program brochure. The
single Platinum co-sponsor is a private business. We interpret that
change as mainstream institutions distancing themselves from
discredited beliefs.

There is still plenty of work to be done, but the climate in which we
now work is changing for the better. Your letters and other efforts
have helped bring about that change, but your letters and support are
still vitally needed to keep that change on track. Thank you for all
that you do.

[1] Simon, R. (2003, July/August). Editorial. Psychotherapy Networker,
    Vol. 27 (4). p. 2. (Formerly Family Therapy Networker) In the same
            Wylie, M.S. You can go home again. p. 36-43.
            Miller, D. The end of innocence. p. 24-33.
[2] Meehan, C. (2003, July 13). Book details satanic ritual abuse.
    Star-Ledger. (Review of Clark, J. (2003). The healing of
    satanically ritually abused multiple personality disorder. 
    1st Books Library.
[3] Goodman, G., Qin, J., Bottoms, B.L. & Shaver, P.R. (1994).
    Characteristics and sources of allegations of ritualistic child
    abuse. Washington, DC: National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect.
[4] "The Masks of Ritual Abuse Trauma. Jeanne Adams, B.S., Deborah
    Smith Parker, B.S., Karen Hawthorn, Ph.D., MFT, Cannon Lee B.
    Teed, M.A. M.Div., MFT, James Ewing Ph.D. and Anne Hart, M.S. . .
    Ritualistic abuse is so beyond expected human behavior that people
    struggle to understand it....[E]xpand participants' current
    knowledge to better identify and assist survivors of ritualistic
    abuse in advocacy or counseling."

    "Psychotherapy with Ritual Abuse Survivors: Obstacles and
    Solutions. Ellen P. Lacter, Ph.D., and Mary Battles, M.S. This
    workshop provides an understanding of ritual abuse practices,
    dissociative responses in victims, assessment and recognition of
    ritual abuse trauma, typical obstacles and special considerations
    in therapy....."

/                                                                    \
| "There can be few allegations that have caused greater             |
| controversy, and greater suffering, in America and Britain in      |
| recent years than the assertions that secret devil-worshipping     |
| cults are widespread, that children are being sexually abused      |
| and/or murdered as part of their rituals, and that the `recovered  |
| memories' of such events elicited by self- appointed therapists    |
| are valid. The disruption to families, and the pain and injustice  |
| to individuals, has been horrendous; the cliche of the "witch-     |
| hunt" has often been all too accurate. . . This is one of the      |
| situations (racism is another) where a scholar has the moral       |
| obligation not to adopt a stance of detached impartiality; the     |
| beliefs he/she is observing are not only factually erroneous, but  |
| socially destructive, and this needs to be said."                  |
|                                        Simpson, J. (2003, April)   |
|                               Book review. Folklore, pp. 123-124.  |
|                    Review of Ellis, B. (2000). Raising the devil:  |
|                            Satanism, new religion, and the media.  |
|                          Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.  |

        |                   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              |

            Young Researcher Creates Storm of Controversy
                    Grierson, B. (2003, July 27).
                     A bad trip down memory lane.
                 New York Times Magazine, pp. 36-39.

  "It is not considered good judgment to wade into the issue of
  recovered memories without skin as thick as permafrost and Caller ID
  on the phone."

Thus begins "A Bad Trip Down Memory Lane." It seems a particularly
relevant comment when considering that this is the first time that the
New York Times Magazine has tackled the topic of "recovered memories."
Perhaps the uproar caused by Carol Tavris's January 7, 1993, excellent
breakthrough article "Beware the Incest Recovery Machine" in the New
York Times Book Review, scared the New York Times Magazine away from
an in-depth analysis of the recovered memory controversy until now
when the scientific research results so clearly support the
unreliability of recovered memories.
    Ostensibly, Bruce Grierson's article focuses on the travails of
Harvard graduate student Susan Clancy after she stepped into the
churning waters of the memory wars. Harvard has been home to leading
figures in both sides of the recovered-memory controversy. Harvard
professors Richard McNally, Harrison Pope, Jr., and Daniel Schacter,
for example, have presented research to support skepticism about the
reliability of recovered memories. Harvard-affiliated clinicians
Daniel Brown, Judith Herman, and Bessel van der Kolk, (no longer at
Harvard), on the other hand, have been influential in supporting the
belief that trauma causes people to repress or dissociate memories
that can then be reliably recovered.
    In fact, Grierson's article provides an insightful snapshot of the
personal attacks made by believers in recovered memories in lieu of
presenting scientific evidence. Susan Clancy became a graduate student
in the Harvard psychology department eight years ago. Aware of the
recovered-memory controversy, she observed "You had two groups in
opposite camps that were battling each other out, but nobody was doing
research on the group that was at the center of the controversy -- the
people who were reporting recovered memories. Memory function in that
group had never been examined in the laboratory." Susan, with
professors Richard McNally, a clinical psychologist, and Daniel
Schacter, a cognitive psychologist, set out to remedy that situation.
    In a series of experiments extending over seven years, Clancy et
al. delved into the memory functions and cognitive psychology of
people who believed that they had recovered memories of long-past
abuse. The researchers hypothesized that there was a category of
people who were prone to creating false memories. When they discovered
that this seemed to be the case, critics noted that even if people who
believed that they had recovered memories were prone to fictionalizing
memories of abuse, that did not prove that their specific memories of
abuse were false.[1]
    In the next experiment, the researchers added a group of people
who had always remembered their abuse experience. The original
findings held up, but critics now said that the traumas that the
recovered-memory group had experienced could have been so horrific
that they not only repressed the memories but they also suffered
cognitive impairment. That could account for the discrepant results.
    Clancy et al. then studied people who believed that they
remembered being abducted by space aliens, feeling confident that
abductee experiences were highly unlikely and that such memories were
almost certainly false. Again, the original findings were upheld.
    The people who believed that they had been abducted by space
aliens generally did not claim that their memories had been repressed
out of self-protection. The reason these people gave for having no
memories of such terrifying events for many years or decades was that
that the aliens had erased the memories or held some sort of mental
control over them.
    The research with people who believed they had been abducted led
Dr. Clancy to conclude: "Memory's tendency to be reconstructive,
combined with the desire to believe, combined with a culturally
available script, leads to a false memory. The content of that memory
is dictated by the society you live in."
    When Clancy started her research, she thought that she might mend
some fences in the memory wars by partly vindicating the positions of
both sides in the memory debate. That did not happen. Scientific
research does not necessarily produce results that please everyone.
Instead Clancy has upset lots of people: sexual-abuse survivors,
therapists, experiencers, even a creationist or two.
    John Mack, M.D., the Harvard academic who uses hypnosis to help
people access their memories of alien abductions, met Clancy's
abduction study with derision. According to Grierson, "The campaign to
discredit Clancy began in earnest" after that study. She has been
threatened that ethics charges would be brought against her. Hate mail
has arrived by "the ton." One anonymous writer complained that her
research was "designed to cheer on child molesters and ridicules the
suffering sustained by children who are abused as well as therapists
who are knowledgeable about the effects of trauma on children's minds
and bodies." Another letter said that she was a "bad person." Yet
another even suggested that she was probably an abuser herself.
    Clancy's controversial research also has affected her prospects
for future employment. It is unlikely that she would be welcomed into
most clinical departments, (the same is not true of cognitive
departments). For the immediate future, Clancy will be a visiting
professor at the Harvard-affiliated Central American Business
Administration Institute in Managua, Nicaragua. She will continue to
study how trauma affects people, but it will be trauma resulting from
diseases, hurricanes, and land mines. Clancy said that she expects to
do a bit of research on abductees while there because "supposedly it's
extremely common throughout Central America."

[1] For more information about the research of Susan Clancy see FMSF
    Newsletters Vol 9(6) Cognitive processing of trauma cues in adults
    reporting repressed, recovered, or continuous memories of
    childhood sexual abuse; Vol. 10(3) Directed forgetting of trauma
    cues in adults reporting repressed or recovered memories of
    childhood sexual abuse and Personality profiles, dissociation, and
    absorption in women reporting repressed, recovered, or continuous
    memories of childhood sexual abuse; Vol 11(5) Memory distortion in
    people reporting abduction by aliens.

/                                                                    \
| "Memories may be like snow, where digging deeper only gets one     |
| into dirt, dirt that can smear a young child's mind with false     |
| memories and falsely prosecute the innocent. In conclusion, the    |
| old hope for a Rosetta stone for memory access and beliefs in      |
| retrieval deficit hypotheses as the basis of memory development    |
| seem to be based on faulty assumptions about how memory operates." |
|   Lindberg, M.A., Tantalo Chapman, M., Samsock, D., Thomas, S.W.,  |
|                            Anders W Lindberg, A.W. (2003, March).  |
|                      Comparisons of three different investigative  |
|                         interview  techniques with  young children |
|                        Journal of Genetic Psychology, 164 (1) 5-28 |

                       Highly Recommended Book
           Distinguishes Scientifically Supported Practices
              from `Junk Science' in Clinical Psychology

          Science and pseudoscience in clinical psychology.
       Lilienfeld, S.O, Lynn, S.J. & Lohr, J.M. (Eds.) (2003).
                         New York: Guilford.

                      Reviewed by Howard Fishman

This text is an invaluable and welcome addition to the growing
professional literature that aims to expose the irrational and
misguided underpinnings of much of the psychotherapy enterprise. It
richly deserves to be placed alongside Robyn Dawes' House of Cards:
Psychology and Psychotherapy Built on Myth (Free Press, 1994) and
Richard McNally's authoritative debunking of recovered memory therapy,
Remembering Trauma (Belknap, 2003). [See insert below for other
recommended readings.]
    Scott O. Lilienfeld and coeditors Steven Lynn and Jeffrey Lohr*
state that the central purpose of this important book is "to subject a
variety of therapeutic, assessment, and diagnostic techniques in
clinical psychology to incisive but impartial scientific scrutiny."
They point to the growth of information resources including the
Internet, the increasing number of mental health training programs
that do not emphasize scientific training, and the "burgeoning
industry of fringe psychotherapies" as factors that have expanded the
gap between scientists and clinicians. That gap, they assert, has
reached such proportions that there is a critical need to apply
careful scientific evaluation to new and controversial therapies.
    In a compelling foreword, social psychologist Carol Tavris
documents the widening scientist-practitioner gap. She notes that the
divergence in goals and training was present at the conception of
psychology. Empirically minded psychologists chafed at the idea that
psychoanalysts did science since they did not adhere to scientific
methods. As the popularity of psychoanalysis began to wane in the
1960s and 1970s, an avalanche of new therapies emerged (e.g., primal-
scream therapy, nude therapy, encounter therapy, electric sleep
therapy, body-image therapy, "art of living" therapy, marathon
therapy, and other New Age concoctions) that were equally devoid of
scientific support.
    Many of us would likely find it difficult to discuss these
"innovative" therapies with the admirable dispassion and objectivity
displayed by the 37 contributors to this volume. The 16 chapters
address a variety of topics including bogus assessment and diagnostic
protocols, pseudoscientific courtroom testimony, controversial
techniques for uncovering "repressed" memories and treating
trauma-related stress disorders, alcoholism, attention-deficit/
hyperactivity disorder, and autism. A concluding section focuses on
self-help therapy, the commercialization of mental health issues,
media sensationalism, and a thoughtful essay on constructive remedies
for the many ills that have infected the mental health industry.
    Although not explicitly mentioned by the editors, it is noteworthy
that virtually all of these issues have been prominent in the wave of
child-abuse hysteria that has fueled the most virulent anti-family
policies in our nation's history. A deluge of false accusations has
resulted in the arrest -- and, too often, incarceration -- of
countless innocent people. Millions of respectable and law-abiding
families are subjected to abusive investigations annually, and more
than 600,000 children are currently in state care as a result of the
pseudoscientific ideology exposed so effectively by these authors.
    The publication of this book is destined to become a notable
milestone on the path to achieving the kinds of reforms long advocated
by the False Memory Syndrome Foundation. It uncovers the misleading
and self-serving rhetoric of an industry that has run amok and caused
incalculable harm to both clients and their loved ones. I recommend it
highly to families and urge its inclusion as required reading in every
clinical training program for aspiring physicians, psychologists, and
social workers.
    *Scott Lilienfeld is founder and editor of a new journal, The
Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice, and serves as Associate
Professor of Psychology at Emory University. Steven Jay Lynn and
Jeffrey M. Lohr are licensed clinical psychologists in addition to
being professors of psychology, Lynn at SUNY-Binghamton and Lohr at
the University of Arkansas.

                       Other Suggested Reading:

Dawes, R. (2001). Everyday irrationality: How pseudo-scientists,
lunatics, and the rest of us systematically fail to think rationally.
Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Dineen, T. (1998). Manufacturing victims. 2nd. ed. Montreal, ON:
Robert Davies.

Pendergrast, M. (1995). Victims of memory: Incest accusations and
shattered lives. Hinesburg,VT: Upper Access Books.

Pope, H. (1997). Psychology astray: Fallacies in studies of "repressed
memory" and childhood trauma. Boca Raton, FL: Upton.

Sagan, C. (1996). The demon-haunted world: Science as a candle in the
dark. New York: Random House.

/                                                                    \
|                   In A Trade Magazine for Nurses                   |
|                                                                    |
| "Mounting anecdotal evidence suggests that transplant recipients   |
| may be able to inherit memories, preferences and emotional traits  |
| from their donors. Transplanted organs may carry memories some     |
| researchers say."                                                  |
|                 Dison, M.E. (2003, July 9). Transplanted memories. |
|                                                Advance for Nurses. |
|                               (A free biweekly trade publication.) |

                 Risks of Memory Recovery Techniques
         Lynn, S.J., Loftus, E.F, Lilienfeld, S.O. & Lock, T.
                         (2003, July/August).

 Memory recovery techniques in psychotherapy: Problems and pitfalls.
                  Skeptical Inquirer  27(4), 40-46.

    Adapted from chapter in Lilienfeld, Lynn & Lohr (Eds.) (2003)
          Science and pseudoscience in clinical psychology.
                         New York: Guilford.

"Risks of Memory Recovery Techniques" was adapted from a chapter with
the same name in Science and Pseudoscience in Clinical Psychology,
edited by S.O. Lilienfeld et al.(2003). The chapter summarizes the
risks involved in using certain techniques in an effort to recover
memories. The authors are careful to note that the techniques
themselves are not inherently problematic; it is their misuse based on
the belief that they will excavate historically accurate memories that
is questionable.
    Lynn et al. comment: "There is no empirically supported
psychotherapy that relies on the recovery of traumatic memories to
achieve a positive therapeutic outcome." The authors quote Adshead
(1997)[1] who "argued that if memory work with trauma patients is not
effective, then `it would therefore be just as unethical to use memory
work for patients who could not use it or benefit by it, as it would
be to prescribe the wrong medication, or employ a useless surgical
    In spite of the lack of evidence for the effectiveness or benefits
of memory recovery techniques, and in spite of the evidence that the
use of these techniques has caused great harm in some situations, the
authors remind readers of the frequency with which they are used by
therapists. A 1995 survey by Poole, Lindsay, Memon and Bull[2], for
example, "reported that 25 percent of licensed doctoral level
psychologists surveyed in the United States and Great Britain
indicated that they (a) use two or more techniques such as hypnosis
and guided imagery to help patients recall repressed memories; (b)
considered memory recovery an important part of treatment; and (c) can
identify patients with repressed or unavailable memories as early as
the first session."
    The authors list the most commonly used memory recovery techniques
and cite the research evidence that points to problems with using
those techniques.
    GUIDED IMAGERY: People may confuse real and imagined memories,
especially with memories that are "hazy or unavailable." However, 32
percent of U.S. therapists report using "imagery related to the
    SUGGESTING FALSE MEMORIES: Studies have shown that 20-25 percent
of subjects report experiencing fictitious events that are suggested.
    HYPNOSIS: The authors summarize the findings on hypnosis:
oHypnosis increases volume of recall, resulting in both more incorrect
and correct information. When the number of responses is statistically
controlled, hypnotic recall is no more accurate than nonhypnotic
    * Hypnosis results in more recall errors and higher levels of
memories for false information.
    * False memories are associated with subjects' levels of hypnotic
suggestibility, but even non-suggestible participants report false
    * Hypnotized persons sometimes exhibit less accurate recall in
response to misleading questions compared with nonhypnotized
    * Hypnotized people are more confident about their recall accuracy
than nonhypnotized people.
    * Even when they are warned about the possibility of memory
problems associated with hypnosis, people still report false memories
during and after hypnosis.
    * Hypnosis does not improve recall of emotionally arousing events.
oHypnosis does not necessarily produce more false memories or
unwarranted confidence than highly suggestive nonhypnotic procedures:
"Simply asking participants to focus on the task at hand and to do
their best to recall specific events yields accurate recall comparable
to hypnosis, but with fewer or comparable recall errors."
    These principles are well established. Even so, Yapko found in
1994[3] that 47 percent of a professional sample had greater faith in
the accuracy of hypnotic memories than nonhypnotic ones.
    SEARCHING FOR EARLY MEMORIES: The authors note that "virtually all
contemporary memory researchers agree that accurate memory reports of
events that occur before 24 months of age are extremely rare."
    AGE-REGRESSION: Age-regressed subjects behave according to
situational cues and their knowledge and beliefs about age-relevant
    HYPNOTIC AGE-REGRESSION: Subjects who have undergone hypnotic
age-regression are particularly susceptible to suggestion.
    PAST-LIFE REGRESSION: Hypnotically induced past-life experiences
are fantasies constructed from available cultural narratives about
past lives and known or surmised facts regarding specific historical
periods, as well as cues present in the hypnotic situation.
    SYMPTOM INTERPRETATION: Although there may be numerous
psychological correlates of sexual abuse, no known constellation of
specific symptoms, let alone diagnosis, is indicative of a history of
    BOGUS PERSONALITY INTERPRETATION: Personality interpretation can
create highly implausible or false memories.
    DREAM INTERPRETATION: No data exist to support the idea that
dreams can be interpreted as indicative of a history of child abuse.
Dreams reflect the residues of the day's events or the day's concerns.
    BIBLIOTHERAPY: Reading material and psychological symptom
interpretation can dramatically increase the plausibility of an
initially implausible memory.
    The authors hypothesize that the following factors contribute to
the plausibility imagined abuse stories may achieve: 
    * the prevalent belief that abuse and psychopathology are
    * the therapist's support for or suggestion of this
    * the failure to consider alternative explanations for everyday
    * the search for confirmatory data;
    * the use of suggestive memory recovery techniques that increase
the plausibility of abuse and yield remembrances consistent with the
assumption that abuse occurred;
    * increasing commitment to the narrative on the part of the client
and therapist, escalating dependence on the therapist, and anxiety
reduction associated with ambiguity reduction;
    * the encouragement of a "conversion" or "coming out" experience
by the therapist or supportive community (e.g., therapy group), which
solidifies the role of "abuse victim" and which is accompanied by
reinforcing feelings of empowerment; and othe narrative's provision of
continuity to the past and the future, as well as a sense of comfort
and identity.
    * the narrative's provision of continuity to the past and the
future, as well as a sense of comfort and identity.
    Lynn et al. conclude that it is indisputable that "certain
suggestive therapeutic practices can foster false memories in some

[1] Adshead, G. (1997). Seekers after truth: Ethical issues raised by
    the discussion of "false" and "recovered" memories. In J.D. Read &
    D.S. Lindsay (Eds.), Recollections of trauma: Scientific evidence
    and clinical practice. New York: Plenum Press, pp. 435-439.
[2] Poole, D.A., Lindsay, D.S., Memon, A. & Bull, R. (1995).
    Psychotherapists' opinions, practices, and experiences with
    recovery of memories of incestuous abuse. Journal of Consulting
    and Clinical Psychology, 68, pp. 426-437.
[3] Yapko, M. (1994). Suggestions of abuse. New York: Simon & Schuster.

/                                                                    \
| "[W]e compose the past in the present as much as we compose        |
| ourselves."                                                        |
|                                        Lobe, C., (2002, December). |
|                                              Manitoba Mosaic p.17. |

/                                                                    \
| "Much of psychotherapy rests on suggestion. It moves beyond what   |
| could be considered historical truth to evoke a narrative of hope  |
| and confidence in the patient. Indeed, successful psychotherapists |
| help patients re-order their beliefs about their world so as to    |
| see how they have more control than they imagine. They let the     |
| patient see the gist of their life experiences as positive         |
| (despite many negative details). . . . [W]e must `believe,' but in |
| ourselves and our capacity for responsibility and fulfillment.     |
|                                                                    |
| "Psychotherapy goes awry -- and went radically awry during the     |
| Memory Wars -- if the message of the therapist is, `Those others   |
| did you in.'  Invalidism, anger and isolation result.              |
|                                                                    |
| "Psychotherapy goes well when you, the patient, are helped to      |
| appreciate that ultimately you're in charge of your future (just   |
| as to a degree you were in charge of your past). The Memory Wars   |
| are over. Rehabilitation for many of its victims proceeds.         |
|                                                                    |
| "We have learned something very deep -- not just about how the     |
| human mind can be tricked and misled (useful as that is)?but how   |
| it has the powers to find confidence and energy in facing the      |
| future."                                                           |
|                                         McHugh, P. (2003, March 2) |
|          Witch Trial Zealotry/Memory War Damage. The Baltimore Sun |

                  Intense Emotion Preserves Memories
                        McGaugh, J.L. (2003).
         Memory and emotion: The making of lasting memories.
                 New York: Columbia University Press.

James McGaugh, one of the world's leading researchers on the brain
mechanisms of emotion and memory, tells the following story in the
preface to this entertaining and highly informative book.

  "In medieval times, before writing was used to keep historical
  records, other means had to be found to maintain records of
  important events, such as the granting of land to a township, an
  important wedding or negotiations between powerful families. To
  accomplish this, a young child about seven years old was selected,
  instructed to observe the proceedings carefully, and then thrown
  into a river. In this way, it was said, the memory of the event
  would be impressed on the child and the record of the event
  maintained for the child's lifetime."

The story highlights the fact that people have known for a long time
that memories of highly emotional events are likely to be remembered
longer than other memories. In Memory and Emotion, McGaugh, who has
been in the forefront of research into the neurobiology of learning,
explains why this is the case.
    Moving from accounts of the first research into how memory works
to contemporary studies of the effects of drugs on memory
consolidation, McGaugh peppers the book with delightful stories that
serve to prepare the general reader for theoretical explanations. It
works. Anyone who is curious about what memory is, how it works, and
what is known about memory, emotion, and amnesia will find this book
of interest.
    This book adds to the extensive body of scientific literature that
speaks to claims of recovered repressed memories. McGaugh writes:

  "As there is no scientifically accepted evidence that strong
  emotional memories (or any memories, for that matter) can be
  `repressed' and subsequently `recovered', such claims are, at best,
  of very dubious validity. Moreover, the extensive evidence that
  false memories can be created by suggestions provides a compelling
  explanation of the origin of the claims."  (p. 121.)

/                                                                    \
| "One of the most important findings of researchers is that memory, |
| this thing we consider so firm, is really highly malleable. It is  |
| perpetually shifting. So memory to begin with is an imperfect      |
| reflection of what is, or was.                                     |
|                                                                    |
| "And people can actually invent memories of events that never      |
| happened, because the exact same centers of the brain that get     |
| activated by perception, that is, by actually witnessing           |
| something, also get activated by imagination. So if we generate    |
| images, or are fed images, of an event we never personally         |
| experienced firsthand, they get recorded in our brain cells as if  |
| they were real.                                                    |
|                                                                    |
| Helping this process along is the fact that we remember the        |
| content of memories -- but not what the source of that memory is.  |
| As time passes, we tend to forget how we know something; we just   |
| know that we know it."                                             |
|                                         Marano, H. (2003, May 27)  |
|                                When memory fails. Psychology Today |
|     Retrieved from |
|                               PTO-20030527-000013.asp on 8/17/2003 |

                       L E G A L   C O R N E R
                              FMSF Staff
             U.S. Supreme Court Bans Retroactive Erasure
                      of Statute of Limitations
          Stogner v. California, No. 01-1757. U.S. Sup. Ct.
    (Certiorari Cal. Ct. App. 1st Ap. Div.) Decided June 26, 2003.
On June 26, 2003, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that
states cannot retroactively erase statutes of limitations. The
decision struck down a 1993 California law that authorized
prosecutions of sex-related child abuse at any time -- even if the
statute of limitation had previously barred prosecution. California
was the only state with such a law. The ruling does not affect
sex-abuse prosecutions for more recent crimes. It also does not affect
civil damage lawsuits, although lawyers in those cases could make
similar arguments.
    Statute of limitations laws help ensure that laws are enforced
fairly and consistently. They are a check against government
persecution because without them government officials could target
enemies for past acts and add stiffer penalties. The Supreme Court has
held that the Constitution bars ex post facto prosecution since
1798. Donald Steier, a California defense attorney quoted in Los
Angeles Times about the California law, stated "Never before has a
state attempted to go back in time to resurrect criminal charges that
were never reported, never investigated, and never brought to court in
a timely manner."[1]
    Justice Breyer delivered the opinion of the court, joined by
Justices Stevens, O'Connor, Souter, and Ginsburg. They argued that the
ex post facto clause in the Constitution prevents retroactive
prosecution. They wrote "long ago the Court pointed out that the
clause protects liberty by preventing governments from enacting
statutes with `manifestly unjust and oppressive' retroactive effects."
    The decision also addressed the problem of evidence by noting
"Memories fade, and witnesses can die or disappear. Such problems can
plague child abuse cases, where recollection after so many years may
be uncertain, and `recovered' memories faulty, but may nonetheless
lead to prosecutions that destroy families.[2] Regardless, a
constitutional principal must apply not only in child-abuse cases, but
in every criminal case."
    In the case before the Court, Marion Stogner had been accused in
1998 of molesting his two daughters more than 30 years earlier when
the statute of limitation for sexual assault was three years. Stogner,
a veteran of the Korean War, was retired. The case came to light when
the police were investigating claims that his sons had molested their
children and others. The sons were convicted. During the
investigation, Stogner's two daughters told police that their father
had molested them when they were younger than 5 years old and that it
had continued for a long time.
    The Stogner case had not gone to trial. Mr. Stogner's lawyers
contested the prosecution on Constitutional grounds and the California
Supreme Court upheld the law. Stonger's lawyers then appealed to the
U.S. Supreme Court. Dissenting were Chief Justice Rehnquist and
Justices Kennedy, Scalia, and Thomas.

[1] Winton, R., Guccione, J., & Weinstein, H. (2003, June 27). "Bans
    on gay sex ruled unconstitutional; California molestation law
    struck down. Los Angeles Times. p. 1.
[2] Holdsworth, L. (1998). Is it repressed memory with delayed recall
    or is it false memory syndrome? The controversy and its potential
    legal implications. 22 Law & Psychol. Rev. 103, pp. 103-104.

            Wisconsin Supreme Court Decides Mental Illness
                     Tolls Statute of Limitations
                 Storm v. Legion Insurance Company[1]
     No. 01-1139. Wisc. Sup. Ct. 2003 WI 120; 2003 Wis. LEXIS 620
In a unanimous decision issued on July 18, 2003, the Supreme Court of
Wisconsin held that the statute of limitations did not bar Sheri Storm
from suing her former psychiatrist Kenneth Olson, M.D.[2]. The court
held that a person who is mentally ill at the time his or her cause of
action for medical malpractice accrues may toll the limitations
period. The court also stated that a factual finding is required to
determine that a plaintiff's mental illness caused him or her to fail
to file a timely claim.
    In January 1990, Kenneth Olson, M.D., began to provide psychiatric
treatment to Storm. He diagnosed her as suffering from multiple
personality disorder. The last date on which Olson treated her was
August 3, 1992, after which he moved his practice out of Wisconsin.
    Four days after the last session, Storm applied for Supplemental
Security Income related to her mental disability. She also began to
receive treatment from Valerie Hamilton, a social worker who had
assisted Dr. Olson. The last session between Storm and Hamilton was
September 9, 1992.
    Storm then was treated by Drs. Joann Cooper and Marcelo Castillo
between January 1993 and September 1993. These doctors also diagnosed
Storm as suffering from multiple personality disorder.
    On September 9, 1997, Storm filed a medical malpractice suit
alleging that Drs. Olson and Cooper "negligently treated her by using
hypnosis to recover memories of childhood sexual abuse that were later
found to be untrue." Dr. Castillo was added as a defendant in June
    The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment in the fall of
2000 claiming that Storm's action was time-barred. The Wisconsin
statute prohibits the start of a medical malpractice action more than
three years from the date of injury or one year from the date of
discovery of an injury. The date of discovery of an injury, however,
may not be more than five years from the date of the act that caused
the injury.
    The circuit court granted the defendants' summary judgment motions
in February 2001. Storm then appealed the decision.
    The Wisconsin Supreme Court reversed the decision, concluding that
a "person who is mentally ill at the time of his or her cause of
action may toll the limitations period." The case was remanded to the
trial court so that Storm could present evidence regarding whether she
suffered from a functionally debilitating mental illness and, if so,
when it began and when it ceased.
    The court rejected Storm's argument that mental illness could be
determined by either a professional diagnosis or receiving SSI
benefits for mental disability. The court defined mental illness as "a
mental condition that renders a person functionally unable to
understand or appreciate the situation giving rise to the legal claim
so that the person can assert legal rights or functionally unable to
understand legal rights and appreciate the need to assert them." The
court also noted:

  "A person is functionally unable to appreciate the situation giving
  rise to the legal claim when the person is unable to make a rational
  assessment of his or her own circumstances. If a person does not
  realize that he or she is delusional or mentally unstable or does
  not understand and appreciate that he or she has been wronged, the
  person cannot be expected to protect his or her interests."

William Smoler and Pamela J. Smoler of Madison, Wisconsin, represented
Sheri Storm. Patricia C. White of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and
Virginia L. Newcomb of Madison represented Legion Insurance Company
and Kenneth C. Olson, M.D. Michael J. Hogan and Ellen L. Wiesner of
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, represented Dr. Marcelo Castillo.

[1] Legion Insurance Company -- During the 1980s the American
    Psychiatric Association created the American Psychiatric
    Association Insurance Trust through which psychiatrists could
    obtain malpractice insurance. In 1988, Pennsylvania-based Legion
    Insurance Company became the insurer for the program, and in 2000
    the APA sold the program to Legion. Legion Insurance provided
    coverage for over 7,600 members of the American Psychiatric
    Two years later Legion was downgraded in its rating, and the
    Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court placed Legion in rehabilitation.
    In short, the Pennsylvania Insurance Commission took control and
    managed Legion Insurance.
    In July 2003, a Commonwealth of Pennsylvania court judge
    criticized the management of the company by the Pennsylvania
    Insurance Department and ordered them to liquidate the company.
    The liquidation order will free up money to pay thousands of
    delayed claims against Legion Insurance Company. It is not clear
    how this development will affect claims such as that in Strong v
    Legion Insurance.
        DiStefano, J.N. (2003, June 30).
        Penna. liquidates insurer Legion.
        Philadelphia Inquirer. D-1.
[2] Kenneth Olson, M.D. was a defendant in Cool v. Legion Insurance
    Co., Kenneth C. Olson, et al. Ms. Cool, whom Dr. Olson had
    diagnosed as suffering from multiple personalities, including one
    that was a duck, received $2.4 million in an out-of- court
    settlement. See FMSF Newsletter, 6 (4), April 1997.

    Ziemer, D. (2003, July 23). Mental illness can toll time to sue
    for med mal. Wisconsin Law Journal.

       Kansas Appeals Court Tolls Time Limits in Retractor Case
                      Hall v. Miller, No. 86,049
     29 Kan. App. 2d 1066; 36P.3d 328; 2001 Kan. App. LEXIS 1161

Martha B. Hall was treated by Darrell Miller, a licensed clinical
social worker from May 1984 through July 1994. Hall entered therapy
with Miller at the recommendation of Sheridan Tucker, M.D. because of
depression, ostensibly brought on by a bitter child custody dispute.
Hall contends that Miller implanted false memories of satanic ritual
abuse that are the cause of her present mental illness. She contends
that in 1995 when she told Dr. Tucker she did not believe Miller was
correct about the SRA, Dr. Tucker told her that "she had re-repressed
her memories because she had stopped therapy."
    Sometime in the first part of 1995, Hall read a magazine article
about the False Memory Syndrome Foundation. When she called, she was
referred to a local group and attended a meeting. At the meeting, Hall
learned that other families were aware of Miller's reputation for
advocating SRA.
    Hall filed a lawsuit in July of 1996. The trial court decided that
Hall had exceeded the statute of limitations and granted summary
judgment to Miller and Tucker writing that by January of 1994, the
plaintiff knew that she had not been in a satanic cult, was not a
satanic abuse victim, was not a multiple personality and that her
house was not inhabited by demons.
    The Kansas Appeals Court reversed that decision. The Court
determined that "when the fact of injury became reasonably
ascertainable cannot be determined as a matter of law but rather
should be submitted to the trier of fact for determination." Quoting
Lujan V Mansmann (956 F. Supp. 1218 (E.D. Pa. 1997) they added:

  "The dynamics of the psychiatrist-patient relationship contribute to
  this finding. Patients do not immediately assume their treating
  psychiatrists are perpetrating tortious acts through harmful and
  psychologically damaging treatment. Instead, patients are reluctant
  to either impute ulterior motives to the advice of the psychiatrist
  or automatically question the propriety of the psychiatrist's

       New Jersey Permanently Revokes License of Social Worker
On June 19, 2003, New Jersey Judge Kenneth Levy ordered that social
worker Dorothy Neddermeyer must permanently refrain from practicing in
New Jersey. In addition to a fine, Neddermeyer must send letters to
clients stating that she is not licensed or certified to engage in
social work, counseling, or therapy. She must also pay restitution to
all clients she saw after April 1, 2002, and change her Web site.
    The specific charge against Neddermeyer was that she had been
practicing social work without a license. In April 2002, Neddermeyer
had voluntarily surrendered her license in an agreement with the State
Board of Social Work Examiners because she was found guilty of
engaging in inappropriate displays of affection with a client. The
Board had also found that she had engaged in professional misconduct
when she diagnosed and treated the client for multiple personality
disorder (MPD) although her training in MPD was limited to some
workshops at a three-day conference and doing independent reading on
the subject.
    In January and February 2002, Neddermeyer counseled two women
during two therapy sessions. The women, who claimed to be suffering
from low self-esteem, were actually investigators from the New Jersey
Consumer Affairs Enforcement Division. Neddermeyer represented herself
to the investigators as a specialist in depression, panic attacks,
sexual and physical abuse recovery, co-dependency, self-esteem issues,
and eating disorders. The business card that she gave to investigators
listed her credentials as Ph.D., MSW, CSW, CCH, CRT, psychotherapist,
and hypnotherapist.
    Dorothy Neddermeyer is the author of a 1995 book entitled If I'd
Only Known...Sexual Abuse In or Out of the Family: A Guide to
Prevention. She has spoken at the International Association for
Regression Research and Therapies (formerly the Association for Past
Life Research and Therapies, Inc.).
    New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey observed in a prepared
statement: "We take a dim view of individuals who enter into
agreements with us and flout them without any regard for state laws
and the general public."

  Berkin, G. S. (2003, June 20). South Orange social worker practiced
  with no license.  Star-Ledger.

  Harvey, P.C. (2003, June 19). Judge permanently restrains revoked
  Essex County social worker from practicing without a license. Press
  Release from New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety,
  Division of Consumer Affairs.

       New Jersey Appeals Court Holds Professionals Accountable
                       Under Consumer Fraud Act
      Macedo v. Dello Russo, No. A-4818-01T3, 359 N.S. Super. 78
       819 A.2d 5 (N.J. Super. 2003) March 27, 2003. LEXIS 112.
The New Jersey Court of Appeals has stated: "When professionals engage
in common commercial activity designed to attract the patronage of the
public, they should be held to the same standards of truth and
completeness that govern the sales activities of all other persons or
    Plaintiff Joseph Macedo and others filed a class action complaint
against licensed ophthalmologist Joseph Dello Russo, M.D., the New
Jersey Eye Center, and William T. Kellogg, M.D., an employee of Dello
Russo who was not a fully licensed physician at the time he treated
the plaintiffs.
   The plaintiffs invoked the Consumer Fraud Act. They allege that
Russo et al. had represented that they would "be treated by properly
licensed doctors, with no limitations on their licenses."
    The complaint contains no allegations of physical injury but seeks
"compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorneys fees, interest,
[and] costs" for "mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, medical
bills, and economic damages." A trial judge held that the Consumer
Fraud Act was inapplicable to "the practice of medicine as presented
under the facts of this case."
    The New Jersey Court of Appeals, however, noted: "There is no
logical underpinning for a rule that permits professionals and their
practice entities to evade the strictures of the Act simply because of
their professional status." The decision is expected to be appealed.
    In a press release about the Macedo decision[1], R. Christopher
Barden, the founder of The National Association for Consumer
Protection in Mental Health Practices, stated that this decision is a
major victory for consumers of health care. "Deceptive practices by
psychotherapists and other health care professionals (and lawyers)
should be subject to consumer fraud laws," Barden said. He further
noted that many deceptive trade practice/consumer fraud laws allow
recovery for treble damages and attorney fees and that the New Jersey
decision could "dramatically increase litigation oversight -- and thus
effective regulation -- of the mental health industry."

[1] Barden, R.C. Major victory for consumers of health care. Electonic
    mail press release. Received July 3, 2003.

/                                                                    \
| "No prosecution under this subsection shall be based upon the      |
| memory of the victim that has been recovered through psychotherapy |
| unless there is some evidence of the corpus delicti independent of |
| such repressed memory."                                            |
|        Amendment to the Delaware Code relating to time limitations |
|           Enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware |
|                                                      June 26, 2003 |

/                                                                    \
| "Recent years have ... seen a shift in child victim client mix.    |
| Anecdotally, many victim service providers report that certain     |
| types of case scenarios are now much less common. The classic      |
| incest case involving a family where one or more daughters is      |
| abused over a period of time, that is otherwise functional, seems  |
| to have virtually disappeared. . . Caseloads are now more          |
| representative of all sexual abuse situations. Most sexual abuse   |
| consists of a single or a few incidents committed by known         |
| offenders; long-term incest is relatively uncommon."               |
|                                                Berliner, L. (2003) |
|          Victim and citizen perspectives on sexual offender policy |
|                   In R.A. Pretky, E.S.Janus & M.C. Seto (Eds.) |
|           Sexually coercive behavior: Understanding and management |
|               New York: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences |
|                                                   989, pp. 464-473 |

                   F R O M   O U R   R E A D E R S
                           After 15 Years!
                (Reported in a phone call to the FMSF)
Last Friday I spoke with my daughter for the first time in 15
years. She actually called me on the telephone at 8 in the morning.
The talk was strained and for most of it she sounded robot-like, but
on a few occasions, she opened up and seemed like the person I once
    The call did not come out of the blue. The Sunday before this
happened our pastor asked church members to tell what they wanted to
see happen most in the world. I thought and thought and went back and
forth. Did I dare to want contact with my daughter? Yes.
    A few days later I called a relative who had reconnected with my
daughter and asked her if she thought that I should phone. My relative
said, "I'll see how she feels." She called me back the next day and
said that my daughter was open to the call. I phoned on a Thursday
evening but only got the answering machine on which I left a
message. My daughter returned my call the next morning.
    My daughter lives far away from any family and has recently been
divorced. Perhaps she is a bit lonely for family contact. It's
difficult to know what to do or how much to hope. As others have
described, it's like walking on eggshells. I asked my relative how
long it had taken her to become comfortable with my daughter and not
feel strained during conversations. She said that it took about six
months before she felt there could be normal back and forth of
ideas. Obviously trust needs to be rebuilt after no contact for such a
long time.
    I don't think I will follow up with a phone call but I have
written. During our talk, my daughter had mentioned a trip that she
was taking, and I was able to tell her that her father had grown up in
that location. I found some pictures and sent them to her with a note
saying that I felt a dream had come true.
    At this time I don't know if the contact is going to go
anywhere. But I thought that FMSF newsletter readers would be
interested in learning about a contact that happened after so many
                                                                 A Mom
                        Different Expectations
It has been over 10 years since we have had any contact with our
daughter. I have come to believe that she is permanently lost. My
husband, on the other hand, still has hopes. I often wonder if other
families have such different expectations.
                                                                 A Mom
                            Never Give Up
Sixteen people from our Colorado group gathered recently. We welcomed
a newly accused, heartbroken couple from Denver to whom we gave
understanding, friendship, and encouragement (such as it is). We also
worked jointly on efforts that many of us have been making as
    The on-going wish of our group has been to try to encourage a
large church body or media organization to bring to the fore the evil
of false, shameful, and criminal accusations that allow for no
investigation and cause destruction of families.
    Although our government's laws presume "innocence until proven
guilty" and place the burden of proof on the accuser, the laws seem to
be overlooked when it comes to false memory syndrome accusations.
    So many of us were accused by church counselors. To those of us
who base our belief on what the Bible teaches, it seems that church
bodies are overlooking what scripture directs. The Bible clearly
states in several places that the church body is to bring the accuser
and accused together to investigate the truth. Witnesses and
circumstantial evidence should be presented with the ultimate goal to
bring about confession of deed or confession of slander so that
forgiveness can be extended, reconciliation can take place, and people
can move on.
    We have previously written hundreds of letters to our church and
have felt that we have gotten nowhere. Recently, a new head of our
church has been appointed and promised to explore avenues of how to
address the problem. Well, we'll see, but it is far more than the few
"I'm sorry, we'll pray for you" responses we have had in the past.
    At our recent meeting we asked everyone in the group to write a
brief summary of when they were accused, by whom, how the family
disintegrated, and the resulting heartbreak. We have received ten so
far. We also asked the members to sign a cover letter thanking our new
church leader for his endeavor in examining the FMS problem. We feel
that it is important to present stories from real people? not just
    Just imagine if each church official, be it college-university
seminary president, editor of a church paper, host of a radio program,
or district representative would state the need to investigate the
    We believe that Christians within the varied denominations MUST
agitate and alert the officials in their churches that accusations and
cut-off behaviors are the opposite of belief in religious teachings.
                                                                 A Mom
                        Some Cling to Old Ways
In July, I wrote to the Director of Jewish Family Services Counseling
in a California city because she had recommended The Courage to Heal
in a local newspaper. I suggested that there were serious scientific
problems with that book and mentioned some examples such as symptom
lists, hypnosis and the advice to cut off from family. I also included
a scholarly review of the book. This is part of her reply:

  "I am also well aware that there are plenty of clients who use books
  unwisely and see therapists who make foolish suggestions and do more
  harm than good. I will continue to recommend Courage to Heal because
  thousands of people have found immense relief and encouragement
  through using it."  

The Bible describes "those who have eyes but will not see and ears but
will not hear." The conflation of the religious paradigm and the
scientific paradigm has given rise to many harmful notions: Satanic
ritual abuse, theophostic counseling, the use of exorcism as an
element of psychiatric treatment, and other bizarre beliefs. It is
tragic that so many in the religious community -- be they Christian,
Jewish, or Muslim -- remain ignorant of the research but presume to
know how to help individuals who are suffering from implanted
delusions. While their intentions are undoubtedly benevolent, they
unwittingly perpetuate and reinforce the very pain and confusion they
intend to assuage.
                                                                 A Mom
                         Wisdom from the Dump
I went to my local dump in July (they call it a sanitary land fill,
but it's a very nice old-fashioned dump), and I overheard a
conversation. The dump man was picking through the paper recycle
container and held up a cereal box and said to a friend, "Too bad, no
Incredible Hulk offer." He explained that if you got three of these
coupons that came on a cereal box, you could send in for some
incredible Hulk item. "They're worth money," he said. "Yeah, for a
while," his friend said. "Yeah," the dump guy said, "It's because of
this movie. It's just another fad. It'll come and it'll go." In light
of the idiocy about the Hunk having MPD, I thought this was an astute
comment that could be applied to the entire notion of MPD.
                                                      Mark Pendergrast
                         Happy To Be Writing
I am so happy to be writing to you with the good news that we have
been visiting out daughter after a separation of 8 years. Our daughter
has not recanted fully, but she wants to begin again with a new
relationship. It is wonderful to have met with her and our grandsons.
Perhaps she will never recant. That doesn't matter to us as we know we
are innocent. We can love her fully anyway and always.
                                                                 A Mom
                      One Family's Tragic Story
                       As reported in the media
Most families prefer to keep the circumstances of FMS accusations
relatively private, but sometimes a story spills into the media. This
is one such story. It is, unfortunately, the story of many families.
    In 1995, Julie Connachan sought help from her doctor for alcohol
problems. The doctor referred her to an unlicensed psychotherapist who
hypnotized her several times. She soon developed memories of sexual
abuse and satanic rituals and came to believe that her parents,
Barbara and Keith Mitchell, had killed her baby brother and buried him
in the family's Riverside, California backyard more than 30 years ago.
Connachan cut off contact with her parents and refused to let them
visit their grandchildren.
    The Mitchells, now living in Colorado, said that none of the
bizarre events claimed by their daughter ever happened. That there was
no baby, for example. None of the Mitchell's other three children have
such memories.
    The Mitchells continued to have contact with their 15-year-old
grandson, however, when he was visiting with his father, Connachan's
ex-husband John. When Julie Connachan learned about the visits, she
stopped sending her son to his father. John Connachan then filed a
complaint because his ex-wife was disregarding a court visitation
order. John Connachan said that he thought his son should have a
relationship with his grandparents. He said "I've never had a problem
with [the Mitchells]. I think they are good people."
    A magistrate ordered Julie Connachan to resume sending her son to
visit his father or to face six months in jail. Julie Connachan, who
clearly believes the bizarre memories, refused to comply with the
order and spent six months in jail in contempt of court. The Mitchells
never wanted their daughter to go to jail.
    Early in January 2003, Keith Mitchell passed a polygraph test,
hoping to bring an end to the ongoing investigation that followed his
daughter's accusations. The Riverside District Attorney has not yet
decided whether to excavate the Mitchell's former yard.
    The Mitchell family story is not over. The end has still to be
                                          Huntley, S. (2002, June 4). 
                                            A family split by memories
                                             Rocky Mountain News, 12A.

/                                                                    \
| "How does one measure the agony of being accused of sexually       |
| assaulting one's child, especially when that accusation is made by |
| the child herself and conveyed to her parents? Such accusations go |
| to their very being as parents. They cannot be certain what will   |
| come of the accusations. Will they be conveyed to other people?    |
| . . . they felt branded as sex offenders and lived in dread of     |
| further disclosures. It is very difficult to put a price upon such |
| damages. The Wisconsin Supreme Court acknowledged that in its      |
| opinion."                                                          |
|                                    Thomas H. Barland, June 7, 2001 |
|                                  in Sawyer v. Midelfort Memorandum |
|                             Decision Deciding Post Verdict Motions |

                             MPD for Kids
Buoyed by our survival of "The Hulk" in June, we dared another
children's movie that had been described as having a character with
MPD. Setting forth on a steamy summer Saturday afternoon, we went to
see "Spy Kids 3-C: Game Over." The other people in the ticket line
over whom we towered, were, as far as we could tell, Spielberg-type
    The film stars Sylvester Stallone as a toymaker who wants to
enslave the children of the world and who talks with his three alter
personalities: a warmonger, an evil scientist, and a hippie. The
president of the United States summons the hero Juni, a preteen who
has previously retired as a government superagent, to save the day. To
accomplish this, Juni has to enter a virtual reality game called "Game
Over" that the Toymaker had designed to trap all the children.
    Stallone played the Toymaker and his three "alters" for broad
laughs. With the oddball guises and the unrelenting and dizzying
visual experiences of the virtual reality game, we're not worried that
that anyone would be lured to the belief that this movie had anything
to do with reality.

/                                                                    \
|                 Sly Stallone's New Villainous Role                 |
|                     "Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over"                      |
|                                                                    |
| HUTCHESON (Anchor}: You know, there are times in [the Hulk] when   |
| you're on screen with yourself four or five different times. Did   |
| you enjoy being the multiple personalities?                        |
|                                                                    |
| SYLVESTER STALLONE: [I]t was like an overacting feast. It was      |
| great. I finally got to chew the scenery. I thought, "God, am I    |
| that bad? Yes, you are that bad. Am I that loud? Yes, you are that |
| loud." It was good. He was kind of like what a lot of people face  |
| every time they wake up the morning and say, "Who do I feel like   |
| today?"                                                            |
|                                Copyright 2003 CTV Television, Inc. |
|                                    SHOW: CANADA AM, August 1, 2003 |

*                           N O T I C E S                            *
*                                                                    *
*               O V E R C O M I N G   I L L U S I O N S              *
*                      Conference Sponsored by                       *
*                 THE ILLINOIS-WISCONSIN FMS Society                 *
*                                                                    *
*                          OCTOBER 4, 2003                           *
*                                                                    *
*                      DoubleTree Guest Suites                       *
*                        1400 Milwaukee Ave.                         *
*                        Glenview, IL  60025                         *
*                            847-803-9800                            *
*                                                                    *
*  8:15 AM Registration                                              *
*  8:45    Welcome - Larry Koszewski, Ph.D. President                *
*  9:00    The Courage to Heal for Real - Carol S. North, M.D.,      *
*          Washington University School of Medicine                  *
* 10:30    Break                                                     *
* 10:45    Siblings Caught in the Middle (sibling panel)             *
* 11:45    FMS on the Internet: A live demonstration - Tom Rooney,   *
*          Member of Steering Committee                              *
* 12:35    Lunch (included in registration dues)                     *
*  1:45    "Hungry for Monsters"                                     *
*          (A gripping new documentary on an FMS case)               *
*  3:00    Why and How I Made "Hungry for Monsters"                  *
*          George Csicsery, Director and Producer of the film        *
*  3:45    Break                                                     *
*  4:00    Round tables led by Dr. North, George Csicsery and others *
*  5:00    Social hour                                               *
*  6:00    Dinner (optional, must be prepaid)                        *
*                                                                    *
*                                Cost                                *
*               Conference and lunch $40. per person.                *
*                 Optional Dinner  $25. per person.                  *
*                                                                    *
*                   Illinois-Wisconsin FMS Society                   *
*                             POBox 3332                             *
*                          Joliet, IL 60434                          *
*                            815-467-6041                            *
*                                 *
*                                       *
*                                                                    *
*                           Devilly, G.J.                            *
*                                                                    *
*      A Chronology of Its Development and Scientific Standing       *
*  Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice, 2002 1 (2) 113-138   *
*                                                                    *
*                         Highly recommended                         *
*                                                                    *
*                                                                    *
*         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 SCANDANAVIA 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                     *
*         *
*                                                                    *
*                     LEGAL WEBSITES OF INTEREST                     *
*                                        *
*                                           *
*                                       *
*                                           *
*                                      *

                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 November/December Newsletter is October 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,     September 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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