FMSF NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE - July/August 2004 - Vol. 13, No. 4, 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)
July/August 2004 Vol. 13 No. 4
ISSN #1069-0484. Copyright (c) 2004 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
In this issue:
        Legal Corner            
          From Our Reader
            Bulletin Board

Dear Friends,

Wouldn't be be interesting if there were a "cease fire" in the memory
wars for the summer? But the debate rages on relentlessly, slowly
bringing greater clarity to the issues.

Arguments about whether significant trauma enhances or hinders memory
may be resolved. A new study (below) powerfully demonstrates that
great trauma seriously interferes with memory.[1] Charles Morgan
studied over 500 soldiers, sailors and pilots at military survival
schools who were were being trained to withstand the mental and
physical stresses of capture. They were subjected to intense
interrogations after 48 hours without food or sleep. Half of them were
physically threatened and showed signs of intense physiological
stress. After 24 hours, only 30 percent could identify the
interrogators in a line up and 30 individuals even got the gender
wrong. The participants who were threatened had the poorest
recognition. The study casts great doubt on the reliability of all
victim testimonies in cases involving psychological trauma and will
likely be highly influential in legal cases.

In recent months, a number of professionals have contacted the
Foundation for help in understanding the significance of the studies
by Michael Anderson and colleagues in 2001 [2] and 2004.[3] (See FMSF
newsletters Vol. 10(3) and Vol. 13(2).) Has a repression mechanism
actually been found, they asked. We were especially pleased to note,
therefore, a paper by Garry and Loftus in the May Skeptical Inquirer
that discusses just this question.[4] In this issue there is a short
description of the paper, enough, we think, to show that the claims
about repression in the Anderson papers go far beyond what the data
actually show.

FMSF Advisor Spencer Harris Morfit has written an essay about personal
responsibility (below) with which some readers may disagree and, we
hope, respond. One point Morfit makes is all too accurate: There is
lack of oversight of psychotherapy. Morfit uses the case of Bennett
Braun, M.D. as an example, but other examples abound. Last year in the
September/October issue we wrote about the fact that New Jersey had
permanently revoked the license of social worker Dorothy Neddermeyer
and ordered her not to offer services on her web site. As of May 19,
2004, Neddermeyer's web site lists 9 office locations for the company
of which she is the Executive Director, and she continues to invite
readers to partake of regression therapy to find their memories.[5]
Another web site tells readers that Brandon Bays cured her cancer by
finding the "old emotional patterns and memories stored in her cells"
and then letting "healing energy resolve and clear the old issues."
She invites readers to attend seminars to learn how to do this.
Caveat emptor -- buyer beware.

Over the years, the FMSF Newsletters have often included information
about day-care cases such as the Kelly Michaels and the Amirault cases,
or about other situations involving young children, such as Wenatchee,
(where the notion of recovered repressed memories was not primarily
involved). This Newsletter issue is unusual, however, because there is
so much about child cases. As time has passed, claims about recovery of
memories have moved to younger and younger children. For example, it is
not unusual for us to get phone calls about 8-year-olds remembering
abuse from age 4 years.

The FMS Foundation is not changing its mission or focus, but readers
should be aware that accusations involving young children seem not to
have slowed down, especially in divorce and custody cases.

The National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information
recently released 2002 data about child abuse. In this issue are a few
of those statistics and a commentary on them by Howard Fishman.
Fishman informs us that Department of Health and Human Services has
reviewed each state's child and family services programs and found
widespread problems in child welfare programs intended to protect
children from abuse and neglect. Indeed, no state received even a
passing grade. His comments provide a context to the release of John
Stoll (below) mentioned in the Legal Corner.

The frustration that so many readers feel about too many
psychotherapists not held accountable for harm that was avoidable is
mirrored in the child cases. In the Stoll case, for example, a report
by the California Attorney General's office in 1986 (18 years before
his release) concluded that local authorities had used "suggestive"
questioning that led children to give answers that authorities wanted.
In the Amirault case (below), the child interviewer Susan J. Kelley is
now Dean of the College of Health and Human Services at Georgia State
University and has apparently continued to cling to her beliefs about
ritual abuse at least through 1996. The prosecutors in the Stoll case
and the child interviewer in the Amirault case went on to success
while John Stoll and Gerald Amirault are just now learning how to deal
with cell phones and malls.

Where is the public outrage that  so many miscarriages of justice have
been allowed to take place in both the child cases and the recovered
memory cases? Where is the outrage that should exist after a government
report finds that no state is doing a good job with child welfare? That
is one of the most puzzling aspects of the current climate.

[1] Morgan, C. A. (2004). Accuracy of eyewitness memory for persons
    encountered during exposure to highly intense stress.
    International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 27 (3), p. 265-279.
[2] Anderson, M.C. & Green, C. (2001). Suppressing unwanted memories
    by executive control. Nature, 410. p. 366-369.
[3] Anderson, M.C., Ochsner, K.N. et al. (2004) Neural systems
    underlying the suppression of unwanted memories. Science, 303.
    p. 232-235.
[4] Garry, M. & Loftus, E. F. (2004, May). I am Freud's brain.
    Skeptical Inquirer, 28 (3), p. 16-18.  c
[5] Information about Neddemeyer corrected on 9/1/04.

       |                    SPECIAL THANKS                    |
       |                                                      |
       |  We extend a very special `Thank you' to all of      |
       |  the people who help prepare the FMSF Newsletter.    |  
       |                                                      |
       |  EDITORIAL SUPPORT: Janet Fetkewicz, Howard          |
       |           Fishman, Peter Freyd                       |
       |  COLUMNISTS: Members of the FMSF Scientific advisory |
       |     Board and Members who wish to remain anonymous   |
       |  LETTERS and INFORMATION: Our Readers                |

                     Repression Mechanism Found?
                              Maybe Not

                Garry, M. & Loftus, E. F. (2004, May).
                         I am Freud's brain.
                Skeptical Inquirer, 28 (3), p. 16-18.

In 2001 Michael Anderson and Collin Green published the results of a
study in which they asked participants not to think about certain
target words (i.e. to suppress the words). The question was whether
participants would, when tested later, be less likely to remember word
pairs that they were asked to suppress compared with a baseline
measure. Anderson and Green concluded that their results "support a
suppression mechanism that pushes unwanted memories out of awareness,
as posited by Freud." (Anderson and Green, 2001, p. 368). In 2004,
Anderson et al. published another paper that repeated the first
experiment with the addition that subjects were scanned with an MRI to
measure their brain activity during part of the task. Anderson et al.
claimed that they had found the psychological mechanism for the
voluntary form of repression (suppression). In addition, Anderson was
quoted in a New York Times article stating: "there's no question that
we're tapping into something that's relevant to the experiences of
people who survive trauma and find the memories become less and less
intrusive over time." (O'Connor, 2004)

These are very strong claims, and Garry and Loftus argue that they
seem to be unwarranted. They cite several different lines of research
and arguments for their conclusion. Among the points cited by Garry
and Loftus:

1. The studies have nothing to do with memory for trauma. Participants
were not chosen because of a traumatic history and they were not
suffering from PTSD.

2. The results of studies by McNally have shown that that trauma
survivors are no better than anybody else at rejecting unpleasant
memories (McNally et al. 1998).

3. The Anderson studies tell us about memories for mundane words, not
traumatic events. Daniel Schacter questioned what Anderson's
experiment shows about repression. He noted that a hallmark of
Freudian notions of repression is that people push distressing,
threatening, personal information out of awareness, not mundane
irrelevancies. (Schacter, 2001)

4. In an interview with the New York Times, Larry Squire cautioned
that Anderson et al.'s neuroimaging results could be interpreted in an
entirely different way -- that they could reflect the fact that
subjects were directing their attention elsewhere. (O'Connor, 2004)

5. Anderson and colleagues have now twice claimed to have found that
the suppression instruction causes poorer memory performance. However
John Bulevich, Henry Roediger and David Balota have twice replicated
the experiment and they have failed to find any such effect (Bulevich,
Roediger, and Balota, 2003). That is not to say there is no
suppression effect, but it does mean that it might be rather fragile.
Fragile suppression has little resemblance to robust repression.

The claims about repression go far beyond what the data have shown.

                                * * *

Anderson, M.C. & Green, C. (2001). Suppressing unwanted memories by
executive control. Nature, 410, p. 366-369.

Anderson, M.C., Ochsner, K.N. et al. (2004). Neural systems underlying
the suppression of unwanted memories. Science, 30,. p. 232-235.

Bulevich, J.B., Roediger,III, H.L. & Balota, D.A. (2003). Can episodic
memories be suppressed. Poster presented at the 44th annual meeting of
the Psychonomic Society, Vancouver, Canada.

McNally, R.J., Clancy, S.A. & Schacter, D.L. (2001). Directed
forgetting of trauma cues in adults reporting repressed or recovered
memories of childhood sexual abuse. Journal of Abnormal Psychology,
110 (1,. p. 151-156.

O'Connor, A. (2004, January 9). Brain may be able to bury unwanted
memories, study shows. New York Times. Available at: science/09MEMO.html.

Schacter, D.L. (2001). Suppression of unwanted memories: Repression
revisited? The Lancet, 357, p. 1724-1725.

/                                                                    \
| "Little tiny false memories, maybe, that we probably have all the  |
| time, don't hurt people very much. But when it comes to people     |
| developing these very big false memories of being molested in      |
| satanic rituals or assaulted by people who didn't do anything to   |
| them -- and we know false memories of this sort have been          |
| generated -- then it does people a lot of harm. Wrong people get   |
| prosecuted, innocent people get sued civilly. And so, the false    |
| memory problem is a very big problem in society. And we're here    |
| really just trying to understand how it is that you can plant a    |
| seed of suggestion and out of this a whole false memory can grow." |
|                                    Elizabeth Loftus (2004, May 11) |
|                  Scientific American Frontiers, "When Memory Lies" |

                     Extreme Stress Limits Memory
                         Morgan, C. A. (2004)

              Accuracy of eyewitness memory for persons
        encountered during exposure to highly intense stress.

   International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 27 (3), p. 265-279.

Many studies have questioned the accuracy of memory for traumatic
events, but often that research has been dismissed as being too far
removed from real-life trauma. Other studies have argued that intense
personal trauma results in better memories. This study shows that
highly stressful situations greatly impair the accuracy of memory. The
results appear to finally settle the argument.

Charles A. Morgan, III, studied over 500 soldiers, sailors and pilots
at military survival schools. The subjects were being trained to
withstand the mental and physical stresses of capture. They were
subjected to intense interrogations after 48 hours without food or
sleep. Half of them were physically threatened and they showed signs
of intense physiological stress.

A day after release from the camp the participants were asked to
identify their interrogators. Only 30 per cent could find the right
person in a line-up and 49 percent from sequential photos. Clothing
cues boosted the correct identification to 66 per cent. Thirty people
got the gender wrong and the participants who had been subjected to
physical threats were the worst at recognizing their interrogators.

The author comments that since this study used highly trained and
selective subjects, the generally population might be even lower.The
author notes that "these data raise the possibility that other types
of stress-induced memory deficits (such as narrative memory) may also
exist in healthy individuals."

This study casts significant doubt on the reliability of all victim
testimonies in cases involving psychological trauma.

/                                                                    \
| We are especially pleased to let you know that the paper "From     |
| Refusal to Reconciliation: Family Relationships After an           |
| Accusation Based on Recovered Memories" by Paul McHugh, Harold     |
| Lief, Pamela Freyd and Janet Fetkewicz, will appear in the August  |
| 2004 issue of the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease.           |
|                                                                    |
| This paper is based on family responses to the FMSF survey two     |
| years ago. If you would like a copy, please send a self-addressed  |
| and stamped standard size envelope to the Foundation office.       |

         Excerpts from Child Maltreatment 2002: Key Findings
    National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information

                            On the Web at:

In 2002, an estimated total of 2.6 million referrals concerning the
welfare of approximately 4.5 million children were made to CPS
agencies throughout the United States. Of these, approximately
two-thirds (an estimated 1.8 million) were accepted for investigation
or assessment; one-third were not accepted.

An estimated 896,000 children were determined to be victims of child
abuse or neglect in 2002. The rate of victimization per 1,000 children
in the national population has dropped from 13.4 children in 1990 to
12.3 children in 2002.

Approximately 30 percent of the reports included at least one child
who was found to be a victim of abuse or neglect. Sixty-one percent of
the reports were found to be unsubstantiated (including intentionally
false); the remaining reports were closed for additional reasons. More
than 60 percent of child victims experienced neglect. Almost 20
percent were physically abused; 10 percent were sexually abused and 7
percent were emotionally maltreated. [The rest were associated with
"other" types of maltreatment.]

More than 80 percent of perpetrators were parents. Of all parents who
were perpetrators, less than 3 percent were associated with sexual
abuse. Of all perpetrators of sexual abuse, nearly 29 percent were
other relatives, and nearly one-quarter were in nonrelative or
nonchildcaring roles.

/                                                                    \
| When the media passes along doubtful information, it runs a risk   |
| of not only misinforming, but of starting things truly harmful.    |
| Junk psychology is a prime example.                                |
|                                                                    |
| In 1973, a bestseller told the story of multiple personalities. It |
| was titled Sybil, and it took years to reveal that the whole thing |
| was a fraud. Meanwhile, many who bought into it were psychologists |
| and they produced a blizzard of books on the subject, reporting    |
| patients with dozens of personalities in one host, creating        |
| problems and doing evil the patient wasn't responsible for. Many   |
| of the books were bestsellers.                                     |
|                                                                    |
| This led to false memory syndrome, recovered memories that during  |
| the "great sex panic" of the '80s sent dozens of people, mainly    |
| dads, to jail for sex crimes against their children that never     |
| happened. As adults, the children experienced recovered memories   |
| while in therapy. Families were torn apart. Dozens of others went  |
| to jail for ritual sex abuse of children, through evidence         |
| downloaded by psychologists. The whole frenzy was fed by the       |
| media, including movies and trash television.                      |
|                                                                    |
| It got sorted out and there are still lawsuits in the mix, but     |
| only now is the question coming up: What is the responsibility of  |
| the professional associations that are supposed to police the      |
| psychology field? What is the responsibility of courts that bought |
| into it? How is it that despite such a track record, psychologists |
| still shop the courts for work, and are accepted as experts?       |
|                                           Dave Brown (2004, May 9) |
|                                 Famous last words: 'I'm an expert' |
|                                             Ottawa Citizen, p. A10 |

                Commentary On Child Maltreatment Data:
             The Numbers Tell the Tale . . . or Do They?

                            Howard Fishman

Readers of the FMSF Newsletter will not be surprised to learn that the
data regarding child maltreatment (see article in this issue) need to
be parsed carefully. They are revealing both in terms of what is
included and what is omitted. Just a few of the most obvious questions
raised by these statistics [1] will be discussed.

It is reported that there were 2.6 million "referrals" to child
welfare officials in 2002. Not mentioned is the fact that this number
reflects a decrease of 500,000 reports compared with the 1997 data. We
are not told the reasons for this change.

What has not changed is the evidence of rampant child abuse hysteria.
In 2002 -- as in 1997 -- about 70% of all reports were not deemed
worthy of investigation or were determined to be "unfounded" or
"unsubstantiated." In pragmatic terms, what this means is that two
million innocent families were falsely accused in 2002. The emotional
and financial costs of these "erroneous" reports are ignored. Also
unmentioned is the fact that despite laws sanctioning false reporting,
such prosecutions almost never occur.

The report notes that "an estimated 896,000 children were determined
to be victims of child abuse or neglect in 2002." Seventy percent of
these children (about half a million) were "victims" of neglect. There
is no acknowledgement that "neglect" typically means nothing more than
"poverty" and that a significant majority of these children suffer no
inflicted harm. Rather than providing needy families with appropriate
social services, the current system seems to prefer removing children
in order to justify an extensive foster care program. Several
critically important facts may help us better understand the data and
the current state of child protection:

1. Federal authorities continue to fail to segregate cases involving
children who are abused or neglected while under state supervision or
in state care. Several hundred children in these categories die every
year, but it is difficult to obtain hard facts because state officials
hide behind confidentiality laws. There is no question, however, but
that children in state care are at significantly increased risk of
severe physical injury, molestation, and death.

2. Between forty and sixty percent (depending upon jurisdiction) of
children killed by their parents or other caregivers were already
known to child protection authorities as being "at risk."

3. The data reported by federal officials fail to include the ultimate
outcomes of so-called "founded" cases. Whether pursued through
administrative channels, civil proceedings, or criminal trials,
approximately one-third to one-half of these cases result in a finding
of no culpability by the alleged offender. Thus, we have an "error
rate" (or, more pointedly, a false accusation rate) of between 80 and
85 percent.

4. The data regarding child sex abuse are particularly revealing.
Contrary to the impression created by the media and the sponsors of
many professional conferences, sexual abuse is reported in only 10% of
all cases. In fact, of all parents who were reported to be abusers,
less than 3 percent were associated with sexual abuse.

5. In many child protection agencies, the turnover rate among
caseworkers is in excess of 30% annually. All too often, those who
remain may be unfamiliar with the professional literature and the
hazards associated with leading, suggestive, manipulative, and
coercive questioning. The techniques for implanting memories in
children are similar, if not identical, to those employed by
"recovered memory therapists." Another parallel is the belief that
certain behaviors and "symptoms" are definitive indicators of sexual
abuse, despite the fact that such beliefs have been consistently
debunked in the reliable research literature. Consequently, the
testimony of caseworkers is typically replete with myths and "junk

Tragically, there is little political will to initiate comprehensive
and fundamental reform of this dysfunctional and destructive system.
Just as the national associations representing the mental health
professions have generally failed to challenge the unscientific
practices of "recovered memory" practitioners, those who might effect
change in the child protection enterprise have avoided doing so
despite blatant evidence of rampant injustice, ineffectiveness, and

The only promising development has been the initiative undertaken by
the Department of Health and Human Services to review each state's
child and family services. The reviews took place between 2001 and
2004. It was reported by the New York Times [2] that "federal
investigators have found widespread problems in child welfare programs
intended to protect children from abuse and neglect, and no state has
received passing grades from the Bush administration in reviews
conducted over the last three years."

Seven of the standards utilized in the reviews "focus on the safety
and well-being of children, including the incidence of abuse and
neglect, the time they spend in foster care and the stability of their
living arrangements. Federal officials said 16 states did not meet any
of the seven standards."

While there is a legitimate need for competent child protection
programs, the current system is ineffective and dysfunctional. Unless
and until there is a groundswell of public outrage, we will continue
to see that "figures lie and liars figure."

[1] National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information,
    "Excerpts from Child Maltreatment 2002: Key Findings." On the Web
[2] Pear, R.. (2004, April 26). "U.S. Finds Fault in All 50 States'
    Child Welfare Programs," New York Times.

/                                                                    \
| "Usurp someone's memory, and he'll grow a new narrative over time, |
| one that thrives in his belief system. What began as a lie gains   |
| status as a memorable truth."                                      |
|                                                     Diane Ackerman |
|                          quoted in Pendergrast, M. (2004, June 13) |
|                   Books: A cerebral study of human brain's wonders |
|                      Review of The Marvel and Mystery of the Brain |

                   Essay on Personal Responsibility
                        Spencer Harris Morfit

FMSF has done a remarkable job of raising awareness about the "false"
or "recovered" memory phenomenon. Arguably, the most significant
contribution is a sharp awareness of the role suggestion plays in
therapy and how vulnerable to suggestion we are. Many of the efforts
of the Foundation (including mine) have been directed towards trying
to educate, exhort, regulate or sue therapists into accepting more
professional responsibility for the influence they exert over their
patients. Though we've had our victories, we ruefully note that large
pockets of the therapeutic professions have proved extraordinarily
recalcitrant, that licensing boards are close to useless, professional
associations slow to act (if, indeed, they ever do), and that
professional conferences still offer seminars on, for instance,
"ritualized Satanic abuse."

If we want to make more progress still, perhaps we ought to look at
the client side of the equation. Specifically, does the client have
any responsibility for surrendering all self-sovereignty over
something as personal as one's own memories and history to a
therapist? Now please bear with me. I am aware that in asking that
question I risk the accusation I am "blaming the victim." If I recall
the fact that, with the exception of pre-school children, over 90% of
the false accusations come from women, please don't heap the coals of
"sexism" on my head. I invite you to step back here with me and take a
look at our experience from some new angles.

First, let us observe that, with the exception of our own Scientific
and Advisory Board and a handful of others -- God bless `em --
leadership on any "correction" of the problem has come from outside
the clinical professions. Leadership has come from parents organizing
to protest false accusations. It has come from lawyers introducing
rigor in the courtroom. It's come from research psychologists who are
regularly attacked or ignored by the clinicians, from retractors, from
the media, from managed care. Little has come from inside and we are
still waiting for in-depth coverage of the "false memory" issues to
become universal textbook fare.

Second, no matter how much responsibility we think therapists or
regulatory bodies should take, a lot of them don't. A case in point is
that of Dr. Bennett Braun. If Braun isn't the fountainhead of clinical
ideas about "multiple personality disorder" and "Satanic abuse," then
would you buy "poster child?" Yet, despite the facts that:

oBraun and his co-defendants have settled multiple malpractice suits
for tens of millions of dollars (including the record $10.6 million
dollar settlement for the Burgus family that made the front page of
The New York Times) oThey were named as co-conspirators in a criminal
trial; oNationally televised documentaries have covered their bizarre
practices; oBraun's license to practice was suspended in Illinois;...

We now learn the State of Montana has issued a "restricted" license to
Braun and he still practices in Helena. If years of going after Braun
have not removed this most egregious and visible public menace, then
how can we hope to go against every therapist's faulty theories and
misguided techniques? We can't -- any more than we can protect a
beloved daughter's heart by eliminating every cad, roué, or wolf on
the planet. Unless we really want to accompany them to every co-ed
occasion, we would train our daughters to protect themselves.

Third, let's take a look at where some of these cases started to turn
around. Specifically, let's look at the well-known and severe cases of
two Braun clients, Pat Burgus and Mary Shanley. These were
well-covered in the PBS FRONTLINE documentary called "The Search for
Satan" which is my primary source for this. In both instances, the
therapists were administering psychotropic drugs, isolating the
patients from any contravening opinions, and strapping them down in
full restraints. Any rational person would acknowledge this is extreme
and abusive treatment, that the therapists failed to meet minimal
standards of care as the patients deteriorated under the treatment
regimen, that the therapists have responsibility for applying unproven
techniques. Still, the therapists didn't own this responsibility,
never have, probably never will.

Even under these extreme conditions, both Pat Burgus and Mary Shanley,
by their own statements, started to improve when they stopped
believing the "experts" and started making decisions for themselves.
Granted, it helped that they were backing off drugs as the treatment
reached a conclusion that was suspiciously coincidental to the
exhaustion of their insurance benefits. But both Burgus and Shanley
were quite clear on this matter in their FRONTLINE interviews. Burgus,
with emphasis, says something to this effect: "I started to get better
when I stopped believing Dr. Braun." Shanley says she started to get
better when she found a new therapist for outpatient treatment. She
reports on one early session that went something like this:

  THERAPIST: "Mary, do you like thinking of yourself as a priestess in
  a Satanic cult?  Do you like uncovering all these memories?"

  SHANLEY (emphatically): "No!  It's horrible!  I hate it!"

  THERAPIST: "Well then stop. Just stop. Stop doing all this
  uncovering and let's start focusing on the day-to-day issues that
  will get you functioning again."

Shanley reports that the "memories" dropped off almost immediately and
she began to go forward. Hmmmmm! Interesting to note that mental
health and taking responsibility for oneself seem to have some
correlation here. Though it's interesting that Mary seemed to need
permission to stop.

Burgus and Shanley report other things that are often found in
retractor reports. At several points in the therapy, they questioned
how therapists could know more about their own histories and
"memories" than they did. GOOD question! There were times when they
themselves found the "Satanic" explanations bizarre. The question is:
If they found those interpretations questionable, why did they
repeatedly capitulate to the therapists instead of calling the
therapists to account? Some related questions are: 1) Are women more
prone to this than men? 2) If so, why?

I've heard lots of answers to these questions. Most boil down to the
fact that the patients revered the therapists as experts. Some point
out that over 90% of therapeutic patients are women, so it's logical
that over 90% of the accusations would come from women. That ignores
the question of why women so easily submit themselves to a process
that seems to require such self-surrender while men do not. Again, by
their own admission, there were times when patients repeatedly
questioned the "expertise" and abandoned their own reservations. Why?
Did they think they had no right to question unless they had a Ph.D.
in philosophy and several credit hours of logic? Is that the other
side of the "expert" issue? And, if so, do we need a Ph.D. in
political science to vote? Or in nutrition to grocery shop? How about
child development to be a parent? Or electrical engineering to replace
an outlet? Or a cruise missile to light a cigarette? This question
that is so stunning in these cases is: Even allowing for the vagaries
of memory, who could POSSIBLY have more authority over your history
and your memories than yourself?

The biggest lesson of the "false memory" phenomenon is, "Let the buyer
beware." This isn't the only venue in which this ancient warning is
apt. We learn we cannot blindly entrust our 401Ks to "experts" on Wall
Street. Our employers may lie to us. The FDA approves drugs that prove
to have fatal side effects and are withdrawn months later. Our
government leads us to war looking for weapons of mass destruction.
There's so much conflicting advice about diet and nutrition it has
become a joke. It's just darned dangerous to place unearned trust in
anyone, no matter how many credentials they have. There's a point
beyond which waiting for vested interests to self-correct only keeps
us entangled and dependent upon them. If we want to protect ourselves
and the women/people we love, then it seems it would be helpful to
study this tendency to surrender self-sovereignty in any venue, but
perhaps starting in therapy. What are the vulnerabilities? How do we
teach people to think for themselves? How do we build skill and
self-confidence in their own capacities for self-scrutiny? How do we
support them in demanding reasonable explanations for unreasonable
statements and holding their ground until they get them -- or they
walk away? Indeed, is this possibly a straighter path to health?

It would be mistake to think I lack sympathy for the painful
separations these false memories have caused. It would be a mistake to
think I am not justifiably enraged at what some therapists do in the
name of "help." It would be a mistake to think I underestimate the way
therapists may lay siege to "resistances." The point here is not to
blame the victim, but, recognizing all of this, to prevent them from
becoming victims in the first place. And the only way I know to do
that is to encourage the development of a healthy, skilled skepticism
that is the beginning of wisdom.

I write this on Mother's Day, partially in loving tribute to my own
mother who urged me to think independently (though, if she were alive,
she would tell you she sometimes thinks she went overboard.)

  Spencer Harris Morfit is an author and business woman. She is a
  member of the FMSF Professional Advisory Board.

            | "Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in |
            | the memory as the wish to forget it."  |
            |                              Montaigne |

                  Recovering from Recovered Memories
                           Mark Pendergrast

  Here is the final installment from Mark Pendergrast's proposal for a
  book entitled Recovering from Recovered Memories, following the case
  study of Betty O'Connor. This ends Chapter 1, "How Could This Have
  Happened to Me?

You, the reader, may be in a situation similar to Betty's, or you may
have begun to doubt your memories even more seriously. Regardless, you
need to realize that you were led down a path, and that it does not
mean that you were sick, crazy, or even unusual. You were simply
trying to find answers to problems in your life. One of the reasons
that Betty refuses to talk about this issue is that she would be too
embarrassed to admit that she had been wrong about something so major
and important. But once you understand how easily this delusion can
occur, it becomes easier to face reality.

And it is very important to face reality. Reality is precisely the
condition you need, after having been led to live in a destructive
fantasy world.

Everyone needs to understand, however, that you didn't want to accuse
your father and mother unjustly. You didn't want to put them and
yourself through years of unnecessary suffering. People keep asking,
"Why would anyone want to believe something so awful about their
father if it weren't true?"

But it clearly isn't a matter of wanting to believe. The initial
incest suspicion is like a seed, planted in the fertile soil of your
imagination. It doesn't take much -- just a small seed, planted by a
television program, a book, a friend, or a therapist. Maybe, just
maybe, all of your problems stem from childhood incest. Maybe you've
forgotten it. Maybe that's why you are uncomfortable at family
reunions. Maybe. No, no, that's insane! Forget it, not Dad, not Mom!
You try to dismiss the idea. But it won't go away. It takes root,
sends out creepers, and grows. Soon the mental repressed memory vine
is twining out of your ears, sending roots down to your gut, taking
over your life. It's true!  Your worst fears were justified!

And once you commit to this version of reality, to the idea that you
were a secret, unknowing incest survivor, it becomes very difficult to
take it back or to change your mind. Back in 1957, psychologist Leon
Festinger wrote a very interesting book called A Theory of Cognitive
Dissonance. His idea was that your mind simply cannot handle two
severely conflicting notions of reality at the same time. Something
has to give. When we experience some kind of disequilibrium -- when
one of our central beliefs is somehow challenged -- it results in an
internal conflict that Festinger termed "cognitive dissonance." The
more important and dramatic the conflict, the greater the magnitude of
the dissonance. When we suffer such massive internal tension, we must
come down on one side or the other, or go insane.

Certainly, there could be no greater cognitive dissonance than that
produced by recovered memories. A woman is suddenly asked to believe
that her father, previously regarded as someone who loved and
protected her, raped her throughout her childhood. In The Courage to
Heal, Ellen Bass and Laura Davis document the intolerable confusion
and upheaval this causes. "The hardest thing was accepting the fact
that someone I loved and cherished -- my father -- could have violated
me so deeply," one woman told them. Another said, "It's like you're
dissolving and there's nothing to hold on to." A third confessed that
"trying to fit the new reality into the shattered framework of the old
was enough to catapult me into total crisis. I felt my whole
foundation had been stolen from me." The Courage to Heal also relates
the story of Emily, whose parents loved her and begged to talk to her.
"Every time Emily spoke to her parents she became ill -- the conflict
between what she knew inside and what they presented was too great."
Her solution was to cut off all contact with her parents and seek
reassurance from her therapist.

People tend to believe the word of an authoritative expert. So, to
reduce "cognitive dissonance" inside your head, you have to banish any
thought that you might be wrong. That's why people will continue to
hold tightly to their beliefs sometimes, even in the face of
overwhelming evidence to the contrary. There are even instances of
women who have been proven to be medical virgins who continue to
insist that they were raped all during their childhoods and repressed
all memory of it.

Festinger pointed out a paradoxical truth -- the greater the
underlying dissonance, the more confidence a person must feel in the
decision to opt for a new world view, and the less likely she will be
to reverse that decision. Once you become an incest survivor, in other
words, it becomes unbearable to consider that you might be wrong. You
are stuck with your new identity. To turn back would renew the

"The social group is at once a major source of cognitive dissonance
for the individual," Festinger wrote, "and a major vehicle for
eliminating and reducing the dissonance." Bass and Davis repeatedly
emphasize how important such groups are in The Courage to Heal. "Being
in a group with other survivors can be a powerful way to vanquish
shame. When you hear other women talk about their abuse and are not
disgusted, and when you see those same women listen to your story with
respect, you begin to see yourself as a proud survivor." This social
reinforcement is key. "Social support is particularly easy to obtain
when a rather large number of persons who associate together are all
in the same situation," Festinger wrote in 1957. "If everyone believes
it, it most certainly must be true."

It is truly remarkable how suggestible people become in groups, as
Solomon Asch demonstrated in a series of 1956 experiments. Eight
college students, assembled in a group, were shown a simple line, then
asked to specify which of three alternative lines were the same
length. Although the answer was obvious, seven of the students, who
were coached ahead of time, answered incorrectly. The real subject of
the experiment always reported next to last. Seventy-five percent of
these subjects gave an incorrect answer at least once, although when
they performed the test alone, they always chose the correct response.
"At first I thought I had the wrong instructions," one student said,
"then that something was wrong with my eyes and my head."

More recently, experimental psychologist Elizabeth Loftus has
conducted an experiment that shows how someone can easily create a new
traumatic childhood memory. She suggested that her research assistant,
Jim, tell a younger sibling, 14-year-old Chris, that he had been lost
in a shopping mall (a mythical event) when he was five years old, but
that a nice man wearing a flannel shirt had found him and brought him
back to his parents. At first, Chris accurately reported that he
didn't remember any such event, but that he would think about it.

Two days later, Chris not only "remembered," but he described
convincingly how he had felt that day. "I was so scared that I would
never see my family again. I knew that I was in trouble." Two weeks
later, Chris had rehearsed the memory in some detail, filling in the
gaps. He recalled, with some emotion, how he had been frightened and
cried. He had created an image of his rescuer, who was bald and wore
glasses. Even after he was "debriefed" and told that the story wasn't
true, Chris clung to it. "Really? I thought I remembered being
lost...and looking around for you guys. I do remember that, and then
crying, and Mom coming up and saying, `Where were you?  Don't you ever
do that again.' " Five subjects in the pilot sample, ranging in age
from 8 to 42, easily developed memories for being lost in a mall at
the age of five.

So you see -- perfectly normal people can come to believe quite
extraordinary things. To believe in a delusion, you do not need to be
mentally ill. All it takes is to catch you at a vulnerable time when
you are desperate for help, urgently seeking an answer.

When you go to therapy, you are by definition in a vulnerable state,
looking for such answers. If the therapist, a figure of authority,
says you have "all the symptoms" of a sex abuse survivor, and that you
probably repressed the memories, and that you will only get better if
you remember, there is a powerful motivation to "remember" abuse.

Unfortunately, once you do "remember" abuse, it draws you into an
ever-increasing spiral of misery, rage, confusion, panic attacks, and
more horrifying visions of abuse. Recovered memory therapy generally
makes people worse, not better. Therapists who encourage "memory"
retrieval are fond of saying, "You have to get worse before you get
better." But the getting worse seems to be the only part that happens.
While getting in touch with more and more "memories," you rage and
suffer. You lose sleep. You lose your job and friends, your family,
and often your marriage and children.

There is hope, however. Once those suffering from "recovered memories"
begin to live in reality, they can reclaim their lives and the joy.
For those who are still in the grip of recovered memories: Take a
clear, cool, objective look at your life. Are you better off now? Do
you miss your family? Is this the way you want to live the rest of
your life?

Now, you who have recovered "memories" probably really are suffering
from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but it isn't from an
abusive childhood. It's from having your entire foundation ripped out
from under you by recovered memory therapy. It is natural for you to
feel devastated and angry. You want answers. You want your past back.
You want your family back. You want your mind back.

The good news is -- everything is there waiting for you. Travel down
the path to reality, fight your way back to understanding, and you can
not only reclaim your family -- you can help make it better than it
ever was. But it will take a lot of courage, a lot of work. Nothing in
this life is easy.

  Mark Pendergrast is the author of Victims of Memory: Incest
  Accusations and Shattered Lives in addition to several other books.

/                                                                    \
|                         PAPER OF INTEREST                          |
|       Myths, Damned Myths, and Psychoanalytic Case Histories       |
|                         By Allen Esterson                          |
|                                                                    |
| Allen Esterson dissects a BBC radio program on Freud and hysteria  |
| in which a researcher claimed to have uncovered early childhood    |
| sexual abuse in one of his patients that he directly associated    |
| with symptoms that developed in adulthood. Paper is available at:  |
|                  http://www.butterfliesandwheels.                  |
|                    com/articleprint.php?num=58                     |
|                         (Posted 5/5/2004)                          |

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

               Leading Irish Child Abuse Expert Is Sued

A 23-year-old Dublin woman is suing Dr. Moira Woods, Ireland's leading
expert in child sexual abuse. The plaintiff, Cherie Eustace, claims
that she falsely accused her father, Edward Hernon, of sexual abuse as
a result of Dr. Woods's treatment when she was 5-years-old. At that
time, Dr. Woods concluded that that she had been sexually abused. The
plaintiff was estranged from her father as a consequence of the
accusations, but she has since been reunited with him. Dr. Woods, the
former head of the Sexual Assault Trauma Unit at the Rotunda Hospital
in Dublin, has strongly denied the charges.

In December 2001, the Irish Medical Council made a finding of
professional misconduct against Dr. Woods. In 1992, several families
complained that they had been falsely accused because of Dr. Woods.
After ten years, the Medical Council issued a statement concluding
that Dr. Woods had "failed to gather all the available evidence and/or
did not follow protocols....and/or failed to review additional
information received after preliminary findings had been reached."

                         John Stoll Released

Kern County Judge John Kelly overturned the conviction of John Stoll
this spring. Stoll, who was convicted on 17 counts of child
molestation, spent almost 20 years in prison. Prosecutors will not
seek to retry him.

After a lengthy hearing, Judge Kelly noted that prosecutors had
presented no physical evidence at the original trial and that none of
the six children who accused Stoll had been examined by doctors. The
case rested solely on the children's testimony that the defense
contended had been coerced. Four of the six accusers recently
testified that they had lied on the stand, saying they were coerced.
Unfortunately, Stoll's son has stuck to the original claims he made
during a bitter divorce and custody fight.

On May 4, John Stoll walked out of the prison that had been his home
for almost 20 years. Stoll, now 61, was one of the 30 people convicted
in the California Kern County (Bakersfield) child abuse hysteria in
the early 1980s. He said that he survived in prison by posing as a
drug runner. Because of the work of the California Innocence Project
during the past two years, he has finally been released, one of the
last to be set free.

As early as 1986, a yearlong investigation of the Kern County cases
was done by the California Attorney General's Office. The
investigation concluded that local authorities had used "suggestive"
questioning that led children to give answers that they wanted. At
that time, the "attorney general said there was both a shortage of
corroborating evidence and that some alleged victims were simply
parroting what they were told in questioning or what they heard other
children say." [1]
[1] Boren, J. (2004, May 9). Botched child molestation cases meted out    
    injustice. Fresno Bee, p. F3.

| "The real tragedy is that those who ran the justice system knew    |
| the charges were trumped up [in 1986], especially with the cases   |
| began falling apart in the appellate courts. But it still took a   |
| dozen years for the victims to win their freedom."                 |
|                                                         John Boren |
                        Outreau Case in France

The largest pedophilia case ever presented in France fell apart in May
on the 10th day of trial when the main witness said: "I'm sick, I'm a
liar, I lied about everything."

The case began when a teacher became suspicious about the obscene
behavior of a child. Upon questioning, the child, along with other
children, told harrowing stories of rape, torture and bestiality that
were supposed to have taken place between 1996 and 2000 at a home in
the grim steel-making town of Outreau. The mother in this home made a
detailed confession and then proceeded to claim that her ex-husband
and 16 other adults had participated in the abuse of at least 18
children ranging in age from 3 to 12.

It appears that although some abuse may have occurred, the lives of
many people were unnecessarily devastated. An accused father, Alain
Marecaux, who was a court bailiff and property lawyer, shouted: "I've
lost everything. They stole my children. Killed my mother." The
children in these families had been placed in care and one even tried
to commit suicide at the start of the trial.

Defense lawyers are demanding to know why a series of expert
psychologists had declared the evidence of the children to be
"credible" despite many gaps and factual discrepancies. It seems that
France is now facing a painful examination of how such a fraud could
have been taken so seriously by so many people for so long.

  Lichfield, J. (2004, May 20). Child abuse trial's collapse pitches
  French justice system into crisis. The Independent (UK).

  Smith, C.S. (2004, May 20). French pedophilia case falls apart when
  main suspect recants. New York Times, p. A5.

          Defenses Wither for Negligent Abuse Investigators

Two new Washington appellate decisions give persons falsely accused of
child abuse better prospects for recovering damages from Child
Protective Services and police.

Incomplete investigation renders CPS liable -- In Tyner v. Dept. of
Social and Health Services,[1] the Washington Supreme Court reinstated
a falsely accused father's verdict against CPS for his separation from
his children. A CPS caseworker did not attempt to speak with witnesses
the father had identified. The caseworker's conclusion that the abuse
allegation was unfounded did not appear in his report to the court.
These failings were negligent.

The court of appeals set aside the verdict. It reasoned that CPS's
negligence was not the proximate (direct) cause of the separation
because a court had ordered it, even though the court did so after
receiving CPS's report.

The supreme court did find proximate cause. If CPS does not give a
court all material information, it held, the court's action does not
shield CPS from liability.

Police also liable for negligent investigation -- The second case
arose from the notorious Wenatchee "child sex abuse ring"
investigation of 1994-95. In Rodriguez v. Perez,[2] children and
parents sued police, alleging negligent police interviewing during the
investigation. The trial court dismissed their claims, relying on case
law that the police's duty to investigate crime is owed only to the
public at large, not to particular persons.

The court of appeals reversed. It relied on a statute directing both
police and CPS to investigate child abuse reports for the benefit of
children and their parents and custodians. The statute, the court
reasoned, thus created a protected class whose members, police
officers, like CPS workers, have a legal duty to investigate properly.

[1] Tyner v. Department of Soc. & Health Servs., Child Protective
    Servs., No. 67602-0, Supreme Court of Washington, 141 Wn.2d 68; 
    1 P.3d 1148; 2000 Wash. LEXIS 387.
[2] Rodriguez v. Perez, No. 43812-3-I, Court of Appeals of Washington,
    Division One, 99 Wn. App. 439; 994 P.2d 874; 2000 Wash. App.
    LEXIS 308.
                           Amirault Update

Gerald "Tooky" Amirault was finally released from prison at the end of
April -- in time to give his daughter away at her wedding. He also
received his college diploma from Boston University. He has been very
busy catching up with the 18 missing years, but he and his family took
time to attend an FMSF meeting in Massachusetts. At that meeting he
thanked families for their support and spoke of his intention to do
what he could to prevent future miscarriages of justice.

Families discussed the circumstances of the Amirault case and wondered
what had become of the child-interviewer who had helped to cause such
unnecessary devastation. Susan J. Kelley began interrogating the
children from Fells Acres in 1984 when she was an R.N. and a graduate
intern in a program at Boston College School of Nursing. She earned
her Ph.D. from Boston College's Department of Developmental Psychology
in 1998 and her dissertation was titled, "Responses of Children and
Parents to Sexual Abuse and Satanic Ritual Abuse in Day Care Centers."
Susan J. Kelley is now Dean of the College of Health and Human
Services at Georgia State University and has apparently continued to
cling to her beliefs about ritual abuse. Among her publications are a
number of articles on the subject, one as recent as 1996.[1]

[1] Kelly, S.J (1996). Ritualistic abuse of children. In Briere, J.,
    Berliner, L. , et al. (Eds). The APSAC handbook on child
    maltreatment. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, pp. 90-99 and
    Kelly, S. J. (1993) Ritualistic abuse of children in day-care
    centers. In Langone, M. D.  (Ed). Recovery from cults: Help for
    victims of psychological and spiritual abuse. New York:
    W.W. Norton, pp. 343-355.

/                                                                    \
| Our system isn't always immune to destructive pressures, and the   |
| child-abuse prosecutions of the 1980s were one such instance. Mr.  |
| Amirault's prosecution was driven by the passions of the times --  |
| in this case, the belief that child predators lurked everywhere    |
| and that the child "victims" must be believed at all costs.        |
|                                                                    |
| Along the way, the law was stood on its head. The rules of         |
| evidence were changed to accommodate the prosecution; the burden   |
| of proof was put on the accused. Four- and five-year-olds were     |
| coached to say what adults wanted to hear. All this was done in    |
| the name of virtue, with the result being the kind of catastrophic |
| miscarriage of justice we saw in Mr.  Amirault's case. There never |
| was any truth to the charges brought against him. Nor was there    |
| anything that would, in saner times, have passed for evidence in   |
| an American courtroom.                                             |
|                                                                    |
| One of the reasons behind the district attorney's decision last    |
| week not to oppose Mr. Amirault's release on parole was that in    |
| order to have him classified as a "sexually dangerous person"      |
| there would have had to be a virtual re-trial of the entire        |
| Amirault case. The DA had to have been deterred by the prospect of |
| parading into a courtroom with the incredible fantasies extracted  |
| from Mr. Amirault's alleged victims -- about secret rooms, magic   |
| drinks, animal butchery, assaults by a bad clown.  Then-District   |
| Attorney Scott Harshbarger had offered them as "proof" of the      |
| Amiraults' guilt.                                                  |
|                                         Editorial (2004, April 30) |
|                                          Gerald Amirault's Freedom |
|                                       The Wall Street Journal, A14 |

  | "It is only now understood that memory and imagination are at |
  | base the same process, and they can contaminate one another." |
  |                                                  Philip Hilts |

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

                 Repressed Memory Therapy Not Extinct

My daughter called me earlier this week to tell me about her friend, a
young lady in her thirties, single, living with her single brother and
father. The friend had been depressed and went to seek help at a Child
and Family Services organization in a near-by suburb. The therapist
she began seeing took a maternity leave and was replaced by another
therapist whom I shall refer to as "Mistherapist."

Before long Mistherapist suggested to the friend that her depression
was probably due to the fact that she was abused in her childhood by
her father. The friend was dismayed by this slur, as she had no
suspicion that any abuse had ever taken place. Mistherapist
recommended "Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing' (EMDR) as
a treatment for the trauma the friend was not aware of.

I know that there is always a risk in sharing stories that are not
first-hand, but it seems that repressed memory therapy is not quite
                                                                 A dad
                        No Mention of the Past

Our nightmare started in October 1990 when we met with our daughter
and her unlicensed therapist at his office. That was when my wife and
I were informed that our daughter had been sexually abused by one of
her siblings or by us from the time that she was two until she was
nine. At the time of the meeting she was twenty-three, out of school,
and working in the city. No facts. No rebuttal permitted. Just a
bizarre accusation!

Our life was turned upside down and remained so for over a year until
we learned of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation and realized that
other families were experiencing similar situations. In the interim we
tried to track down any evidence we could find that such an accusation
could have any validity. We could find none. But from the date of that
meeting our daughter essentially removed herself from the family --
cutting off her parents and four siblings. It remained that way for
over thirteen years.

For the first few years, while she lived in the same area, we would
see her occasionally but our interactions always became
confrontational. She married a man who claimed he had been similarly
abused and they moved to another city. She was soon divorced and then
remarried. We had a few meetings, but all of them ended acrimoniously.
Occasionally she spoke with two of her siblings, but most of our
information about her came from other acquaintances who might run into

We decided to sue her therapist in federal court. Unfortunately, we
lost the case against him when our daughter sided with him and she
persuaded an aunt to testify against us. The jury decided that this
was a family feud and wanted no part of it. That episode certainly did
not help the relationship, but it was not getting any better in any

During all these years, we continued to write to our daughter on her
birthdays and holidays and to call her periodically. All letters and
gifts went unanswered. Gifts were returned and hate mail was sent our
way. We kept trying and we relied on prayer as our only hope for
reestablishing contact. Occasionally we received calls in the dark of
the night blasting us in which she sounded badly in need of help. We
tried to help at the moment but the moment would pass and the break
would continue.

A few months ago we started to receive phone calls from our daughter,
chatting amicably as if there were no problem nor ever had been one.
It was as if thirteen years had not passed by. She is in the process
of another divorce and has embarked on a new occupation with some
success. My wife and I had a nice three-hour visit with her in her
home. We made no mention of the past nor did she. While we are
hesitant to believe that our troubles are over, we are grateful to
have had this visit and hope for more contact. Sadly, her siblings are
still smarting from the hurt they have felt and some are reluctant to
simply ignore the intervening years.

My wife and I are enormously grateful to FMSF for its inspiration and
background and for the comfort it has afforded us. We will continue to
pray for others and ourselves as we try to rebuild our own family.

                                                     A grateful father
                        Why I Sued My Daughter

Approximately five years ago my wife and I were divorced but, after 8
months apart, we decided to get back together. As we finalized the
plans, my ex-wife began to cry and said, "I don't know if I can do
this. There is a big problem I have not told you about." When I asked
what the problem was, she replied that it had to do with our youngest
daughter. With great difficulty, she finally was able to tell me: "She
accused you of molesting her when she was a child between the ages of
9 to 15."

I was shocked and assured her that I had done no such thing. My
ex-wife said that she did not believe I could have done what my
daughter had accused me of doing. She had been a stay-at-home mom; my
daughter slept in the same room with an older sister, and her room was
only 5 feet away from one brother and across the hall from another. In
addition, my ex-wife had been an extremely light sleeper and for those
reasons she did not see how the accusations could possibly be true.

I offered to take a polygraph test. We made an appointment and were
told that the cost would be $1,000. I was also told that I must sign a
letter to accept the outcome of the test as it was and that the
results could be held against me if they were not favorable. I signed
the letter.

My ex-wife and I answered a lot of questions. Then, over a three-hour
period, I took the polygraph test. No deception was found. The
polygrapher I used did work for the FBI, CIA, State Police, City
Police, and the Sheriff's Dept. Many people assured me that his
credentials and reputation were excellent. In fact, one attorney told
me that two of his clients were released because of the results of
polygraph tests with this person. I would think that anyone who was
not guilty would be willing to take a polygraph. I was also tested by
a forensic psychiatrist, the head of the department at the State
University and found not to have a psychological profile of a child
molester or pedophile.

I have three grandchildren and my accusing daughter let me see them
only on a very limited basis. I put up with this intolerable situation
for two years, but things continued to deteriorate. My daughter, who
had been in therapy for eight years claimed to recover more memories
in her therapy and began to tell people in our town. Both my attorney
and the polygrapher advised me that I should not be around my
grandchildren because my daughter might charge me with molesting them.

I decided to have a meeting with my ex-wife, my daughter and her
husband. I told my daughter that she had two choices: she could recant
her accusation that I had abused her or she could take a polygraph
with the same person with whom I had my polygraph. I told her I would
pay for the test and post a $50,000 cash bond in her name if she
passed. I also told her that if she refused the two offers, I would
sue her in order to clear my name. My daughter and her husband jumped
from the table and called me terrible names. They said I could not see
or talk to my grandchildren for as long as I lived. I have not seen
them for two years and it breaks my heart because we were very close
prior to the "memories" that arose in therapy.

It has been a tough road and a costly one, but my life as a father,
grandfather, and human being has been made unbearably painful because
of the accusation. The purpose of my lawsuit is to vindicate myself,
to preserve my self-esteem, and to restore my family. Frankly, I am
not going to sit back and just take it, as most families appear to
have done. I do not want to go to my grave with this lie on my mind.

I thank the Foundation for its effort. The newsletter and the
information have been priceless.
                                                        A fighting dad

/                                                                    \
| "We humans love stories, as we are constantly reinventing and      |
| recasting the narrative of our lives. Sometimes such stories are   |
| beautiful reminders of our fragile humanity and need for one       |
| another. Yet other stories can inspire misguided, bloody crusades  |
| or family rifts based on "recovered memories" of abuse that never  |
| occurred."                                                         |
|                                   Mark Pendergrast (2004, June 13) |
|                   Books: A cerebral study of human brain's wonders |
|                                Atlanta Journal-Constitution, p. 4M |

*                           N O T I C E S                            *
*                                                                    *
*                       Illinois-Wisconsin                           *
*                     FMS Society Conference                         *
*                Sunday, October 3, 2004, 1-5 pm                     *
*                  Falk Pavilion, Milwaukee, WI                      *
*                                                                    *
* A representative of the Wisconsin Innocence Project will speak on  *
* the topic:                                                         *
*                                                                    *
*                    "Wrongful Prosecutions:                         *
*  How they come about, how they are sustained and how the Patriot   *
*                   Act contributes to them."                        *
*                                                                    *
* Also ---                                                           *
* o  A parent panel:                                                 *
*   "Waltzing with the Elephant"?                                    *
* various viewpoints and strategies for dealing with your children   *
* o  A recanter answers questions                                    *
* o  Round tables                                                    *
*                                                                    *
* $20 per person including a box supper at the conclusion of the     *
* conference.                                                        *
*                                                                    *
*                 For more information, contact:                     *
*                   Bill Lanz at 815-724-6473                        *
*                        (                            *
*                                                                    *
*                        HUNGRY FOR MONSTERS                         *
*                       A documentary film by                        *
*                        George Paul Csicsery                        *
*                                                                    *
* When 15-year-old Nicole Althaus told a teacher that her father was *
* molesting her, the quiet affluent Pittsburgh suburb of Mt.         *
* Lebanon, Pennsylvania, was turned inside out. Nicole's father,     *
* Rick, was arrested and charged with sexually abusing Nicole amidst *
* bizarre satanic rituals.  With the support of her favorite         *
* teacher, police, therapists, social workers, and officers of the   *
* court, all of whom believed her stories, Nicole began to embellish *
* her initial accusations. As she recovered more memories of wild    *
* orgies, sacrificed babies, and murder, more people were arrested,  *
* including her mother and a pair of strangers.                      *
*                                                                    *
* A year later, all charges were dropped, and Nicole admitted that   *
* her accusations were false. After Nicole and her parents           *
* reconciled, they sued the authorities. This time, Nicole claimed   *
* she was the victim of abuse perpetrated by the very people who had *
* supported her allegations against her parents.                     *
*                                                                    *
*                        Ordering Information                        *
*                                                                    *
* The introductory VHS price is $195.00 to universities/libraries/   *
* institutions and $39.00 to individuals for home use. Add $5.00 for *
* shipping.                                                          *
*                          George Csicsery                           *
*                          P.O. Box 22833,                           *
*                      Oakland, CA 94609-9284.                       *
*                         Fax 510-429-9273.                          *
*                    Email:                    *
*                                                                    *
*                12th International Conference of the                *
*                        National Child Abuse                        *
*                     Defense & Resource Center                  *
*                      CHILD ABUSE ALLEGATIONS                       *
*                    Separating Fact from Fiction                    *
*                         Las Vegas, Nevada                          *
*                        October 14-16, 2004                         *
*                                                                    *
* Conference for attorneys, investigators, and other concerned       *
* professionals who deal with child abuse cases.                     *
*                                                                    *
* Conference Faculty                                                 *
*                                                                    *
* ATTORNEYS: Bruce Lyons, J.D.; Gail Benson, J.D.; Steve Glassroth,  *
* J.D.; Mary Lynn Belsher, J.D.                                      *
* MENTAL HEALTH EXPERTS: Elizabeth Loftus, Ph.D.; Richard Ofshe,     *
* Ph.D.; Debra Poole, Ph.D.; Phillip Esplin, Ed.D.; Melvin Guyer,    *
* Ph.D., J.D.; Margaret-Ellen Pipe, Ph.D.                            *
* PRIVATE INVESTIGATION: Gary Ermoian.                               *
* BIOMECHANICS: Faris Bandak, Ph.D. Medical Experts: Steven Guetin,  *
* M.D.; John Plunkett. M.D.; Ronald Uscinski, M.D.; Anthony Shaw,    *
* M.D.; Piero Rinaldo, M.D., Ph.D.                                   *
* FORENSIC TESTING: Riger Bolhouse; Michael Sinke.                   *
*                                                                    *
* Continuing Legal Education Credits available                       *
*                                                                    *
*                      Registration Information                      *
*                               NCADRC                               *
*                   P.O. 638 Holland, Ohio  43528                    *
*                          FAX 419-865-0526                          *
*                                                                    *
*                                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.     *
*                                                                    *
*                      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                             *
*                                                                    *
*                   *
*                       Locate books about FMS                       *
*                     Recovered Memory Bookstore                     *
*                                                                    *
*                        *
*               Information about Satanic Ritual Abuse               *
*                                                                    *
*                                      *
*                   Parents Against Cruel Therapy                    *
*                                                                    *
*                               *
*                       New Zealand FMS Group                        *
*                                                                    *
*                                       *
*                       Netherlands FMS Group                        *
*                                                                    *
*                                   *
*           National Child Abuse Defense & Resource Center       *
*                                                                    *
*                                  *
*                  Excerpts from Victims of Memory.                  *
*                                                                    *
*                          *
*                         Ross Institute                             *
*                                                                    *
*         *
*             Perspectives for Psychiatry by Paul McHugh             *
*                                                                    *
*                                *
*                 FMS in Scandinavia - Janet Hagbom                  *
*                                                                    *
*                                              *
*                National Center for Reason & Justice            *
*                                                                    *
*                *
*          Skeptical Information on Theophostic Counseling           *
*                                                                    *
*                         *
*           English language web site of Dutch retractor.            *
*                                                                    *
*                     LEGAL WEBSITES OF INTEREST                     *
*                                        *
*                                           *
*                                       *
*                                           *
*                                      *
*                                                                    *
*                                                                    *
*         S. O. Lilienfeld, S.J. Lynn and  J.M. Lohr (eds.)          *
*                  New York: Guilford Press (2003)                   *
*                                                                    *
*                         Highly recommended                         *
*                                                                    *
*                        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                     *
*                       *
*                                                                    *
*            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.                                         *
*                   Available in DVD format only:                    *
*                      To order send request to                      *
*                    FMSF Video, 1955 Locust St.                     *
*                      Philadelphia, PA  19103                       *
*    $10.00 per DVD; Canada add $4.00; other countries add $10.00    *
*               Make checks payable to FMS Foundation                *
                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 & 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 Sept/Oct Newsletter is August 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,          July 1, 2004

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., (deceased)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., {deceased) University of California, Berkeley,
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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