FMSF NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE - July/August 2005 - Vol. 14, 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 2005 Vol.14 No. 4
ISSN #1069-0484. Copyright (c) 2005 by the FMS Foundation
        The FMSF Newsletter is published 6 times a year by the
        False Memory Syndrome Foundation. The newsletter is
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In this issue...
      Legal Corner      
        From Our Readers
            Bulletin Board

Dear Friends,

We are delighted to let you know that Robin Mewes, who has been
missing for 15 years, has been found safe and sound by the Illinois
police. (See below) A terrified Robin disappeared in 1990 after a
therapist convinced her that her family was part of an inter-
generational satanic cult. Readers can imagine the family's joy to
know that she is alive. No one knows when Robin might feel safe enough
to contact her family. Her mom said that it is up to Robin but that
"Our hearts and door are always open."

False memories and belief in intergenerational satanic ritual abuse
cults have brought widespread heartbreak and devastation, but it is
unlikely that the therapist in Robin's case will ever face charges;
nor will most of the professionals who caused so much harm ever face
charges. It is also especially galling that so few of the clinicians
who had nothing to do with the disastrous therapy practices have even
spoken out, either about the dangerous therapy practices or the
unreliability of recovered memories.

Certainly, there have been many individuals who have made their views
known, most notably the members of the FMSF Scientific Advisory Board;
but in June, for the first time others have taken a stand:
approximately 50 individual scientists and clinicians signed a
statement that includes their understanding of the science of
recovered memories. It said:

  "Painted in broad strokes, the manner in which people remember and
  report past traumatic events is one of the most controversial issues
  confronting the mental health field today. While extreme distress
  may sometimes impair encoding of memory of specific aspects of
  traumatic events, this is by no means amnesia. Rather, some details
  are extremely well remembered and others are not. Thus as scientists
  and practitioners, it is our clear understanding of the scientific
  literature that traumatic events are typically remembered well by
  those who experience them and that emotional and physiological
  arousal tends to enhance memory for these events -- it does not, as
  some recovered memory theorists suggest, lead to trauma-related
  amnesia for entire events. Adults and children who develop PTSD
  almost always suffer from intrusive memories of the traumatic events
  that gave rise to the disorder. This is a critical symptom of PTSD.

  "In other words, there is no convincing empirical evidence for the
  theory that trauma survivors truly "repress" and then later
  "recover" memories of events that were experienced as traumatic at
  the time. In our collective opinion, this unsupported theory has
  caused incalculable harm to the fields of psychology and psychiatry,
  the credibility of mental health professionals, affected individuals
  and their families, and society in general through the insidious
  legal implications this theory has introduced."

The letter that included this statement was written to the justices of
the California Supreme Court urging them to review the lawsuit filed
against Elizabeth Loftus, Mel Guyer, Skeptical Inquirer, and others in
2002 (Taus v. Loftus).[1] The signers of the letter were clinicians
and scientists who said that they have been watching developments
closely because the issues in the case are relevant to their own work.

Readers may recall that Elizabeth Loftus and Mel Guyer conducted an
investigation into the 1997 "Jane Doe" case study published by Corwin
and Olafson [2] after widespread claims were circulated that the study
proved that people could repress and then recover accurate memories of
abuse. Loftus and Guyer arrived at a very different conclusion, but
before they could publish their results, an ethical complaint was
filed against Loftus at the University of Washington in connection
with the research. Although she was exonerated, her records were
confiscated for almost two years. In 2002, Loftus and Guyer published
"Who Abused Jane Doe? The Hazards of the Single Case History."[3]

Soon after publication, "Jane Doe" filed a lawsuit against the
authors, the Skeptical Inquirer, and a number of others. There were
many charges, such as the article caused Jane Doe's real name to be
known, even thought it was Jane Doe's own lawsuit that first made her
name public. The defendants filed an appeal to have the case
dismissed. This year, a California Appeals Court dismissed most of the
charges. Loftus then asked the California Supreme Court to look at the
Appeals Court decision and the remaining charges. The letter written
by the group of scientists was one of several, including one from the
FMSF, asking the court to review the case.[4] On June 22, the
California Supreme Court agreed to review the case. The Court's
decision will resolve some very important issues about privacy for
subjects in situations in which academic researchers and journalists
are examining their lives. We will write about this case in greater
detail in future newsletter issues. As the group of scientists noted:

  "if allowed to proceed, this lawsuit represents a pernicious legal
  strategy that we fear will be used again -- quite possibly against
  individuals whose research is scientifically or socially

Although the scientific evidence about memory is clear, many families
are still nagged by the question of how any intelligent person could
succumb to bizarre beliefs. Mark Pendergrast's outstanding chapter
from Victims of Memory is one of the most comprehensive explanations.
(See below for final installment.) This month, a former believer in
SRA also offers her insights about what led to her vulnerability to
believe in satanic rituals. (See below) We hope that this brings
Newsletter readers closer to an understanding.

Another nagging question is how very bizarre beliefs could have
overtaken such a large part of our culture. Last month, Martin and
Deidre Bobgan sent us a newsletter that they had written in 1989 about
adult offspring accusing their parents of past abuse. We asked them
how they came to be aware of the phenomenon so early, and they sent an
article that traces their experiences preceding publication of The
Courage to Heal. (See below) We found additional seeds of the FMS
phenomenon last month when we happened on a review of a new book by
Alice Miller.[5] Swiss psychoanalyst Miller is the author of the
bestselling The Drama of the Gifted Child, a book that was almost
certainly a determining influence in the spread of ideas that nurtured
the FMS phenomenon. The first paragraph of the review notes that
"Alice Miller is to family psychology as Andrea Dworkin was to
feminism. If the crude characterization of Dworkin's position was that
'all men are rapists,' then the equivalent caricature of Miller's
psychoanalytic view would be that 'all children are abused by their

The review credits Miller with putting "people in touch with their
'inner child,' [and] encouraging them to own 'their own truth' by
which she meant the truth of their abuse." The title The Drama of the
Gifted Child [6] was a brilliant choice, for who would not want to
consider themselves gifted? Miller continued to write more books on
the same theme. Children of middle class and professional families
were able to identify with the sorts of behavior that Miller
considered abusive, namely everything. Parents are bad and guilty
while children are good and innocent.

Quoted in the review, psychologist Lynne Segal said that Alice Miller
is "one of the inaugurators of the trauma narrative" and the victim
culture that has seen publication of hundreds of memoirs describing
the authors' terrible childhoods. Indeed, Segal credits Miller as
influencing the spread of regression therapy, rebirthing and recovered
memory syndrome. Miller had herself apparently undergone "primal
therapy," although she distanced herself from it later.

The ideas that had been germinating for at least a decade, seemingly
exploded with the 1988 publication of The Courage to Heal.[7] In many
ways, The Courage to Heal restated and spread the ideas in The Drama
of the Gifted Child. For example, Miller writes in chapter 1: "The
internalization of the original drama has been so complete that their
illusion of a good childhood can be maintained with ease." (p.6) The
Bobgan newsletter and the review are timely reminders that the FMS
problem did not begin in 1992 when the Foundation was formed.

[1] Taus v. Loftus. No FCS 021557, Sup. Ct. of Cal., Solano County.
    See FMSF Newsletter 12(3).
[2] Corwin, D.L. & Olafson, E. (1997). Videotaped discovery of a
    reportedly unrecallable memory of child sexual abuse: Comparison
    with a childhood interview videotaped 11 years before. Child
    Maltreatment 2, 91-112.
[3] Loftus, E.F. & Guyer, M.J.(2002, May/June, July/August). Who
    abused Jane Doe? The hazards of the single case history. Skeptical
    Inquirer, Part 1, 24-32. Part 2, 37-40. Article available at: Doe.htm.
[4] A letter from the Leadership Council asked the court not to review
    the case.
[5] If you have come across the work of Alice Miller, you will know
    that she is one...(2005, April 20). Guardian Features Pages. The
    Guardian (UK), 12.
[6[ Miller, A. (1981). The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for
    the True Self. New York: Basic Books. Originally published in
    German in 1979 as Prisoners of Childhood. Suhrkamp Verlag.
[7] Bass, E. & Davis, L. (1988). The Courage to Heal: A Guide for
    Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse. New York: Harper & Row.

       |                    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                |

                   ROBIN MEWES FOUND AFTER 15 YEARS

On June 16, Illinois State Police confirmed that they had located
Robin Mewes who has been missing for 15 years. Robin, who completely
changed her identity, is well and living in another state. She has
earned a masters degree and has married. It remains to be seen if
Robin will want to contact her mother. Her father died in 2002.

In 1990, then 19 and a college freshman, Robin began seeing Deborah
Jean Rudolph, a counselor at the Human Resource Center in Paris, IL.
Rudolph convinced Robin that her parents belonged to an inter-
generational satanic cult and had abused her and her brother. Robin's
parents believed that she ran away in terror because she feared that
they would harm her.

Long-time members of the FMSF may recall past FMSF Newsletter articles
about Robin, or they may remember seeing her parents, Bob and Mary, on
television programs. Mary and Bob never stopped speaking out or trying
to find Robin. They followed every lead they could find. Last
November, when Robin's mother tried to get a copy of her daughter's
birth certificate, she was told it did not exist and that could be the
result of changed identity. With the help of a state legislator, Mewes
then persuaded the State Police to investigate.

Therapist Rudolph also disappeared soon after Robin did, and she took
her files with her. The state of Illinois did not start regulating
mental health counselors until 1997, seven years after Robin's

Two years after Robin disappeared, the Mewes family filed a complaint
with the state of Illinois and learned that Jean Rudolph had received
therapy credentials in Indiana. In 1994, Rudolph changed her name to
Shizeege. She worked in Indiana for almost a decade even though she
was arrested in 1997 for falsely accusing a family that she lived with
of abusing her. Rudolph had a history of false abuse reports and
besides the Mewes, she had accused a former roommate and her minister.

According to a 2002 TV news investigation in Indiana, "you can check
counselors and other professionals online, but complaints are only
made public if there has been some sort of discipline. Despite the
Mewes case, despite a history of false complaints, despite an arrest
...Shizeege has never been disciplined by the agencies that oversee
her." The police do not expect any criminal charges will be pursued
since Robin was not actually kidnapped.

About seeing her daughter, Mary Mewes said, "It's just not my decision
to make." She asked police to give contact information to Robin and to
let her know how hard the family tried to reach her. She said "Our
hearts and door are always open."

Grunden, K. (2005, June 15). Missing Paris girl found after 15 years.
  Paris Beacon News.
Grunden, K (2005, June 16). Police confirm missing Paris woman
  alive. Tribune-Star [Terre-Haute]. Retrieved from
  on June 16, 2005.
Brown, C. (2002, November 29). Without a Trace. Retrieved from on June 16, 2005

                       Martin and Deidre Bobgan

  Martin and Deidre Bobgan head a Christian ministry in Santa
  Barbara, California and have coauthored books for a number of
  Christian publishers.

Our concern about recovered memory therapy and the resulting false
memories began about 30 years ago when people started asking us about
inner healing. Inner healing began to be very popular in certain
Christian circles during the mid-seventies. Ruth Carter Stapleton
(Jimmy Carter's sister) practiced inner healing and wrote a book
titled The Gift of Inner Healing (1976). We became concerned and wrote
a critique of her book, but no one wanted to publish it. We continued
looking into the inner healing movement during the early eighties
because we were concerned about the whole idea of people attempting to
return to the past to fix the present. There were certain
psychological ideas involved, such as psychic determinism, repression,
and catharsis. Also, it was very clear that a great deal of
imagination, visualization, and hypnotic suggestion were major
components of inner healing.

After the publication of our first book in 1979, we were on various
radio and television programs, so people were somewhat familiar with
our concerns about psychological counseling. Therefore, Christians
began calling us and described how they were being accused by adult
children who were in psychotherapy. We also were called by people who
had been in inner healing or regressive therapy, who described how
they were encouraged to regress, to remember early life experiences,
and to imagine Jesus being with them in their "early life traumas." As
the years went on, more and more Christians were being regressed by
"Christian psychologists," as well as by inner healers. Later, when
people called us for help, we were grateful to be able to refer them
to the False Memory Syndrome Foundation (FMSF).

Having researched and written a book on hypnosis, we were very well
acquainted with how memory can be enhanced. The inner healer, through
various techniques, encourages the person to remember past events and
to connect them with present problems or pain. He may use hypnosis or
he may simply make suggestions about what might have happened. Such
suggestions often act in the same way as hypnosis for people who are
susceptible to suggestion and who have strong imaginations. The healer
may guide the person back through past events, which may or may not
have happened, through helping the person visualize these events.

The healer helps the person not only to "relive" the actual or created
past, but also to feel the pain and agony. This highly emotional part
of inner healing is similar to Freud's abreaction. Either prior to or
at this point of emotional intensity, a Jesus figure is brought into
the scene to bring healing. Some inner healers do this through guided
imagery, others make suggestions about what Jesus may be doing or
saying, and still others let the person, who has already been led to
this point of intensity, to wait expectantly for Jesus to speak or
act. This is all highly suggestive and, because of the use of
occult-type visualization, the Jesus being visualized, having been
created by the healer or the client, cannot be the Jesus of the Bible.

Inner healing beliefs and techniques continue to deceive many
Christians. A central belief is that we are the way we are because of
past hurts that need to be healed through reliving the past and
bringing Jesus into past events. The inner healer believes and teaches
that present problems are expressions of past wounds that must be
healed before the person can overcome problems of living and get on
with life. When these beliefs are mixed in with the Christian faith,
they can become part of a person's overall belief system. When this
happens, people will hold onto these false ideas as tenaciously as
their beliefs about God and how He works in their lives. Right now one
of the most influential and dangerous combinations of psychological
counseling and inner healing is what is called "Theophostic Prayer
Ministry." Information about this presently popular methodology of
regressive therapy, inner healing, and false memories may be found on
the following web site: .

Over the years our warnings about inner healing and false memories
have largely been ignored. The media and many Christian counselors
continue to promote the whole idea of repressed memories and how
forgotten but later "remembered" abuse causes all kinds of problems.
But, at least some people have it straight, such as the FMSF and
Robert Epstein in his article "Loose Screw Awards" in the January 2005
issue of Psychology Today in the section titled: "The Idea that
Launched a Thousand Suits: Recovered Memories."

       London, K., Bruck, M., Ceci, S.J., Shuman, D.W. (2005).

  Disclosure of child sexual abuse: What does the research tell us
  about the ways that children tell? Psychology, Public Policy, and
  Law, 11(1), 194-226.

The research reported in "Disclosure of child sexual abuse" examines
the common claim that sexually abused children tend to deny that they
have been abused or if they admitted abuse, to falsely recant later.
In 1983, psychiatrist Roland Summit published a description of how
sexually abused children disclose their abuse. Called "The Child
Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome"[1] (CSAAS), Summit's article
became one of the most influential papers in the area of child sexual
abuse. The syndrome has five components: 1. secrecy; 2. helplessness;
3. entrapment and accommodation; 4. delayed, conflicted, and
unconvincing disclosures; and 5. retraction of disclosure. The notion
was that in order to survive sexual abuse by a family member, children
accommodated and accepted the abuse by keeping it a secret.

The authors note that the beliefs in CSAAS remain influential and are
found in many guidelines for assessing child sexual abuse. They note
that belief in CSAAS influences many legal trials because judges and
lawyers assume that it is based on an empirical foundation. In fact,
even though Summit claimed his paper was based on scientific evidence,
it contained little data and relied mainly on his clinical intuition.
London et al. reviewed both retrospective studies of adults and 17
studies of children who were interviewed in a formal setting. They
found that in the retrospective studies, most adults with histories of
 said that they had never told anyone about being abused while they
were still children. From the review of the 17 studies of children who
were formally interviewed, however, the authors note "there is little
evidence to suggest that denials, recantations, and re-disclosures are
typical when abused children are directly asked about abuse." Most
children disclosed the abuse during the first or second interview.
Only a small minority of these children recanted and only a small
number of children denied that they had been abused.

The authors feel that the evidence shows that there is no advantage to
using suggestive strategies when interviewing children. They note that
for legal purposes "there is no convincing evidence that CSAAS
testimony on denial or recantations provides relevant or reliable
assistance to the fact finder to assess allegations of CSA."

[1] Summit, R.C. (1983). The child sexual abuse accommodation 
    syndrome. Child Abuse & Neglect, 7, 177-193.

                        GOVERNMENT STUDY SAYS

A new government survey says that half of Americans will develop
mental illness sometime during their lives. Costing $20 million, the
report appears in the June 2005 issue of The Archives of General
Psychiatry. The study is sure to renew the debate about where to make
a distinction between mental illness and the ordinary emotional
struggles faced by all people.

  "Fifty percent of Americans mentally impaired -- are you kidding
  me?...The problem is that the diagnostic manual we are using in
  psychiatry is like a field guide and it just keeps expanding and
  expanding. Pretty soon we'll have a syndrome for short, fat Irish
  guys with a Boston accent, and I'll be mentally ill."
                                                           Paul McHugh 
                                    quoted in Carey, B. (2005, June 7)
                    Most will be mentally ill at some point,study says
                                                   New York Times, A18

          The following is excerpted, with permission, from:

                          VICTIMS OF MEMORY:
                           Mark Pendergrast
       (640 pages, $24.95, Upper Access Books, Hinesburg, VT).
                 Copyright 1996, all rights reserved.

  The book can be ordered:, or 
  by calling 1-800-310-8320.

                        Chapter 3  pp. 119-149


In conjunction with suggestive therapy, drugs can significantly
increase the likelihood of illusory incest memories. Even without such
overt suggestion, physicians and therapists have long recognized that
strong sedative compounds can lead to false accusations. "When my
father went to medical school in the early 1930s," psychiatrist
Harrison Pope says, "he was admonished never to administer nitrous
oxide or other anesthetic agent without a chaperone in the room
because of the risk a female patient might wake up and claim that she
had been sexually abused." Recently, a number of British doctors have
been accused of abuse by women given midazolam (Versed), even though
there were several witnesses in the room who saw no such behavior.[90]
Considering the substantial doses of mind- and mood-altering drugs
that many depressed people are given nowadays, it is not surprising
that they are more suggestible. Many women I interviewed reported that
they were "walking zombies" because of the multiple drugs they were
taking while in therapy or on a psychiatric ward.

The most widely used "memory aid" drugs intentionally used by
recovered memory therapists are barbiturates, notably sodium Amytal.
American psychiatrist Eric Lindemann introduced sodium pentothal and
other barbiturates into psychology in the 1930s. Because Lindemann
considered his patients unable to refuse to answer questions while
drugged, he believed they could not lie. Hence, the drugs became known
as "truth serum," and the popular press spread this misinformation
quickly. "Narco-synthesis" and "narco-analysis" were the new
pseudoscientific buzzwords for abreactive sessions using the drugs.

In fact, Amytal interviews are even more likely than simple hypnosis
to produce confabulations. The barbiturates do not magically enhance
memory. Like hypnosis, they simply render the subject more relaxed and
suggestible. According to psychiatrist August Piper, Jr., Amytal
produces "slurred speech, drowsiness, a feeling of warmth, distorted
memory, and an altered time-sense." In other words, it created a state
"similar to alcohol intoxication." Many therapists continue to tell
their clients that the drugs actually do promote only true memories,
however. As a consequence, a 1991 Ohio jury convicted a psychiatrist
of malpractice for injecting a patient over 140 times with "truth
serum" to help uncover her repressed memories.[92]

               Cognitive Dissonance and Group Contagion

All of the methods discussed thus far can contribute to false belief
in sexual abuse, but all of them are reinforced and amplified by the
general social context. As Jerome Frank writes in the introduction to
Persuasion and Healing, "man is a domestic creature, with infinite
social and cultural involvements. He is continually and crucially
influencing others and being influenced by others."[93] A full under-
standing of the memory manipulation process requires examination of
such interpersonal pressures.

In 1957, Leon Festinger published A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance,
which offered an intriguing explanation of how and why people can
radically change their opinions. Normally, we maintain an internally
consistent world-view. 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 the Incest Survivor Movement. 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." Recall the story of Emily,
already recounted in chapter 1. "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.[94]

In order to produce the initial dissonance, of course, one has to
accept the idea that has been seeded in one's mind. Festinger points
out that if the seed-bearer is "seen as expert or very knowledgeable
about such matters, the dissonance between knowledge of his contrary
opinion and one's own opinion will be greater." Once a situation of
intolerable internal conflict exists, the sufferer is under intense
pressure to choose one side or the other. Something has to give.

"When dissonance is present," Festinger adds, "in addition to trying
to reduce it, the person will actively avoid situation and information
which would likely increase the dissonance." Simultaneously, she will
seek out those who reinforce her new belief system. This insight helps
to explain why people with newly found memories cut off all old
friends who express even the mildest doubts. Festinger points 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.[95]
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 confusion.

In his classic 1984 text, Influence, social psychologist Robert
Cialdini makes a similar point. "Once we have made a choice or taken a
stand, we will encounter personal and interpersonal pressures to
behave consistently with that commitment. Those pressures will cause
us to respond in ways that justify our earlier decision."[96] One
retractor's revealing comment in a letter to her father illustrates
this principle. "Right after I brought the lie [the accusation] into
the open, I began to doubt its truth. But I couldn't believe that I
would do such a thing. I couldn't believe I was capable of making up
such a lie, believing it, and then taking it to the lengths I did."

"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. "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."[98] This social reinforcement is key to
the Incest Survivor Movement. "Social support is particularly easy to
obtain when a rather large number of persons who associate together
are all in the same situation," Festinger notes. "If everyone believes
it, it most certainly must be true."[99]

In Motel Nirvana, her 1995 exploration of American New Age beliefs,
British author Melanie McGrath makes an incisive observation of how
anyone could be swayed within a restricted group setting:

I don't think anyone is immune to implausible beliefs, however
rational and willful they think themselves to be. It is an easy matter
to deny everything you thought you knew and to believe its contra-
diction rather than to live out your days in bottomless isolation.
Only the most rare of individuals will stand up for a belief when all
around are declaring its opposite, for most of us feel more anxious to
be at ease with each other than we do with ourselves.[100]

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."[101]

Near the end of his rather dry book, Festinger relates a fascinating
story about a small sect of people who believed that alien "Guardians"
from outer space would arrive at a specific time to whisk them off to
another planet just before a huge flood. Prior to this predicted
cataclysm, the sect members avoided publicity while quietly preparing
for their departure. After the flying saucer and flood repeatedly
failed to appear, they reacted in an unexpected manner.

"A message arrived from God which, in effect, said that he had saved
the world and stayed the flood because of this group and the light and
strength they had spread throughout the world that night." As a result
they now became avid publicity seekers, announcing their epiphany.
Festinger explains this illogical behavior as a predictable reaction
to increased cognitive dissonance. To preserve their threatened belief
system, the sect members became even more dogmatic and sought to

This insight may help to explain why women who have recovered
repressed "memories" feel compelled to tell the world about them,
while real incest victims, who have always remembered their abuse,
generally do not. It also predicts that, in the fact of increased
skepticism, the Survivor Movement will become more vocal and strident.

Frederic Bartlett made similar observations in 1932. "The organized
group functions in a unique and unitary manner in determining and
directing the lives of its individual members," he wrote, then quoted
a bemused British statesman: "I may seem to know a man through and
through, and still I would not dare to say the first thing about what
he will do in a group." Moreover, Bartlett observed that when a social
movement feels itself threatened, "social remembering is very apt to
take on a constructive and inventive character, either wittingly or
unwittingly. Its manner then tends to become assertive, rather
dogmatic and confident, and recall will probably be accompanied by
excitement and emotion."[103]

Not surprisingly, many people have their first flashbacks and
abreactions in the stimulating atmosphere of the group. When one woman
suddenly cries out, falls to the floor, and acts as if she is being
attacked, she provides not only a role model, but a powerful stimulus
to others. In many groups, members either consciously or unconsciously
strive to outdo one another. The emotion is contagious, something like
the atmosphere of an old-time revival meeting. Rather than crying out
"Praise the Lord!" however, these women are more likely to scream
"Keep away from me! I hate you! I hate you!"

                       The Contexts of Insanity

In conclusion: A vicious cycle of social influence, combined with a
widespread belief in massive repression of sexual abuse memories, has
produced an epidemic of Survivors. In the current situation, it is
sometimes difficult to ascertain who is fulfilling whose expectations.
A woman enters therapy, already afraid that her problems may stem from
repressed memories. Her therapist plays into those fears, and between
the two of them, they find "evidence in the form of dreams,
flashbacks, body memories, or eating disorders. They see dysfunction
everywhere, and when the client sinks into a hypnotic trance, she
pictures horrifying events from her childhood.

Once even the smallest image is visualized, the process of memory
rehearsal commences, piecing the puzzle bits into a coherent
narrative. As Robert Cialdini points out in Influence, getting someone
to commit new beliefs to writing can be a powerful reinforcement. "As
a commitment device, a written declaration has some great advantages."
After all, "there it was in his own handwriting, an irrevocably
documented act driving him to make his beliefs and his self-image
consistent with what he had undeniably done."[104]

As we have seen, some therapists encourage clients to run mental
videotapes of their new-found "memories" until they seem real.
Sometimes this process can become quite literal. In one remarkable
article that appeared in Child Abuse & Neglect in 1992, several
therapists explained how, in 27 cases, they had made a "videotaped
disclosure" of their clients who had recovered memories, to act as a
reinforcement. "Several viewings of the tape may be required before
the patient is able to accept the tape as accurate," they explain.

Recovered-memory therapists usually cite two reasons for their belief
in the process: overwhelming affect and convincingly detailed
accounts. Unfortunately, powerful emotions are not a guarantee of
accurate memories. Anyone who has ever become engrossed in a thriller
or dramatic movie knows how easily our emotions can be aroused, even
when we know intellectually that it is fiction. Similarly, detailed
narratives do not necessarily translate to verity. Indeed, some memory
experts doubt the accuracy of 20-year-old memories that are recalled
in such detail, since they are more likely to be confabulations.[106]

The extent to which expectation and context can determine how
professionals view someone was made manifest in a classic experiment
conducted by Stanford psychology and law professor D L. Rosenhan,
published in 1973 in Science with the compelling title "On Being Sane
in Insane Places."[107] Rosenhan sent eight subjects to 12 in-patient
psychiatric wards around the United States, where, during admission,
they complained of hearing voices that said "empty," "hollow," and
"thud." In reality, the subjects were a graduate student in
psychology, a pediatrician, a psychiatrist, a painter, a housewife,
and three psychologists. Aside from making up their voices and giving
false names and occupations, the subjects did not change their actual
personal histories or circumstances. As soon as they were admitted,
they ceased simulating any symptoms whatsoever.

"The pseudopatient spoke to patients and staff as he might
ordinarily," Rosenhan noted. "Because there is uncommonly little to do
on a psychiatric ward, he attempted to engage others in conversation.
When asked by staff how he was feeling, he indicated that he was
fine." All the subjects also wrote down their observations of the
ward, patients, and staff.

None of the pseudopatients was detected. Eventually, each was released
with a diagnosis of "schizophrenia in remission," having been kept
anywhere from a week to nearly two months. Many of their fellow
patients detected the ruse. "You're not crazy," they would say.
"You're a journalist or a professor. You're checking up on the
hospital." The staff, however, was not so astute. "Patient engages in
writing behavior" was the repeated comment on one patient's chart.
Another subject accurately recounted his life history, in which,
during early childhood, he had a close relationship with his mother,
but felt remote from his father. As a teenager, he had become good
friends with his father, while his relationship with his mother cooled
somewhat. The hospital case summary for him read, "This white
39-year-old male . . . manifests a long history of considerable
ambivalence in close relationships."

As Rosenhan observed, "having once been labeled schizophrenic, there
is nothing the pseudopatient can do to overcome the tag. The tag
profoundly colors others' perceptions of him and his behavior . . . A
psychiatric label has a life and an influence of its own." As readers
will see in the following chapter, Rosenhan's subjects were lucky they
did not enter a dissociative disorders unit at a private psychiatric
hospital 20 years later. They would have been diagnosed as possessing
multiple personalities and kept on the ward indefinitely, not just for
two months.

Even in the milder cases of "recovered memory," however, Rosenhan's
experiment offers an instructive example. A CNN television reporter --
presumably free of childhood sexual abuse -- took a hidden camera into
a 1993 counseling session with a therapist known to have convinced at
least six other women that they were Survivors. The reporter said that
she had been "kind of depressed" for a few months, and that her
marital sex life had worsened. At the end of the first session, the
therapist suggested that she might have been sexually abused as a
child. When the reporter said she had no such memories, the therapist
stated that many women completely forget incest. "They have no idea,
in fact. I mean, what you've presented to me, Lee-Anne, is so classic
that I'm just sitting here blown away, actually."[108] * [109] Once a
therapist labels someone as an Incest Survivor, everything the client
says is perceived as evidence to validate the diagnosis. And the
client, having accepted the possibility that the label might be
accurate, quickly falls into the trap of seeing the same life problems
as symptoms of a childhood full of sexual abuse. Once that belief
system is in place, "memories" are usually not far behind.

[90] Pope, "Recovered Memories," p. 10-11.
[91] Kihlstrom, "Recovery of Memory," p. 5-6.
[92] Piper, "Truth Serum"; Loftus, "Therapeutic Recollection," p.9.
[93] Frank, Persuasion, p. xii.
[94] Bass. Courage, p. 66, 90, 146-147.
[95] Festinger, Theory, p. 3, 83, 180.
[96] Cialdini, Influence, p. 66.
[97] FMSF Newsletter, Nov./Dec. 1995, p. 15.
[98] Bass, Courage, p. 108.
[99] Festinger, Theory, p. 177, 192, 200.
[100] McGrath, Motel Nirvana, p. 52.
[101] Gray, Psychology, p. 545-546.
[102] Festinger, Theory, p. 252-259; Festinger, When Prophecy Fails.
[103] Bartlett, Remembering, p. 241, 256, 300.
[104] Cialdini, Influence, p. 82-83.
[105] Roesler, "Network Therapy."
[106] Ceci, Jeopardy, p. 208.
[107] Rosenhan, "On Being Sane."
[108] CNN Special Assignment, May 3, 1993.
[109] Loftus, "Remembering Dangerously," p. 24.
* One concerned younger sister hired a private investigator to make an
appointment with her accusing sister's therapist. Though Ruth, the
investigator, told the therapist that she had been read-ended in an
auto accident, the therapist led her through guided imagery to believe
she had been sexually abused and repressed the memories. At one point,
Ruth asked, "How do we know, when the memories come . . . that it's
not our imagination or something?" The therapist answered, "Why would
you image this, of all things? If it were your imagination, you'd be
imaging how warm and loving he was. . . . I have a therapist friend
who says that the only proof she needs to know that something happened
is if you think it might have."...

                       CONCLUSION OF CHAPTER 3

                          BOOK  OF  INTEREST

                The Day Care Ritual Abuse Moral Panic
                            Mary de Young
                        McFarland & Co., 2004

This sociologically based analysis of the day care ritual abuse cases
uses the symbols of the "vulnerable child," the "menacing devil," and
the "psychological trauma model" to examine the social stresses that
fueled the phenomenon during the 1980s. The author notes ways in which
this moral panic has been unlike those of the past. Although the book
is concerned about the theory of moral panics, for FMSF Newsletter
readers it offers some fresh insights and new perspectives on familiar
issues and cases.

  "The day care ritual abuse moral panic was little more than a late-
  modern version of a very old, and very familiar morality play about
  innocent children, demonic threats, heroic rescuers, and the
  inevitability of sexual violence. When all is said and done, society
  was no safer or better for having experienced it -- and neither were
  its children."

/                                                                    \
|             Practical Joke Brings Forth Abuse Memories             |
|                                                                    |
| In Washington State, dentist Robert Woo's longtime assistant had a |
| potbellied pig as a pet and, according to court documents, was so  |
| enamored with pigs that she even rescued unwanted ones and adopted |
| them out to new owners. Woo joked with her about potbellied pigs   |
| regularly. When the assistant needed oral surgery, he planned a    |
| practical joke: he bought a set of fake boar's tusks and took a    |
| picture of them in her mouth when she was unconscious.             |
|                                                                    |
| After the assistant awoke and saw the pictures, she began crying,  |
| left the office, and never returned. According to a Seattle Times  |
| report, the boar's teeth picture caused her to recover memories of |
| being sexually assaulted as a teen and to develop post-traumatic   |
| stress disorder.                                                   |
|                                                                    |
| Although Woo apologized, the woman filed a lawsuit, but Woo's      |
| insurer refused to cover him claiming that his actions were not    |
| "dental services." Woo settled with the assistant for $250,000,    |
| sued his insurance company and received $750,000. The insurance    |
| company appealed, and in June 2005, a state Court of Appeals ruled |
| that the insurance company was not obligated to defend Woo.        |
|                                                                    |
|                                       O'Hagan, M. (2005, June 16)  |
|                               Appeals court rules against dentist  |
|                                                 Seattle Times, B1. |

                       L E G A L   C O R N E R

      When Does the Missouri Statute of Limitations Begin to Run
                     in Child-Molestation Cases?
            Powel vs. Chaminade College Preparatory, Inc.
   No ED94366, Mo. App., E.D.5d, May 31, 2005, Opinion Filed. 2005
                          Mo. App. LEXIS 826

On May 31, the Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern District ruled that
Michael Powel, who claimed to have repressed his memories of abuse for
25 years, could sue his former high school and the priests who
allegedly sexually assaulted him when he was a teen. The Court ruled
that the statute of limitations begins when a person remembers
repressed memories. Because the decision conflicts with a previous
decision in H.R.B. vs. Rigali [1] by the Missouri Western District
Appeals Court that had previously ruled that the statute of
limitations begins at 21, the case was immediately transferred to the
Missouri Supreme Court.

Michael Powel was born in 1958 and attended the all-boys Chaminade
College Preparatory school in the St. Louis area from the ages 15 to
17. When Powel was 41, he was treated for brain cancer and during his
treatment recovered memories of being abused at the school. He told
his wife in 2000. The next year he began therapy with a psychologist.

Powel filed suit against the school in June of 2002, and Chaminade
filed summary judgment motions stating that Powel's claims were barred
by the statute of limitations. The school argued that an affidavit
from the psychologist who treated Powel was an admission that Powel
had always remembered the abuse.

However, Powel argued that he did not have a conscious memory of the
abuse before he was 18, that he regained his memory in 2000, and that
he filed the case within the five-year statute of limitations.

A St. Louis trial judge concluded that there was a question as to
whether Powel involuntarily suppressed his memory of abuse until 2000
and that it was for a jury to decide. However, because of the previous
Appellate Court decision in H.R.B., the judge granted summary judgment
for the school.

Powel appealed this decision.[2] In an Eastern District opinion
written by Judge George W. Draper III, it was noted that whether the
suit had been filed in a timely manner "depends upon when his cause of
action accrues for purposes of the statute of limitations." Draper
noted that there are four different events that may act as a trigger
to the running of the statute of limitations: 1. The moment the
defendant commits his wrong; 2. The moment the plaintiff sustains
injury; 3. The moment the plaintiff's damages are capable of being
ascertained; 4. The moment the plaintiff first becomes aware he has
been aggrieved.

Draper wrote that Missouri applies the "capable of ascertainment" test
to the exclusion of the others.

Draper stated that in 1919 the Missouri legislature had adopted the
standard that time limits were not triggered until "when the wrong is
done or the technical breach...occurs." He wrote that the H.R.B. court
"erred in failing to apply the standards set forth by our
legislature." He wrote that the Missouri Supreme Court in Sheehan [3]
had held that repressed memory can prevent the ascertainment of injury
and therefore forestall the running of the statute of limitations.[4]

The Eastern Appeals Court reversed the summary judgment for the
school. Draper transferred the case to the Supreme Court because of
the general interest in the issue and to clarify the difference
between the appellate districts. There are 16 cases involving 30
plaintiffs that will be affected by the results.

[1] H.R.B. v. Rigali, 19 S.W.3d 440 (Mo. App. E.D. 2000). In H.R.B., a
    former student claimed to have recovered memories of sexual abuse
    that occurred when he was 13. He sued the Archbishop of St. Louis
    for intentionally failing to supervise a priest. A jury trial
    resulted in a verdict for the former student. The Archbishop
    appealed and the Court of Appeals reversed the jury verdict. See
    FMSF Newsletter 9(3), May/June 2000.
[2] The following organizations filed amicus briefs on behalf of
    Powel: National Center for Victims of Crime; Victim Advocacy and
    Research Group; The Linkup, Inc.; Marilyn Van Derbur Institute,
    Inc.; Mothers Against Sexual Abuse; The Awareness Center; The
    Human Lactation Center, Ltd.; S.M.A.R.T.; Justice for Children;
    Survivor's Network of Those Abused by Priests; Leadership Council
    on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence; Survivors First; and
    Survivors Connection.
[3] Sheehan vs. Sheehan, 901 S.W.2d 57, (Mo. Banc 1995).
[4] A footnote in the decision provides some insight into the court's
    thinking. Footnote 4 states that: "It is paradoxical for our court
    to hold a plaintiff must remember serious, traumatic injuries at
    the time of occurrence when that is the specific pre-requisite
    leading to repressed memories. See Doe v. Roe, 191 Ariz. 313, 955
    P.2d 951 958 (Ariz. 1998) (citing Linda Williams, Recall of
    Childhood Trauma: A Prospective Study of Women's Memories of Child
    Sexual Abuse, 62 U. Consulting & Clinical Psychology 1164 (1994).
    Under this logic, a minor, incidental act could be repressed while
    the traumatic event must be remembered."

Lambe, J. (2005, June 4). Molestation cases await ruling. Kansas City
  Star, B4.

     Criminal Conviction in Florida  Based on Recovered Memories

On April 10, 2005, a Stuart, Florida jury of four women and two men
found 68-year-old Billy Banks Sr. guilty of sexually molesting two
girls in the 1960s. The only evidence in the trial were the recovered
memories of two accusers ages 43 and 44. Banks is a former firefighter
who is now 68 and uses a wheelchair. The charges against him date from
the 1960s.

The accusers, Banks' daughter and another woman, described fondling,
oral sex and rape. They claimed Banks assaulted them for years between
the ages of 6 and 10, as often as every weekend or more. They said
that he drove them to wooded areas and took turns raping each child in
view of the other on the front seat of a pickup.

According to the Palm Beach Post, the defense attorney noted that one
of the accusers made her charges after being arrested on a
crack-cocaine charge and undergoing intensive drug addiction
counseling. The second accuser is disabled by back problems and
depression for which she takes painkillers and anti-anxiety drugs.

The defense had planned to present an expert from Michigan to testify
about the fallibility of recovered memories. However, at the last
minute the expert could not come, and the Circuit Judge Larry Schack
refused to delay the trial. The defense lasted less than an hour.

Sentencing has been postponed because a grandson of Banks told the
judge after the trial that one of the jurors did not tell anyone that
she knew the Banks family and about other allegations against him. A
hearing will be held about this allegation on August 1, 2005. If the
juror did have the information and it influenced her decision to
convict, Banks could be granted another trial.

Defense attorneys were Deborah Gowen and Mitchell Tyre of Palm City.
The prosecutor was Assistant State Attorney Kathryn Nelson.

Taylor, J. (2003, September 17). Father, son face sex-abuse charges. 
    Palm Beach Post, 2B.
Ash, J. (2005, April 27). Accusers testify in child sex-abuse case. 
    Palm Beach Post, 1B.
Ash, J. (2005, April 28) Jury finds retired firefighter guilty of 
    molesting girls in '60s. Palm Beach Post, 1B.
Taylor, J. (2005, June 7). Woman confronts father about molesting.
   Palm Beach Post, 1B.
Ash, J. (2005, June 16). Juror faces scrutiny in abuse trial. Palm 
    Beach Post, 1A.

                       Statutes of Limitations

One of the consequences of the sex abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic
Church and some of the other recent highly publicized child abuse
cases is a renewed effort to extend the statute of limitations. For
example, efforts are currently underway in California, Massachusetts,
Ohio, and Oregon. California presents an example of the types of
changes that can be proposed; there are currently two bills that that
would extend the statutes of limitations in sex abuse cases (SB 111
and SB 261). [1]

The typical rationale for extending the limitation is that victims are
deprived of justice when they come forward too late for legal remedy.
The arguments that victims may be too fearful or too ashamed or may
not have connected the abuse to their current problems are often given
for the delay in coming forward. In addition, it is often argued that
some children are so traumatized by the abuse that they "repress"
their abuse.

Opponents of such proposals say that statutes of limitations provide a
check against flimsy charges and false allegations and that the
statutes keep pressure on police to conduct their investigations in a
timely way.

The reliability and validity of claims of repressed memories have
played a role in some legislative discussions about extending statutes
of limitations. Commenting about extending the statutes in California,
Barry Melton of the California Public Defenders Association asked
whether we should be "overturning hundreds of years of common law?"

Under current California law, someone who was sexually molested when
he or she was a minor has 10 years to report the crime. A few years
ago that law was amended to allow victims more time after they turned
21, but required independent corroborating evidence if they filed
after the statutes had expired. The law reads that "no evidence may be
used to corroborate the victims' allegations that otherwise would be
inadmissible during trial. Independent evidence does not include the
opinion of mental health professionals."[1] One of the bills under
consideration in California (SB 261) would stop the requirement for
the "independent evidence" provision from applying until a victim is
30. The discussions and arguments that surround this bill reflect the
often flawed public understanding of the scientific issues involved
with recovered memories. Readers who want to watch the progress of
these bills can do so on the California Senate web site. Just plug in
California with the bill's name. The search engine Google will do the

[1] Many professionals and families who had been affected by
    accusations based only on claims of "repressed memories" worked
    for the inclusion of this safeguard in the California legislation.

Seyfer, J. (2005, June 19). Senator proposes sex abuse legislation: 
  Young victims would have till age 30 to report crime if bill becomes
  state law. San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved from

/                                                                    \
| [S]ome principle that assists accurate remembering under some      |
| circumstances causes false memory under others. These errors in    |
| remembering do not mean that memory cannot be trusted. Instead     |
| they mean that remembering is a fundamentally inferential and      |
| attributional function, in performing which people can only make   |
| the best sense that they can of the quality of their current       |
| experience. It appears that the most general conclusion that one   |
| can reach about remembering accuracy is: "It all depends."         |
|                                   Kronlund, A., Whittlesea, B.W.A. |
|                                                      (2005, March) |
|                                                      Seeing double |
|                       Levels  of processing can cause false memory |
|         Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 59 (1), 11-16 |

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

                    A Trip Down False Memory Lane
My experiences with making and then disavowing satanic ritual abuse
(SRA) claims, in the hopes that this information will be useful.

                    Mary Katherine Powers, 6/10/05

In early 1992, I was a patient in a psychiatric hospital. I was 23 and
had faced problems for many years, mostly with depression, including
suicidal thoughts. While in the hospital, I was evaluated by a trauma
expert who used hypnosis. I was startled to hear myself giggling like
a little girl and responding with a different name when she asked "who
are you?" I was diagnosed with multiple personality disorder (MPD).

I thought at the time that hypnosis had uncovered my hidden alters.
The evaluation had been done because I suspected I had MPD. Several
months earlier, I had read Through Divided Minds by Dr. Robert Mayer
and in the middle of reading the book, I got up to use the bathroom. I
looked at my face in the bathroom mirror and I did not recognize
myself. After that experience, I had the persistent feeling that I had

After the hospitalization, I attended both individual and group
therapy with trauma-focused therapists. I read extensively about child
abuse and soon found ritual abuse narratives. Then I became convinced
that I was a survivor of ritual abuse.

I started attending a support group for survivors of ritual abuse. I
came to believe in the "whole enchilada": that for many years I had
been taken to Black Masses; that I was a breeder for babies who were
sacrificed and eaten; that I had been married to Satan at age 6, and
that I was ritually abused and tortured (including being buried in the

How did I come to adopt such bizarre beliefs? I have thought deeply
about the answer to this question. Certainly suggestive therapy was an
important component, but I believe that there were many other factors
that made me vulnerable to the therapy. Here is the list of factors
that I believe contributed to my false memories of ritual abuse:

  1, A long history of depression (going back to age 8 or before)
  which was not treated (times were different then). This led me to
  feel alienated from my family and also increased my attraction to
  gloomy, death-related subjects.

  2, Bullying by the girls at school. I had unhappy memories of being
  treated badly by a group of people.

  3. Loneliness. I was unpopular and often felt lonely as a child. I
  believe that it was easier for me to imagine being tortured than
  face the reality of being ignored.

  4. My obviously erroneous belief that hypnosis (including self-
  hypnosis) is a royal road to memory recovery. The fact that I read
  many survivor accounts about SRA and attended an SRA support group.
  (If only I knew then what I know now!)

  5. My belief that if I feel it, it *must* be true.

  6. My desire for attention, being special through having survived a
  "hidden holocaust."

  7. Seasonal affective disorder, which causes my mood to take a
  precipitous downturn in the fall. I attributed this to cult activity
  at Halloween until I knew better. Now I use a light box. It helps
  but I still contend with suicidal thoughts every fall.

  8. Confusion of church rituals with satanic rituals.

I have not seen the last two factors discussed, but for me they were
quite significant. I would be interested to know if Seasonal Affective
Disorder is over-represented in persons complaining of ritual abuse.
If so, the late fall depressions could be reframed as a biological
problem for a significant number of people who allege ritual abuse. I
have thought a lot about the confusion of church rituals and satanic
rituals and think that there were three factors involved:

1. The mystery of rituals.

As a young child being taken to church, I was mystified by the rituals
of the Catholic Mass. This sense of confusion with ritual activity
spilled over into my beliefs about ritual abuse. When I think about
SRA and what it means to me, rather than as a real event, I have had
memories of being in or near a church (for a regular service). I think
that it's possible for a child raised in a religious household, as I
was, to carry that sense of involvement in strange rituals over to SRA

2. Profound disillusionment with religion.

My parents have always been very religious. They attend Mass every
week and do volunteer work for the church. My father is a lector
(saying the readings during the service) and taught me to lector as
well. My mother has worked as the parish secretary for about 20 years.
Because of my untreated depression, however, I felt that my parents
were malevolent and cruel for allowing me to suffer with no relief. I
felt this despite the good things they did for me; for example, paying
for Catholic school from first grade through college. I became
disillusioned with my parents and as a consequence disillusioned with
what they held most dear: the Catholic church. In addition, the Church
did not allow women priests, so I felt that women were subservient to
men. I was very angry about this and as a young adult, I stopped going
to church. I felt it was an oppressive force in my life.

3. The harsh nature of Christianity:

To some extent Christianity is based on human sacrifice (i.e. Jesus
was sent by God to die for all of our sins), and the method of death,
crucifixion, was quite gory. And to some extent the Catholic church
enshrines a type of symbolic cannibalism as its most sacred ritual
(ordinary bread and wine which are brought to the Catholic mass are
turned into the literal body and blood of Christ that are then
consumed by everyone attending the Mass). I believe that ritual abuse
allegations can serve as screen memories for the accuser's experience
with religion.

This may sound counterintuitive because we are used to thinking of
mainstream religion as "good" and Black Masses as "bad." However,
disillusionment with the Church can make mainstream religion appear
quite bad, even evil. It seems just a small step to confusing the
mystery of Church rituals with satanic rituals.

I do not mean to denigrate organized religion, just to state that I
think there is less of a separation than is commonly believed between
the subjective experience of "good" religion and the subjective
experience of beliefs in "bad" religion. Put this way, I believe
allegations of ritual abuse become more logical than they might
otherwise appear to be.

The confusion between church rituals and satanic rituals seems
consistent with the fact that SRA accusers are over-represented by
individuals from religious households: they took religion more
seriously growing up.

I would be extremely interested in learning if my hypothesis that
ritual abuse memories are screen memories of experiences with
mainstream religion could be confirmed. If that is the case, dealing
with the religious issues directly might forestall ritual abuse
beliefs and allegations.

                        Disavowing my memories

Thankfully, I discovered the skeptical point of view in the mid-1990's
and I disavowed the satanic ritual abuse beliefs, as well as the
belief that I had MPD. I owe a debt to Dr. Ian Hacking, Dr. August
Piper, Dr. Michael Simpson, Michael Snedeker, and Debbie Nathan for
publishing their points of view. They helped me see how my life had
gotten pretty badly off track. I am grateful to them all.

                              No Contact

We have had absolutely no word from our son since 1989. We hear from 
others that he is alive, but that is all.
                                                                 A dad

                          A Kind of Returner

It has been close to 20 years since our precious daughter was
alienated against us. She is now a kind of returner, without
apologies. There is a possibility that she still does not know what
are true and what are false memories.

She came home briefly in 1993 and again in 1998. She didn't stay
overnight but stayed instead at a motel. She has not been back home
since. We have gone to see her three times, but met at a motel because
she doesn't want us to know where she lives.

She and I have been very close in the last three years. She calls
every few weeks, sometimes for as long as an hour. She's also very
friendly with her siblings and writes to them and to us. In her
letters to me she has written "I'm sending you a big long hug. Just
imagine it. Feel my breathing and my heartbeat and my hair against
your cheek as I quietly say I love you mom," She has also said, "You
and I are still close mom. No amount of miles can change that."

She has been quite sick for several years. I think it is from all the
stress she went through with the recovered memories. When I asked her
to come to visit, she said that she could not make the trip because
she is too weak and sick. I guess I really believe her, but my heart
aches from being separated from her when she is sick. My daughter says
that she no longer sees the therapists who started the recovered
memories. I hope that is true. Perhaps she is too embarrassed to come
home thinking everyone knows about her memory problems. I am just
thankful that she is doing as well as she is.

In the last three years I have had massive surgery and my husband has
had cancer. In spite of this, we still believe we will eventually be
reunited with out daughter. We hold no anger against her, and we have
coped with all this by our trust in the Lord.

We pray daily that all the alienated children will come home to be
reunited and that family members can forgive each other
                                                                 A mom
                    Guilt First, Then Real Desire

FMSF helped me reconcile with my family. It has been nine years since
I have been back in contact, after four years of having cut them off.
Without groups like yours, I may never have gotten back in touch with
them. At first, what motivated me to start talking to them again was
guilt, but now it has become a genuine desire to see them.

/                                                                    \
| We like to cling to a distinction between events experienced in    |
| real life and events experienced through story, but contemporary   |
| psychologists are increasingly interested in the fact that memory  |
| often can't distinguish them clearly. Public obsession with false  |
| memory syndrome has obscured the other provocative implication of  |
| this quality of memory: we may actually experience events so       |
| acutely in our literary adventures that they become folded into    |
| our consciousness as real happenings, affecting and important.     |
|                                                    Diehl-Jones, C. |
|                                                     (2003, August) |
|      Carol Shields: The arts of a writing life and dropped threads |
|                                      Border Crossings, Vol. 22 (3) |

*                           N O T I C E S                            *
*                                                                    *
*                      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)            *
*                                                                    *
*                         *
*                            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.            *
*                                                                    *
*                                        *
*             This site is run by Stephen Barrett, M.D.              *
*                                                                    *
*                                    *
*            Contains information about filing complaints            *
*                                                                    *
*                                        *
*                  False Memory Syndrome Foundation                  *
*                                                                    *
*                     LEGAL WEBSITES OF INTEREST                     *
*                                        *
*                                           *
*                                       *
*                                           *
*                                      *
*                                                                    *
*                          ELIZABETH LOFTUS                          *
*                we                *
*                                                                    *
*            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                *
*                                                                    *
*                       RECOMMENDED  BOOKS                           *
*                                                                    *
*                       REMEMBERING TRAUMA                           *
*                       by Richard McNally                           *
*                    Harvard University Press                        *
*                                                                    *
*                                                                    *
*         S. O. Lilienfeld, S.J. Lynn and  J.M. Lohr (eds.)          *
*                  New York: Guilford Press (2003)                   *
*                                                                    *
*                         PSYCHOLOGY ASTRAY:                         *
*  Fallacies in Studies of "Repressed Memory" and Childhood Trauma   *
*                   by Harrison G. Pope, Jr., M.D.                   *
*                            Upton Books                             *
*                                                                    *
*                           SAVE THIS DATE                           *
*                                                                    *
*                          October 9, 2005                           *
*                        9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.                         *
*                                                                    *
*                   ILLINOIS-WISCONSIN FMS SOCIETY                   *
*                            FALL MEETING                            *
*                   Prairie Lakes Community Center                   *
*                          Des Plaines, IL                           *
*                                                                    *
*                     Coping: Where are you now?                     *
*                                                                    *
* Speakers: Pamela Freyd, Ph.D. and Janet Fetkewicz, M.A. from the   *
* FMS Foundation                                                     *
*                                                                    *
* Two hours in the afternoon will be devoted to general group        *
* discussion, focusing on the variety of individual coping           *
* strategies (both successful and otherwise) of the participants.    *
* Retractors will serve as resource people. After the meeting those  *
* who wish will have a cocktail hour and dinner at a local           *
* restaurant.                                                        *
*                                                                    *
*                        FOR MORE INFORMATION                        *
*                 E-MAIL:                  *
*                                       *
*                                                                    *
*                        Do You Read German?                         *
*                                                                    *
* If the answer is "yes" then you may want to check out an excellent *
* two-part article about memory written by Harald Welzer and         *
* originally published in Der Spiegel (the mirror).                  *
*                                                                    *
*,1518,355525,00.html      *
*                                                                    *
* The article deals with the way in which people develop vivid       *
* visual recollections of something that never happened: survivors   *
* of the Dresden bombing in WWII who tell of fighters attacking      *
* individual people on the ground-when in fact the fire tornado      *
* raised by the bombing made low-altitude flying completely          *
* impossible; or Ronald Reagan including in his personal war         *
* memories a scene from a 1944 movie.                                *

                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
        Jocelyn 530-570-1862
  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 626-357-2750
  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
        Sarah 337-235-7656
        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, 4th Sat. of 
        Jan., Apr., Jul., Oct. @12:30pm
        Tom 417-753-4878
        Roxie 417-781-2058
  Lee & Avone 406-443-3189
  Jean 603-927-2269
  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
  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 915-595-3945
        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
        Mavis 450-882-1480
  FMS ASSOCIATION fax 972-2-625-9282 
        Colleen 09-416-7443
        Ake Moller FAX 48-431-217-90
  The British False Memory Society
        Madeline 44-1225 868-682

      Deadline for the September/October 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, 2005

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., (deceased) 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

                     YOUR CONTRIBUTION WILL HELP
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                    THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY.
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