FMSF NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE - Fall 2009 - Vol. 18, 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)
FALL 2009 Vol. 18 No. 4
      ISSN #1069-0484. Copyright (c) 2009 by the FMS Foundation
The FMSF Newsletter will be published 4 times  in  2010  by the  False
Memory  Syndrome  Foundation  and delivered electronically. It is also 
available at on the  FMSF website:  Those without
access to the Internet should contact the Foundation. 
           1955 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-5766
                 Phone 215-940-1040, Fax 215-940-1042
       The next e-mail newsletter will be sent in January 2010

Dear Friends, 

  "'Repressed-recovered memories', 'dissociative amnesia' and related
  concepts are best described as pernicious psychiatric folklore
  devoid of convincing scientific evidence. Such theories are quite
  incapable of reliably assisting the legal process. In our collective
  opinion, these unsupported, controversial notions have caused
  incalculable harm to the fields of psychology and psychiatry,
  damaged tens of thousands of families, severely harmed the
  credibility of mental health professionals, and misled the
  legislative, civil, criminal, and family legal systems into many
  miscarriages of justice."[1]

This powerful clear statement is from an amicus [2] brief filed in the
Shanley case. The statement is highly significant because it was
signed by almost 100 distinguished psychologists and psychiatrists.
(See below.}

Given such a commanding statement from so many eminent scientists, the
massive research literature demonstrating the ease with which false
beliefs may develop and the lack of scientific evidence for
repression, it is reasonable to ask why there is still a "memory war,"
why people still call the Foundation, why we still read of lawsuits in
which evidence is based only on claims of recovered repressed memory.
As some of the letters and articles in this issue of the newsletter
demonstrate, the problem of FMS, unfortunately, seems still to be with

The notions of repression and multiple personality are deeply embedded
in our cultural belief. Unless there is a concerted movement by
professional organizations or greater responsibility shown in the
media, recovered repressed memories and multiple personality are
likely to remain in the popular culture even as they are increasingly
viewed skeptically in legal circles. The public is subjected to far
more examples of acceptance of recovered memories than they are of
skeptical analysis. It's a lot more engaging to read about someone who
explains his or her life-long problems by recovering memories of child
abuse than it is to read scholarly articles or technical documents.

September delivered an example of the problem. The television program
"Lie to Me" aired a segment in in which an individual with multiple
personalities was encouraged to use hypnosis as a way to recovered
repressed memories. [3] (See below) The series is about a professor
who uses facial expressions to determine if a person is lying. "Lie to
Me" claims to be based on the scientific research of psychologist Paul
Ekman, Ph.D., who is a consultant to the show. 

Following are some comments from the program:

  minute 16: Three characters in conversation: "Trisha's got it,
  multiple personality disorder...the holy grail of
  psychiatry...dissociative identity disorder"

  minute 19: "In their conscious life the alters aren't aware of each
  other. Hopefully hypnosis will allow [the doctor] to tap into their
  shared unconscious."

  minute 20: Under hypnosis the subject is asked: "Did anything bad
  happen to you? You know, when you were younger?"

In an interview with a reporter from Popular Mechanics, Ekman said
that the professional and scientific elements on the show are around
90 percent accurate. He said that the character based on him was:

  "[Y]ounger, edgier, arrogant, brusque, and he's English. But the
  science that he does, and the applications, are exactly what I've
  been doing, particularly in the past five years, in applying this
  with law enforcement and national security." [4]

The author of the article noted: 

  "But if the show is informative and entertaining, the upside for
  Ekman will be huge: He has written 15 books, but just the first
  episode of "Lie to Me" will reach more people than even his most
  popular title. "

How much more likely is it that the public will see the television
program as opposed to reading a legal brief signed by 100 scientists?
For those of us who are familiar with the science of memory, this
segment of "Lie to Me" raises ethical questions and doubts about the
scientific accuracy of all the other programs.

Dr. Ekman provides comments on the episodes of "Lie to Me." Following
is what he said about this program.

  "Loker [the lead researcher of the group that studies facial
  expression] heralds what is going to come next by crediting
  handwriting as a reflection of personality - very few scientists who
  have studied the issue do. A few seconds later Lightman says Trisha
  has Multiple Personality Disorder. Foster corrects him substituting
  the more recent label: Dissociative Identity Disorder. She notes
  that the existence of such a disorder is just barely more plausible
  than psychic phenomena. While Loker calls it the Holy Grail of
  psychiatry, there actually is strong disagreement among mental
  health professionals about whether it is a legitimate diagnosis of a
  mental disorder which really occurs rather than a suggestible
  patient's creation based on media depictions or a therapist's belief
  in it. But it sets the stage for an entertaining story and some
  great acting." [5]

An entertaining story! Great acting! Not a word about dangers of using
of hypnosis to recover a memory. Apparently, Dr. Ekman is completely
unaware of how the unscientific belief in using hypnosis to recover
memories has destroyed families and people's lives. [6]

An entertaining story! Great acting! Not a word about the dangers of
using of hypnosis to recover a memory. Apparently, Dr. Ekman is
completely unaware of how the unscientific belief in using hypnosis to
recover memories has destroyed families and people’s lives.[6]
Further, already by 1993, 25 U.S. state supreme courts had ruled on
the inadmissibility of a witness testifying if he or she had been
hypnotized to enhance memory of the event in question. Since the legal
system recognized the dangers of enhancing memory via hypnosis, it
seems unfortunate that therapists and the media cannot cannot also
take heed.

Belief in recovered repressed memories and multiple personality are
also kept alive by groups such as S.M.A.R.T. (Stop Mind Control and
Ritual Torture). Below there are some comments about a recent
conference of this group. Would you be surprised to learn that members
consider the director of the FMSF to be an arch villain? Would it
surprise you to learn that this group is listed as a conference
sponsor along with groups such as the American Psychological
Association and the San Diego School of Medicine?

Some therapists continue to perpetuate the belief in repressed
memories. In a story that would be very funny if it did not reflect so
much danger, a 75-year-old FMSF mother was told by a therapist that:
"You were sexually abused by your father when you were a little girl."
He then proposed to help her find her repressed memories. (See below.)
Would you be surprised to learn that the mother fled from the office?

The Shanley case in Massachusetts (below) and a case in Indiana (also
below) are evidence that the confusion about the scientific status of
recovered repressed memories is still draining financial and legal
resources. As long as the media continue to mislead the public with
programs such as "Lie to Me," the problems associated with recovered
repressed memories will drag on.

All of this sounds depressing, but progress crawls on in spite of
ignorance and irresponsibility. Although there was some good publicity
when the amicus signed by 100 scientists was filed, there will likely
be more when the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court makes a decision
about the scientific status of recovered repressed memories in that
state. If they decide that recovered repressed memories are not
reliable, that moves us closer to the day when the FMSF is no longer

We continue to see progress in fewer calls and letters to the
Foundation. We see progress in a smaller Bulletin Board list in this
newsletter. How many organizations want to put themselves out of
business as we do?

In the meantime, we continue to do what we can to educate people that
recovered repressed memories are without scientific foundation. FMSF
members are critical in this effort. Writing letters about televisions
programs that provide misinformation is one important way to help.
Your gifts to the Foundation in our only fund raising effort are
another. We thank you for your generosity.  

[1] Barden, R. C. (2009, August). Brief of Amicus Curiae of the
    International Committee of Social, Psychiatric, Psychological,
    Cognitive Science, Neuroscience, and Neurological Scientists
    submitted in MA v. Shanley.
[2] An amicus curie brief is a "friend of the court" brief from
    someone who is not a party to a case but who offers information on
    some other aspect of the case to assist the court in deciding a
    matter before it.
[3] "Lie to Me" The Core of It (2009, September 28). Fox.
[4] Kramer, S.E. (2009, January 21). The (Real!) science behind Lie to
    Me. Popular Mechanics. Retrieved on September 25, 2009 from:
[5] (
[6] If you want to let Dr. Ekman learn about the tragedy that can
    result from professionals who accept an "entertaining story" and
    "great acting" over scientific responsibility you could send him a
    copy of your story. Paul Ekman, Ph.D., Paul Ekman Group Llc., 4096
    Piedmont Ave. 367, Oakland, CA 94611.

/                                                                    \
|                             Correction                             |
|                                                                    |
| In the FMSF Summer Newsletter we wrote: in 1991 Colin Ross said    |
| MPD affects 1% of population. (The population in 1990 was          |
| 248,709,873 million. One percent would be 248,710 people with      |
| multiple personality.) Bruce Robinson of Religious   |
| was one of several to write to us with the correct estimate of     |
| people with multiple personality disorder. “I think that the 1%  |
| figure is what Dr. Ross estimated. But that would make 2,487,098   |
| million MPD’ers.�                                              |


Almost 100 scientists signed the amicus brief of The International
Committee of Social, Psychiatric, Psychological, Cognitive Science,
Neuroscience, and Neurological Scientists [1] that was filed this
summer in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in the case of
former priest Paul R. Shanley. The brief addresses the issue of the
scientific status of repressed and recovered memories.

"'Repressed-recovered memories', 'dissociative amnesia' and related
concepts are best described as pernicious psychiatric folklore devoid
of convincing scientific evidence. Such theories are quite incapable
of reliably assisting the legal process. In our collective opinion,
these unsupported, controversial notions have caused incalculable harm
to the fields of psychology and psychiatry, damaged tens of thousands
of families, severely harmed the credibility of mental health
professionals, and misled the legislative, civil, criminal, and family
legal systems into many miscarriages of justice."

Paul Shanley was convicted in 2005 of assaulting and raping Paul Busa
who claimed to have recovered repressed memories of the abuse that he
said began when he was age six and continued until he was 12. (See
below for report of the case.)

After the trial decision, Cambridge appellate attorney Robert F. Shaw,
Jr., petitioned the Supreme Judicial Court to consider Shanley's
appeal for a new trial. Shaw believes that the Court granted this
appeal because, "This case involves a very difficult issue. . .
repressed memory..."[2] Among the issues raised by Shaw was the
argument that in the trial, prosecutors failed to demonstrate that
"repressed memory" evidence is admissible and that Shanley's trial
lawyer inadequately challenged "repressed memory" evidence. The FMS
Foundation also filed an amicus brief that focused on the lack of
scientific evidence for repressed memories. A brief arguing that the
scientific community does accept repressed and recovered memories was
filed by the Leadership Council. (See A.K.A. p. 4)

In September 2009, the Court heard oral arguments in the case. The
Court is expected to announce its decision within 180 days on whether
Shanley should have another trial.

[1] Barden, R. C. (2009, August). Brief of Amicus Curiae of the
    International Committee of Social, Psychiatric, Psychological,
    Cognitive Science, Neuroscience, and Neurological Scientists
    submitted in Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Paul R. Shanley,
    No. SJC-10382,Supreme Judicial Court, Middlesex Ct. Massachusetts.
    The brief including brief biographies of the signers is available
[2] Murphy, S. (2009, January 27). SJC to hear appeal by ex-priest in
    abuse case. Boston Globe. Retrived on January 27, 2009 from

              Reprinted from FMSF Newsletter 14(2), 2005

                          PAUL SHANLEY CASE
            Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Paul Shanley,
               Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Middlesex
                   SS Superior Court, No. 2002-0894

On February 7, 2005, a Boston jury found defrocked Roman Catholic
priest Paul Shanley guilty of sexually abusing now 27-year-old Boston
fireman Paul Busa when he was a young child. Shanley, age 74, was
sentenced to 12-15 years in prison.

The evidence in the case consisted entirely of Busa's recovered
memories. Busa testified that his girlfriend called him on January 31
to tell him about a Boston Globe article about Shanley.[1] Busa said
he was surprised because everyone had liked Shanley. His girlfriend
called again on February 11 to tell him that his friend Gregory Ford
was accusing Shanley. Busa then called Ford. He testified that his own
memories then started coming back. "I felt like my world was coming to
an end."[2] At the time, Busa was a military police officer in

On February 12, Busa visited a military therapist and then flew to
Boston. According to investigative reporter Jo Ann Wypijewski.[3] the
ticket was paid for by attorney Rod MacLeish who was representing
Ford. Busa also met with the same mental health professionals as Ford
and he also retained MacLeish. After Busa returned to Colorado and
entered counseling, he was told to start a journal of his memories. He
backdated the journal to February 1. Busa was discharged from the
military in April.

In the 1970s, Father Shanley was known as a charismatic "street
priest" who worked with troubled adolescents and supported gay rights.
Until the criminal trial, no one had ever accused Shanley of being
sexually involved with young children. There were, however, claims of
his involvement with adolescents or young adults in the 60s and 70s.

After the publication of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe
series and a later press conference by attorney MacLeish, Shanley
became one of, if not the, most high-profile figures in the church
abuse scandals. Shanley is one of the few priests to be criminally
charged in Massachusetts. Because he had moved to California in 1990,
the clock stopped on the 15 year statute of limitations.

There were two young men, besides Ford and Busa who made claims
against Shanley. They all attended the same Catholic religious classes
at St. Jean L'Evangeliste in Newton, Mass. They all said that Shanley
would take them out of class and rape them in the rectory,
confessional and restroom from the time they were six until they were
11 or 12. They all claimed that they immediately forgot being raped or
abused and that they recovered the memories after the Globe article.
They all had the same lawyer. There is no record of any person during
those years who noticed anything unusual involving the boys and

In April 2004, all four received settlements from the Church in civil
cases. Ford is said to have received more than $1.4 million and Busa
received $500,000.

In July 2004, prosecutors said that "in order to make this the most
manageable case for a jury to hear," it would drop Ford and another
person from the case. A great deal had been learned about Gregory Ford
and his life that caused many questions about the reliability of his
memories. The other accuser was dropped on the day jury selection
began because no one could find him.

The trial began in mid-January and was shown on CourtTV. Busa sobbed
during some of his highly emotional testimony, and his wife described
his awful pain and suffering after he recovered memories. Classmates
and two former teachers from the school took the stand. None of the
classmates testified that they ever saw Shanley remove anyone from
class, although students were sent out of the class. One student
testified that he had once been sent to Shanley who had told him to
stop giving the teacher a hard time and sent him right back to class.
Under cross-examination, teachers could not recall Shanley taking
children out of class. One stated that Busa would not even have been
in the religious class at the age he claimed.

James Chu, M.D., an associate professor at Harvard Medical School, was
an expert for the prosecution. He testified that repressed memory is
more common among people who suffered repeated trauma as children than
in those who suffered a single traumatic event. "It really is more
this repeated trauma that tends to be forgotten by some mechanism." He
noted that memories can return in a flood of images and physical
symptoms such as anxiety and sleeplessness, all of which Busa said he
experienced. Dr. Chu used the term "dissociative barrier" to describe
the mechanism that keeps traumatic memories locked up. Under
cross-examination, Chu acknowledged the intense debate about the
validity of repressed memories and that false memories can be

Elizabeth Loftus, Ph.D., the only witness for the defense, testified
that her research shows that people can come to sincerely believe
implanted memories. On cross-examination, prosecutor Rooney asked
Loftus about statements she had made about repressed memories in the
past that were at odds with her current statements. Loftus was unable
to complete her answers, and defense attorney Mondano did not follow
up on redirect.

In closing arguments, Prosecutor Rooney said that the emotion Busa
showed when he testified was evidence that he was not fabricating his
claims. "The emotions were raw. They were real. They were reflective
of the pain he experienced," she said. In his closing, defense
attorney Frank Mondano argued that Busa's story was not reliable and
that he made up the story to get the money from a civil trial.
Prosecutor Rooney argued that Busa already had the money from the
civil trial so that would not explain his willingness to endure the
pain of the criminal trial.

The jury deliberated 13 hours before reaching its decision. Jury
member Victoria Blier remarked that the jury agreed after discussion
that you can experience something up to a point, and then not think
about it and have plenty of other things in your life that are more

Attorney Frank Mondano has said that he intends to appeal the

[1] Pfeiffer, S. (2002, January 31). Famed 'street priest' preyed upon
   boys. Boston Globe, p. A21.
[2] Lavoi, D. (2005, January 26). Shanley's accuser testifies at child
    rape trial. Associated Press State & Local Wire, 4:56 Wednesday, BC
3] Wypijewski, J. (2004, September-October). The passion of Father
   Paul Shanley. LegalAffairs. Retrieved February 9, 2005, from

   Ballou,. B., & Lawrence, J. (2005, February 8). Shanley guilty;
   verdict delivers 'victory,' vindication. Boston Herald, p. 7.

   Kukjian, S., & Cullen, K. (2002, June 21). Grand jury indicts
   Shanley, charges rape of four boys. Boston Globe, p. A22.

   Lavoie, D. (2005, January 31). State wraps up case against
   defrocked priest. Associated Press.

   Lavoie, D. (2005, February 7). Defrocked priest convicted in
   notorious clergy sex abuse case. Associated Press, Monday, BC

/                                                                    \
|                        Comments from Jurors                        |
|                                                                    |
| Jury Member Patrick Kierce: "It must have come back to him....His  |
| health, his wife. It was heartfelt. He didn't have much of         |
| anything else to go on."                                           |
|                                       Weiss, J. (2005, February 8) |
|                       Jury convicts Shanley of raping child victim |
|                                                Boston Globe, p. A1 |
|                                                                    |
| Jury Member Victoria Blier: "I think one of the more convincing    |
| things that was spoken by a lot of people was that the victim had  |
| already won a civil case and had already been awarded half a       |
| million dollars and had no motivation, no reason, to pursue the    |
| criminal case other than personal conviction."                     |
|                                   Saltzman, J. (2005, February 8)  |
|                 Compelling witness overrode questions on memories  |
|                                               Boston Globe, p. B5  |


  "I don't know what you mean by 'glory,'" Alice said.

  Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. "Of course you don't -- till I
  tell you. I meant 'there's a nice knock-down argument for you!'"

  "But 'glory' doesn't mean 'a nice knock-down argument,'" Alice

  "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone,
  "it means just what I choose it to mean neither more not less."

  The question is, said Alice, whether you can make words mean so many
  different things.

  "The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master --
  that's all."
                                                         Lewis Carroll
                                             Through the Looking Glass

Humpty Dumpty came to mind when we read an amicus filed in support of
the prosecution in the Shanley case.[1] The following terms were all
used in this brief in reference to the repression and recovery of
traumatic memories: "delayed memory," "delayed recall," "dissociative
amnesia," "dissociative memory loss," "dissociative phenomena,"
"dissociative state," "motivated forgetting," "post traumatic
amnesia," "psychogenic amnesia," "psychogenic shock," "recovered
memory," "repression," "repressed memory," and "traumatic amnesia."
Because some of these terms have other meanings that involve no
controversy, their use confuses and obscures the focus of the issue:
the scientific status of repression.

One example of the confusion: "dissociative phenomena" is a category
that includes "dissociative amnesia," (repression), the focus of the
arguments in this legal case. The category dissociative phenomena also
includes "dissociative identity disorder" (multiple personality
disorder), "dissociative fugue," "depersonalization disorder," and
"dissociative disorders not otherwise specified." "Depersonalization,"
in which an individual feels that he or she is watching life go by, is
a fairly common experience. It is not controversial in the sense that
claims of dissociative amnesia and multiple personality are
controversial. "Psychogenic shock" and "motivated forgetting" are not
controversial concepts; nor do they refer to the repression and
recovery of memories.

The memory wars have been going on for two decades, plenty of time for
proponents of repression and recovery of memory to have established
precise terms and concepts. Unfortunately, to read some papers in
support of repression is to take a trip Through the Looking Glass.

[1] Murphy, W. (2009). Brief of the Leadership Council as Amicus
    Curiae. Submitted in Massachusetts v. Shanley, SJC No. 10382, AC
    No. 2007-P-0886

                           TO LAUGH or CRY?

The program for the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis
60th Annual Workshops & Scientific Program Conference (October 21-25,
2009 in Reno, Nevada) includes the workshops described below that will
be given on October 24. Comment seems superfluous.
                           The Tapping Cure
                    Roberta Temes, PhD, Downstate
                     Medical School, New York, NY
  In the Tapping Cure workshop I will teach and demonstrate the
  methods of tapping for phobia relief, anxiety and PTSD. I will
  present the latest research and talk about the controversies in the
  field, too. Energy Psychology (EP) refers to the various techniques
  that combine the ideas of traditional Western psychotherapy with
  acupressure and other Eastern approaches to medicine. The Tapping
  Cure is a form of EP. Its science is not yet known -- clinical
  trials and double-blind studies now being conducted at Kaiser
  Permanente in CA -- but the results are in. It works. By gently
  tapping on specific body parts while at the same time speaking
  certain words, it is possible to separate a painful negative emotion
  from a particular memory. This is as incredible as is the success of
  a hypnosis session.
                           Beyond the Body:
         Hypnotic Inductions to Align the Human Energy Field
            Dolores J. Bjorkman, MSW, RN, private practice
  Experiments in physics over the past 100 years are describing a
  universe made of only energy. The energetic mechanisms by which
  matter exists and communicates are being explored. In this workshop,
  scientific concepts that explain the Human Energy Field will be
  introduced. Three dimensions of the Human Energy Field -- Aura,
  Hara, and Core Essence -- will be identified. The workshop will
  focus on the anatomy and physiology of the Auric Field. The
  significance of the Auric Field in physical and mental health will
  be explored. Participants will experience an induction to strengthen
  the Auric Field. Design of inductions to target specific issues will
  be discussed.

                       MEMORY RECONSOLIDATION:
                     MODIFICATION of OLD MEMORIES
                   McGowan, K. (2009, July/August)
                           Out of the past
                           Discover, 30(7)

Recent findings in neuroscience show that we alter our memories just
by remembering them. In this article, Kathleen McGowan tells the
interesting story of Karim Nader, a young postdoc, whose theory about
memory reconsolidation challenged established views of memory. She
describes the process of his theory becoming the accepted view. In an
exceptionally clear manner, she explains the nature of the research
and the current scientific understanding of memory.

"For a hundred years, people thought memory was wired into the
brain. Instead, we find it can be rewired -- you can add false
information to it, make it stronger, make it weaker, and possibly even
make it disappear." Karim Nadar. Quoted in Out of the past.

"Reconsolidation suggests that when you use a memory, the one you had
originally is no longer valid or maybe no longer accessible." Joseph
Le Doux. Quoted in Out of the past.

Even though we are not aware of it, people are continually rewriting
our life stories. McGowen explains: "Every time we remember, it seems,
we add new details, shade the facts, prune and tweak." She observes
that memory is very much like imagination in that both conjure a world
that never existed until "forged by our minds." Both memory and
imagination allow you to "put yourself in a time and place other than
the one we actually occupy.

"When people are instructed to imagine events that might happen in
their personal future and then to remember actual events in the past,
we find extensive and very striking overlap in areas of brain
activation." Daniel Schacter. Quoted in Out of the past.


In September 2009, John Stoll agreed to accept $5 Million that he Kern
County California Board of Supervisors voted to settle a lawsuit filed
by Stoll who was wrongly imprisoned.

The 2008 documentary Witch Hunt [1] featured John Stoll, who spent
almost 20 years in prison before being released in 2004. Stoll was one
of the 30 people convicted in the California Kern County (Bakersfield)
child abuse hysteria in the early 1980s.

The judge who ordered his release 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. Four of the six accusers
later testified that they had lied on the stand, saying they were

Indeed, as early as 1986, a yearlong investigation of the Kern County
cases by the California Attorney General's Office 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." [2] Yet, Stoll
remained in prison until the Innocence Project took up his cause.

[1] Witch Hunt was produced and narrated by Sean Penn. (See FMSF
    Newsletter 18(1) Winter 2009) The video can be purchased at:
[2] Boren, J. (2004, May 9). Botched child molestation cases meted out
    injustice. Fresno Bee, p. F3.

                  DID TEXAS EXECUTE an INNOCENT MAN?
                    Grann, D. (2009, September 7)
                            Trial by fire
                         New Yorker, p. 42-63

Available at:

Although this article is not about memory or false memory, it is about
the justice system and we think it is important enough to mention.

In "Trial by Fire," David Grann tells the tragic story of the 2005
execution in Texas of Todd Willingham for triple homicide. Willingham
was convicted of setting his house on fire and killing his three
children. Grann exposes the fact that Texas officials ignored reports
by fire scientists that showed clearly there was no evidence of arson.
The parole board that reviews applications for clemency did not even
bother to read the report that would have shown that he was not

In 2005, Texas established a commission to investigate error and
misconduct by forensic scientists. The Willingham case is one of first
to be reviewed, Grann writes. Texas could be the first state to
acknowledge that it carried out the "execution of a legally and
factually innocent person."

                      King, R. (2009, August 21)
             Priest abuse hearing hinges on memory, time
                        Indianapolis Star, A-1

The scientific status of repressed memories was the focus of a hearing
on August 21, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana at Marion Super Court
before Judge David Dreyer. The case is about John Doe RG, a 44-year-
old business man, now living in another state, who claims that in
therapy in 2003 he began to recover memories that priest Harry Monroe
had abused him when he was an altar boy.

The facts of the case were not contested. There are 13 lawsuits filed
against this former priest and he has confessed that he abused at
least five of the people who have brought suits. John Doe RG's suit,
however, is the only one that involved repressed memories. None of the
other cases was prosecuted because the statute of limitations had

Does the fact that the victim had repressed his memories change the
statute of limitations? The legal debate focused on whether trauma
victims can truly lose access to their memories of abuse and later
recover them. The expert for John Doe RG was James A. Chu, M.D.,
associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard University. Chu stated
that among clinicians there is no real debate about the validity of
repressed memories. He said that the only doubters of repressed memory
were people who work in laboratories and who do not treat patients.
The expert for the archdiocese was Harrison Pope, M.D., professor of
psychiatry at Harvard University who wrote in an affidavit that there
are serious questions about repressed memories in the scientific
community and that there is a lack of consensus about them.

Attorney Pat Noaker who represents John Doe RG argued that statute
does not apply if memories are repressed -- that a person has a
two-year window in which to file after recovering the memories.
Attorney Jay Mercer who represents the archdiocese argued that an
exception to the statute of limitations should not be granted because
of the lack of scientific consensus about repressed memories.

After the arguments, Judge Dreyer asked attorneys to give him more
information about the relationship between "dissociative amnesia" and
"repressed memory." The judge noted that "dissociative amnesia" is
listed in the DSM-IV and that "repressed memory" is not listed. He
said that acceptance in the desk reference would be a simple way of
deciding the credibility of the science and whether to allow


  'There are thousands more survivors out there who have yet to learn
  what they have been through.' [1]

In August 2009, the Twelfth Annual Ritual Abuse, Secretive
Organizations and Mind Control Conference was held in Windsor Locks,
Connecticut. [2] Doug Mesner, a young investigative journalist,
attended the conference and wrote a two-part description of it for The
Examiner. After the first part was posted, the Examiner editor
received so many complaints that he removed the article and did not
post the second part. In fact, the editor posted material written by
the organizer of the conference, survivor Neil Brick. The Mesner
articles can still be read, however.

Report from the S.M.A.R.T. Ritual Abuse/Mind-Control Conference 2009,
#1 Doug Mesner. Available at

Report from the S.M.A.R.T. Ritual Abuse/Mind-Control Conference 2009, 
Doug Mesner. Available at

Below are some excerpts from Mesner's articles.

  "The S.M.A.R.T conferences are an opportunity for the victims of the
  satanic conspiracy to exchange their horrific tales, offer support
  to one another and, most importantly "just be believed". Victims are
  encouraged to bring an accompanying "support person", as much of the
  material covered in the 2-day series of talks is considered to be
  "triggering" (that is to say, it may cause flashbacks in the
  similarly traumatized)."

  "Almost all of the self-proclaimed victims of Satanic Ritual Abuse,
  like Labrier, have "recovered" their "memories" of these alleged
  early traumas while undergoing psychiatric therapy."

  "To Neil Brick, the FMSF is nothing more than a group of "pedophile
  sympathizers", the executive director of which -- Pamela Freyd --
  serves as the oft-cited arch-villain of the conference. There is
  Satan, and there is Pamela Freyd. Without them, the world would be
  okay, and no children would ever get hurt..."

  "The attendees at the conference, whether out of politeness or sheer
  credulity, seem prepared to believe anything. Nobody shows a hint
  of doubt when a speaker by the name of "Royal", at all of about
  forty years of age, stands before us to claim that she was a
  personal slave to Nazi doctor Josef Mengele."

  "Juliane expresses gratitude to former S.M.A.R.T. conference speaker
  Brice Taylor (after expressing disdain for "The Media", and the
  requisite loathing of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation [FMSF]).
  . . .Brice Taylor's book "Thanks for The Memories" details her
  personal recovered memories of satanic sexual abuse within the
  highest levels of the United States government -- from John F.
  Kennedy to Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, to Ronald
  Reagan. Claiming to have been owned as a mind-controlled sex slave
  by late comedian Bob Hope -- who later passed her off to Henry
  Kissinger -- Taylor is a favorite in the mentally fractured fringe,
  her book a classic in the folk genre of delusional conspiracy theory
  literature. A twistedly prurient work describing outrageous
  pedophilic orgies among the famous and affluent, Taylor's work has
  been described as "porno for paranoids" -- its claims so far-flung
  and unlikely that, as far as I know, nobody has seen the need to
  disprove it. But then, this lack of a definitive debunking puts
  Taylor's book in a class above several of the Ritual Abuse/Satanic
  Panic movement's foundational texts."

Is all this to be laughed at? Is it any different from a group of
UFO-believers? Unfortunately, a conference such as this is a problem.
Believers in satanic conspiracies have devastated their own lives,
have destroyed their families' lives, and have usurped untold
resources of law enforcement and the justice system agencies. An
organization such as S.M.A.R.T. gains credibility when a conference
such as the 14th International Conference on violence, Abuse and
Trauma presented by Alliant International University includes the
organization in its program as a collaborator along with the American
Psychological Association and the University of California, San Diego
School of Medicine and others. [3]

[1] Neil Brick, organizer of the 2003 Stop Mind Control and Ritual
    Torture Conference in Connecticut as reported in Rucker, P. (2003,
    September 4). Speak of the Devil: Victimized by satanic cults and
    the CIA or just plain crazy? A look at the recent SMART conference
    at Windsor Locks. Hartford Advocate. Available at
[2] Some of the talks from this conference are available on the
    website of the group that organized it: S.M.A.R.T. See:
[3] Program available at:

                     Case SC064366 Filed 8/21/07
                        San Mateo, California.

In July 2009, Judge Beth Freeman of the San Mateo County Superior
Court declared a mistrial after the jury remained deadlocked for two
weeks of deliberations following the molestation trial of William
Hamilton Ayres, M.D. Ayres had been tried on numerous counts of lewd
and lascivious conduct with a child under the age of 14. Six former
patients claimed he had sexually abused them while performing medical
evaluations between 1988 and 1996. [1] After interviewing jury
members, Prosecutor Melissa McKowan stated that the San Mateo District
Attorney's office will retry the case. A new trial is expected to
begin in early 2010.

Dr. Ayres, a 77-year-old retired child psychiatrist, has been
prominent in the community and he is a former president of the
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Over the years,
Ayres likely conducted about two thousand forensic examinations on
juveniles who were referred to him by the San Mateo County Juvenile
Court and by area school districts. He acknowledged that he sometimes
conducted physical examinations of patients and that sometimes these
included genital examination, but he denied ever abusing any patients.
In 2006, Ayres explained: "Child psychiatrists are physicians.
Physical examinations are things that we are trained to do." [2] San
Francisco attorney Doren Weinberg represented William Ayres.

The case against Ayres had its foundation in 2002 when a former
patient contacted the San Mateo police to say that Ayres had molested
him in 1976. The police launched a criminal investigation that ended
when the United States Supreme Court struck down a California law that
had retroactively extended the statute of limitations in child abuse
cases. [3] In 2003, the former patient filed a civil suit against
Ayres who later who agreed to a confidential settlement.

The story of how that patient came to contact the police in 2002 and
the subsequent development of the case is interesting. At the
suggestion of a friend, the man, who was an aspiring writer, contacted
Victoria Balfour, a New York freelance writer and victims' rights
advocate, to get tips about how to find writing work. In the
conversation, the man happened to mention that Dr. Ayres had abused
him. Balfour who has written that she had been molested as a child,
[4] started to encourage the man to contact the police. After four
months of her urging, he did indeed contact the San Mateo police.

After the police dropped their case, Balfour aggressively sought
evidence that Ayres had abused others. She placed postings online and
by 2005, had compiled a list of 15 possible victims. She went to the
police who asked for her information. The police then seized more than
800 patient records from Ayres' former patients. They sifted through
the records and found thirty-seven men who said that Ayres had abused
them. Only a few of those cases, however, fell within the statute of

San Mateo police captain Mike Callagy credited Balfour for her work
stating: "I don't know if the victims would have come forward without
her encouragement." [5] The San Mateo Chief Deputy District Attorney
Steve Wagstaffe said: "She basically had a quest to bring Dr. Ayres to
justice. She worked, at times without a lot of appreciation, to get it
into police officers' hands."[6]

In September, Victoria Balfour was honored for her work in this
case. She received the Award for Excellence in the Media from the 14th
International Conference on Violence, Abuse, and Trauma that was held
in San Diego from September 23-26, 2009. Colin Ross, M.D., and Robert
Mungadze, Ph.D., were speakers at this conference. Among the many
organizations listed as supporters of the conference was "SMART Ritual
Abuse Newsletters & Conferences."

[1] Durand, M. (2009, July 28). Ayres case ends in mistrial. The Daily
    Journal. Retrieved on July 29, 2009 from:
[2] Williamson. K. (2007, April 6). The Examiner. Retrieved on July
    29, 2009 from:
[3] Stogner v. California, 539 U.S. 607 (2003).
[4] Balfour, V. (1999) A thin line. Vogue.
[5] Cote, J. (2007, April 23). Case against psychiatrist took years to
    assemble. Writer and advocate for alleged victims pushed molest
    probe. San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved on July 29, 2009 from
[6] Maher, S. (2009, September 24) Journalist honored for role in
    Ayres child abuse prosecution. The Oakland Tribune. Retrieved on
    September 28, 2009 from

    The "William Hamilton Ayres Watchdog Site" has complete, though
    perhaps biased, coverage of the trial.

                          "LIE TO ME" LIED:
        Relentless Media Mention of Repressed Memories and MPD

In September 2009, the television program "Lie to Me" aired a segment
in which an individual was encouraged to use hypnosis as a way to
recover repressed memories.[1] This was disappointing, especially
because the program is based on the work and life of Paul Ekman, Ph.D.
who also serves as a consultant. How sad that such a prominent
psychologist was unable to prevent damaging misinformation from
misleading the public. Indeed, the suggestion that hypnosis is an
accurate way to recover repressed memories is a "lie." The program
lied to the public!

The incident reminded us that a few years ago we collected reviews of
plays, movies, and books that mentioned repressed memories. The
following items were just some of the many references that crossed our
desk in 2005 in response to a daily search for repressed memories.

The number of references helps to explain why belief in repressed
memories will likely remain. When people see or hear something over
and over, they tend to accept it.

[1] The Core of It. (2009, September 28). Fox.

                                * * *

"So devastating is sexual abuse to the human psyche that victims often
repress the memory."
                                       Chambers, P. (2005, January 22)
                      Take the taboo out of talking about sexual abuse
                            The Advocate (Baton Rouge, Louisiana), 1F.

"Lewis's best friend is Gary, who is unemployed and lives off the
settlement money from the psychologist who helped him 'recover' false
memories of ritual child abuse and goat slaughter at the hands of his
now-estranged parents."
                                       Kevin Chong, (2005, January 29)
                                                Book Review: Home Land
                                                    Globe and Mail, D5

"In today's broadcast Dr. Stan Katz advises Bethany to use hypnosis to
recover memories."
                                                   (2009, February 11)
              Description of "Starting Over" a daytime reality program

"On March 1 viewers will learn that Viki's tender, caring daughter
Jessica... has also developed MPD."
                                         Logan, M. (2009, February 27)
                                   On Soaps: Just like mama (Llanview)
                                                              TV Guide

"[Sabina Spielrein, Jung's first analysand] remembers a pogrom in her
hometown of Rostov, Russia. Amid the flames, she sees her father's
face, and repressed memories of incest come flooding forth."
                                            Kanfer, E. (2005, March 1)
                                                     Buried childhoods
                                             The New Leader, 88(2), 45

"Jack is subjected to the snarly shrink's unorthodox memory-recovery
treatment, which basically involves sticking patients in morgue
drawers and slamming them shut until they scream themselves back into
                                            Pevere, G. (2005, March 4)
                                          Jacket made of thin material
                                                      Toronto Star, D3

"Whatever side of the fence you sit on regarding this volatile issue,
by the end of the evening recovered memory has been trivialized."
                                          Grant, J. A. (2005, March 7)
                                     "Reckoning" trivializes hot topic
                                                        Daily News, 26

"This is all distraction, diversion, multiple ways not to deal with
the difficult big issues that Picoult seems to have thought she would
deal with here -- repressed memory of childhood sexual abuse -- but
then simply blurted out in a rush and left the state."
                                             Hill, I. (2005, March 27)
                                              Review of Vanishing Acts
                                                   Washington Post, T6

"Then the police discover a link between the victims: they all had
young female relatives who are patients of Nathan Malik, a
psychologist who specializes in helping sufferers of childhood sexual
abuse to recover suppressed memories."
                                         Kerridge, J. (2005, April 30)
                                              Review of "Blood Memory" 
                                      The Daily Telegraph (London), 10

"On one level, Odum's affliction can be reduced to a case of multiple
personality disorder triggered by a repressed childhood trauma."
                                               Reich, T. (2005, May 1)
 Review of "A Master of Tradecraft Legends: A Novel of Dissimulation." 
                                                 The New Leader, 88(3)

"The dreams confuse Mary, but her husband Holmes believes they're
rooted in repressed memories of her San Francisco childhood during the
great quake and fire."
                               Review of "Locked Rooms" (2005, May 1) 
                                                       Kirkus Reviews.

"I would like to forget all these horrible things completely, and for
more than 20 years I unconsciously succeeded in doing just that."
                                              Taylor, T. (2005, May 2)
                                      Truth, History and Honor Killing
                                  Review of "Burned Alive"

"The film, described by HBO as an 'intimate psychological journey,'
focuses on a Toledo firefighter confronting his abuse after years of
repressing his memories."
                                           Chadwich, J. (2005, May 11)
                             Victims hope film inspires change in law; 
                                      Abuse story screened in Trenton. 
                                       Review of film "Twist of Faith" 
                                     The Record (Bergen County, NJ, A4

". . . believes that the nightmares and nosebleeds that afflict him
throughout adolescence are results of an alien abduction that occurred
in the summer of 1981."
                                             Scott, A.O. (2005, May 6)
                                              Review "Mysterious Skin"
                                                  New York Times, E 13

"Sam encourages Danny to investigate why Victoria's piano playing
seems to stir repressed childhood memories of his life before 'Uncle'
                                           Lumenick, L. (2005, May 13)
                                                         Jet propelled
                                           Review of movie "Unleashed" 
                                                     New York Post, 49

"For 20 years, she [Catherine Oxenberg] suffered from bulimia in
secret; then, while trying to overcome the eating disorder, she
recovered memories of sexual abuse from her childhood."
                           Strauss, C. & Warrick, P (2005, May 16)
                                                 "The Princess Diarie" 
                     Her life now a reality show, blue-blooded actress 
  Catherine Oxenberg opens up about family and her battle with bulimia
                                                           People, 101

"Her doctor diagnoses her condition as dissociative identity disorder,
'which is sort of multiple personality disorder,' she said."
                                              Martin, D. (2005, May 3)
                             Woman's mental illness leads to the state
                           Review of play "Five Bottles in a Six-Pack" 
                                   Express-News, 19H (San Antonio, TX)

"The sisters warn that coming forward is like taking the lid off
something terrible, allowing suppressed memories to suddenly become
                                           Gyulai, L. (2005, June 20)
            Jeannie and Anne-Marie Hilton; Victims' Advocates, Quebec
                                                             Time, 49

"The state attorney general assigns Beaumont a cold case after a nun,
Sister Mary Katherine, reports horrific dreams that indicate a
long-repressed memory of witnessing a murder."
                            Review of "Long Time Gone" (2005, June 20)
                                                 Publishers Weekly, 62

"The death of his childhood sexual obsession seduces Billy Bagwell
back to his hometown and to the dark depths of repressed memories..."
           Mystery Prepub "Killing Neptune's Daughter" (2005, July 15)
                                                   Library Journal, 58

"Although the novella purports to be an extended narrative that is as
much an exercise in the retrieval of repressed memories....."
                                             Maier, H. (2005, July 23)
                             Review of "The Lost Thoughts of Soldiers"

"After he met the Blunts, says his wife, Janet, 'it became a
full-fledged recovered memory and painful for him'"
                        Smolowe, J. & Stoynoff, N. (2005, July 25)
The Secrets Spill Out: Plunging into dark places while writing his new
  novel, John Irving confronts his childhood sexual abuse and connects
                        with the father -- and family -- he never knew
                                                              Time, 88

"A hypnotherapist, brings her to Beau when his sessions with her
indicate that repressed memories of a murder she witnessed 40 years
ago are breaking through."
                               Best Sellers: Fiction (2005, August 21)
                                            Review of "Long Time Gone"
                                                    The New York Times

"Repressed memories. A heartless mother. A grandmother's ghost...."
                                       Janusonis, M. (2005, August 26)
                Heaping helping of suds in melodramatic "Finding Home"
                                                Providence Journal, D1

"The recovery of repressed memories of the 1953 murder by a serial
killer of an 11-year-old friend and neighbor..."
                     Girls of Tender Age: A Memoir (2005, September 5)
                                                 Publishers Weekly, 42

"They're very much in love and seem not to have a care in the world,
until a nightmarish memory resurfaces from Sabina's early childhood."
                                        Young, D. (2005, September 13)
                                           Review of "Don't Tell" film

"Thinnes turns for help in recovering his memory to Dr. Jack Caleb, a
                            Review of "White Tiger" (2005, October 17)
                                                 Publishers Weekly, 43

"Both face up to their past and make a new beginning through the
recall of repressed memories."
                                           Stead, M. (2005 October 29)
                      Saturday Review: Fiction: "A better connection" 
                                             The Guardian (London), 16

"Pietro is a young Italian man whose childhood is so traumatic that he
has no memory of it."
                                         Clark, L. (2005, November 27)
                                          Snowy saga to read in summer
                              Sunday Telegraph (Sydney, Australia), 92

                   F R O M   O U R   R E A D E R S
                 Repressed Memories in North Carolina
Although your last newsletter indicated a decline in cases reported of
false memory issues, the problem is very much alive in North Carolina.
We want to share the horrific events of our lives during the last
2-1/2 years. Two years ago, we received a letter from our daughter and
son-in-law in which we were addressed by our first names. In the
letter we were told not to have any contact with our grandchildren. A
copy of this letter was sent to our daughter's therapist and to the
principal of the school where my wife worked.

A few weeks later, we received a letter from an attorney indicating
that he had been hired to begin legal action against us for crimes
against our daughter and our grandsons.

These actions caught us by surprise and caused my wife to question my
role in all of this. She separated from me for three months and hired
her own attorney to deal with the charges when she found out that she
was implicated as well. When they saw the list of over 20 allegations
and found that our daughter was willing to drop all of this if we
would pay them, our two attorneys came together. They responded that
this was ridiculous and we would not pay one cent for false charges.

Legal papers were filed against us seeking civil damages for over
$120,000. Our attorneys viewed the action as extortion and slanderous
and sought a restraining order, which a superior court judge granted.
During this time, our daughter dropped all charges.

Subsequently, we moved out of town due to my wife's employment. But
after a year maintaining two residences, we decided to move back to
our hometown. When this happened, our children began to discredit us
and act in inappropriate ways. Two weeks after arriving, our daughter
took the dropped allegations to my wife's employer, a school system.
My son-in-law continued to call asking why she was still employed.

In April, our daughter contacted the neighbors on both sides of us and
told them we were offenders. She shared that her therapist had helped
her remember things that were done to her before she was three. Also
in April, our minister and a chief executive in our church governance
structure were contacted and told that we abuse children.

The school system met with my wife and her attorney and discussed the
allegations. After the meeting, they forwarded the list of charges to
children's services. In mid June, my wife was one of 7 employees
returned to a supervisory post. Since the material was filed, we have
not been contacted by the children's services agency. We view the
rehiring of my wife by the school district as an act of confidence and
as an outward indication that they do not believe the allegations.

During these trying years we have had the help of wonderful
therapists. They too have been puzzled by the behavior of certain
members of their profession. Our therapist, with over 40 years of
practice, labeled the daughter's therapist's behavior as malpractice.
We are grateful for the support of the FMS Foundation -- the
conversation with Pam, the newsletters and the support of others who
have experienced these nightmares.

It almost cost us our marriage. However, we are together and
celebrated 46 years in June. Other costs include lawyer fees of over
$60,000, the cost of no family members present when a beloved aunt
died two years ago, the cost of birthdays missed, and not being there
for the first granddaughter's graduation. When our minister refused to
participate in the legal process of supplying an affidavit, it cost us
the membership in a church that we have been a part of for 9 years and
a denomination of 50 years.

We look forward to the day when all of this is behind us. In the
meantime, there is a journal to remind those who live on our thoughts
of this experience.
                                                                 A dad
                       Reconciliation Services
Your newsletter indicates that FMSF is hearing from fewer new
families. I understand this to mean that fewer cases are being
reported. This is wonderful. I fear, however, that FMSF might feel
that their work is therefore ending. I would like to see the FMSF open
another door of service -- initiating approaches to reconciliation
between families yet estranged.

As you may know, our daughter accused me, her dad, falsely ten years
ago. She and her husband now have a five-year-old son and a
two-year-old daughter whom we have never seen.

If the FMSF should develop an intentional, professionally-staffed
reconciliatory service, I am confident our family would be helped as
would, no doubt, many other families.

Thank you for considering our observations.
                                                                 A dad

  Editor's response: The fundamental problem that no reconciliation
  services can address is the accuser who refuses to have any contact.
  Unless the accuser is willing to participate in mediation, meet with
  a neutral professional, or communicate in some way, there is little
  that can break the cult-like cocoon. Once an accuser is willing to
  talk, most well-trained professionals can guide families towards
  negotiation and possible reconciliation.
                       Apologized and Reunited
A note to inform you that we are united with our daughter! She has
recanted, apologized to us and reunited with her two brothers as well.
She has divorced her husband who encouraged her to keep going to
counseling. We now know our granddaughter, and though divorce brings
its own problems, we face it now as a family. Our daughter knows she
has a family to support her.

We could not have endured this trial of love without your help. Thank
you. Thank you.
                                                                 A mom
                       Falsely Accused -- Again
I was interested to read the letter in the last newsletter about
retractors who lapsed into false accusations again after years of
normalcy. I thought readers might find our situation interesting.

Our younger daughter was sexually assaulted by an ex-minister of our
church in the fall of 1984. She was in and out of therapy for years.
In December 1993, she falsely accused me of sexual assault in a
classic Courage to Heal ambush and stormed out of town. We had little
contact with her for nearly ten years. In 2003, she came to our home
and said that there was no basis for her false accusations and asked
if we could forgive her. She seemed loving and normal. She even
commented that she was trying to make up for her prior conduct.

About a year ago, our older daughter's child was sexually assaulted by
an acquaintance. My daughter put our granddaughter into therapy. In
May this older daughter falsely accused me of molesting our
granddaughter and threw us out of her house. We have had hardly any
contact with her since.

Our younger daughter has now gotten back into the rant and cut off
contact with us. She has asked that we not contact her again. Her
therapist's website says that she does EMDR.

I continue to be astonished that the major professional organizations
such as the American Psychiatric Association or the American
Psychological Association are seemingly impotent to do anything to
stop the practices that continue to destroy families all over the
world. It seems that the litigation of repressed memory cases has had
little effect on "true believers." If the harmful practices continue
in today's health care cost climate, perhaps the money spigot will be
shut off for treatments that have not been scientifically validated as
safe and effective.

Sadly, the reputation of psychotherapy has been deeply sullied by the
recovered memory fiasco.
                                                             A sad dad
                            After 20 Years
After 20 years, my accusing daughter and I have reconciled. She has
moved to England, and as a new British subject, enrolled with the
National Health Service (NHS). Upon learning that there was a family
history of cancer, the NHS requested a DNA sample from someone in the
family who had been diagnosed with the disease. I was the only
relative who was available to provide that DNA and she emailed me her
request. I replied immediately that I was willing.

It took several exchanges of messages to coordinate the collection and
transmittal of the DNA sample. In one of the messages I sent to her, I
took the liberty to request that we start a line of communication. I
stated that I could see no reason to expect "kowtowing" or apologies
from either of us, in order to establish a new relationship. I
suggested that we continue to dialog with each other on any subject.
She did not return a direct answer to my proposition, but she did
continue to send me emails after our DNA business was completed.

Six months later, we not only exchange emails every two to three days,
but we speak on the phone weekly. The physical distance between us has
prevented an actual face to face meeting, but we have discussed future
possibilities. We have not broached the subject of her accusations or
the complicated subject of FMS. I am fine with this.

I want to thank the FMSF and families for giving me knowledge,
support, and guidance that has kept me going for the past 20 years.
                                                           A happy dad
                            Please Join Us
It will be three years this November since my daughter made her
accusation. Although we were once so close that I was included in her
daily college life, I did not see my daughter graduate with honors. I
have not met her "true love" or seen her new home. I do not know what
kind of work she is doing. I do not know if she is happy, sad, or

My only information about her now is gleaned from her social
networking pages, occasional remarks from someone with whom she may
have spoken, or the unsolicited letters from her once estranged
father, who is now her biggest supporter.

My daughter cut off everyone who would not support her delusion. Even
though we continue to reach out to her, I'm afraid that my daughter is
lost to me forever, Still I nurture some small hope that maybe someday
she will return to us. Perhaps when she has her own children or
experiences life's punches she will see things more clearly.

Early this year I started a cyber FMS Support Group because I could
not find a local group. To date I have met three families from Canada
and seven families from the United States. A few of these families,
like me, are very new to the devastation of FMS.

I worry there are many families who do not have anyone to talk to
about the problem. An accusation of abuse is such a delicate topic and
people worry that they may be wrongly judged by people who do not

I invite these families to reach out and join us. Our members are
mostly mothers, and we chat about the pain that we continue to
experience with the loss of our children. But we also exchange recipes
and tell jokes. Because we have a common bond, we have no fear of
judgment. Some of our discussions are very emotional but they are also

If you would like to contact me about joining our FMS Support Group,
please email me, at: . Our group is very
sensitive and protective of all of our member's privacy and security,
so when you contact me please do not be offended by my many questions.
                                                        A Michigan mom
                       What Has Worked and Why?

I would like to communicate with others in the False Memory Syndrome
Foundation about brainstorming ideas to break through our children's
"Stone Walls of Silence." What has worked and why? I would like to
talk to retractors or anyone who has reconnected with their families.
Brothers and sisters would work too as I know parents are getting
older and some of them have died or given up. I think together we can
find solutions and bring back our children to their families.

It would also be interesting to hear from therapists who believe in
recovered memories and also those who do not. And what changed your
mind? I can be reached at Please help.
                                                  Janet   978-464-2830
                           Wishing for More

  "[D]oubts about the standard theory of memory were piling up in the
  world outside the neuroscience lab. In the early 1990s many people
  began reporting what seemed to be long-buried memories of childhood
  sexual abuse. These traumatic recollections frequently surfaced with
  the help of recovered-memory therapy techniques like hypnosis and
  guided imagery, in which patients are encouraged to visualize
  terrible experiences. Cognitive scientists suspected that some of
  these memories were bogus, the unwitting product of suggestion by
  the therapist."

  "Spurred on by the controversy over recovered memory, other
  cognitive scientists found that false memory is a normal phenomenon.
  David Rubin, who studies autobiographical memory at Duke University,
  observed that adult twins often disagree over who experienced
  something in childhood. Each might believe, for example, that he was
  the one to get pushed off his bike by a neighbor at age 8.
  Apparently, even the most basic facts about a past event (such as
  who experienced it) could be lost."
                          Excerpt from McGowan, K. (2009, July/August)
                                      Out of the past. Discover, 30(7)

I would like to comment on the recent Discover article "Out of the
Past." Although I believe that it is a good article, my heart aches
for more. For example, it seems amazing that it took actual
experiments with rodents to prove to memory experts that one's
memories are so malleable that they are constantly revised, re-worked,
and reconstructed as we grow older.

As an FMS parent I have learned from the sad, "real-life",
quasi-specific accusations and allegations and innuendos that family
history is about as solid and accurate as a bowl of Jello. It all
depends on who is trying to re-create it, and under what bias or
duress, including confabulation and malice.

I'm glad that lab experiments have finally proved what we FMS parents
have always known, but will it make any difference to proponents of
repressed and recovered memories? It is profoundly discouraging that
they seem undeterred by the research of scientists such as McNally,
Clancy, Geraerts, Garry, Loftus and the massive 15-year body of
work. Will this article affect the accusing children?

How will history record the FMS disaster? The Discover article in two
meager paragraphs states, "in early 1990s, many people began reporting
what seemed to be long-buried memory of CSA..." and "Cognitive
scientists suspected that some of these memories are bogus."

How more understated could the false memory phenomenon be phrased? To
the families who were affected, it was a tragedy, a disaster of untold
dimension, not some minor academic experience, an aberration, a
miniscule blip on the radar of the memory.

I know that the article was about the research, but nevertheless I
feel deeply that the writer could have written more about the
seriousness of the FMS problem than just two paragraphs.
                                                            Frank Kane
                   Publish Family Letters in A Book
We have greatly appreciated the work of the Foundation in our personal
tragedy. Only those who have gone through a similar fate can
understand the pain and grief a family goes through when falsely
accused by another family member. The pain just does not go away. In
some ways it is worse than a death because with death family and
friends gather in support to help you grieve your loss. With false
accusations, you hope no one learns about it so you keep it to
yourself and grieve alone.

I have a difficult time reading the FMSF newsletter because I get so
angry that most of the people who perpetrated this evil have not been
held accountable. The only part of the newsletter that I "flee" to are
the letters that other families write who have experienced this
tragedy. I find solace and comfort in reading them, knowing they are
among the few who really understand what we are going through.

Would you consider putting the family letters into a print book? 
                                                        A grieving mom

  Editor's response: All of the letters that have appeared in the
  Newsletters starting in 1992 are available on the website. You might
  look for the books Confabulations and True Stories of False Memories
  for published FMS personal stories.

                 The Oldest Repressed Memory Victim?
I am over 75 years of age. It might be possible that I have just
become the oldest victim of the False Memory Syndrome in the country.
Perhaps, in the world! Can you believe it? Of course you can if, like
our family, you have an adult child who was mentally kidnaped,
isolated, and brainwashed, by a therapist who practiced recovered
memory techniques. But you still may be flabbergasted. I certainly

In the past year, I have experienced some difficulties and have had
dozens of doctor and/or therapist visits. Recently I decided to change
psychotherapists since my current therapist is some distance away.
Relying on a recommendation, I found an alternative therapist but did
not find him either knowledgeable or competent for my needs.
Distrustful of him from the beginning, I left after three sessions.

While with him, however, I talked about our FMS daughter who had been
very ill while lost to us for six years (that began 19 years ago). I
let him know the horrors we endured. I told him how closely we had
worked with the FMS Foundation, FMS families, and experts across the
country. I also told him about the writing I had done, and the
meetings FMS groups had held.

I described the horrors our daughter endured while with her offending
"therapist" and the hospitalizations she suffered and, on three
occasions, how she nearly lost her life. (Thankfully, our daughter
recovered and has been happily united with us all and is now doing

I prepared to leave this therapist's office knowing I was never coming
back. The therapist apparently could not tolerate the idea of my
leaving him and blurted: "I know why you worked so hard to get your
daughter back!" (Obviously not because we loved her and were fearful
about her cruel and unethical "treatment.) He continued: "You were
sexually abused by your father when you were a little girl." We, the
therapist and I, in fact, had never spoken of my birth family, so he
could not have known if my father was even alive when I was a little

Stunned, I countered, "No, I wasn't!" He repeated himself and began to
reach for his appointment book. (Apparently he felt he had done enough
to change my mind about coming back -- felt he had hooked me.) I could
not believe what was happening. It appeared he was not going to treat
(or even acknowledge) my serious presenting illness. He was going to
treat me for my alleged "repressed memories."

I told him I was not coming back and left in a state of shock and
sadness knowing that this damaging therapy was being perpetuated by

When I left, I was overwhelmed with profound grief for all the
suffering and falsely accused parents, their "branded" and captive
loved ones and the families who are still grieving and hoping that
their adult children will someday return to them. I also continue to
hope that these arrogant therapists will be exposed some day, stripped
of their credentials and punished for their flagrant and
unconscionable crimes.

Believe it or not, I did not find any reason to celebrate possibly
being "The oldest repressed memory victim in the world." I just shook,
then shuddered, and wept.

/                                                                    \
| "These results suggest appropriate restraint in situations in      |
| which imagination is used as an aid in searching for or shoring up |
| presumably lost memories. When the police repeatedly ask a suspect |
| to imagine his possible role in a murder he does not remember, or  |
| when a mental health professional repeatedly encourages a client   |
| to imagine an abusive childhood event, these imagination           |
| activities may unknowingly promote a greater belief that           |
| particular episodes occurred. The search for fact may create a     |
| fiction."                                                          |
|      Garry, M., Manning, C., Loftus, E., & Sherman, S., (1996) |
|                                             Imagination inflation: |
|   Imagining a childhood event inflates confidence that it occurred |
|                                   Psychonomic Bulletin, 3, 208-214 |

*                           N O T I C E S                            *
*                                                                    *
*                 R E C O M M E N D E D   B O O K S                  *
*                                                                    *
*                       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                             *
*                                                                    *
*                            Karl Sabbagh                            *
*                   Oxford University Press (2009)                   *

*                     MAKING  MIND  and  MADNESS                     *
*                    From Hysteria to Depression                     *
*                Chapter 3: "A Black Box Named Sybil"                *
*                       Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen                        *
*                     Cambridge University Press                     *
*                                2009                                *
*                                                                    *
*              TRY TO REMEMBER: PSYCHIATRY'S CLASH                   *
*                 OVER MEANING, MEMORY, AND MIND                     *
*                       Paul McHugh, M.D.                            *
*                   Washington, DC: Dana Press                       *
*                                                                    *
*                      WEB  SITES  OF  INTEREST                      *
*                                                                    *
*                we                *
*                          Elizabeth Loftus                          *
*                                                                    *
*                      *
*                       Against Satanic Panics                       *
*                                                                    *
*                         *
*            The Lampinen Lab False Memory Reading Group             *
*                       University of Arkansas                       *
*                                                                    *
*                              *
*                  The Exploratorium Memory Exhibit                  *
*                                                                    *
*                                       *
*                     The Memory Debate Archives                     *
*                                                                    *
*                                        *
*                     French False Memory Group                      *
*                                                                    *
*                  *
*             The Bobgans question Christian counseling              *
*                                                                    *
*                                       *
*                   Illinois-Wisconsin FMS Society                   *
*                                                                    *
*                                   *
*                             Ohio Group                             *
*                                                                    *
*                       *
*                Matt Stone's website about Australia                *
*                                                                    *
*                                           *
*                    British False Memory Society                    *
*                                                                    *
*                        *
*               Information about Satanic Ritual Abuse               *
*                                                                    *
*                                      *
*                   Parents Against Cruel Therapy                    *
*                                                                    *
*                               *
*                       New Zealand FMS Group                        *
*                                                                    *
*                                     *
*          Site run by Bruce Robinson contains information           *
*             about Christchurch Creche and other cases.             *
*                                                                    *
*                                       *
*                       Netherlands FMS Group                        *
*                                                                    *
*                                   *
*           National Child Abuse Defense & Resource Center       *
*                                                                    *
*                                  *
*                  Excerpts from Victims of Memory.                  *
*                                                                    *
*                          *
*                         Ross Institute                             *
*                                                                    *
*                                *
*                 FMS in Scandinavia -- Janet Hagbom                 *
*                                                                    *
*                                  *
*           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                  *

                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 415-435-9618 
  San Francisco & South Bay 
    Eric 408-738-0469
  East Bay Area
    Judy 925-952-4853
  Central Coast
    Carole 805-967-8058
  Central Orange County
    Chris & Alan 949-733-2925
  Covina Area 
    Floyd & Libby 626-357-2750
  Colorado Springs
    Doris 719-488-9738
Central Florida - Please call for mtg. time
   John & Nancy 352-750-5446
    Wallie & Jill 770-971-8917
  Chicago & Suburbs - 1st Sun. (MO)
    Eileen 847-985-7693 or Liz 847-827-1056
  Indiana Assn. for Responsible Mental Health Practices
    Pat 317-865-8913 & Helen 574-753-2779
  Wichita  -  Meeting as called
    Pat 785-762-2825
   Sarah  337-235-7656
  Portland -  4th Sun. (MO)
    Bobby  207-878-9812
   Carol 410-465-6555
  Andover - 2nd Sun. (MO) @ 1pm
    Frank 978-263-9795
  Greater Detroit Area
    Nancy 248-642-8077
  Terry & Collette 507-642-3630
  Dan & Joan 651-631-2247
  Springfield - Quarterly (4th Sat. of Apr.,
                 Jul., Oct., Jan.) @12:30pm
    Tom 417-753-4878 & Roxie 417-781-2058
  Lee & Avone 406-443-3189 
  Jean 603-772-2269 & Mark 802-872-0847
  Sally 609-927-4147 (Southern)
  Albuquerque  - 2nd  Sat. (BI-MO) @1 pm 
    Southwest Room -Presbyterian Hospital
    Maggie 505-662-7521(after 6:30pm) or Sy 505-758-0726
  Upstate/Albany Area
    Elaine 518-399-5749
  Susan 704-538-7202
    Bob & Carole 440-356-4544
  Oklahoma City
    Dee 405-942-0531 
  Portland area
    Kathy 503-655-1587
  Wayne (includes S. NJ)
    Jim & Jo 610-783-0396
    Jo or Beverly 713-464-8970
  El Paso
    Mary Lou 915-595-2966
  Keith 801-467-0669
  See Oregon
  Katie & Leo 414-476-0285  or
  Susanne & John 608-427-3686

  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
    Ken & Marina 905-637-6030
    Paula 705-543-0318
  514-620-6397 French and English
  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

|          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,       October 1, 2009

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;
JOHN HOCHMAN, M.D., UCLA Medical School, Los Angeles, CA;
DAVID S. HOLMES, Ph.D., University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS;
ROBERT A. KARLIN, Ph.D. , Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ;
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;
LOREN PANKRATZ, Ph.D., Oregon Health Sciences Univ., Portland, OR;
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;
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;
RALPH SLOVENKO, J.D., Ph.D., Wayne State University Law School,
    Detroit, MI;
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

   Advisors to whom we are grateful who are now deceased:

DAVID A. HALPERIN, M.D., Mount Sinai School of Medicine, 
    New York, NY; 
ERNEST HILGARD, Ph.D., Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA; 
PHILIP S. HOLZMAN, Ph.D., Harvard University, Cambridge; 
HAROLD LIEF, M.D., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; 
MARTIN ORNE, M.D., Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 
    Philadelphia, PA; 
CAMPBELL PERRY, Ph.D., Concordia University, Montreal, Canada; 
THEODORE SARBIN, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Cruz, CA;
THOMAS A. SEBEOK, Ph.D., Indiana University, Bloomington, IN; 
MARGARET SINGER, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, CA; 
DONALD SPENCE, Ph.D., Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center, 
    Piscataway, NJ.

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                    THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY.
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