FMSF NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE - Spring 2009 - Vol. 18, No. 2, 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)
SPRING 2009 Vol. 18 No. 2
      ISSN #1069-0484. Copyright (c) 2009 by the FMS Foundation
The FMSF Newsletter is published 4 times a year 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 July 2009

Dear Friends, 

In recent months, most of the publicity about recovered memories and
multiple personality disorder has been in connection with the new
Showtime television series: The United States of Tara. For example,
CBS, which owns Showtime, devoted a segment of CBS Sunday Morning to
"Unraveling the Secret of 'Alters.'"[1] The program included an
interview with Diablo Cody, the Tara program's writer, in which we

  "Have viewers recognized themselves in Tara, [have they] said,
  'Maybe I have this disorder'? Have you gotten that reaction?" asked

  "Yeah, it surprises me," Cody said. "People actually have said that."

Why was Diablo Cody surprised? Surely she knows that people make sense
of their own lives by what they read or see around them. Surely she
and CBS understand the influence they yield. Surely she and CBS know
that the diagnosis of multiple personality skyrocketed after the
television movie, Sybil.

Cody said that she wanted The United States of Tara to increase
discussion about multiple personality. What kind of discussion might
that be when the program has presented such a biased perspective? That
bias is seen most clearly in the infomercial that is featured on the
program's website. Richard Kluft, M.D., a strong proponent of multiple
personality, now known as dissociative identity disorder, is the only
doctor to discuss the diagnosis on the infomercial. He tells viewers:

  "The most common question people ask me is: Is it real? And the
  answer is: 'It sure is.'"

Dr. Kluft said the following about Sybil:

  "Sybil is a wonderful landmark case. She is someone who made a very
  successful recovery and had a wonderful career but did not go
  public. Unlike Eve, she opted for a very quiet and reserved and
  private life."

Dr. Kluft made no mention of the skepticism about Sybil's diagnosis
that resulted from the discovery of audio tapes of her highly
suggestive interviews with Dr. Wilbur. He makes no mention that
Herbert Spiegel, M.D., who also treated Sybil, did not diagnose her as
having multiple personality.[2] The infomercial is blatantly biased.
In this issue, Numan Gharaibeh, M.D., analyzes the Kluft infomercial
and discusses the ethical responsibility of all those involved.

An FMSF newsletter reader sent us the following thought provoking
comment about The United States of Tara:

  "It's ironic that Steven Spielberg is the executive producer of
  United States of Tara. He won an academy award for directing
  Schindler's List, a Holocaust film, and founded the Shoah Foundation
  to preserve the testimonies of Holocaust survivors. One would think
  that Spielberg would be keenly aware of the response to trauma among
  Holocaust survivors and especially of the lack of Holocaust
  survivors who claim MPD as their response to the trauma they

Fascinating research about memory, suggestibility, and false memories
continues to appear in scholarly journals and the news. A reader sent
us a news article about work being done to erase painful memories.
(See below). With the article she commented:

  "I thought you might be interested in the article "Should painful
  memories be erased?" If repression of memories is true why would we
  need something to 'erase' painful memories? We seem to want things
  both ways."

In a recent article, researchers Richard McNally and Elke Geraerts
write that they have new data that sheds light on the recovered memory
arguments. (See below.)

For the past decade McNally and colleagues have been studying the
cognitive processes of people who have always remembered their abuse,
people who believe they have repressed memories of abuse but no actual
memories, and people who believe they have recovered repressed
memories of childhood abuse. This research enables them to explain the
circumstances by which "a genuine recovered child sexual abuse memory
does not require repression, trauma, or even complete forgetting."
There are people who were abused but who did not perceive the abuse as
traumatic at the time. They did not think about the abuse for many
years, and then they later recalled it. Everyday memory processes can
explain the subjective experience of recovering a memory.

The researchers note that this explanation of historically accurate
recovered memories is not a middle of the road position but rather one
based in scientific research. The legal consequences of this
understanding are far-reaching, including a reexamination of statutes
that rely on the unscientific notion of "repression."

People continue to contact the Foundation about new law suits based on
claims of repressed and recovered memories. A few older cases remain
in the news. For example the Hosanna Church case in Ponchoutola,
Louisiana lumbers along with additional trials planned following two
convictions. (See below.) It seems a surreal 1990 drama set in 2009.

The Shanley case in Boston has reached the Massachusetts
Commonwealth's highest court. (See below.) The charismatic 1960s
"street" priest Paul Shanley was convicted in 2005 based on the
recovered memory of Paul Busa. The critical point of the appeal is
whether the recovered memory evidence should have been admitted in

The Massachusetts law on the admission of repressed memory evidence
was set in 2001 in Commonwealth v. Frangipane. Although the Supreme
Judicial Court in that case initially acknowledged that there was a
significant controversy in the scientific literature, it then modified
its issued opinion to say that scientific controversy was confined to
get the mechanisms of memory and indeed there was no controversy in the
scientific literature about the validity of repressed and recovered
memory. This modification came about after an amicus brief was filed,
post-decision, by the Leadership Council [3] that appeared to review
the scientific literature but, in our view, was riddled with serious
errors and omissions. It appears that appellant Frangipane was not
permitted to respond to the brief filed by the Leadership Council. Nor
were any other interested parties solicited for input. The Supreme
Judicial Court's decision in the Shanley case will be an important
comment on the legal status of "repressed memories" in the legal
system at this point in time.

With all that has been learned about memory, suggestibility, and false
memories in the past decade, it should be only a matter of time until
the legal system reflects what is known. Of, course "a matter of time"
can be extensive.

[1] Smith, T. (2009, March 8). Unraveling the secret of "alters".
    Doctors are of two minds about multiple personality disorder.  CBS
    Sunday Morning. Retrieved on March 9, 2009 from
[2] See FMSF Newsletter May/June 2006, Volume 15 No. 3 
[3] Murphy, W.J. (2001, March 30). Brief of the Leadership Council,
    Submitted to Commonwealth of Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
    in Commonwealth v. Frangipane, SJC-08359.

/                                                                    \
|              HOW MANY ALTERS? HOW MANY MPD PATIENTS?               |
|                                                                    |
| In 1988 Dr. Richard Kluft wrote about patients who had many        |
| alters.[1] He said he had one with 4,500 alters and another with   |
| more than 4,000. He currently appears to believe that there are    |
| millions of people who have "undiagnosed multiple personality      |
| disorder."[2]                                                      |
|                                                                    |
| "So do you think that there are, what, thousands of people walking |
| around out there with MPD who don't even know it?" Smith asked.    |
| "Oh, easily," Dr. Kluft said.                                      |
| "Tens of thousands?"                                               |
| "Easily."                                                          |
| "Hundreds of thousands?"                                           |
| "Easily."                                                          |
| "Millions?"                                                        |
| "We might be at that level," said Dr. Kluft.                       |
|                                                                    |
| [1] Kluft, R. (1988). The phenomenology and treatment of extremely |
|     complex multiple personality disorder. Dissociation, 1 (4),    |
|     47-58                                                          |
| [2] Smith, T. (2009, March 8). Unraveling the secret of "alters".  |
|     Doctors are of two minds about multiple personality disorder.  |
|     CBS Sunday Morning. Retrieved on March 9, 2009 from            |
|     www.cbsnews.comstories/2009/03/08/sunday/main4852177.shtml.    |

/                                                                    \
|                        Paul McHugh, M.D.                           |
|                            Dana Press                              |
|                                                                    |
|          (Excerpts from Wall Street Journal Book Review)           |
| "One of the most extraordinary outbreaks of popular delusion in    |
| recent years was that which attached to the possibility of         |
| 'recovered memory' of sexual and satanic childhood abuse, and to   |
| an illness it supposedly caused, Multiple Personality Disorder. No |
| medieval peasant praying to a household god for the recovery of    |
| his pig could have been more credulous than scores of              |
| psychiatrists, hosts of therapists and thousands of willing        |
| victims. The whole episode would have been funny had it not been   |
| so tragic."                                                        |
|                            Theodore Dalrymple (2008, November 19)  |
|                        Destructive delusions. Wall Street Journal  |

                 McNally, R.J. & Geraerts, E. (2009)
            A new solution to the recovered memory debate.
        Perspectives on Psychological Science 4 (2), 126-134.

Over the past decade, Harvard professor Richard McNally and his
colleagues Susan Clancy and Elke Geraerts have greatly increased our
understanding of recovered memories and false memories. McNally was
the first to study the cognitive processes of people who claimed to
have repressed memories and recovered memories of child sexual abuse.
For example, McNally and colleagues found that people who claimed to
have recovered repressed memories did not show a superior ability to
forget material related to abuse as would be predicted by the
dissociative amnesia hypothesis. They also found that people reporting
recovered child sexual abuse memories exhibit a heightened propensity
for forming false memories. The researchers failed to find the
cognitive characteristics that the theory of dissociative amnesia

The current paper brings even greater clarity to the debate. Ordinary
memory processes can explain the subjective experience of recovering
memories in some situations. The authors note that the memory debate
has been characterized by two perspectives: 1) "Some people repress
their memories of abuse because these experiences have been so
emotionally traumatic, and they become capable of recalling the child
sexual abuse only when it is psychologically safe to do so many years
later." The other perspective: "Many reports of recovered memories of
sexual abuse are false memories, often inadvertently fostered by
therapists." In this article, the authors provide a third
interpretation that applies to a subset of people who report
recovering memories of child sexual abuse.

This third interpretation is not a middle of the road position. Rather
it involves cases in which people were actually abused but who did not
experience the abuse as traumatic at the time that it happened. These
people did not think about the abuse for a long time. In some cases,
they remembered the abuse but then later forget that they had
previously remembered it. The authors remind us that: "Recalling CSA
after many years is not the same thing as having recalled a previously
repressed memory of trauma." Not having thought about something for a
long time is not the same as having been unable to remember it.

The researchers have found that there are two qualitatively different
groups who believe that they have recovered repressed memories: 1)
people who come to suspect that their emotional problems and life
difficulties are the result of blocked memories of sexual abuse. These
people tend to recall memories gradually -- often with suggestive
techniques; 2) people who are unexpectedly reminded of events that
they believe they had not thought about for many years. These people
tend to recall the memories suddenly. McNally and colleagues have
found that the corroboration rate for people who either failed to
think about their abuse or forgot their previous recollection and
later recalled it spontaneously after encountering reminders outside
of psychotherapy is the same rate as that of people who never forgot
their abuse.

The authors argue that the "repression interpretation does not
withstand empirical scrutiny," and note that proponents of
dissociative amnesia have made significant errors in interpreting the
studies on which they rely. For example, they note that in some
studies, the memory problems that are mentioned actually refer to
everyday forgetfulness -- not an inability to remember the trauma.
Other errors proponents frequently make include confusing a failure to
encode an experience with the inability to recall it and mistaking
organic amnesia for the psychic repression of trauma.

The repression interpretation lacks convincing scientific support.
There is plentiful solid evidence that shows that some people do
recover memories of child sexual abuse that never occurred. This does
not mean all recovered memories are false. The current research shows
that ordinary memory processes can explain the subjective experience
of recovering memories in some situations.

Many states have extended their statutes of limitations in situations
in which there are claims of recovered repressed memories. The authors
state that because of their research, the statute of limitations
should not be tolled just because someone makes a claim that he or she
has been unable to recall abuse for many years, even when the abuse is
corroborated. Ordinary memory processes, not repression, explain the
subjective experience of recovering a memory. "A genuine recovered
child sexual abuse memory does not require repression, trauma, or even
complete forgetting."

/                                                                    \
|             "FACTORS THAT INCREASE LIKELIHOOD THAT                 |
|              A RECOVERED MEMORY OF CSA IS GENUINE                  |
|                                                                    |
| 1. The victim experienced the abuse as confusing, disgusting, or   |
| scary, but not as a terrifying trauma.                             |
|                                                                    |
| 2. The abuse occurred only once, or at most a few times.           |
|                                                                    |
| 3. The victim failed to understand the experience as sexual or as  |
| abusive.                                                           |
|                                                                    |
| 4. The victim successfully avoided thinking about experience.      |
|                                                                    |
| 5. There were no reminders so the victim forgot about it.          |
|                                                                    |
| 6. The victim forgot prior recollections of abuse producing the    |
| illusion that he or she had forgotten it all along.                |
|                                                                    |
| 7. When person recalls during adulthood, recollections sudden and  |
| accompanied by shock that she had forgotten it.                    |
|                                                                    |
| 8. When the recollection occurs spontaneously in response to       |
| reminders outside of suggestive psychotherapy.                     |
|                                                                    |
| 9. The memories that are spontaneous outside of therapy are more   |
| likely to be corroborated.                                         |
|                                                                    |
| 10. Lab research indicates those who recover memories gradually in |
| therapy exhibit heightened propensity to exhibit false memories on |
| Deese-Roediger-McDermott wordlist task. Those who spontaneously    |
| recover their memories outside of therapy show a heightened        |
| "forgot it all along" effect in laboratory studies when compared   |
| to those who recover memories in psychotherapy."                   |
|                                      McNally & Geraerts (2009) |

/                                                                    \
|      Misinterpreting Psychogenic Amnesia as Traumatic Amnesia      |
|                                                                    |
| "Psychogenic amnesia is a rare syndrome whose hallmark is sudden,  |
| massive retrograde memory loss, including some loss of personal    |
| identity, which cannot be attributed to a direct physical insult   |
| to the brain (Kihlstrom & Schacter,2000).Neurologists assessing|
| these cases can sometimes identify antecedent stressors, but these |
| are seldom traumatic (e.g., difficulties at work). Moreover, it is |
| unclear whether the stressor precipitated the syndrome or          |
| coincidentally preceded it (McNally, 2003, pp 186-189). The term   |
| psychogenic implies the absence of an obvious organic cause rather |
| than an identified psychological etiology. Most cases of           |
| psychogenic amnesia remit within hours, days, or weeks, and often  |
| without therapeutic intervention.                                  |
|                                                                    |
| "The striking differences between the syndrome of psychogenic      |
| amnesia and reports of traumatic dissociative amnesia mean that    |
| they are dissimilar clinical constructs. With traumatic            |
| dissociative amnesia, a person is (allegedly) unable to recall a   |
| specific traumatic event rather than being entirely unable to      |
| recall his or her past. Persons alleged to have repressed memories |
| of trauma do not entirely forget their personalities."  p 276      |
|                            Geraerts, E. & McNally, R.J. (2008) |
|                         Assessment of recovered and false memories |
|              In R. Rogers (Ed.) Clinical Assessment of Malingering |
|                and Deception (3rd ed). 274-284. New York: Guilford |

                        Numan Gharaibeh, M.D.

Cable television may be immune from responsibility for its
dramatizations, and it may shrug off criticism that a particular
program is irresponsible, harmful, misleading, incorrect, and even
dangerous by claiming the defense of free speech or "in entertainment,
anything goes."

It seems likely that Showtime will hide behind the "it's just a
dramatization" and "we did not claim it was educational" defense for
its new series about multiple personality: the United States of
Tara. Are those legitimate excuses given the fact that Showtime
included explanatory material about MPD by a psychiatrist in an
infomercial? And what about the psychiatrists who contribute to the
program's "informercial?" What is their ethical responsibility? Can
(or will) Richard Kluft, M.D. or Colin Ross, M.D. be held responsible
for misleading the public and for making irresponsible statements?
Following are some statements from the informercial and my comments
about them.

In the infomercial for the United States of Tara a narrator claims

  "[W]hat's ailing Tara [DID/MPD] isn't new.....cases like hers have
  captured the public's imagination for decades, from the Three Faces
  of Eve in the 50's to Sybil in the 70s."

Ironically, it is the entertainment industry that decides what is
offered to the public based on decisions about what is likely to
capture the public's imagination. The public will be captivated by the
stories and the characters presented to them -- whether Batman,
Spiderman, Iron Man, or Eve, Sybil or Tara.[1] It is the dramatization
of DID/MPD that the audience finds of interest.

The narration continues:

  "Evidence of personality transformation can be traced back to early
  Paleolithic cave paintings."

The subtleness of gently inserting the word "personality" before
transformation is deceptive and insulting to the viewer's
intelligence. Primitive societies were saturated with superstition,
magic, myth, and curses. Physical transformation is evident in the
superstitions of werewolves, vampires, satyres, nymphs, and people
cursed into frogs, pigs, or monkeys. Using Paleolithic cave paintings
to support a claim or prove a point is an indication of the bankruptcy
of logical arguments for MPD.

Richard Kluft says on the infomercial: 
  "The most common question people ask me is: Is it real? And the
  answer is 'It sure is.'"

"Is it real?" is the kind of question that is appealing because of
simplicity and its yes/no logic. A busy layperson has little time to
see through the smoke screen. "Is it real?" may not be answered until
there is an agreement on the meaning of "real." Otherwise, the only
answer to this question would be: "It depends on whom you ask, of
course." What is real (and what "real" is) to individual X may not be
real for individual Y. For example, some phenomena such as
hallucinations and delusions are real to the person experiencing them,
but unreal for third parties.

Kluft's answer "It sure is" is over-reaching. It is not supported by
enough evidence. DID/MPD prophets may be "sure," but many others are
not so arrogantly confident. Indeed, a 1999 study of board-certified
psychiatrists found "little consensus regarding the diagnostic status
or scientific validity of dissociative amnesia or dissociative
identity disorder." [2]

In the infomercial, Kluft defines dissociation as:

  "[F]ailure to integrate normal aspects of sense of self, your
  memory, your perception, your level of consciousness in a normal

What does normal mean? Dissociation enthusiasts would call my
daydreaming, or my missing a highway exit because I was engrossed in
NPR news a sign of a dissociative diagnosis; my diagnosis: Homo

Moreover, other diagnoses share symptoms attributed to DID/MPD. For
example, there is a disturbance of sense of self in borderline
personality disorder; a lack of integration of memories in dementia,
blackouts, or concussions; there are disturbances in perception
associated with many psychiatric disorders; and there are varying
levels of consciousness in those experiencing partial seizures and
sometimes the effects of prescription medications.

Kluft adds: 

  "Put simply DID is nothing more elaborate than a little child
  weeping in bed at night wishing they were someone else, somewhere

Is there is a human being who has not at sometime wished she were
someone else, somewhere else?

  "It's a way of trying to cope with overwhelming circumstances. Often
  that's abuse."

This is a hypothesis. Where is the evidence? An extensive review of
the published literature appearing in the 2004 Canadian Journal of
Psychiatry [3] found no evidence to support Kluft's assertion.

There is an abundance of retrospective interpretation in DID therapy
(as well as therapies for other conditions). The historical accuracy
and reliability of such retrospective interpretations should be taken
with informed and healthy skepticism.

To therapists such as Kluft, repression (inherited from psychoanalytic
therapy) is accepted as fact. Speculating on children's "defense
mechanisms" or coping skills (i.e. repression) is a retrospective
distortion and carries little weight when compared to the detailed
observational studies of children. In fact prospective studies (which
carry much less bias) have shown how unreliable retrospective
recollections may be.

There are many other problems with this hypothesis. Kluft comments:

  "Certainly there are places in the world where awful things of abuse
  are happening -- where you're watching genocide, you're watching
  people starve to death, overwhelming experiences that you just can't
  bear. It often helps to be able to separate those kinds of
  behaviors. When that occurs in connection with trauma, you often get
  such extreme separation that you get something like DID. "

If overwhelming circumstances are cited as "causation" factors, then
where are all the African, Afghan, South Asian, South American, and
Eastern European women (and men) who have been through much more
"overwhelming circumstances" than their North American White
counterparts? And why wasn't there an epidemic of MPD/DID among the
men and women who were Holocaust survivors? Kluft declares:

  "DID isn't rare at all."

It would have been more responsible had Kluft stated that he thinks or
believes that MPD/DID is not rare. If he had answered honestly, he
would have added that MPD was considered a very rare disorder until
after the books and movies The Three Faces of Eve and Sybil appeared.
In 1980, there were only 200 cases in world history. By 1986 there
were 6,000 recorded cases and the number has continued to explode.

  "What is problematic is that most people aren't taught how to
  systematically screen for it."

This seems contradictory. If the disease is common, then why is it not
diagnosed more often? Kluft would have us believe that it is because
"most people aren't taught how to systematically screen for it."

There are tests readily available on the Web that claim to screen for
MPD/DID. For example at: there can be
found: Dissociative Experiences Scale, A Screening Test for
Dissociative Identity Disorder. It is a 28-question self-test. (See
box page 6/7) The first two questions are indicative of all:

  1. Some people have the experience of driving or riding in a car or
  bus or subway and suddenly realizing that they don't remember what
  has happened during all or part of the trip.
       (Never) ooooooooooo (Always)

  2. Some people find that sometimes they are listening to someone
  talk and they suddenly realize that they did not hear part or all of
  what was said.
       (Never) ooooooooooo (Always)

Perhaps MPD/DID is not diagnosed as often as Kluft would like because
others see the screening tests as a description of normal human

Kluft comments:

  "If you look at 100 consecutive psychiatric patients probably
  somewhere between 1 and 5 percent will have previously unknown DID."

If dissociative experience scales similar to the items above were
used, I am surprised that the percentage was so low.

Kluft is asked: "How many personalities can a child come up with?" He

  "The number can be astronomical, in the hundreds or even higher."

Kluft could have mentioned that in addition to the enormous growth in
the number of MPD/DID cases, there has also been inflation of the
number of alters. Twenty years ago, the mean number of alters per case
was perhaps ten. Now it is up to sixteen to twenty. In a 1988 article,
Richard Kluft wrote that he had a patient with more than 4,500 alters
and another with more than 4,000.[4]

Can children under twelve actually articulate highly abstract slippery
concepts such as personalities? Most of the information comes from
adults in therapy who believe they have recovered memories of their


  ".. it's not at all unusual for children with a religious
  backgrounds to form personalities based on even angels or saints or
  even Jesus..."

  "It's not all that unusual for people with a Native American
  background to form alters that are based on certain tribal totemic

  "One patient was brought up by parents who were movie fans and hoped
  that their daughter would somehow become an actress. You can bet
  that she came up with an amazing stable of different alters, many of
  them based on famous Hollywood celebrities. That is what is in her
  environment and that is what she learned to use in order to cope."

In the MPD literature there are descriptions of alters of people of
the opposite sex, of the treating therapist, of infants, television
characters, and demons. There have been descriptions of dog, cat,
duck, and lobster alters. There have been alters of people thousands
of years old or from another dimension.[5]

According to Kluft:

  "There are two superstar cases in the history of DID. One of those
  is Eve, The Three Faces of Eve...has gone public... She's written a
  number of books about her treatment and about her life after
  treatment. She is really a wonderful example of how a person can
  come together from this disorder and have a productive life and make
  a very solid contribution."

I always wondered why MPD/DID patients are so attached to their
diagnosis and so territorial about it when most psychiatric patients
don't want to be "labeled."

  "Sybil is a wonderful landmark case. She is someone who made a very
  successful recovery and had a wonderful career but did not go
  public. Unlike Eve, she opted for a very quiet and reserved and
  private life."

It is less than honest for Kluft to omit mention of the fact that
tapes of sessions of Sybil with her psychiatrist Cornelia Wilbur,
M.D., have shown that at least some of Sybil's alters were the
consequence of highly suggestive therapy that used hypnosis and
drugs. It is less than honest to omit the information that another
psychiatrist who worked with Sybil did not agree that she had MPD.[6]

In the end, one has to ask if board certified psychiatrists find
"little consensus regarding the diagnostic status of DID," should
Kluft be regarded as a prophet or profiteer? Usually MPD/DID treatment
of the kind Kluft describes is a lengthy process. At a time when
psychiatry and medicine seek the most efficient way in which to help a
patient back to productive status, drawing out many "alters" and
excavating decades-old "memories" and then taking years of treatment
to integrate them back to one functioning productive self seems
self-serving from the perspective of therapist fees. Might those who
treat MPD/DID in this manner actually be a hidden special-interest
group perpetrating an illusion through the entertainment media?

  Numan Gharaibeh, M.D.: Principal Psychiatrist, Western Connecticut
  Mental Health Network, Danbury, CT. General Psychiatry at New York
  Medical College, Forensic Psychiatry at Massachusetts Mental Health
  Center, Boston.

[1] Why is it that Jeckyl and Hyde are not spoken about often when
    DID/MPD is mentioned? Is it because Dr. Jeckyl does not fit the
    current theories of DID enthusiasts (a male, no indication of
    sexual abuse, no memories to recover from repression, no savior
    therapist, a villain not a victim).
[2] Pope, H.G., et al. (1999). Attitudes toward DSM-IV dissociative
    disorders diagnoses among board-certified American psychiatrists.
    American Journal of Psychiatry, 156, 321-323.
[3] Piper, A. & Merskey, H. (2004). The persistence of folly: A
    critical examination of Dissociative Identity Disorder, Part 1:
    The excesses of an improbable disorder and Part 2: The defence and
    decline of Multiple Personality or Dissociative Identity Disorder.
    Canadian Journal of Psychiatry Vol 49(9), 592-600and Vol
[4] Kluft, R. (1988). The phenomenology and treatment of extremely
    complex multiple personality disorder. Dissociation, 1 (4), 47-58
[5] Piper, A. (1998). Multiple personality disorder: Witchcraft
    survives in the twentieth Century. Skeptical Inquirer, May/June,
[6] See FMSF Newsletter May/June 2006, Volume 15 No. 3

  Go to To see
  the Dissociative Experiences Scale -- A Screening Test for
  Dissociative Identity Disorder.

/                                                                    \
|       Excerpt from interview with Diablo Cody, the writer of       |
|                      "United States of Tara"                       |
|                                                                    |
| "Have viewers recognized themselves in Tara, said, 'Maybe I have   |
| this disorder'? Have you gotten that reaction?" asked Smith        |
|                                                                    |
| "Yeah, it surprises me," Cody said. "People actually have said     |
| that."                                                             |
|                                                                    |
|                                          Smith, T. (2009, March 8) |
|                                  Unraveling the secret of "alters" |
|                                                 CBS Sunday Morning |
|            Retrieved on March 9, 2009 from |


Matthew Meinck is a self-styled New Age "healer" near Perth, Western
Australia who believes that people retain body memories of past
abuse. Meinck, a former monk, also believes that he can release those
memories during two-week-long retreats that he organizes. He uses
regressive therapy, intensive meditation, and deep-tissue massages.
FMSF Newsletter readers will surely not be surprised to learn that
most of his patients recover "memories" of being sexually abused by
their parents. Now, at least eight irate former patients have gone to
the police and the media in an effort to expose what they claim has
become a cult. Their aim is to have Meinck's counseling business shut

The Sunday Times of Perth investigated the allegations. The paper had
the complainants sign oaths that their stories were true. Among the
former patients was one woman who said that Meinck talked her into
telling her parents that she needed space from them because they were
harming her. She said that she has not seen her parents for several
years even though she no longer believes they ever hurt her. Another
person told about the thousands and thousands of dollars she spent.
One man said he had even confessed to "raping" his children and a
babysitter. Fortunately, he realized that his memories were false
after treatment at a local hospital.

Michael Meinck refused to comment on the article and was not available
for an interview. Michael Meinck, a charismatic leader, is an example
of the problems that can arise when counselors are not regulated.

                                          Eagan, C. (2009, January 17)
                            Bizarre secret cult ripping families apart
            PerthNow. Retrieved on March 12, 1009 from

              | "Memory is the thing you forget with." |
              |                        Alexander Chase |

 Han, J., Kushner, S.A., Yiu, A.P, Hsiang, H., Buck, T, Waisman, A.,
      Bontempi, B., Neve, R.L., Frankland, P.W., Josselyn, S.A.
                          (2009, March 13).
                 Selective erasure of a fear memory.
                       Science, 323, 1492-1496.

The inspiration for the 2004 science fiction film Eternal Sunshine of
the Spotless Mind was the work of researchers headed by Sheena
Josselyn at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children.[1] In the movie, two
ex-lovers decided to erase their memories of each other. Later, in
spite of the treatment, they reunited.

Although the idea of altering our memories has been the stuff of
fiction, such as George Orwell's 1984, recently researchers have been
working to try to find ways to help people cope with the aftermath of
horrible events. They are experimenting with altering memory for
therapeutic purposes so that conditions such as post-traumatic stress
disorder might be avoided.

In what has been described as "an ingenious set of experiments,"
Josselyn and colleagues have been able to identify the fear-storing
neurons in the amygdala region of mice. (It is considered almost
certain that human fear-storing neurons would be located in the same
region of the amygdala.) The researchers were then able to inject a
virus that killed the neurons where the fearful memory was stored.

Karim Nader, a professor of neuroscience at McGill University stated:
"The elegance of this one, which goes orders of magnitude beyond other
studies, is that now they didn't do something that was global to all
neurons in the lateral nucleus. They can kill only the neurons that
they think express the memory."

The experiment did not destroy the brain's entire capacity to remember
fear, just the specific recollection in the experiment. The
researchers suggest that there is hope that they will someday be able
to remove the terror from terrifying memories. For example, the sights
and sounds of a car accident would remain, but the memory of the fear
could be removed.

[1] Hall, J. (2009, March 13). Should painful memories be erased?
    Toronto Star. Retrieved on March 15, 2009 from
    for a transcript of a podcast interview with researcher Sheena

           | "More important than learning how to recall  |
           |  things is finding ways to forget things."   |
           |                             Eric Butterworth |

                        I REMEMBER -- OR DO I?
                          Sabbagh, K. (2009)
           Remembering Our Childhood: How Memory Betrays Us
                  New York: Oxford University Press.

Karl Sabbagh is a British professional writer and television
documentary producer. He is skilled at explaining complicated matters
in a way in which non-experts can understand, and he is also able to
do it in an entertaining manner.

Remembering Our Childhood is a wonderfully written book about memory.
Sabbagh begins with stories of people telling what they remember from
their childhoods and then uses these stories to bring scientific
research to life to show how easily our memories may be reshaped or
even false memories planted. His interviews with memory researchers
are colorful and interesting, in part because he freely expresses his
own perspectives.

Using the research that demonstrates how unreliable our early
childhood memories may be, Sabbagh argues passionately against
'recovered memory therapies.' He leads readers into the memory wars
through the consequences of some legal cases, noting that courts have
not yet fully accepted the implications of the new memory research.
Sabbagh insists that objective scientific inquiry must be the basis
for making sound legal judgments. Sabbagh is truly sympathetic to
falsely accused families. He writes about his thoughts at a meeting of
the British False Memory Society:

  "When I raised the accusation, often put forward by those who
  believe in the repression of memory, that the BFMS was full of child
  abusers, the engineer said: 'Look, if you were really a child
  abuser, it's not the sort of thing you would want to tell anyone
  else about. Even when you're falsely accused you think twice about
  telling someone. But the outrage at the injustice of a false
  accusation is greater than that reluctance and it's that that drives
  you to seek the help and emotional support of a society like this.'
  This rang true with me. After all, if sex abusers all band together
  and pretend to be innocent, why aren't their established societies
  of murderers, burglars, and embezzlers doing the same thing?"
  (p. 174)

FMSF Newsletter readers will likely find new information in this
book. They may also view it as a book that would be good to give to
friends or family members who do not fully understand the memory wars.

                | "I have a photographic memory, but |
                | I don't have same-day service."    |   
                |                    Peggy D. Joseph |

 Patrick O McGowan, Aya Sasaki, Ana C D'Alessio, Sergiy Dymov, Benoit
    Labonte, Moshe Szyf, Gustavo Turecki, Michael J Meaney (2009)
 Epigenetic regulation of the glucocorticoid receptor in human brain
                   associates with childhood abuse.
                Nature Neuroscience, 12 (3), 342-348.

For many years, psychiatrists have claimed that abused or neglected
children have a greater probability of suffering from mental problems
such as anxiety or depression later in life. Yet, other abused
children are resilient. They somehow manage in spite of having
horrible childhoods. Scientists would like to know why some people are
resilient and others are not and they have been working to understand
how abuse or neglect might affect the brain.

A team of scientists from McGill University in Montreal has taken a
big step forward. Led by Michael Meaney, the team in the past has
shown how affectionate maternal care can change the expression of
genes in animals such that they show less physiological response to
stress. These changes (biological buffers) are passed on to the next

The changes they have observed are referred to as "epigenetic." An
epigenetic change is something that changes the activation of genes
without changing the DNA structure. In the current study, the team
examined the brains of 24 people who had committed suicide. Twelve of
the people had been abused or neglected as children and 12 had
not. The researchers obtained the childhood history of each person
through extensive interviews with family members and by examining
medical records. They even accounted for whether victims suffered mood
disorders, alcoholism or drug addictions.

The results showed that the people who had been abused or neglected as
children showed epigenetic changes that most likely made them more
biologically sensitive to stress. This suggests that the trauma of
child abuse or neglect might be associated with an alteration in the
way in which a person's genes express themselves. These results appear
to translate the research done with laboratory animals to humans.

Does this research show that child-abuse causes mental disorders? Not
yet. First, the direction of causality is not certain; the observed
effects might be caused by the abuse itself, or they might be caused
by some other confounding variable that is associated with the abuse.
For example, children who are abused or neglected are probably more
likely than non-abused children to have suffered other harms, such as
poor nutrition, infectious diseases, and other problems.

Thus it is not clear what the specific causal factor might be. Also,
the investigators did not specify what types of abuse occurred in the
12 victims; they mention that it was only "severe." Thus there are
many questions still unanswered. "The bottom line is that this is a
terrific line of work, but there is a very long way to go either to
understand the effect of early experience or the causes of mental
disorders," explained Dr. Steven Hyman,[1] professor of neurobiology
at Harvard.

[1] Quoted in Carey, B. (2009, February 24). After abuse, changes in
    the brain. New York Times. Retrieved on March 20, 2009 from

             | "The past is really almost as much a    |
             | work of the imagination as the future." |
             |                           Jessamyn West |

                           IS DISMISSED [1]

In October 2008, the murder charge against Donald J. Sykora was
dismissed. In 2005, prosecutors had accused Sykora of the 1971 murder
of his wife based primarily on the testimony of his step-daughter
Lenora Kay Parker who had recovered memories in a 30-hour highly
suggestive cognitive interview in 2004. Parker had been four-years-old
at the time of her mother's death, and no charges were filed at the
time. (See FMSF Newsletter, Vol 16 No. 4)

The case was dismissed because Sarpy County District Judge William
Zastera concluded that there was no way to determine what Parker
really remembered and what memories could have been suggested by other
influences. Judge Zastera disallowed Parker's testimony because her
memory had been enhanced by a 30-hour cognitive interview, a technique
he said was not scientific and could produce false memories. Without
the testimony of Lenora Parker, prosecutors did not have enough
evidence to proceed. According to media reports, two federal agents
and a police officer interviewed Lenora Parker for four days in a
row. The interview was conducted in a meeting room in a fire station
that had been converted to a more relaxing environment with items such
as a recliner, a sofa and soft lights. In a cognitive interview,
subjects are first asked open-ended questions and they respond in a
narrative fashion.

The purpose of the interview was to help Lenora Parker remember the
details of her alleged vision of her father strangling her mother. The
interview was not tape recorded. Instead, one officer took notes as he
sat in another room and observed. During the interview, the group left
to visit the grave of Parker's mother.

In a 2007 hearing, Daniel Wilson, chair of the Creighton University
psychiatry department, testified that there is no scientific evidence
to show that a cognitive interview is a reliable way to extract a
traumatic memory from an adult who had witnessed an event 33 years
earlier when she was 4. Wilson was concerned about the great duration
of the interview and the impact of the visit to the mother's grave.

In that same hearing, Ronald Fisher, a Florida International
University professor of experimental psychology, testified that
cognitive interviews are as reliable or more reliable than standard
police interviews. He said people usually provide more information in
a cognitive interview.

In a 2007 decision, Judge Zastera noted that the Parker interview did
not follow recommendations for standard cognitive interviews and that
the questions of a federal agent were so suggestive that Parker's
testimony would not be reliable. 1.State of Nebraska v. Donald J.
Sykora, CR 05-148,District Court of Sarpy County. (January, 2007).

Baez, L (2008, October 28). Sarpy prosecutors lose hope in 1971
homicide case. Omaha World Herald. Retrieved on February 15, 2009 from

See Whitehouse, W.G., Orne, E.C., Dinges, D.F., Bates, B.L., Nadon,
R., Orne, M.T. (2005, Summer). The cognitive interview: Does it
successfully avoid the dangers of forensic hypnosis?  American Journal
of Psychology 118(2). 213-234.

        | "Do not trust your memory; it is a net full of     |
        | holes; the most beautiful prizes slip through it." |
        |                                    Georges Duhamel |

                       L E G A L   C O R N E R
                              FMSF Staff
         Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to hear appeal
                  of former  priest Paul R. Shanley
            Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. Paul Shanley,
       Supreme Judicial Court, Middlesex County, No. SJC-10382
In May, 2009, the highest court in Massachusetts will hear an appeal
from the defrocked priest Paul R. Shanley who was convicted in 2005 of
raping and fondling Paul Busa.  Last November, Paul Shanley's motion
for a new trial had been denied by the trial judge. In agreeing to
hear Shanley's appeal, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC)
has indicated the issues in the case are important enough to bypass
the Appeals Court.  Shanley was convicted on the basis of Busa's 2002
recovery of a repressed memory. A critical point of the appeal is that
Shanley's trial attorney, Frank Mondano, failed to effectively
challenge the admissibility of "repressed memory" evidence. Robert F.
Shaw, Jr. of Cambridge, Massachusetts is representing Shanley in the

The Massachusetts law on the admission of repressed memory evidence
was set in 2001 in Commonwealth v. Frangipane. Although the Supreme
Judicial Court in that case initially acknowledged that there was a
significant controversy in the scientific literature, it then modified
its issued opinion to say that scientific controversy was confined to
the mechanisms of memory and indeed there was no controversy in the
scientific literature about the validity of repressed and recovered
memory. This modification came about after an amicus brief was filed,
post-decision, by the Leadership Council [1] that appeared to review
the scientific literature but, in our view, was riddled with serious
errors and omissions. It appears that appellant Frangipane was not
permitted to respond to the brief filed by the Leadership Council. Nor
were any other interested parties solicited for input.

The Supreme Judicial Court's decision in this case will be an
important comment on the legal status of "repressed memories" in the
legal system at this point in time.

[1] Murphy, W.J. (2001, March 30). Brief of the Leadership Council,
    Submitted to Commonwealth of Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
    in Commonwealth v. Frangipane, SJC-08359.  

See for an update of this
                      Background of Shanley Case
        Reprinted from FMSF 2005 March/April Newsletter 14 (2)
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

[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 cycle.
[3] Wypijewski, J. (2004, September-October). The passion of Father
    Paul Shanley. LegalAffairs. Retrieved February 9, 2005, from

See also:

  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 cycle.
               Louisiana Ponchatoula Sexual-abuse Case
                  Mitchell, D.J. (2009, February 16)
               Prison time could be avoided with plea.
      Retrieved on March 12, 2009 from
Robbin Lamonica, the estranged wife of convicted former Hosanna Church
pastor Louis D. Lamonica, pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in
an agreement with prosecutors. The terms of her "best interests of
justice" plea may allow Robbin Lamonica to avoid prison. She did not
admit to a specific act, but agreed that prosecutors have enough
evidence to get a conviction. As part of the plea agreement,
prosecutors dismissed the counts of rape and aggravated oral sexual
battery against her, and Robbin Lamonica will testify at future trials
in the Hosanna case.

(The following is reprinted from the Fall 2008 Newsletter.)

Louis Lamonica, who was convicted in September 2008, was the second of
the seven members of the Hosanna Church in Ponchatoula who were
indicted in 2005 of child abuse that allegedly took place, sometimes
with satanic rituals, at the church. The first co-defendant, a youth
minister at the church, Austin "Trey" Bernard, III was convicted in
December 2007 and is serving a life sentence.[1]

Ponchatoula is a small, rural town halfway between New Orleans and
Baton Rouge situated on the northwest rim of Lake Pontchartrain. The
Assemblies of God Hosanna Church was started in 1975. It thrived,
growing to a congregation of almost 1,000, until the 1984 death of the
founder, Louis Lamonica's father (also named Louis Lamonica). After a
series of interim pastors, the church passed on to Lamonica in 1993.
Parishioners, however, left the church in droves and at some point the
church lost its Assemblies of God affiliation. There was no oversight.

The history of the Hosanna Church is relevant because Lamonica's
defense argued that he had confessed to crimes he had not committed
because he was under the sway of Lois Mowbray.[2] According to trial
testimony, a parishioner named Lois Mowbray became Hosanna's associate
pastor soon after Lamonica took over the church. Mowbray seems to have
been responsible for the fact that Sunday worship sermons were
replaced by many hours of praising God and altar calls in which
Mowbray told one of the congregants that he or she had to confess to a
sin (about which Mowbray had learned from God). Mowbray kept a 586-
page journal in which other parishioners were supposed to write out
confessions to sex acts. [3] According to trial testimony, Mowbray
taught the "concept of spiritual thought, where lusting after a person
was the same as physically having sex."[4] Mowbray taught that if a
person thought about a sin, it was the same as if the person had done
it and the person had to confess it.

Mowbray insisted that Lamonica's sons write about abuse in her book.
When one son refused, Mowbray had his mother lock him in his room and
destroy all his belongings. He finally broke down and said he had been

According to his attorney, Lamonica refused to respond to the altar
call to confess. This caused Mowbray to make a concerted effort to get
him to change. She persuaded Lamonica's wife to force him to leave his
home and to live in the church. He had to work for $10. a day at an
electrical company that Mowbray and some other church members owned,
and he also had to clean the church. Other church members humiliated
and beat him.

One detective actually referred to Mowbray as the leader of the church
and suggested that there was much infighting among the congregation of
15.[5] Under the leadership of Lamonica and then Mowbray, the
congregation dwindled to 10 or 15 people. Worship consisted of
prophetically inspired public confessions and vomiting in order to
cast out demons of sin. One witness stated: "The worship team would
crowd around them and pray over them. This would make them start to
throw up."[4] By the time the church closed in 2003, it had become a
cult. One person testified that toward the end, strangers who might
come to service were turned away at the door. The church members had
virtually no contact with anyone outside the church.

Authorities first learned about the Hosanna church abuse accusations
in April 2005 when Nicole Bernard, wife of the youth minister at the
church, telephoned the Ponchatoula Sheriff's Office to say that her
daughter had been abused from infancy until she was three by Louis
Lamonica. The very next day, Lamonica walked into the sheriff's office
and described sexual offenses at the church which included his abusing
children for the past five or six years. The detective with whom he
spoke said that Lamonica was not confessing but trying to be helpful.
"He didn't come to turn himself in, he came to talk with us."[6]
Lamonica, however, was immediately arrested. Lamonica testified that
Mowbray told him that she had made a deal with the Sheriff's Office
that he would not be arrested if he told about the abuse and satanic
child-sex ring.

After the revelations by Lamonica, investigators used digging
equipment and cadaver dogs to search the grounds of the church. They
apparently hired Dawn Perlmutter, Ph.D. to help them in their search
for evidence of satanic cult activity, but no evidence was ever found.
After the expansive publicity about satanic activity, those charges
were dropped. Authorities did find hundred of pages of diaries written
by both Lamonica and the boys that described abuse.

In addition to the confession that Lamonica made to authorities, the
prosecution also presented testimony from four mental-health
professionals to whom his sons, now 18 and 22, had spoken of the abuse
in spring of 2005. In late 2005, however, both boys retracted their
abuse stories. They told the jury that they had never been abused and
said that their confessions were the result of Lois Mowbray's
control. Mowbray had directed their mother to make the boys write down
incidents of abuse. Mowbray and the mother would suggest topics to the
boys and they were supposed to fill in the details. The prosecution's
experts discounted the retractions.

One of the children's therapists said that his symptoms of Tourette's
Syndrome [7] got worse after he confessed. The doctor who treated the
Tourette's said that even though the boys had been threatened which
prompted their original confessions "The story was being told in a
consistent way in words that were consistent with their own
development level." A doctor who had found no physical evidence of any
abuse said that both false and true recantations are not unusual in
child abuse cases. A child might recant because he or she did not want
the parent to be arrested.[8] The defense had planned to have an
expert testify about how to judge the veracity of abuse allegations
made by children. The judge did not allow this testimony saying that
such testimony was inadmissible under Louisiana state Supreme Court
precedent because it is the jury and not the expert who determines the
truth of witness testimony.

The prosecution asked Lamonica why he suffered the humiliation anD
made the confession. They wondered why he did not leave the
cult. Lamonica said that he confessed because he had come to believe
that it was the only way in which he could hold his family together.
There appeared to be no explanation for why Lamonica did not leave the

Assistant District Attorney Don Wall prosecuted the Lamonica case. The
defense attorney was Michael Thiel who also defended Austin Bernard,
III. State District Judge Zoey Waguespack presided. It appears that
the next person to be tried will be Paul Fontenot, a member of the
Hosanna Church.

[1] See FMS Foundation Newsletter, 2008 Vol 17 No. 1)
[2] Lemoine, D. (2008, August 30). Ex-Hosanna pastor: Confession
    forced. Retrieved on 9/9/08 from
[3] Grinberg, E. (2005, August 3). Claims of brainwashing, child abuse
    and a cult-like sex ring to be aired in court. CourtTVNews.
    Retrieved on 9/8/08 from
[4] Lemoine, D. (2008, September 1). Pastor's trial may resume this
    week. Retrieved on 9/9/08 from
[5] Lemoine, D. (2008, August 29). Hosanna church rites described as
    cultlike. Retrieved on 9/9/08 from
[6] Lyman, R. (2005, May 25). Sex charges follow a church's
    collapse. New York Times. Retrieved on 12/5/07 from
[7] Tourette's syndrome (TS) is a neurological disorder characterized
    by repetitive, stereotyped, involuntary movements and
    vocalizations called tics. Tics are often worse with excitement or
    anxiety and better during calm, focused activities.
[8] Lemoine, D. (2008, August 27). Experts testify on abuse. the Retrieved on 9/9/08 from
[8] Lemoine, D. (2008, August 30). Ex-Hosanna pastor: Confession
    forced. Retrieved on 9/9/08 from

                   F R O M   O U R   R E A D E R S
                           Christmas Dinner
Our daughter "came back" in the year 2000, after being gone for 10
years. She has had one or two relapses since then, but, in our
opinion, she is now 99.9999 percent back to her former self. She and
her husband and their dog spent a week with us. On Christmas Day, my
son also came and we all had dinner together for the first time in 18
years. Many thanks to FMSF for your work and encouragement.
                                                         A mom and dad
                       Some Things Never Change
Some things never change -- some do. There has been a slight change in
my situation in that my daughter's three children have become very
loving, as they were years ago. They no longer live close by, but when
they visit they come to see me and show me much affection. I am
thankful for these small mercies along with the happy memories of
times past."

My grandson and his fiance were having so much trouble planning their
wedding because of the alienation in the family that they decided to
elope. They sent me pictures and look so happy.
                                                                 A mom
                           Enough Already!
What struck me most in the last newsletter were the letters from
readers. It is an old subject, but one that bothers me. I feel that
some parents are stuck in the past, waiting for something to change
that will bring their truant children back to them. In my opinion,
some of these parents unnecessarily punish themselves. They can not,
nor should not, feel responsible for the behavior of their children.
Nor should they wait for the miraculous day when low and behold, their
children return.

I have been patient with my daughter. I too have attempted to reach
out to her and at the same time giving her time to "grow up." But I
finally said: "Enough, already!" When my daughter wants something, she
gets close. When she doesn't, she ignores me. She is 35 and has had
ample time to grow up. I am moving on. I am no longer waiting for this
twisted child to return with love.

These wayward children are damaged, broken in one manner or another.
If they someday see the light of their waywardness, wonderful. But it
is the child who must have the epiphany.
                                                                 A dad
                    My Daughter's Needs Never Met
It is now approaching 16 years since my daughter first accused me. The
church that facilitated and encouraged her allegations because of
their negligent and criminal counseling remains contented in its
original judgment. My daughter's true needs were never addressed even
though they were known to the counselor.

I find encouragement from the FMSF Newsletter records of retractions
and reconciliations. Perhaps there is still hope for me.
                                                                 A dad
                        An Isolated Instance?
I have had two calls in the last few weeks. Both pertained to adult
children who had returned after years of accusations and all seemed to
be going well when they suddenly began the old accusations. I don't
know if this is a new thing happening or just isolated instances but
wanted you to be aware of them.
                                                       An FMSF contact

*                           N O T I C E S                            *
*                                                                    *
*                            Karl Sabbagh                            *
*                   Oxford University Press (2009)                   *
*                                                                    *
*         Shows how fragile and unreliable our memories are,         *
*                   especially those of childhood.                   *
*                                                                    *
*              "RECOVERED MEMORIES: ARE THEY RELIABLE?"              *
*                              F r e e                               *
*     Call or write the FMS Foundation for pamphlets. Be sure to     *
*     include your address and the number of pamphlets you need.     *
*                                                                    *
*                      WEB  SITES  OF  INTEREST                      *
*                                                                    *
*                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                             *
*                                                                    *
*                                           *
*                Australian False Memory Association.                *
*                                                                    *
*                                           *
*                    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                  *
*                                                                    *
*                     LEGAL WEBSITES OF INTEREST                     *
*                                        *
*                                           *
*                                       *
*                                           *
*                                                                    *
*                        HUNGRY FOR MONSTERS                         *
*                                                                    *
* A limited supply of the VHS version of the remarkable documentary  *
* Hungry for Monsters is available through the FMSF at the reduced   *
* price of $15.00 (includes postage). (Foreign price is $20.00)      *
* Hungry for Monsters is the account of one family's ordeal with     *
* memory-focused psychotherapy, the cultivation of memories, and     *
* accusations of sexual abuse. It is an excellent resource for       *
* showing others how someone can come to believe in abuse that never *
* happened and the tragic consequences that inevitably follow.       *
*                                                                    *
*         DVD version is available at full price on Amazon.          *
*               For full description of the video see:               *
*                     *
*                                                                    *
*         To order VHS send check for $15 to FMS Foundation.         *
*                                                                    *
*                                                                    *
* 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                *
*                                                                    *
*                    D O N ' T   M I S S   I T !                     *
*                                                                    *
*              TRY TO REMEMBER: PSYCHIATRY'S CLASH                   *
*                 OVER MEANING, MEMORY, AND MIND                     *
*                                                                    *
*                       Paul McHugh, M.D.                            *
*                   Washington, DC: Dana Press                       *
*                                                                    *
*                 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                             *
                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
  Palm Desert
        Eileen and Jerry 909-659-9636
  Central Orange County
        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
        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 785-762-2825
  Louisville- Last Sun. (MO) @ 2pm
        Bob 502-367-1838
        Sarah 337-235-7656
        Carolyn 207-364-8891
  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
  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
  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)
  Nancy 973-729-1433 (Northern)
  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 914-922-1737
  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
        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 915-595-2966
  Keith 801-467-0669
  Mark 802-872-0847
  See Oregon
  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
        Ken & Marina 905-637-6030
        Paula 705-543-0318
  514-620-6397 (both 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
            Deadline for the SUMMER 2009 issue is May 10.
                  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,         April 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.

                     YOUR CONTRIBUTION WILL HELP
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                    THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY.