FMSF NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE - Summer 2009 - Vol. 18, No. 3, 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)
SUMMER 2009 Vol. 18 No. 3
      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  October 2009

Dear Friends, 

Do you know what a "Sybil attack" is? We didn't until we saw a
reference in a recent Nature article.[1] "Security experts call the
creation of a network of impostors a Sybil attack." For example, if a
single person opens multiple computer accounts and has all of them
recommend the same article, that article could receive an unfairly
high rating. This is a delightful notion of "multiple personalities,"
with a base in reality, unlike the story of the fictional Sybil.

In a metaphoric sense, Sybil has been attacking the credibility of
psychiatry since its publication in 1973. To its shame, the American
Psychiatric Association uncritically accepted the phenomenal increase
in the diagnosis and the phenomenal claims that went with multiple
personality disorder (MPD). To its shame, the American Psychiatric
Association did nothing to rein in the enthusiasms of the group of
psychiatrists, mostly affiliated with the International Society for
the Study of Multiple Personality Disorder and Dissociation,[2] who
became carried away with ever more bizarre beliefs and claims, such as
writing that they had patients with 4,000 personalities.[3] To its
shame, the American Psychiatric Association did nothing to help the
courts dispose of the MPD junk-science cases.

What will the American Psychiatric Association do about multiple
personality disorder (or the same concepts and beliefs encompassed in
the new name of dissociative identity disorder (DID) in the upcoming
revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM)? At least one
group of psychiatrists has signed a letter asking the editors of the
DSM to reconsider the inclusion of DID. There is nothing left to hide
behind. Sybil was a fraud. The branch of psychiatry inspired by Sybil
is without factual foundation; it is cut from the proverbial "whole

The final "nail in the coffin" that the story behind Sybil was other
than a hoax has been hammered by Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen in his new book
Making Minds and Madness: From Hysteria to Depression. In chapter
three, the author presents irrefutable documentation that the MPD
movement was based on a myth.

When the book Sybil was published, all of the papers, transcripts, and
recordings were sealed. No one was able to confirm or contradict the
claims of Dr. Wilbur who treated Sybil or Flora Schreiber who wrote
the book. Over the years doubts about the truth of the story have been
leaking out. In 1997, Herbert Spiegel, MD, who also treated Sybil,
said he did not think that she had MPD. In 1998 Robert Rieber
disclosed that he had tapes documenting Wilbur's highly suggestive
therapy sessions with Sybil.

With a determined investigation, Borch-Jacobsen was able to identify
the real person on whom Sybil was based, Shirley Ardell Mason. Knowing
that, he was then able to collect the testimony of people who had
known her and to gather her correspondence, writings and photographs.
At that point, there was so much media coverage that one of the
colleges holding the archives lifted restrictions and granted access
to Borch-Jacobsen.

Sybil is, without doubt, a fascinating story. But its fascination is
due to the insights it provides about our society and our beliefs
about the mind and mental illness. It is a compelling story, not a
factual account. Tremendous harm was done to patients and their
families by psychiatrists and other therapists who succumbed to the
allure of Sybil and who then unwittingly treated their patients based
on a hoax. Unfortunately, although it has greatly diminished, there
are still pockets in which belief in multiple personalities is alive
and there are still many families trying to cope with the aftermath.

During the same years that multiple personalities have flourished,
great harm has also been done to untold numbers of people caught up in
the day-care and child sexual abuse panic that ignited by the
publicity of the McMartin case in the mid 1980s. We are delighted to
report that in Massachusetts, Bernard Baran who was a 19-year-old
day-care assistant when he was convicted of child abuse, is now
completely free. His original conviction was overturned a few years
ago and since then he has been living under the cloud of another
trial. In May, the district attorney in the case stated that he will
not retry Baran. Baran is free due to the help of a great many people,
but the person who led the effort was Bostonian Robert Chatelle.[4]
Chatelle writes about his thoughts on trying to help wrongfully

  "Should really take citizens over ten years and over half a million
  dollars to right a grievous wrong committed by their own

Once a person is convicted in our justice system, it takes almost
super-human effort to show that it was a wrongful conviction. In the
American justice system if a person is guilty, there are many legal
safeguards. However, the system has almost no procedures to help those
wrongfully convicted. No one knows that better than James Toward who
has been in prison since 1986 in the Glendale, Florida Montessori day
care case. On page 7 there is a letter from a parent whose children
attended the school. She gives an insightful perspective of the
climate of hysteria that surrounded day care sexual abuse cases at the
time. Although James was up for parole in 1999, legislation passed in
1998 allows him to be kept in civil confinement indefinitely.

Bruce Perkins is another person whose efforts to have his conviction
reexamined have faced wall after wall. Similar to Gerald Amirault and
others caught in the system, his very refusal to confess is
interpreted as a lack of remorse. Perkins who has been in prison in
Texas since 1993, was found guilty of the impossible in the heat of
panic. Wouldn't it be wonderful if all the people wrongfully convicted
were now free? We could go on with our lives and not have to think
about the fact that sometimes things go wrong in the justice
system. As Robert Chatelle reminds us:

  "Democracy requires more than voting -- and far too few Americans
  even do that. Democracy requires that citizens inform themselves,
  work for needed reforms, and hold their government accountable for
  its actions."

The truly good news is that the FMSF office is hearing from fewer new
families. Telephone calls, letters, and even emails have all
diminished. The FMSF volunteer contacts across the country have
reported fewer and fewer calls. Some have not had any calls in several
years. There is plenty of scientific information readily available to
support attorneys who become involved in the few legal cases that

This is not to say that the problem of recovered memories has
disappeared. It may not totally disappear in our life time. But the
changes, changes we have been hoping for years would happen, indicate
that it is time for the FMSF to consider its future role. The
structures and systems that were set up to help families are less
needed. The effort to work for freeing those wrongfully accused is
greatly needed as is the need to work for reforms.  

Have a wonderful summer.

[1] Laursen, L. (2009, April 30). Fake Facebook pages spin web of
    deceit. Nature Vol 458, #7242, p. 1089.
[2] The organization changed its name in 1994 to International Society
    for the Study of Dissociation.
[3] See, for example, Kluft, R. (1988). The phenomenology and
    treatment of extremely complex multiple personality disorder.
    Dissociation, 1(4), p.52.
[4] Robert Chatelle founded the National Center for Reason and Justice
    organization. See website c

/                                                                    \
| "If M.P.D. was supposed to rescue insight therapy, it did the      |
| opposite: it covered insight therapy with shame."                  |
|                                                     Joan Accocela  |
|                                New Yorker (April 6, 1998, p. 78b)  |

/                                                                    \
|                    MAKING  MINDS  and  MADNESS:                    |
|                   FROM  HYSTERIA  to  DEPRESSION                   |
|                      by Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen                      |
|                                                                    |
|        See especially Chapter 3: "A Black Box Named Sybil"         |
|                  Cambridge University Press 2009                   |

/                                                                    \
|              TRY to REMEMBER: PSYCHIATRY'S CLASH                   |
|                 OVER MEANING, MEMORY, and MIND                     |
|         Paul McHugh, M.D., Washington, DC: 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  |
|                                    Retrieved on November 20, 2008  |
|       from  |

                           SYBIL: THE MYTH
                        Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen
                   Cambridge University Press 2009

Making Minds and Madness is a fascinating book.[1] It examines
psychoanalysis and biomedical psychiatry and argues that some mental
illnesses are cultural and historical artifacts that are "co-produced"
by therapists and patients. For example melancholy, vapors, grande
hysteria, neurasthenia, and shell shock are all diagnoses that became
popular and then virtually disappeared.

For FMSF Newsletter readers, the chapter called "A Black Box Named
'Sybil'" is sufficient reason to purchase the book. It is dynamite!
Borch-Jacobsen considers multiple personality disorder to be a
diagnosis that is a cultural artifact. In this chapter, he provides
the documentary evidence to lay bare the fact that the multiple
personality industry that exploded after the publication of Sybil was
based on nothing more than a myth.

It is important to note that Borch-Jacobsen does not approach the
subject of transient mental illnesses by asking if they are "real" or
not. He observes that in the legal arena it is fair to ask whether an
illness is real, but for the rest of the population it is more
informative to ask how it is made, out of what elements, how it works,
and what purpose it serves. The author writes that we often do not
know the causes or origins of the diagnoses that appear and then
disappear. He argues that multiple personality affords an opportunity
to study a transient mental illness.

For multiple personality disorder, he observes, we can see clearly the
influence of the book by Flora Rheta Schreiber, Sybil: The True and
Extraordinary Story of a Woman Possessed by Sixteen Separate
Personalities. The book was an instant best seller with 11 million
copies in 17 different languages. The movie contract was signed before
book was even published.

Consider the growth in the number of multiple personality disorder

1944 -- There had been 76 cases over the past 128 years.
1957 -- Three Faces of Eve appeared -- book and film.
1973 -- Sybil book appeared.
1976 -- Sybil movie appeared. 
1980 -- George Greaves reported 37 cases since 1971. 
1980 -- Eugene Bliss said he had personally seen 14 cases.
1982 -- Myron Boor -- 79 cases.
1982 -- Richard Kluft -- 130 cases of which he had treated 70. 
1984 -- There were 1,000 cases.
1989 -- There were 4,000 cases.
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.)

Borch-Jacobsen writes: "from the beginning of the 1990s onwards,
'multiples' were everywhere -- in therapy, in psychiatric hospitals,
on television, and in the courts." (p.65)

Not only does it seem obvious from the huge increase in cases after
the publication of Sybil that it was uniquely influential, but we also
have comments from the psychiatrists who pioneered the diagnosis.
Borch-Jacobsen quotes Frank Putnam, M.D.:

  [The book] "The Three Faces of Eve, while well known, gives a
  misleading picture of MPD and ironically may have helped to obscure
  the clinical features of the disorder. The book Sybil, with its
  graphic treatment of the amnesias, fugue episodes, child abuse, and
  conflicts among alters, served as a template against which other
  patients could be compared and understood." (p. 72)

How could it be that so little was known about the subject of such an
influential book? That is because the identity of the real person on
whom the book was based was kept secret. Although Schreiber claimed
that her book was the result of careful research and original
documents such as analysis notes, tape recordings from the therapy
sessions, diaries, letters, family archives, and medical files, no one
was able to corroborate her conclusions. Schreiber said that Sybil was
a true story and not a novel. Yet, she and Dr. Wilbur saw to it that
all of the records were sealed. No one had access.

The true history of Sybil, however, has been leaking out ever since
psychiatrist Herbert Spiegel, who also treated her, first spoke in
1997 to say that he did not consider her to have suffered from
multiple personality disorder. Spiegel made this comment in an
interview written by Borch-Jacobsen and published in the New York
Review of Books.[2] This was followed in 1998 by Robert Rieber's
disclosure of tape recordings of analysis sessions between Sybil and
her psychiatrist Cornelia Wilbur that were in his possession.[3] "A
Black Box Named 'Sybil,'" the result of extensive research and access
to the diaries and notes of both Wilbur and Sybil, completes the

How did Borch-Jacobsen get access to all the records? Wilbur, who died
in 1992, stated in her will that the section of her personal archives
that pertained to Sybil should remain confidential for seven years
after the death of the person known as Sybil. But unless one knew the
identity of the real Sybil, that basically kept the archives closed
forever. Schreiber's records about Sybil were also placed in a
confidential collection at John Jay College in New York.

The first step for Borch-Jacobson was to determine the identity of the
real Sybil. He and his colleague Peter Swales managed to do that by
careful examination of the non-confidential part of Schreiber's
files. In 1998, they identified Shirley Ardell Mason. Borch-Jacobsen
related that after that it was "easy to collect the testimony of
relatives and friends who had known her," and to gather the things she
had left behind such as correspondence, writings, art work and
photographs. At that point, because of the extensive media coverage of
the discovery of the real Sybil, John Jay College decided to
de-restrict the archives and grant access to the documents about
Sybil, in spite of the opposition of Schreiber's estate.

We cannot begin to cite all of the discrepancies between the original
records and the book that are documented by Borch-Jacobsen. Publishers
have withdrawn books with fewer fabrications.[4] Borch-Jacobsen notes
that the Mason's family was not at all as described by Schreiber. They
were not fanatical about religion, her parents read a lot, and her
father took her to movies. Shirley's mother did not prevent her from
playing with other children. People who knew Shirley deny that she was
ever malnourished. They also deny that her mother was schizophrenic.
No one in Dodge Center ever noticed any change in Shirley's
personality. She was a normal child. Her teacher said that it was
nonsense in the book that Shirley ever forgot her multiplication
tables. Even the episode of the accidental death of her playmate was
fictional. There was a boy who died in that way but Shirley was 17
when it happened. The hospitalization for malnutrition when Shirley
supposedly had her first dissociation experience had actually been a
hospitalization for tonsillitis.

Shirley's psychological problems began at the end of high school. She
suffered anxiety attacks when she moved away to study to become an art
teacher. She was diagnosed at the Mayo Clinic with hysterical neurosis
and given drugs, but she got worse. She was referred to Dr. Cornelia
Wilbur with whom she seemed dazzled. Wilbur saw Shirley six times in
Nebraska in 1945.

Wilbur moved to New York, and Shirley finished school and became a
teacher. In 1954, however, Shirley moved to New York in order to get a
master's degree in art at Columbia University. She seemed to be doing
fine with her life in New York. Shirley soon discovered that Wilbur
taught at Columbia and she went to Wilbur's office to say hello. By
the end of 1954, Shirley began analysis with Wilbur. By 1959, Shirley
was unemployed, depressed and constantly sedated. What is known of the
period 1955 to 1959 comes from a diary that Shirley kept of her
analytic sessions.

Borch-Jacobsen observes: "before Shirley started her analysis with
Wilbur in New York, no one had ever noted the slightest shift in
personality -- neither her family, nor her playmates, nor her
schoolmates, nor her doctors, nor even Shirley herself." (p. 80) The
multiple personalities were only evidenced in therapy. Only Wilbur,
Schreiber and one other patient of Wilbur's ever saw them. Shirley's
personalities clearly seem an artifact of her therapy.

Following are some notes from Shirley's analytic diary written at a
time when Wilbur was going to Shirley's apartment to treat her:

  January 27, 1956: "She came at 4 o'clock. Pentothal . . .
    Treatment electric first, must have been shock. Saturday --
  February 5, 1956: "Asked for pentothal instead of electric
  February 9, 1956: "Barbiturate, intravenous, also pentothal. Very
    nauseated. Same arm, very dizzy, couldn't walk to bathroom
    alone. Willie carried me. [Wilbur] Came two or three times a day.
    Talked about mother."
  February 10, 1956: "[Wilbur] Came three times. Gave pentothal and
    shock. Sustained release spansuals [sic] of phenobarbitol. Began
    to menstruate." February 16, 1956: "[Wilbur] Gave equinol and
    dexamyl. Should be all right in 30 minutes or so."

Borch-Jacobsen observes that Shirley's health deteriorated; she
accumulated addictions, self-medicated wildly, mixed medications and
regularly took more than the prescribed dose. He writes: "It was
during this long 'trip' under medication that most of Shirley Mason's
personalities appeared and that she remembered the gruesome abuses to
which she had been subjected... Shirley's traumas were also, in large
part, hallucinated in a drug-induced state."

Wilbur and Shirley were both familiar with the work of Morton Prince.
In fact, in 1955, Shirley asked Wilbur if she could so some research
on multiple personalities. Wilbur was familiar with the 1954 paper by
Thigpen and Cleckley that later became the book The Three Faces of
Eve. According to Shirley's analytic diary, Wilbur asked her in
December 1955 if she would collaborate with her on a book about her

One aspect of Shirley's background that differs from most current
multiple personalities is that her mother, not her father, supposedly
abused Shirley. Shirley's "memories" of maternal abuse came at the
time when "schizophrenogenic mothers" were considered to be
responsible for the problems of their children. Wilbur actually made
Shirley's mother a schizophrenic -- a diagnosis that could never be
corroborated. In 1965, Schreiber wrote to Wilbur:

  "What do we say, by way of selling the idea, that establishes
  uniqueness, that makes a publisher feel that this is sufficiently
  different from Eve to justify his interest?. . . One [factor] I can
  think of, of course, is the linkage with the battered child

Schreiber and Wilbur played loose with the facts in order to make a
compelling story.

Even the end of the book is a lie. The "end of analysis" and the
therapy relationship was nothing like the happy ending presented in
the book. What actually happened is that Wilbur moved to Weston, West
Virginia. Shirley soon followed and obtained a job as an occupational
therapist in a psychiatric hospital a few hours down the road from

According to Borch-Jacobsen, Shirley spent all her weekends and
vacations with her ex-analyst. In 1973, after the publication of
Sybil, Shirley retired and she supported herself with the royalties.
She moved a few blocks away from Wilbur and the two continued to spend
much time together until separated by death.

Borch-Jacobsen writes: 

  "MPD lasted as long as the consensus of psychiatrists, hypnotic
  practice, the concept of repression, insurance companies, judges,
  the campaigns for the prevention of child abuse, the feminist
  movement, the media, and x number of other elements conjoined to
  make it last, to support its existence in the manner of a 'continued
  creation.'" (p. 70)

Sybil is, without doubt, a fascinating story. But it's fascination is
due to the insights it provides about our society and our beliefs
about the mind and mental illness. It is a compelling story, not a
factual account. The revelations in Making Minds and Madness should
hasten the ultimate demise of the diagnosis of multiple personality.

We strongly recommend Making Minds and Madness: From Hysteria to

[1] An overview of the chapters: Introduction: Making psychiatric
    history (questions of method); Part I. Microhistories of Trauma:
    1. How to predict the past: from trauma to repression;
    2. Neurotica: Freud and the seduction theory; 3. A black box named
    'Sybil'; Part II. Fragments of a Theory of Generalized Artifact:
    4. What made Albert run?; 5. The Bernheim effect; 6. Simulating
    the unconscious; Part III. The Freudian Century: 7. Is
    psychoanalysis a fairy-tale?; 8. Interprefactions: Freud's
    legendary science (in collaboration with Sonu Shamdasani);
    9. Portrait of the psychoanalyst as a chameleon; Part IV. Market
    Psychiatry: 10. Science of madness, madness of science; 11. The
    great depression; 12. Psychotherapy today; 13. Therapy users and
    disease mongers.
[2] Borch-Jacobsen, M. (1997, April 24). New York Review of Books,
[3] Rieber, R. W. (1999). Hypnosis, false memory, and multiple
    personality: A trinity of affinity. History of Psychiatry, X, 3-11.
[4] See, for example: Fragments by Binjamin Wilkomirski; Angel at the
    Fence by Herman Rosenblat; Love and Consequences by Margaret
    Jones; and Misha: A Memoir of of Holocaust Years by Misha

/                                                                    \
| "I've never tried to block out the memories of the past, even      |
| though some are painful. I don't understand people who hide from   |
| their past. Everything you live through helps to make you the      |
| person you are now."                                               |
|                                                       Sophia Loren |

                       UPDATE FROM NEW ZEALAND
                             Gordon Waugh

Kim McGregor, Ph.D, the director of the Rape Crisis organization in
Auckland, continues to tell us that one in three girls and one in six
boys will be raped or otherwise sexually abused by the age of 16. She
even teaches this to children in some of our high schools. When
applied to our actual population, that dubious claim implies that
hundreds of thousands of our children have been sexually abused and
that hundreds of thousands of ordinary citizens are sexual abusers.
Exaggerating statistics is not a good way to address the all-too-real
problem of abuse.

Related to those broad claims is a recent publication of guidelines
for sex abuse counselors written by a Massey University psychology
team. The publication states that they found over 700 indicators of
sexual abuse.[1]. Didn't they see the absurdity of that number? It's
as though the team had never read the many statements from
professional organizations about the danger of using "symptoms" to
determine sexual abuse. And so the battle continues.

I understand that the New Zealand Accident Compensation Corporation
(ACC) commissioned the "research" behind that book. ACC is a
wide-ranging, no-fault form of insurance, covering the entire
population, which provides rehabilitation and compensation after
accidents at work, on the roads, in sports, by medical misadventure,
and at home. It began with new legislation in April 1974. Funds are
provided for it by individual and business levies and by general and
specific taxation. For example, our annual Vehicle Registration Fee
includes a component which directly funds ACC's Motor Vehicle
Account. ACC has a website at:

ACC has a department called the Sensitive Claims Unit which deals
mainly with claims for mental injury caused by sexual abuse. It
publishes statistics annually that cover the previous ten years. Prior
to 1988, ACC did not pay compensation on such cases. At that time, New
Zealand had only a handful of counselors working with sex abuse

Legislation was changed and in the year 1988, ACC paid compensation on
just 221 such cases. By the early 1990s, and coincident with the
spread of "recovered memory therapy" and related belief systems, ACC
began receiving tens of thousands of sexual abuse claims. For a good
part of that decade, new claims averaged about 11,000 per year. Many
of these -- impossible to know for certain -- were based on recovered
memory therapy.

>From just a handful of counselors, there were suddenly thousands. In
the 1990s ACC had some 1,000 "approved counselors" doing sexual abuse
/mental injury work on its behalf.

Compensation of $10,000 per alleged abuse event was virtually
automatic. Claimants were not (and are still not) required to provide
proof that abuse actually occurred, proof that any mental injury was
caused by that abuse, identify the alleged assailant, or report the
alleged assault to the police. ACC uncritically accepts the word of
the claimant and the counselor.

During the early 1990s the costs became enormous, amounting to
hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. The (then) national
government finally realized what was going on and amended the
legislation to stop the virtually automatic compensation. Predictably,
the number of new claims fell. The new level was typically about 4,000
a year. In 1999 there was another change of government and that
resulted in a revision of ACC legislation. Lump sum compensation
exceeding $100,000 is now available.

In 2008, ACC published a new set of statistics showing the annual
average number of new sex abuse claims for the decade 1998 to 2008 was
a mere 184.[2] That low number really got my attention and I sought
clarification from ACC.

They admitted the published data showing an annual average of 184 new
claims was wrong. The answers they provided indicate that each year
about 4,000 people make ACC claims for mental injury allegedly caused
by sexual abuse. Almost all make single claims, while a very small
number claim for multiple alleged events.

In the 2008 financial year, ACC paid out NZ $47 million that was
shared by counselors, 4,000 new claimants, and more than 18,000
on-going claimants whose treatment extends between one and ten (or
more) years.

To diagnose and treat those claimants, ACC maintains a list of
approximately 1,400 "approved counselors" to do such work. The
majority of ACC counselors are not registered under the New Zealand
Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act 2003.

The activity of "counselor" is not registered partly because amateur
counseling organizations have much difficulty trying to specify why a
counselor is the same as, better than, or worse than a registered
psychologist or a registered psychotherapist, and in describing how
and why counseling differs from those activities. I am continuing to
pursue this matter.

1. See:
   sexual+abuse+and+mental+injury. ACC4451 Sexual abuse and mental
   injury practice guidelines for Aotearoa NZ PDF 
[2] Excerpt from Page 100 "To identify effects of sexual abuse, the
   international literature and traditional diagnostic systems were
   thoroughly searched and researchers and practitioners across New
   Zealand consulted. This led to a large number of effects (initially
   more than 700) being identified and reviewed.
[3] For details of the stats see:

  Gordon Waugh can be contacted by e-mail to

/                                                                    \
| "There is no single set of symptoms which automatically indicates  |
| that a person was a victim of childhood abuse. There have been     |
| media reports of therapists who state that people (particularly    |
| women) with a particular set of problems or symptoms must have     |
| been victims of childhood sexual abuse. There is no scientific     |
| evidence that supports this conclusion."                           |
|                  American Psychological Association Questions and  |
|                   Answers about Memories of Childhood Abuse, 1995  |
|                                                                    |
| "Psychologists recognize that there is no constellation of         |
| symptoms which is diagnostic of child sexual abuse."               |
|         Canadian Psychological Association, Position Statement on  |
|          Adult Recovered Memories of Childhood Sexual Abuse, 1996  |
|                                                                    |
| "Previous sexual abuse in the absence of memories of these events  |
| cannot be diagnosed through a checklist of symptoms."              |
|                          Royal College of Psychiatrists, Reported  |
|                          Recovered Memories of Sexual Abuse, 1997  |

                        MOTIVATION to REMEMBER
  Kassam, K.S., Gilbert, D.T., Swencionis, J.K., Wilson, T.D. (2009)
          Misconceptions of memory: The Scooter Libby effect
                Psychological Science, 20(5), 551-552.

In his 2007 trial, Vice-Presidential Chief of Staff I. Lewis "Scooter"
Libby said that he did not remember mentioning the name of a CIA agent
to other government officials and reporters.[1] The jury didn't
believe that someone would forget such important information and found
him guilty of obstruction of justice, making false statements, and

Kassam and colleagues note that although Libby's conversations were
important, they were much less important at the time he had them. They
became more important after the Justice Department investigation.

The authors said that research has shown that people are motivated to
remember important information. The question the researchers sought to
explore was whether people take the timing of the motivation to
remember into account when they judge other people's memories.

One hundred thirty people were shown photographs and asked to learn
facts about them. Some were given special motivation to remember
information about the photos and others were not. Some were given
motivation before learning and others after learning. The judges saw
the same pictures as the subjects and were asked to predict the
percentage of motivated memorizers who would remember the facts.

The results showed that the people motivated before the learning
remembered more. People motivated after the learning didn't remember
any more than those who were not motivated. The judges expected the
motivated memorizers to remember more whether they were given the
motivation before or after the learning.

"Participants who were asked to judge another individual's memory did
not distinguish between information that was important when the
individual encountered it and information that became important only
later. Clearly, people's theories about the effects of motivation on
memory are imperfect."

The U.S. District Court did not allow Libby to have a psychologist
testify about the foibles of memory and metamemory because the court
said that the jurors already knew such information.

The authors comment that although "people do encounter frailties of
memory as a matter of course," that doesn't mean that they understand
the nature of the frailties. They observe that people can sometimes
expect others to "remember more than they possibly can."

[1] United States v. Libby, 461 F. Supp. 2d12 (D.D.C. 2006)

/                                                                    \
| "I am not a cognitive neuro-scientist but I recently met one at a  |
| party. He told me rather a lot about memory. I've forgotten most   |
| of it, of course, but I do recall him telling me that memory comes |
| in long-term and short-term varieties and that neither is much     |
| cop*. The short-term memory's feeble; the long-term memory's       |
| fictional."                                                        |
|                                                                    |
| "Apparently the short-term memory, even when in mid-season form,   |
| can only hang on to about half a dozen separate bits of stuff."    |
|                                                                    |
| "The long-term memory is a lot more capacious but a lot less       |
| honest. It works like a Marxist historian. It revises the past."   |
|                                                                    |
| "Every time you tell a story, the memory erases what actually      |
| happened and replaces it with your latest version of what          |
| happened. Eventually, there's none of the original program left    |
| and the truth and your story have had a divorce."                  |
|                                   Bennett, J. (2008, September 10) |
|                                           That's how I remember it |
|                                                  The Dominion Post |
|        Retrieved on 9/11/08 from |
|      opinion/columnists/joe-bennett/620990/Thats-how-I-remember-it |
|                                                                    |
| * According to Gordon Waugh who called our attention to this       |
|   article, "cop" in this context is a bit of local New Zealand     |
|   slang, meaning the article, idea, proposal, etc. has little      |
|   value, or is not very good.                                      |

  We have written previously about James Toward who has been in prison
  since 1989 for allegedly abusing children at the Glendale Montessori
  School in Stuart, Florida. After reading several of the child
  interview transcripts, we have no doubt that James is a victim of a
  miscarriage of justice, of the hysteria that spread in the wake of
  the McMartin case. In the past two years, an effort has started to
  have James released. The following letter was written to James and
  we think that it provides a sensitive insight into the thoughts and
  feelings of parents when the case exploded. Printed with permission.

                   Retrieved on April 14, 2009 from

James ... I wish you good luck in your hearing, apparently slated for
later this month (April 2009). I think what you have written on the
website should be read by all whose lives were impacted by the alleged
events at Glendale, back in the Eighties. I remember only too well the
panic of the times, and the way in which so many of us (parents) were
caught up in the horror of it all.

It was impossible to know whether what we were hearing was real, or
not. My personal experience consisted of a phone call from another
parent, begging me to get my three children "evaluated by a therapist"
as soon as possible because "it looks as though every child at
Glendale has probably been involved, in some way, in what went on
there!" And, this was a parent who was a supporter, in the beginning!

Despite conflicting thoughts, I felt, naively, that there was nothing
to be lost by taking the children to the therapists, Jean Ralicki
initially, then Dr. Tesson. It became clear, thankfully all too soon,
that my children were more intimidated by the therapy itself, one of
them dissolving in tears, after a visit with Dr. Tesson declaring
"Mommy, it's so scary to think that you can't remember something so
bad you can't remember it," I recall the feeling of shame,
immediately, that I'd subjected them to this. I had sat in on most of
the sessions with Dr. Tesson, and concur that there was simply nothing
to uncover. I was reading the same books, knew all about what was
going on across the country, and found myself in a state of suspended
disbelief much of the time. I think Dr. Tesson was a victim of his own
belief system, just as caught up in the furor as the rest.

I belonged to a "support" group of Glendale parents who were pretty
much in the same boat as myself -- torn between disbelief and dubious
conviction -- mostly convinced that the behaviors of their own
children could be attributed only to the reported events at the

It was the worst of times. The rumor and innuendo that circulated was
insane. Gossip and speculation presented as truth -- I know this
because I frequently took it upon myself to go to the root of "he
said/she saids" to try to get at the truth for myself. Many of us
behaved as if we were completely mad. We withdrew our children from
Camp High Rocks in the Carolinas because it was represented that "the
Cult" was reprogramming our children while they were there! I know of
two parents who actually went out under cover of darkness to keep
watch on one of Dr. Tesson's patient's home because she was so
convinced that members of a Satanic Cult were visiting her on nights
of the full moon! One of them actually "bugged" a local nursery school
hoping to catch the teachers in the act of molesting children. One
family was so persecuted that it became "common knowledge" that they
held Satanic rituals at their home, and were probably at the root of
"everything"! One parent dug up the grounds at the school, looking for
tunnels and hidden graves. It was "reported" that a case of chloroform
was found in the attic, and so on. But, for all of it, the nagging
reality in the back of my mind was always there "but, we were DROP-IN
PARENTS, always showing up at the school, unannounced, day in/day
out"! It was part of the attraction of consigning your child to
Montessori -- you could always be "hands on". I can't ever remember
being discouraged. So when, I would ask the support group, could the
children have possibly been "kidnapped" and taken off campus for
nefarious purposes?

It was a time of total insanity, and though there are few of us who
maintain contact today, most are only too happy to lets those times
fade into obscurity. I often wonder how many there are who, like me,
feel that it was all some sort of mass hysteria that infected our
community even as examples of the same happened all over the country.
I often wonder when are the children themselves likely to come forward
and recant? Probably never, I think. As you pointed out in your
poignant essay, the majority were probably so damaged by the therapy
itself that the time is to be a terror for them, one way or other, no
matter what. Frankly, I can't believe that there have been so few
retractions. I've read every publication on the aftermath of those
times I could get my hands on. And though there is plenty to hear from
the accused, there is little from the accusers; the children OR their

To my own children, it's become a sort of "urban legend," though I've
expressed my feelings about what happened (or what I believe never
happened) and encouraged them to contact their old friends and
classmates via the auspices of MY SPACE and FACE BOOK to see if there
is anyone, a "survivor," who might come forward to shed some light at
this time.

I don't know what purpose this letter will serve, other than to let
you know that there's at least one person who supports the probability
that you are, indeed, completely innocent. I suppose I want you to
know how sad I feel for Rosario and Margaret, and for you and the
years you have lost. And, indeed for all the rest of us, who got
caught up in it, despite ourselves, and who -- however unwittingly --
contributed to what happened to you.
                                        Good luck, James.
                                                         Sheila Rimer

/                                                                    \
| "Memory is not so much like reading a book as it is like writing   |
| one from fragments. As time goes by, details get lost."            |
|                                                                    |
| "Long-term memory may reflect a tendency "to see one's self as a   |
| hero of a drama worth telling. It may become a positive            |
| affirmation of a life well-lived through "mythisizing."            |
|                                                                    |
| "Our memories recreate a past that justifies our self-esteem. We   |
| seek to order our universe. We are inconsistent and self-serving,  |
| even with the best intentions."                                    |
|                                                                    |
| "Humans also tend to recall details of the past in terms of what   |
| is important in their current lives."                              |
|                                             Walter Menninger, M.D. |
|                                    Emporia Gazette, April 27, 2009 |
|                                Menninger describes traps of memory |
|                    |
|                                   menninger_describes_traps_memory |

                       CREATING FALSE MEMORIES
                     Wade, K.A. & Laney,C. (2008)
                  Time to rewrite your autobiography
                  The Psychologist, 21(7), 588-592.
           Available at

Wade and Laney present a clear and concise overview of the research on
creating false memories. They note that "as strange as it might seem,
plenty of psychological research shows that it is possible to plant
. . . false autobiographical memories, using various techniques." The
authors relate those techniques to techniques used in therapy.

One method that has been well documented is the Suggestive interview,
in which an adult is asked to read descriptions of events that he or
she experienced as a child. The subject, does not know that one of the
events has been fabricated by the experimenter. Looking at 560
subjects in 10 published studies, the authors found that 17 percent of
the subjects developed partial false memories and 17 percent developed
complete false memories for the fabricated events. They found that the
false memories could be emotional, extremely detailed, and that the
participants held them with confidence.[1]

Some studies have used Suggestive Interviews with Props such as
photographs. In one study people were asked to recall three childhood
events, with one being false. The false event was about the time when
the subject was punished at school for sneaking Slime into the
teacher's desk. All the participants heard the same story but some
were also shown a class-group photo from the school year. Twenty-three
percent of the people who only heard the story claimed that it had
happened. Sixty-five percent of those who saw the photo, came to
believe the story.[2]

False Feedback is an even simpler procedure that has been used to
plant false memories. People who have been given a feedback profile
indicating that they once got sick from eating hard-boiled eggs are
less likely to eat them at a future time. In another study in which
participants' dreams were interpreted by a psychologist as evidence of
repressed memories of being bullied when they were young, became
significantly more confident that this had happened compared to people
who did not receive that feedback.[3]

Recent research has documented Social Influence as a way in which
false memories can develop. When people talk to family members about
shared experiences and try to determine what actually happened, they
often incorporate the memories of others into their own.[4]

The authors conclude:

  "Finally, one of the ultimate purposes of conducting false-memory
  studies is to determine whether there is some characteristic that
  differentiates real from false memories. If such a characteristic
  could be found, then psychologists might be able to look at a
  particular memory and determine whether that memory is true or
  false. Thus far, there is no such characteristic.... Like true
  memories, false memories can be held with great confidence, can be
  detailed, can be vivid, can have behavioral consequences, and can
  even be emotionally rich. But the fact that a particular memory is
  confidently held, detailed, vivid, consequential or emotional, or
  even all of these, cannot guarantee that the memory is real."
  (p. 592)

[1] See for example: Loftus, E.F. & Pickrell, J.E. (1995). The
    formation of false memories. Psychiatric Annals, 25, 720-725. 
    Wade, K.A. & Garry, M. (2005). Strategies for verifying false
    autobiographical memories. American Journal of Psychology, 118,
    587-602. Hyman, I.E., Jr. & Billings, F.J. (1998). Individual
    differences and the creation of false childhood memories. Memory,
    6, 1-20. Porter, S., Yuille, J.C. & Lehman, D.R. (1999). The
    nature of real, implanted, and fabricated memories for emotional
    childhood events. Law and Human Behavior, 23, 517-537. Heaps &
    Nash 2001
[2] See, for example: Lindsay, D.S., Hagen, L. Read, J.D., et al
    (2004). True photographs and false memories. Psychological
    Science, 15, 149-154. Gary, M. & Wade, K.A. (2005). Actually a
    picture is worth less than 45 words: Narratives produce more false
    memories than photographs do. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 12,
    359-366. Nash, R.A. & Wade, K.A. (in press). Innocent but proven
    guilty. Fake video evidence and false confessions. Applied
    Cognitive Psychology.
[3] See, for example:Mazzoni, G.A.L, Lombardo, P., Malvagia, S. &
    Loftus, E.F. (1999). Dream interpretation and false beliefs.
    Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 30, 45-50.
    Bernstein, D.M., Laney, C., Morris, E.K. & Loftus, E.F.
    (2005). False memories about food can lead to food avoidance.
    Social Cognition, 23, 10-33. Laney, C., Morris, E.K., Bernstein,
    D.M. et al (2008). Asparagus, a love story. Healthier eating could
    be just a false memory away. Experimental Psychology, 55, 291-300.
[4] See, for example: French, L, Sutherland, R. & Garry, M. (2006).
    Discussion affects memory for true and false childhood events.
    Applied Cognitive Psychology, 20, 671-680. Peterson, T, Kaasa,
    S.O. & Loftus, E.F. (2009). Me too! Social modeling influences on
    early autobiographical memories. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 23,
/                                                                    \
| "Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not  |
| a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates |
| a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a     |
| hope for our future."                                              |
|                                                    Lewis B. Smedes |

                        NEW MPD MISERY MEMOIR
     Today I'm Alice -- A Memoir of Multiple Personality Disorder
                          by Alice Jamieson
                        Reviewed by FMSF Staff

According to an article in the Birmingham Post, (UK) Alice Jamieson's
saving mechanism was to repress the memories of being raped and
tortured by her father that began when she was two-years-old. In her
teens she used alcohol, drugs and self-harm to keep those memories out
of her mind. In her 20s, Ms. Jamieson began to suffer voices in her
head that developed into multiple personalities.

When she was a teenager, Jamieson went to various mental health
services and she was hospitalized in a closed unit. She said that she
was not helped by any of this because her doctors did not understand
how her personality had fractured. She said that many of her
psychiatrists and therapists would not refer to her nine alters. She
feels that she moved forward when she finally found a counselor who
would talk to the alters by name.

Validating her memories seems important to Jamieson. In one case she
says that reading what she had written was validation:

  "I had all these memories of my childhood and I wanted to write them
  down. Once I started, it all just came tumbling out. It was hard to
  do in some ways but they were all things we had touched on in
  therapy. Seeing it in black and white was difficult but it was also
  a validation of what had happened to me."

Although Jamieson did not have enough evidence to sue her father, she
did apply to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority that awarded
her a "substantial" amount. She felt validated. The award showed that
people believed her.
                                              Parkes, D. (2009, May 6)
               Multiple personality disorder: A battle with nine lives 
                                                       Birmingham Post
                Retrieved on May 16, 2009 from

/                                                                    \
|                 DO REPEATED INTERVIEWS of CHILDREN                 |
|                 INCREASE CHILDREN'S FALSE REPORTS?                 |
|                 Goodman, G.S. & Quas, J.A. (2008).             |
|             Repeated interviews and children's memory:             |
|                   It's more than just how many.                    |
|    Current Directions in Psychological Science, 17(6), 386-389.    |
|                                                                    |
| Abstract: A crucial issue in the study of eyewitness memory        |
| concerns effects of repeated interviews on children's memory       |
| accuracy. There is growing belief that exposure to repeated        |
| interviews causes increased errors. In some situations, it         |
| may. Yet, several studies reveal increased accuracy with repeated  |
| interviewing, even when the interviews include misleading          |
| questions. We review repeated-interview research in relation to    |
| event veracity, interviewer bias, and delay. We conclude that when |
| and how children are interviewed is at least as important for      |
| their accuracy as is how many times they are interviewed.          |


On April 14, 2009, the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF)
announced that it had given the Pigasus award to Colin Ross, MD for
his work claiming that he had the ability to send a beam of energy
from his eyes and make a tone sound out of a speaker. The Pigasus
Award is given each year, "to the scientist or academic who said or
did the silliest thing related to the supernatural, paranormal or

FMSF Newsletter readers are probably familiar with Dr. Ross because of
his promotion of multiple personality disorder and beliefs that
encompass satanic ritual abuse and CIA mind control conspiracies. He
has been sued by several former patients who claimed that they
developed false memories during therapy. Along with Richard Kluft,
M.D., Colin Ross, M.D. is an advisor to the CBS television series
"United States of Tara."

According to the Randi website,[2] the awards seek to expose
parapsychological frauds that Randi, the noted magician and a member
of the FMSF Scientific Advisory Board, has noted over the previous
year. The website states that "the awards are announced via telepathy,
winners are allowed to predict their victories, and the Flying Pig
trophies are sent via psychokinesis. We send; if they don't receive,
that's probably due to their lack of paranormal talent."

Dr. Ross has stated: "I am not the first unconventional thinker who
has had to endure the snickering of cynics and skeptics, so I happily
accept this recognition. Every significant scientific advance faces
resistance, but it is time that the JREF stop ridiculing me and test
the protocol."

>From the JREF website: 

  "Now, to be fair, this was long thought to be how vision worked...
  in the Middle Ages. However, we now understand that light emitted or
  reflected by external objects enters the eye, and that's how we see.
  But Dr. Ross claims to have reversed this process, and not only can
  he send EM beams from his eyes, but he has rigged up a system to
  detect it. He applied for our famous Million Dollar Challenge with
  this idea, and when we sent it to our team of experts, they
  objected, saying it was the movements of Dr. Ross's eyes that
  triggered his system. He has since put his application on hold while
  he works on this, still claiming, of course, that there is
  "definitely a beam" emerging from his eyes. [It has come to our
  attention after posting this originally that Dr. Ross has
  re-activated his application. -Ed.] Oh, and did we mention he's
  writing a book on this as well?"

[1] Retrieved on June 4, 2009 from

                       L E G A L   C O R N E R
                              FMSF Staff
                      Bernard Baran Finally Free
On June 9, 2009, Berkshire Massachusetts District Attorney David F.
Capeless stated that he has dropped the case against Bernard Baran who
was sentenced to three concurrent life sentences for child molestation
when he was just 19-years-old. Baran was the first person convicted in
the day-care-panic that followed in the wake of the infamous McMartin
trial and he spent 21 years in prison. Baran was released in 2006 when
an appeals court found that his original attorney had been incompetent
and that conduct during his trial provided sufficient grounds to
overturn his guilty verdict. In fact, the appeals court suggested that
there may have been prosecutorial misconduct. Baran was granted a new
trial and has been preparing for it for the past three years. No
reason was given by Capeless for dropping the case. If the case had
gone to trial, it would surely have involved the misconduct charges by
the former assistant district attorney who is now a Superior Court

                                * * *

For background on this case, we reprint an article about Bernard Baran
that appeared in the FMSF Foundation Newsletter, 15 (5) in 2006.

    Pittsfield Massachusetts Day-Care Worker Conviction Overturned
           Massachusetts vs. Baran, No. 18042-51; 18100-1,
            Superior Ct, Berkshire, Mass., June 13, 2006.
                              Frank Kane

Superior Court Justice Francis R. Fecteau, in his 80-page decision of
June 13, 2006, granted Bernard Baran's request for a new trial.
Fecteau noted that Baran "raises several issues generally including
whether he was convicted upon unreliable evidence, that he received
ineffective assistance of counsel, and that there is newly-discovered
evidence that appears to have been improperly withheld, amounting to
prosecutorial misconduct, as well as other issues."

The Berkshire County District Attorney states unequivocally that he
will appeal Judge Fecteau's decision. Hence, Baran had to post $50,000
cash bail, and he must wear a transmitting ankle bracelet -- despite
the fact that the verdict was overturned.

On June 30, 2006, Bernard Baran (he prefers to be called "Bee") walked
free from the Berkshire County Court House, into the arms of his
family, three months shy of 22 years since his arrest for alleged
sexual offenses against children in the Pittsfield Massachusetts Early
Childhood Development Center (ECDC). Baran, a teacher's assistant, was
the first day-care worker to be convicted in the United States during
the wave of day-care sex abuse hysteria of the '80s and '90s.

Arrested in early October, 1984, three weeks after the arrest of the
Amirault family in Malden, Massachusetts, Bee was convicted just 115
days later, and sentenced to three concurrent life terms. He was
slammed into the general population at the maximum security prison in
Walpole, the Commonwealth's "home" for its worst, most dangerous
offenders. Even though Assistant District Attorney Dan Ford had
offered him a deal of five "easy" years for his guilty plea, Bee
refused, declaring, as he always has, that he was innocent. Bee
thought that he would never again see the light of day as a free man.

And so it seemed, to Bee, for many years. Four days after his
incarceration, he suffered his first rape and beating. His family was
without a car because his mother had had to sell it to raise money to
pay the lawyer. Consequently, they were able to visit Bee only rarely,
and the rest of the world seemed not to notice that it had allowed a
slight 19 year-old, of less than 100 pounds, to be thrown away like
damaged goods. In 1989, he was transferred to the "Treatment Center"
in the Bridgewater Correctional facility where he had a modicum of
safety, but there he was tossed into the maelstrom of mostly
truly-guilty sex offenders.

In 1995, Bee's case was cited in Debbie Nathan's and Michael
Snedeker's book, Satan's Silence. Later in the 90s, he was mentioned
in a letter from an FMS parent to the Wall Street Journal, correcting
the columnist's statement that Gerald Amirault was the "the last
day-care worker still in prison." A full-page column by Katha Pollitt
followed in February, 2000 in The Nation magazine, helping
immeasurably in fund-raising efforts.

In 1999, Bostonian Robert Chatelle took up the banner to get justice
for Baran. During seven years of Herculean effort, Chatelle was a
driving force pressing for a new trial. Chatelle enlisted attorney
John Swomley who then sought an evidentiary hearing into the original
trial and its perfunctory appeal. Because the Berkshire County
District Attorney's office dragged its feet, claiming the bulk of the
trial evidence had been lost or destroyed, nothing happened.

Two events in late 2003 opened up the possibility for a new trial:
Superior Court Judge Fecteau's order to allow attorney Swomley full
subpoena power to locate any and all evidence in criminal and civil
domains, and the snow-shoveling death of Berkshire County District
Attorney Gerard Downing who had been responsible for the delays. A few
months later, the new District Attorney found most of the long sought
unedited tapes of the children's interviews that had never been seen
by the grand jury or the defendant. These tapes were presented in an
evidentiary hearing along with comments and observations by Dr. Maggie

Judge Fecteau's June decision contains four pages of the most
egregious of the interrogations of these three- and four-year olds,
who often said, frequently under duress by several adults at the same
time, that "Bernie didn't do anything" and/or named other individuals,
including teachers and children. These segments had been edited out of
the final tape seen by the grand jury and the court, a final, neat
package on a 40-minute tape of several children's comments,
selectively chosen by the prosecution from the original several hours
of tape which contained contrary exculpatory evidence.

The person who apparently had orchestrated the editing was Assistant
District Attorney Dan Ford, now a Superior Court Judge in Berkshire
County. During the original trial, Ford even had to intercept one
little boy who hollered out, "Hi, Bernie," and tried to run over to
Bee. Ford then dropped the boy from the case, apparently due to his
lack of cooperation and unreliable testimony. Ironically, this boy's
mother was the first accuser and had filed a civil suit against the
day-care center, even before indictments were brought. In September,
1984, this same woman and her boyfriend had demanded the center fire
Bee because he was gay. When the day-care center refused, they brought
the original sexual abuse charges.

                          Historical Context

How could all this have happened to Bernard Baran and to so many
others? How does this case relate to FMS adult-children situations?

In the 80s, there was a tsunami of satanic ritual abuse -- , sexual
abuse -- and child pornography-ring hysteria that flooded North
America, drowning out "innocent-until-proven guilty" rights.
Unresearched fad theories gave energy to the wave. For example, Roland
Summit's "Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome" suggested that
children didn't lie about being sexually abused. They might, however,
effectively block out the abuse until aggressively questioned. If a
child retracted the "disclosure," he or she was not to be believed
because a retraction was just part of the "syndrome." Summit's theory
influenced many, if not all, of the more than 100 day-care cases.

The McMartin Day-Care case in Manhattan Beach, California was the
first to hit the headlines starting in 1983. Prosecutors from the
Massachusetts Fells Acres (Amirault) case went to Manhattan Beach to
get advice from the prosecutors there, returning with questions to ask
the parents and children about secret rooms, magic rooms, and evil
clowns. On September 12, 1984, the police in the Amirault case held a
meeting in which parents were recruited to question their children.
Exactly one month later, in Pittsfield, the Department of Social
Services and police held a similar program at the day-care where Baran
was employed. A puppet show and anatomically-correct dolls
specifically targeted Baran.

Fear and paranoia about child sexual abuse had spread throughout the
land. Lest we blame it all upon an hysterical element of true-believer
adherents, we need to remember that even the FBI helped fuel the
spread. In January, 1984, the FBI devoted the entire edition of its
Law Enforcement Bulletin to the subject, "Child Pornography and Sex
Rings." It was written by Ann Burgess, a Boston College Nursing School
professor, and Kenneth Lanning, a Special Agent in the Behavioral
Science Unit of the FBI. Lanning was instrumental in assuring funding
for police officers throughout the nation to be trained in the
investigation of non-existent Satanic-ritual abuse rings. Burgess went
on to write several papers on the effects of ritual abuse on day-care
children. Almost one decade later, Lanning grew more cautious and in
1992 issued a 41-page report commenting: "until hard evidence is
obtained and corroborated, the public should not be frightened into
believing that babies are being bred and eaten."

The therapist who was responsible for the interviewing of the Fells
Acres children, Susan J. Kelley, was an intern at Boston College
Nursing School. As further evidence of the spread of beliefs into
institutions of higher education, Kelley was awarded a doctoral degree
in 1988 for a study on the "Responses of Children and Parents to
Sexual Abuse and Satanic Ritualistic Abuse in Day Care Centers."

By the early 90s, the hysteria had spread to a new generation of
therapists who saw evil behind every family, who "knew" the terrible
nature of the incestuous patriarchy, who accepted Roland Summit's
theory, and who developed even more lists of symptoms of child sexual
abuse. These symptom lists extended to identifying adults who had been
allegedly abused decades earlier (i.e. Courage to Heal). The beliefs
invaded many of our institutions. Lurid books and Hollywood movies
also influenced the culture. For example, Sybil, the book and the
movie, promoted childhood sexual abuse as the cause of Multiple
Personality Disorder. Recovered memories were everywhere, on TV talk
shows and in popular magazines. Scores of celebrities suddenly
discovered that they, too, had been abused as children.


On June 30, 2006, after a press conference in attorney John Swomley's
office, I walked with Bee in a happy throng of family and friends. The
sky was a brilliant blue and Bee got his first look, ever, at the
Atlantic Ocean. He walked down the street, hand-in-hand with his Mom
and his sister, and smiled and cried. We all did. Tears of joy and
relief. Since then, Bee has been adjusting to a new world of cell
phones, ATMs, toilets that flush themselves, DVDs, E-mail, Google...
Well you know; just think of where you were in 1984 and what has
changed since then; the list is long.

Go to for the complete story of Bee's experience.

  Frank Kane is a retired financial manager and during the mid-90s was
  the manager of the FMSF office. He has been a frequent contributor
  to the newsletter.

                                * * *

                     Comments on Baran's Freedom
                           Robert Chatelle

Bob Chatelle has led the effort to free Bernard Baron. From his blog:

June 9, 2009: This morning Berkshire County DA David Capeless finally
announced that he would no longer pursue the Baran case. When I spoke
with Bee a little while ago, he was shedding some very well-earned
tears. He and his family have been living this nightmare for almost a
quarter of a century. Jim D'Entremont and I are relative newcomers to
the case. We've only been involved for 11 years.

One question that pops into mind: Does this mean that the system
worked? My first inclination is to say, "Hell, no! The system didn't
work. We worked. We worked damn hard fighting the power of a hearltess

But this wouldn't give credit to those people in the system who did
work, and who worked very hard. I think especially of Judges Fecteau,
Lenk, Duffly and Green and their staffs. There was a tremendous amount
of material. They read it all, they read it thoughtfully, and they
responded with two beautiful decisions. I am most grateful. Whenever
I'm tempted to think too unkindly of judges, I will do my best to
remember these.

Nevertheless, this hard-won victory proves that there are very serious
things wrong with our judicial system.

Ten years ago, I read the Baran trial transcript for the first time.
It is appalling. The injustice was so blatant, that I naively thought
it would not take that long to free him. Boy was I wrong.

You can't fight power without money. And we had none. So we started to
raise it. To date we've raised about $320,000. We were lucky to find a
few big donors. But most of that came from concerned citizens of
limited means. This is what it costs when ordinary people are forced
to do the job that should be done by the government.

Our expenses, however, thus far total $589,000. This is just what has
been actually billed. A great many services were donated. Our expert
witnesses, for example, were not paid a dime. The lawyers donated
time. And the lawyers know that most of their bills will never be

Should it really take citizens over ten years and over half a million
dollars to right a grievous wrong committed by their own government?

I would like to think that the Baran case might eventually lead to
some meaningful judicial reform. But I'm not holding my breath. That
would require a lot of work from good citizens. Democracy requires
more than voting -- and far too few Americans even do that. Democracy
requires that citizens inform themselves, work for needed reforms, and
hold their government accountable for its actions.

What comes of this is not up to me. It's up to you. As for me, as soon
as we catch our breath, we are going to savor this victory and
celebrate it.

  Retrieved on June 9, 2009 from

                   F R O M   O U R   R E A D E R S
                         It's Still Going On!
Recently, I was taking a "Foundations of Marriage" class at my local
church with my girlfriend. They had a guest speaker one week who was a
marriage and family therapist. About 10 minutes into the class,
apropos nothing, he said "Some of the most personally meaningful work
that I've done is with people who have Dissociative Identity Disorder,
formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder, helping people to
recover memories they have repressed due to trauma, to work with the
alters, to give them a voice, and to bring them out of trance."

Unfortunately for him, a brother falsely accused of ritual satanic
abuse based on "recovered memories" was sitting in the front row!

I was so infuriated that I didn't hear a word he said for the balance
of the session. After it was over, I asked to speak with him
privately, took him into a conference room, asked him to shut the
door, channeled Chris Barden, and read him the riot act. I opened by
saying that "I wanted you to know how much therapists like you and the
techniques you use are hurting clients and their families." He
blanched. I told him my family's story and the bogus satanic ritual
abuse memories my sister had supposedly recovered. He started making
the usual excuses. "Oh, I don't do the satanic ritual abuse stuff
... no family has ever objected to my work ... I bring the family
members in ..." I reviewed the scientific evidence and pointed out
that: there's no evidence that documented trauma survivors repress
memories in the first place; even if they did, no techniques have been
shown to be safe and effective for helping people recall memories that
have been forgotten; the techniques that have been attempted are
highly suggestive; DID is an iatrogenic condition; the same techniques
he was advocating have been used to "recover" memories of satanic
ritual abuse and alien abduction, so the techniques themselves have to
be fundamentally unreliable; and it was inappropriate for him to use a
church-sponsored class about marriage as a forum for promoting junk
science beliefs about repressed memories. He acknowledged that if he
could do the class over again, he wouldn't have brought this up.

He couldn't even claim ignorance as a defense; he commented at one
point that "I've been on panels with people on both sides of this
debate." Evidently he was only paying attention to one side.

Finally, he said that it was clear he wasn't going to change my
mind. I said that since I was right and he was wrong, that was
absolutely correct. He fled the room. It is stupefying to me that in
2009, after everything we've been through and all the hard lessons the
industry has learned, there are still therapists who are so
irresponsible that not only do they continue to practice this garbage,
but they're foolish enough to talk about it openly in public!

The next day, I sent the coordinator of the class a lengthy email
debunking the claims he'd made, saying I found it unacceptable that a
church-sponsored event on marriage was being misused to promote junk
science beliefs about repressed memories, and demanding that some kind
of disclaimer be given to the class. I then had a lengthy phone call
with the coordinator. They had already talked, and he had claimed that
he had only used these techniques on two clients in his entire career.
I said that was two clients too many. Interestingly, I was not the
only member of the class who had contacted her to object to the
statements. That's an encouraging indication that our educational
efforts are getting through. It's remarkable that in a class of only
about 30 people, there were two people who were knowledgeable enough
about false memories and confident enough about their knowledge to
proactively contact the coordinator and object to his false claims.

The following week, he was scheduled to give a second presentation.
The coordinator opened that class, with him present, by referring to
his statements of the previous week, categorizing them as a "comments
about a personal experience he'd had," and giving a lengthy disclaimer
that ran on for several minutes noting that there had been "a lot of
research and debate on both sides of this issue" and encouraging class
members to contact her if they wanted more information. I think it's
safe to say that the visiting presenter will never forget the private
dressing-down he received, has learned a painful and memorable lesson,
and will hesitate to bring up his "recovered memory" work in future
presentations he gives. The war against junk science never ends, but
we are making progress. People are learning, remembering, and speaking
out against junk science and bad therapy. Truth wins in the end!
                                                             A brother

Here we are, among the remaining and aging victims of the ghastly
dirty joke, probably one day facing death unreconciled. I am leaving a
note with my other daughter that if her sister does ever come to her
senses she should know that I forgive her -- for a worse guilty fate
must await those who realize the irreparable and completely
unnecessary harm they've done.  
                                                                 A dad

        |  "We cannot change our memories, but we can change |
        |  their meaning and the power they have over us."   |
        |                                    David Seamands  |

*                           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.                   *
*                                                                    *
*                     MAKING  MIND  and  MADNESS                     *
*                    From Hysteria to Depression                     *
*                                                                    *
*                Chapter 3: "A Black Box Named Sybil"                *
*                                                                    *
*                       Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen                        *
*                     Cambridge University Press                     *
*                                2009                                *
*                                                                    *
*                        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.         *
*                                                                    *
*                      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                     *
*                                        *
*                                           *
*                                       *
*                                           *
*                                                                    *
*                                                                    *
* 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
  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
  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 FALL 2009 issue is September 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,          July 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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