FMSF NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE - Summer 2010 - Vol. 19, 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 2010 Vol. 19 No. 3
      ISSN #1069-0484. Copyright (c) 2010 by the FMS Foundation
The FMSF Newsletter will be published 4 times  in  2010  by the  False
Memory  Syndrome  Foundation  and delivered electronically. It is also
available at on the  FMSF website:  Those without
        access to the Internet should contact the Foundation.
           1955 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-5766
                 Phone 215-940-1040, Fax 215-940-1042
       The next e-mail newsletter will be sent in October 2010

Dear Friends, 

Some interesting legal decisions have occurred since the last
newsletter. In May, a North Carolina Superior Court judge made a
precedent setting ruling that testimony regarding "repressed" and
"recovered" memory was to be excluded from a criminal rape trial. The
decision came after a pre-trial hearing that featured contrasting
arguments from Dr. Harrison G. Pope and Dr. James A. Chu, both at
McLean Hospital in Massachusetts. (See below.) The prosecution has
stated that it intends to appeal, but if this ruling is upheld, it
would effectively deny admission of any recovered memory testimony in
North Carolina criminal cases.

The Governor of Arizona signed a bill in May that tightens the
standards for expert testimony in civil cases. The change replaces the
decade-old 2000 Arizona Supreme Court decision in Logerquist v.
Danforth in which the Court held that rules regarding scientific
evidence do not apply to something as unscientific as repressed
memory. That Court was confident that jurors could determine the
reliability of testimony by expert witnesses "as least as right as the
trial judge." The new legislation brings Arizona's legal system into
line with evidence standards used in federal courts and most state
courts. Long-time readers of the FMSF Newsletter may recall the 11
articles devoted to Logerquist. It was as difficult to understand the
Arizona Court's thinking then as it has been to understand the
Massachusetts Court's decision in Shanley [1]this year.

Claims of "repressed and recovered" memories brought by alleged
victims represent just one of many problems with witness testimony.
Recall that in the early 1990s, some people actually argued that
"repressed and recovered" memories were even better than ordinary
memories because they had been encapsulated and were thus pristine.
Anyone who argued that today would likely be considered woefully
outdated. Much has been learned in the past two decades about the
reliability of "repressed and recovered" memories.

Another problem in the courts is the reliability of eyewitness
testimony. New Jersey, which is already a national leader in the area
of improving procedures with eyewitness testimony, has just completed
a massive inquiry on that problem. The report's author, retired Judge
Geoffrey Gaulkin, has recommended that New Jersey go beyond what any
state or federal court system has done. He has recommended that judges
assess factors that might limit a witness's reliability in picking
someone out of a lineup, either in person or in a photo array.[2]
Problems with eyewitness identification became known because of DNA
testing. About three-quarters of the 254 defendants exonerated by DNA
testing were convicted based mostly on eyewitness testimony. According
to Gaulkin, research has shown that about one-third of witnesses who
pick out suspects choose the wrong person. If the New Jersey
recommendations are followed, and it seems likely that they will be,
prosecutors will be required to prove the reliability of an eyewitness
during a pretrial hearing.

The Tonya Craft case in Georgia highlights the potential problems with
children's testimony. When is it reliable? (See below.) Certainly not
when the children are offered rewards or given suggestive questions as
they were in the Craft case. In May, a jury found the kindergarten
teacher not guilty of molesting three children, one of whom was her
own. But this was not before Tonya lost her children and her job and
she and her parents spent approximately $500,000 for her defense.

In 2010, how could a person be falsely accused and lose everything
when so much is now known about proper interview techniques with
children, about claims of recovered repressed memories, and about
eyewitness identification? Unfortunately, people are still being
accused and sometimes convicted based on testimony that is tainted,
whether by therapeutic influence, poor interviewing, or poor police
identification procedures. Sadly, the problem persists and defending
such cases places a huge financial burden on the accused. Those who do
not have the resources for experts and investigations may be
convicted. In this issue, there is a revealing letter from someone who
was convicted. (See below.) This person did not have financial
resources and relied on a public defender. He describes an apology he
received from the accuser. Will he ever be able to clear his name?

Fortunately, there have been many (but not enough) hard-working,
caring attorneys who have been heroes in some cases. The late attorney
Donald Fiedler in Omaha persisted in studying the research on
suggestion and followed up by exposing the problems with a cognitive
interview that lasted 30 hours. The "memories" recovered in that
interview were the basis of a lawsuit against his client. Whitehouse
and colleagues have written a brilliant analysis of that case and the
problems with that particular cognitive interview and the assumptions
behind it. (See below.)

New books still appear. Some seem caught in a time warp. (See A Long
Journey to Joy, below) Others push understanding forward. For example,
a book by Lilienfeld (see below) called 50 Great Myths of Popular
Psychology informs readers:

"Today, there's broad consensus among psychologists that memory isn't
reproductive -- it doesn't duplicate precisely what we've experienced
-- but reconstructive. What we recall is often a blurry mixture of
accurate and inaccurate recollections, along with what jells with our
beliefs and hunches. Rather than viewing our memory as a tape
recorder, we can more aptly describe our memory as an ever-changing
medium that highlights our ability to create fluid narratives of our

New articles, both popular and scholarly, have not slowed down. A
truly informative and fun popular series of articles entitled "The
Memory Doctor: The Future of False Memories" by William Saletan
appeared online in Slate. (See below.) Based on the work of Elizabeth
Loftus, the series emphasizes that memory is mutable and memories can
be changed, especially in the context of faked images. The first
articles in the series, 'The Ministry of Truth,' is a reference to
George Orwell's 1984. Slate, with electronic access to thousands of
readers, conducted its own study: A mass experiment in altering
political memories. Five thousand two-hundred seventy nine people
participated in the experiment during the first three days it was
posted. And... you'll have to read the article to learn what the
researchers found out. This is a terrific series to suggest to someone
you think should know more about claims of repressed memories.

Sometimes it seems that we progress two steps and then fall back
one. These past few months, it has seemed to be slow but steady

We wish you a very happy summer.


[1] See FMSF Newsletter 18(4) for review of Shanley decision.

[2] Perez-Pena, R. (2010, June 21) Use of eyewitnesses in Jew Jersey
Courts Needs Change, Ex-Judge Says. New York Times. Retrieved on
6/21/10 from

Lounsberry, E. (2010, June 28). N.J. is a leader in questioning
eyewitness testimony. Philadelphia Inquirer, B1.

/                                                                    \
| "The means to secure a fair trial for an accused faced with        |
| historic allegations lie in careful directions to the jury which   |
| expose the difficulties created for accused persons and at the     |
| same time to remind the jury of the frailty of human memory in the |
| context of the particular allegations made and the time frame      |
| concerned."                                                        |
|                                           Lord Justice Higgins     |
|                                                                    |
|                      Reported in Sexual abuse convictions quashed, |
|                                             BBC News, May 31, 2010 |
|                                         Retrieved on 6/1/2010 from |
|  |

                             In Memoriam
                            MARTIN GARDNER
                             FMSF Advisor

Martin Gardner died on May 22, 2010 in Norman, Oklahoma. He was 95.
Although his work spanned many areas, countless people knew about and
were influenced by Martin Gardner because of the mathematical puzzles
column that he wrote for 25 years in Scientific American. Indeed, the
American Mathematics Society awarded the prestigious Steele Prize for
Mathematical Exposition to Gardner in 1987 for his efforts to
introduce mathematical concepts and challenges to the public.

FMS Foundation members know Martin Gardner for his tireless efforts to
expose the pseudoscientific foundations of the ideas surrounding
belief in recovered memories. He first wrote about the problem of FMS
in 1993 in his Skeptical Inquirer column 'Notes of a Fringe-Watcher,'
and he continued to write about the damage caused by FMS whenever he

Gardner was the consummate skeptic and debunker of claims of the
paranormal. He published 70 books and wrote fiction, poetry and
literary and film criticism in addition to his mathematical work. "He
was so prolific and wide-ranging in his interests that critics
speculated that there just had to be more than one of him," wrote
Douglas Martin in a New York Times obituary.

In 'Quack Detector,' a 1982 New York Review of Books essay about
Gardner's book Science: Good, Bad and Bogus, Stephen Jay Gould wrote
that Martin Gardner "has become a priceless national resource," a
writer "who can combine wit, penetrating analysis, sharp prose, and
sweet reason into an expansive view that expunges nonsense without
stifling innovation, and that presents the excitement and humanity of
science in a positive way...."

Mr. Gardner held hope that the repressed memory bugaboo would be
dispelled. In 1995 he told us: "I think jurors, attorneys, judges, and
media bigwigs are slowly becoming educated about the crisis." He
believed that a successful resolution to the recovered memory therapy
issue would likely hinge on courtroom developments. Events have proven
him correct. It is fitting that Douglas Hofstadter said: "Martin
Gardner [was] one of the great intellects produced in this country in
the 20th century." With that we most certainly agree, but would add
that his intellect was framed in kindness and concern for humanity.

Gardner , M. (1993). Notes of a fringe-watcher: The false memory
  syndrome. Skeptical Inquirer, 17, 370-375.
Gould, S.J. (1992, February 4). Quack detector. New York Review of
  Books. Retrieved on 6/2/10 from
Hofstadter, D. Quoted in Martin, D. (2010, May 23). Martin Gardner,
  puzzler and polymath, dies at 95. New York Times. Retrieved on 6/12/10
Martin, D. (2010, May 23). Martin Gardner, puzzler and polymath, dies
  at 95. New York Times. Retrieved on 6/12/10 from

/                                                                    \
|                      Who Would Have Guessed?                       |
|             'Robin Hood' Recovered Repressed Memories              |
|                                                                    |
| The new movie "Robin Hood" is not the usual story of a gallant     |
| archer and a band of Merry Men. Instead, the movie is about the    |
| origin of Robin Hood and how that band of Merry Men came to        |
| be. "Today's Robin Hood is far more complex, a tortured soul       |
| suffering from repressed-memory syndrome."[1]                      |
|                                                                    |
| Even though the cast features stars Russell Crowe and Cate         |
| Blanchett, reviews have been generally negative. For example:      |
| "Simultaneously simplistic and over-plotted, revisionist and       |
| predictable, this "Robin Hood" has trouble getting untracked and,  |
| once it does, proves an awkward mix of international geopolitics,  |
| repressed memory, old-fashioned villainy, human rights advocacy,   |
| the Magna Carta and pigeons that send secret messages."[2]         |
|                                                                    |
| Just what is the repressed memory? Through the use of              |
| repressed-memory flashbacks, viewers learn that Robin Hood's       |
| father actually wrote the Magna Carta!                             |
|                                                                    |
| [1] Zacharek, S. (2010, May 12). Ugly, interminable Robin Hood     |
|     steals from audiences. Retrieved on 5/25/10 from               |
|      |
|     hood-steals-from-audiences.php                                 |
|                                                                    |
| [2] Turan, K. (2010, May 13). Movie review: 'Robin Hood' is all    |
|     over the Sherwood Forest. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on      |
|     5/13/10 from   |
|     la-et-robin-hood-20100513                                      |

                       UPDATE from NEW ZEALAND

Here in NZ, the main issue is the October 2009 change in the way in
which Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) claims for mental injury
resulting from sexual abuse are being handled. Such claims cost
taxpayers around $47 -- $48 Million a year, including approximately
$10 million a year for counselors.

The relevant legislation, enacted by the Labor Government in 2001,
requires claimants to have been mentally injured as a result of a
sexual crime as defined in the Crimes Act -- not very different to
what the earlier versions of that Act said. Counselors in NZ are
mainly unregistered and are not competent to make diagnoses of that
nature. In the past, neither ACC nor Counselors bothered to get a
proper diagnosis of the mental injury, and asking for proof of the
sexual crime was unheard of.

ACC's new administrative approach -- prompted by a Government
directive to review its processes and reduce costs where possible --
is to apply the legislation much more rigorously by demanding a
professional diagnosis of the claimed mental injury.

The Counselors have been attacking ACC for making the changes. Some
ninety articles have been published in newspapers and other media
since last October. I have been busy writing replies to many of the
articles. And so the battle continues.
                                                          Gordon Waugh

                        TWO BOOKS of INTEREST
                50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology:
      Shattering Widespread Misconceptions about Human Behavior.
 Scott O Lilienfeld, Steven Jay Lynn, John Ruscio, Barry L Beyerstein
                        Wiley-Blackwell, 2009

In a most readable fashion, Lilienfeld and colleagues "unpack myths
that many, including most psychologists, believe and accept are fact,
but there may indeed be no evidence for them." [1] Following are some
of the myths that they address as described by them on Amazon:

MYTH # 1: "Most people use only 10% of their brain power. There are
several reasons to doubt that 90% of the human brain of most people
lies silent. At a mere 2-3% of our body weight, our brain consumes
over 20% of the oxygen we breathe. It's implausible that evolution
would have permitted the squandering of resources on a scale necessary
to build and maintain such a massively underutilized organ. Moreover,
losing far less than 90% of the brain to accident or disease almost
always has catastrophic consequences (Kolb & Whishaw, 2003).

"How did the 10% myth get start ed? One clue leads back about a
century to psychologist William James, who once wrote that he doubted
that average persons achieve more than about 10% of their intellectual
potential. Although James talked in terms of underdeveloped potential,
a slew of positive thinking gurus transformed "10% of our capacity"
into "10% of our brain" (Beyerstein, 1999).

MYTH # 2: "It's better to express anger than to hold it in. If you're
like most people, you believe that releasing anger is healthier than
bottling it up. In one survey, 66% of undergraduates agreed that
expressing pent-up anger -- sometimes called "catharsis" -- is an
effective means of reducing one's risk for aggression (Brown, 1983).

"Yet more than 40 years of research reveals that expressing anger
directly toward another person or indirectly (such as toward an
object) actually turns up the heat on aggression (Bushman, Baumeister,
& Stack, 1999; Tavris, 1988). Research suggests that expressing anger
is helpful only when it's accompanied by constructive problem-solving
designed to address the source of the anger (Littrell, 1998).

"Why is this myth so popular? In all likelihood, people often
mistakenly attribute the fact that they feel better after they express
anger to catharsis, rather than to the fact that anger usually
subsides on its own after awhile." (Lohr, Olatunji, Baumeister, &
Bushman, 2007)."

MYTH # 3: "Low Self-Esteem is a Major Cause of Psychological
Problems. Many popular psychologists have long maintained that low
self-esteem is a prime culprit in generating unhealthy behaviors,
including violence, depression, anxiety, and alcoholism. The
self-esteem movement has found its way into mainstream educational
practices. Some athletic leagues award trophies to all schoolchildren
to avoid making losing competitors feel inferior (Sommers & Satel,
2005). Moreover, the Internet is chock full of educational products
intended to boost children's self-esteem.

"But there's a fly in the ointment: Research shows that low self
esteem isn't strongly associated with poor mental health. In a
painstakingly -- and probably painful! -- review, Roy Baumeister and
his colleagues (2003) canvassed over 15,000 studies linking self-
esteem to just about every conceivable psychological variable. They
found that self-esteem is minimally related to interpersonal success,
and not consistently related to alcohol or drug abuse. Perhaps most
surprising of all, they found that "low self-esteem is neither
necessary nor sufficient for depression." (Baumeister et al., 2003,
p. 6).

MYTH # 4: "Human memory works like a tape recorder or video camera, and
accurately records the events we've experienced. Despite the sometimes
all-too-obvious failings of everyday memory, surveys show that many
people believe that their memories operate very much like tape
recorders, video cameras, or DVDs. It's true that we often recall
extremely emotional events, sometimes called flashbulb memories
because they seem to have a photographic quality (Brown & Kulik,
1977). Nevertheless, research shows that even these memories wither
over time and are prone to distortions (Krackow, Lynn, & Payne,

"Today, there's broad consensus among psychologists that memory isn't
reproductive -- it doesn't duplicate precisely what we've experienced
-- but reconstructive. What we recall is often a blurry mixture of
accurate and inaccurate recollections, along with what jells with our
beliefs and hunches. Rather than viewing our memory as a tape
recorder, we can more aptly describe our memory as an ever-changing
medium that highlights our ability to create fluid narratives of our

MYTH # 5: "Hypnosis is a unique "trance" state that differs in kind
from wakefulness. Popular movies and books portray the hypnotic trance
state as so powerful that otherwise normal people will commit an
assassination (The Manchurian Candidate); commit suicide (The Garden
Murders); perceive only a person's internal beauty (Shallow Hal); and
our favorite, fall victim to brainwashing by alien preachers who use
messages embedded in sermons (Invasion of the Space Preachers).

"But research shows that hypnotized people can resist and even oppose
hypnotic suggestions (Lynn, Rhue, & Weekes, 1990; Nash, 2001), and
won't do things that are out of character, like harming people they
dislike. In addition, hypnosis bears no more than a superficial
resemblance to sleep: Brain wave studies reveal that hypnotized people
are wide awake.

"So there's no reason to believe that hypnosis differs in kind from
normal wakefulness. Instead, hypnosis appears to be only one procedure
among many for increasing people's responses to suggestions."

More information about each of these myths and a complete list of
references are available in 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology. Many
myths are easily recognized as false by most people, Some, however,
such as the idea that severe child abuse invariably causes lasting
psychological damage, are more persistent and require a careful
analysis of the evidence to help people understand.

Chapter three of 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology covers myths
about memory. It is great to see accurate information about memory
presented in such a compelling manner. Now, if only therapists and
interviewers read it!

[1] Sugarman, R. (2010, June 22). Psychology. Review. Metapsychology
  online reviews. Vol. 14, Issue 25)Retrieved on 6/22/10 from
                           Memory Matters:
        Contexts for Understanding Sexual Abuse Recollections
                    Haaken, J. & Reavey, P. (Eds.)
                           Routledge, 2010

Memory Matters is an edited collection of articles by authors with
feminist and critical perspectives within psychology. The editors

  "More than any other issue in the late twentieth century, the
  recovered memory debate polarized the mental health field and legal
  community, with feminists -- both in academia and in service work --
  heavily aligned with the recovered memory side of the controversy."
  (P. 1)

Haaken and Reavey believe that the controversy is far enough past that
they can now look at the issues with some perspective. Memory Matters

  "grew out of an effort to collectively reflect on this period of
  controversy, and to sort through the issue from the vantage point of
  some historical distance." (P. 2)

The editors believe that the subject of repression and false memories
has generally faded from public view.

  "[I]n this book we argue that neither of the dominant positions in
  the 'war' over memory -- the true versus false memory positions --
  decisively prevailed in public or academic discourse over childhood
  memory. Although some softened hardline positions, others turned
  away entirely from the issues because of the bitter acrimony
  generated by moral claims on both sides. We began this collection of
  papers with the premise that memory may 'matter' more or less, given
  a specific context, and that there are many 'matters' concerning
  everyday contexts shaping processes of remembering that have yet to
  be addressed. (P. 2)

>From the editors: 

  "[W]hat matters about recovered memory is not solely whether the
  events recounted are literally 'true' or not, but rather the ways in
  which women are able to articulate multiple and at times ambiguous
  meanings in relations to sexuality, embodiment and emotional
  distress." (Ashmore & Brown, P. 19)

At this point most FMSF Newsletter readers are probably ready to
shout: "Wait! When you are accused of a heinous crime, the truth or
falsity of an accusation most certainly does matter!"

We suspect none of the authors would disagree. Their interest,
however, is examining the repressed and recovered memory controversy
from the sociological and feminist perspectives of the role of women
in our society.

  "A primary aim of this volume is to bring into focus key historical
  dynamics and contests over power that shape the terms of storied
  forms of remembering, and particularly in matters concerning
  sexuality and childhood." (P. 2)

That is certainly a legitimate perspective, and it may help to bring
understanding of the issues to people who are uncomfortable with a
focus on the psychological memory issues. Although it will not help
people understand the effect on someone of being falsely accused and
the single-minded intensity with which a falsely accused person works
to have his name and character restored, we were pleased to note that
the False Memory Syndrome Foundation is referenced respectfully in
this volume and described accurately:

  "By the early 1990s an organization formed in the United States, the
  False Memory Syndrome Foundation, which mounted a campaign to
  establish the role of suggestibility in producing evidence of
  'false' memories." (P. 2)

The book is scholarly but accessible to FMSF readers. It seems to be
aimed at students and practitioners.

                          Table of Contents

J. Haaken, P. Reavey, Why Memory Still Matters: Disturbing
SECTION 1: Looking Back on the Recovered Memory Debate: Claims and
M. Ashmore, S.D. Brown, On Changing One's Mind Twice: The Strange
  Credibility of Retracting Recovered Memories.
J. Ost, K. Nunkoosing, Reconstructing Bartlett and Revisiting
  Retractions of Contested Claims of Abuse.
J.F. Motzkau, Speaking Up Against Justice: Credibility, Suggestibility
  and Children's Memory on Trial.
J. Kitzinger, Transformations of Public and Private Knowledge:
  Audience Reception, Feminism and the Experience of Childhood Sexual
J. Woodiwiss, 'Alternative Memories' and the Construction of a Sexual
  Abuse Narrative.
SECTION 2.: Widening the Lens: Cultural Contexts for Remembering Child
  Sexual Abuse.
P. Reavey, The Spaces of Memory: Rethinking Agency Through
K. Robson, 'Truth', Memory and Narrative in Memoirs of Child Sexual
R. Fyson, J. Cromby, Memory, Sexual Abuse and the Politics of Learning
S. Campbell, Memory, Truth, and the Search for an Authentic Past.
E. Burman, Therapy as Memory-work: Dilemmas of Discovery, Recovery and
J. Haaken, Transformative Remembering: Feminism, Psychoanalysis, and
  Recollections of Abuse.

To view some of the book go to:

           The Memory Doctor: The Future of False Memories
                  By William Saletan, Slate Magazine

'The Memory Doctor' is an information packed series of eight articles
grounded in the memory research of Elizabeth Loftus, Ph.D. Not only is
the material fascinating, the comments from readers that follow the
articles reveal what Slate readers think about and know about memory
and false memories. All the articles can be accessed through the URL

The series opens with a bang. The title, 'The Ministry of Truth,' is a
reference to George Orwell's 1984. Memory is mutable and memories can
be changed, especially in the context of faked images. Slate, with
electronic access to thousands of readers, conducted its own study: A
mass experiment in altering political memories.

Five thousand two-hundred seventy nine people participated in the
experiment during the first three days it was posted. People were
shown both doctored (i.e. a picture of Sen. Joe Lieberman voting to
convict President Clinton at his impeachment trial. Lieberman actually
voted for acquittal.) and factual photos of events. Each person saw
three true incidents and one randomly selected fake incident. At the
end, the participants were told that one of the four incidents was
fake and were instructed to guess which one. (Readers can see the
images following links in the article.)

The results were similar to previous laboratory findings. The average
rate of false memories was about 30 percent but when pictures are
added the rate goes up.

  "In a sample of a highly educated and informed subjects -- Slate
  readers -- half came to remember bogus political stories as
  true. Even when they were told that one of the four incidents they
  had seen was fake, and even when that incident was a complete
  fabrication, half of this deceived group -- and 37% of the overall
  sample -- couldn't guess which one. A modern-day Ministry of Truth
  could alter memories on a mass scale."

  "Seeing is believing, even when what you're seeing is fabricated."

We highly recommend The Memory Doctor. For anyone who wants to explain
false memories to others, this is a great resource.

Articles in the series:
Part 1:    The Ministry of Truth ,  May 23
Part II:   Removable Truths: A memory expert's inexpungible past,. 
           May 24
Part III:  Leading the Witness: Contaminated memories and criminal
           justice, May 26..
Part IV:   The Recipe: A Cookbook for memories of sexual abuse. May 27
Part V:    Truth or Consequences?  May 27
Part VI:   The Road to Therapy,  May 29
Part VII:  Training Humans,  May 31
Part VIII  The Future of the past, June 1.

         Whitehouse, W. G., Orne, E. C., Dinges, D. F. (2010)
    Extreme Cognitive interviewing: A blueprint for false memories
   through imagination inflation. International Journal of Clinical
              and Experimental Hypnosis 58(3), 269-287.

What is a cognitive interview? The authors explain: 

  "As it was originally intended, the cognitive interview consisted of
  four primary mnemonic components:

  (a) Mentally reinstate the context of the event; 
  (b) Report everything (i.e. don't censor recollections that you
      think are unimportant);
  (c) Change perspectives (i.e., recall events from the point of view of
      someone else who witnessed the event);
  (d) Recall events in a different order -- that were to be implemented
      as needed in a protocol that emphasized free-narrative, followed
      by focused-questions and recall formats."

Over the years the cognitive interview has been revised. This
extremely well written article demonstrates how a cognitive interview
can be misused in a way to facilitate the development of false

On May 29, 2007, Sarpy County Nebraska District Judge William Zastera
ruled that Lenora Kay Parker could not testify about her childhood
memories of her mother's murder in 1971.[1] Parker, who was 4-years-
old at the time of the murder, was the chief witness in the case
against her father, Donald Sykora. 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.

According to 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.

The purpose of the 30-hour interview in 2004 was to help Lenora Parker
remember the details of an alleged vision of her father strangling her
mother in 1971. The interview was not tape-recorded. Instead, one
officer took notes as he sat in another room and observed. At one
point during the interview, the group even left to visit the grave of
Parker's mother.

Whitehouse and colleagues present an analysis of all of the reports,
letters, interviews and notes in this case to show convincingly where
and how the process went astray. They note that interviews rarely
extend beyond four hours. They ask why there was a cognitive interview
in the first place. Why, after a length of 33 years "should it even be
possible to 'refresh' details of an event so far in the past?" They

  "The very foundation of the notion of traumatic memory loss,
  recoverable by hypnosis or guided imagery or a prolonged and extreme
  cognitive interview, is not only questionable but should be rejected
  out-right based on scientific evidence..."

If you would like a copy of this article, contact the FMSF.
[1] FMSF Newsletter 2009 Vol. 18(2) and 2007 Vol. 16(4) for more
    information about this case.

       New Book: A Long Journey to Joy: A Memoir of a Recovery
                 Yonah Klem, IUniverse, Inc. New York

Recovery memoirs are powerful documentation of the circumstances that
may have influenced the authors to believe that they had recovered
"repressed memories" of childhood sexual abuse. Can we tell if the
writers really were abused? We have no way of knowing. We can,
however, observe the context in which the "memories" arose and came to
be believed. We can conclude whether or not the memories were
recovered in a suggestive environment.

A Long Journey to Joy: A Memoir of a Recovery is the self-published
story of a highly suggestive therapy climate. Author Yonah Klem,
clearly a highly intelligent, kind, and talented person, tells readers
that she experienced shame, chronic depression, and anxiety from her
early teens but had no idea why. She started to see a therapist while
she was in college and found the process so interesting that in 1981
when she was 38-years-old, she entered a doctoral program to become a
counselor. Previous to that she had been trained at the Gestalt
Institute in Chicago and she had therapy with many professionals, the
most influential appearing to be "James."

  'The first time I worked with James [six months before they were
  both students at the Gestalt Institute in 1977] he led a small group
  of people in a guided imagery exercise in which we imagined
  ourselves rising above our bodies and observing our own deaths. I
  went into a very deep trance state, from which he did not have the
  skill to help me get completely out. For several days I drifted in
  and out of a very spacey altered state of consciousness...."
  (P. 140)

  "I had not had any contact with James for another five years until
  the marathon in 1987. I heard, in the meantime, that he had been
  studying Reichian Bioenergetics... I was ready to be quite
  critical. After all, I had immersed myself in Bioenergetic theory,
  if not practice, and had some opinions on the matter." (P. 141)

When she was in her late 40s after her mother's death, Klem came to
believe that she had been sexually abused as a child. This happened
after a "marathon weekend."

  "The marathon involved some movement and other kinds of body-work,
  as well as some kinds of awareness and expressive exercises I was
  familiar with from other workshops I had attended. In addition, all
  of the participants did individual work with Ray and James as well.
  Much more intense feeling came up than I expected, which was
  startling and unsettling, as if this was all somehow too much, too
  fast." (P. 141)

The first memories after the marathon were of abuse by her uncle from
ages 7 to 16. (Page 142) Her therapist James asks her if she has ever
done a sexual history. "Do you think there's more?" I asked James.
'Yes,' he said, without elaborating." Klem goes on to recover memories
of abuse by her father up until the age of five.

  "My work with James was intense and exhausting every time I saw
  him. Dreams and images and frequent contact with Shama and other
  Inner Guides provided resources I hadn't known how to use the first
  time I was in therapy...." (P. 145) "Once, in an effort to encourage
  me to open my mouth and make a sound, James reached over and lightly
  placed his finger on my chin and then took his hand away. As my lips
  parted, my throat closed. I could barely breathe. My lungs hurt as
  if I were suffocating. My heart missed a few beats.

  "When I finally settled down, startled and unnerved by what my body
  has just been doing, I asked James what happened. He said something
  vague, a speculation about something filling my mouth at some time
  in the past. After a while, an old memory came to mind, of lying on
  the dining room chairs of my grandparents' apartment on a very dark
  and stormy night. Now there were more details. My arms had been
  pinned down at my side as someone straddled me and shoved something
  into my mouth and into my throat. I hadn't made a sound except for
  gagging when I was two, and I couldn't make one in James's
  office. "(P. 188)

Klem described more of her therapy including Eye Movement
Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).

  "Several years before, Peg and I learned this powerful technique for
  dealing with traumatic memories... We did it in James's office, with
  me holding on to him with every bit of strength I had.

  "In an arduous, terrifying session, it became clear that I never
  thought I would survive that time in the big room. With much more
  vivid details this time I could recall how I stood naked off to the
  side, all the men's attention on torturing the other
  girl... (P. 239)

In a recent article about her new book, Yonah Klem is said to refer
"to herself as the poster child for repressed memories and strongly
disputes the existence of false memory syndrome."[1] It seems clear
from the descriptions in her book, however, that the author recovered
many, if not most, of her memories using therapies known to enhance
the development of false memories with a therapist who provided both
direct and indirect suggestions.

[1] Millen, K. (2010, May 12). At long last, joy. Naperville Sun.
    Retrieved on 5/17/2010 from

/                                                                    \
| Join retractor, Jeanette Bartha on her new Facebook page: Multiple |
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| information sharing, and breaking news.                            |


On May 11, 2010 in the Georgia Catoosa County Superior Court, a jury
of seven men and five women found kindergarten teacher Tonya Craft not
guilty of molesting three children, one of whom was her own daughter.

Craft, who is now 37-years-old, was arrested in June of 2008, accused
of molesting three girls ages 5 and 6 in her home between August 2005
and May 2007. She subsequently lost not only her job but also custody
of her daughter.

Although this is not a "repressed and recovered-memory" case, it
received national coverage and it doe highlight two points that
pertain to sex abuse cases: first, defending oneself against any
charge of child sexual abuse is tremendously expensive. Tonya Craft
spent about $500,000. for her legal defense team. Her parents
mortgaged their home and used all of their savings and retirement
moneys. Second, ignorance about proper interviewing techniques
apparently remains widespread.

There were many conflicting details in the children's accusations. In
addition, experts for the defense pointed out specific areas in which
poor interviewing may have contaminated the children's memories.

For example, William Bernet, M.D. of Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital
in Nashville testified that "Interviewers need to know how to ask
questions the right way and how to allow the child to tell a free
narrative of what happened to them." Dr. Bernet was concerned that the
interviews may have rewarded the children for their answers. He noted
that in one interview a child mentioned that she would receive a toy
when she was done and that in another the child mentioned that she
would be getting her hair done.

Dr. Bernet also testified: "There's another process that's apparent
from the interviews, and that is the little girls appear to be
influenced and have gotten information from their parents."

Nancy Aldridge, Ph.D., a licensed social worker and clinical
psychologist also testified for the defense and was also concerned
about parental influence. She testified that the parents of the
children should not have been making numerous calls to one another.
She also cited flaws in the interviews of the children. She said: "By
asking the child 'Did Miss Tonya ever tell you to touch each other,'
what is the impact of that?" That is a suggestive question.

Judge Brian House presided. Assistant District Attorneys Len Gregor
and Chris Arnt prosecuted the case. The defense attorney was
Demosthenes Lorandos, Ph.D., J.D. of Lorandos & Associates in Ann
Arbor, Michigan.

Cook, A. (2010, May 5). Craft trial: psychiatrist criticizes child
  interviews. Rome News Tribune, 7A
Norwood, D. (2010, May 3) Social worked cites "errors" in handling of
  Tonya Craft accusers. Chattanoogan. Retrieved on 5/12/10 from


On September 25, 2009 in Las Vegas, the FBI arrested Phyllis Stevens
who was accused of embezzling about $6 million from the Des Moines
insurance company Aviva. The 20-count indictment included money
laundering, wire fraud, identity theft and computer fraud in
connection with theft. Stevens, who worked for the company for 35
years, is accused of creating a computer program that channeled
commission payments into a bank account jointly held by her and a
companion. The case has attracted attention, not only because

Stevens was chair of the Iowa branch of Marriage Equality USA, a group
dedicated to legal parity for gay and lesbian families, but also
because she claims that she is unable to stand trial as a result of
suffering from multiple personality disorder.

In May, Phyllis Stevens' attorney William Kutmus, filed a motion
asking that there be a hearing to determine whether she was competent
to stand trial that is scheduled for August 16, 2010. According to
Kutmus, two psychiatrists, 20 years apart, have diagnosed her with
dissociative identity disorder. Kutmus claims: "The stress of a
courtroom proceeding may morph defendant Stevens to an altered
personality as a method to defend herself. A new personality may
surface at any moment in time to replace the old personality."

Phyllis Stevens is scheduled to stand trial in U.S. District Court
with Marla Stevens, her spouse. Marla Stevens is accused of conspiring
to launder and spend stolen money and has entered a plea of not guilty
according to her attorney Trevor Hook.

Phyllis Stevens was first diagnosed with MPD by an Indianapolis
psychiatrist in 1988 and remained in treatment until 1995. The most
recent diagnosis is by Des Moines psychiatrist David Drake, D.O. Drake
wrote that Phyllis Stevens lives "with an internal world where
different parts of her take over different functions and act in ways
she is not even aware of."[1] "My overarching impression is that
Phyllis Stevens underwent severe physical, sexual and emotional abuse
in both homes growing up -- even to the point of torture." "She was
also raised with the 'mantra' of her adoptive mother that to be
successful in life, she had to make a lot of money.

If Phyllis Stevens were found incompetent to stand trial, she would be
required to receive treatment and possibly be required to go to trial
later when found competent. The prosecution can request that Stevens
be evaluated by a psychiatrist of its choice in opposition to the

[1] Witosky, T. (2010, May 13). Attorney says Phyllis Stevens, accused
    Aviva embezzler, has many identities.
    Retrieved on 5/13/10 from

[2] Associated Press. (2009, September 28). Officials: Iowan embezzled
    $5.9M from Aviva. KCCI DesMoines 8. Retrieved on June 5, 2010

| "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 the future."                                              |
|                                                    Lewis B. Smedes |

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

   North Carolina Prosecutors May Appeal Precedent-Setting Decision
    North Carolina v M.C.K., # 05 CRS 6148 09CRS 5471, -75, & -76,
        Moore County Superior Court. Hearing, April 12, 2010.
In May, North Carolina Superior Court Judge John O. Craig III ruled
that testimony regarding "repressed" and "recovered" memory was to be
excluded from a criminal rape trial. The decision came after a pre-
trial hearing that featured contrasting arguments from Dr. Harrison
G. Pope, director of the Biological Psychiatry Laboratory at Harvard
Medical School's McLean Hospital and Dr. James A. Chu, Chief of
Hospital Clinical Services at McLean Hospital. Pope argued that the
notion of repressing and later recovering memories in response to
trauma is not a part of established science. Chu acknowledged that
there is a controversy but supported the idea that recovered memory
exists. According to a report in The Pilot, Chu "said that there is no
way to tell, in therapy, whether something a patient says is factually
true or an unconscious mechanism." [1]

The case began when a young woman in her late teens began to have
fainting spells and panic attacks and entered therapy with therapist
Liz Watson at Moore Regional Hospital's Behavioral Health Services.
According to documents in the case, during therapy the girl mentioned
an incident of falling in the bathtub at her father's house, of being
hurt, and of her mother taking her to the emergency ward. The patient
and therapist then "talked about how the mind will often protect one
by going somewhere else when something very difficult or painful might
be happening." At the next session the girl reported that she had
suddenly remembered that her father had lifted her from the bathtub
and thrown her against the wall and raped her.

In North Carolina, testimony about repressed and recovered memories of
childhood sexual cannot be admitted unless it is accompanied by expert
testimony on the subject of memory repression. The defense attorneys
filed a motion to suppress that testimony. (Barrett v. Hyldburg, '98)

Some comments from Judge Craig's decision as reported by John Chappell
in The Pilot. [1]

  "I kept thinking back to one remark that Dr. Chu made during his
  direct testimony. He said that this is an unconscious defense
  mechanism that repressed bad or traumatic memories, and he described
  it as being Freudian. And then he sort of parenthetically said you
  cannot disprove a Freudian mechanism. I think the converse is also
  true. It's very difficult to prove a Freudian mechanism."

  "Let's assume that we do call it in this instance an established
  scientific theory, if for no other reason than because it's been
  around for a while, and it's certainly been thoroughly
  discussed. And it's been criticized. Everyone is in agreement that
  it's controversial. Does that make it established? Well, I don't
  know. But let's assume just for the sake of going through this
  analysis that we can call it an established scientific theory."

  "Dr. Chu would be limited to giving an explanation to the jury that
  it was possible for the victim to have been experiencing a repressed
  memory or dissociative amnesia phenomenon so that the jury could
  evaluate the reliability of her testimony and decide whether she was
  telling the truth. And I think...this is a very narrow and limited
  opinion that Doctor Chu could give."

  "There is the reliability of the therapist who is taking down the
  notes and whether the therapist has been too suggestive, has asked
  leading questions, hasn't asked the right questions, how much
  training and experience does the therapist have, and so you've got
  that to contend with. And then finally you can overlay another
  problem, and that is other possible explanations for the behavior on
  the part of the -- victim patient, such as pseudo-memory -- some
  possible underlying agenda that has nothing to do with the repressed
  memory, but actually turns out to be something entirely different... 
  distorted memory, confabulation, pseudo memory and self-suggestion
  that would be emerging from the patient's internal mental workings."

  "It just runs the risk of confusing the jury or causing undue
  prejudice. And that's really what is comes down to."

Attorneys for the State of North Carolina, Laura Parker and Amber
Barwick, said that they would appeal the decision. If Craig's decision
is upheld, it would effectively deny admission of any recovered memory
testimony in North Carolina in criminal cases. Both sides agree that
Craig's ruling is a precedent affecting all cases of this kind in the
state of North Carolina

Defense attorneys are Patrick Mincey and Eddie Meacham of Van Camp,
Meacham & Newman in Pinehurst, NC.

[1] Chappell, J. (2010, May 16). Ruling in Carthage rape case makes
    new law. The Pilot. Retrieved on 5/16/10 from
    Chappell, J. (2010, May 20). State appeals precedent-setting
    ruling in rape case. The Pilot. Retrieved on 5/20/10 from
    Barrett v Hyldburg 94-CVS-793 (NC 1998) [on remand from the North
    Carolina Court of Appeals 487 S.E.2nd 803 (NC 1997)] "There has
    been no general acceptance in the relevant scientific community of
    the theory of repressed memory."

  Repressed Memory Does Not Toll Statute of Limitations in Ohio Case
   2009-0953.  Pratte v. Stewart, Slip Opinion No. 2010-Ohio-1860.
              Greene App. No. 08-CA-95, 2009-Ohio-1768.
              Judgment of the court of appeals affirmed.
The Ohio Supreme Court ruled that a 33-year-old woman could not bring
a lawsuit for alleged childhood sexual abuse because the statute of
limitations had passed. In 2006, Ohio passed a law that stated that
there is a 12-year statute of limitations for bringing claims. The
12-year period begins when a person turns 18.

On April 14, 2008, 33-year-old Amy Pratte filed a civil suit claiming
damages from Rodney Steward for alleged sexual abuse she experienced
as a child. In the complaint, she alleged that she had unconsciously
repressed the memories throughout her childhood until she saw a news
story on April 20, 2007 that caused her to remember. The court denied
her suit and she appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court arguing that the
statute of limitations should begin when a person recovers repressed

The Supreme Court upheld the trial court. The Court noted that the
only exception to the statute of limitations is when the defendant
fraudulently conceals facts from the plaintiff. The Court noted the
legislature could have included a tolling provision for repressed
memory, but it chose not to do so when it wrote the law.

The Court did not rule on the scientific reliability of recovered
memories. Indeed, the Court seems to accept repressed memories
stating: "We are cognizant of the proposition that some victims of
childhood sexual abuse may not recover their memories of the abuse
prior to the expiration of the 12-year statute of limitations, and we
are not without compassion for those victims."

                 UPDATE: Governor Signs Arizona Bill
         to Tighten Expert Testimony Standards in Civil Cases
On May 10, 2010, the Governor of Arizona signed a bill that will
tighten the standards for expert testimony in civil cases. The Arizona
Senate had approved the bill in March in a 20-8 decision and House
approval followed.[1] The bill brings Arizona's legal system into line
with evidence standards used in federal courts and most state courts.

This change replaces the decade-old 2000 Arizona Supreme Court
decision in Logerquist v. Danforth in which the Court ruled on the
evidence issue involving admission of testimony of a plaintiff's claim
of repressed memory of alleged sexual abuse during her childhood. (See
Background of Logerquist) In a controversial split-decision, that
Court held that rules regarding scientific evidence simply do not
apply to something as unscientific as repressed memory. The majority
voiced confidence that jurors would be able to adequately sift through
the reliability of testimony by expert witnesses "as least as right as
the trial judge."

The Court held in 2000 that the Frye standard[2] for expert testimony
would hold in Arizona. The Frye standard defines something to be
scientific if it has gained "general acceptance." The new law changes
the standard to Daubert[3] in which evidence must be based on facts or
data, reliable principles and methods, and witnesses who apply
principles and methods reliably.

Long-time readers of the FMSF Newsletter may recall the many articles
about the Logerquist v. Danforth case because it was one of the few
pre-trial hearings on scientific evidence that did not result in a
more scientific approach. Business groups say the change to a standard
based on Daubert will weed out frivolous lawsuits. Opponents say the
change undermines the right to jury trial by having judges take on a
fact-finding role now performed by jurors.

[1] Logerquist v. Danforth, CV 98-0587-PR Az Sup. Ct. April 2000.
[2] Frye v. United States, 293 F. 1013 (D.C. Cir. 1923).
[3] Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993),
    Davenport, P. (2010, March 3). Senate votes to tighten evidence
    standard. Retrieved on 5/20/10 from

                       Background of Logerquist
     Reprinted from FMSF Newsletter Vol. 9 No. 3 (May/June 2000)
     Arizona Supreme Court Allows Claims for "Repressed" Memories
     Logerquist v. Danforth, CV 98-0587-PR Az Sup. Ct. Apr. 2000
In a 3-2 split-decision that allowed expert testimony on repressed
memory, the Arizona Supreme Court on April 19, 2000 took the position
that rules regarding scientific evidence simply do not apply to
something as unscientific as repressed memory. The majority quoted
with approval: "[R]epressed memory remains woefully short of being
empirically verified and, indeed, heralds from a non-rigorous school
of psychology in which empirical validation is not a core tenet" and
"Repression, in short, is a testable hypothesis, but it has not yet
been appropriately tested. Pending satisfactory studies, therefore,
the most reasonable scientific position is to maintain skepticism."
Given this, they concluded, "[W]e believe the jury must decide what to
do about the lack of empirical support."

In 1992 a woman brought suit against her former pediatrician John T.
Danforth claiming she had been sexually molested on several occasions
from 1971 to 73 when she was between eight and ten years old. The
woman claimed her memories were restored in 1991 after watching a
television commercial with a pediatrician. The woman sought to have
experts who would testify how memories can be repressed because of
severe childhood trauma and how the memories can be recalled later
with accuracy. The trial judge refused to let her experts testify,
ruling that repressed memories "are not generally accepted in the
relevant scientific community." The woman appealed.

Justice Stanley Feldman, who wrote the majority ruling said that the
minority justices fear that this would open the door to anyone
declaring himself or herself an expert in any theory of human
behavior, "however far-fetched," was overblown. He wrote: "It is
apparent we are not dealing with an alchemist attempting to change
lead into gold or an astrologer predicting events from the movements
of the stars." He also wrote that it is illogical to assume that
judges "will be more able than jurors to tell good science from junk,
true scientists from charlatans, truthful experts from liars and venal
from objective experts."

In a dissent, Justice Frederick J. Martone wrote: "The hearing [by the
trial judge] was comprehensive and the majority does not take issue
with his conclusion that repressed memory is simply not generally
accepted in the scientific community... If, as the majority asserts,
repressed memory has no scientific basis, then like astrology, expert
testimony should be excluded... There may be no area of contemporary
psychiatry and psychology more controversial than the theory of
repressed memory... Repressed memory does not lie within the range of
common knowledge. Experts in psychology and psychiatry cannot reach
agreement about its validity. And, if experts cannot agree about the
validity of repressed memory, how do we pass this question to the jury
with out first reviewing its reliability under some heightened form of
evidentiary scrutiny?"

In a second dissent, Justice Ruth V. McGregor agreed with Justice
Martone and added: "I am concerned about the tendency of the decision
to isolate Arizona's courts from the mainstream of judicial analysis
... Arizona now falls within a tiny minority of jurisdictions that
have chosen to adopt a unique interpretation... I see two significant
negative results. First, evidentiary rulings that could significantly
affect the outcome of litigation will differ depending upon whether an
action proceeds in state or in federal court... Second, because our
approach diverges from that taken in most jurisdictions, Arizona's
courts will lose the advantage of being able to learn from and follow
the reasoning of other courts...we lose the flexibility needed to
admit evidence based upon reliable, but newly-developed, scientific

See FMSF Newsletter September 1999 Vol. 8 No. 6, Legal Corner,
  "Commentary: Revival of Memory: A Fact Question for the Jury
  (Bertram v. Poole, 1999 Minn. App. LEXIS 851)
See FMSF Newsletter June 1998 Vol. 7 No. 5 "Arizona Supreme Court
  Holds That Discovery Rule Applies to Repressed Memory Claim" for
  comments on the thinking of the court in another repressed memory
  case. Arizona Star, 4/20/00, "Arizona high court allows for claims
  of 'repressed' memories of abuse," Howard Fischer.

/                                                                    \
|            The Rutherford Family Speaks to FMS Families            |
|                                                                    |
| The DVD made by the Rutherford family is the most popular DVD 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-DVD,                                                          |
| 1955 Locust St.                                                    |
| Philadelphia, PA  19103                                            |
| $10.00 per DVD; Canada add $4.00; other countries add $10.00       |
| Checks payable to FMS Foundation                                   |

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

               We Are Back Together: That's What Counts
I want to thank the FMS Foundation for giving me the courage and hope
to get through 17 years of alienation from my daughter and my three

My daughter suddenly returned in January when we both attended my
son's and her brother's 50th birthday party. We sat together and
talked and talked for hours, but not one word about the long time of
separation or the reason for it.

After three subsequent dinners with her, a date was set for me to meet
my grandsons for the first time. What a great experience we had
getting acquainted. There certainly was a lot of time to make up! At
dinner that night, my daughter apologized to her three sons for not
allowing them to have a relationship with their grandfather.

My daughter and I are now closer than ever. The years of anxiety ended
as abruptly as they began with no reason for the break up and no
reason for the return. Frankly, at this point, I no longer care about
the reasons, although my curiosity had the best of me during the time
of separation. We are back together, and that is what counts.

I can truly tell FMSF members who are walking in my shoes to "hang in"
there. Keep hoping, keep praying, and keep supporting the FMS
Foundation. Some day, hopefully, you too will walk together with the
person who long ago broke the family stride.

Thank the Good Lord that the FMS Foundation was there, walking with me
along the dreadful road through the wilderness of separation and
helping me to have the strength to reach the finish line of "Return."
Appreciatively yours,
                                                   A very happy father
                           Clearing My Name
FMSF provided information to me in my legal case many years ago. I'm
writing because recently there have been some twists and turns. I
don't know what I need to do with the new information I have.

Approximately 15 years ago I was convicted of two counts of felonious
sexual assault in Dover, NH, Strafford County Superior court. The case
was a controversial repressed memory case. I was represented by the
Public Defender's office and, in my opinion, it was a less than
stellar defense counsel performance. Since the conviction, my life has
been extremely difficult, as I have constantly tried to overcome the
backlash that accompanies sexual assault convictions. Not a day has
gone by that I did not think of the case, the trial, and what my life
might have been had this nightmare never occurred.

I have always maintained my innocence and stand by it today. The
victim in the case was my niece who was 14-years-old at the time of
the trial. The alleged abuse supposedly happened when she was
three-years-old. This niece recently found and contacted me on
Facebook. She was apologetic for ruining my life, and she also wrote
that the case haunted her on a daily basis because she had put the
wrong man in jail. She asked that I not hate her and that I find it in
my heart to forgive her. Though I was skeptical, I responded with a
short message stating I did not hate her, and I wished her no ill
will; however, if she cared to share the facts about the case that
never were heard in court, it would help me get on with my life.

Then my niece told me about how the accusations unfolded, starting
when she was eight-years-old. She wrote about how confused she was
then. She said that she was questioned about her abuser for months
before the trial. She said that when she went to court that she hated
it. She didn't want them to say the things they did about me and my
family. She wrote that she was scared and couldn't just say to the
police that they had the wrong guy. She said that she was told once
again to shut her mouth, [that] someone was going to pay for hurting
her. She said that she wasn't strong enough to say anything then! She
told me that she was so sorry she ruined my life! OUR lives!

After the conviction she had to live with what happened, which must
have been difficult for her. She wrote that every day that went by she
wanted to tell someone that the wrong man was convicted. But, she told
me, she had no idea of who to tell. She said that she shut down. She
hoped that if she had her own family she could forget it all. She
said, however, that she couldn't.

My niece wrote that recently her mother, who had believed that I was
the one who had abused her daughter, had started seeing a medium. The
medium told the mother the identity of the abuser. It was not me,
according to the medium. Now my niece's mother also believes I'm

My niece wrote that she was angry about this because her mother had
not listened to her earlier. She said that the mother told her that
what was done was done and that my niece would go to jail for lying in
court. My niece ended by saying that she appreciated our
correspondence and that she felt that I was the only person who has
discussed the case without judging her.

She said that she had taken a chance writing to me and that she felt
good about it. My niece said that she hoped we could continue to
figure things out and that I would be able to make the connections I
needed. She wrote that maybe someday she would be able to face my
family and ask for forgiveness.

I am obviously floored and confused. I have no idea where to turn or
what to do. I'm not sure who to consult or who to trust. I do know I
need advice. I would appreciate any direction or insight you could

(Robert has consulted an attorney in New Hampshire and hopes to clear
his name.)
                  The Most Difficult Time of My Life
My family is part of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation, and has a
story very, very similar to yours. A couple years ago my oldest sister
was diagnosed with False Memory Syndrome, after she made allegations
against my father that she "remembered" while undergoing therapy with
our family therapist. At the time, my family completely split apart. I
was a teenager who knew nothing about FMS. I was very close to my
oldest sister and I believed her accusations. but my other sister did
not. It was only after my accusing sister stopped seeing our family
therapist that she recanted. After a very painful healing process, my
family eventually reunited. I realize that we were one of the rare
lucky families, since not all families get back together after such
extreme accusations.

Even though the accusations and reconciliation happened several years
ago, the effect of it all was unquestionably the most difficult time
in my life. The experience has stayed with me and even as I've grown
to adulthood, I remain passionate about this problem. I recognize that
it is potentially a very controversial subject, but I am dedicated to
raising awareness about it in hopes that it will help save other
families for going through what we had to endure.

I would like to be in contact with other people in the Santa Monica
area who also want to raise awareness.

You may contact me (Kate Holupka) in Santa Monica, CA by phone at
330-842-2494, or by email .

*                       WEB SITES of INTEREST                        *
*                                                                    *
*              http:/               *
*                          Elizabeth Loftus                          *
*                                                                    *
*                      *
*                       Against Satanic Panics                       *
*                                                                    *
*                   *
*            The Lampinen Lab False Memory Reading Group             *
*                       University of Arkansas                       *
*                                                                    *
*                 http:/                 *
*                  The Exploratorium Memory Exhibit                  *
*                                                                    *
*                        *
*              Site for retractors run by Laura Pasley               *
*                                                                    *
*                                   *
*                  Site of Investigative Journalist                  *
*                                                                    *
*                                 *
*                     French False Memory Group                      *
*                                                                    *
*           http:/           *
*             The Bobgans question Christian counseling              *
*                                                                    *
*                     http:/                      *
*                   Illinois-Wisconsin FMS Society                   *
*                                                                    *
*                   http:/                    *
*                             Ohio Group                             *
*                                                                    *
*                       *
*               Matt Stone's updates on Australia FMS                *
*                                                                    *
*                       http:/                        *
*                    British False Memory Society                    *
*                                                                    *
*              http:/              *
*               Information about Satanic Ritual Abuse               *
*                                                                    *
*                     http:/                     *
*                   Parents Against Cruel Therapy                    *
*                                                                    *
*                    http:/                     *
*                     Site run by Brian Robinson                     *
*                     contains information about                     *
*                Christchurch Creche and other cases.                *
*                                                                    *
*                   http:/                    *
*                        National Child Abuse                        *
*                     Defense & Resource Center                  *
*                                                                    *
*                   http:/                    *
*                  Excerpts from Victims of Memory                   *
*                                                                    *
*               http:/               *
*                           Ross Institute                           *
*                                                                    *
*                  http:/                  *
*                 FMS in Scandanavia -- Janet Hagbom                 *
*                                                                    *
*                        http:/                         *
*                National Center for Reason & Justice            *
*                                                                    *
*                   http:/                   *
*            English language web site of Dutch retractor            *
*                                                                    *
*                      http:/                      *
*             This site is run by Stephen Barrett, M.D.              *
*                                                                    *
*                    http:/                    *
*           Contains information about filing complaints.            *
                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 Orange County
    Chris & Alan 949-733-2925
  Covina Area 
    Floyd & Libby 626-357-2750
  Colorado Springs
    Doris 719-488-9738
Central Florida - Please call for mtg. time
   John & Nancy 352-750-5446
    Wallie & Jill 770-971-8917
  Chicago & Suburbs - 1st Sun. (MO)
    Eileen 847-985-7693 or Liz 847-827-1056
  Indiana Assn. for Responsible Mental Health Practices
    Pat 317-865-8913 & Helen 574-753-2779
  Wichita -- Meeting as called
    Pat 785-762-2825
   Sarah 337-235-7656
  Portland -- 4th Sun. (MO)
    Bobby 207-878-9812
   Carol 410-465-6555
  Andover -- 2nd Sun. (MO) @ 1pm
    Frank 978-263-9795
  Greater Detroit Area
    Nancy 248-642-8077
  Terry & Collette 507-642-3630
  Dan & Joan 651-631-2247
  Springfield -- Quarterly (4th Sat. of Apr.,
                 Jul., Oct., Jan.) @12:30pm
    Tom 417-753-4878 & Roxie 417-781-2058
  Lee & Avone 406-443-3189 
  Jean 603-772-2269 & Mark 802-872-0847
  Sally 609-927-4147 (Southern)
  Albuquerque -- 2nd Sat. (BI-MO) @1 pm 
    Southwest Room -Presbyterian Hospital
    Maggie 505-662-7521(after 6:30pm) or Sy 505-758-0726
  Upstate/Albany Area
    Elaine 518-399-5749
  Susan 704-538-7202
    Bob & Carole 440-356-4544
  Oklahoma City
    Dee 405-942-0531 
  Portland area
    Kathy 503-655-1587
  Wayne (includes S. NJ)
    Jim & Jo 610-783-0396
    Jo or Beverly 713-464-8970
  Keith 801-467-0669
  See Oregon
  Katie & Leo 414-476-0285 or
  Susanne & John 608-427-3686

  Vancouver & Mainland 
    Lloyd 250-741-8941
  Victoria & Vancouver Island
    John 250-721-3219
  Roma 204-275-5723
    Adriaan 519-471-6338
  Eileen 613-836-3294
    Ken & Marina 905-637-6030
    Paula 705-543-0318
  514-620-6397 French and English
  FMS Association fax-972-2-625-9282
  Colleen 09-416-7443
  Ake Moller FAX 48-431-217-90
The British False Memory Society
  Madeline 44-1225 868-682

|          Do you have access to e-mail?  Send a message to          |
|                                         |
| if  you wish to receive electronic versions of this newsletter and |
| notices of radio and television  broadcasts  about  FMS.  All  the |
| message need say is "add to the FMS-News". It would be useful, but |
| not necessary,  if you add your full name (all addresses and names |
| will remain strictly confidential).                                |
The False Memory Syndrome Foundation is a qualified  501(c)3  corpora-
tion  with  its  principal offices in Philadelphia and governed by its
Board of Directors.  While it encourages participation by its  members
in  its  activities,  it must be understood that the Foundation has no
affiliates and that no other organization or person is  authorized  to
speak for the Foundation without the prior written approval of the Ex-
ecutive Director. All membership dues and contributions to the Founda-
tion must be forwarded to the Foundation for its disposition.

PAMELA FREYD, Ph.D., Executive Director

FMSF Scientific and Professional Advisory Board,          July 1, 2010

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;
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:

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

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                    THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY.