FMSF NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE - June 1, 1996 - Vol. 5, No. 6, HTML version

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    The FMSF Newsletter is published 10 times a year by the  False
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    ISSN #1069-0484.  Copyright (c) 1996  by  the  FMSF Foundation
  Focus on Science
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          From Our Readers
              REMINDER: July/August will be combined issue

Dear Friends,

  "Don't confuse us with science." "We see these patients and we know
  their memories they recover are real." "FMS is not in the DSM-IV."
  "FMSF is a place for perpetrators to hide." "I have been looking for
  this kind of information.  Thank you."

  Those were the sorts of comments made by some attendees at a
continuing education program sponsored by the FMS Foundation in
Philadelphia in May. At this meeting Terrence Campbell, Ph.D. reviewed
a broad sample of psychological research. His analysis indicated the
lack of scientific support for forgetting trauma and the overall
fallibility of memory with particular emphasis on the weakness of
retrospective memory. Basing clinical practice on these notions, he
suggested, could result in false memories. Campbell suggested viable
therapeutic approaches which would be less likely to produce false
  The audience represented a diverse range of opinions and reactions
to his thesis. There were many who seemed to be comfortable with his
ideas. Some expressed strong disagreement and they argued for
repression and seemed to regard their clinical judgment, experience
and beliefs as more important than research.
  Are such meetings helpful? We certainly received helpful suggestions
from all including our harshest critics. The give and take of the
discussion was a microcosm of the larger debate. It helped us to
realize that all the criticisms of the Foundation position seem to
fall into four general arguments:

  1. ARGUMENT OF EXISTENCE: "FMS is not in the DSM-IV."  This
argument sets up the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-IV as the
arbiter of the existence or non existence of a mental illness. The
logic of the argument seems to be that if FMS is not listed in this
manual, then the FMS problem does not exist and thus people do not
need to listen to the FMSF message. It is worth noting that the DSM-IV
has over 400 classifications while the DSM-I had but 60
classifications.  Does that mean that 340 disorders have come into
being since the DSM-I was printed? (In the Legal Column this month
other issues related to the DSM-IV are discussed.)

  2. ARGUMENT OF PERSONAL ATTACK (smear): "FMSF is a place for
perpetrators to hide."  Some examples of our critics' attacks against
the Foundation have been to call it a place for perpetrators to hide,
a front for satanists, a front for the CIA, a front for organized
crime, and a group that makes its money from pornography. Critics have
also made personal attacks against individual FMSF Advisory Board
members and directors. (In the past two issues we have written about
the attacks against Elizabeth Loftus, Ph.D.) Just as some accusers
have used intimidation or bully tactics to frighten their parents into
silence by threats of lawsuits or making their accusations public, so
some professionals have tried to smear their colleagues who are
associated with the FMS Foundation.  Two people have reported to us
that in depositions, they were asked -- literally -- "Are you now or
have you ever been a member of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation?"
a question much too similar to that of the McCarthy hearings. Smear
tactics -- usually associated with political movements -- exploit fear
of being publicly smeared; their effect can be to silence opposition.
The logic of the argument seems to be that if the people who present a
message can be discredited, then there is no reason to listen to the

EXPERTS: "We see these patients and we know their memories they
recover are real." This argument says that information from people
like Elizabeth Loftus, Ph.D. or Richard Ofshe, Ph.D. can be ignored
because they are not clinicians who treat trauma patients. This line
of reasoning was critical in the recent decision in the Shahzade case,
the first in which a judge ruled that "repressed memories" met the
criteria for scientific acceptance under Daubert. The argument that
therapists who treat incest survivors have privileged knowledge split
the American Psychological Association Working Group on Recovered
Memory. It is the topic of the 'Focus on Science' column in this
issue. The resolution of this question is critically important, not
just for the issue of repressed/false memories but for science in

confuse us with science." More and more we hear therapists make what
amounts to a declaration of independence from science. Science, it is
asserted, is just one of many ways of knowing things and when the data
established by science contradict a therapeutic theory then it is
science that must yield to something called "therapeutic experience."
  If therapists really wish to separate themselves from science, we
wish that they would hurry up because we predict that such an action
will end the repressed/false memory controversy. We say that because
almost all of the standing of therapists in this society is based on
the belief that their therapy is grounded in science. The funding of
therapy by health insurance companies, by governments, indeed, by most
consumers is predicated on its scientific basis. The expert status of
clinicians in court rooms is based entirely on the belief that they
are testifying as scientists. If therapists really wish to claim that
it is their "therapeutic experience" that justifies their therapy,
they will be joining all the others who make that claim, from
astrologers to phrenologists, from shamans trying to protect their
primitive clients from AIDS to faith healers trying to cure their
television audiences of cancers.
  We think that most therapists do not really want to separate
themselves from science. But the time has come when their continued
silence on this issue could be fatal to the profession. If there are
some therapists who proclaim that science is irrelevant to their
practice, it is no longer acceptable for other therapists to remain

  The recovered/repressed memory debate should have been resolved long
ago. It is a dark blot on our country's history that people who could
have spoken out to bring this tragic phenomenon to an end have
remained silent. It all seems so silly. Even "if" the existence of
"repressed" memories could be persuasively established, it has also
been established that false memories can be created in clinical
conditions and that the only way to distinguish a true from a false
memory is by external corroboration. Even "if" the existence of
"repressed" memories could be established, it is still not established
that a focus on them is either necessary or best in treatment. Indeed,
the evidence from thousands of families, former patients and the data
from the Washington State Victim Compensation Fund indicate that it is

  Families are moving on. More and more accusing children are trying
to resume contact. Some families are accepting them back, others are
not. Several letters this month are from parents explaining why they
are not willing to resume relationships without a resolution of the
accusations. More retractors are making themselves known. Legal cases
against professionals are increasing. As we prepare to go to press, we
just received a phone call that one case against the Genesis therapy
in Pennsylvania group has settled and that in Seattle a former client
has received over $400,000 from a hypnotherapist because of false
memories. While these events move forward, the therapy world seems
caught in a log jam. What will be the catalyst that gets it moving?
/                                                                    \
| If we do consider such clinicians to be the only appropriate       |
| reference group for judging "scientific acceptance," we can make   |
| bad mistakes. For example, we would not base an assessment of the  |
| scientific acceptance of astrology purely on the opinions of       |
| professional astrologers, even if they had published authoritative |
| books on astrology and chaired important committees of a           |
| prestigious Astrological Association. We would not judge the       |
| scientific acceptance of alien abduction by restricting ourselves  |
| to clinicians who had actually treated victims of                  |
| extraterrestrials, even if these clinicians had been plenary       |
| speakers at various World Congresses on Alien Visitation.          |
|                        Focus on Science, June 1996 FMSF Newsletter |

  /                                                                \
  |                         Special Thanks                         |
  |                                                                |
  |         We extend a very special "Thank you" to all of         |
  |        the people who help prepare the FMSF Newsletter.        |  
  |                                                                |
  |    Editorial Support: Toby Feld, Allen Feld, Peter Freyd       |
  |    Research: Merci Federicia, Michele Gregg, Anita Lipton      |
  |    Notices: Valerie Fling                                      |
  |    Production: Frank Kane                                      |
  |    Columnists: Katie Spanuello and                             |
  |        members of the FMSF Scientific Advisory Board           |
  |    Letters and valuable information: Our Readers               |

                           FOCUS ON SCIENCE

  From time to time, various scientific articles appear which discuss
issues of childhood sexual abuse, memory, and responses to trauma.
Since such studies are often widely cited in the scientific and
popular press, it is critical to recognize their methodological
limits. It is particularly important to understand what conclusions
can and cannot legitimately be drawn from these studies on the basis
of the data presented. As a result, we periodically present analyses
of recent well-known studies, prepared with help from members of our
Scientific Advisory Committee.

                      *       *       *       *
          Who Should be the Judge of Scientific Acceptance?
  The American Psychological Association's Working Group on
Investigation of Memories of Childhood Abuse has recently released a
report of its "final conclusions" (1). Although the Working Group was
able to agree on a few basic principles, much of the report is devoted
to a discussion of the differences of opinion and perspective between
clinicians and researchers. It seems that clinicians on the Working
Group favored the hypothesis that memories of traumatic events could
be "repressed" and subsequently "recovered," while the researchers
were apparently more skeptical of this theory. Reading between the
lines of the report, it appears that the clinicians felt that they
were the people best qualified to discuss the scientific validity of
repression and recovered memory, because they saw real trauma victims
in practice, whereas the researchers did not. The researchers,
conversely, felt that they were the best qualified, since they were
the most experienced in performing and evaluating scientific studies.
  What is the answer to this dispute? In other words, who are the
scientists best qualified to judge whether a hypothesis has been
confirmed and accepted in the scientific community? Clearly, ideal
scientists would have extensive experience in both clinical and
research areas -- but that is rarely possible to achieve. In actual
practice, then, if the clinicians and researchers disagree, who should
we believe?
  Some examples may shed light on this question. Suppose that we were
to ask a group of American mothers about the value of chicken soup in
the treatment of children with the common cold. We might well receive
a strong endorsement of this treatment. However, if we were to put the
same question to a panel of researchers in microbiology, we would find
much less consensus. The mothers of America, it is true, have a lot
more clinical experience with sick children than the average
microbiologist, but we must still conclude that the efficacy of
chicken soup in the treatment of the common cold is not scientifically
  Consider another example. If we surveyed California dairy farmers,
we might find widespread acceptance of the theory that cows behave
strangely prior to earthquakes. However, upon presenting this theory
to a group of researchers in geology, we would probably encounter
skepticism. But then, what do geologists know? Most geologists have
probably never even been in an actual earthquake, and they probably
could not distinguish one end of a dairy cow from another.  Obviously
it is the "clinicians" -- the dairy farmers -- who know best.
  This example is not quite as frivolous as it first seems. The main
point, clearly, is that the ability of cows to predict earthquakes is
not scientifically accepted. However -- and this is important -- the
dairy farmers could be right. Maybe farm animals can anticipate
earthquakes, and perhaps somebody should design a study of this
phenomenon. In other words, we should not discount the "clinical"
impressions of the farmers. But until a properly designed study
actually confirms statistically that cows really can anticipate
earthquakes, we cannot consider the theory to be scientifically
  Similarly, we must acknowledge that there are many cases in medicine
where "clinicians" have proven right and researchers wrong. For
example, coaches and trainers have known since the 1960s that anabolic
steroids allow athletes to achieve huge gains in muscle mass, far
beyond what could be achieved without these drugs. Yet, for years,
researchers in pharmacology and endocrinology argued that steroids did
not really work, and that athletes were experiencing just a "placebo
effect" (2). We now know, of course, that these earlier researchers
were dead wrong (3). However, if we had been asked whether the
efficacy of anabolic steroids for muscle gains was scientifically
accepted in the 1970s, or even in the 1980s, the correct answer would
have to be "no." The fact that coaches and trainers "knew" that these
drugs worked did not constitute scientific acceptance.
  In short, clinicians alone do not constitute an adequate reference
group to assess scientific acceptability. Even if these clinicians
have done research, published papers, and given scientific lectures in
a particular field, that still does not make them the sole
authorities. If we do consider such clinicians to be the only
appropriate reference group for judging "scientific acceptance," we
can make bad mistakes. For example, we would not base an assessment of
the scientific acceptance of astrology purely on the opinions of
professional astrologers, even if they had published authoritative
books on astrology and chaired important committees of a prestigious
Astrological Association. We would not judge the scientific acceptance
of alien abduction by restricting ourselves to clinicians who had
actually treated victims of extraterrestrials, even if these
clinicians had been plenary speakers at various World Congresses on
Alien Visitation. To obtain a correct view of the opinions of the
scientific community on these issues, we would also need to include a
much broader group of prestigious researchers, even if they had never
done someone's horoscope or published a paper on UFO's.
  But there is another analogy which is perhaps even more apt when we
discuss the scientific acceptance of "repression" and "recovered
memory." That is the theory that sugar and food additives may cause or
exacerbate attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in
children. For years, parents, teachers, and school counselors have
widely accepted the views of certain clinicians that food additives
might have harmful effects on such children (4). Sugar, similarly, has
been widely indicted clinically as causing hyperactive behavior
(5). Primary care physicians, who have extensive clinical experience
with such children, frequently recommend restricting their sugar
intake (6). But is the link between diet and hyperactivity
scientifically accepted? Numerous careful scientific studies have now
appeared, in which sugar or food additives were given to hyperactive
children under rigorous placebo-controlled, double-blind conditions
(7-10). The results have resoundingly demonstrated that sugar and food
additives have no general effect on ADHD at all. In other words, if we
assumed that clinicians who treated acute hyperactive children were
the best authorities on the subject, we would have seriously
misrepresented what science actually knows.
  In the ongoing debate about "repression" and "recovered memory,"
therefore, clinicians may have a great deal to contribute, but they
have no special authority to tell us whether these concepts are
scientifically accepted. As the above examples have suggested,
clinicians may be right or they may be wrong about a particular
hypothesis. Their experience with treating and studying actual
patients is unquestionably an asset. If they have published papers in
the field, so much the better. But their clinical work may also act as
a deficit, particularly if it leads them to become personally invested
in a hypothesis, and reluctant to acknowledge opposing data. Thus an
accurate assessment of the status of the scientific acceptance of a
given hypothesis must be based on a broad range of leading scientists
in the field, clinical and non-clinical, who demonstrate a
comprehensive knowledge of the literature and a sophisticated ability
to analyze the methodologic strengths and weaknesses of all available

 1. American Psychological Association: Working group on investigation
    of memories of childhood abuse -- final conclusions: Available
    from the American Psychological Association Public Affairs Office,
    750 First Street N.E., Washington, DC 20002-4242.
 2. Ryan, A.J. Anabolic steroids are fool's gold. Fed. Proclamation
    1981; 2682-2688.
 3. Haupt H.A., Rovere G.D. Anabolic steroids: a review of the
    literature. Am J.  Sports Med 1984; 12:469-484.
 4. Feingold B.F. Hyperkinesis and learning disabilities linked to
    artificial food flavors and colors. Am J Nurs 1975; 75:797-803.
 5. Crook W.G. Food allergy -- the great masquerader. Pediatr Clin
    North Am 1975; 22:227-238.
 6. Bennett F.C., Sherman R. Management of childhood "hyperactivity"
    by primary care physicians. J Dev Behav Pediatr 1983; 4:88-93.
 7. Milich R, Pelham W.E. Effects of sugar ingestion on the classroom
    and playground behavior of attention deficit disordered boys. J
    Consult Clin Psychol 1986; 54:714-718.
 8. Behar D, Rapoport J.L, Adams A.J., Berg C.J., Cornblath M. Sugar
    challenge testing with children considered behaviorally "sugar
    reactive." Nutr Behav 1984; 1:277-288.
 9. Wolraich M.L., Lindgren S.C., Stumbo P.J., et al. Effects of diets
    high in sucrose or aspartame on the behavior and cognitive
    performance of children. New Eng J Med 1994; 330:301-307.  
10  Kinsbourne M. Sugar and the hyperactive child. New Eng J Med 1994;

  According to a report in the May 1996 issue of NASW News, clinical
social workers "see the majority of outpatient clients under managed
care and charge lower rates, on average, than psychologists and
psychiatrists..." The information comes from a February 1996 article
in Open Minds about a 10,000-member public employee health plan in the
Southwest that changed from a fee-for-service to managed mental health
care in 1995. When the conversion happened, "outpatient visits handled
by social workers increased from 5% to 56 %." Psychologist visits
increased from 10% to 33% but "visits to psychiatrists dropped from
85% to 11%." According to a senior consultant at a behavioral health
research firm, these data are probably representative of national
  Average fees for outpatient visits:

                    managed care  indemnity plans
    social workers       $65            $85
    psychologists        $75           $100
    psychiatrists        $90           $150


  Have you noticed a change in the focus of articles about FMS and the
Foundation? When the Foundation started, reporters were concerned
about writing balanced articles -- presenting "both sides." At that
time they viewed the debate as being about child abuse. When reporters
understood that the issue of concern was "responsible therapy
practices" the focus changed and there were many articles about the
devastating results to families and patients when therapy goes awry.
We have now reached another point in the reporting on this issue. The
existence of FMS and related problems is accepted. It is no longer a
novelty but rather seen as part of larger picture by people studying
aspects of our society or culture or therapy practices.

   For example  MARK  EDMUNDSON's, "American Gothic" Civilization,
May/June 1996 notes the "Gothic" character of many aspects of our
current culture. He writes, "[M]ost of our current Gothic productions
are of the no-fault variety. The recovered-memory movement has led to
wrongful convictions and to dramatic squalor, but not to clear-eyed
examinations of what is actually causing the profound misery that
sends young people, especially women, into anorexia, self-mutilation
and then the hands of often-opportunistic therapists."

  LYNN  CHANEY, "Truth or Consequences" Northeastern University
Magazine, March 1996 promotes the thesis that some of our current
cultural problems are the result of accepting the belief that "what we
think are truths are simply constructs that the dominant culture has
imposed on us." "I was stunned to find this same way of thinking in
psychotherapy. In fact, it is at the basis of the whole recovered
memory movement..."

  Note the comments in a review by Laurence Marshall of  CARL  SAGAN's,
new book, The Demon Haunted World, 1995. "Here is Sagan at his best, a
lucid blend of story telling and science that leads smoothly into
several chapters dealing with 'first person stories' of sex aboard
UFO's and "recovered memories" of child abuse and murder. Memory
itself, as Sagan points out is so fallible that we should be wary of
anecdotal evidence, no matter who reports it. Science is tested not
merely against human experience but against of a certain kind of human
experience -- against measurements that can be replicated by
independent observers under controlled conditions. Even scientists,
when they forget that precept, can fall into error. The physicist
Oliver Lodge, at the turn of the century, believed the testimony of
spiritual mediums as firmly as a Harvard University psychologist now
believes accounts of alien abductions." The review appeared in The
Sciences 36(3) 1996, 50. (Journal of the NY Academy of Sciences.).

  DONNA  LAFRAMBOISE  author of The Princess at the Window, a book
critical of much of what is currently going on in the women's
movement, devotes a full chapter to an analysis of recovered memory
therapy and the harm that it has brought to women. This book, was
published by Penguin (Canada,) and will likely create a stir when it
arrives in the United States.

  The Analysis of Hysteria, Second Edition by  HAROLD  MERSKEY  and
published by Gaskell is a scholarly work surveying the whole range of
hysterical phenomena, from classical paralyses and blindness to
questions about hysterical personality and epidemic hysteria. Merskey,
who is a member of the FMSF Advisory Board, directly addresses
memories of childhood sexual abuse recovered during therapy after long
intervals of amnesia as a modern problem related to this topic.

/                                                                    \ 
|          What Causes Someone to Question Her Own Memories          |
|                                                                    |
| A caller told us that as she watched the movie Forgotten Sins, she |
| began to doubt her recovered memories. Her sister had recovered    |
| memories of sexual abuse by her father as well as several family   |
| members and had convinced the caller that she, too, must have      |
| experienced abuse. Since the caller had no memories for this abuse,|
| she sought out a therapist who would assist her to remember. For   |
| two years, she believed she had been a victim of sexual abuse.     |
| After doubts were raised, she read books on false memory (Loftus,  |
| Yapko and Ofshe and Watters).  She now believes that the abuse     |
| never occurred.                                                    |

                     Past Life Regression Seminar
                             Los Angeles
Edward Klein, M.D., Member -- The American Psychiatric Association,
The American Society of Clinical Hypnosis and The American Medical

"Discover the positive power of past-life therapy and its ability to heal
relationships, phobias, and other afflictions that have no known
origin....Experience imagery and meditation states....Participate in an
experimental progression into a future time."


                       August Piper, Jr., M.D.

  In human intercourse the tragedy begins, not when there is
  misunderstanding about words, but when silence is not understood.

  The February edition of this column was entitled "A special delivery
of some food for thought." Apparently the article provided food energy
for writing as well as thinking, because it generated several
letters. This month we continue our sample of readers' responses.
  The February column contained the following comments from a Canadian

  In the coverage of FMS-related topics, one group's voices are rarely
  heard.  These are the people who had unwanted -- but remembered --
  sexual experiences in adolescence or childhood. Their voices are
  heard in support of neither the memory-recovery movement, nor of the
  false-memory movement. Where are these people? If I were in their
  shoes, I would be very angry with the "survivors" movement and I
  would speak up. I am quite puzzled by their silence. Do they
  consider their experience insignificant? Or do they just not want to
  be bothered?

  In response, one reader spoke from her own experiences. As a youth,
she wrote, she endured several kinds of mistreatment at the hands of
her parents and others. When she told a therapist about these
incidents years later, she was "immediately diagnosed with multiple
personality disorder."
  Her letter went on:

  During my years of psychotherapy almost no time was spent discussing
  my real, remembered abuse. Instead, the therapy focused almost
  entirely on recovered [false] memories and alter personalities, as
  well as the pursuit of flashbacks of satanic ritual abuse, sexual
  torture, murder, and horrific sexual abuse [that I had sincerely
  come to believe my parents had committed].

  This reader points to recovered-memory support groups as places to
search for those who have suffered maltreatment as children, but
remain silent about it as adults.
  Although these remarks provide a highly disquieting glimpse at the
practices of some psychotherapists, they fail to directly answer the
question posed in February. To paraphrase Thoreau: How to understand
the silence of those adults who have experienced childhood
  To answer that question, let's look at a letter from "Jane," who

  My husband was sued by his sister for what she claimed was sudden
  recovered memory and PTSD caused by the recollection of sexual
  molestation by him when they were both children.

  The suit alleges "delayed discovery of the harm caused by the
molestation." How delayed? Thirty-five years after the alleged trauma
occurred. The nature of the trauma? The sister says she was repeatedly
molested from ages 10 to 13; the incidents included penile vaginal
penetration. On the other hand, her brother admits that, on one
occasion, he tried to put his hand in her panties, in the spirit of
youthful exploration, when his sister was 13 years old. He absolutely
denies any other inappropriate behavior of any sort. Jane says she
tells the story to answer the question of why abuse victims remain
silent: The experience may simply not have been very significant.
  I believe that even [unwanted juvenile sex play] leaves emotional
scars, but the memory of such single experiences [may not be] so
traumatizing as that of an adult who repeatedly carries out unwanted
sexual activities with children.  Undesired sexual experiences
occurring at any age can poison one's psyche if one decides to allow
them to do so, or if a therapist handles these experiences badly.
  Jane continues:

  I say this because I was traumatized at about age 11 by a boy who
  touched my genitals. I can still feel sick to my stomach when I
  recall this incident, but even at the time I decided that I had done
  nothing wrong and I wasn't a bad person. I considered the act for
  what it probably was -- juvenile exploration.  It wasn't really
  forced on me. He kept asking me, begging me, and finally I just let
  him touch me, believing that he would stop pestering me. He didn't
  -- but I found ways to prevent him from touching me again; I told
  him I would scream and bring in adults if he didn't leave me alone.

  Because of the lawsuit, Jane says, she and some friends discussed
their childhood sexual experiences. Several told her that they, too,
had been molested in some way when they were between 10 and 16 years

  But they took a healthy response, as I did. We did not believe we
  were bad, but we do know we'd cause a lot of trouble, doing more
  harm than good, if we dredged up these past molestations today or
  made a case out of them.

  Her friends, Jane says, "put the incidents in perspective;
acknowledged the emotional trauma; obtained effective counseling; and
created positive, rewarding, and successful lives for themselves so
that they had no need to see themselves as victims. They don't
consider their experiences to be insignificant, but they have much
more important issues in their lives than speaking up or expressing
anger with the "survivors' movement."
  Jane believes people are silent for other reasons, too. First, she
thinks the public is less aware of the problem of false memory
accusations than it is of, say, welfare misuse or drug crimes. Second,
the concept of the "false memory syndrome" is difficult for many
people to understand. Third, no one has made a public bid for people
to express their opinions. Fourth, most people are too uncomfortable
to endure discussing sexual mistreatment of children. And finally, she
says, the need to speak out, even if one cared to do so, is easily
overcome by fear of exposing oneself to attack by "true believers" in
either camp.
  Jane's remarks about public unawareness of the false memory
controversy were echoed by another writer. These remarks provided a
jolt of perspective. By this I mean that although we professionals
become very involved in our pet concerns -- whether those concerns
involve behaviors of tea-drinking pigs, wind patterns in the Gobi
desert, or the effects of jet lag on sea horses -- this passionate
involvement sometimes blinds us to how the public sees these
concerns. Mr.  Everyman and Ms. Everywoman tend to worry far more
about meeting the mortgage payments or getting ahead in their careers
than they do about professionals' pet passions.
  In the weeks before I read these readers' remarks, I had begun to
find myself thinking that by now, everyone in the United States surely
must know of the dangers of recovered-memory therapies. Now I see
otherwise: the letters served as distressing reminders that the FMSF
still faces much work before its message seeps into the last nook and
cranny of our country.
  Jane also provided a "bad therapist story" for us. At one time, she
said, she had multiple stresses in her life and so sought therapy. The
male therapist seemed kind and sympathetic the first few sessions. But

  he began asking me about my sexual experiences, emphasizing my teen
  years and college experiences. When I told him I had been sexually
  active only with my husband and no one else, he tried every
  technique possible to get me to break through my "denial" about
  being sexually promiscuous.

  Ultimately, she ceased treatment with him because of his
unwillingness to accept the truth:

  Although I was vulnerable and seeking help, I refused to let anyone
  convince me that my own memories of my life experiences were untrue
  or that I was using "denial" to hide a terrible family history. This
  was about eleven years ago, before the frenzy of "false memory
  therapy" had begun. I shudder to think what would have happened if
  he were seeing me today.
                                * * *

  Emerson once said, " 'Tis the good reader who makes a good book." So
too, 'tis the readers' responses that make a good column. Keep those
letters coming!

  August Piper, M.D. is in private practice in Seattle, Washington. 
  His book on multiple personality disorder will be published in the
  summer of 1996. He is a member of the FMSF Scientific and
  Professional Advisory Board.


#165  Haller, K.  "Satan's Theater".                             $3.00
CONNECTICUT MAGAZINE. April 1996. Details the lawsuit of a young woman
against her aunt and uncle, based upon recovered memories of Satanic
Ritual Abuse.

#520  Slovenko, R.  "Duty of therapists to third parties".       $3.00
J Psychiatry & Law. Fall, 1995. Discusses the duty that therapists owe
to persons other than patients, as well as leading cases in the law of

#654   Lief & Fetkewicz  "Retractors of false memories:          $3.00
The evolution of pseudomemories". J Psychiatry & Law, Fall, 1995. This
study, based on the responses of 40 retractors, focuses on the
formation of pseudomemories and the methods used by subjects to
distinguish between true and false memories.

#840   S.V. v. R.V.  "Decision: Texas Supreme Court".            $5.00
FMS Foundation. 1996, March 14. Texas Supreme Court held that in order
to apply the discovery rule to any set of facts, including repressed
memory claims, the event and the injury must be "objectively
verifiable." Expert opinion testimony alone does not satisfy this


Researcher and Author "J.B." who is studying the history of "repressed
memories" would like to hear from people who have experienced primal
therapy, feeling therapy or encounter groups to obtain current
perspective on these past experiences. If you have any information in
this area, please write to "J.B." at the FMS Foundation. Thank you.

               PSYCHOLOGICAL INQUIRY VOL 7, NO. 2, 1996 

is devoted to the subject of UFO Abduction Phenomena. The target
article, "Toward an Explanation of the UFO Abduction Phenomena:
Hypnotic Elaboration, Extraterrestrial Sadomasochism, and Spurious
Memories," by Leonard S. Newman and Roy F. Baumeister. C is followed
by commentaries from: Arndt & Greenberg; Banaji & Kihlstrom; Bowers &
Eastwood; Clark & Loftus; Hall; Hull; Lynn & Kirsch; Mcleod, Corbisier
& Mack; Orne, Whitehouse, Orne & Dinges; Ross & Newby; Spence; Strube.

                             LEGAL CORNER
                              FMSF Staff
  District Court Judge Rules on Validity of Repressed Memory Theory
Shahzade v. Gregory, U.S. Dist. Ct., Mass., Case No. 92-12139-EFH,
Memorandum and Order, May 8, 1996

  Early in May a U.S. District Court refused to exclude repressed
memory evidence in a ruling that found the "reliability of repressed
memory phenomena" to be established scientific fact. The question
before the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts in Shahzade v. Gregory
was, in the words of the ruling, "the validity of the theory [of
repressed memories] itself." After hearing pre-trial testimony from
Dr. John A. Bodkin, Richard Ofshe, Ph.D. and Dr. Bessel van der Kolk.,
Judge Edward Harrington denied defendant's motion to exclude repressed
memory evidence.
  The suit, originally filed in 1992, is based on claims of repressed
memories of sexual abuse which allegedly occurred over 50 years ago
but were only recently remembered in psychotherapy. Ann Shahzade, age
68, claims that her older cousin, Dr. George Gregory, age 75, molested
her from 1940 to 1945, starting when she was 11 years old. According
to the Boston Globe (3/5/96), Shahzade said she began to reclaim the
memories of rape by her affluent cousin after he refused to lend her
$30,000. Her claim that she had recovered these repressed memories in
therapy just prior to filing allows her to bring a civil suit even
though the alleged abuse occurred more than 5 decades ago.
  Defendant Gregory admitted in a deposition to having fondled his
cousin when she was 12 and he was 18 but said it was consensual and
denies raping her or that the contact lasted over a 5 year period.
  Since this case is being heard in a Federal Court, the court is
instructed under Daubert
  [Footnote: Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, 113 S.Ct. 2786,
  125 L.Ed.2d 469 (1993).]
to apply the Federal Rules of Evidence rather than the Frye
  [Footnote; Frye v. United States, 54 U.S.App. D.C., 293 F. 1013
analysis, in its inquiry into the basis of scientific theory presented
to the court (Daubert at 2786). In reaching its decision, the court
narrowly interpreted the "relevant scientific community" which it
considered qualified to testify on this matter. Not only did the court
find the relevant community limited to "clinical psychiatrists," but
the opinion contained several factual inaccuracies, and was based on a
unique application of the Daubert approach and an apparent disregard
for the results of well-informed peer review. This review will focus
on the Daubert guidelines which apply to federal courts and how this
court chose to interpret them.
  The Daubert opinion, written by Justice Blackmun, specifies that
under Rule 702 an expert's testimony pertaining to "scientific
knowledge" must be grounded in the methods and procedures of science
and "derived from the scientific method." (at 2795) In order to be
admissible, the trial judge must examine the scientific validity of
the underlying reasoning or methodology. (Daubert at 2796) As the
Harrington order states, Daubert presented a number of factors to be
considered when deciding if proffered testimony is valid "scientific
knowledge" and therefore reliable:

  1) whether the theory has been tested;
  2) whether the theory has been subjected to peer review and
  3) whether the theory or technique has a known or potential rate of
     error; and
  4) whether the theory has attained general acceptance within the
     relevant scientific community. (citing Daubert at 2796-2797).

  The Harrington order does cite and review the main thrust of the
Daubert analysis. It does so, however, without convincingly engaging
any of the issues the Supreme Court raises. The Harrington opinion
fails to address the substance of any serious challenge to the
repressed memory theory, and, in the process, fails to live up to all
four of the Daubert precepts. We analyze each one in turn.

be (and has been) tested." An hypothesis is not really "tested" unless
the test could potentially "falsify" or disprove the original
hypothesis or rule out other reasonable hypotheses explaining the same
results. This is, in short, the method science uses to distinguish
between conjecture and fact.
  [Footnote: It is admittedly a difficult notion for a lay person to
  understand. As Chief Justice Rehnquist wrote in his dissent in
  Daubert, "I am at a loss to know what is meant when it is said that
  the scientific status of a theory depends on its "falsifiability,"
  and I suspect some of the federal district judges will be, too." (at
  2800, Rehnquist, D.J., dissenting).]
In the words of the Daubert decision, "the statements constituting a
scientific explanation must be capable of an empirical test," and "the
criterion of the scientific status of a theory is its falsifiability,
or refutability, or testability." (at 2796). A federal judge following
Daubert must be expected to undertake a more than superficial
application of the guidelines.
  The Harrington order makes no mention of the issue of
falsifiability. The court cites the testimony of Dr. van der Kolk who
"discussed in detail several studies which focused on the concept of
repressed memories and ultimately, through their findings, serve to
validate the theory." There are, however, numerous serious critiques
of those studies' methodologies which point out that, to date, no
study has ruled out other obvious explanations for the findings.
  [Footnote: See, e.g., Kihlstrom, J.F. (in press) "The trauma-memory
  argument and recovered memory therapy," K. Pezdek and W.P. Banks,
  eds. The Recovered Memory/False Memory Debate, San Diego, CA:
  Academic Press; Lindsay, D.S. and J.D. Read (1995) "'Memory work'
  and recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse:Scientific evidence
  and public, professional, and personal issues," Psychology, Public
  Policy and the Law, 1:4:846-908; Loftus, E.F., Garry, M. and
  Feldman, J. (1994), "Forgetting sexual trauma: What does it mean
  when 38% forget?" Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology,
  62:1177-1181; Ofshe, R., and Watters, E. (1994) Making Monsters:
  False Memories,Psychotherapy, and Sexual Hysteria, New York:
  Scribners; Pope, H.G. and Hudson, J.I.  (1995) "Can memories of
  childhood sexual abuse be repressed?"  Psychological Medicine,
  25:121-126; Robbins, S.P. (1995) "Wading through the muddy waters of
  recovered memory," Family in Society: The Journal of Contemporary
  Human Services, 76:8:478-488.]
The Harrington opinion makes no mention of these critiques or the way
they challenge the alleged scientific support of the theory of
repression. None of the studies referred to by the Harrington opinion
were designed to distinguish between subjects who report no memory
because they had unconsciously repressed knowledge from those who
simply forgot about the incidents for a time, chose not think about
them, or chose not to report their memory of the incidents. For
example, none of the studies' conclusions take into account the fact
that the forgetting or non-reporting of significant life events occurs
for a variety of reasons besides memory repression.
  [Footnote: For reviews of the numerous studies (including a series
  of reports by the U.S. Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare) which
  show that non-disclosure of past events is common in many normal
  settings, see, e.g., Loftus, E.F. (1993) "Reality of repressed
  memories," American Psychologist, 48:5:518-537; Pope, H.G. and
  Hudson, J.I. (1995) "Can memories of childhood sexual abuse be
  repressed?"  Psychological Medicine, 25:121-126.]
Limited outside corroboration of self-reports also restricts the
conclusions which can be reliably drawn from these studies.
  [Footnote: Kihlstrom, J.F. (in press) "The trauma-memory argument
  and recovered memory therapy," in K.Pezdek and W.P. Banks, eds. The
  Recovered Memory/False Memory Debate, San Diego, CA: Academic
  Press. Author notes: "Issues pertaining to corroboration, and the
  distinction between remembering abuse and believing that one was
  abused, should not be dismissed lightly."]
To assume that because a hypothesis is the subject of a published
study that its conclusions are necessarily valid is to miss the
function of sound scientific practice.
  [Footnote: "Science is not an encyclopedic body of knowledge about
  the universe.  Instead, it represents a process for proposing and
  refining theoretical explantations about the world that are subject
  to further testing and refinement..." Daubert quoting from the Brief
  for the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the
  National Academy of Science as Amici Curiae in Support of
  Respondent, at 7-8.]
  A study that the court, referring to Dr. van der Kolk's testimony,
says is one of "several studies which...serve to validate the theory"
is the often-critiqued 1987 study by Herman and Schatzow.
  [Footnote: Herman, J.L., and Schatzow, E.  (1987) "Recovery and
  verification of memories of childhood sexual trauma," Psychoanalytic
  Psychology, 4:1-14.]
The court, again referring to Dr. van der Kolk's testimony, states
that this study "looked at victims of sexual abuse."  In fact, the
study examined 53 participants in therapy groups for incest survivors.
Only 14 (26%) of these subjects reported "severe" amnesia for the
alleged incest. The study fails to note if any of the people in this
group of 14 were either infants or small children at the time of the
alleged abuse in which case amnesia would be expected. Later in the
Herman and Schatzow paper it is reported that 21 subjects were able to
obtain corroborating evidence that the incest had occurred. Another 18
were said to have discovered that another person had been abused by
the same perpetrator but found no corroboration for their own abuse.
The authors, however, give no evidence that any of the 21 who obtained
corroborating evidence for their abuse were the same people who
reported severe amnesia. The study gives no evidence of any
individuals who had both documented trauma and documented amnesia. The
Herman and Schatzow study design, therefore, is inadequate to validate
the theory of repression. The Harrington opinion makes no mention of
these issues or how they relate to the first prong of the Daubert
  The court also cites another study "conducted by Linda Meyer (sic)
Williams, which Dr. van der Kolk referred to as 'the best study on all
this,' (and according to van der Kolk) further validates the theory of
repressed memory."  The Williams study, 
  [Footnote: Williams, L.M.  (1994) "Recall of childhood trauma: A
  prospective study of women's memories of child sexual abuse,"
  Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 62:1182-1186.]
while widely acknowledged as an important advance because it allows
for the independent confirmation of self-reports of childhood trauma,
does not provide evidence to permit the conclusion that amnesia for
victimization experiences is common. The study design does not
distinguish among those who do not recall actual abuse, those who do
not report it, those who may have repressed the memory and those who
have simply forgotten or chosen not to think about the
events. Unfortunately, the Harrington opinion did not mention studies
such as the Femina (1990) study
  [Footnote: Femina, D.D., Yeager, C.A., and Lewis, D.O. (1990) "Child
  abuse: Adolescent records vs. adult recall," Child Abuse and
  Neglect, 14:227-231. The Femina study was designed similarly to the
  Williams study but in a second interview specifically asked subjects
  who had previously not disclosed the past abuse whether they
  recalled the events. When confronted, all subjects admitted that
  they had actually remembered these experiences, but had chosen not
  to reveal them during the initial interview.]
which was designed to make these distinctions. The court did, however,
make a number of errors in reporting the Williams work. For example,
the subjects Williams interviewed were not "patients" and Williams was
not a "research psychologist." She earned her Ph.D.  in sociology.

scientific theory or technique has been published and subjected to
peer review (Daubert at 2797).  Publication does not, of course,
necessarily correlate with "reliability" and "is not a sine qua non of
admissibility." (Id.) The value of peer review is that "it increases
the likelihood that substantive flaws in methodology will be
detected." (Id.)
  How did the Harrington opinion meet this prong of the Daubert
analysis? The court defined the "relevant scientific community" it
felt was qualified to conduct a peer review as "clinical
psychiatrists." This community was apparently further restricted
(again the court referred to testimony by van der Kolk) to
professionals who "treat traumatized patients." The opinion refers to
van der Kolk's testimony that "currently the major detractors of the
theory are so-called outsiders, 'psychologists who do not treat
traumatized patients.'"  (quoting van der Kolk)
  Clearly, if the scientific community allowed to conduct a peer
review is too narrowly defined, the process cannot perform its
function. As discussed above, the theory of repression has been
extensively reviewed and critiqued by many individual professionals
and professional organizations.

or potential rate of error." (Daubert at 2796) Applying the
rate-of-error concept in this area is not at all straightforward. In
general, the inability to distinguish false positive findings from
true positives is at the heart of the difficulty. Because most
questions studied by science involve a mix of causal factors and
because the precision of the techniques available to scientists vary,
the test results may not exactly reflect what is "out there." While
measurement error is hopefully low, there is no way to eliminate
it. It is essential to be able to predict a "rate of error," that is
to estimate how reliably the test measures what it is supposed to
measure. If we are unable to estimate the rate of error, we are in the
dark about how much we can rely on the test results.
  One difficulty with the research before the Harrington court is not
only how to distinguish with accuracy among those who do not remember,
those who chose not to report and those who may have lost conscious
memory of certain events, but also how to determine how well we are
able to do that. The Harrington opinion offered no discussion of how
it had weighed this factor in reaching a final conclusion about the
theory of repression.

THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY -- does it meet "general acceptance" by the
relevant scientific community? In order to assess the "general
acceptance" in the relevant scientific community requirement, a trial
judge first must identify the "particular field" in which this therapy
belongs. It is acknowledged that how one defines the appropriate field
can have a bearing on the admissibility of the proffered evidence. As
mentioned above, the Harrington opinion apparently restricted the
relevant scientific community to exclude non-clinicians. The court
reported Dr. van der Kolk's testimony that "the majority of clinical
psychiatrists recognize the theory of repressed memories and do not
find the theory itself controversial" and that "repressed memories is
not a scientific controversy, but merely a political and forensic
  Even if the relevant scientific community were limited to clinical
psychiatrists, many psychiatrists show by their writings and practice
that they disagree with the Harrington court's conclusion.
  [Footnote: Examples of critiques of the repression theory made by
  clinical psychiatrists and psychologists: Beahrs, J.O., Cannell,
  J.J., Gutheil, T.G. (1996) "Delayed traumatic recall in adults: A
  synthesis with legal, clinical, and forensic recommendations," Bull
  Am Acad Psychiatry Law 24:1:45-55; Berman, L. (1995) "PTSD and the
  lost memory syndrome," CT Medicine; Brenneis, C.B. (1994) "Belief
  and suggestion in the recovery of memories of child sexual abuse,"J
  of American Psychoanalytic Asso; Campbell, T.W. (1995) "Repressed
  memories and statutes of limitations: examining the data and
  weighing the consequences," American Journal of Forensic Psychiatry,
  16:2:25-51; Goldzband, M.G. (1995) "The hottest topic," Psychiatric
  Annals, 25:8:477-484; Frankel, F.H. (1994) "The concept of
  flashbacks in historical perspective," Int J of Clin & Exper
  Hypnosis, XLII:4:321-336; Freeland, A, et al (1993) "Four cases of
  supposed multiple personality disorder: Evidence of unjustified
  diagnoses," Can J Psychiatry, 38:245-247; Ganaway, G.K. (1995)
  "Hypnosis, childhood trauma and dissociative identity disorder:
  Toward an integrative theory," Int J of Clin and Exper Hypnosis,
  XLII:2:127-144; Halleck, S.L.,, (1992) "The use of
  psychiatric diagnoses in the legal process: Task force report of the
  American Psychiatric Association," Bull Am Acad Psychiatry Law,
  20:4:481-499; Lief, H.I. (1992) "Psychiatry's challenge: Defining an
  appropriate therapeutic role," Psychiatric News (8/21/92); MeElroy,
  P.E. and Keck, P.E. Jr.(1995) "Recovered memory therapy: false
  memory syndrome and other complications," Psychiatric Annals
  25:731-735; McHugh, P.R. (1994) "Psychotherapy awry," The American
  Scholar, Winter:17-30; Merskey, H. (1992) "The manufacture of
  personalities: The production of MPD," Brit J of Psychiatry, in
  L.M. Cohen (ed.), Dissociative Identity Disorder: Theoretical and
  Treatment Controversies, New Jersey:Aronson, Inc.; Piper, A. (in
  press) "Twelve serious questions for proponents of multiple
  personality disorder," Psychiatry: Interpersonal and Biological
  Processes; Pope, H.G. and Hudson, J.I., Ibid.; Seltzer, A. (1994)
  "Multiple personality: A psychiatric misadventure," Canadian J of
  Psychiatry, Sept.; Spence, D.P. (1994) "Narrative truth and putative
  child abuse," Int J. of Clin & Exper Hypn, XLII:4:289-303; Yapko,
  M.D. (1994) Suggestions of Abuse, New York: Simon and Schuster.]
The basis of their disagreement is clearly on scientific grounds. In
fact, it is difficult to see how the theory of repression meets the
fourth prong of the Daubert analysis.
  And finally, the Harrington opinion makes the following remarkable
conclusion, without support: "The DSM-IV, 1994 ...also recognizes the
concept of repressed memories." The court further states, (also
without references,) that "[T]he term "Dissociative Amnesia," however,
is the true technical psychiatric or medical term for the theory and
is the term used when defining the condition in the [DSM] manual.
Repressed memories is the popular term. The two terms were used
interchangeably in the hearin." In fact, the DSM-IV provides no
mention of "repressed memory" as a recognized entity. It does define
"dissociative amnesia" (pages 478-481) as loss of memory for pertinent
information that cannot be accounted for by a physiological
abnormality or normal forgetfulness. However, the inclusion of
dissociative amnesia in DSM-IV does not indicate that this concept is
accepted by the American Psychiatric Association, nor by the relevant
scientific community.
  DSM-IV itself admits that there is great disagreement among
scientists regarding this diagnosis: "some believe that the greater
awareness of the diagnosis (of dissociative amnesia) among mental
health professionals has resulted in the identification of cases that
were previously undiagnosed. In contrast, others believe that the
syndrome has been over diagnosed in individuals who are highly
suggestible" (DSM-IV at page 479). The DSM-IV specifically states that
"there is currently no method for establishing with certainty the
accuracy of such retrieved memories in the absence of corroborative
evidence" (DSM-IV at page 481). It also states that "there are no
tests or set of procedures that invariably distinguish dissociative
amnesia from malingering..."(DSM-IV at page 480). In short, the DSM-IV
specifically states that there is a lack of scientific consensus with
regard to the notion of "dissociative amnesia;" it further notes that
there is no consensus that "repressed Memories," even if they did
exist, could be recovered reliably and distinguished from false
memories or frank malingering.
  Many researchers agree that the overwhelming weight of evidence from
decades of scientific studies on thousands of trauma victims indicates
that people remember traumatic events vividly. The theory of
repression breaks from what is known about normal memory and the
functioning of psychogenic amnesia. We can only hope that time and a
more reasoned approach will lead courts to apply the directions of
Justice Blackmun. After setting forth the four factors in Daubert, he
again emphasized that the admissibility inquiry is to remain flexible:
It should focus on the relevance and reliability of the scientific
principles and methodology of the proposed expert testimony, not on
the scientific conclusions themselves. (Daubert at 2797)
                       Statutes of Limitations
Editors note: Based on the ambiguous wording of state statutes of
limitation for child sexual abuse claims in over 25 states, many
courts have faced the question of determining in a reasonable and
objective way the point at which the limitations period begins to
run. Consider the following examples:

  Woodruff v. Hansenclever:
  [Footnote: Woodruff v. Hansenclever, 540 N.W.2d 45 (Iowa,
  1995). Court affirmed dismissal as time barred. (See FMSF Newsletter
  Feb.  '96, p. 11)]
Plaintiff claimed she had repressed all memory of abuse from age 1-13
until vague recollections surfaced when she was over the age of
40. Four years later, Plaintiff claimed she began to have detailed
memories and it was only later that she understood that the alleged
abuse had caused her current psychological problems. When was
Plaintiff on notice that she could sue?

  Doe v. Maskell:
  [Footnote: Doe v. Maskell, currently on appeal before the Maryland
  Court of Special Appeals, Case No. 102. (See FMSF Newsletter May
  '96, p. 12)]
Doe claimed complete amnesia for sexual acts by a high school
counsellor and over 20 other individuals during her last year of high
school. She claimed to have had no memories of any of these severe and
repeated events until some 20 years later. Doe also states that she
continues to have new memories of abuse even after her deposition was
taken. Is Doe allowed to bring a suit for each new memory?

  Byrne v. Becker:
  [Footnote: Byrne v. Becker, 176 Wis.2d 1037, 501 N.W.2d 402
  (Wisc. 1993). The Wisconsin Supreme Court disagreed with Plaintiff's
  argument and dismissed the suit as time barred.]
Byrne claimed she had no recall of incidents of child abuse from ages
2-11 until 4 decades later when she had "flashbacks" while in
therapy. She then argued that she had been unable to file a suit until
she was told by her therapists that her emotional symptoms were caused
by the incest and she was finally able "to shift the blame" to her
father. What are the implications of allowing "discovery" to be
defined subjectively as "shifting the blame?"
  And from the FMSF Legal Survey: A New Jersey woman in her late 30's,
diagnosed with MPD and 27 personalities, said that the first
personalities to emerge were children and were too young to file. She
stated that only when an adult personality surfaced was she able to
file the suit. She sought over $5 million in damages for the alleged
abuse. Four years after filing, the suit was finally dismissed when a
judge ruled that the statute of limitations had expired.

  Such cases illustrate the questions many jurisdictions have asked:
Can a statute of limitations continue to serve its purpose, if
"determination of the onset of the limitations period [is left] within
the subjective control of the plaintiff?"
  [Footnote: Hunter v. Brown, 1996 Tenn.App. LEXIS 95.] If there is no
  objective way to determine when a reasonable person would -- or
  should -- have known of an alleged wrong, then a plaintiff may claim
  discovery of some new event or understanding at any time. According
  to the Indiana Supreme Court, [Footnote: Fager v. Hunt, 610 N.E.2d
  246, 250 (Ind. 1993). See also, Baily v.  Lewis, 776 F. Supp. 802
  (Pa. 1991); Seto v. Willits, 638 A.2d 258 (Pa 1994); Ernstes
  v. Warner, 860 F.Supp. 1338 (U.S. Dist., Indiana 1994); Lemmerman v.
  Fealk, 534 N.W.2d 695 (Mich, 1995); Blackowiak v. Kemp, 1996
  Minn. LEXIS 245; K.G. v. R.T.R. 1996 Mo. LEXIS 32; S.V. v. R.V.,
  ___S.W.2d ___ (Tex. 1996). Each of these repressed memory suits were
  dismissed as time barred. See also, State of Ohio v. Hammons, 1995
  Ohio App. LEXIS 6042 (1995); Lovelace v. Keohane, 831 P.2d 624 (Okla
  1992); Weathers v. Fulgenzi, 884 P.2d 538 (Okla 1994); Messina v.
  Bonner, 813 F.Supp. 346 (U.S. Dist. Pa. 1993).]
permitting plaintiffs to subjectively determine at what point the
"discovery rule" ought to be applied "would have unacceptable
  Two recent state supreme court decisions which faced these questions are
reviewed in this newsletter. 
               Minnesota Supreme Court Ruling Clarifies
                  Meaning of Statute of Limitations 
  Blackowiak v. Kemp, 1996 Minn. LEXIS 245, decision April 19, 1996.
  During the two year span prior to the Minnesota Supreme Court's
consideration of Blackowiak, 9 cases had reached the Minnesota Court
of Appeals which raised the problem of what standard to apply in order
to determine when discovery had occurred under Minn. statute $4541.072
subd. 2(a) (1992).
  [Footnote: The relevant section of Minn. $4541.072 subd. 2(a) (1992)
  reads: "An action for damages based on personal injury caused by
  sexual abuse must be commenced within 6 years of the time the
  plaintiff knew or had reason to know that the injury was caused by
  the sexual abuse."]
Because the language of this statute is similar to that found in 24
other states, we will review the interpretation it was given by the
Minnesota Appeals Court and finally by the state Supreme Court.
  Each of the cases the Minnesota Appeals Court heard between 1994 and
1996 followed the strongly worded injunction of ABC:
  [Footnote: ABC v. XYZ, 513 N.W.2d 482 (Minn. App. 1994).]
a subjective standard, based upon Plaintiff's mental and emotional
state "has no basis in law." Under ABC, a court is to apply an
objective, reasonable person standard, not a subjective test based
upon the mental and emotional state of the victim for statute of
limitations purposes.
  Later in the same year, Roe
  [Footnote: Roe v. Archdiocese, 518 N.W.2d 629 (Minn. App. 1994).]
again applied the objective standard to determine the point at which
plaintiff "knew or should have known her injury was caused by the
sexual abuse." In 1995, S.E.
  [Footnote: S.E. v. Shattuck-St. Mary's, 533 N.W.2d 628
  (Minn. App. 1995).]
reiterated that "to avoid a flood of claims there must be a reasonable
and definitive standard," but applied that standard "when the victims
insist they did not know the abuse caused their injuries." Later in
1995, K.B. 
  [Footnote: K.B. v. Evangelical Lutheran, 538 N.W.2d 152 (Minn. App.
held that expert opinion testimony about whether plaintiff knew or
should have known that she was a victim of abuse "was inconsistent
with the objective 'reasonable person' standard of the statute" and
merely "incorporated a subjective 'victim's' standard."
  In the suit before the Minnesota Supreme Court, Blackowiak alleged
that Kemp, his former junior high school counselor, had sexually
abused him. Affidavits from Blackowiak's mother stated that she had
observed a change in her son's behavior and attitude at the time, had
suspected that Kemp had sexually abused her son and asked him about
it. The boy responded that Kemp had done something wrong but refused
to talk about it. Blackowiak sent her son to a therapist; Blackowiak
says he did not discuss the abuse. Blackowiak was transferred to
another school when he began to experience behavioral problems. He was
excessively truant, became involved in crime, abused drugs and alcohol
and did not finish high school.
  Blackowiak did not claim repressed memories. Instead he testified
that he tried to forget the incidents and avoided discussing the
subject because he was embarrassed and ashamed. Blackowiak testified
that in 1981 he happened to see Kemp in the company of an adolescent
boy and thought only that Kemp might have abused that boy. He did not
discuss or think about the sexual abuse from the time of the incident
until 1991 when he met an old high school friend. The friend told
Blackowiak that he had been abused as well and that Blackowiak's
behavioral problems were caused by Kemp's sexual abuse. According to a
physician's opinion, Blackowiak's conversation with his high school
friend was the "moment in time when he had a full understanding that
the effects of sexual abuse had been more far-reaching in his life
than a simple physical experience."
  The Minnesota Supreme Court in Blackowiak considered whether the
Zw?trial court had properly dismissed the case on summary judgment as
being time barred under Minn. law. The dismissal had been appealed to
the Court of Appeals which in 1995 reversed, holding that the evidence
did not conclusively establish that the plaintiff knew or should have
known prior to 1986 that the sexual abuse caused his psychological
injuries. The Minnesota Supreme Court reversed the decision of the
Court of Appeals and reinstated the summary judgment entered by the
trial court.
  The Supreme Court held that the Court of Appeal's "misapprehension"
of the statute caused it to focus on the concept of causation. The
Court observed that "the nature of criminal sexual conduct is such
that an intention to inflict injury can be inferred as a matter of
law," (citing Fireman's Fund Ins. Co. v.  Hill, 314 N.W.2d 834
(Minn. 1982). Accordingly, concepts of sexual abuse and injury within
the meaning of the statute are essentially one and the same, not
separable -- as a matter of law, one is injured if one is sexually
  The Minnesota Supreme Court concluded that the statute of
limitations is to be interpreted under an objective reasonable person
standard as to whether the plaintiff had reason to know of the sexual
abuse since, as a matter of law, injury is inferred because of the
nature of the criminal sexual conduct. The court held that to construe
the statute as dependent on when the victim may "acknowledge" or
"appreciate" the nature and extent of the harm resulting from the
abuse is "a wholly subjective inquiry" which is "simply not relevant
to the ultimate question of the time at which the claimant knew or
should have known that he/she was sexually abused."
                  Missouri Supreme Court Interprets
               Missouri's New Repressed Memory Statute
      K.G. v. R.T.R., 1996 Mo. LEXIS 32, opinion March 26, 1996.
  The Missouri Supreme Court affirmed dismissal of a repressed memory
case as barred by the statute of limitations. In the process, the
court was asked to determine at what point plaintiff K.G. had
discovered sufficient information to begin the limitations period. The
Court also interpreted 4 different limitations statutes referring to
battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and child sexual
  K.G. claimed she had involuntarily repressed conscious memory of
child sexual abuse by her father from age 3 to 7. She states that she
first recalled the events in Jan. 1989 at age 24, but was unable to
identify her father as the abuser until Dec. 1990. The suit was filed
in September 1993 when she was 28.  Because of the timing of the
filing of the suit relative to the 1990 enactment of Missouri's
"discovery rule" for childhood sexual abuse ($4537.046), whether
K.G.'s claim had been filed in time depended on whether the
limitations period began when she first recalled the events or when
she first identified her father as the abuser nearly 2 years later.
  The court held that the statute of limitations for battery under
  [Footnote: Sheehan v. Sheehan, 901 S.W.2d 57 (Mo. banc 1995).]
preserved her claim until January 1991. The court calculated the
beginning of the limitations period for battery according to the
Sheehan ruling from the time "when the damage is done and is capable
of ascertainment." The court held that that point was from the time of
"the memory of the consequential injury and damages, not the memory of
the identity of the perpetrator."
  Since K.G.'s claim was still allowed when the Missouri "discovery
rule" was enacted in 1990, the time period could, under that statute,
be extended 3 years after "discovery." The court again calculated the
date of discovery from the time K.G. claimed she recalled the events,
not when she claimed to be able to identify the abuser, some three
years later. The court concluded that "[T]he statute of limitations
applicable to battery, even as extended by later enacted sexual abuse
statutes of limitation, has expired. The trial court's dismissal of
the petition as time-barred is affirmed."
                 Motion to Dismiss Third Party Claims
    for Negligence and Intentional Inflictionof Emotional Distress
                     is Denied by an Oregon Court
  Jennifer Fultz, her husband Kevin Fultz, their two children, and
Kevin's parents have sued two psychologists, Dr. Sophia Carr and
Dr. Chyril Walker, in a case involving recovered memories. Jennifer
Fultz was seen in therapy by Dr.  Carr for three years; the children
were seen by Dr. Walker for one year. The plaintiffs' complaint
alleges that the therapist misdiagnosed Jennifer Fultz as suffering
from Multiple Personality Disorder and planted a belief that she and
her children had been ritually abused by a satanic cult, consisting of
members of Kevin and Jennifer Fultz's extended families. Plaintiffs
further alleged that Dr. Walker misdiagnosed the children as suffering
from ritual abuse at the hands of their father and a satanic
cult. Plaintiffs' theories included negligence, fraud, intentional
infliction of emotional distress, and defamation.  Compensatory and
punitive damages are sought.
  On April 15, 1996, the Defendant therapists moved to dismiss various
claims, including all claims brought by the non-patient family members
(e.g., the husband, children, and the grandparents). At the conclusion
of an extensive hearing, the judge declared that he agreed with
Plaintiffs' counsel that this case presented unique facts that were
unprecedented in Oregon jurisprudence. He considered prior case law of
little assistance in arriving at his ruling.  Consequently, he denied
Defendants' motions against the claims for negligence, fraud,
intentional infliction of mental distress, and punitive damages. The
only motion he granted was the motion to strike the claims for
emotional distress arising out of the negligence theories, because
Oregon required "physical impact" for those damages.
  Discovery is continuing in this case. Trial is set for September 30,
1996.  Jennifer Fultz is represented by J. Michael Dwyer; Kevin Fultz,
the children, and Kevin's parents are represented by Michael Shinn.
                   St. Louis Therapists are Charged
    with Insurance Fraud and Fraudulently Inducing False Memories
  On April 24, 1996, a St. Louis County grand jury returned a 15 count
indictment against two therapists for insurance fraud and unlawful
merchandising practices. The grand jury charged that defendants
Geraldine Lamb and T. L. knew that claims submitted to their
client's insurance company contCined materially false
information. Each of the charges is a class D felony and each is
punishable by up to five years in prison.
  The grand jury charges state that defendant Geraldine Lamb, an
unlicensed hypnotherapist, was not qualified or authorized to perform
psychotherapy.  Licensed psychologist T. L. claimed that he
had personally done the work when he billed the insurance companies.
  The grand jury also charged that defendants Lamb and T. L.
concealed the type of treatment provided to at least two of their
clients. Both defendants were charged with "engaging in the unfair
practice of deliberately interfering with the familial relationship
between [their client and their client's parents] by fraudulently
inducing [their client] to believe that her parents had satanically
and sexually abused her when no such abuse actually occurred [and]
using undue influence to convince [their client] that she was ritually
abused, that she must cease all contact with her family, and that she
must go on disability in order to get well."
  The St. Louis Post Dispatch, 5/8/96, reports that Geraldine Lamb
agreed to the demands of the State Attorney General that she not hold
herself out to be a licensed psychologist or a professional counselor.
She also agreed to post the fact that she was neither a psychologist
nor a professional counselor in a conspicuous place in her office and
to tell clients that she performs only hypnotherapy.
   Idaho Licensing Board Considers Revoking Psychologist's License 
       Idaho Falls Post Register April 24, 1996 by Paul Johnson
  An Idaho psychologist accused in a lawsuit of planting false
memories of sexual and satanic abuse in former patients could lose his
license to practice.  The Idaho Bureau of Occupational Licensing heard
three days of testimony that psychologist Mark Stephenson had failed
to maintain adequate records, failed to explain a course of therapy
and failed to gain consent of his patients. Two former patients and
their families testified that he used hypnosis to convince them they
were victims of childhood sexual abuse and satanic rituals. As a
result, rifts were caused in their family ties. As of this writing the
licensing bureau has not issued a decision on whether it will revoke
Stephenson's license.
  Stephenson is also named as defendant in several malpractice
lawsuits, two of which were filed in January 1995 by former patients,
their spouses, other family members and parents. Each of these suits
seek damages on 11 counts, including malpractice, slander and invasion
of privacy. Named in the suits are Mark Stephenson and his employers.
These suits are scheduled for trial April 1, 1997.
    Two counselors remain defendants in third-party civil lawsuit
          Paducah Sun (Illinois) May 9, 1996 by David Fraser
  Two counselors whose treatment allegedly caused a daughter to accuse
her father of murder will remain part of a civil lawsuit, Massac
Circuit (Illinois) Judge James Williamson ruled on May 10, 1996.
Therapists Sylvia Dickey Smith and Dr. Armando Martinez, both of
Texas, entered requests in Massac Circuit Court asking they be removed
from a civil lawsuit brought by Larry Stegman. The counselors claimed
Illinois does not have proper jurisdiction to try them for work they
performed in Texas. Williamson ruled that Illinois was a proper venue
for the lawsuit because the alleged tortious injury occurred in
  Stegman had been charged with first-degree murder and arson for the
death of Hattie Barnes, which took place more than 29 years ago. The
charges were brought after Stegman's daughter Connie Sievek claimed
she had, at age 3, witnessed the murder and dismemberment of the woman
in the family kitchen. Most of the memories came through "repressed
memories" brought out after she sought counseling. Massac County
prosecutors dropped the charges against Stegman and Joe Rickman on
Oct. 25, 1995. (See FMSF newsletter Feb.'96)
  The civil suit against the therapists includes counts of negligent
and intentional infliction of emotional distress, slander and
malpractice. It alleges that Martinez, who attempted hypnosis on
Sievek, and Smith should have known they were following an unsound
method of treatment that established an atmosphere fostering the
likelihood of false results and memories. "We intend to try them for
what we consider to be a grievous action against Mr. Stegman,"
Stegman's attorney Paul Henry said. "The request that they not be held
accountable in Illinois is nonsense. What they did to Mr. Stegman
could be done to anyone. There but for the grace of God go you." Henry
said Smith and Martinez' not wanting to be held accountable for their
work with Sievek was like a manufacturer who produced a faulty tire in
Texas that caused a fatal accident in Illinois. He said the tire
company would still be liable for its product.
  The two-count complaint, filed last summer, also claims Smith and
Martinez did not warn patients that the therapy plan was not based on
accepted scientific principles and that they "intentionally designed
and fabricated an elaborate conspiracy" to bring about economic ruin
and emotional distress to the father.  Both of Stegman's daughters,
Connie Sievek and Jennifer Strivens, are named as defendants as
well. A trial date has not been set.
             Update: B v. S, 1995 U.S. App. LEXIS 29707:
  Late in April 1995, J. B. petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for
certiorari, asking that court to hear her appeal. In 1995, the U.S
Ct. of Appeals, 2nd Circuit had affirmed dismissal of that case,
noting that B. had first reported childhood abuse 25 years after it
allegedly occurred and only after she had undergone hypnosis. (See
FMSF Newsletter Nov/Dec '95, p. 9).
  An amicus curiae brief has been submitted on B's behalf by the
following 18 organizations: American Coalition for Abuse Awareness;
BEAM (Being Energetic About Multiplicity); Believe the Children;
ECLIPSE (Emancipating Children from Legal Injustice); International
Society for Professional Hypnosis; Justice For Children; Marilyn Van
Derbur Institute, Inc.; Mothers Against Sexual Abuse; National Guild
of Hypnotists, Inc.; National Federation of Hypnotists Local 104;
National Victim Center;One Voice: The National Alliance for Abuse
Awareness; Survivors and Victims Empowered; Survivor Connections,
Inc.; Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests; The International
Council on Cultism and Ritual Trauma; The LINKUP, Survivors of Clergy
Sexual Abuse, Inc.; Treating Abuse Today. A letter has been sent by
Connecticut attorney Helen McGonigle asking for financial support for
this effort.
                      Update: Edenton Revisited:
  Robert F. Kelly, Jr. returned to jail on April 29, 1996, to face new
charges involving a young woman, now 18 or 19 years old, claiming
child sexual abuse 10 years ago. Mr. Kelly was charged in four
separate indictments alleging eight counts of child sexual abuse.
According to Mr. Kelly's attorney Jeffrey Miller, Assistant Prosecutor
Nancy Lamb made a point of telling the judge "this is not a repressed
memory case" at the bond hearing.
  Last May, the North Carolina Court of Appeals unanimously overturned
the conviction of Mr. Kelly and Katherine Dawn Wilson, ruling the
defendants did not receive a fair and impartial trial and that
prejudicial errors were committed in both cases. Mr. Kelly, co-owner
of the Little Rascals Day Care Center, was convicted in 1992 on 99
counts of sexually abusing 12 children at the center and sentenced to
12 consecutive life prison terms. Ms. Wilson, a former cook at the
center, was sentenced to life in prison after conviction on five
counts of sexual abuse. The trial was the longest and most expensive
in state history.
  Nancy Lamb said that these new allegations were unrelated to the day
care case but came about during a review of that case. Ms. Lamb
indicated to Mr. Miller that the prosecution intended to try the new
case prior to the re-trial of the day care center case and the two
cases would not be joined.

/                                                                    \
| When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall |
| one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.      |
|                                                       Edmund Burke |
|    Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontent Vol. i. p. 526. |

/                                                                    \ 
| I went through Vietnam. This was harder. In Vietnam there were     |
| other people going through the same thing. This, you're going      |
| through it alone. And in Vietnam you could shoot back.             |
|                                             A Dad, a Doc, a Vet    |
/                                                                    \ 
|                           Never Give Up                            |
|                            Lloyd Corney                            |
|        reprinted with permission  FMS Vancouver Newsletter.        |
|                                                                    |
| During the Second World War, Churchill was invited to give a       |
| speech to members of a boy's school. As would be expected, many    |
| adults also attended hoping this outrageous man would help them to |
| see some light in this trying and unbearable period. Churchill's   |
| speech consisted of, "We must never give up. We must never give up.|
| We must never give up."  He repeated this many times, and that was |
| his speech.                                                        |
|   That was easy for the world to see. People were killed. Sons and |
| daughters were lost. Families and lifestyles were altered forever. |
| But they never gave up and they won.                               |
|   We are in a war. We have lost lives -- Sons, Daughters. Because  |
| of repressed memory therapy, our families and lifestyles will      |
| never be the same. We must never give up and just like them, we    |
| will win. Right is on our side.                                    |
|   How do we give up? We give up when we stop going to meetings. We |
| give up when we stop writing letters. We give up when we stop      |
| communicating within our groups. We give up when we stop informing |
| the rest of the world. And, if we give up -- they win.             |

/                                                                    \
| FREE LIBRARY DISPLAYS are now available through SIRS Publishers.   |
| Call 1-800-232-7477. This is an attractive and positive way to     |
| inform people about the many new books that are now available      |
| about false memories and the devastating effects this is having on |
| families.                                                          |

                          MAKE A DIFFERENCE

  This is a column that will let you know what people are doing to
  counteract the harm done by FMS. Remember that three and a half
  years ago, FMSF didn't exist. A group of 50 or so people found each
  other and today more than 17,000 have reported similar experiences.
  Together we have made a difference. How did this happen?

MISSOURI: In Missouri one does not have to be licensed as a
Transactional Analyst or Hypnotist. FMS families went to the Capitol
in regard to a bill that would license Transactional Analysts (TA) and
Hypnotists. The bill passed the Senate and now must pass the House.
This was a hearing by the Professional Registration and Licensing
  First an attorney spoke in favor of passage. Then a family told
their story about how their daughter had cut off all communication
with them and that they didn't even know what they were supposed to
have done.
  Next State Representative Annette Morgan testified against the bill.
She said that one therapist mentioned by the family was a doctor and
she did not fall under the bill under consideration. At that, a family
spoke up and said, "She took the oath:'First do not harm.' She is
devastating whole families."
  Later families met with other state representatives to whom they had
been sending information. The representatives seemed responsive to the
families' concerns.

MISSOURI: FMS volunteers staffed a booth at the Senior Fair. The fair
was sponsored by the Agency on Aging. Materials were handed out and,
as always, people who have been touched by FMS learned about the
Foundation and received information.

PENNSYLVANIA: Initiatives for FMSF
  Rather than the usual effect of boosting my spirits, the April 1996
FMS Foundation Newsletter brought vague feelings of malaise and
disillusionment.  Despite the news of continuing progress in exposing
the sickness and evil behind the memory fabrication business, I was
reminded of the long struggle ahead.
  It has been refreshing to hear of patently absurd convictions based
only upon false memories being overturned, but I then note with dismay
that many of the accused face new trials. The witch trials are far
from being over.
  Professional awareness of false memories continues to grow but may
have encountered a significant detour in the "Final Report of the
American Psychological Association's Working Group on the
Investigation of Memories of Childhood Abuse." APA clinicians, it
seems, have declared themselves exempt from the usual rules of
scientific inquiry and are free to endorse as true virtually any
popular theory or individual reality. Pseudoscience is still loose in
the land and enjoying the protection of a powerful mental health
  I encourage the FMS Foundation and families to support at least the
following initiatives:

1. Establish a system for recognizing professional associations and
   graduate training programs that uncompromisingly insist upon
   scientific legitimacy.
2. Establish a system for holding public servants and mental health
   professionals accountable for their actions.
3. Expose the methods by which proponents of iatrogenic memories and
   related mental health system excesses seek to discredit or destroy
   their professional critics. Many professionals who could help stop
   the insanity have been silenced by fear of attacks from the
   recovered memory cult.
                                             John P. Brown, Jr., Ph.D.

WISCONSIN: After two years of educating the librarian, a social worker
who understands FMS had success! The library carries all pertinent
books and has just put up a terrific display on FMS. It builds on
material from SIRS. The social worker sent out a press release about
the display and the local newspaper wrote an article about the display
and the problem.

  Send your ideas to Katie Spanuello c/o FMSF.

                           FROM OUR READERS
                      Where do we go from here?
  The first signs of a break in my daughter's long slide into mental
ill health are beginning to show -- after a year and a half of total
estrangement from most of her family. She recently contacted her two
sisters, my stalwart supporters throughout this strange aberration in
our lives. No explanations offered. Just normal chat. No less. So, is
that how "it" (all that Hell) will come to an end?  With a whimper?
Normalcy with no restructuring? My late husband, a builder, used to
reply to those who asked, "But how does one get started?" -- "Do it."
  Should we just "do it?" Start up again, cold turkey? No rehashing?
Questioning? Analyzing? Just allow the energies to begin flowing
between us once again without giving acknowledgement to years of
confusion and agony?
  At this point, I entertain some timid self-queries. Nothing
concrete. However, after living night and day with this "thing," this
anomaly in my life, after working limited local sources for
information and hoped-for relief, after feeding from one FMSF
Newsletter to the next, after pondering perceptive editorial guidance
and devouring the guts of each issue -- the question "Where do we go
from here?" also forms in my mind.
                                                           A Mom
           We cannot be a party to our daughter's delusion
  Our daughter falsely accused us six years ago. Since then it's like
we died and went to Hell! We have educated ourselves on FMS and been
active in educating others. We know our daughter was the victim of Bad
Therapy. On Mother's Day she called! I cried so hard when I heard her
voice I could barely speak. I told her we loved her, missed her and to
please just come home! She said she loved us and missed us. She said
she was coming into town for a class reunion and wanted to see us at
such a date, time and place. I suggested she come to our home. She
said no -- that she doesn't trust us. I asked if she still believed
these terrible things about us. She said "Yes" but that she has
forgiven us and will not talk about the past. She wants to start a new
relationship and go forward.  She said she loves us and we were good
  I told her good parents don't sexually molest their children. I
asked her why she would want anything to do with pedophiles or sexual
perverts? I sure don't.
  I told her that as long as she believes we did these terrible things
to her, we have nothing to talk about. So, no, we would not meet her.
  She works in a library. I suggested she read some of the books on
FMS. She said she has made a point to ignore them.
  I know she misses her family terribly. But we feel we cannot be a
party to her delusion. In the long run, that won't help anyone. Maybe
she will pick up a book and read about FMS. If not, there is nothing
else we can do to help her. We know our daughter was conned and didn't
get in this mess alone. But now, after 6 years, I think I know she is
the only one who can get herself out.
  I pray to God she finds the courage and the way.
                                                                 A Mom
                    It's your daughter from hell!
  I never thought I would be writing you this kind of letter! We have
our daughter back. As you know, we lost her in 1989 -- although our
eldest son kept in contact with her all this time. This son called us
last week to tell us he got an announcement to our daughter's wedding.
I really dreaded this news because I felt this was somehow final. Her
grandmothers who live across the country also got announcements. My
husband and I ran away for the weekend as we have been doing for the
last 7 years, trying to forget for a while and ease the pain.
  On Monday my husband was home by himself because I had gone off with
friends.  The doorbell rang. When he answered it, he saw our daughter
and her future husband with a wedding invitation in his hands. She
said, "Hi dad, it's your daughter from hell."
  My husband invited them in and called me on the phone. When I got
back home, I took her in my arms and just hugged the heck out of her
and she hugged back. She said she wanted us to start over and she was
sorry...They were with us for 5 hours and we had so much to talk about
for all these lost years.
  There is so much to tell but I could never put it all down on paper
right now.  We know its going to take a long time, so many lost years,
but at least we have a start. We will be forever grateful to our
future son-in-law who had a lot to do with this. He told us how many
times they drove up our street past the house.  Our daughter had
wanted to come before but could never quite do it until now.  She said
she has missed us.
  After 7 years we never believed we would have our daughter back. Now
we are going to try and rebuild this family. We wanted you to know
what has happened and thank you again so much for all the work you are
doing to educate the public and ease some of the pain that we all go
through. We pray that all the other parents will someday soon have the
chance to see their children again. We really feel blessed.  
                                                  A Happy Mom and Dad
                   We will never be a family again
  About a month and a half ago I was diagnosed with metastatic cancer
and have been told I have a short time to live. I'm sure this medical
condition was aggravated by the false accusation by a grandson. I'm
convinced the extreme stress and pain of the accusations and the loss
of the child caused the breakdown of the immune system. His new step-
mother convinced him to tell these lies to youth services and a
therapist spent months trying to make sure he didn't retract it. Last
summer, after more than 4 years, I received this letter from the

  "Dear Granny,
    I am very sorry I told all those lies about you. I'm sorry I lied
  and told some things that could have put you in jail. I really want
  to make things right.  I am also sorry I kept you from me all those
  years for really no reason but false ones. Granny, if I could, I
  would go back and tell the truth all over again but I realize it is
  too late. What I did to you can , but it can be forgiven.
    Granny, please forgive me. I will never do anything like that
  again to anyone!!  

The child had attempted to tell youth services the truth just two
weeks after he told the lies. The step-mother and father are putting
all blame on this 11 year old child and continuing to destroy him even
further. I have told the child I forgive him, but we will never be a
family again. There are too many painful memories to want them back
now after 5 years. I'm very sorry if this causes our grandson more
                                            A destroyed Grandmother
                            A Family Again
  Just a note to fill you in about our meeting with our daughter a few
weeks ago. Everything went unbelievably well. She, her dad and I had a
good visit and we were all in control of our emotions. There was no
going back to explain exactly why certain things happened. I'm sure,
at this point, our daughter doesn't understand how she was led into
FMS. Our family is just that again. Our daughter's brother and sister
are so happy about our reconciliation and looking forward to some
happy times together. Thank you for your great support.  
                                                             A Mom
             Note of Concern from a Mother of a Retractor
  I am concerned that some parents may be passing up a reconciliation
with their daughter just because she has not retracted her accusations
yet. There is no way to explain the JOY we have experienced over the
last two years since the return of our daughter. Had we waited until
she was convinced all of her memories of abuse were false, we never
would have gotten together as soon as we did. Just being with her
father and me helped her to get her REAL memories of her family back.
Please don't make conditions for your daughter to meet before she can
return! You don't like it when she makes conditions for you. Remember
when your daughter was first born? You loved and accepted her in spite
of birth marks or birth defects. The same is true of her now. There
will be defects. None of us will ever be the same again! Her counselor
may be telling her that just being with her parents will make her
worse. Just the opposite may prove to be true.  Just being together
may be the best medicine in the world for both of you. I know we have
all been hurt. But why not give it a try?  
                                               Mother of a Retractor
                             Feel Nothing
  It has been over five years since we were first accused by our
daughter "J."  We received the letter below last week. I called my
wife and read it to her and then asked how she felt. "I feel nothing,"
she said. That's how I feel too.

  Dear Mom and Dad,
    I am sorry for the pain I have caused you. Healing is a long
  journey and I have not always done mine well. A year ago as I lay at
  death's door, I realized there were many things in my life left
  unfinished and that I should at least try to make peace with you. My
  brush with death seems not to have changed one thing about me --
  ever the procrastinator it has taken me a year to set aside my ego
  and pride and build up the courage to write. As there are no words
  to make up for the pain I have caused, I will simply go on to tell
  you about your grandchildren....  
                                                    Peace to you "J" 

We called our daughter. She said "I've learned to live with the things
you did to me...but I can't forget them." I didn't expect her to say
that. I guess I lost my cool and said, "You need a good psychiatrist."
Our daughter has not contacted us again. It's been a year.
                                                              A Dad
               A Reconciliation with Professional Help
  I feel compelled to write and thank you for the support you have
been to me during the past five difficult years. Our daughter was a
textbook case of the "Courage to Heal" variety.
  Six months ago our daughter wrote to us and her three siblings and
asked if we would consider coming from 4 states to participate in a
dialogue with her and a male-female team of AAMFT therapists. After
considerable discussion, we all agreed to go and last weekend we had
four hours of hard and hard-hitting confrontations resulting in
reconciliation and restoration of family wholeness.
  Unlike many others, we were not able to just welcome our daughter
back without any explanations, retractions, or apologies. Her
description of her life at the time of the accusations enabled us to
accept her apologies for the agony she had caused us all. She said she
did not actually "accuse" us, but asked myriad questions in such a way
that implied she believed she had been abused. When we categorically
denied everything, she knew we felt "accused" and -- in her anger
about her own life -- left us to believe she had accused us. She said
she was very wrong to have done this to us and sincerely apologized
for the pain she had caused.
  Her identification of herself as a "fundamentalist AA" member, an
"angry feminist," and an incessant "joiner" of numerous fad self-help
groups, confirmed our belief that such places were where she was
receiving instruction and support for her actions. (A therapist of
questionable credentials and her own reading were also guiding her.)
She firmly believes such groups saved her life, as she was suicidal at
various times, but believes any help and growth she experienced
personally was at our family's expense. Siblings never agreed with her
on any point and were more inclined to just distance themselves from
her, and remained supportive of their parents. She no longer attends
any support groups, but works part-time while being a full-time
  Our dialogue sessions totaled 4 hours and were very emotional. We
had to say certain things and ask certain questions. She was reluctant
to retract, although she did try to explain where she was coming from.
She finally said her family was more important to her than clinging to
any false memories and that her search from the beginning had been due
to her interest in why she had so many addictions and so much
self-destructive behavior and whether causes could be traced to early
childhood. She always said she had no memories of abuse, but since she
exhibited so many symptoms of persons who had been abused she was
exploring the possibility.
  Her siblings explained their lack of interest in constantly talking
about her addictions and their hope she could put it all behind her
and get on with her life. She expressed the hope we would never have
to discuss this again. So, as our first daughter approaches her 38th
birthday, we are all filled with inexpressible gratitude and hope that
her life will be happy and fulfilling and productive. She has just
completed a Masters Degree, entered into a relationship with a young
man, and her life is in front of her. We are all determined to let go
of the past and move into the future with renewed faith and hope and
  From the beginning, we went on with our lives, refusing to let our
daughter bring her sickness to the rest of us. We had painful moments
at holidays and family times, but we never wavered from the conviction
that she would come to her senses. I hope this will provide
encouragement for others and that more and more families will soon
experience reconciliations with their loved ones.
                                                    A Grateful Mom
                           Easier with Time
  Our daughter wanted to come and visit us. I told her that it would
be fine as long as a third party came with her. "What, don't you
believe me?" she asked. I ask myself how any parent could not want to
get their daughter back? But you know, I don't really miss her. If she
wants to come back, it would be on our terms. This does get easier
with time...I used to cry every day. Then it was every couple of
days. Then it was about once a month. Now I'm OK. I do hope that the
day will come when the grandchildren want to see for themselves who
their grandparents were."

                       Returned in Worse Shape
    When our daughter returned to the family she was in much worse
emotional state than when she went for therapy. A number of times she
said "my life is a mess" and several times she referred to herself as
"a basket case." We were very gentle with her and made sure we were
here to help her while she goes through a re-adjustment. During her
early visits she kept saying, "It's so peaceful here!"  (meaning, our
place). We continue to support her to the point that we feel she may
becoming too dependent on us. If something should happen to us or
between us, we feel she'll likely panic and become traumatized again.
  To date (one year since she came back to the family) we have not
talked about the fifteen months that she was away. It's as if nothing
has happened. We're not sure how to approach the subject since she is
still very vulnerable and we don't know what false memories the
therapists left with her nor what state of mind they have left her
in. We ask ourselves ,"Are we going to open something we can't
  We feel that the damage done by the therapists needs to be undone
first and then she'll need therapy to deal with the original real
cause of her emotional problems. We're at a loss as to who to turn to
-- and we're not sure our daughter would agree to any counselor after
the abuse to which she was subjected by unscrupulous therapy --
employed by our own government yet!!

/                                                                    \ 
|                           Before Therapy                           |
| Dear Mom,                                                          |
|   If anyone asks me, "Who's your best friend? I always answer "my  |
| mother" because you have been my best friend for many years. But I |
| don't think I have ever told you how I really feel about you. I    |
| think you know how much I love you and I think you are a warm      |
| loving person. But I don't think you know how much I admire you    |
| for your intelligence, your intellect and your knowledge.          |
|   You have always give me good advice and I think you are the most |
| intelligent woman and best-read woman I have ever known. I feel    |
| bad that maybe you don't realize that I feel this way about you.   |
|   I love being able to talk about anything with you and I only     |
| hope that I can be as good a mother to my children, and as good a  |
| role model as you have been to me.  I love you, Mom.               |
|                                              Your daughter  "A"    |
|                                                                    |
|                           After Therapy                            |
| "L"                                                                |
|   My memories of you are so full of pain, hurt, betrayal and       |
| humiliation that it is hard to write this letter. I remember the   |
| many ways you mistreated me and hurt me, but your unpredictability |
| and inconsistency were hardest to deal with when I was growing     |
| up. My whole life you have been a mystery to me. At times you      |
| could be kind and and sometimes you could be fun, but much more    |
| often you were vicious and cruel. I tried so hard to connect with  |
| you, but I never could find your heart or soul...                  |
|   I have two children whom I love deeply and whom I would protect  |
| to the ends of the earth. I didn't learn to be a good mother from  |
| you. My ability to love and nurture my children came from some     |
| deep part of myself that I was able to keep safe from your cruelty |
| and abuse. I deserved a mother who loved me and who would do her   |
| best to keep me safe                                               |
|   ...When you failed to fulfill even the minimum obligations of a  |
| mother, you gave up any right to have a relationship with me.      |
| Good-bye.                                                          |
|                                              First name, last name |

                       JUNE 1996 FMSF MEETINGS
  (MO) = monthly; (bi-MO) = bi-monthly; (*) = see State Meetings list


  Saturday, June 8 @1-3:30 pm 
    Seminar: How We Helped Our Daughter Return
  Elly & Paul Ovrebo JoAnne (916) 933-3655

  Saturday, June 29 @12 Noon 
    Lunch Meeting in Beautiful Napa County  
    Guest Speaker: Pamela Freyd, Ph.D. 
      Executive Director, FMSF 
    Do plan to come -- 
    Jack & Pat (408) 425-1430
    Charles (415) 435-9618 
    Judy (510) 254-2605 
    Rudy (916) 443-4041   


ARIZONA - (bi-MO) 
  Barbara (602) 924-0975; 854-0404(fax) 

  Al & Lela (501) 363-4368  

  Northern California 
      Joanne & Gerald (916) 933-3655 or
      Rudy (916)443-4041 
      Gideon (415) 389-0254 or 
      Charles 984-6626(am);435-9618(pm) 
    EAST BAY AREA  (bi-MO) 
      Judy (510) 254-2605 
    SOUTH BAY AREA  Last Sat. (bi-MO) 
      Jack & Pat (408) 425-1430 
      Carole (805) 967-8058 
  Southern California 
    CENT. ORANGE CNTY. 1st Fri. (MO) @7pm 
      Chris & Alan (714) 733-2925
    ORANGE COUNTY -3rd Sun. (MO) @6pm
      Jerry & Eileen (714) 494-9704 
    COVINA AREA -1st Mon. (MO) @7:30pm
      Floyd & Libby (818) 330-2321 
    SOUTH BAY AREA -3rd Sat  (bi-MO) @10am
      Cecilia (310) 545-6064  

  DENVER-4th Sat. (MO) @1pm
    Ruth (303) 757-3622 

    Earl 329-8365 or Paul 458-9173 

    Madeline (305) 966-4FMS
  BOCA/DELRAY 2nd&4th Thurs(MO) @1pm 
    Helen (407) 498-8684 
    Bob & Janet (813) 856-7091

ILLINOIS -  3nd Sun. (MO) 
  Eileen (708)980-7693  

   Nickie (317)471-0922(ph); 334-9839(fax)
   Pat (219) 482-2847 (*) 

  DES MOINES -  2nd Sat. (MO) @11:30am Lunch 
    Betty & Gayle (515) 270-6976 

    Leslie (913) 235-0602 or
    Pat 738-4840 Jan (816) 931-1340  

    Dixie (606) 356-9309 
  LOUISVILLE- Last Sun. (MO) @2pm 
    Bob (502) 957-2378 

  Francine (318) 457-2022  

MAINE - Area Code 207
    Irvine & Arlene 942-8473 
  FREEPORT -4rd Sun. (MO) 
    Wally 865-4044 

    Margie (410) 750-8694  

  CHELMSFORD- Ron (508) 250-9756  

    Catherine (616) 363-1354 
    Nancy (810) 642-8077 

  Terry & Collette (507) 642-3630 
  Dan & Joan (612) 631-2247 

  KANSAS CITY 2nd Sun. (MO) 
    Leslie (913) 235-0602 or
    Pat 738-4840
    Jan (816) 931-1340 
  ST. LOUIS AREA-3rd Sun. (MO)- AREA CODE 314
     Karen 432-8789 or
      Mae 837-1976 
  SPRINGFIELD - 4th Sat. (MO) @12:30pm 
    Dorothy & Pete (417) 882-1821
    Howard (417) 865-6097  


  Maggie 662-7521(after 6:30pm) or
  Martha 624-0225  

    Barbara (914) 761-3627 (bi-MO) 
    Elaine (518) 399-5749 
     George & Eileen (716) 586-7942  

    Len 364-4063
    Dee 942-0531
    HJ 755-3816 
    Rosemary 439-2459  

    Paul & Betty (717) 691-7660 
    Rick & Renee (412) 563-5616 
    Jim & Jo (610) 783-0396  
  June 8 @1pm/July & Aug -no mtg 

TENNESSEE - Wed. (MO) @1pm
  Kate (615) 665-1160

    Nancy & Jim (512) 478-8395 
    Jo or Beverly (713) 464-8970 

  Keith (801) 467-0669  

  Judith (802) 229-5154  

   Sue (703) 273-2343  

  Pat (304) 269-5871(*)  

  Katie & Leo (414) 476-0285


  VANCOUVER & MAINLAND  Last Sat. (MO) @1-4pm 
    Ruth (604) 925-1539
  VICTORIA & VANCOUVER ISLAND 3rd Tues. (MO) @7:30pm
    John (604) 721-3219

  LONDON -2nd Sun (bi-MO)
    Adrian (519) 471-6338 
    Eileen (613) 836-3294 
    Pat (416) 444-9078 
    Ethel (705) 924-3546 
    Ken & Marina (905) 637-6030 
    Paula (705) 692-0600  

    Alain (514) 335-0863  

  Mrs Irene Curtis P.O. Box 630, 
  Sunbury, VCT 3419 phone (03) 9740 6930  

  fax-(972) 2-259282 or  E-mail-  

    Mrs. Anna deJong (31) 20-693-5692 

  Mrs. Colleen Waugh (09) 416-7443 

    Roger Scotford (44) 1225 868-682  

July/August will be a combined issue
JULY/AUGUST '96 Issue Deadline: June 15 
Mark Fax or envelope: "Attn: Meeting Notice" & send 2 months before
scheduled 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". You'll also learn about |
| joining  the  FMS-Research list  (it distributes reseach materials |
| such as news stories, court decisions and research  articles).  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.

3401 Market Street suite 130,  Philadelphia, PA 19104,  (215-387-1865)

This address and the phone numbers have changed as of July 15, 2000

Pamela Freyd, Ph.D.,  Executive Director

FMSF Scientific and Professional Advisory Board,         June 1, 1996:
AARON T. BECK, M.D., D.M.S., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia,
PA;  TERENCE W.   CAMPBELL,  Ph.D., Clinical  and Forensic Psychology,
Sterling Heights,  MI;  ROSALIND CARTWRIGHT,  Ph.D., Rush Presbyterian
St. Lukes 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; GEORGE K. GANAWAY, M.D., Emory University
of Medicine, Atlanta, GA; MARTIN  GARDNER, Author, Hendersonville, NC;
ROCHEL GELMAN, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, CA; HENRY
GLEITMAN,  Ph.D., University  of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia,  PA; LILA
GLEITMAN, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; RICHARD
GREEN, M.D., J.D., Charing Cross  Hospital, London; DAVID A. HALPERIN,
M.D., Mount Sinai School  of Medicine, New  York, NY; ERNEST  HILGARD,
Ph.D., Stanford University, Palo  Alto, CA;  JOHN HOCHMAN, M.D.,  UCLA
Medical School, Los Angeles, CA; DAVID S. HOLMES, Ph.D., University of
Kansas, Lawrence, KS;  PHILIP S.  HOLZMAN,  Ph.D., Harvard University,
Cambridge, MA;  ROBERT A.  KARLIN,  Ph.D.   , Rutgers  University, New
Brunswick,  NJ;    HAROLD LIEF,  M.D.,   University   of Pennsylvania,
Philadelphia,  PA; ELIZABETH LOFTUS,  Ph.D., University of Washington,
Seattle,  WA; SUSAN L. McELROY, M.D.  , University of Cincinnati; PAUL
McHUGH, M.D., Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD; HAROLD MERSKEY,
D.M.,  University of Western Ontario,   London, Canada; SPENCER HARRIS
MORFIT, Author, Boxboro,  MA; ULRIC NEISSER,  Ph.D., Emory University,
Atlanta, GA; RICHARD OFSHE, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley,
CA; EMILY CAROTA ORNE, B.A., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia,
PA;   MARTIN  ORNE,   M.D.,    Ph.D., University     of  Pennsylvania,
Philadelphia, PA;  LOREN  PANKRATZ,  Ph.D.,   Oregon Health   Sciences
University, Portland, OR; CAMPBELL PERRY, Ph.D., Concordia University,
Montreal, Canada; MICHAEL A.  PERSINGER, Ph.D., Laurentian University,
Ontario,  Canada; AUGUST T.   PIPER, Jr., M.D.,  Seattle, WA; HARRISON
POPE, Jr., M.D., Harvard  Medical School, Cambridge, MA;  JAMES RANDI,
Author  and   Magician,  Plantation,  FL; HENRY  L.     ROEDIGER, III,
Ph.D. ,Rice   University, Houston, TX;   CAROLYN  SAARI, Ph.D., Loyola
University,    Chicago, IL;   THEODORE  SARBIN, Ph.D.,   University of
California,   Santa  Cruz, CA;   THOMAS   A.  SEBEOK, Ph.D.,   Indiana
University, Bloomington, IN; MICHAEL  A.  SIMPSON, M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P.,
M.R.C, D.O.M., Center for Psychosocial  & Traumatic Stress,  Pretoria,
South   Africa;  MARGARET  SINGER,  Ph.D.,   University of California,
Berkeley, CA; RALPH SLOVENKO, J.D., Ph.D.,  Wayne State University Law
School, Detroit, MI; DONALD SPENCE, Ph.D., Robert Wood Johnson Medical
Center, Piscataway, NJ; JEFFREY   VICTOR, Ph.D.,  Jamestown  Community
College, Jamestown,   NY;  HOLLIDA   WAKEFIELD,  M.A.,  Institute   of
Psychological Therapies,  Northfield,   MN; CHARLES  A. WEAVER,   III,
Ph.D. Baylor University, Waco, TX.

                           MEMBERSHIP  FORM

    Annual Dues for individual and/or family ($100.00)   $________

    Annual Dues for professionals ($125.00)              $________

    I enclose a tax-deductible contribution of           $________

                                               Total     $________

___Credit Card:

___VISA:  Card: #________-________-________-________ exp. date ___/___

___MASTER CARD: #________-________-________-________ exp. date ___/___

___Check or Money Order: Payable to FMS FOUNDATION in U.S. dollars.
  Foreign & Canadian payments may only be made with a Credit Card, a 
  U.S. dollar money order, or a check drawn on a U.S. dollar account.


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