FMSF NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE - July/August, 1994 - Vol. 3, No. 7, HTML version

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This address and the phone numbers have changed as of July 15, 2000
    The FMSF Newsletter is published 10 times a year by the  False
    Memory  Syndrome  Foundation.  A hard-copy subscription is in-
    cluded in membership fees. Others may subscribe by  sending  a
    check  or  money  order, payable to FMS Foundation, to the ad-
    dress above. 1994  subscription  rates: USA: 1 year $20,  Stu-
    dent $10; Canada: $25 (in U.S. dollars);  Foreign: $35; Single
    issue price: $3. ISSN #1069-0484
        P. T.
             Daniel Goleman
                   Harrison Pope
                         Jim Simons
                                           A M A  R E P O R T

Dear Friends,
  Will the FMS phenomenon find its place in history as the Recovered
Memory Mistake? Therapy for space alien abduction! Therapy for past
lives! On June 16, the American Medical Association's Council on
Scientific Affairs issued a statement about recovered memories. The
full text of the statement is reprinted in this newsletter. In
addition to reasserting the AMA 1984 position on the limitations of
hypnosis, the new statement specifically questions "recovered memory
  "The AMA considers recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse to
be of uncertain authenticity, which should be subject to external
verification. The use of recovered memories is fraught with problems
of potential misapplication."
  The AMA statement also states what it considers the most
questionable areas:
  "Most controversial are those "memories" that surface only in
therapy and those from either infancy or late childhood (including

  When we read this, we decided to review the data we have collected
from a survey conducted from March 1992 through August 1993.
  We asked accused people at what age the accuser alleged the abuse
began. In a sample of 399 surveys, 90 did not answer this question.
Not every accused person knows all the details of the terrible things
he or she allegedly did. Of the 309 completed responses, 54% of the
accusers claimed to have recovered memories from 3 years or younger.
34% claim to have recovered memories from age 2 or younger
  We asked families at what age the accuser claimed the alleged abuse
ended. From the sample of 399 surveys, 160 families did not answer
this. Of the 239 who did answer, 60% said that the accuser claimed
that the abuse continued after the age of 11 but s/he had not been
aware of it until memories were "recovered" in therapy.
  Doesn't that indicate at the minimum that the reports to the FMS
Foundation should be examined? The accused are asking for
investigation. It is the accusers, their therapists, and the state
licensing and monitoring boards that refuse. To accuse and then refuse
to provide any forum to examine the accusations is "guilt by
accusation." It is this behavior that leads to use of the term "witch
  Recovered Memory Therapy is a "closed-system" of logic. The
insurance diagnosis associated with RMT is Post Traumatic Stress
Syndrome, one of the only diagnoses that has a "stressor," a cause,
associated with it. To make the diagnosis, a doctor must know that a
trauma occurred. Yet "recovered memory" therapists characteristically
note that the patient, "shows all the signs of abuse" and from the
patient's behavior "predicts backwards" to show that the abuse must
have happened. No one can fail to have been abused, abducted by aliens
or have past lives using this logic. With such logic there is no way
to show that any report is ever false. This way of thinking is not
  If any other medical product had more than 13,000 complaints it
would be taken off the market and examined. If a new drug is
developed, it is tested and the benefits and risks are evaluated.
There are no mechanisms for doing this for a therapy product.
  This month we received reports of a new therapy for finding trauma
memories. Therapists can get continuing education credit for learning
a technique of "wagging their fingers in front of the patient's face,"
(Philadelphia Inquirer, 6/26/94). This is called Eye Movement
Desensitization and Reprocessing. There are no independent studies to
show that this is an effective or a safe therapy. There is no sound
scientific theory on which it is based. Instead, personal testimonials
of the inventor and of committed clinicians are used to sell this
therapy. This is the way a new therapy is introduced and marketed. Is
this process in the best interest of the public? We have letters from
families whose accusing children "recovered memories" using EMDR.
  Retractors: For the past two months, we have received at least one
phone call a day from someone telling us that he or she had been a
"Recovered Memory Therapy" (RMT) patient. These calls are in addition
to the letters and calls from accused families whose child has
returned and retracted, or returned without mentioning the
accusations. In the office, we feel a shift may just be beginning.
  We have been asked to take over "The Retractor" newsletter -- at
least for now. "The Retractor" was started by Melody Gavigan two years
ago. Through the help and insights Melody provided in this wellwritten
quarterly newsletter, many former RMT patients began to understand
their own therapy experiences. Melody is ready now to put the therapy
experiences behind her and "get on with her life." She, along with
other former RMT clients have told us that they want to be ordinary
members of FMSF, to join in the effort to stop what is wrong and to
try to change things so this terrible mistake will never happen
again. If there is one request that is common, it is that they not be
  While former RMT clients have special insights and needs, a common
immediate concern now predominates: how to reconcile families that
have been so savagely torn apart. Accused parents are trying to reach
their children; former RMT patients are trying to reach their parents
and extended family. When they do connect, then what? Until now, a
major focus of FMSF has been on trying to find ways to get a wedge of
reason into thinking systems that were 'closed.' This is happening
with the help of thousands of caring professionals, the media, and the
willingness of retractors to speak out.
  We know all too well that the majority of families are still
desperate, wondering if this nightmare can have an end for them
personally, wondering how to help speed its end. The beginning shift
of calls suggests that there is hope, but it does not yet say that we
can change our expectations.
  What is the reason that people move away from RMT therapy? Callers
tell us that something they read in the paper or heard on television
caused them to rethink their own experience. They sometimes say that a
question or suggestion from a friend or relative or therapist who had
read something was a trigger to rethinking. In this newsletter, we
reprint a letter from a "Male Retractor from BC" whose "recovered
memories" did not involve a therapist. The description of his struggle
to come to terms with his own experience may help us all understand
how the "recovered memory mistake" could have happened.
  Child abuse is unconscionable. Ignorance and carelessness in dealing
with issues of child abuse, however, will only undermine efforts to
help children. Our culture bought into a therapy model that works well
for substance abuse but then imposed the model on other situations and
it took on a life of its own. There was a mistake. People make
mistakes and cultures make mistakes. We can work together to learn
from the mistake. We can work together to solve it. Nothing less will

/                                                                    \
|                     International Conference                       |
|                 MEMORY AND REALITY: RECONCILIATION                 |
|                                                                    |
|      CoSponsored by The False Memory Syndrome Foundation and       |
|          The Johns Hopkins Continuing Education Program            |
|                                                                    |
|               Baltimore, MD December 9, 10, 11 1994                |
|     Registration form appears at the end of this e-mail posting    |
|                                                                    |

                       DEATH OF NICHOLAS SPANOS

  It is with deep regret that we inform readers of the death of one of
the world's great hypnosis researchers, Nicholas Spanos, Ph.D.,
Professor of Psychology at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. Dr.
Spanos died in a private airplane crash on June 7, 1994.
  Nick Spanos left as his legacy an important body of research. Much
of his recent work in hypnosis focused directly on issues related to
FMS and space-alien abduction. One study, for example, concluded that
people who claim to see flying saucers or have close encounters with
extraterrestrials are ordinary folks with normal imaginations,
(Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 102, 4, 624-632, 1993). Dr. Spanos
was outspoken in his criticism of some current uses of hypnosis to
"recover memories," and his articles and letters to the editor on this
topic hold a special place in our library.
  In honor of Nicholas Spanos, we can hold to the high standards of
science and scholarship for which he earned the respect of his

/                                                                    \
| But they [i.e. False Memory Syndrome Foundation] argue that often  |
| the accusations are false even if the accusers believe them to be  |
| true. They also note that these accusations are frequently         |
| encouraged by therapists who are untrained or don't have           |
| credentials, but who make a living as abuse specialists. The       |
| members of the group insist in strong and aggrieved terms, that as |
| parents accused falsely of despicable acts they also have rights,  |
| both legal and moral, and deserve not only a hearing but also      |
| protection from alse charges.                                      |
|                                             Walter Reich, M.D.     |
|                                     "The Monster in the Mists"     |
|                        New York Times Book Review, May 15,1994     |

  The death of Nick Spanos focused our attention on his work and on
its role in the development of understanding of memory processes,
especially through work in hypnosis. We began to wonder if perhaps it
was a lack of this kind of understanding that has led our critics to
say what seemed to us very silly things (i.e. that FMSF has a "slick"
media campaign, that FMSF has paid the media to write favorable
articles, that the members of the media who do write favorable
articles come from dysfunctional families, etc).

  It was Franz A. Mesmer who first brought what is now called
"hypnosis" to the attention of the medical profession. "Animal
magnetism," as it was named by Mesmer in the late 18th Century, was
thought to be some special state and that the behavior he observed in
patients was the result of mechanistic forces, agencies, or mental
processes that resulted in special or automatic responses. Indeed, in
this century, the fundamental issue that has grounded research in
hypnosis has been whether it is a "special state" or whether it falls
on a continuum of waking functioning. One of the strengths of the FMSF
Advisory Board, one of the reasons that people in the media and the
professions have taken FMSF so seriously, is that scientists who fall
into differing camps on fundamental issues about hypnosis have joined
to express the same concern about the "misuse" of hypnosis for
"refreshing memory."
  Nick Spanos put forth a body of research suggesting that the
behaviors that were seen in hypnosis were not the result of some
special state. He argued that they were instead the result of
"cognitive-behavioral" responses. People, he suggested, respond in
ways that fulfill the task requirements and the expectations of the
researchers. "People are going to look to authority figures, such as
the therapist, to see if they're treating this as though it really
happened. People start thinking maybe it's true, start imagining what
if it were true," (Ottawa Citizen, June 8, 1994). Spanos's body of
research is built on the theoretical work and perspective of Theodore
Sarbin, a member of the FMSF Advisory Board.
  The body of work of Martin Orne, on the other hand, a member of the
FMSF Advisory Board, argues that hypnosis is a special "trance" state.
That does not mean that research from Orne's perspective ignores task
requirements. Indeed, it was Orne who coined the term, " demand
characteristics of social domains" which helped to sharpen the issues,
boundaries, and theoretical perspectives of research in hypnosis.
  The tension, the differing perspectives about hypnosis, are the very
real and exciting processes of science as it progresses. In the effort
to provide convincing evidence and arguments, researchers are expected
to produce careful and controlled experiments that are published.
Clinical evidence is not ignored. Rather it is the starting point from
which research questions are generated. While clinical evidence is
important and necessary when working with people, it is not
sufficient. We can be mislead by clinical observations as the debacle
of Facilitated Communication has recently shown us. Open debate,
discussion, argument, presenting of data -- this is what is expected
in science. If someone makes a claim, he or she is expected to show
the evidence for the claim.
  Those who claim that there exists a process of "robust repression"
such that decades worth of selected memories can be blotted out have
the burden of proof. To put people in prison now, to destroy families
now, because a study next year might have the proof?  Claims that
"the definitive study" is just about to appear are the hallmark of
"belief systems" not science.

/                                                                    \
| Ideally, research endeavors should steer the direction of clinical |
| practice for all health care professions. When practice responds   |
| to research data, the health and welfare of the public are more    |
| effectively protected. Conversely, when practitioners ignore       |
| research, they reduce themselves to the status of charlatans and   |
| faith-healers -- and even more alarmingly, they jeopardize the     |
| welfare of their patients.                                         |
|                                     Terence Campbell, Ph.D. (1994) |
|                           "Psychotherapy and Malpractice Exposure" |
|                        American Journal of Forensic Psych, 12  (1) |

                        SELLING PSEUDOSCIENCE: 

  We can contrast the vitality and excitement that propels real
science with the methods used to promote "pseudo" science. Carl Sagan
spoke to that issue at a June meeting of CISCOP (Committee for the
Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal) in Seattle. Nick
Spanos had also been scheduled to speak.
  Why is it that so many people come to believe and have faith in
things for which there is no evidence -- such as Facilitated
Communication. One of the talks at the CISCOP meeting was entitled,
"How to sell pseudoscience." It was presented by Anthony Pratkanis,
Ph.D.  whose research has been on claims of "subliminal audio tapes."
As you read the list, consider "recovered memory therapy." What parts
of it are real science? What parts are pseudoscience?

  1. Create a phantom. (Create an unavailable goal that looks real or
  2. Set a rationalization trip. (Get a person to commit to the cause
as soon as possible. Then the person will want to prove himself or
herself right, thus escalating the commitment.)
  3. Manufacture source credibility. (An authority figure or guru will
put an end to questioning. What right does a mere novice have to
question the authority?)
  4. Establish a "granfallon." (Create a group which will control the
social reality. It is very common to create enemies or scapegoats.)
  5. Use self-generated persuasion . (Ask the person to "imagine" what
it would be like, etc.)
  6. Construct vivid appeals. (Use case studies rather than statis-
  7. Use pre-persuasion. (Define the situation and expectations.)
  8. Use heuristics and commonplaces. (Ready made responses that cover
any questions can eliminate discussion.)
  9. Attack opponents through innuendo and other character assassina-
tion. (Make reference to a "vague they." Innuendo can:
  > change the discussion by moving it from issues to character;
  > raise a glimmer of doubt about the character;
  > can be very chilling because the person attacked comes to question
whether the challenge is worth the bother.


  This is a question that we have asked former patients on a survey
conducted by the FMS Foundation. 
  For many, this is a difficult question to answer because the
"experience" of a memory can be impossible to describe. The idea of
"proving" that a recovered memory is false is, in many cases, just as
complex as proving a continuous memory is objectively true.
  Many retractors report that at some time during their memory
recovery process, they not only started to question their memories,
but also came to a turning point at which they gathered the courage to
look for corroboration or evidence for their memories of sexual abuse.
What they found (or did not find) convinced them that their memories
were false. Memories often did not "fit" with reality. Sometimes very
concrete information disconfirmed their memories. Some retractors talk
about physical evidence (pregnancies, scar tissue, etc.) that would
have been available if their memories were accurate. In other cases,
retractors described a sense of discordance with reality in their
false memories.
  Retractors have also commented on the character of their false
memories. Some describe a blurring between fantasy and reality in
their memories and a sense that their memories for the abuse simply
did not "fit." These false memories are often described as not
"feeling" like other memories (even other traumatic memories) or not
making sense.  Retractors often say that unlike other memories, their
false memories kept "growing" during therapy, with more and more
detail and embellishment.
  Quite a few retractors can compare their false memories of abuse to
their memories for real abuse they suffered as children and always
remembered and have a sense that there is a real difference between
these memories.
  Finally retractors often say that they can tell their memories of
abuse are false by the change in their life since they came to this
realization. Many describe a sense of peace and comfort with their
decision that their memories were false and a sense of well-being that
they missed while entrenched in the memory recovery process.
                           REDUCED CHARGES

As more people have started to question, parents have been told that
the terrible "memories" were a metaphor for feelings of abuse. Parents
have been told that the family was "dysfunctional." Charles Whitfield,
M.D. is often cited as the expert on dysfunctional families. Whitfield
is one of the most outspoken critics of FMSF saying that ninety-eight
percent of the families that contact the Foundation are guilty.
Whitfield's checklist has been used to confirm sexual abuse. Below is
a Whitfield checklist. It may help some readers understand the basis
for the new charges:
   "Recovery Potential Survey"
   Charles Whitfield
   from Healing the Child Within (1987)
(Directions tell readers to circle word that most applies to how you
truly feel. Circling "occasionally," "often" or "usually" to any of
the questions, may indicate reader is an adult child of a
dysfunctional family.)
Never,  Seldom,  Occasionally,  Often,  Usually
1. Do you seek approval and affirmation? 2. Do you fail to recognize
your accomplishments? 3. Do you fear criticism? 4. Do you overextend
yourself? 5. Have you had problems with your own compulsive behavior?
6. Do you have a need for perfection? 7. Are you uneasy when your life
is going smoothly? Do you continually anticipate problems? 8. Do you
feel more alive in the midst of a crisis? 9. Do you care for others
easily, yet find it difficult to care for yourself? 10. Do you isolate
yourself from other people? 11. Do you respond with anxiety to
authority figures and angry people? 12. Do you feel that individuals
and society in general are taking advantage of you? 13. Do you have
trouble with intimate relationships? 14. Do you attract and seek
people who tend to be compulsive? 15. Do you cling to relationships
because you are afraid of being alone? 16. Do you often mistrust your
own feelings and the feelings expressed by others? 17. Do you find it
difficult to express your emotions? 18. Do you fear any of the
following >losing control? >your own feelings? >conflict and
criticism? >being rejected or abandoned? >being a failure? 19. Is it
difficult for your to relax and have fun? 20. Do you find yourself
compulsively eating, working, drinking, using drugs, or seeking
excitement? 21. Have you tried counseling or psychotherapy, yet still
feel that "something" is wrong or missing? 22. Do you frequently feel
numb, empty, or sad? 23. Is it hard for you to trust others? 24. Do
you have an over-developed sense of responsibility? 25. Do you feel a
lack of fulfillment in life, both personally and in your work? 26. Do
you have feelings of guilt, inadequacy or low self-esteem? 27. Do you
have a tendency toward having chronic fatigue, aches and pains? 28. Do
you find that it is difficult to visit your parents for more than a
few minutes or a few hours? 29.  Are you uncertain about how to
respond when people ask about your feelings? 30. Have you ever
wondered if you might have been mistreated, abused, or neglected as a
child? 31. Do you have difficulty asking for what you want from
                       LESSON OF THE LEVY CASE
             Adapted from articles in the Globe and Mail
                     (May 1994)    P. T.
  One day last spring, Harold Levy, a Toronto Star journalist and a
lawyer, was arrested as he was driving to visit his mother.
  "Police cars surrounded him on a public street -- as if he were the
most dangerous bank robber," said Alan Gold, Levy's lawyer. "His
arrest was the most astonishing thing I have ever heard of, cameras
were there to video tape the arrest."
  Mr. Levy was charged with nine offenses, all based on recovered
memories. At his bail hearing, the Crown sought to have him held in
custody, but bail was set at an astonishing $200,000.00.
  Subsequently Mr. Levy suffered through "the year from hell."
  This year, as dramatically as it had begun, the case fell apart. The
young woman, whose identity cannot be revealed, and who had made
allegations that Mr. Levy had sexually assaulted her with knives and
been bottles from a very young age until quite recently, recanted!
  She is devastated and regrets the whole thing. She feels that she
was strongly influenced by a network of therapists, social workers and
legal authorities. According to her lawyer, she now blames her
therapists for encouraging her to "recall" events that never happened.
  Did the Crown apologize to Mr. Levy for his ordeal? Not a chance! On
Friday, April 29th, Crown counsel Christine McGoey, said that the
crown had "very reluctantly" decided not to proceed with the charges.
  "Sexual assault cases based on false memories have become so
frequent that there ought to be a public inquiry into the way they are
conducted," proclaimed lawyer Alan Gold.
  Mr. Levy, who will return to the Toronto Star and resume his career
said, "I want to use all my legal and journalistic skills to assure
that in the future, people will not be charged in cases like this
without a fair and thorough investigation."
  "The lesson of the Levy case," said the young woman's lawyer, "is
that prosecutors must exercise greater caution when dealing with
allegations that arise from therapy sessions."
                         FMSF NEEDS YOUR HELP

      The Foundation needs the active support of all concerned
  professionals and families. We cannot continue to operate without 
  your contributions.
                           FROM OUR READERS
Therapist Not Needed to Recover Memories
  I have been moved by the account of Laura Pasley in her article
"Miplaced Trust" (Skeptic 2(3), May) to give you an account of my own
seduction into the false memory hysteria and subsequent retraction.
Laura's account of the process of ever-expanding stories of recovered
abuse memories, "Each week we sat in a group and the stories were
enough to make a strong stomach woman might have a
flashback one week about her parents or someone else in the family and
then the next week another one would have a similar memory come up...
[i]t was not long before my own flashbacks got even more bizarre."
  My experience departs from the norm in two respects: (1) my
induction into the realm of false memories took place without a
therapist as such, and (2) I am a male. I believe my experience
indicative of a process that, once an irrational hysteria such as this
gains momentum, it begins to show up in more generalized areas outside
formal treatment milieus. Here is my story.
  In the late 1980's, in the face of numerous personal issues I didn't
feel were being helped by traditional psychotherapy, I began to attend
one of the "anonymous 12 Step" groups, Adult Children of Alcoholics
(ACA). These meetings are, as you probably know, run on a model
similar to Alcoholics Anonymous or Alanon, but with a significant
difference: there is an explicit emphasis on intense personal self-
exploration which parallels, and perhaps in some ways exceeds, the
format of group psychotherapy. In my case, these intense explorations
seemed to be increasing my psychological distress, but I was assured
by other members that "you have to get worse before you get better...
giving up your denial is going to put you in touch with the pain of
the damaged child within, etc. etc." I had also heard in a tape of
Charles Whitfield, author of the book Healing the Child Within,
stating that it is a normal consequence of the healing that one's
self-esteem would plummet before it was rebuilt on a healthier
foundation. I bought all these reassurances and was determined to
throw myself into the work of the group to achieve a "recovery" from
my problems.
  I began to attend meetings at least once a week, all the while
sinking into greater and greater turmoil; I also avidly read all the
then current books by the various people such as Whitfield, Bradshaw,
etc.  So, when some ACA members announced that they were forming a
special, closed time-limited intensive group structured around the
workbook "The 12 Steps for Everyone", I was quick to join. These new
meetings were longer (3 hours) than the standard ACA meetings and
every attempt was made to encourage "work" on each member's part to
the greatest degree possible; an elaborate phone network was
established, and between meetings we all agreed to use the workbook
format to engage in intensive autobiographical writing, the "searching
and fearless moral inventory" prescribed by step 4 of 12 steps. In the
first two weeks I wrote over 180,000 words in my desperation to see
this effort work for me. I spent endless hours on the phone between
meetings with other group members; these conversations were often
punctuated with tears, various formulaic exhortations from the
program, particularly surrounding the Catch-22 notion of "denial" the
underlying assumption was that the real truth lay buried in repressed
memories but that to avoid the pain of their devastating truth we all
habitually relied upon various cover thoughts and behaviors that
collectively comprised our "denial." It seemed that any new insights
that came about from this self exploration which were undramatic or
contained elements of mitigation of circumstances, were quickly
adjudged to be just another layer of denial.  To demonstrate
"progress" I found myself making more and more dramatic and condemning
interpretations of my recollections of the past, for which I was
rewarded by the group for showing "the courage to heal."
  Then at one of the meetings, during a "guided meditation" that
followed a very intense session of dramatic "sharing" by several of
the group, one woman let out a blood-curdling shriek followed by her
collapsing on the floor in hysterical sobbing, yelling, "No, no, oh my
God, no, not again, I'm just a little girl." This was followed by a
halting, wide-eyed description by the woman of someone sexually
molesting her as a child. At this point, one of the more self-assured
members of the group who had gradually assumed an unacknowledged but
distinct role as leader, rushed to her side and said such things as
"you are in a safe place now, don't lose it, there is more, take a
look at it, tell us, don't be afraid, we're all here to protect you,
let it out, face it, deal with it, etc." For the remainder of the
evening and much of the subsequent meeting, this woman proceeded to
recall more and more lurid details of her having been molested not
only by her father but by other males from her neighborhood. Then
another woman in the group suddenly broke down and said that something
the first woman had said had triggered in her the recall of a scene of
being sexually molested. During all this I was becoming more and more
uncomfortable and upset. Then suddenly I had a vague recollection of
some kind in which I seemed to recall being held in a dark place by a
person whom I couldn't identify who was molesting me as a young boy.
  Now with three people all sobbing and competing for the group's
attention, the meeting broke up in chaos, with assurances all round
that there would be a great deal of mutual support by phone and in
person until the next scheduled meeting. At the next meeting, three
people advanced various excuses why they couldn't honor their
commitment to complete the group's work; the spell was broken. There
was never another meeting.
  Meanwhile I was still deeply bothered by the vague memory, which was
more of a feeling than anything else. So, I sought out a person who
offered "hypnotherapy" (an unlicensed person whose 'credentials'
consisted of a mail-order diploma as it turned out). Sure enough,
under the probing of this "hypnotherapist", I began to fill in details
of the supposed molestation. The one thing I couldn't conclusively get
clear was the identity of the perpetrator. I eventually concluded that
it must have been my grandfather, although I never did have a clear
mental picture of him. Still, I was plagued by uncertainty as to the
details that I had "remembered" in the hypnotic trance. Later I began
to change details, as to where, what and who was involved. My ACA
colleagues warned me that I couldn't face that it was my grandfather,
and that denial was reasserting itself.
  Nonetheless, some tough-minded part of me allowed me to begin to
question this sink hole of non-sequitur reasoning, so I pulled back
from the meetings to get some distance from the influences. At this
point it is important to note that I had in fact experienced an
attempted molestation as a young boy, by a chef in my father's
restaurant who had exposed himself to me and grabbed me; I was able to
quickly squirm free of his grip and flee. While frightening and creepy
at the time, I don't believe that experience was particularly
traumatic, and it isn't something that was repressed; I hadn't thought
about it for years, but it was certainly an ordinarily accessible
memory. I began to realize that I had taken the uncomfortable feelings
I had experienced from that episode with the chef and amplified them
in response to the hysteria and group pressure to recall something
truly horrible to account for my adult "dysfunction." When the two
women in our group were successful in gaining all the group's
attention and solicitation following their dramatic recalling of
sexual molestation, in retrospect I can see how i would have been
motivated to become part of the process by coming up with "memories"
of my own, based upon a real but essentially trivial incident.
  I tried going to a few more ACA meetings, but with my new
perspective, I began to see clearly the extent to which there was an
irrational cult atmosphere with people continually absorbed by their
personal problems and the group process, but without any indication
that they were truly becoming healthier individual if anything they
seemed to be less in control of their lives and morbidly dependent of
the group.
  Still, it wasn't until I began to receive material from the FMSF
that i was able to completely dispel those lingering doubts as to
whether my conclusion was the right one, so powerful is the concept of
"denial" to undermine one's confidence of one's own conclusions.
  So, there you have it; slightly unusual, but it fits the pattern.
Use it as you'd like, if at all.
                                         Retractor from Victoria, BC
/                                                                    \
| This accusation is so remote and impossible that it seems pitiful  |
| that she could believe anything so preposterous. Nevertheless, we  |
| have been devastated, angry, and now just sad and numbly accepting |
| of the situation.                                                  |
|                                                      A Mom and Dad |
Don't Ignore A Daughter Who is Here
  I need to get something off my chest that happened over Mother's
Day. My husband and I have been spending a lot of time on the weekends
With my parents because we know that it makes them happy when we are
there. This particular weekend, Mother's Day weekend, we sent my
mother a card but it had not arrived by Mother's Day. I told her it
was in the mail and that was fine. We did not buy her anything because
we were going to take her out to brunch because she always cooks for
us when we are there. My mother said that would be too many people to
take out and that we could cook her a nice breakfast at home. We had a
good weekend.
  On Tuesday I called her. She was crying and said I didn't love her
and was inconsiderate because I had not gotten her anything for
Mother's Day. I was so upset. I think that she is mad at my sister who
made the accusations and cut off and that she is taking the anger out
on me. Every Mother's Day is getting worse.
  I am a little bitter at this point. I think this has gone on long
enough, four years. I wish my mother and father could just get on with
their lives instead of thinking she is going to make a remarkable
recovery and come flying home. I don't think that will happen and I
don't think I should have to take the brunt of my mother's angry
                                                      A Sister

/                                                                    \
| It would take more time than I have here to express it all, but    |
| the bottom line is that my own feeling of relief that she no       |
| longer sees me as a perpetrator is minor compared to my joy that   |
| she is emerging from a black hole and will have a chance now for a |
| fuller family life instead of a bitter future based on false       |
| memories.                                                          |
|                                                              A Dad |

  Several weeks ago, a group of families went to our state
representative. We told him our stories and our concern about a local
mental hospital, part of a very large chain of private hospitals. We
asked if he could investigate. He assured me that he would if we could
give him evidence that the hospital received state money.
  I called the hospital and told them a "story" about my mother who
was in depression and possibly needed professional help. I explained
that my mother was on Medicare. We were told that was "not a problem"
as they had many Medicare and Medicaid patients. She added that
Medicare pays 190 days of inpatient care, and unlimited outpatient
care five (5) days a week between the hours of 9 AM and 3 PM. She also
said "Mom" would be evaluated by her (the R.N.) and not a doctor. She
then went on to tell me what type of care she would need, probably
extensive inpatient at first. This was simply astounding to me that a
nurse would be making these decisions at what would be a very critical
time in the treatment.
  The representative will initiate action.                      A Dad
Mother' Day
  Fantastic news!! I had a call from our daughter on Mother's Day...
after almost 19 months of separation.
  Hearing the familiar voice say -- tremulously -- into the phone,
"Happy Mother's Day," I thought I would drop dead of shock and joy.
What a thrill!
  She said I'd been in her dreams a lot lately, that it was very hard
not to have a family, that she realized how much she loved us and
missed us. She said she was really sorry she had hurt us, that she had
done what she had felt she had to do at the time. She said she had not
wanted to hurt us. She said she realized now she must have hurt us
terribly and she was truly sorry. She begged our forgiveness. What a
Mother's Day gift.  
                                                          A Mom
                  By Daniel Goleman -- May 31, 1994
            Copyrighted (c) by The New York Times Company.
                       Reprinted by permission
  While an earlier generation of therapists was criticized for
minimizing the lasting psychological impact of their patients'
childhood traumas, a current crop of therapists is coming under attack
for telling patients that their symptoms indicate they must have
suffered a childhood trauma, which they have buried.
  If the patient cannot come up with such a memory, these therapists
help them out with methods that include hypnosis, visualization and
even sodium amytal, the so-called "truth serum," actually a short-
acting barbiturate that induces an intoxication during which people
talk with fewer inhibitions. While no one can say how common these
practices are, such methods are "a sure-fire way to implant false
memories," said Dr. Elizabeth Loftus, an expert on memory at the
University of Washington.
  Among the symptoms often considered by these therapists to be a sign
that a person was sexually abused in childhood is bulimia. In the
recent California case in which Gary Ramona was awarded $500,000 after
a jury found that psychotherapists had talked his adult daughter into
falsely remembering childhood sexual abuse, bulimia was the problem
for which she had sought treatment. In that case, before setting out
to find the daughter's repressed memory of sexual abuse through the
use of sodium amytal, the daughter's psychiatrist had told her that 70
to 80 percent of bulimics have been sexually abused.
  Those figures are disputed, however, by an article in the current
issue of The American Journal of Psychiatry reporting that women
suffering from bulimia show no higher rates of childhood sexual abuse
(ranging from fondling to intercourse), than to women in the general
  The study, conducted by Dr. Harrison Pope, a psychiatrist at McLean
Hospital in Boston, compared childhood sexual abuse rates for 91 women
from the United States, Brazil and Austria. He found that American
women who came for treatment of bulimia reported a rate of childhood
sexual abuse of 24 percent, compared with 36 percent for the general
  Those who cling to the idea that repressed sexual abuse is the cause
of bulimia and a host of other problems may not be swayed by one
study. Other studies have found higher figures of fully recollected
sexual abuse among women seeking psychiatric help. Dr. Loftus, in an
article to be published in The Psychology of Women Quarterly later
this year, found that of 105 women in a clinic for substance abuse, 54
percent recalled childhood sexual abuse, with "abuse" being more
broadly defined than in Dr. Pope's study to include, for example,
having been the victim of someone sexually exposing themselves. But of
those who reported childhood sexual abuse, only 19 percent said they
"forgot" the abuse for a period before remembering it again.
  "At the moment we do not have the means for reliably distinguishing
true memories about the guilty from false memories about the
innocent," said Dr. Loftus in a paper at the annual meeting of the
American Psychological Association last August in Toronto. "We cannot
get to the truth about the past by remembering alone. Until we can it
seems prudent to be cautious about how one goes about piercing some
presumed amnesiac barrier."

                       SUGGESTIBILITY RESEARCH

  From "Recovered Memories": Recent Events and Review of Evidence: An
Interview with Harrison G. Pope Jr., M.D. in Currents in Affective
Illness, Vol XIII, (7), July 1994.
  Both Elizabeth Loftus and Richard Ofshe "have demonstrated that it
is possible to "implant" false memories. Loftus was able to convince a
group of persons that, as children, they had become lost in a shopping
mall, when in fact that had not happened. Ofshe was able to convince a
man who had been accused of satanic ritual abuse that he had forced
his son and daughter to have sex with one another...One of the
striking findings in psychological research over the last fifty years
is that even intelligent and sophisticated people can be highly
suggestible. The now classic experiments in social psychology, such as
the Asch experiment, the Milgram experiment, and the Rosenthal
experiments, have demonstrated that, regardless of intelligence or
education, people can be extraordinarily vulnerable to suggestions
under the pressure of peers or authority.
  In the classic type of Asch experiment, you come into a room and are
asked to estimate the lengths of two line segments on a screen. At
first, the other members of your group agree with you -- that line A,
for example, is longer than line B. But then, all at once, the other
group members (who are, unbeknownst to you, paid stooges), begin to
say that line A is shorter than line B, even though your eyes tell you
the opposite. Many people in that situation will bow to group pressure
and see the shorter line as the longer one, even though it contradicts
the evidence of their senses.
  The Milgram experiment is even more dramatic. In that experiment,
each subject was induced to deliver what he or she thought were
electric shocks to another subject in a "learning" experiment. The
intensity of the "electric shocks" gradually increased to the point
where the "learner" was screaming in pain. After the "300-volt" level,
the "learner" (who was on the other side of an opaque screen) stopped
responding entirely; yet, when told by the experimenter that 'the
experiment requires you to continue, "many subjects continued to
deliver "450-volt shocks" to another person under the experimenter's
authority. The finding was so striking that Milgram and colleagues
thought it might be due to the influence of the prestige of the
setting (Yale University); yet, when they moved their offices to a
building in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where there were no trappings of
academia, they replicated their findings.
  Rosenthal found that an investigator could bias other investigators
who were working for him to produce results that were congruent with
his expectations; he found that even the subtlest of cues could alter
his subjects' responses. The findings of these and other experiments
in social psychology suggest that we humans have an almost humiliating
degree of suggestibility, and that the forces of suggestion, of peer
pressure, and of authority -- all of which occur in individual
psychtherapy and in group psychotherapy -- may have profound
influences, or at least influences that are greater than most of us
would like to believe.
                             LEGAL CORNER

If you have questions or concerns to be answered in the Newsletter,
please send them to Legal Corner, care of James Simons at FMSF.
               Analysis of the Ramona Decision, Part II
                Jim Simons , J.D., Practicing Attorney
                    with comments from FMSF Staff
  The verdict is in and the news is mixed. The Ramona Trial Court
judge recognized the right of a third party plaintiff to bring suit in
a false memory case and allowed the case to proceed to the Jury. At
the same time, the jury verdict did not include any award for damages
for emotional distress. It should be noted, however, that California
law requires a cap on pain and suffering/emotional distress associated
with medical malpractice cases. Thus, the potential for recovery for
emotional distress presented only a fraction of the $8 million award
sought. A Judgment awarding $475,000 [FOOTNOTE: This amount represents
the original $500,000 award reduced by the 5% comparative liability
assigned to Mr. Ramona by the Jury.]to Gary Ramona is due to be
entered by the Court on July 11, 1994. At present, it is unknown
whether either side will seek a new trial or appeal the decision. The
July 11 date marks the beginning of the period during which either
side may file post trial motions and give notice of appeal. Depending
on whether a motion for new trial is filed, the deadline could extend
until mid-September.
  The jury verdict which was returned on May 13, 1994, answered eight
questions having to do with determining liability and amount of
damages. The jury found that the Defendants in the case, therapist
Marche Isabella, Richard Rose, M.D., and Western Medical Center --
Anaheim, were negligent in providing health care to Holly Ramona by
implanting or reinforcing false memories that her father had molested
her as a child. [FOOTNOTE: Defendants' legal team argued vigorously to
have the first question read "implanted AND reinforced." This point
will likely constitute grounds for future argument.] The jury also
found that all Defendants had responsibility in causing Gary Ramona to
be confronted with the accusation. Of the total negligence (100%), the
jury assigned responsibility in the following manner: 5% to Gary
Ramona, 40% to Ms.  Isabella, 10% to Dr. Rose, 5% to Western Medical
Center-Anaheim, and 40% to all other persons. Although the jury stated
that Gary Ramona had suffered damages due to the negligence of the
Defendants, they awarded him nothing for past or future "discomfort,
fears, anxiety and other mental and emotional distress." The Jury did
award Gary Ramona $250,000 for past lost earnings and $250,000 for
future lost earnings caused by the Defendants' negligence.
  In civil trial, the burden of proving the case is on the Plaintiff.
The order of business at a trial is that Plaintiff goes first in
presenting evidence which will prove the elements of his claims. After
the Plaintiff completes presentation of all his evidence, the
Defendants then show the jury (and the Court) the evidence they
contend disproves the plaintiff's case, or which will, in some cases,
excuse the Defendants' actions. Before the Defendants put on their
case, however, the usual procedure is for the Defendants to move for a
directed verdict. This takes place out of the sight and hearing of the
jury and allows the Defendants to make the legal argument that the
Plaintiff has not presented enough evidence to prove the elements
necessary to carry the case to the jury. The Judge can then rule on
each of the Defendants motions for directed verdict, and some or all
of the Plaintiff's claims can be disposed of in this manner. If the
Judge allows a directed verdict on a certain claim, the Defendants do
not have to present evidence on that issue and the matter is not
presented to the jury for decision. In addition to other points which
come up during the trial, any of the motions for directed verdict
could become the source of a claim of error by the party against whom
the Court ruled and could form the basis for an appeal or a request
for a new trial.
  Not surprising, at the half-way point in the Ramona trial, the
Defendants moved for a directed verdict on four issues. All of them
were denied by the Judge. [FOOTNOTE: The reasons given by the Judge in
deciding each point are recorded in the transcript of the trial.] The
Defendants first moved for a directed verdict on the issue of the
intentional infliction of emotional distress. The Court denied that
motion and ruled that based on the (Plaintiff's) evidence presented
thus far in the trial, the jury could find a reckless course of
conduct by all the Defendants and that recklessness (and not
deliberate intention to cause emotional distress) is legally
sufficient to conclude intentional infliction of emotional distress.
  Second the Court refused to grant the Defendants' motion based on
the contention that no claim could be recognized for Gary Ramona's
lost wages. The Judge held that the jury could find that confrontation
of Mr. Ramona with the false memories could have caused him to lose
everything, including his employment -- and that it was not necessary
for one of the Defendants to have told Mr. Ramona's employer about the
accusations against him.
  Taking the remaining issues out of order (as did the Court), the
fourth point was raised by the hospital which sought a directed
verdict on the issue of liability connected with statements in the
record by a hospital employee. The Court refused to allow the hospital
to escape the jury's scrutiny regarding liability of the hospital
based on the negligent acts of its employees as an agent acting on
behalf of the hospital.
  The third issue presented by Defendants for directed verdict was the
question of whether a father may maintain a lawsuit against his
daughter's therapist. In explaining his reasons for allowing the
lawsuit to continue, the Judge specifically ruled that Gary Ramona was
not a patient of any of the Defendants -- and that he did not need to
be a patient in order to have standing to pursue his lawsuit. The
trial court held that a duty existed under California law which
allowed Gary Ramona standing to sue the Defendants in this case. In an
extended explanation, the Judge stated that he was following
California law based on prior rulings by the California Supreme
Court. [FOOTNOTE: Rulings by the California Supreme Court are binding
on all lower courts in the state. However, specific facts in a case
may allow a lower court to indulge in interpretation of the higher
court's decision thereby giving rise to exceptions or variations on
the ruling.]The Judge cited Molien v. Kaiser Foundation Hospitals (27
Cal. 3d 916, 167 Cal. Reptr.  831, 616 P.2d 813, California Supreme
Court, 1988) as controlling.  The Judge stated that Mr. Ramona could
be considered a "direct victim" of Defendants' negligence based on the
similarity between the facts in Ramona and the facts in Molien. In
Molien, a doctor instructed the patient, whom he had wrongly diagnosed
as having syphilis, to tell her husband so that the husband could be
checked and treated also. The result was the break-up of the marriage.
The Molien Court recognized the husband's right to sue the doctor. The
Court noted that Gary Ramona had been summoned to a meeting with his
daughter's therapist and confronted with a certain diagnosis, a
diagnosis which the Jury could find to be incorrect and therefore
negligent. The diagnosis resulted in the break-up of Mr. Ramona's
  In discussing the obligation of the trial court to follow the
precedent set forth by the California Supreme Court, the Judge made it
clear that the duty of the trial court was not to legislate a change
in the law. If the California Supreme Court desired that the Molien
decision should be overruled, then the California Supreme Court must
say so. The Court noted that the California Supreme Court had an
opportunity to overrule Molien in a recent case but had not done so.
[FOOTNOTE: Although the Judge did not cite the case by name, Burgess
v. Superior Court 2 Cal., 4th 1064, 9 Cal Rptr. 2d 615, 831 P.2d 1197
(1992), was the most recent opportunity for the California Supreme
Court to rule on the matter. The Court reaffirmed the "direct victim"
theory.] The Court also noted that the Court of Appeals for the First
District of California had twice refused to issue a pre-trial ruling
on the issue and that a final determination could come post-trial on
appeal. The trial court stated that consideration of public policy
issues was reserved to the higher courts in California.
  The Court's remarks concerning public policy identified the
underlying question at issue in the Ramona case -- and indeed in any
false memory case -- whether allowing a right of action to a third
party is in the public interest. Public policy is a principle of law
which holds that no person can lawfully do that which has a tendency
to be injurious to the public or is against the public good. thus, out
of consideration of the public good, the Court could issue a ruling
which will serve the best interest of the community. Gary Ramona
argues that such public policy had already been set by the Molien
court's recognition of a direct victim right of action. The Defendants
argues that so many restrictions and exceptions had been attached to
the "direct victim" theory that it no longer existed.
  Tied up with consideration of whether a public policy right of
action exists is the question of how (or whether) the public interest
is served by recognition of such a right. Arguments pro and con can be
broken down into a multitude of persuasive topics, all of which
purport to prove that the consequences of a particular choice will be
the most beneficial to society as a whole. As the Ramona and other
cases unfold, refinements will occur but certain predictable arguments
will be repeated in every case. A few examples which readily come to
mind are: Individual therapist's right to deliver therapy services
without interference by non-patients vs. Community interest in
protecting its members from quackery; Right of clients to engage in
the brand of therapy of their choice vs. Right of innocent persons not
to be falsely accused; Responsibility of the profession to police its
own ranks vs. Right of an injured party to insist on redress when the
profession fails to do so; Economic costs of allowing lawsuits to
function as avenue of redress for injury vs. Absence of viable
alternative for injured third party to be heard; Placing blame on
therapist who held no personal animosity toward third party vs.
Unfairness of nonetheless requiring the third party to bear his injury
alone; Reluctance to opening the door to unconventional causes of
action vs. Confidence that the courts and juries can weed out
unmeritorious claims. This list is by no means exhaustive and will
continue to grow, but the underlying question remains the same: Is the
current practice of confrontation based on nothing more than
"recovered memory" morally right and if not what should be done about
  In regard to the Ramona case itself, rarely can either side in a
lawsuit claim total victory. While some may wish Ramona had been
awarded millions for his emotional distress, the fact is he got a
favorable verdict from a jury. This was the first case of its type to
go to a full-scale trial. Many lawyers around the country now feel
that the door is open to seek truth and redress in our court system
for the unscientific and negligent conduct of some therapists.

                             FMSF BUDGET

  We think it appropriate that we inform you of the financial
situation of the Foundation. We operate on a fiscal year ending
February 28. For the year ended February 28, 1994, our expenses were
approximately $740,000 and our revenue approximately $680,000. The
deficit was funded from our bank balance which stood at approximately
$30,000 on March 1, 1994, the start of our current year. Audited
financial statements of the Foundation will be available for
inspection at the offices of the Foundation upon completion of our
  In the year ended February 28, 1994 approximately $225,000 of our
revenues were derived from dues, fees and subscriptions. The balance
was represented by contributions from families and Foundations. Our
budget for the current year, ending February 28, 1995 is $850,000.

                          TYPEWRITER NEEDED

We need a typewriter for the office. If you have one in good condition
that you can spare, please call Valerie at 215-387-1865 before 
August 20.  Thanks
                            June 16, 1994
                          CSA Report 5-A-94
                 Subject: Memories of Childhood Abuse
              Presented by: Yank D. Coble, Jr, MD, Chair
                  Referred to: Reference Committee D
                      Peter W. Carmel, MD, Chair
  The adoption of Substitute Resolution 504, A-93, created new policy
on memory enhancement methods used in cases of possible childhood
sexual abuse. The policy states "The AMA considers the technique of
'memory enhancement' in the area of childhood sexual abuse to be
fraught with problems of potential misapplication (AMA Policy
Compendium, Policy 515.978). The resolution also directed the Council
on Scientific Affairs to investigate the issues surrounding memory
enhancement.  This report addresses those and related issues.

  The resolution was adopted in response to concerns about the growing
number of cases in which adults make accusations of having been abused
as children based solely on memories developed in therapy. In many
cases, the accusations are made against the parents of the accuser,
although others, such as members of the clergy, teachers and camp
counselors, have been targets of allegations. Questions have been
raised about the veracity of such reported memories, one's ability to
recall such memories, the techniques used to recover these memories,
and the role of the therapist in developing the memories.

  The general issues have come to be referred to under the umbrella
term "repressed memories" or "recovered memories." Both terms refer to
those memories reported as new recollections, with no previous
memories of the event or circumstances surrounding the event, although
some "fragments" of the event may have existed. Considerable
controversy has arisen in the therapeutic community over the issue,
and experts from varied professional backgrounds can be found on all
sides of the issue. At one extreme are those who argue that such
repressed memories do not occur, that they are false memories, created
memories, or implanted memories, while the other extreme strongly
supports not only the concept of repressed memories but the
possibility of recovering such memories in therapy. Other
professionals believe that some memories may be false and others may
be true.

  Most controversial are those "memories" that surface only in therapy
and those from either infancy or late childhood (including
adolescence). Concern about and interest in repressed memories is
widespread, and the topic is covered in both the professional
literature and the lay press. Word of the AMA's interest in the issue
resulted in well over 100 letters asking the AMA to address the needs
of falsely accused individuals.

  The Board of Trustees of the American Psychiatric Association (APA)
recently issued a statement "in response to the growing concern
regarding memories of sexual abuse." In part, the statement says:

  It is not known what proportion of adults who report memories of
sexual abuse were actually abused. Many individuals who recover
memories of abuse have been able to find corroborating information
about their memories. However, no such information can be found, or is
possible to obtain, in some situations. While aspects of the alleged
abuse situation, as well as the context in which the memories emerge,
can contribute to the assessment, there is no completely accurate way
of determining the validity of reports in the absence of corroborating
information. (Statement of the APA Board of Trustees, adopted December
12, 1993)
                          Related AMA Policy

  The AMA has numerous policies related to child abuse, including
sexual abuse, and about violence in general. Two policy statements are
of particular importance. Policy 515.976, adopted at the 1993 Annual
Meeting, encourages physicians to be alert to the mental health
consequences of interpersonal and family violence. Council on
Scientific Affairs Report B (A-93), which developed this policy,
thoroughly discussed these consequences, including possible long-term
adverse effects.  There is considerable evidence that victims of child
abuse are found in mental health treatment settings in large
numbers. (1)

  Also relevant is Policy 80.996, adopted in 1984, which discusses the
use of hypnosis in refreshing recollection. The entire policy states:

The AMA believes that (1) With witnesses and victims, the use of
hypnosis should be limited to the investigative process. Specific
safeguards should be employed to protect the welfare of the subject
and the public, and to provide the kind of record that is essential to
evaluate the additional material obtained during and after hypnosis;
(2) A psychological assessment of the subject's state of mind should
be carried out prior to the induction of hypnosis in an investigative
context, and informed consent should be obtained; (3) Hypnosis should
be conducted by a skilled psychiatrist or psychologist, who is aware
of the legal implications of the use of hypnosis for investigative
purposes; a complete taped and/or precise written record of the
clInician's prior knowledge of the case must be made; complete
videotape recordings of the pre-hypnotic evaluation and history, the
hypnotic session, and the post-hypnotic interview, showing both the
subject and the hypnotist, should be obtained; (4) Ideally, only the
subject and the psychiatrist or psychologist should be present; (5)
Some test suggestions of known difficulty should be given to provide
information about the subject's ability to respond to hypnosis; (6)
The subject's response to the termination of hypnosis and the
post-hypnotic discussion of the experience of hypnosis are of major
importance in discussing the subject's response; (7) Medical
responsibility or the health and welfare of the subject cannot be
abrogated by the investigative intent of hypnosis; and (8) Continued
research should be encouraged.
  This policy was developed as part of CSA Report K (I-84), which
addressed several aspects of hypnosis and memory. The report concluded
that new information is often reported under hypnosis, and that while
the information may be accurate, it may also include confabulations
and pseudomemories. Moreover, the Council concluded that hypnosis-
induced recollections actually appear to be less reliable than non-
hypnotic recall. That statement remains an accurate summary of the
empirical literature.

  Neither the AMA nor the Council has studied other aspects of memory
enhancement, such as amytal or age regression. A forthcoming review of
amytal concludes that it has no legitimate use in recovered-memory
cases. (2) Rigorous scientific assessments of other methods of memory
enhancement are not available.
                            Legal Concerns

  To some extent, current concerns about repressed memories can be
traced to the lawsuits filed by accusers, particularly those filed
against parents. Numerous such lawsuits have been filed by accusers,
and it is of course difficult to disprove accusations regarding events
that are alleged to have taken place many years or even decades
earlier. Over the past few years, a number of states have adopted laws
that have affected such litigation. Illinois, for example, has just
extended the time allowed in which to file a suit; previously lawsuits
could not be filed after the accuser had attained the age of 30. On
the other hand, California has recently adopted laws under which a
plaintiff cannot prevail in the absence of evidence beyond the
recovered memories.

  From a therapeutic perspective, such lawsuits might be deemed
valuable in helping an abuse victim retake or reassert control of his
or her life. Restoring control to the victim is a widely recognized
part of therapy. (1) At the same time, public policy may require
standards of proof that must be met before allowing suits based on
recovered memories to be filed or result in judgments against the
                          Therapeutic Issues

  Of particular interest in this issue is the role of the therapist in
developing new memories. It is well established for example that a
trusted person such as a therapist can influence an individual's
reports, which would include memories of abuse. Indeed, as the issue
of repressed memories has grown, there have been reports of therapists
advising patients that their symptoms are indicative -- not merely
suggestive -- of having been abused, even when the patient denies
having been abused. (3) Other research has shown that repeated
questioning may lead individuals to report events that in fact never
occurred.  Unfortunately, the dynamics that underlie an individual's
suggestibility are only beginning to be understood.

  Notwithstanding these findings, other research indicates that some
survivors of abuse do not remember, at least temporarily, having been
abused. While some research relies on self-identified survivors of
abuse and consequently begs the question of repressed memories (see
for example Briere and Conte (4), other research is based on cases in
which childhood sexual abuse was documented. Williams , (5) for
example, reports that more than one-third of women in a group of known
victims failed to report victimization 17 years later; most of those
who did not report the abuse appear to have been"amnesic for the
abuse." (p 20) There are other instances in which recovered memories
proved to be correct.

  In short, empirical evidence can be sited for both sides of the
argument. While virtually all would agree that memories are malleable
and not necessarily fully accurate, there is no consensus about the
extent or sources of this malleability. The issue is far from settled,
and under such circumstances, therapists should exercise care in
treating their patients, maintaining an empathic and supportive
posture. Due diligence for and reference to the Principles of Medical
Ethics, or other similar statements in the case of non-physician
therapists, should be given high priority. In some cases, a second
opinion should be considered.
                   Conclusions and Recommendations

  The AMA has a long history of concern about the extent and effects
of child abuse. Child abuse, particularly child sexual abuse, is under
recognized and all too often its existence is denied. Its effects can
be profound and long-lasting. (6) The Council on Scientific Affairs
recommends that the following statements be adopted and that the
remainder of this report be filed:

 1. That the AMA recognize that few cases in which adults make
accusations of childhood sexual abuse based on recovered memories can
be proved or disproved and it is not yet known how to distinguish true
memories from imagined events in these cases.

 2. That the AMA encourages physicians to address the therapeutic
needs of patients who report memories of childhood sexual abuse and
that these needs exist quite apart from the truth or falsity of any

 3. That Policy 515.978 be amended by insertion and deletion to read
as follows: The AMA considers recovered memories of childhood sexual
abuse to be of uncertain authenticity, which should be subject to
external verification. The use of recovered memories is fraught with
problems of potential misapplication.
 [Previously:The AMA considers the technique of 'memory enhancement'
in the area of childhood sexual abuse to be fraught with problems of
potential misapplication.]

 4. That the AMA encourage physicians treating possible adult victims
of childhood abuse to subscribe to the Principle of Medical Ethics
when treating their patients and that psychiatrists pay particular at-
tention to the Principles of Medical Ethics with Annotations Especial-
ly Applicable to Psychiatry.

 5. That Policy 80.996, which deals with the refreshing of recollec-
tions by hypnosis, be reaffirmed.

1. Herman J.L. Trauma and Recovery, New York: Basic Books; 1992.

2. Piper A Jr. "Truth Serum" and "Recovered Memories" of sexual abuse:
   A review of the evidence. J Psychiatry and Law.   In press.

3. Loftus E.F.. The reality of repressed memories. 
   American Psychologist. 1993; 48(5):518-537.
4. Briere J, Conte J. Self-reported amnesia for abuse in adults 
    molested as children. J Traumatic Stress. 1993; 6(1)21-31.
5. Williams L.M.. Adult Memories of childhood abuse: Preliminary find-
  ings from a longitudinal study. The APSAC Advisor.  1992; 5(3):19-21.
6. Council on Scientific Affairs. Mental health consequences of inter-
   personal and family violence. Implications for the practitioner.
   CSA Report B (A-93).
/                                                                    \
|                       Can I Trust My Memory?                       |
|                           A Handbook for                           | 
|  Survivors with Partial or No Memories of Childhood Sexual Abuse   |
|                  by Joan Spear, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.                   |
|                           Hazelden, 1992                           | 
|                                                                    |
| "It is particularly frustrating and painful if you have no         |
| memories but just a strong sense from present-day problems that    |
| you were sexually abused as a child. This is like trying to come   |
| to terms with something that seems like a figment of your          |
| imagination."                                                      |
|                                                                    |
| "Sexual abuse is any kind of touching, talking, or innuendo that   |
| is forced upon someone in a way that feels invasive, repulsive, or |
| embarrassing."                                                     |

                            WILLIAMS STUDY

  The Williams study mentioned in the AMA report "involved interviews
with 100 women, mostly African-American. These women, 17 years
earlier, were girls aged infant to 12 years old when they were brought
to a city hospital emergency department for treatment and collection
of forensic evidence related to childhood sexual abuse (even when
there was no physical trauma present). The sexual abuse ranged from
sexual intercourse (in about a third of the cases) to fondling (also
about a third of the cases). Without revealing the true purpose of the
followup interview, the women were asked about childhood experiences
with sex to elicit the sexual abuse victimization. The results showed
that 38% were amnesic for the abuse or chose not to report it. The
bulk of the nonreports were thought to be attributed to women who did
not remember rather than chose not to report. This conclusion was
warranted in part because many of the women were willing to report
other sexual victimizations, although not the one in the hospital
  "The 38% figure has been taken as evidence for the prevalence of
repression, but this conclusion is unwarranted. Recall that the girls
were ages infant to 12 when their reported abuse happened. Thus, for
some percentage of victims, the abuse would have happened so early in
life, before the offset of childhood amnesia, that as adults they
would not be expected to remember the experience no matter whether it
was abuse or some other experience," (Loftus, Polonsky, and Fullilove,

  A study by Femina and colleagues (D.D. Femina and associates, Child
Abuse and Neglect 14:227-231) "also conducted follow-up interviews on
a group of individuals with documented histories of sexual or physical
abuse . Interestingly, precisely 38 percent gave a history on follow-
up that was discordant with the documented history. But Femina and
colleagues, unlike Williams, went back and found 11 of those patients
for a second follow-up interview; in the second interview (which they
called the "clarification interview"), they confronted their subjects
with their known histories of abuse to find out why their first
interviews had been discrepant. Eight of that 11 were know to have
been abused and had denied it during the first interview; during the
second interview, all eight of those individual acknowledged that they
remembered the abuse but had elected not to tell the interviewer about
it the first time. If that is generally true, it suggests that the
failure of some of Williams's patients to disclose the abuse on
interview may reflect the fact that the patient elected not to tell
the interviewer about it, and, since they were not confronted, it
cannot be concluded that they had forgotten the abuse." (Pope, 1994).
  Pope reminds us that " a series of Federal Government-sponsored
investigations during the 1960's and 1970's looked specifically at why
people don't disclose events on interviews. There were, for example,
studies where interviewers went to see people who were known to have
been in motor vehicle accidents, and, in the course of interview,
asked them about their history of motor vehicle accidents. In one
study, thirty percent of the individuals who were known to have been
in a motor vehicle accident nine to 12 months earlier did not disclose
it on interview. These were people who had not lost consciousness
during the accidents and had no biological reasons for having
forgotten. In other studies, thirty to 40 percent of people failed to
disclose a doctor's office visit that had occurred just within the
preceding few weeks. One wouldn't claim that they had repressed the
memory; they just didn't tell the interviewer. In other studies in his
series, twenty to 50 percent of people failed to disclose to the
interviewer a hospitalization they were known to have undergone 10 to
12 months previously. The fact that many people do not disclose life
events to interviewers, even when those events have occurred weeks to
months earlier, would argue that a 38 percent non-disclosure rate, for
an embarrassing event that had occurred 17 years earlier, would be
consistent with what one would predict. It is not necessary to posit
repression to explain William's finding." (Pope, 1994).

  Loftus, Polonsky, and Fullilove (1994). "Memories of Childhood
Sexual Abuse." Psychology of Women Quarterly, 18 , pp. 67-84.

  Pope, H, (1994) "Recovered memories: Recent events and review of
evidence." Currents in Affective Illness XIII (7).
                            FMSF MEETINGS

Plans for state-wide meeting underway
We need your help!
To volunteer, please call
Eileen & Jerry (714) 494-9704

Charlottesville area
Saturday, July 9, 1994, 1:00-8:00 pm
Nina (703)342-4760; Maryanne (703)869-3226

Dallas / Ft. Worth
Friday & Saturday, August 26 & 27
  Lee & Jean (214) 279-0250

Des Plaines, Il
Prairie Lakes Park 
October 8, 1994 - 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
Rog or Liz (708) 827-1056

Call person listed for meeting time & location.
key:  (MO) = monthly; (bi-MO) = bi-monthly

ARKANSAS - Area code 501
Little Rock
  Al & Lela 363-4368

Central Coast
  Carole (805) 967-8058

North County Escondido
  Joe & Marlene (619)745-5518

Orange County  (formerly Laguna Beach)
  Jerry & Eileen (714) 494-9704
  3rd Sunday (MO) - 6:00 pm
  Chris & Alan (714) 733-2925
  1st Sunday (MO) - 10:00 am

Rancho Cucamonga Group
  Marilyn (909) 985-7980
  1st Monday, (MO) - 7:30 pm

Sacramento/Central Valley  - bi-monthly
  Charles & Mary Kay (916) 961-8257

San Francisco & Bay Area - bi-monthly
  east bay area
  Judy (510) 254-2605
  san francisco &  north bay
  Gideon (415) 389-0254
  Charles (415) 984-6626 (day); 435-9618 (eve)
  south bay area
  Jack & Pat (408) 425-1430
  Last Saturday,  (Bi-MO)

Burbank (formerly  Valencia)
  Jane & Mark (805) 947-4376
  4th Saturday (MO)10:00 am

West Orange County
  Carole (310) 596-8048
  2nd Saturday (MO)
  Ruth (303) 757-3622
  4th Saturday, (MO)1:00 pm
CONNECTICUT - Area code 203
New Haven area
  George  243-2740
Dade-Broward Area
  Madeline (305) 966-4FMS
Delray Beach PRT
  Esther (407) 364-8290
  2nd & 4th Thursday [MO] 1:00 pm

Chicago metro area (South of the Eisenhower)
  2nd Sunday [MO] 2:00 pm
  Roger (708) 366-1056

Indianapolis area (150 mile radius)
  Gene (317) 861-4720 or 861-5832
  Helen (219) 753-2779
  Nickie (317) 471-0922 (phone & fax)

Des Moines
  Betty/Gayle (515) 270-6976

Kansas City
  Pat (913) 238-2447 or Jan (816) 276-8964
  2nd Sunday (MO)

  Dixie (606) 356-9309
  Bob (502) 957-2378
  Last Sunday (MO) 2:00 pm
MAINE - Area code 207
  Wally 865-4044
  3rd Sunday (MO)

Ellicot City area  
  Margie (410) 750-8694

  Jean (508) 250-1055

Grand Rapids Area - Jenison
  Catharine (616) 363-1354
  2nd Monday (MO)

St. Paul
  Terry & Collette (507) 642-3630

St. Louis area
  Mae (314) 837-1976 &
  Karen (314) 432-8789
  3rd Sunday [MO] 2:00 pm
  Retractors support group also meeting.
NEW YORK - Upstate
Albany area
  Chuck (518) 273-5242
  Elaine (518) 399-5749 
  Tuesday, July 19, 1994, 7:00 pm

  Bob (513) 541-5272
OKLAHOMA - Area code 405
Oklahoma City
  Len 364-4063   Dee 942-0531
  HJ  755-3816    Rosemary  439-2459

Harrisburg area
  Paul & Betty (707) 761-3364
  Rick & Renee (412) 563-5616
Wayne (includes So. Jersey)  
  Jim & Joanne (610) 783-0396
  No meetings untilSeptember
  2nd Saturday [MO] 1:00 pm

Central Texas
  Nancy & Jim  (512) 478-8395
Dallas/Ft. Worth - See "State Meetings"
  Jo or Beverly (713) 464-8970

VERMONT  & Upstate New York
  Elaine (518) 399-5749
  Monday, July 11, 1994, 7:00 pm

VIRGINIA - See "State Meetings"

WASHINGTON, DC -  See "State Meetings"

WEST VIRGINIA - See "State Meetings"

  Katie & Leo (414) 476-0285


Vancouver & Mainland
  Ruth (604) 925-1539
  Last Saturday (MO) 1:00-4:00 pm
Victoria & Vancouver Island
  John (604) 721-3219
  3rd Tuesday (MO) 7:30 pm

  Joan (204) 257-9444
  1st Sunday (MO)

  Eileen (613) 592-4714
  Pat (416) 445-1995

 Ken & June, P O Box 363, Unley, SA 5061

Dr. Goodyear-Smith
tel 0-9-415-8095 / fax 0-9-415-8471 

The British False Memory Society
Roger Scotford (0) 225-868682

* * *

Meeting Notice Deadline

  Monday, August 15 for September

Attention: All Downstate Illinois Members
  As of July 1st, Bob and Mary will no longer be state contacts for
Southern Illinois. They are seeking one or more persons to be contacts
for their area, which includes area codes 618, 217, and 309.
  Bob and Mary are willing to assist their replacement(s) and get them
started on the right foot. Please call them at (217) 463-3840 after
5:00 pm.

                   MAGAZINE & NEWSPAPER  ARTICLES:

__060 "When it's time for a patient to find a way out of therapy,"
  20Nov88; "Therapists and clients views on leaving therapy,"  
  12Jan89,  D. Sifford. The Philadelphia Inquirer.  [$2.00]
__174 "Some law suits simply therapy," Claire Bernstein.
  London Free Press, December 21, 1992.  [$1.00]
__265 "Of Memory and Emotion,"  Daniel Reisberg. 
  Reed CollegeMagazine, June 1993.  [$1.00]
__292a "Real or Imagined?"David McKay Wilson. 
  The Reporter Dispatch, October 20, 1993.  [$1.00]
__298 "It's time society put the inner child to bed,"  K Parker.
  Orlando Sentinel,  December 31, 1993.  [$1.00]
__298a "Seeking help and finding anguish," by B. Ordine. 
  The Philadelphia Inquirer,  February 27, 1994.  [$2.00]
__298b "Pandora's Memory," by Sarah Jones. The Monthly,  
  March 1994.  [$1.00]
__299  "The Lost Daughter,"  by John Taylor. Esquire, 
  March 1994              [$3.00]
__301 "Dark Memories," by Paul Wood.The News-Gazette, 
  March 6, 1994   [$3.00]
__302 "Are Secrets Locked Inside?" and "Military controls 
  my mind, woman says, by Carol Gentry. St. Petersburg Times,
  March 6, 1994   [$3.00]
__303 "Was It Real or Memories?" by Kenneth Woodward, et al.
  Newsweek, March 14, 1994.  [$1.00]

Now available: 
__311  Bound edition of 1993 FMS Foundation Newsletters 
  (Vol. 2). Includes list of reprinted articles and convenient index.

__540a Gardner, R.A.. (1992) "Belated Realization of Child 
  Sex Abuse by an Adult." Issues in Child Abuse  Accusations,
  Fall, Vol. 4, No. 4: pp 177-195.  [$5.00]
__543a Hedges,  L. E. (1994) "Taking Recovered Memories
  Seriously." Issues in Child Abuse Accusations,  Vol. 6, No. 1:
  pp 1-31.  [$5.00]
__567 Merskey, H. (1992) "The Manufacture of Personalities:The
  Production of Multiple Personality disorder." British Journal of
  Psychiatry,  Vol. 6, No. 1: pp 1-31.  [$5.00]

/                                                                    \
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|                                         |
| 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 list". It would be useful, but |
| not necessary,  if you add your full name (all addresses and names |
| will remain strictly confidential).                                |

For this e-mail version of the FMSF Newsletter thanks to Ecole Normale
Superieure and Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers in Paris
and the Universita degli Studi di Genova in Genoa.

  The False Memory Syndrome Foundation is a qualified 501(c)3 corpora-
tion  with  its  principal offices in Philadelphia and governed by its 
Board of Directors.  While it encourages participation by its  members
in  its  activities,  it must be understood that the Foundation has no 
affiliates and that no other organization or person is  authorized  to
speak for the Foundation without the prior written approval of the Ex-
ecutive Director. All membership dues and contributions to the Founda-
tion must be forwarded to the Foundation for its disposition.

Pamela Freyd, Ph.D.,  Executive Director

FMSF Scientific and Professional Advisory Board April 2, 1993: TERENCE
W.   CAMPBELL,  Ph.D.,   Clinical  and  Forensic Psychology,  Sterling
Heights, MI; ROSALIND CARTWRIGHT, 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; ROBYN M.  DAWES,   Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon  University, Pittsburgh,
PA; DAVID F.  DINGES, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, The Institute
of Pennsylvania  Hospital, Philadelphia, PA; FRED  FRANKEL, M.B.Ch.B.,
D.P.M.,  Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard   Medical  School, Boston,  MA;
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., UCLA  School of Medicine, Los  Angeles,  CA; 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;   JOHN KIHLSTROM,  Ph.D.,   University  of
Arizona, Tucson,  AZ; HAROLD LIEF,  M.D., University  of Pennsylvania,
Philadelphia,  PA; ELIZABETH LOFTUS,  Ph.D., University of Washington,
Seattle, WA; PAUL McHUGH,  M.D., Johns Hopkins  University, Baltimore,
MD; HAROLD  MERSKEY,  D.M.,  University  of Western   Ontario, London,
Canada;  ULRIC NEISSER, Ph.D., Emory  University, Atlanta, GA; RICHARD
OFSHE, Ph.D., University   of California, Berkeley,  CA;  MARTIN ORNE,
M.D., Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, The Institute of Pennsylvania
Hospital,  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; CAROLYN SAARI,   Ph.D.,
Loyola University, Chicago, IL; THEODORE  SARBIN, Ph.D., University of
California,  Santa  Cruz,    CA; THOMAS A.    SEBEOK,   Ph.D., Indiana
Univeristy, Bloomington,   IN; LOUISE SHOEMAKER,  Ph.D., University of
Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; 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; LOUIS  JOLYON
WEST, M.D., UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA.

    Scientific, Clinical and Legal Issues of False Memory Syndrome
                      December 9, 10 & 11, 1994
           Stouffer Harborplace Hotel, Baltimore, Maryland


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