FMSF NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE - January/February 2002 - Vol. 11, No. 1, HTML version

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F M S   F O U N D A T I O N   N E W S L E T T E R     (e-mail edition)
January/February 2002  Vol. 11  No. 1
ISSN #1069-0484.           Copyright (c) 2002  by  the  FMS Foundation
        The FMSF Newsletter is published 6 times a year by then
        False  Memory  Syndrome  Foundation.  The newsletter is 
        mailed to anyone  who contributes at least $30.00. Also
              available at no cost on
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    Legal Update
      Pankratz                   The next issue will be combined
        Makin                              March/April
          From Our Readers 
            Bulletin Board 

Dear Friends,

    Families whose children have not yet returned, the majority of
FMSF families, sometimes ask how realistic it is to expect the return
of their alienated offspring after so many years. In trying to answer
that question, we thought we might compare what we have learned from
the FMSF surveys about returners and reconciliation with what is known
about people who have returned to their families from other
situations. We recognize, however, that the FMS situation is unique
because it is so intensely personal. FMS offspring did not just cut
off from the family for ideological reasons; they accused their
parents of the most heinous crimes.
    The recent FMSF survey shows that among the families who returned
the survey, 7 percent of the accusers have retracted and 36 percent
have resumed contact with the accused. (Those figures do not include
offspring who have resumed contact with others in the family.)
    Although we do not contend that cult involvement and FMS are
necessarily similar, we thought that the processes of returning to
families from cults might offer some hints to us. Over the years we
had heard informally that most people who join cults return within ten
years. We searched for reports of the data for this informal
observation, but, alas, we searched in vain. We have been unable to
locate any such studies.[1]
    In an effort to ensure that we had not overlooked some critical
data, we telephoned Margaret Singer, Ph.D.[2] an FMSF advisor who has
interviewed more than 5,000 people who have left cults or, in recent
years, recovered-memory therapy. Dr. Singer said that not everyone
does leave cults. She told us that she does not know of any published
data that indicated percentages of those who left.
    That leaves us with the FMSF data and with the growing knowledge
about what may jump-start a person's return. One critical factor in
the change is information -- not from the family, but from the
culture. As recovered memory continues its descent into disfavor,
those still mired in their false memories may experience some
"cognitive dissonance," that is they receive information that starts
them questioning. The book and articles appearing in this issue are
powerful indicators that an increasing number of people discredit the
beliefs of the recovered-memory craze. The more accurate information
there is in the culture, the greater the chance that still-alienated
offspring will come into contact with it.
    We mentioned to Dr. Singer that the FMSF survey indicated that the
people who had retracted their accusations tended to be a few years
younger than the others and asked if she had any thoughts about why
that might be so. She speculated that one of the factors could be that
the younger people feel a bit less humiliated. Dr. Singer noted that
it seemed to be more difficult for people leaving recovered-memory
therapy than for those who leave cults because of the level of
humiliation. For those who have accused their parents of abuse, the
shame is everywhere, and there is no way to eradicate the damage. In
recovered-memory accusations, the person returning to the family feels
disgrace, but he or she also has to deal with the fact that the
accusations disgraced a parent, indeed the whole family. The following
comments about this difficulty from retractors are revealing:

  "The truth dawned slowly, gradually, in a process that intensified
  after I stopped seeing the therapist." (FMSF Newsletter Feb 1994)

  "I'm so sorry. I didn't understand the pain, distrust and
  confusion the lie would cause. And when I did, I was so scared and
  guilty I tried to hide from it." (FMSF Newsletter Nov 95)
  "It is very unusual for a retractor to just simply "return to the
  family....the process of retraction is a very slow and difficult
  phenomenon." (FMSF Newsletter May 96)

  "Here's where your daughters are probably stuck. I could not face
  the horrible thing I had done to my parents, so I had to believe the
  memories were true. Even though I got away from that horrible
  therapist, I could not go back to my entire extended family and say
  that I was temporarily insane and nothing had happened...It was
  easier for my self-esteem to pretend that I had been sexually abused
  by someone and it was still my parents' fault because they should
  have protected me." (FMSF Newsletter Dec 98)

  "All those years of therapy and flashbacks couldn't have been for
  nothing." (FMSF Newsletter Apr 99)

  "It took me a number of years to fully believe that my memories were
  false. Then I didn't want to apologize because it would have opened
  things up for discussion -- which I was afraid of. What was most
  helpful to me was that I knew my parents loved me despite my
  allegations." (FMSF Newsletter Mar 00)

    The process of reconciling is a challenge for all parties, as the
ongoing debate about whether or not to accept returners in the "From
Our Readers" pages has illustrated. Parents have coped with overcoming
their feelings of anger that such an unjust and horrible situation
could happen and with their fear that if they open their hearts they
will just be hurt again. Although parents' openness to reconciliation
is a necessary condition for the process to begin, it is not
sufficient. (See Feld in this issue) The accusers must also be open.
We recall the many readers who told us that they were horrified when
they read in The Courage to Heal that nurturing anger and revenge was
an integral component of recovered-memory therapy. Confronting
families at holidays or special occasions, blanketing areas with
flyers condemning their parents, and unilaterally cutting off all
contact have been familiar threads in family reports. These are
classic responses to perceived transgressions: avoidance and revenge
-- seeking distance from the transgressor or opportunities to harm the
transgressor in kind."[3]
    Unfortunately, many accusers are still caught in these emotions
and that bodes poorly for reconciliation of those families. "The more
people brood about a transgression, the higher are their levels of
revenge and avoidance."[1]
    Drs. Lief and McHugh have been working diligently with us to make
sense of the information we have gathered through FMSF families. We
are making every effort to try to find those points at which
interventions seem to be productive, and we are looking forward to
presenting this information at the Annual Meeting of the American
Psychiatric Association in May and with FMSF families in a national
meeting in October.
    We thank you for your ongoing and generous support that makes this
work possible.

[1] If you have information on this topic, we would really appreciate
    hearing from you.
[2] Margaret Singer (with Janja Lalich) is the author of Crazy
    Therapies: What are they? Do they work? and Cults in our Midst:
    The hidden menace in our everyday lives.
[3] McCullough, M."Forgiveness: Who Does It and How Do They Do It?"
    Current Directions in Psychological Science Vol. 10 (6), Dec 2001,

|                   IS THIS YOUR LAST NEWSLETTER?                    |
| If you haven't made your annual contribution to the fundraising    |
| drive, please send your check today. (That is our only way of      |
| knowing if you wish to receive the hardcopy Newsletter. The FMSF   |
| no longer sends bills. If you have a question about your status,   |
| call the FMSF office.                                              |
   /                                                              \
   |                       SAVE THESE DATES                       |
   |                                                              |
   |    When?   SAT. OCTOBER 5 and SUN. OCTOBER 6, 2002           |
   |    Why?    A National Conference on Family Reconciliation    |
   |    Where?  Glenview, Illinois (Chicago suburb)               |
   |    Who?    Cosponsored by the FMS Foundation and the         |
   |            Illinois-Wisconsin False Memory Society           |
        |                   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, Janet   |
        |           Fetkewicz, Howard Fishman, Peter Freyd   |
        |  COLUMNISTS: August Piper, Jr. and members         |
        |           of the FMSF Scientific Advisory Board    |
        |  LETTERS and INFORMATION: Our Readers              |
/                                                                    \
|                           An Example of                            |
|      Information in the Culture that Can Provoke Questioning:      |
|                                                                    |
| "In 1992 the False Memory Syndrome Foundation was founded in       |
| Philadelphia, a tiny organization at first but before long a real  |
| powerhouse, with a blue-ribbon advisory board of academics and     |
| medical professionals and a grassroots membership of several       |
| thousand. Most of its members were parents who had been accused by |
| an adult child, on the basis of memories recovered in therapy, of  |
| performing horrible abuse years and sometimes decades earlier --   |
| including, in some cases, satanic ritual abuse. The foundation was |
| committed to discrediting the techniques and theoretical           |
| underpinnings of recovered memory therapy, and by the mid-nineties |
| it had succeeded in swinging public opinion to its side..."        |
|                                          page 208, Michael W.Cuneo |
|                                 American Exorcism, Doubleday, 2001 |

                      Ernest R Hilgard Obituary

Ernest R. "Jack" Hilgard, FMSF Advisory Board member, highly acclaimed
experimental psychologist, and a pioneer in the scientific study of
hypnosis died on October 22 in Palo Alto, California. Dr. Hilgard was
97 years old.
    When Dr. Hilgard was elected to the National Academy of Sciences
at the tender age of 44 (1948), he was recognized as one of the
world's leading experimental psychologists in the area of learning
theory. He then turned his attention to studies in hypnosis, and in
the 1950s, he and his wife, psychiatrist Josephine Rohrs Hilgard,
founded the Laboratory of Hypnosis Research at Stanford where they
were both professors. They developed the Stanford Hypnotic
Susceptibility Scale that is still used today. Ernest Hilgard played a
pivotal role in the study of the use of hypnosis to control pain and
his theory of neodissociation has helped to explain the process of
hypnosis. Dr. Hilgard's 1977 book Divided Consciousness is considered
by many to be the definitive work on dissociative phenomena.

                Satanic Panic: Gone But Not Forgotten
                              FMSF Staff

In the decade of the Foundation's existence, we've seen the
devastating consequences of the growth of the Satanic Abuse legend in
the early 80s, its leveling off with the publication of important
works by Lanning, La Fontaine, Goodman, Victor, Nathan, Mulhern,
Bottoms and others, and at present, its virtual demise.
    Two recent articles further demonstrate the skepticism with which
SRA is now perceived: a review by P. Baker of Lure of the Sinister:
The Unnatural History of Satanism, by Gareth Medway [1] and "Beware
the Rumor Weed" by L.L. (Don) and Joy Veinot, in the Midwest Christian
Outreach, Inc. Journal (MCO).[2]
    During the 1970s, Mike Warnke's best selling book, The Satan
Seller, helped convince millions of people that a great satanic
conspiracy existed in our country. Satan Seller spawned many other
books that penetrated the Christian community in particular, according
to the Veinots, who trace the Satanic Panic rumor. Many personal
accounts of supposed "victims" of satanic ritual abuse appeared in
magazines, newspapers, and on countless television talk shows,
providing support for the books. The Veinots point to the role of
therapists in contributing to the SRA panic. (Many FMSF families can
attest to the harm that this created.) Yet, no evidence to corroborate
claims of SRA was ever found by law enforcement officials. Historians
and other researchers have documented the total absence of evidence of
a widespread satanic conspiracy. The Veinots caution readers not to
give credence to myths, rumors and false accusations.
    In Lure of the Sinister, Medway traces the history of Satanism, a
"nearly non-existent phenomenon." Indeed, the more Medway searched for
Satanism, the less of it he found. The witchhunts surrounding Satanism
were all too real, however. Fueled by outlandish stories of baby
breeders and human sacrifices, bizarre charges were brought against
day care workers. Michelle Remembers is the book that popularized the
concept of "ritual abuse' in 1980, but ritual abuse has gone "the way
of the now discredited craze for `recovered memories' of childhood
sexual abuse." Baker describes Lure of the Sinister as an "occult
counterpart" to Watters' & Ofshe's Making Monsters, and concludes that
Medway's study "decisively bangs another nail into the coffin of
satanic abuse."
    Martin Orne, a preeminent psychiatrist, psychologist and
researcher, when confronted with rumors, strange stories, innuendoes,
would often ask, "How did you come to know that?" A simple question
that more people should have asked 20 years ago.

[1] Baker, P. "A Walk on the dark side" The Guardian, October 6, 2001.
[2] Veinot, L. (Don) and Joy A. "Beware the Rumor Weed" Midwest
    Christian Outreach, Inc Journal, Summer/Fall 2001 N.B. The authors
    will send article free of charge. It will be on the web-site in
    early 2002. Contact: Joy A. Veinot, director, Midwest Christian
    Outreach, PO box 455 Lombard, IL 60148-0455, Phone: 630-627-9028,,

/                                                                    \
|                      Satanic Panic Aftermath                       |
|                                                                    |
| In South Ayrshire Scotland, eight children (now adults) are suing  |
| social workers who took them away from their families for five     |
| years over false claims of satanic sex abuse. The suits claim that |
| the children's rights were breached under the European Convention. |
|                                                                    |
| The panic began when a mother asked to have her children examined  |
| for abuse. The mother, described as emotionally unstable, was      |
| about to split from her husband. Although no evidence of abuse was |
| found, social workers prevented her children and those from other  |
| families from being with their families between 1990 and 1995.     |
|                                                                    |
| Actions could open the floodgates for other cases including the 16 |
| children of Orkney who were also removed.                          |
|                            Mega, M. "Satanic abuse case: 8 to sue" |
|                                     Scottish Daily Record, 12/3/01 |

                      Sex, Lies, and Audiotapes
                           Rael Jean Isaac
                Women's Quarterly, Summer 2001, 7-10.
     Available at:

This "don't miss" article examines the role of the women's movement in
the spread of the recovered memory phenomenon, in an effort to
understand why we've been so willing to believe fantastic tales of
sexual abuse. While crediting the movement with bringing rape out of
the closet, the author notes that the feminists became obsessed with
supposedly rampant sexual abuse. "`Believe the women' became the
repressed memory hysteria," she writes and "`Believe the children'
turned into the daycare hysteria." Isaac notes that "the feminists who
rallied around Florence Rush believed that they could end child abuse
by abolishing the patriarchal family, its `cause.' Instead they
launched a child abuse hysteria in which pseudo-science has
flourished. Both men and women have been its victims."

                          NEWS FROM ENGLAND
     Concern About Wrongful Prosecution of Child Abuse In England

                  Three recent actions deserve note

FIRST. A discussion about false accusations was held in the House of
Lords on October 17, 2001. The discussion, lasting approximately two
hours, was introduced by Lord Earl Howe who spoke about the damage
caused to families by false accusations of child abuse.
    "I should like to talk today about two of the triggers for false
accusations. The first one is a phenomenon known as `recovered
memory.' Noble Lords may remember that about 10 years ago a number of
cases were reported in the press of families being torn apart as a
result of adults -- usually women -- making retrospective accusations
of childhood sexual abuse against a member of their family. The
accused person -- most often a father of hitherto impeccable character
-- would protest his innocence. A common thread in many cases was that
the grown-up daughter had undergone a course of psychotherapy, during
which she and her therapist had apparently unlocked memories of
previously unremembered traumas in childhood."
    Adding her voice to Earl Howe's second main concern, false
allegations against parents through a wrongful diagnosis of
Munchausen's Syndrome by Proxy, the Countess of Mar noted:
    "Even when accusations of child abuse against a parent or parents
have subsequently been withdrawn, often after prolonged and costly
legal action, the stigma of being branded a child abuser by the local
authority remains with the parents. Once a social services referral is
placed on their database, the details remain forever, no matter what
the outcome of later inquiries. The referral becomes common knowledge
in the local community. Those who work with children, either as
careers or teachers, are refused employment and those who have been
active in the community or in voluntary work find that they are no
longer required, especially if children or young people are
involved. These are people who have been proved innocent, yet they are
treated like criminals..."

SECOND. On November 1, 2001, the first meeting of an all-party
parliamentary group inquiring into child abuse investigations took
place. The group was formed in response to mounting concern about
miscarriages of justice and wrongful prosecution based on historical
allegations of sexual abuse.

THIRD. In an interview with The Independent,[1] Lord Woolf, the Lord
Chief Justice, commented that child abuse allegations "were easy to
make" and might be motivated by claims for compensation. He expressed
concern about some of the "very old offenses" from former residents of
children's homes. He told The Independent that some of the
recollections "may not be accurate," especially when they were
"tempted" by awards from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board and
the police were asking, "Did anything happen to you?" He also said
that allegations were easy to make as abuses are committed in private
and in many cases involve one person's word against another's.
    Many members of the British False Memory Society have been
actively involved in educating members of their government about false
accusations. Roger Scotford, founder of the BFMS has commented that
"We are absolutely delighted that at last the judiciary seems to
realize that maybe there are many miscarriages of justice out

[1] Verkaik, R. "Many child abuse convictions could be unsafe" The
    Independent November 23, 2001

/                                                                    \
|            Different Perspectives on False Allegations             |
|                                                                    |
| "The impact of a false accusation cannot be underestimated -- it   |
| becomes a defining feature of a man's life."                       |
|                          Michael Meyers,  Am J Psychiatry, 11/1/01 |
|  Review of Friedman & Downey (Eds.) Masculinity and Sexuality: |
|                           Selected Topics in the Psychology of Men |
|                                                                    |
| "It is indeed unfortunate when innocent people are inconvenienced  |
| in the process of finding the true perpetrators of crimes against  |
| children. But that is a price we should be willing to pay...Far    |
| better to err on the side of protecting children...                |
|                                           Letter from Kristi Koker |
|                                               Seattle PI  12/21/95 |

 Assessing the Validity of Amnesia in Dissociative Identity Disorder:
                 A Dilemma for the DSM and the Courts
                    John Allen and William Iacono
                  Psychology, Public Policy and Law
                     Vol 7(2) June 2001, 311-344

If a person has multiple personality disorder (dissociative identity
disorder, DID) are the different identities aware of each other?
Beginning with the 1994 DSM-IV, amnesia between identities was
required as a criterion for diagnosis.
    Amnesia as it relates to DID has received little empirical study.
The few published studies have generally found that in direct tests of
memory (recall and recognition) there is amnesia between the
identities. In indirect tests of memory, however, there is evidence
that memory transfers between identities. Allen and Iacono write that
"there exist a variety of approaches that courts use in dealing with
defenses such as not guilty by reason of insanity and diminished
    Amnesia -- in addition to being relevant to establishing the
diagnosis of DID -- may have bearing on whether DID defendants are
competent to assist their attorneys in conducting their defense."
    There are several reasons why is it problematic to rely on self-
reports for assessing memory in DID. By definition, someone with DID
has a memory impairment. It is not clear that persons with memory
impairments can accurately reflect on their memory. In addition, the
problems of memory distortion and fabrication make the accuracy of
self-reports questionable.
    The authors believe that there is a need for more objective
measures of memory in DID. Because of the ambiguity of study results,
a patient's claim of amnesia between identities should not be regarded
as conclusive in legal proceedings. The authors propose that
psychophysiological measures of memory may provide such an objective
    Psychophysiological measures do not depend on a person's self-
report but involve measuring central nervous system and autonomic
activity. A test that has been used for many years is the guilty
knowledge test (GKT). Unlike ordinary polygraphy, GKT has substantial
scientific support. The GKT consists of questions that only the person
who committed the crime and the police could answer. Items that
involve information in the media are not used because if they were,
even innocent people could be expected to possess such "guilty
    They suggest that "a properly constructed guilty knowledge test --
using either electrodermal or event-related potential measures --
would produce one of two possible outcomes. Failure to show memory
would be strong objective evidence in support of amnesia, although no
cases in the published literature have produced such a result.
Psychophysiological evidence of memory, by contrast, would not
distinguish between the existence of implicit versus explicit memory."
However, until clarification in the DSM about what constitutes the
nature of the memory impairment in DID, psychophysiological evidence
of memory could be viewed as refuting the diagnosis or as
inconclusive. Allen and Iacono advise the courts to use caution in
evaluating or admitting claims of amnesia in putative cases of DID.

/                                                                    \
|                        FMS in the Language                         |
|                                                                    |
| "But then this whole book is literary-historical analysis as false |
| memory syndrome." (NY Times, June 2, 1996)                         |
|                                                                    |
| "But I must have had false memory syndrome. The red-headed Barbie, |
| which I was sure I butchered, was still pretty and perky in her    |
| pink party dress." NY Times, April 5, 1998)                        |
|                                                                    |
| "A writer discovers that his richly textured recollections of an   |
| Irish boyhood were the product of false-memory syndrome."          |
| (NY Times, Jan.. 2, 2000)                                          |
|                                                                    |
| "...a triumph of that false-memory syndrome called contemporary    |
| fiction." (NY Times, July 9, 2000)                                 |
|                                                                    |
| "It's like the false memory syndrome when people end up believing  |
| that they were abducted by aliens." (NY Times, Oct 6, 2000)        |
|                                                                    |
| "This is obviously another example of false memory syndrome."      |
| (NY Times, Dec. 9, 2001)                                           |

               Guided Visualization and Suggestibility:
 Effect of Perceived Authority on Recall of Autobiographical Memories
                    Paddock, J.R. & Terranova, S.
                    Journal of Genetic Psychology
                   Vol 162 (3), Sept. 2001, 347-356

The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of an authority
figure in the formation of childhood pseudomemories in adults. After
recounting a childhood event whose details came from others (known
event), participants either completed: 1) a visualization task led by
an expert, 2) a visualization task led by a nonexpert, 3) a visual
search task, or 4) a verbal list-learning task. For the visualization
tasks, participants listened to a middle-aged man on audiotape who
asked them to imagine details of their known event. Half believed the
person on the tape was an esteemed psychologist (expert) and half
believed he was someone who had gone back to school to study
communications. The participants who had guided visualizations led by
the expert showed a significantly greater effect in rating the events
as remembered rather than known. The authors note that their "data
provide a humbling reminder to psychotherapists" about the power of
their authority in influencing patients.

           Forgiveness: Who Does It and How Do They Do It?
                        Michael E. McCullough
  Current Directions in Psychological Science Vol. 10 (6), Dec 2001,

Michael McCullough notes that "forgiveness" is defined in Webster's
New Universal Unabridged Dictionary (1983) as "to give up resentment
against or the desire to punish; to stop being angry with; to
    In this article McCullough reviews research attempting to
understand what traits seem to be found in people who are able to
forgive. People who are inclined to forgive their transgressors tend
to be more agreeable, more emotionally stable and perhaps more
spiritually inclined than people who tend not to forgive. The
psychological processes that seem to foster forgiveness are empathy
and generous attributions/appraisals regarding the transgression and
transgressor. The process that seems to act against forgiveness is
rumination or the tendency to experience intrusive thoughts, affects
and images about past events. The more people brood about a
transgression, the higher are their levels of revenge and

[1] McCullough et al.,1998. "Interpersonal forgiving in close
    relationships: II. Theoretical elaboration and measurement.
    Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75, 1586-1603.
    McCullough et al., 2001 Vengefulness: Relationships with
    forgiveness, rumination, well-being, and the big five. Personality
    and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27, 601-610.

/                                                                    \
|                        Survivor Forgiveness                        |
|                                                                    |
| To My Mother & My Father:                                      |
|                                                                    |
| I have been and continue to suffer because of the torture, abuse   |
| and trauma you forced me to endure as a child....I no longer wish  |
| to have contact with you and all communication from now on should  |
| be through my lawyer. This is my way of forgiving you both.        |
|           from an Accuser's "Confrontation Letter" --  early 1990s |

      Standards for Informed Consent in Recovered-Memory Therapy
               Cannell, J., Hudson, J.I., & Pope, H.G.
         J Am Academy Psychiatry and the Law 29: 138-47 2001

Large awards in malpractice suits for instilling or recovering false
memories of sexual abuse have increased in the last several years. One
of the main allegations in the cases has been that the
psychotherapists failed to inform patients of the risks of false
memories. The authors note that their "review of the literature finds
no evidence beyond anecdotal reports that recovered memory therapy has
beneficial effects, in contrast to many other psychological therapies,
which are well supported by empirical studies. Conversely, we have
documented extensive literature drawn from historical examples, review
articles, and actual studies showing that human beings may be highly
susceptible to false memories and false beliefs, including false
memories of childhood sexual abuse. A great deal of this literature
was already available to recovered memory therapists practicing in the
late 1980s and early 1990s." Patients who were recovering repressed
memories should have been warned about the risks of false memories.

/                                                                    \
| "A memory system that really did repress memories of traumatic     |
| events would be most maladaptive. If an ancestor of mine repressed |
| the memory of being attacked by, but escaping from, a sabertoothed |
| tiger when he unknowingly ventured too near the tiger's lair, he   |
| would be likely to return to the spot again. And I wouldn't be     |
| sitting at my computer right now typing this review."              |
|                                  How memory doesn't work perfectly |
|                        Terence Hines, 11/1/01, Skeptical Inquirer, |
|                                Review of The Seven sins of Memory: |
|                                 How the Mind Forgets and Remembers |
|                                             By Daniel L. Schacter. |

         A City Possessed: The Christchurch Civic Creche Case
                             Lynley Hood
                     New Zealand: Longacre  2001
                         ISBN  1 877135 62 3

The great witchhunts of history "represented the fusion of three
separate but related sociological disturbances: a moral panic, an
epidemic of mass psychogenic illness and an outbreak of scapegoating,"
writes Lynley Hood. The 672 pages of this meticulously researched book
follow this framework to show what went wrong in the most notorious
day care case in New Zealand.
    In the early 90s, Peter Ellis, an openly gay teacher at the Civic
Creche in Christchurch, was accused of abusing children in all manner
of fantastical ways. Hood writes:
    "When I began this project, the key question underpinning my
research was this: to what extent were the staff of the Christchurch
Civic Child Care Center involved in child sexual abuse? I expected,
sooner or later, to uncover some real-life happenings on which,
rightly or wrongly, the allegations of criminality were based. But, in
my years of dredging through the mire in which this story has
foundered, I found no evidence of illegality by anyone accused in this
case. Instead, I found convincing evidence that more than 100
Christchurch children had been subject to unpleasant and
psychologically hazardous procedures for no good reason, and that a
group of capable and caring adults with no inclinations towards sexual
misconduct with children had had their lives ruined as a result."p. 33
    This fascinating and important book covers 30 years of New Zealand
social history to explain the travesty of justice in the Ellis trial.
Factors such as the merger in the early 1980s of feminism, religious
conservatism and the child protection movement; changes in laws; the
handing out of up to $10,000 to people who said but didn't have to
prove that they had been sexually abused; and visits by therapists
from the United States all played a role in what happened.
    A City Possessed is available directly from the publisher. 

/                                                                    \
|        Excerpt from  "Speak No Evil; Phenomena of Exorcism"        |
|                            Dateline NBC                            |
|   November 13, 2001 with Stone Phillips and Reporter John Larson   |
|                                                                    |
|   Dr. Irving Wiesner is chairman of the American Psychiatric       |
| Association's Committee on Religion and Psychiatry.                |
|                                                                    |
|   After viewing a video of an exorcism:                            |
| Reporter: What do you make of a scene like that?                   |
| Wiesner: As a psychiatrist, I look at it and I say, "I'm not sure  |
|    what's happening." As a believer, I go, like, "Wow."            |
| Reporter: A believer? This doctor, this authority from the America |
|    Psychiatric Association believes in exorcism? We're talking     |
|    about exorcism here.                                            |
| Wiesner: Mm-hmm.                                                   |
| Reporter: Do you believe in the presence of demons?                |
| Wiesner: Yes, I do, personally.                                    |
| Reporter: You do?                                                  |
| Wiesner: Yes.                                                      |
| Reporter: And you think demons may be responsible for some         |
|    people's afflictions?                                           |
| Wiesner: Yes                                                       |
| Reporter: What do you base this on?                                |
| Wiesner: My personal faith. Not -- certainly not my psychiatric    |
|    training, because psychiatric training doesn't touch on this.   |
|                                ...                                 |
| Reporter:...The American Psychiatric Association's own "bible" if  |
|    you will, it's diagnostic manual, considers claims of           |
|    possession by spirits not proof of the supernatural, but a      |
|    symptom of a psychiatric disorder.                              |

                     Thoughts About Our Families
                              Allen Feld

In the last newsletter I described several propositions that I would
discuss in class if I were still teaching Master of Social Work
students. These were independent of the harm I had witnessed from FMS.
In this essay, I discuss thoughts gleaned from my experiences with
falsely accused families. The families I was so fortunate to have
talked with have molded the following thoughts:
Even those who describe themselves as totally crushed by the
accusations regained balance and order in their lives. Observing these
families deepens my belief in the strength and resiliency of people,
as well as the idea that crises become less binding with time.
some families did seek professional help in spite of suspicion and
distrust of therapists, other families did not feel the need for
professional help and used their own natural support systems. Families
made decisions that they felt were appropriate for them.
RECOMMENDED PATH, TO FOLLOW. Choices that families made reflect their
own unique situations, values and wishes.
    Even if parents were in control of the situation, a decision to
reunite is at minimum a two-party decision. There is a difference
between communicating a desire for reunification and directly causing
it to happen and this can easily go unrecognized.
families who once were adamant that there would be no reunification
without a retraction have subsequently developed relationships with
non-retracting offspring. Perhaps the growing number of contacts
between accusers and their families reflects this trend. As in all
matters of life, circumstances change for for both accused and
    Regardless of families' differing attitudes about contact, they
all express love for their offspring, a longing for reunification,
wishes to see grandchildren and a desire for a retraction.
TO THEIR PARTICULAR FAMILY. It is not predictable if processes that
seemed to work historically will be useful under these circumstances.
However, it is clear that dealing with accusations and reconciliation
requires a high degree of agreement within the family.
    Reunification is clearly not a "One size fits all" situation. Key
family members should work together to reach agreement and commitment
to an approach that mirrors their values and beliefs. Some families
may find that this situation leads to altering roles, decision-making
methods and ways of dealing with matters. This process can be more
like creating an original map than following an existing one.
frequency of interactions of those who accused and resumed contact
(or, in some cases never separated) without a retraction seems to be
family determined. The definition of reunification seems fluid and in
many situations gets redefined. Many relationships seemed to deepen
over time. In those circumstances that I'm aware of where there is
contact without a retraction, not discussing the accusations seems to
be the more typical manner of dealing with the situation.
SOME HAVE NOT. Since the parents of both groups are equally resolute
that the accusations are false, it might be that some families may
still receive a retraction at a future time. I've heard several
families say that a retraction is obvious even if it is not spoken.
Others inferred a possible retraction from the behavior of a returner,
such as being asked to baby-sit for grandchildren. While families of
returners hope that a retraction will follow, many families appear
willing and capable of living with this ambiguity and uncertainty.
statement does not negate the efforts and changes of families that are
still working toward reunification. We need to recognize the reality
that without a change on the part of the accuser, it is unlikely that
reconciliation will happen.
    These thoughts represent my observations at this point in time.
Hopefully, others will help provide scientifically based direction that
offers helpful suggestions or specific options for families seeking
/                                                                    \
|                     Yuppie Flu Still A Mystery                     |
|                                                                    |
| Since the days when it was derisively called the "yuppie flu," the |
| cause of chronic fatigue syndrome has been hotly debated. Some     |
| experts even suggest the illness may be caused by repressed        |
| memories of childhood abuse. But new research debunks that theory, |
| although some experts disagree with the study's conclusions. There |
| is no "unique relationship" linking abuse to chronic fatigue       |
| syndrome, says Renee Taylor, a DePaul University psychologist.     |
|                                         Thomas Ropp, "Jump-Starts" |
|                              The Arizona Republic, March 19, 2001. |

                      L E G A L   U P D A T E S
                              FMSF Staff

LOGERQUIST v DANFORTH: A Phoenix Arizona jury took only 50 minutes to
decide for the defense in a case that has been in the courts for
almost ten years.
    In 1992, Kim E. Logerquist brought suit against her former
pediatrician John T. Danforth claiming she had been sexually molested
on several occasions from 1971 to 1973 when she was between eight and
ten years old. The woman claimed her memories were restored in 1991
after watching a television commercial with the pediatrician. The
woman sought to have experts who would testify how memories can be
repressed because of severe childhood trauma and how the memories can
be recalled later with accuracy. The trial judge refused to let her
experts testify, ruling that repressed memories "are not generally
accepted in the relevant scientific community." Logerquist appealed.
    In April 2000, the Arizona Supreme Court [1] in a split decision
allowed expert testimony on repressed memory. The Court took the
position that rules regarding scientific evidence simply do not apply
to something as unscientific as repressed memory. The decision
generated controversy and the Arizona Law Journal devoted an issue to
commentary.[2] The case was sent back to the trial level.

[1] Logerquist v Danforth, CV 98-0587-PR Az Sup. Ct. April 2000.
[2] Arizona State Law Journal, Spring 2001 33Ariz.St.L.J.40

GERALD AMIRAULT is still in jail as we go to press. In July, 2001, the
Massachusetts Parole Board recommended that the governor commute the
sentence of Gerald "Tooky" Amirault, who was convicted in 1986 in one
of the approximately 30 day care cases that appeared in the wake of
McMartin. Gerald Amirault was sentenced to 30 to 40 years. His mother
and sister, however, received 8-to-20 year sentences. The Parole Board
stated that "Gerald Amirault has demonstrated by clear and convincing
evidence that his further incarceration would constitute gross
unfairness..." Gerald's mother, Violet, has since died. His sister,
Cheryl LeFave, is no longer in jail.Violet and Cheryl were freed after
an appeals court ruled that the methods by which the child witnesses
were interviewed was flawed and suggestive.
    In November, Acting Governor Jane Swift met with several victims
of the Fells Acres Day Care case. The witnesses urged her not to
commute Gerald Amirault's sentence. Swift was expected to meet with
more of the victims and also with members of Gerald Amirault's
family. As of November 30, it was reported that Governor Swift had not
made up her mind.
    Phillips, F. "Victims fight Amirault commutation; Swift urged to
deny freedom" Boston Globe, Nov 30, 2001.

/                                                                    \
|     Envelope for Old Sexual Abuse Lawsuits Continues to Expand     |
|                                                                    |
| Editor's Comment: When the first delayed discovery of sexual abuse |
| lawsuits appeared, it was the alleged perpetrator (father) who was |
| sued.  This quickly expanded to suits against mothers -- who       |
| should have known about the abuse and failed to stop it and thus   |
| were covered under the family's home-owners policy. Suits against  |
| clergy followed this pattern. A recent suit appears to move        |
| beyond the "should have known" status.                             |
|                                                                    |
| Two sisters, now 60 and 61 years old, filed an $8.6 million        |
| lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Portland Oregon. The sisters    |
| who are known only as P.L and R.E. allege that they were           |
| repeatedly abused by Father Carl Wachter when they were 7 and 8    |
| years old and living at a home for girls that was run by the       |
| archdiocese. Wachter died in January 1992. The sisters claim that  |
| a nun witnessed the abuse but continued to take the sisters to     |
| visit Wachter. The sisters claim that they had not spoken of this  |
| " shameful and humiliating" information all these years.           |
|   The Oregon Supreme Court ruled in 1999 that the archdiocese can  |
| be held liable as the employer of an abusive priest. The Eugene    |
| Register Guard notes, however, that "Plaintiffs previously had to  |
| show that officials from institutions involved in the care of      |
| children knew or should have known that an employee was molesting  |
| a child."                                                          |
|   A spokesperson for the archdiocese commented: "Dealing with a    |
| lawsuit involving things which allegedly happened more than 50     |
| years ago ... and when the priest who allegedly was involved is    |
| long since dead, presents great challenges..."                     |
|                Young A. "2 Sisters Sue Church Over Alleged Abuse"  |
|                                       Register Guard, Nov 6. 2001  |

                    Posttraumatic Stress Disorder:
                               Part II
                        Loren Pankratz, Ph.D.

In the last Newsletter, I described some of the current controversies
about Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I reported that Canadian
psychologist Marilyn Bowman reviewed the world's PTSD literature,
which suggested that toxic events do not usually create persistent
symptoms that would rise to the level of a diagnosable disorder like
PTSD. Trauma creates short-term stress, but it does not predict
long-term outcome.
    I also discussed the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study,
which suggested that over half of the male veterans have experienced
clinically significant stress-related symptoms. Dallas stockbroker
B.G. Burkett challenged this study because fewer than 15% of Vietnam
veterans were in direct combat units. In his opinion, many of these
men lied about their military experiences and are using the diagnosis
of PTSD for their own psychological and financial gain.
    The problems with PTSD are complex. In a well-constructed study,
Southwick and others (1997) showed some serious inconsistencies in the
ability of individuals to describe their combat experiences over time.
In this study, 46% of Operation Desert Storm veterans reported one or
more traumatic events that they did not recall two years later. More
disturbingly, two years after the war, 70% of the veterans recalled
traumatic events that they had not reported one month after the event.
It is probable that subjects amplified their memory of combat trauma
as a way of explaining their current symptoms. The authors concluded
that "If memories of combat are inconsistent over time, then the
relationship between PTSD and combat exposure would be a tenuous one."
An editorial appearing concurrently with the Southwick article flatly
admitted that no one now knows what PTSD really is (Hales & Zatzick,
    One distressing implication of these findings is that much of the
PTSD research might be contaminated by subjects who have something
other than PTSD. What research, if any, might we be able to trust? As
a start, Harvard psychologist Richard McNally is in the process of
obtaining archived military records of 37 PTSD research subjects that
he used in some information processing experiments. He has arranged to
have these records checked so that any fabricators can be identified,
allowing him to eliminate their data from his study. This
self-correcting strategy is a hallmark of science.
    There is other evidence that professionals do not yet understand
PTSD. In 1996, Shalev and colleagues in Israel reviewed the world
literature on the treatment of PTSD. Like Bowman, he was distressed to
discover that the treatment of PTSD has limited value because
remission of symptoms is rarely achieved.
    Perhaps therapists are more successful when they respond rapidly
after disasters to prevent the development of recalcitrant PTSD
syndromes. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that early intervention
can make a difference. Litz and colleagues (in press) reviewed six
recent PTSD outcome studies that they judged had sound methodology. In
all instances, psychological debriefing was not helpful, and in two
studies the symptoms of victims became worse over time. Thus, they
recommended that such services not be provided to individuals
immediately after trauma, although they did state that providing
comfort and humanitarian assistance is acceptable. Similarly, there
is the possibility of iatrogenic outcome for early assessment. Belief
systems can have such a profound effect on the production of symptoms
that clinicians must be mindful of their responsibility in the task of
information gathering.
    Lifetime risk for exposure to potentially traumatizing events is
extremely high, ranging from 60% to 90% in the general population. Yet
few will develop PTSD. A national survey estimated that approximately
8% of the individuals exposed to serious traumatic events will
subsequently have PTSD, and a study of British combat soldiers
suggested that only about 1% develop PTSD. People have an amazing
capacity to survive and draw strength from struggle, gaining new bonds
with family, friends, and community in the process. Psychological
intervention can divert this process of healing.
    Twenty years ago there was great enthusiasm for helping the
victims of trauma. Training programs proliferated and treatment
strategies were taught with confidence. Communities now assume that
specialized teams must be employed during times of natural
disasters. However, the research suggests that professionals are
sometimes a part of the problem. As a result, the PTSD niche is now a
mixture of individuals: patients suffering from the traumas of life,
impostors, those who have stumbled into PTSD to avoid other labels,
and patients directed into PTSD by well meaning but mistaken
professionals. Research, diagnosis, and treatment are meaningful only
if you know which path the patient has traveled.
Hales RE, Zatzick DF. What is PTSD? American Journal of Psychiatry,
  1997; 154: 143-144.
Litz BT, Gray M, Bryant R, Adler A (in press). Early intervention for
  trauma: current status and future interventions. Clinical
  Psychology: Science and Practice.
Shalev AY, Bonne O, Eth S (1996). Treatment of posttraumatic stress
  disorder: A review. Psychosomatic Medicine, 58, 165-82.
Southwick SM, Morgan CA, Nicolaou AL, Charney DS. Consistency of
  memory for combat-related traumatic events in veterans of Operation
  Desert Storm. American Journal of Psychiatry, 1997; 154: 173-177.

  Dr. Pankratz has an independent practice in Portland OR where he is
  a Clinical Professor at Oregon Health Sciences University. He
  discusses PTSD more extensively in a chapter for a forthcoming book:
  "The misadventures of wanderers and victims of trauma." In P
  Halligan, C Bass, D Oakley (eds.) Malingering and Illness
  Deception. Oxford University Press, in press.

                   Man Recants Repressed `Memories'
                              Kirk Makin
                   The Globe and Mail, Nov. 3, 2001
                      Reprinted with permission

When Rowland Mak mounts a podium today to retract accusations that his
father sexually assaulted him as an infant, he will do more than
simply conclude a long and poignant family drama.
    The 35-year-old man's recantation at a Toronto conference will put
a symbolic nail in the coffin of a controversial psychological
phenomenon: repressed memory syndrome.
    "It takes a lot of courage to come to the realization that someone
abused you when you were young," Mr. Mak said. "It also takes a lot of
courage to admit it wasn't true; that for all the years I was
separated from my dad, I was wrong. It is very liberating."
    It was back in 1991 that Mr. Mak first confronted his father --
Adriaan Mak -- with his allegation of being raped at the age of 2 or
    "He told me in a monotonous, almost trance-like voice," the
70-year-old man said in an interview. "He said his therapist had led
him to expect that I would be `in denial,' and that my denial
confirmed my guilt. With that, he left me standing in the street. I
was in total shock."
    His family was devastated. Rowland -- a bright youth who had
enjoyed the usual privileges of a middle-class home -- had been
spiralling into an aimless world of LSD, drug-peddling, dead-end jobs
and welfare payments. Depressed and confused, he had been undergoing
regular therapy for a year.
    Yesterday, he described himself as a sensitive youth whose
psychological moorings were damaged in his teens by two separate
incidents in which older men took advantage of him sexually.
    He recalled being struck during one session when his therapist
said she had been a victim of ritual abuse herself and knew a great
deal about repressed memories.
    "I remember her saying: `I wouldn't close the door on sexual abuse
-- there has got to be some reason you're afraid of your father,'" he
recalled. "Suddenly, it rang true for me -- I believed my father had
raped me."
    Several months after leveling his accusations, Rowland's
therapist floated the idea that his abuse could have been part of an
elaborate cult ritual. He immediately seized upon the idea, and
commenced patching together "memories" of his father and other men
abusing him and other children.
    "I came to believe they were connected to a secret society that
control all of society," he recalled.
    How can a person actually create memories without realizing the
falsity of what they are doing? Rowland Mak said it is not
particularly difficult if one is both psychologically vulnerable and
being aided by a sympathetic therapist who believes in what she is
doing. "When you are exploring your subconscious and deep emotions
that you are unaware of, you give a therapist a tremendous amount of
power," he said.
    He said his convictions were continually reinforced by other
"survivors," who clustered together at meetings and described the
abuse they felt they had suffered.
    While all this was going on, Adriaan Mak was attempting to fight
his growing depression by immersing himself in the task of exposing
repressed memory therapy as a fad that had destroyed thousands of
    As successful as the campaign was, what the retired high school
teacher wanted most was to get his disaffected son back.
    In the late 1990s, Rowland Mak quit drugs, left therapy, settled
down with a woman and took up the study of positive thinking. Then, a
year ago, he was struck by a startling revelation as he changed his
daughter's diapers.
    The child was the same age Rowland had been when he was anally
raped -- at least, according to his reconstructed memories. He
suddenly realized that the offense he had accused his father of
perpetrating was improbable in the extreme -- and that a child of such
tender years simply couldn't carry that sort of coherent memories.
    "It just hit me that this didn't happen," he said yesterday. "I
called my father, and said: `Dad, you were right. It didn't happen.'"
    Rowland Mak intends to tell his story today to the group his
father has worked with so tirelessly: the False Memory Foundation.
    "I have problems when I think about my therapist, because she
crossed lines she shouldn't have," he said yesterday. "But I don't
have anger to the recovered memory therapy community itself. It was
all just a colossal, well-intentioned mistake."

/                                                                    \
|    Mr. Adriaan Mak received the following anonymous email message  |
|   after the Globe and Mail article appeared. It's an indication    |
|   that the FMS problem is still with us.                           |
|                                                                    |
| Mr. Mak,                                                           |
|     If you think that anyone outside of your circle of self-       |
| reinforcing FMSFers actually believes that your son has suddenly   |
| recanted whatever he said, then please think again.  One of two    |
| things seem much more likely:                                      |
|     1. You held out some financial carrot, like so many other FMSF |
| parents have done. What was it, his (dis)inheritance? or           |
|     2. You are misrepresenting the whole thing, like you have done |
| with so many other cases in Canada.                                |
|     I wonder why you have never provided *any* identifying         |
| features that would allow independent verification of your claim.  |
| Next time you are reminding everyone how he "recanted," why don't  |
| you include some details that would allow skeptics to investigate  |
| your unverified tale? Or is this the kind of skeptic inquiry you   |
| abhor?                                                             |
|                                                                    |
|   Mr. Mak replied as follows:                                      |
|                                                                    |
| Dear Anon,                                                         |
|     My son, Rowland Ian Mak, recanted of his own accord. He        |
| volunteered to do so in front of about 90 parents of a False       |
| Memory Support Group in Toronto, Ontario.                          |
|     Since I am not a wealthy man, there would be not much of an    |
| inheritance, but in any case, in my will, such as it is, he was    |
| never disinherited. That is because I know that he became the      |
| victim of misguided therapy.                                       |
|     This is a truthful representation. Now please provide me with  |
| your list of "cases in Canada" I have misrepresented.              |
|     Further, tell us what has been your own involvement with the   |
| kind of therapy my son was involved in?                            |
|                                                        Adriaan Mak |

                   F R O M   O U R   R E A D E R S
                          For "Another Dad"
I was appalled when I read the letter from "Another Dad." Those were
the words that I had previously read only in letters from therapists
who had been sued for malpractice.
    In an early FMS newsletter, Dr. Colin Ross suggested therapists
should sue the parents of former patients for false memories.
    In a recent newsletter Dr. Bennett Braun suggests absurd motives
for patients who sue their therapists.
    I will never forget when I submitted my own hospital records to a
top U.S. psychiatrist and was told that it was the worst case of
medical malpractice he had ever seen. The psychiatrist against whom I
filed a malpractice lawsuit brushed me off as "some crazy woman."
Later, to my utter shock and amusement, he submitted a defense
affidavit from a colleague stating that my motive was "unrequited love
for him."
    I hope that "Another Dad" will remember two things:
    First, it is up to the courts to decide who is or is not the
victim of medical malpractice. So far the courts have shown a
prevailing agreement that many former patients of recovered memory
therapy are indeed victims of medical malpractice. Those long and
difficult lawsuits have brought a major impact upon the recovered
memory movement, thereby benefiting all patients and protecting
families and dads like the writer of the letter.
    Second, no matter how hurt and angry you feel towards your child,
please remember the many others who have lost their lives to this
therapy. I suggest that it is only the parents and families of those
children who can tell you who the victims are.
                                       Roma Elizabeth Hart (Retractor)
                    Beware Irrevocable Statements
I have waited until this moment to write you this letter of tremendous
gratitude. About 10 years ago, two days after my "big" birthday, I got
one of those now famous letters from my son. He set forth in
tremendous detail tales of abuse that I had visited on him for years
when he was a very young child. I experienced a rainbow of feelings:
shock, anger, surprise, and grief. When I called his mother, from whom
I was then divorced, she supported him but said she had no
recollection of any of these events. I agreed to go to a therapist,
chosen by my ex-wife, for a visit with my son and his mother. The
therapist who had never before met any of us took my son's position
because he exhibited certain "obvious body language" and told me she
wanted to see me alone at another visit. I agreed and came armed with
pictures from my childhood which the therapist had requested because
she thought they would demonstrate that I had been abused as a
child. Of course the pictures showed nothing and I told her nothing
had happened with me as a child or with me and my son. My ex-wife had
just gotten a degree in social work and suggested I read The Courage
to Heal. (I did.) She even told me I was "repressing" the events.
    I felt I had nowhere to turn. I could not discuss this with anyone
except my present wife and my immediate family who were very
supportive. Then I read Darrell Sifford's articles in the
Philadelphia Inquirer. His articles indicated that there were others
in the same position as I. I called the Foundation and it gave me much
confidence to know that I was not alone.
    My son cut off all contact for a number of years. I would write to
him and sometimes he would write back. Gradually the correspondence
improved. About 6 years ago, I got a call from him and he wanted to
meet -- on his turf and on his terms. We were to say nothing about the
past. Things progressed from there. We would meet or be together and
sometimes we would talk about the accusations. He would state he was
sure they happened and I would say that they did not and then the
conversation would end or change.
    About two years ago, I noticed a change. I would get cards on big
occasions which indicated there was love and that there was
forgiveness. We would visit and be at family functions and things
gradually improved. About two months ago, after we spent most of a
weekend together he told me he had doubts about his accusations. I
told him I was grateful for what he had said. Finally, last Sunday we
got together, again on his turf, and we spent an enjoyable day
together. At the end of the day, just before I was to leave, he told
me that he knows now that nothing happened. He told me he cannot
figure out why he possibly could have believed the things he stated
and the he now doubts many of his feelings about things. I told him
that the experience for me had been horrendous, but that I never
believed he acted out of malice. When he told me he had great guilt
about his accusations, I told him I forgave him, that I knew he
believed what he had said. He did not want to talk more on the
subject, but implied that more discussion would occur in the future. I
told him that were it not for the support of my family and the
foundation, I would possibly not be here today. We hugged.
    I know, difficult as it may seem, we who have been falsely accused
should not give up hope and we should not make irrevocable statements
that would forever cut off contact.
                                                                 A Dad
                      Not Everyone is Reconciled
Eight years ago, when my daughter was 21-years-old, she falsely
accused me of sexual abuse of "remembered" incidents when she was
seven. I knew nothing about what was going on or the therapy world
until a friend told me about a program on NPR. That was when I
discovered the FMS Foundation, a sanity saver.
    When I started meeting people who had been accused of more
horrific crimes and for over a longer period of time, I thought my
situation would resolve quickly. Little did I know that eight years
later nothing would be changed. I missed her graduation from college
and her marriage, in addition to years that can never be replaced. The
only way I have managed to cope is to convince myself that my "true
daughter" no longer exists. I don't feel guilty for feeling this way;
I only feel a void, disappointment and disgust.
    Would I accept her back in my life if she contacted me and
pretended that nothing happened? Probably not, because I would not be
sure if she was sincere in her actions. I have had to harden myself as
a way of going on with my life in a positive manner.
    To compound matters, my only son broke off communication with me
three years ago. There are no accusations, but he is close to his
sister. He finally went to therapy himself.
    I often wonder where I would be without the help of the
Foundation. I'm sure many feel the same.
                                                              A Father
                            Still No Word
We still have had no word from our son since he renounced us. Our
daughter-in-law has nothing to do with her parents either. Someday we
hope the young people will want to return to their respective
families. Meanwhile, we wait and appreciate the support of the
                                                                 A Mom
Like so many writers of the letters I have read in the supportive FMSF
newsletters, I never gave up hope. I prayed that our daughter would
one day return to her family. We had many hate letters and false
starts of the last 10 years. We bailed out our daughter financially
and then received more angry letters from her. Our cum laude graduate
from high school and college became a stranger. One of her brothers
stated that she had created her own reality as she wallowed in her own
personal pain and hell.
    In April I joined an Elder hostel group and hiked the pilgrimage
trail of St. James in Northern Spain. (El Camino de Santiago). I
walked many miles, prayed and lit candles for our daughter's inner
peace. Three days after returning from Spain, we received another
letter wanting to start again after a five-month lapse. We had chosen
not to respond to a previous letter asking for more money for therapy.
Her dad and I took our time answering this one. Her response was a
shock. It was a plea that she "needed her family." We were leery to
say the least. Then her grandmother died and that precipitated a
45-minute phone call with many tears and reminiscing of times with
grandma. Then e-mails and more phone calls and then a plea to let her
come home over Labor Day weekend. Panic set in but we put our faith in
God and sent her a ticket.
    When she came, we listened, cried, hugged and talked. We do not
fully understand it all and probably never will. She believes certain
things which we choose not to debate. So what's different? Gone is the
anger, the accusations and she no longer blames us for all her mental
pain. During the years, alcohol had become her tonic to quell her
thoughts and she spiralled downward and attempted suicide and self-
mutilation. Her therapy was questionable in our mind with labels PTSD,
Depression and then MPD and Dissociative Disorder. The traumatic
events she thinks she had at age three are fuzzy but she is convinced
it was sexual abuse. However, she now mourns the 10 years of family
separation, especially after seeing pictures of many family events and
trips that took place during her absence. Our lives went on for those
ten years -- and so did our prayers.
    We were emotionally exhausted after her visit, but happy. We were
also fearful that this "dream" bubble would burst or disappear. Why
did she change? We will never know but we are looking forward to
having her a part of our annual holiday gatherings. She will meet a
niece she has never seen and get to know her oldest brother's wife of
10 years. We give thanks to have her as part of the family again.
    Trust seems to be there as she shares more and more
information. We do not run away but only listen and love her. An open
heart and unconditional love is the hard part of being a parent. Our
prayers continue for all those still hoping.
                                                                 A Mom
                        A Granddaughter's Call
About three weeks ago, out of the blue, my granddaughter who almost
never calls, phoned and said without any preamble, "I want you to know
that I never believed any of the bad things that my mother said that
granddaddy did to her as a child. I knew he never would do anything
like that, and I just wanted you to know that I didn't believe it at
all. I hope it will help you to know that." That was so sweet -- and a
complete surprise. I don't know what prompted it, except that her
family has a new "Family therapist" who might have prompted the call.
Of course, it made me sad that she did not say this before her
grandfather died. It would have taken away some the pain he felt from
the accusation which, he said made his life a "living hell."
                                                         A Grandmother
  | A Note: Our daughter is back -- as though nothing had.happened. |
  | No discussion of the past. She's warmer and more more relaxed   |
  | than before the estrangement. We're amazed and happy.           |
  |                                                   A Mom and Dad |

*                           N O T I C E S                            *
*                                                                    *
*                  R U T H E R F O R D   V I D E O                   *
*                                                                    *
*                 NOW AVAILABLE FOR HEARING IMPAIRED                 *
* Thanks to the efforts of one parent and the donation of services   *
* from National Captioning Institute (NCI), this video about         *
* problems of regression therapy and family reconciliation as shown  *
* by the Rutherford Family is now accessible to people with hearing  *
* impairments.                                                       *
*                 Video  cost including S & H is $10             *
*                        Contact FMSF Office                         *
*                                                                    *
*                   Parents Against Cruel Therapy                    *
*   To receive the free monthly newsletter for FMS parents and       *
*   retractors, anywhere, call 217-359-6667 or email    *
*                            David Hunter                            *
*                                                                    *
*                      EVERYDAY IRRATIONALITY:                       *
*              SYSTEMATICALLY FAIL TO THINK RATIONALLY               *
*                   Robyn M. Dawes, Westview Press                   *
*                         ISBN 0-8133-6552-x                         *
*                                                                    *
*                      WEB  SITES  OF  INTEREST                      *
*                                                                    *
*                                *
*                     The Memory Debate Archives                     *
*                                                                    *
*                                         *
*                      French language website                       *
*                                                                    *
*                                    *
*      Contains phone numbers of professional regulatory boards      *
*                          in all 50 states                          *
*                                                                    *
*                                       *
*                   Illinois-Wisconsin FMS Society                   *
*                                                                    *
*                                   *
*                             Ohio Group                             *
*                                                                    *
*                                           *
*                Australian False Memory Association.                *
*                                                                    *
*                                           *
*                    British False Memory Society                    *
*                                                                    *
*                               *
*            This site is run by Laura Pasley (retractor)            *
*                                                                    *
*                          *
*             This site is run by Deb David (retractor)              *
*                                                                    *
*                         *
*                            Upton Books                             *
*                                                                    *
*                    *
*                   Having trouble locating books                    *
*               about the recovered memory phenomenon?               *
*                     Recovered Memory Bookstore                     *
*                                                                    *
*                                    *
*               Information about Satanic Ritual Abuse               *
*                                                                    *
*                              *
*                       Netherlands FMS Group                        *
*                                                                    *
*                                       *
*                       New Zealand FMS Group                        *
*                                                                    *
*                     LEGAL WEBSITES OF INTEREST                     *
*                                           *
*                                       *
*                                           *
*                                                                    *
*                                FREE                                *
*             "Recovered Memories: Are They Reliable?"               *
*     Call or write the FMS Foundation for pamphlets. Be sure to     *
*     include your address and the number of pamphlets you need.     *
*                                                                    *
*                             CORRECTION                             *
* In the November/December newsletter there was a "typo" in the      *
* address of the website for Elizabeth Loftus. The correct address:  *
*                      *
*                                                                    *
*        N E W   B O O K   O F   L E G A L   I N T E R E S T         *
*                                                                    *
*   Terence Campbell, Ph.D. and Demosthenes Lorandos, Ph.D., J.D.    *
*          West Group: Litigation Resources   800-344-5009           *
*                                                                    *
* This book will be of particular interest to lawyers and families   *
* with litigation involving Daubert challenges. Key issues in this   *
* book are: Child custody and parental effectiveness; Claimed        *
* expertise; DSM-IV and MMPI-2; Relevant research; Roschach and      *
* other tests; Treatment plans, and more.                            *
*                                                                    *
* Contents of the book include: Who qualifies as an expert?;         *
* Challenging clinical judgment; Challenging claims of professional  *
* experience; Challenging diagnostic classification; Psychological   *
* testing; Child custody Evaluations and appropriate Standards of    *
* Psychological Practice; Sample Motions with Memorandum.            *
*                                                                    *
*                           DID YOU MOVE?                            *
*        Do you have a new area code? Remember to inform the         *
*                        FMSF Business Office                        *
*                                                                    *
*                          ESTATE  PLANNING                          *
*                 If you have questions about how to                 *
*             include the FMSF in your estate planning,              *
*               contact Charles Caviness 800-289-9060.               *
*            (Available 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Pacific time.)            *
*                                                                    *
*                   V I D E O   A V A I L A B L E                    *
*             Child Sex Scandal: Modern Day Witch-Hunts              *
*                  "20th Century with Mike Wallace"                  *
*                                                                    *
* This 45-minute video program that aired on the History Channel     *
* uses film clips of past CBS news and documentaries to follow the   *
* history of major child abuse charges in the United States. DAY     *
* CARE cases begin with McMartin in 1984 and include those in        *
* Jourdan, MN, Kelly Michaels in NJ and the Little Rascals in        *
* Edenton, NC. REPRESSED MEMORY cases include Eileen Franklin,       *
* Roseanne Barr, Marilyn Vandebur, Cardinal Bernadin, Humananski and *
* others. The WENATCHEE cases and several cases against CLERGY are   *
* also included. The program includes interviews with Mark           *
* Pendergrast, Elizabeth Loftus, E. Sue Blume, Elizabeth Carlson,    *
* Roseanne's family and others.                                      *
*                                                                    *
*                Cost is $19.95 + $4.95 (S&H)  $24.90            *
*          Call History Channel Home videos  1-888-708-1776          *
*         Ask for Child Sex Scandal: Modern day Witch-Hunts?         *
*                                                                    *
*  This video should be especially useful for educational purposes.  *
                F M S    B U L L E T I N    B O A R D

Contacts & Meetings:

        Marge 334-244-7891
  Kathleen 907-333-5248
        Pat 480-396-9420
  Little Rock
        Al & Lela 870-363-4368
        Joanne & Gerald 916-933-3655
        Jocelyn 530-873-0919
  San Francisco & North Bay - (bi-MO)
        Gideon 415-389-0254 or
        Charles 415-984-6626 (am); 415-435-9618 (pm)
  San Francisco & South Bay
        Eric 408-245-4493
  East Bay Area - (bi-MO)
        Judy 925-376-8221
  Central Coast
        Carole 805-967-8058
  Palm Desert
        Eileen and Jerry 909-659-9636
  Central Orange County - 1st Fri. (MO) @ 7pm
        Chris & Alan 714-733-2925
  Covina Area - 1st Mon. (MO) @7:30pm
        Floyd & Libby 626-330-2321
  San Diego Area 
        Dee 760-439-4630
  Colorado Springs
        Doris 719-488-9738
  S. New England
        Earl 203-329-8365 or
        Paul 203-458-9173
        Madeline 954-966-4FMS
  Central Florida - Please call for mtg. time
        John & Nancy 352-750-5446
        Francis & Sally 941-342-8310
  Tampa Bay Area
        Bob & Janet 813-856-7091
        Wallie & Jill 770-971-8917
  Carolyn 808-261-5716
  Chicago & Suburbs - 1st Sun. (MO)
        Eileen 847-985-7693 or
        Liz & Roger 847-827-1056
        Bryant & Lynn 309-674-2767
  Indiana Assn. for Responsible Mental Health Practices
        Pat 219-489-9987
  Des Moines - 1st Sat. (MO) @11:30 am Lunch
        Betty & Gayle 515-270-6976
  Wichita - Meeting as called
        Pat 785-738-4840
  Louisville- Last Sun. (MO) @ 2pm
        Bob 502-367-1838
        Carolyn 207-942-8473
  Protland - 4th Sun.(MO)
        Wally & Boby 207-878-9812
   Andover - 2nd Sun. (MO) @ 1pm
        Frank 978-263-9795
  Grand Rapids Area-Jenison - 1st Mon. (MO)
        Bill & Marge 616-383-0382
  Greater Detroit Area
        Nancy 248-642-8077
  Ann Arbor
        Martha 734-439-4055
        Terry & Collette 507-642-3630
        Dan & Joan 651-631-2247
  Kansas City  -  Meeting as called
        Pat 785-738-4840
  St. Louis Area  -  call for meeting time
        Karen 314-432-8789
  Springfield - 4th Sat. Apr,Jul,Oct @12:30pm
        Tom 417-753-4878
        Roxie 417-781-2058
  Lee & Avone 406-443-3189
  Mark 802-872-8439
        Sally 609-927-5343
        Nancy 973-729-1433 
  Albuquerque  -2nd Sat. (bi-MO) @1 pm
  Southwest Room - Presbyterian Hospital
        Maggie 505-662-7521 (after 6:30 pm)
        Sy 505-758-0726
        Michael 212-481-6655
  Westchester, Rockland, etc.
        Barbara 914-761-3627
  Upstate/Albany Area
        Elaine 518-399-5749
  Susan 704-538-7202
        Bob 513-541-0816 or 513-541-5272
        Bob & Carole 440-356-4544
  Oklahoma City
        Dee 405-942-0531
        Jim 918-297-7719
  Portland area
        Kathy 503-557-7118
        Paul & Betty 717-691-7660
        Rick & Renee 412-563-5509
        John 717-278-2040
  Wayne (includes S. NJ) - 2nd Sat. (MO)
        Jim & Jo 610-783-0396
  Nashville - Wed. (MO) @1pm
        Kate 615-665-1160
        Jo or Beverly 713-464-8970
   El Paso
        Mary Lou 915-591-0271
        Keith 801-467-0669
        Mark 802-872-8439
        Sue 703-273-2343
        Katie & Leo 414-476-0285 or
        Susanne & John 608-427-3686

  Vancouver & Mainland 
        Ruth 604-925-1539
  Victoria & Vancouver Island - 3rd Tues. (MO) @7:30pm
        John 250-721-3219
        Roma 240-275-5723
  London -2nd Sun (bi-MO)
        Adriaan 519-471-6338
        Eileen 613-836-3294
        Ethel 705-924-2546
        Ken & Marina 905-637-6030
        Paula 705-543-0318
  St. Andre Est.
        Mavis 450-537-8187
  Roger: Phone & Fax 352-897-9282
  FMS ASSOCIATION fax-(972) 2-625-9282 
  Task Force FMS of Werkgroep Fictieve 
        Anna (31) 20-693-5692
        Colleen (09) 416-7443
        Ake Moller FAX (48) 431-217-90
  The British False Memory Society
        Madeline (44) 1225 868-682
        Deadline for the March/April Newsletter is February 15
                  Meeting notices MUST be in writing
    and should be sent no later than TWO MONTHS PRIOR TO MEETING.

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

Pamela Freyd, Ph.D.,  Executive Director

FMSF Scientific and Professional Advisory Board,       January 1, 2002

AARON T. BECK, M.D., D.M.S., U of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA;
TERENCE W. CAMPBELL, Ph.D., Clinical and Forensic Psychology, 
    Sterling Heights, MI;
ROSALIND CARTWRIGHT, Ph.D., Rush Presbyterian St. Luke's Medical
    Center, Chicago, IL;
JEAN CHAPMAN, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI;
LOREN CHAPMAN, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI;
FREDERICK C. CREWS, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, CA;
ROBYN M. DAWES, Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA;
DAVID F. DINGES, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA;
HENRY C. ELLIS, Ph.D., University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM;
FRED H. FRANKEL, MBChB, DPM, Harvard University Medical School;
GEORGE K. GANAWAY, M.D., Emory University of Medicine, Atlanta, GA;
MARTIN GARDNER, Author, Hendersonville, NC;
ROCHEL GELMAN, Ph.D., Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ;
HENRY GLEITMAN, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA;
LILA GLEITMAN, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA;
RICHARD GREEN, M.D., J.D., Charing Cross Hospital, London;
DAVID A. HALPERIN, M.D., Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY;
ERNEST HILGARD, Ph.D., (deceased) 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, Cincinnati, OH;
PAUL McHUGH, M.D., Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD;
HAROLD MERSKEY, D.M., University of Western Ontario, London, Canada;
ULRIC NEISSER, Ph.D., Cornell University, Ithaca, NY;
RICHARD OFSHE, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, CA;
EMILY CAROTA ORNE, B.A., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA;
MARTIN ORNE, M.D., Ph.D., (deceased) U of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
LOREN PANKRATZ, Ph.D., Oregon Health Sciences Univ., 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, Boston, MA;
JAMES RANDI, Author and Magician, Plantation, FL;
HENRY L. ROEDIGER, III, Ph.D. ,Washington University, St. Louis, MO;
CAROLYN SAARI, Ph.D., Loyola University, Chicago, IL;
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 Ctr, 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

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