FMSF NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE - Winter 2009 - Vol. 18, 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)
WINTER 2009 Vol. 18 No. 1
      ISSN #1069-0484. Copyright (c) 2009 by the FMS Foundation
The FMSF Newsletter is published 4 times a year by  the  False  Memory
Syndrome Foundation and delivered electronically. It is also available
at on the  FMSF website:  Those without access to
the Internet should contact the Foundation. 
           1955 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-5766
                 Phone 215-940-1040, Fax 215-940-1042
        The next e-mail newsletter will be sent in April 2009

Dear Friends, 

Although this newsletter issue contains articles about an old book,
"The Courage to Heal," a new book, "Hell Minus One" (whose author
claims hers is a corroborated case of satanic ritual abuse), a memoir
that has been exposed as false, "Angel at the Fence," and a new
television program about multiple personality disorder, "The United
States of Tara," rest assured that the climate surrounding the
recovered memory controversy is nothing like it was 18 years ago when
the Foundation was being formed. In addition to the great books about
FMS that have been published over the years, we now have "Try to
Remember" by FMSF scientific advisor Paul McHugh, M.D. We have ongoing
new scientific research explaining memory and false memories. The
problems that prompted the formation of the FMS Foundation have not
completely gone away, but, in our estimation, there now exists a
healthy level of skepticism about claims of recovered "repressed"
memory that did not exist two decades ago.

For most FMSF families, just the name of the 1988 book "The Courage to
Heal" by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis conjures up intense negative
feelings. No other book was so flaunted before parents by their
accusing children in support of their newfound abuse beliefs and their
cruel behavior. A 20th Anniversary Edition of "The Courage to Heal" has
now appeared. (See below.) Not surprisingly, the authors still cling to
recovering repressed memories.  The good news is that most, if not
all, of the sections that encouraged the nurture of hate and anger are
gone. The authors have greatly toned down the book, which we see as a
big step in the right direction.

"Hell Minus One" by Anne Johnson Davis presents the argument that hers
is a corroborated story of satanic ritual abuse. (See below.) Davis
recovered her memories in Salt Lake City in 1992 at the height of the
recovered-memory and satanic-abuse craze there. She specifically notes
that one reason she is sure her memories are not the result of FMS is
the fact that she recovered them at home alone. She doesn't consider
that her therapist's instructions to let her mind go where it will was
license to imagine. We now know that the mere fact of imagining
something, can, for a susceptible portion of the population, result in
false memories. Ann Davis's strongest support for the reality of her
memories, however, is a signed confession from her parents that she
includes in the book. Should the confession be accepted at face value?
It is a thought-provoking question and the Davis story puts the notion
of corroboration on the front burner.

In December, Berkley Books withdrew the Holocaust memoir "Angel at the
Fence" by Herman Rosenblat because critical portions of the appealing
story were not true. (See below.) Just because someone says something
happened and even, perhaps, truly believes it, does not make the event
historically accurate. There has been a parade of memoirs that have
have been withdrawn in recent years. Do publishers have a
responsibility to corroborate the claims of the books they publish?

We previewed the pilot of "The United States of Tara," a new
television series featuring a woman with multiple personality, that
will air on the Showtime channel on Sunday January 18 at 10 PM. A
preview of this black comedy is available at We are hesitant to say much at
this point because we don't know where the 12 episodes (1/2 hour each)
will lead, but we suspect that this program is almost certainly going
to inspire discussion about the diagnosis of multiple personality
(dissociative identity disorder). The story involves the woman's
struggle to find a balance between her dissociative identity disorder
and raising a dysfunctional family. We suspect that newsletter readers
will find that the pilot presents the problems with the MPD/DID
diagnosis without the romance. The pilot, at least, seemed to focus on
the effects of the woman's bizarre behavior on her children and
husband. From the FMSF perspective, we suspect that The United States
of Tara, the "brainchild" of Steven Spielberg, will be unlikely to
recruit new MPD/DID patients.

Wouldn't it be fun if the new multiple personality program actually
followed the real path of many of the retractors who have contacted
the Foundation over the years. If it did, an episode could be devoted
to the efforts of a former patient to have the therapists or hospitals
associated with a wrongful diagnosis make an apology for their
mistakes. A recent change in the law in some Canadian provinces allows
an apology from a doctor, eliminating any legal consequences. Some
FMSF readers may want to write letters of support for Roma Hart in her
efforts to get an apology for the therapy that stole so many years of
her life. (See below)

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Paul McHugh, author of the new
book "Try to Remember," has been awarded the prestigious Rhoda and
Bernard Sarnat Prize in Mental Health by the Institute of Medicine
of which he is a member. From the Institute's website:

  "The Sarnat Prize was presented to McHugh in recognition of his
  seminal contributions to the field of psychiatry and his wide-
  ranging efforts to identify and treat various mental disorders. "The
  Perspectives of Psychiatry," a treatise on practice methods and
  principles, has been lauded as one of the most influential
  psychiatry texts in the last century. By emphasizing the field's
  unifying concepts while identifying the different ways psychiatrists
  can approach mental illness, the text has given practitioners
  insights into how they can better understand one another and
  communicate more effectively. In several other books, McHugh has
  explored some of the most strenuously debated topics in both society
  and psychiatry, including assisted suicide, recovered memories,
  alcoholism, and sexual disorders. He also is credited with building
  the psychiatry department at the Johns Hopkins University into an
  internationally recognized program in both research and clinical
  care during his tenure as director."

  "He has received many professional honors, including the Paul Hoch
  Award of the American Psychopathological Association, Joseph Zubin
  Award of the American Psychopathological Association, and the
  William C. Menninger Award from the American College of Physicians.
  He has been a visiting scholar of the Phi Beta Kappa Society and was
  elected to the Institute of Medicine in 1992. Currently serving on
  the False Memory Syndrome Foundation and the President's Council on
  Bioethics, he also is an adviser to the Association for Research in
  Nervous and Mental Disease. He served for five years on the
  U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' National Review Board for the
  protection of children and youth."

We would have added "Try to Remember" to the list of Dr. McHugh's
accomplishments. The book is full of important insights into the
mental health field presented in a way accessible to all. (See review
comments in the box below.)  As always, we thank you, kind readers,
for your ongoing generous support. We ask that if you have any special
memories about the FMS Foundation, please send them to us so that we
can include them in a full history of the FMSF. 

/                                                                    \
|                Try to Remember: Psychiatry's Clash                 |
|                   Over Meaning, Memory, and Mind                   |
|           Paul McHugh, M.D., Washington, DC: Dana Press            |
|          (Excerpts from Wall Street Journal Book Review)           |
|                                                                    |
| "One of the most extraordinary outbreaks of popular delusion in    |
| recent years was that which attached to the possibility of         |
| 'recovered memory' of sexual and satanic childhood abuse, and to   |
| an illness it supposedly caused, Multiple Personality Disorder. No |
| medieval peasant praying to a household god for the recovery of    |
| his pig could have been more credulous than scores of              |
| psychiatrists, hosts of therapists and thousands of willing        |
| victims. The whole episode would have been funny had it not been   |
| so tragic."                                                        |
|                                                                    |
| "Dr. McHugh describes how he was gradually drawn into the 'memory  |
| wars' starting in 1990, when an acquaintance, perplexed and        |
| unsettled, asked him for help after a niece from Washington state  |
| showed up unannounced at the man's door in Baltimore and accused   |
| him of having sexually abused her as a child. Soon enough, Dr.     |
| McHugh found himself fielding other requests from bewildered       |
| parents-and discovered time after time that depressed or anxious   |
| young women were being persuaded by therapists, often with the use |
| of hypnosis, that their unhappiness was caused by repressed        |
| memories of childhood abuse. 'You must remember in order to heal'  |
| was the therapists' mantra. Even the young women's denials of      |
| having been abused, Dr. McHugh reports, were taken as further      |
| evidence of repressed memory."                                     |
|                                                                    |
| "...Dr. McHugh has rendered a valuable service by describing the   |
| lamentable failure of self-criticism of doctors and therapists,    |
| some of them motivated by ideological zeal and others by hope of   |
| gain-and some, of course, by both. He has also given us a timely   |
| warning that we may expect further such episodes of popular        |
| delusion and the madness of crowds unless we straighten out our    |
| thoughts about the way our minds work-or, if that is not possible, |
| at least about how they don't work."                               |
|                           Theodore Dalrymple. (2008, November 19)  |
|                                             Destructive delusions  |
|                                               Wall Street Journal  |
|                               Retrieved on November 20, 2008 from  |
|           |


This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the
book The Courage to Heal by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis.[1]

No book did more to spread false memory syndrome. Within a few years
The Courage to Heal (TCTH) became the book "most recommended by

TCTH told its readers:

  "If you are unable to remember any specific instances....but still
  have a feeling that something abusive happened to you, it probably
  did....If you think you were abused and your life shows the
  symptoms, then you were....Many women don't have memories, and some
  never get memories. This doesn't mean they weren't abused....[You
  may] want "proof" of your abuse. This is a very natural desire, but
  it is not always one that can be met."

Convincing readers that they had repressed memories of sexual abuse
was not enough. TCTH told its readers' therapists:

  "Be willing to believe the's imperative that you
  be willing to hear and believe the worst....No one fantasizes
  abuse....If sexual abuse isn't the presenting problem but your
  client has eating disorders, and addiction to drugs or alcohol,
  suicidal feelings, or sexual problems, these may be symptoms of
  sexual abuse....if your client says she wasn't abused but you
  suspect that she was, ask again later....'No, I wasn't' may mean
  'No, I don't remember yet.'...Believe the survivor. You must believe
  that your client was sexually abused, even if she doubts it herself
  ....Your client needs you to stay steady in the belief that she was
  abused.  Joining a client in doubt would be like joining a suicidal
  client in her belief that suicide is the best way out. If a client
  is unsure that she was abused but thinks she might have been, work
  as though she was. So far, among the hundreds of women we've talked
  to and the hundreds more we've heard about, not one has suspected
  she might have been abused, explored it, and determined that she

There was a viciousness in the The Courage to Heal approach to
"healing." A parody of their style appeared in Vol 2 No. 8, August 30,
1993 FMSF Newsletter. Instead of advising children on how to treat
their parents, it advised ex-patients on how to treat their
therapists. It was constructed by taking selections from the three
chapters starting with "ANGER-THE BACKBONE OF HEALING" and applying
the following four replacement rules:

                            child  ->  patient
                         survivor  ->  ex-patient
             abuse, victimization  ->  therapy
      abuser, father, grandfather  ->  therapist

All other words were left untouched. The words "anger, rage, fury,
hate, kill" were just as they appeared in TCTH.

We learned from many therapists that until that parody they had not
truly understood the nature of the book they were recommending.

In 1994 the third edition of The Courage to Heal appeared with a new
70-page section devoted to complaints about the False Memory Syndrome
Foundation. It was replete with factual errors about the Foundation
and factual errors about the nature of memory.[3] TCTH'S favorite
expert was Mr. David Calof, a man who had no known credentials and
according to PsycInfo (the index of articles on psychology and related
fields from 1300 scholarly and professional journals), has never
published a peer-reviewed research paper.[4]

Bass and Davis have now published a Twentieth Anniversary Edition of
The Courage to Heal.[5] We're happy to say that they've cleaned up
much of their act. We haven't read it with a fine-tooth comb, but as
far as we can tell none of the outrageous features mentioned above
have been retained. (The FMS Foundation does not even appear in the

As before, though, HarperCollins has failed in its publisher's duty by
leaving any number of instances of sloppy scholarship. (On the very
first page Judith Herman has been denied her Harvard appointment and
Bessel van der Kolk has been awarded one.)

Bass and Davis are still, of course, totally committed to "recovering"
memories and the reader is never warned that many scientists doubt
much of what they have to say. On page 74 they write that "The fact
that people can experience amnesia for traumatic events is beyond
dispute" and they footnote a number of authors (including their one
mention of David Calof in this edition). Of course no one disputes
amnesia caused by physical trauma. What is much doubted is the ability
ever to recover such memories.

>From the index we learn that Judith Herman who used to be listed on
six pages is now listed for only two and such recovered-memory
luminaries as Richard Kluft, Karen Olio and Roland Summit have
disappeared entirely. Alas, the climactic case history (page 511) is
complete with lurid details of intergenerational ritual abuse with no
hint, of course, that the FBI concluded years ago that there was no
evidence of any such cults. [6]

Perhaps, though, we can count it as an improvement: gone is the much
more lurid story from the third edition, the one where the unnamed
torturers were identified as members of the FMS Foundation. Gone, too,
is the advice to "get strong by suing" with its accompanying list of
lawyers to contact. And gone are these phrases (all previously cited
as good things to do): visualize revenge, see them suffer, beat him to
a pulp, demolished him, dream of murder or castration, be glad he is
dead, spit on his grave.

[1] Bass, E. & Davis, L. (1988). The Courage to Heal: A Guide for
    Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse. New York: Harper & Row.
[2] As reported in The Authoritative Guide to Self-Help Books: Based
    on the Highly Acclaimed National Survey of more than 500 Mental
    Health Professionals, by John W. Santrock, Ann M. Minnett, Barbara
    D. Campbell. Guilford Press, 1994.
[3] One of their false assertions was based, they said on something
    called the "FMS Foundation Newsletter" of February 29, 1992. The
    first newsletter with that title was not until after the
    Foundation was incorporated on March 12, 1992.
[4] Mr. Calof insisted that we print a correction and in Vol 4 No. 2,
    February 1, 1995 we duly reported that he was an RMHC (Registered
    Mental Health Counselor) in the State of Washington and a Visiting
    Faculty Member of the San Francisco Family Institute. We took the
    occasion also to print that FMSF-member Chuck Noah, a retired
    construction worker in Seattle, had also received an RMHC
    credential. Like the other 13,000 people who had then received
    RMHC credentials by the State of Washington it cost him $78.50 and
    he was required to take a 4-hour AIDS course. Some time later the
    San Francisco Family Institute (which no longer exists on the web)
    refused to comment when asked if Mr. Calof had ever held a
[5] Bass, E. & Davis, L. (2008). The Courage to Heal: A Guide for
    Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse 20th Anniversary Edition.
    New York: HarperCollins.
[6] Lanning, K.W. (1992). Investigator's Guide to Allegations of
    'Ritual' Child Abuse. Behavior Science Unit FBI Acad.

/                                                                    \
|     "It may be time to permanently repress repressed memory."      |
|                                                                    |
|                                    Tillers, P. (2008, December 15) |
|                                   New article on repressed memory: |
|                            Review of Piper, Lillevik & Kritzer |
|                        What's wrong with believing in repression?" |
|                                Retrieved on December 15, 2008 from |
|                        http: tillerstillers. |
|                       new-article-on-repressed-memory-review.htmlo |


In September 2008, the documentary Witch Hunt premiered at the Toronto
Film Festival to standing ovations. Sean Penn is the executive
producer and narrator. Dana Nachman and Don Hardy are the
filmmakers. [1]

Witch Hunt tells the story of eight parents in Bakersfield, California
in 1984 who were falsely accused and convicted of child abuse. The
lives of these families were forever damaged. Children were coerced to
lie about their parents. [2] Fortunately, most of the families are now
reunited. Unfortunately, that is not the case for John Stoll who was
in prison for 20 years. Nachman and Hardy hope that Stoll's son Jeb
will see this movie and realize that he was not the victim of child
molestation, but is a victim of a small town's corrupt justice system.
Maybe then he will reach out and make contact with his father for the
first time in more than 20 years.

Nachman and Hardy used both new interviews and archival footage to
construct a film that illustrates the point: when power is allowed to
exist without oversight from the press, the community or law
enforcement, the rights of everyday citizens can be lost for decades.
Viewers hear child witnesses tell about how they were forced to lie on
the witness stand and of their scary sessions with sheriff's deputies
in which they were told about the sexual experiences that happened to
them. Hardy has commented: "I had always thought that only guilty
people go to prison. I don't think that anymore." [2]

Nachman and Hardy said that Witch Hunt has been a passion project for
everyone who worked on it. The entire crew worked basically for
nothing because they were all moved and compelled by this story of
justice gone awry. This even included narrator and executive producer,
Sean Penn.

Witch Hunt will be screened in San Jose, California as part of the
Cinequest Film Festival in February. In November, 2008 the file was
acquired by MSNBC and is scheduled to premiere in April 2009. A
DVD/digital download will be released soon after.

[1] See FMSF Newsletter FMS Foundation Newsletter, 13 (4), 2004.
[2] Horn, J. (2008, November 1). The dangers of child abuse hysteria.
    Los Angeles Times, E9.
[3] Magdael, D. (2008, November 1). MSNBC Films and Submarine
    Entertainment finalize distribution deal for compelling
    documentary "Witch Hunt". Press Release.  


Berkley Books has withdrawn the Holocaust memoir Angel at the Fence by
Herman Rosenblat because the story is not true. [1]

Scheduled for February publication, the story describes the romance
between Rosenblat and Roma Radzicki, now his wife. In his memoir,
Rosenblat writes that he met Roma when he was in a Nazi concentration
camp and a farm girl (Roma) tossed him apples over the fence that kept
him alive. Twelve years later in the United States, he said that he
met Roma again on a blind date. They married.

Rosenblat was, in fact, in the Schlieben concentration camp, and Roma
and her family had indeed hidden as Christians, but they were several
hundred miles away. The romance of the apple tossing never happened.

Rosenblat first wrote the story for a newspaper contest for best love
stories. He won and the appealing story took on a life of its own. He
and his wife appeared on the Oprah show twice, and the story was
reprinted in various publications. Oprah called their romance "the
single greatest love story" she had heard in the show's 22 years.

Cracks in the story came when scholars noted that the construction of
the concentration camp would have made it impossible for Rosenblat to
have met anyone at a fence. Michigan State's Kenneth Waltzer,
interviewed other survivors who were with Rosenblat, and they said the
story of the apples could not possibly be true. Rosenblat confessed
that he had fabricated the tale.

A movie based on the story is still scheduled to proceed-but with the
condition that Mr. Rosenblat will donate earnings to Holocaust

How could this happen, especially after the parade of withdrawn
fabricated books over the past decade? Obviously, many publishers do
not fact check. A comment from Rosenblat's agent gives insight into
why people may come to believe in things for which there is no

  "I believed the teller. He was in so many magazines and books and on
  'Oprah.' It did not seem like it would not be true."

When an authority says something (in this case Oprah) and when
something is repeated many times, people tend to believe it.

[1] Rich, M. & Berger, J. (2008, December 29). False memoir of
    Holocaust is canceled. New York Times, A 12.


                        Davis, A.A.J. (2008)
  Hell Minus One: My Story of Deliverance From Satanic Ritual Abuse
                      and My Journey to Freedom.
            Tooele, Utah: Transcript Bulletin Publishing.

Belief in satanic ritual abuse was alive and well in Utah in the early
1990s. One of the first trips that this writer took in 1992, soon
after the formation of the FMSF, was to Salt Lake City where we met
families who had been accused by adult children claiming recovered
memories of abuse in satanic ritual orgies. We became familiar with
the names of therapists such as psychologist Noemi Mattis, Ph.D.,
Chair of the Ritual Abuse Task Force, and social worker Barbara Snow,
author of articles about satanic ritual abuse, [1] who promoted belief
in satanic ritual abuse cults. In 1990 an authority of the Latter-day
Saints (LDS Church) wrote a memorandum to a church committee that
described the complaints of sixty members of the church who said that
they had been subjected to satanic ritual abuse (SRA) by family
members and other members of the church. The complaint was leaked to
the press and received much attention.

Belief in SRA in Utah was so pervasive that in 1991 the Utah State
Legislature appropriated $250,000 for the Attorney General's office to
investigate the claims. For two and a half years, investigators
interviewed hundreds of alleged ritual-abuse survivors, but they never
obtained enough evidence to prosecution anyone. The 1995 report,
however, includes the caution: "the lack of prosecution of such
reports does not mean that the reports are fictitious."[2] Indeed,
even in 1991, a University of Utah Medical Center psychologist said
that there were at least 366 victims of satanic ritual abuse who were
being treated by therapists at that time. [3]

In 1992, Anne Johnson Davis was one of those patients. In 1994, using
the assumed name of Rachel Hopkins, Ms. Davis reported her satanic
abuse to detectives of the District Attorney's investigative team. She
showed them letters of confession from her parents and letters from
her step siblings that supported her claims. The detectives actually
visited her parents and they confirmed the confessions. Ann Johnson
Davis's case is cited by some as proof of the existence of satanic
ritual abuse cults.

This fall, Davis published Hell Minus One, a memoir of her ritual-
abuse experiences. Ann Davis was not aware that she had been ritually
tortured until she went into therapy in the fall of 1992 with Sterling
G. Ellsworth, Ph.D. an LDS therapist. Information about Ellsworth and
the books he has written are available on several Internet sites. On
his website he features this quote:

  "No one came from a perfect family where all our real feelings were
  honored and revered. Each of us, in order to learn and grow, has had
  to live partly or mostly in a false self."

Included in his many writings, Ellsworth has suggested that one of the
ways to get out of the "false self," is through "Inner-child work"
which "repairs childhood wounds" and gets the "Real Self in charge."

Davis entered therapy because she had been having outbursts at
home. On page 125 she writes:

  "Like me, Dr. Ellsworth didn't know why I needed treatment, but he
  did tell me the outbursts of rage and my extreme anxiety may be
  coming from a past experience of unresolved terror. In response, my
  natural 'fight or flight' instinct was overtaking me. Together, we
  would work hard to hopefully uncover the truth behind my unhealthy
  and damaging behavior. Dr. Ellsworth taught me how to give myself
  permission to remember whatever needed to be remembered, and to say
  whatever needs to be said. He taught me to lie down and make myself
  physically comfortable, close my eyes with no distractions or
  interruptions, and to go wherever my inner signals lead me. In this
  quiet contemplation, I needed to assure myself that as an adult
  woman, I would believe myself no matter what, and I would love and
  accept myself, no matter what came to the surface of my mind....

  "With this psychological permission in hand, I went home and began
  to practice what I had learned. As I sat alone in my basement or
  bedroom, I began to reclaim fractured pieces of my childhood that I
  didn't know existed."

Davis emphasizes the fact that her memories were not the result of
influence by Dr. Ellsworth, since she recovered them at home, and thus
they could not possibly be the result of false memory syndrome. [!]
She describes her memories and how they evolved:

  "While at home, I discovered I didn't have the childhood family I
  thought I had....As Dr. Ellsworth and I processed these memories, it
  became clear that my parents were closet Satanists, using their
  membership in the LDS Church as a cover.

  "The memories were vividly detailed and specific...(126)

  "The memories came forth one by one, predominantly over a period
  that spanned more than two years." (131)

  "I went to therapy three times a week for months, two hours at a
  time." (136)

Typical of the descriptions of what happened in the rituals:

  "I was bathed in a tub of blood and forced to look at myself in a
  mirror. I was tied up and hung upside down and spun. I was
  suffocated and electrocuted to the point of being bowed and
  paralyzed. Sometimes they forced me and my siblings to hurt one
  another. They would tell me, 'now you're one of us. If you tell
  anybody, they won't believe you and they'll put you in a mental
  hospital.' And they threatened to torture me until I was dead."
  Spangler, J. (1995, April 25). Ritual abuse does exist, victim
  says. Deseret News, Metro 1. Reprinted in Hell Minus One, 243-246.

Davis writes about her parents' confessions and also the visit of the
detectives to her parents. She said that when she accused her parents,
they denied it and said that she was delusional. Her parents went to
their LDS bishop "stating that their daughter was hallucinating and
saying all kinds of things about them." (146) The bishop did not know
what to do and sent the parents to a "superior clergyman" referred to
as a "stake president." (Neither the bishop nor the stake president
were professional counselors.) The stake president called Davis and
for the next three months she wrote to him with her memories. Davis

  "Only one month into therapy, Dr. Ellsworth had encouraged me to
  confront my abusers-my mother and my stepfather." (145)

  "In October 1992, less than two months after I started therapy with
  Dr. Ellsworth, I sat down at my computer and began to write to the
  stake president about what my parents did to me."  (146)

Ann contacted her step siblings and asked them to also send letters to
the stake president. The bishop and stake president, armed with these
letters and Davis's written accusations, confronted her parents.

  "When asked for an explanation, my mother and stepfather insisted
  all of their children were, 'Hallucinating and possessed.' The
  clergymen asked, 'All of them?'" (148)

On the third visit from the clergy men, the parents confessed to all
of the accusations in the letters. They even offered to confess to
more than was in the letters. The bishop and stake president told her
parents that they must immediately write letters of confession. Davis
includes the letters in her book and writes:

  "[O]ver a period of three months, I received five individually
handwritten, gruesome confession letters that validated my
allegations, and detailed even more atrocities than those of which I
was aware." (149) Ann's parents were excommunicated "during the first
week of February, 1993-less than six months after I began therapy."
(154) When an attorney friend of Ann's husband demanded that the
parents pay for her therapy, they sold their home and paid "tens of
thousands of dollars." (155) Ann wrote that she felt that "also served
as a major confession to what they had done to me." (155)

When Davis went to the detectives for the Attorney General's
investigation in 1994, she brought all her letters. She wrote that she
was afraid the Satanists, especially her stepfather, might murder her
for telling her story. The investigators went to visit her parents and
were surprised that the parents let them into their home and confessed
to everything. One of the detectives told Ann that her stepfather said
he was afraid that Ann's husband would come and kill him. (161)

  "Evidently, they thought they were safe from being charged and
  convicted of felon crimes, due to statutes of limitations. That's
  the only reason any of us could imagine why they willingly
  confessed...It was mind-boggling." (161)

Davis informs readers that during the course of the Attorney General's
investigation: "Hundreds of individuals came forth claiming to be
victims of ritual abuse, and were interviewed as part of a multi-year
investigation. Yet, none of the claims resulted in prosecutable cases
in the state of Utah, purportedly due to lack of evidence." (161-2)

Ann Davis believes that the reason the information from her case was
never used in the final report of the investigation is because her
parents were never Utah residents.

A question arises, however: Why did Ann Davis not attempt to prosecute
her parents if she believed they had committed the terrible crimes she
describes-in whatever state they lived. If they represented the danger
about which she writes, why not try to protect others?

  "If we prosecuted my parents, we suspected that the media would be
  all over it, along with FMS advocates." (172)

At the same time, however, Ann gave many interviews to the media using
the name Rachel Hopkins, obviously not bothered by the media then.
She writes that she was asked many times "So why aren't they in jail?"

Rachel blames the proponents of FMS. She writes that she was aware of
news accounts of groups and individuals picketing therapist
offices. She wrote: "In fact, during the 1990s some therapists were
reportedly sued or settled out of court because of charges against
them related to FMS." (172) She notes that unless there was
corroborative evidence, the case would be dropped. She repeats that
hers is a corroborated case but:

  "While waving the signed confession letters in front of everyone, I
  would probably still have to prove that I didn't suffer from FMS, or
  even multiple personality disorder." (172)

She wrote that she feared she and her family would lose their privacy.
She admits that there were additional problems such as statutes of
limitations and "acquiring additional corroborative evidence for court
proceedings, such as crime scene investigations."

  "If FMS hadn't been an issue, and had I believed that prosecution
  could have proceeded without hysteria, and stayed focused on having
  a fair trial, I would have gone through through the challenges to
  expose and stop my mother and stepfather from possibly hurting
  anyone else." (173)

Davis states early in her book:

  "Though skeptics and 'experts' may tell you otherwise, my story is
  not the result of false-memory syndrome." (6)

Is Ann Davis's story an example of a confirmed case of satanic ritual
abuse? We leave it to FMSF Newsletter readers to decide.

[1] Snow, B. & Sorenson, T. (1990). Ritualistic child abuse in a
    neighborhood setting. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. 
    5(4): 474-487.
[2] King, M. R., & Jacobson, M. (1995). Ritual Crime in the State of
    Utah: Investigation, Analysis & A Look Forward, Salt Lake City:
    Utah Attorney General's Office, p. 483.
[3] Associated Press. (1995, February 28). "Satanism Probe Comes Up
    Empty." Salt Lake Tribune, D3.
[4] Ellsworth, S.G. (2002). How I Got This Way and What To Do About
    It. Orem, UT: Kenninghouse. (1980). Getting to Know the Real
    You. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Co.

/                                                                    \
| "Nevertheless, the fact remains that the Freudian notion of        |
| repression cannot be used as a scientific psychological concept,   |
| as its empirical status precludes this possibility."               |
|                                                                    |
|                           Rofe. Y. (2008). Does repression exist?  |
|             Memory, pathogenic, unconscious and clinical evidence  |

                           NEWS FROM FRANCE
                            Claude Amblard

I would like to summarize the FMS situation in France for Newsletter
readers and share with you one of the first articles to be published
in French to speak out about the problem of FMS. The problem of FMS is
growing in France, as we seem to be ten years behind you. The only
source of information for French-speaking families in the past has
come from the FMSF and the work done by English-speaking researchers.
Even today there is little academic work done on this topic in
France. Unfortunately, many French families are not fluent in English
and they have had difficulty getting information. The AFSI association
is trying to do its best to gather the involved families but it is
missing resources and scientific support to trigger research in the
area. Professor Jacques Van Rillaer from Louvain University in Belgium
is one of the only academics to know the subject and be able to
communicate about it in French.

Professor Brigitte Axelrad [2] has recently written two well-
documented articles in French on the false memory syndrome
phenomenon. "The origins of false memory syndrome" and "False memories
and mental manipulation" were published by the French skeptic
organization "Observatoire Zetetique." [1] A shorter version of the
first article will soon be published in a French scientific newspaper.
This article is one of the first attempts to speak out about the
growing phenomenon of FMS in France in order to provide information to
a large public.

Professor Axelrad translated her article into English for the FMSF
Newsletter. I hope that American readers are interested in learning
what is being published in France.  

[1] You can find these articles on its website:
    2&ecritId=106&PHPSESSID=b09185b61c2390ddf3d8af38cf1cae14 and
[2] Professor Axelrad is now retired, but previously taught philosophy
    and psychosociology in Grenoble High School and at Grenoble

                           Brigitte Axelrad

In the 1980s, a phenomenon called the "false memory syndrome"
developed in the United States. Parents were accused of incest by
their children once they became adults, undergoing a therapy called a
Recovered Memory Therapy (RMT). Ten years later, this phenomenon has
grown in France.

The starting point of "false memory syndrome" is in Freud's Seduction
Theory and later its abandonment for the Oedipus Complex Theory. Both
theories partly fed the feminist movement in the United States. Thus,
the origins of Recovered Memory Therapies take place in a combination
of these various factors. We don't deny the truth of spontaneous
testimonies of sexual abuse, which really occurred, nor their effects,
but we try here to understand how false memories can emerge from RMT.

                         The Seduction Theory

Freud started from Charcot's idea, which pointed out that hysteria
originated in a trauma, and claimed that seduction was the sole cause
of this disorder, as well as of obsessive-compulsive neurosis and
paranoia. By "seduction", Freud meant an infantile sexual abuse which
really occurred. Any psychological problem was reduced to a single
cause of possible trauma: infantile sexual abuse.

At the beginning, Freud's therapy was, as he claimed later, not only
to listen to spontaneous memories of abuse, but to encourage his
patients to build scenes of which they had no recollection. According
to Freud, his patients could not find such memories as long as they
were not submitted to a "powerful coercive treatment."[1]

He insisted on the fact that only the unconscious repressed memories
were, when recovered, evidence of the traumatic event. Thus, patients
who could not recover memories of childhood sexual abuse were regarded
as suffering from unconscious memory, and just gave the "proof" of the
reality of these sexual abuses and of their pathogenic role. According
to Freud, only repressed memories could be pathogenic and recalled
repressed memories, cathartic. Freud was obsessed by the Seduction
Theory for at least two years. He mentioned it for the first time in
                      The Oedipus-Complex Theory

Freud abandoned the Seduction Theory because he said it did not
work. [2] It was unable to carry out a single analysis to a real
conclusion. (Letter to Fliess, September 21st, 1897). On one hand,
Freud's methods were ineffective; on the other hand, they might lead
him, because of repeated accusations against fathers, to a
professional disaster.  Later, he went so far as to say that he had
been at least forced to recognize that these seduction scenes had
never occurred and that they had been only fantasies fabricated by his
patients or maybe that he had imposed to them. [3]

In the Oedipus-Complex Theory, sexual assaults became children and
hysterical women's fantasies. He said that the child takes both
parents, and above all one of them, as an object of his desire.
Usually, children react to an impulse from their parents, whose
tenderness has a clearly inhibited sexual nature. [4] The Oedipal
fantasy took the place of seduction.

Finally, according to Freud, it was of no importance whether the
seduction really took place, or was only a fantasy. Sociologist
Richard Webster writes: "In the theory of the Oedipus-complex Freud
had, in effect, invented a perfect theoretical instrument for
explaining away allegations of sexual abuse and undermining their

Following this thinking, American psychoanalysts throughout the 20th
century overwhelmingly considered real incest stories as Oedipal
fantasies and not as memories. This approach intensified the reactions
and the protestations from feminist currents, already very strong in
the United States.

           The feminist rebellion in the United States and
                       "false memory syndrome"

The feminist movement drew part of its energy from the psychoanalysts'
rejection, of confidences from truly abused children and women. These
real victims, sought help from self-trained therapists who would
listen to their stories. Later, women with no incest memories who were
diagnosed by their therapists as suffering from repressed incest
memories joined the movement. Popular books were published such as The
Courage to Heal by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis.

A growing number of "incest survivors" therapy groups appeared,
tapping into the arguments and techniques in these books to "recover"
memories. Women by hundreds of thousands recalled childhood sexual
abuse memories. Bass and Davis exploited the women's naivete, saying:
"If you have been sexually abused, you are not alone...If you
genuinely think you were abused and your life shows the symptoms,
there's a strong likelihood that you were... If you think you have
been abused and if your life carries the symptoms, then you have been
abused." The list of symptoms is long and includes: fear of being
alone in the dark, nightmares, poor image of one's body, headaches,
nervousness, low self-esteem, suffering from eating disorders, etc.

Expressing his doubts, Richard Webster writes: "As yet no external
evidence has been produced which convincingly demonstrates that any
therapeutically recovered 'memory' of repeated and sustained sexual
abuse actually corresponds to real episodes of sexual abuse."[6]

        "Repressed Memories" in the United States in the 90's

The phenomenon of false memories recovered in psychotherapy spread in
the United States: "Before very long the belief that repressed
memories of child sexual abuse were the cause of most serious
neuroses, especially in women, began to be embraced by particular
groups and subcultures of psychotherapists and psychiatrists all over
the United States. It was embraced not only by many new-wave
therapists, hypnotherapists and bodyworkers, but by some old-wave
psychoanalytically trained therapists and by a number of young
psychoanalysts. It was also sometimes embraced by reputable
psychiatrists and even neurologists. A number of psychiatric
conditions whose aetiology remained obscure were now held by some
clinicians to be the result of sexual abuse during childhood." [7] How
is it possible that patients who previously had no recollection of
childhood sexual abuse would be able to "recover" memories, twenty or
thirty years later, after a few weeks or months long therapy?

     The Voluntary Submission, Condition for Mental Manipulation

How a person is able to give in to pressure, to suggestion, or to
manipulation exerted by psychotherapists, graduate psychiatrists,
recognized by their peers, or by psychoanalysts, psychologists or self
declared therapists? To understand that, we must look at the need for
care and healing that motivates a vulnerable patient. His wish to be
better makes him susceptible to the psychotherapist's demands. That is
why the patient consulted initially. His therapist reminds him not to
give up now that he is doing so well, whenever his patient's courage

Robert Vincent Joule and Jean-Louis Beauvois demonstrated that mental
manipulation is the cornerstone to an individual's submission to
whatever authority. [8] The patient in psychotherapy submits to his
authority of the therapist, while submitting to his authority. First,
he agrees entirely to be there as nobody can force people to start
psychotherapy. Then, the therapist tries hard to make the patient feel
that he discovers by himself the meaning of his ill-being and its
cause in his dreams or symptoms.

In Recovered Memory Therapies, the therapist suggests that the patient
must recover the sexual abuse memories to get better. Despite his
doubts, his fears, his misgivings, the patient feels involved in a
submission process with a "physician of souls", a specialist of the
human psyche, a kind of abstract entity playing a role in his recovery
and even in his happiness. He puts his life in his hands, giving up
his critical judgment, and transferring his own responsibility.

The therapist's influence is always present. Jacques Van Rillaer [9]
states that in psychoanalysis, even if the analyst does not say much,
he powerfully influences the patient. It is therefore not surprising
that people undergoing a Freudian analysis speak mostly about sex,
those undergoing a Lacanian one end up playing on words, and those a
Jungian one, see archetypes everywhere. [10]

Joule and Beauvois think that the psychoanalytic therapy gradually
traps patients: 

  "[...] Like it or not, psychoanalysis has all the properties of an
  abstruse trap. The patient has decided to be involved in a long
  process of expenditure (in money, time, energy).

  1) Whether the patient is aware of it or not, reaching the goal is
  not certain, and especially as his psychoanalyst himself may
  consider it as a fantasy or an "extra".

  2) The situation is such that the patient may feel that each expense
  brings him closer to the goal.

  3) The process goes ahead unless the patient decides actively to
  stop it.

  4) The patient did not fix a limit to his investment while

Such analysis is also applicable to Recovered Memory Therapy
aggregating the main characteristics such as free commitment,
indefinite duration, cost, desire for healing, difficulty to say
"stop, I stop." [11]

The patient is assigned an additional task: recover memories, accuse
perpetrators, make them pay for their crimes. Failure to find healing
despite the psychotherapist's promises puts the patient in near
complete dependence.

            The Victims of RMT, Recovered Memory Therapies

The first victims are RMT patients who recover repressed memories,
then parents who when accused cannot in anyway prove their
innocence. However some patients resume contact with their families,
but refuse to talk about what happened. Nothing is as before
anymore. An American mother takes the image of a Chinese priceless
vase, which even repaired will never be the same. The greatest fault
of recovered memory therapy is to not distinguish between true and
false testimonies, thereby affecting everyone.

                             What to Do?

In 1992, the False Memory Syndrome Foundation (FMSF) was created in
the United States.[13] Many American researchers and University
Professors, including Elizabeth Loftus (13) have worked hard on this
subject. In the United Kingdom, the British False Memory Society
(BFMS) [14] was founded in 1993. In France, the "Alerted Faux
Souvenirs Intuits Association" (AFSI) was founded in 2005. A website,
Francefms was established in 2000. It changed its name in Psyfmfrance,
in 2008. [15]

If today the phenomenon has greatly declined in the United States, it
continues to develop in Europe and in France. Sigmund Freud is
probably not directly responsible for False Memory Therapies, but
Freudism is, as these therapies have borrowed their ideas and methods
from Psychoanalysis.

So it is in the Freudian bad habits that they find their origin and
strength. The history of this false memories phenomenon in the 20th
century may spread widely in the 21st, if we fail to stop it by
eroding its theoretical basis which is now obsolete.

We hope that French psychotherapists, who use recovered memory therapy
techniques, become aware of the nonsense of their practice and of the
magnitude of the human damage they are producing. In France, the
MIVILUDES report (Mission Interministerielle de Vigilance and de Lutte
contre les Dérives Sectaires) was published in April 2008. It
denounces these fringe therapies and contributes to bringing light to
this phenomenon.)

[1] L'heredite et l'etiologie des nevroses. (1896). Published again in
    Gesammelte Werke, Frankfurt am Main, S. Fischer, vol. 1, p. 418.
[2] For more details, see Han Israels : La theorie de la seduction:
    une idee qui n'a pas marche. dans C. Meyer et al. Le Livre noir de
    la psychanalyse. Paris, Les Arenes, 2005, p. 39-42.
[3] Selbstdarstellung. (1925). Trad. Ma vie et la psychanalyse.
    Gallimard, coll. Idees, 1970, p. 44.
[4] Bruchstuck einer Hysterie-Analyse. (1905). Trad. Fragment d'une
    analyse d'hysterie (Dora). dans Cinq psychanalyses. Paris, PUF,
    1954, p. 55.
[5] R. Webster. (1995). Why Freud was wrong. "Sin, science, and
    psychoanalysis". NewYork: Harper Collins & Basic Books.
[6] Ibidem, p. 484.
[7] Ibidem, p. 482.
[8] R.-V. Joule & J.-L. Beauvois. (1987). Petit traite de manipulation
    a l'usage des gens honnetes. Presses de l'Universite de Grenoble.
[9] Psychologist, former Psychoanalyst, Professor at the University of
    Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgique), author of numerous works of which
    Psychologie de la vie quotidienne (Paris, Odile Jacob, 2003) et
    co-author of Livre noir de la psychanalyse; (Paris, Les Arenes,
[10] Observatoire Zetetique. Benefices et prejudices de la
     Psychanalyse. Conference. 22 mars 2007.
[11] Op. Cit. p. 42.
[13] Professor of Psychology at the University of Washington, then in
    Irvine. Her research is focused on the human memory, and more
    particularly on the false memory phenomenon.  Co-author with
    Katherine Ketcham, of The Myth of Repressed Memories. New York:
    St Martin Griffin, 1994.

/                                                                    \
|                    Tidbit from the Blogosphere                     |
|                                                                    |
|       Witness with Repressed Memory Has Photographic Memory        |
|                                                                    |
| In a trial in which an alleged victim of child molestation claimed |
| to have repressed and then recovered memory of sexual molestation, |
| the following allegedly occurred.                                  |
|                                                                    |
| During the initial trial, the trial counsel asked B. how he could  |
| remember the television program he was watching at the cabin in    |
| Lake Arrowhead. B. replied that the program was "Fox Family        |
| because, like I said I'm very intelligent. I have a photographic   |
| memory."                                                           |
|                                                                    |
| When trial counsel said, "You do?" B. replied, "Somewhat           |
| photographic."                                                     |
|                                                                    |
| The case was People v. Bradley, Cal.App. 2 Dist., November 06,     |
| 2008 (NO. B198577).                                                |
|                                                                    |
|                             Retrieved on December 15, 2008 from    |
|               |
|                          witness-with-repressed-memory-has.html    |


There is the belief that repeated questioning of children leads to
inaccuracy. One line of research has examined this question. Following
are two of a number of studies looking at this question.

    Quas, J.A., Davis, E.L., Goodman, G.S., Myers, J.E.B. (2007).
            Repeated questions, deception, and children's
                true and false reports of body touch.
                  Child Maltreatment, 12 (1), 60-67.

If a person is consistent in the answers he or she provides,
questioners tend to think that the person is telling the truth. They
tend to view inconsistencies as an indication that the person is not
accurate. But is that the case? Specifically, it is the case for
children? Can children maintain a coached lie about a fictitious
event? There are few studies that have looked at these questions.

The authors of this article examined the ability of 7-year-old
children to answer repeated questions about body touch-either honestly
or dishonestly. Their purpose was to "determine how well children
maintain a knowingly false report about a brief personal experience."

The authors worked with 35 children, ages 4 to 7 years. One-third of
the children were touched innocuously during a play event. Two weeks
later, all the children returned. Some children who had not been
touched were told to lie and to say that they had been touched during
repeated questioning. These children were consistent in maintaining
the lie but they did poorly on other repeated questions. The children
who were not touched and who told the truth were accurate when
answering repeated questions.

The children who had been touched and told the truth were the most
inconsistent. The truth-tellers who had been touched were
significantly less accurate and less consistent in their responses
than were the liars and the children who had not been touched and told
the truth. The authors note that this finding is similar to other
studies that have shown that children may fail to report a body touch
in a social interaction or a medical procedure. The authors do not
know whether the children did not encode the event or were embarrassed
by it.

Quas et al. observe that their results "call into question the common
assumption that consistency is a useful indicator of veracity in
children's eyewitness accounts."


                  Goodman, G.S. & Quas, J.A. (2008)
              Repeated interviews and children's memory:
                    It's more than just how many.
     Current Directions in Psychological Science, 17(6), 386-390.

Goodman et al. examined the research literature in an effort to
determine the effects of repeated interviewing on children. They found
that some studies of repeated questioning lead to increased
accuracy. The authors observe that when and how children are
interviewed is at least as important for their accuracy as how many
times they are interviewed.

For example: "When exposure to highly biased interviews or questions
occurs while memory for an event is still strong, young children can
show substantial resistance to misleading suggestions across multiple
interviews." Interviews that take place soon after an alleged event
"can serve as a buffer" reducing inaccuracies. With delay, however,
even a single highly biased interview can increase errors.

The authors conclude that children's reports should not be summarily
discounted just because of repeated interviewing-even if some
misleading questions have been asked.


     Geraerts, E., Bernstein, D.M., Merckelbach, H., Linders, C.,
                 Raymackers, L., Loftus, E.F. (2008).
       Lasting false beliefs and their behavioral consequences.
                Psychological Science 19 (8), 749-753.

False beliefs and memories can affect people's attitudes in the short
term. Geraerts and colleagues wanted to determine if false memories
and beliefs produce real changes in behavior. To test this, the
researchers falsely suggested to 180 subjects that they had gotten ill
after eating egg salad when they were children. Even though they had
initially denied ever having such an experience, a significant
minority of subjects came to believe it had actually happened to
them. These subjects avoided eating egg salad both immediately after
the experiment and continued to avoid it four months later.

Subjects who did not believe they had gotten ill in childhood from
eating egg salad also were deterred from eating egg salad in the short
term. However, after four months, non believers ate more egg salad
sandwiches than the believers. The authors write: "This study shows
that falsely suggesting that a person experienced a childhood event
can change that person's behavior considerably, in both the short and
longer term."


      Geraerts, E., Lindsay, D.S., Merckelbach, H., Jelicic, M.,
         Raymaekers, L., Arnold, M.M., Schooler, J.W. (2009)
           Cognitive mechanisms underlying recovered-memory
                experiences of childhood sexual abuse.
               In Press. Psychological Science, 20 (1)

Geraerts and colleagues observed that there seem to be two types of
reports of recovered memories of child sexual abuse (CSA). One group
acquires memories slowly in the context of psychotherapy, often using
hypnosis or other suggestive techniques. In a 2007 study, Geraerts et
al[1] showed that corroborative evidence could not be found for such
memories. A second group appears to recover memories suddenly because
of unexpected reminders of what happened. For example, there are case
studies in which people who claim to have recovered memories had
actually talked about these memories in the past, but had forgotten.
In these cases, the abuse was more likely to be corroborated. The
authors wondered if the members of these different groups showed
different cognitive characteristics.

One hundred twenty subjects in the Netherlands were classified in the
following groups: 1) spontaneously-recovered-memory group, 2)
recovered-in-therapy group, 3) continuous-memory group, and 4)
control group. The subjects completed a false-memory test. Then they
studied word lists that contained related words such as pear, apple,
banana. They were later tested and although everyone tended to recall
falsely, the recovered-in-therapy people made significantly more
mistakes than the others.

The individuals in the spontaneously-recovered-memory group did not
show evidence that they were any more susceptible to false memories
than the control group or the continuous-memory-group. Although past
research indicated that people who report recovering memories show a
propensity toward false recall, this new research demonstrates that a
distinction needs to be made. The false recall is associated with the
suggestive therapy context.

The researchers also had the subjects take a test that measured their
tendency to forget what they had just remembered. Only the
spontaneously-recovered-memory group tended to forget the in this
test. Geraerts suggested that the people in this group may have
forgotten that they had previously remembered abuse because the
memories came in different contexts. If children are abused when they
are young by someone that they trust, the abuse may be thought of as
weird and confusing. When the person is an adult, the same event may
be interpreted as traumatic and abusive.

Richard McNally commented: "These data show how people who were
sexually abused as children may later recover their memories of abuse
without the memories previously having been repressed." [2]

The researchers conclude:

  "Researchers investigating recovered memories and clinicians who
  treat patients reporting recovered memories of CSA should take care
  to examine the context of recovery and to consider its implications
  for the mechanisms underlying such reports."  

[1] Geraerts et al. (2007). The reality of recovered memories:
    Corroborating continuous and discontinuous memories of childhood
    sexual abuse. Psychological Science, 18, 564-567.

[2] Bower, B. (2008). Recovering memories that never left. Science
    News. Retrieved on December 12, 2008 from
    Recovering memories that never left


       Diekelmann S, Landolt H, Lahl O, Born J, Wagner U (2008)
                 Sleep loss produces false memories.
        PLoS ONE 3(10): e3512 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0003512

Students who do an "all-nighter" before a test may be doing themselves
a disservice. Diekelmann and colleagues have demonstrated that a lack
of sleep impairs a person's ability to recall information efficiently.

The researchers conducted four experiments in which subjects learned
lists of semantically associated words, following the Deese, Roediger,
McDermott false memory format.

In one experiment, the authors compared false memory rates in three
groups of subjects with a delay of 9 hours between learning and
retrieval testing. Two groups learned in the evening and were tested
the next morning after they had slept or stayed awake during the
night. The third group learned in the morning and was tested in the
evening after a day of being awake. The subjects who learned at night
and were sleep deprived at the time of retrieval testing showed
significantly more false memories than the other two groups.

In another experiment two groups of subjects learned in the evening
and slept the first night after learning. In the second night after
learning one group stayed awake and was sleep deprived at the
retrieval testing. Again sleep deprived subjects had significantly
more false memories. The results were the same when one group stayed
awake the first night but both groups slept the second night.

In the last experiment, sleep deprived subjects were given coffee
before testing. The researchers also found that a strong cup of coffee
for the sleep deprived just before the testing abolished the effect.

The experiments showed that "sleep deprivation at retrieval testing,
but not sleep after learning, critically enhanced the rate of false

They conclude: "Apart from other factors that can produce distortions
of memory retrieval (e.g., suggestive interview procedures) our
results clearly show that sleep deprivation is another critical factor
that must be avoided in [situations where memory is crucial such as
eyewitness testimony]."


How many families or former FMS patients have received an apology for
the indignities and cruelties they experienced because of professional
ignorance about memory? A handful, at most. Over the years, many
people have suggested that an "I'm sorry" could go far towards helping
families or former patients move forward with their lives. A reason
often given for the lack of apologies in FMS situations is that an
apology would have legal consequence; it might be considered an
admission of wrong doing and thus open up the professional to a

In November 2007, the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, Canada enacted
"The Apology Act." [1] The purpose of the act, as stated by Jon
Gerrard who introduced it,[2] is to allow "an apology to be made
without constituting an admission of legal liability in Manitoba
courts." An "individual would be able to apologize without facing
legal liability for doing so." Gerard believes that this act is
particularly important in the medical field because: "Currently health
care practitioners are scared to apologize for fear that they may be
judged liable for their actions based on a simple 'I'm sorry.'"

Roma Hart, a retractor from Manitoba, would like to obtain an apology
from the hospital in which she was misdiagnosed and treated for
multiple personality disorder (MPD) by Colin Ross, M.D.[3] in 1986. At
the time, Roma was given ultra high doses of various psychiatric drugs
but never informed that she was getting experimental treatment. Roma
came to believe she had been involved in horrible satanic rituals and
her family relationships were destroyed.[4] Following is the letter
that Roma wrote:

  Dr. Michel Tetreault
  President and Chief Executive Officer
  St.Boniface General Hospital
  409 Tache Avenue
  Winnipeg, Manitoba  R2H 2A6

  Dear Dr.Tetreault,

  I write to specifically ask for an apology for the misdiagnosis of
  multiple personality disorder and consequent multiple personality
  disorder therapy I endured at the hands of Dr. Colin Ross, the
  Former Director of Psychiatry at the St.Boniface Hospital McEwen
  Building, and his staff under his direction.

  In October 1986 a University of Manitoba Student Psych. Services
  counselor, (also his student at the time), arranged for me to bring
  in an unemployment insurance medical form to get my claim extended
  based upon stress. After only fifteen minutes in Dr. Colin Ross'
  office he diagnosed me as suffering from multiple personality
  disorder, he then put out his hand to welcome me to MPD therapy, I
  put out my hand with the unemployment insurance form in it, he
  signed it and my life was never the same again.

  My family was destroyed from the inevitable false accusations of
  sexual and ritual abuse that follow a diagnosis of MPD. My parents,
  both teachers, took early retirement. My family disowned me. My 10
  year-old daughter was placed in foster care and secluded from her
  entire family until she reached adulthood to "protect" her from "the
  Satanic cult" Dr. Colin Ross informed CFS my family was involved in.

  I could not complete my university degree because of the MPD
  therapy. I lost my home, lost my career, lost all of my friends, and
  nearly lost my life several times.

  Today I am faced with this misdiagnosis every time I go to a
  hospital for any type of medical test so I am also asking for my
  hospital records to be sealed. I told my family doctor, Dr. Erhard
  that I was going to include in my request for an apology an
  additional request for my hospital records to be sealed and he
  emphatically agreed with me.

  I am attaching medical assessments written by two of the world's
  most highly respected experts regarding their own opinions that I do
  not have MPD, nor should I ever have been diagnosed with or treated
  for MPD.

  I believe I am owed an apology from the St. Boniface Hospital
  because this misdiagnosis and the subsequent therapy based on this
  misdiagnosis has ruined not only my life but has had a devastating
  affect on every member of my family, particularly my daughter who
  suffered terribly in foster care for eight years.

  I thank you for your time and look forward to your response.
       Ms. Roma Hart 

Roma is concerned that the current administrator of the hospital does
not fully understand the magnitude of the FMS debacle. Perhaps FMSF
Newsletter readers could send notes to the address in support of Roma
Hart's request for an apology for the misdiagnosis of MPD. Such
letters could help explain the seriousness of the consequences of the
recovered memory/MPD treatments-treatments for which there was never
scientific evidence.

[1] The act can be retrieved from:

    British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have similar apology
    laws, and, according to the Globe and Mail, 35 U.S. states have
    some form of "apology legislation."  See
    wapology1007/BNStory/National/home. See also:
[2] Jon Gerrard's Blog, Thursday April 12, 2007, An Apology
    Act. Retrieved on December 9, 2008 from:
[3] This is the same Dr. Ross who was featured in the Fall 2008 FMSF
    Newsletter because of his claim that he could make a computer play
    a tone by using beams of energy coming out of his eyes. In the
    past, Ross has published articles about CIA involvement in
    Manchurian-candidate type multiple personalities and other
    conspiracy theories.
[4] That Roma was misdiagnosed is supported by affidavits and
    statements from other professionals such as psychiatrists Alec
    Bodkin, M.D. and Harold Merskey, D.M. that were submitted in
    various legal challenges.

     | Memory is a complicated thing, a relative to truth, |
     |                 but not its twin.                   |
     |                                  Barbara Kingsolver |
                   F R O M   O U R   R E A D E R S

                         Children of the 60s
Another year! I turned 80 this past June. Every day is a gift.

Our daughter is doing much better, I think. She has lost weight and
acts more confident. Because she and I share some medical problems, we
have had something to keep us talking together. Sometimes, however,
she does seem a bit tough to get through to, but I suspect that she
feels the same way about me also. Occasionally I wonder if the
children of the 60s are a difficult to get along with. Maybe it's me.

We are happy to be with our daughter and wish this could be possible
for everyone. It takes lots of love and patience.
                                                         A mom and dad
                            It Was Enough
Our daughter is back in our family. We don't discuss her accusations
but at one point she said "I'm sorry". It surprised us that that
turned out to be enough.
                                                         A mom and dad
                 FMS Continues to Devastate Families
I continue to hope that my daughter will find her way out of the
darkness. It has been two years since November 2006, the last time I
spoke to my daughter (now 23). That was the day she reported her
"repressed memory" to the police. Fortunately, no charges have ever
been filed, but the legal and emotional expense has been devastating.

My husband, my family, I, and I believe my daughter, have been forever
scarred. I continue to try to reach out to my daughter, but she
refuses to talk to anyone who does not support her delusion, including
me, any family member, or any longtime family friend.

My daughter has now recruited the support of her once estranged
paternal family, and her new, uninformed, eager enabling friends. I
continue to fight to educate all of her new believers, finding that
most do accept and sympathize with our tragedy, once they are
presented with all of the facts....the truth. But then again, if these
newly educated friends discuss their understanding with her, she ends
all communication with them for not supporting her belief.

My daughter has accepted this new identity, and my fear with this
acceptance as a victim, is that she will ultimately be a real victim.
I miss my daughter. I have had to move on with my life, but I will
never, ever give up the hope that she will find her way back to the
family who loved her and loves her still.

This Foundation has helped my family understand this horrible,
devastating syndrome. Sadly it also reminds us that we are not alone
in our tragedy, but that there is help and support for families
afflicted by this syndrome's fallout.

Although this phenomenon has decreased over time, I am of the strong
opinion that it is in a rebirth. And we, the new families suffering
need support groups to discuss our delicate topic, which I have not
been able to find. If there are groups, cyber space or real space,
please forward this information to my email address. If no groups are
available, I would like to begin a cyber support group. If you are
interested, please contacts me at
                                                                 A mom
                      Perhaps There's Still Hope
It is now approaching 16 years since my daughter first accused me. The
Church that facilitated and encouraged her allegations through
negligent and criminal counseling remains contented in its original
judgment. Sadly, my daughter's true needs were never addressed even
though they were known to the counselor.

I find encouragement from the FMSF newsletter records of retractions
and reconciliations. Perhaps there is still hope for me. Keep up the
great work.
                                                                 A dad
                       Don't Ask -- Don't Tell
There has been no change with our 49-year-old daughter. Her daughter,
our granddaughter, is now 18 years old, but we have not seen her since
she was nine months.  There has been no change in our 41-year-old
daughter either. She has two children who are now five and seven, but
we have never seen them or her husband.

Our 43-year-old daughter, however, has allowed us to see our four-
year-old grandson. He is a joy to us. We have been to their house and
they have been to ours. Visits are "OK" as long as we don't ask about
our other two daughters.
                                                         A mom and dad
                         The Good and the Bad
It has been fourteen and a half years since our daughter entered
therapy and made her accusations. One year later she killed herself.
Four years later her husband won a lawsuit against her doctor and our
association with him and our two grandsons was renewed. Seven years
after that our two sons began associating with us. Sadly, our other
two daughters still will not speak or meet with us. They still
maintain their false memories. We have not seen them or heard from
then for more than thirteen years. We look to the future with a
positive outlook. Thank you for the newsletter. We like to see how
things are progressing.
                                                                 A mom

*                           N O T I C E S                            *
*                                                                    *
*                      WEB  SITES  OF  INTEREST                      *
*                                                                    *
*                we                *
*                          Elizabeth Loftus                          *
*                                                                    *
*                      *
*                       Against Satanic Panics                       *
*                                                                    *
*                         *
*            The Lampinen Lab False Memory Reading Group             *
*                       University of Arkansas                       *
*                                                                    *
*                              *
*                  The Exploratorium Memory Exhibit                  *
*                                                                    *
*                                       *
*                     The Memory Debate Archives                     *
*                                                                    *
*                                        *
*                     French False Memory Group                      *
*                                                                    *
*                  *
*             The Bobgans question Christian counseling              *
*                                                                    *
*                                       *
*                   Illinois-Wisconsin FMS Society                   *
*                                                                    *
*                                   *
*                             Ohio Group                             *
*                                                                    *
*                                           *
*                Australian False Memory Association.                *
*                                                                    *
*                                           *
*                    British False Memory Society                    *
*                                                                    *
*                        *
*               Information about Satanic Ritual Abuse               *
*                                                                    *
*                                      *
*                   Parents Against Cruel Therapy                    *
*                                                                    *
*                               *
*                       New Zealand FMS Group                        *
*                                                                    *
*                                     *
*          Site run by Bruce Robinson contains information           *
*             about Christchurch Creche and other cases.             *
*                                                                    *
*                                       *
*                       Netherlands FMS Group                        *
*                                                                    *
*                                   *
*           National Child Abuse Defense & Resource Center       *
*                                                                    *
*                                  *
*                  Excerpts from Victims of Memory.                  *
*                                                                    *
*                          *
*                         Ross Institute                             *
*                                                                    *
*                                *
*                 FMS in Scandinavia -- Janet Hagbom                 *
*                                                                    *
*                                  *
*           English language web site of Dutch retractor.            *
*                                                                    *
*                                        *
*             This site is run by Stephen Barrett, M.D.              *
*                                                                    *
*                                    *
*            Contains information about filing complaints            *
*                                                                    *
*                                        *
*                  False Memory Syndrome Foundation                  *
*                                                                    *
*                     LEGAL WEBSITES OF INTEREST                     *
*                                        *
*                                           *
*                                       *
*                                           *
*                        HUNGRY FOR MONSTERS                         *
*                                                                    *
* A limited supply of the VHS version of the remarkable documentary  *
* Hungry for Monsters is available through the FMSF at the reduced   *
* price of $15.00 (includes postage). (Foreign price is $20.00)      *
* Hungry for Monsters is the account of one family's ordeal with     *
* memory-focused psychotherapy, the cultivation of memories, and     *
* accusations of sexual abuse. It is an excellent resource for       *
* showing others how someone can come to believe in abuse that never *
* happened and the tragic consequences that inevitably follow.       *
*                                                                    *
*         DVD version is available at full price on Amazon.          *
*               For full description of the video see:               *
*                     *
*                                                                    *
*         To order VHS send check for $15 to FMS Foundation.         *
*                                                                    *
*            The Rutherford Family Speaks to FMS Families            *
*                                                                    *
* The video made by the Rutherford family is the most popular video  *
* of FMSF families. It covers the complete story from accusation, to *
* retraction and reconciliation. Family members describe the things  *
* they did to cope and to help reunite. Of particular interest are   *
* Beth Rutherford's comments about what her family did that helped   *
* her to retract and return.                                         *
*                   Available in DVD format only:                    *
*                      To order send request to                      *
*                    FMSF Video, 1955 Locust St.                     *
*                      Philadelphia, PA  19103                       *
*    $10.00 per DVD; Canada add $4.00; other countries add $10.00    *
*               Make checks payable to FMS Foundation                *
*                                                                    *
*                         DON'T MISS IT!                             *
*                                                                    *
*              Try to Remember: Psychiatry's Clash                   *
*                 Over Meaning, Memory, and Mind                     *
*                                                                    *
*                       Paul McHugh, M.D.                            *
*                   Washington, DC: Dana Press                       *
*                                                                    *
*                       RECOMMENDED  BOOKS                           *
*                                                                    *
*                       REMEMBERING TRAUMA                           *
*                       by Richard McNally                           *
*                    Harvard University Press                        *
*                                                                    *
*          S. O. Lilienfeld, S.J. Lynn and J.M. Lohr (eds.)          *
*                  New York: Guilford Press (2003)                   *
*                                                                    *
*                         PSYCHOLOGY ASTRAY:                         *
*  Fallacies in Studies of "Repressed Memory" and Childhood Trauma   *
*                   by Harrison G. Pope, Jr., M.D.                   *
*                            Upton Books                             *
                F M S    B U L L E T I N    B O A R D

Contacts & Meetings:

  See Georgia
  Kathleen 907-333-5248
        Pat 480-396-9420
  Little Rock
        Al & Lela 870-363-4368
        Jocelyn 530-570-1862
  San Francisco & North Bay 
        Charles 415-435-9618
  San Francisco & South Bay
        Eric 408-738-0469
  East Bay Area
        Judy 925-952-4853
  Central Coast
        Carole 805-967-8058
  Palm Desert
        Eileen and Jerry 909-659-9636
  Central Orange County
        Chris & Alan 949-733-2925
  Covina Area 
        Floyd & Libby 626-357-2750
  San Diego Area 
        Dee 760-439-4630
  Colorado Springs
        Doris 719-488-9738
  S. New England
        Paul 203-458-9173
        Madeline 954-966-4FMS
  Central Florida -- Please call for mtg. time
        John & Nancy 352-750-5446
        Francis & Sally 941-342-8310
  Tampa Bay Area
        Bob & Janet 727-856-7091
        Wallie & Jill 770-971-8917
  Chicago & Suburbs -- 1st Sun. (MO)
        Eileen 847-985-7693 or
        Liz & Roger 847-827-1056
        Bryant & Lynn 309-674-2767
  Indiana Assn. for Responsible Mental Health Practices
        Pat 260-489-9987
        Helen 574-753-2779
  Wichita -- Meeting as called
        Pat 785-762-2825
  Louisville- Last Sun. (MO) @ 2pm
        Bob 502-367-1838
        Sarah 337-235-7656
        Carolyn 207-364-8891
  Portland - 4th Sun.(MO)
        Bobby 207-878-9812
        Carol 410-465-6555
   Andover -- 2nd Sun. (MO) @ 1pm
        Frank 978-263-9795
  Greater Detroit Area
        Nancy 248-642-8077
  Ann Arbor
        Martha 734-439-4055
        Terry & Collette 507-642-3630
        Dan & Joan 651-631-2247
  Kansas City  --  Meeting as called
        Pat 785-738-4840
  Springfield -- Quarterly, 4th Sat. of 
        Apr., Jul., Oct, Jan. @12:30pm
        Tom 417-753-4878
        Roxie 417-781-2058
  Lee & Avone 406-443-3189
  Jean 603-772-2269
  Mark 802-872-0847
  Sally 609-927-4147 (Southern)
  Nancy 973-729-1433 (Northern)
  Albuquerque  -2nd Sat. (bi-MO) @1 pm
  Southwest Room -- Presbyterian Hospital
        Maggie 505-662-7521 (after 6:30 pm)
        Sy 505-758-0726
  Westchester, Rockland, etc.
        Barbara 914-922-1737
  Upstate/Albany Area
        Elaine 518-399-5749
  Susan 704-538-7202
        Bob & Carole 440-356-4544
  Oklahoma City
        Dee 405-942-0531
  Portland area
        Kathy 503-655-1587
        Paul & Betty 717-691-7660
        Rick & Renee 412-563-5509
        John 717-278-2040
  Wayne (includes S. NJ) -- 2nd Sat. (MO)
        Jim & Jo 610-783-0396
  Nashville -- Wed. (MO) @1pm
        Kate 615-665-1160
        Jo or Beverly 713-464-8970
   El Paso
        Mary Lou 915-595-2966
  Keith 801-467-0669
  Mark 802-872-0847
  See Oregon
  Katie & Leo 414-476-0285 or
  Susanne & John 608-427-3686
  Alan & Lorinda 307-322-4170

  Vancouver & Mainland 
        Lloyd 250-741-8941
  Victoria & Vancouver Island
        John 250-721-3219
  Roma 204-275-5723
        Adriaan 519-471-6338
        Eileen 613-836-3294
        Ken & Marina 905-637-6030
        Paula 705-543-0318
  FMS ASSOCIATION fax 972-2-625-9282 
  Colleen 09-416-7443
  Ake Moller FAX 48-431-217-90
  The British False Memory Society
        Madeline 44-1225 868-682
           Deadline for the SPRING 2008 issue is March 10.
                  Meeting notices MUST be in writing
    And should be sent no later than TWO MONTHS PRIOR TO MEETING.

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

PAMELA FREYD, Ph.D.,  Executive Director

FMSF Scientific and Professional Advisory Board,       January 1, 2009

AARON T. BECK, M.D., D.M.S., U of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA;
TERENCE W. CAMPBELL, Ph.D., Clinical and Forensic Psychology, 
    Sterling Heights, MI;
ROSALIND CARTWRIGHT, Ph.D., Rush Presbyterian St. Luke's Medical
    Center, Chicago, IL;
JEAN CHAPMAN, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI;
LOREN CHAPMAN, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI;
FREDERICK C. CREWS, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, CA;
ROBYN M. DAWES, Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA;
DAVID F. DINGES, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA;
HENRY C. ELLIS, Ph.D., University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM;
FRED H. FRANKEL, MBChB, DPM, Harvard University Medical School;
GEORGE K. GANAWAY, M.D., Emory University of Medicine, Atlanta, GA;
MARTIN GARDNER, Author, Hendersonville, NC;
ROCHEL GELMAN, Ph.D., Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ;
HENRY GLEITMAN, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA;
LILA GLEITMAN, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA;
RICHARD GREEN, M.D., J.D., Charing Cross Hospital, London;
JOHN HOCHMAN, M.D., UCLA Medical School, Los Angeles, CA;
DAVID S. HOLMES, Ph.D., University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS;
ROBERT A. KARLIN, Ph.D. , Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ;
ELIZABETH LOFTUS, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine, CA;
SUSAN L. McELROY, M.D., University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH;
PAUL McHUGH, M.D., Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD;
HAROLD MERSKEY, D.M., University of Western Ontario, London, Canada;
ULRIC NEISSER, Ph.D., Cornell University, Ithaca, NY;
RICHARD OFSHE, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, CA;
EMILY CAROTA ORNE, B.A., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA;
LOREN PANKRATZ, Ph.D., Oregon Health Sciences Univ., Portland, OR;
MICHAEL A. PERSINGER, Ph.D., Laurentian University, Ontario, Canada;
AUGUST T. PIPER, Jr., M.D., Seattle, WA;
HARRISON POPE, Jr., M.D., Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA;
JAMES RANDI, Author and Magician, Plantation, FL;
HENRY L. ROEDIGER, III, Ph.D. ,Washington University, St. Louis, MO;
CAROLYN SAARI, Ph.D., Loyola University, Chicago, IL;
MICHAEL A. SIMPSON, M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., M.R.C, D.O.M., Center for
    Psychosocial & Traumatic Stress, Pretoria, South Africa;
RALPH SLOVENKO, J.D., Ph.D., Wayne State University Law School,
    Detroit, MI;
JEFFREY VICTOR, Ph.D., Jamestown Community College, Jamestown, NY;
HOLLIDA WAKEFIELD, M.A., Institute of Psychological Therapies, 
    Northfield, MN;
CHARLES A. WEAVER, III, Ph.D. Baylor University, Waco, TX

   Advisors to whom we are grateful who are now deceased:

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

                     YOUR CONTRIBUTION WILL HELP
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                    THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY.