FMSF NEWSLETTER ARCHIVE - Winter 2010 - Vol. 19, 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 2010 Vol. 19 No. 1
      ISSN #1069-0484. Copyright (c) 2010 by the FMS Foundation
The FMSF Newsletter will be published 4 times  in  2010  by the  False
Memory  Syndrome  Foundation  and delivered electronically. It is also 
available at on the  FMSF website:  Those without
access to the Internet should contact the Foundation. 
           1955 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-5766
                 Phone 215-940-1040, Fax 215-940-1042
        The next e-mail newsletter will be sent in April 2010

Dear Friends, 

Belief in the historical accuracy of "recovered repressed memories"
continues its journey through our culture, its passage sometimes
marked by incidents that seem discouraging, as though no progress had
been made. For example, on January 6, 2010 Time magazine published an
article called: "How childhood trauma can cause adult obesity," a
seeming backslide to the early 1990s when lists of signs and symptoms
of alleged sexual abuse were touted as abundant, although without
empirical base. (see below) As we begin a new year, however, the broad
perspective is far more encouraging than not. For example, a group of
psychologists has started a movement to reform the way that
psychologists are certified, (see below) and a legal decision in
Minnesota. (see below) reinforces the understanding that there is a
lack of scientific evidence for the theory of repressed and recovered
memories. Minnesota District Court Judge Gregg E. Johnson wrote that
one of the parties in a case:

  "failed to meet his burden of proof under the Frye-Mack standard of
  showing that the theory of repressed and recovered memory is
  reliable and trustworthy based on well-recognized scientific
  principles because of the significant methodological flaws in the
  studies presented by plaintiff in support of that theory and the
  lack of any test to show reliability." [1]

In fact, a slew of popular articles have appeared in recent months
that warn of the dangers of recovered memories. We suspect that you
will enjoy the conclusion to one of these as much as we did.

  "So when it comes to memories, you'll do well to remember that they
  are very unreliable. And when it comes to repressed memories, you'll
  do best to forget the whole thing."[2]

In this issue of the newsletter, we invite you to learn more about
three of the FMSF's brilliant and dedicated scientific advisors who
have contributed to the research and publications that have done so
much to speed the recovered memory phenomenon to its inevitable
demise. (see below)

Even though the FMSF problem continues to shrink, however, the danger
of a flare up remains. The story of the Mohler arrests in Missouri
(see below), the news that the Santa Clara, California District
Attorney's office failed to give more than 3,300 videotapes of medical
exams in child sex abuse cases to defense attorneys (see below), and
the knowledge that a therapist that the Minnesota Board of Psychology
found to have violated numerous laws and regulations when she
encouraged a patient's delusions of satanic cult rituals and
government mind-control experiments is allowed to continue to treat
patients (see below) are all reminders that there remains work to be

We thank you for your notes of encouragement and for your financial
support that enables us to work together in an effort to prevent a
resurgence of the recovered memory phenomenon.

A number of families have written to say how sad they are about the
approach of the end of the printed version of the newsletter. One
mother said "No. You can't stop!" and she sent us a large donation to
continue to send out a print version to families who need it. Even
though our reason for planning to stop was not financial, we accepted
the check and we thank this generous member for you. As a consequence
of her determination, we will continue to send the print version for
as long as there is a newsletter.

At the same time, we will not stop encouraging readers to participate
in the most exciting development in the transmission of ideas in our
lifetime. It's true that for us seniors using computer/internet
technology can be a challenge: arthritic fingers, vision problems, and
the fact that it takes seniors longer to learn new things are all
obstacles. But the benefits are astounding. A huge world opens, as
does the opportunity to keep expanding our minds and knowledge.
Reluctant techies could try getting both the printed and electronic
versions until they feel comfortable with the ease and speed (not to
mention the ability to view and print material in larger print) of the

We wish to make a special acknowledgment and send our thanks for a
gift by Samuel Donald Schack, Ph.D., of Buffalo, New York of $100,000
to the Center for Inquiry in Amherst, New York for the establishment
of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation Library Archives. Although
Dr. Schack was not personally involved, he has maintained an active
interest in the Foundation since its inception. This very generous
contribution means that the FMSF Archives will be available to the
public early this spring. The Archives will be housed in a special
section of the larger CFI library and will have work-spaces and
electronic equipment available for researchers. This tremendous gift
ensures that the letters from families (identification removed), the
videotapes, the books, the legal documents, and the outrageous flyers
and advertisements that fully document the existence of the tragic
recovered memory phenomenon can be available to researchers, not just
now but for years in the future. The FMSF Archives will be a reminder
to all of the devastation that can take place when people who may have
the best of intentions ignore the lessons of science.

Now that the FMSF Archives are almost in place, it is time for the
Foundation to focus on updating the website. Because of the success of
FMSF in its original mission to disseminate the findings of relevant
scientific research to families, to the general public and to the
media, it is now critical, as the administrative office winds down,
that the FMSF website become as user friendly as possible while
carrying historical as well as up-to-date citations and references to
relevant scientific research studies. This will help future afflicted
families, provide relevant information where needed by the legal
system, and aid future researchers, scholars, and historians
investigating false memory issues. A more user friendly website will
serve as an enduring legacy of FMSF which would not be possible
without the loyal supportive members throughout the world.

We enter the new year and the new decade with the expectation that we
will continue to see diminished numbers of families newly accused and
with the hope increased numbers of families that are reunited.

[1] John Doe76C vs. Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. No
    62-C9-06-003962. Minn. 2nd Judicial District. Dec 8, 2009.
[2] Mason, S. (2010, January 6). Recovered memory syndrome: A modern
    witch-hunt. People. Retrieved on January 7, 2010 from

/                                                                    \
|       Excerpts: Is Your Therapist A Little Behind the Times?       |
|                                                                    |
| "The practice of clinical psychology -- which includes             |
| psychotherapy -- is akin to medicine as it was practiced a century |
| ago. For at least 2,000 years, medicine was locked in a struggle   |
| between those who viewed it as an art and those who saw it as a    |
| science. Until the last century, most medical practitioners were   |
| guided by intuition and tradition, not by science. Healers         |
| commonly used ineffective and often injurious practices such as    |
| blistering, purging and bleeding. Such techniques were used year   |
| after year, and century after century, with physicians firmly      |
| convinced that they were helping their patients.                   |
|                                                                    |
| "While psychologists certainly do not use such harmful practices,  |
| a similar dynamic appears to be at work in clinical psychology     |
| today. Many psychotherapists openly state that scientific research |
| is largely irrelevant to their practice. Most say that their       |
| clinical techniques largely reflect their own insights and         |
| experience; they tend not to use the most effective types of       |
| treatments available; and they admit to little in the way of       |
| scientific training."                                              |
|                                                                    |
| "But we believe that graduate education is largely to blame for    |
| this dismal situation. Graduate programs in psychology do not      |
| select science-oriented students to begin with and do not train    |
| students to understand and use science once they are enrolled."    |
|                                                                    |
| "Medicine reformed itself...There are now about 160 medical        |
| schools in this country, including schools that grant M.D. and     |
| D.O. degrees. They meet rigorous standards of evaluation through   |
| relevant professional organizations..."                            |
|                                                                    |
| "About half of clinical psychologists are trained today in         |
| for-profit schools that are not associated with universities, and  |
| many such programs explicitly play down science. Relative to       |
| university-based programs, these schools have very large class     |
| sizes, faculty with marginal scientific credentials and low        |
| admission standards."                                              |
|                                                                    |
| "In essence, many of the students being trained by graduate        |
| schools are not prepared to understand or use research evidence,   |
| let alone contribute their own...Our report and prescription is an |
| attempt to serve as the equivalent of the Flexner Report for       |
| clinical psychology. We hope it leads to increased scrutiny of the |
| programs that train psychotherapists...A new science-based         |
| accreditation system will mean that, eventually, patients entering |
| a psychologist's office can expect to receive the best care that   |
| psychological science has to offer."                               |
|                               Baker, T., McFall, R. and Shodam, V. | 
|                                                (2009, November 15) |
|                       Is your therapist a little behind the times? |
|                                                    Washington Post |
|            |
|                                    2009/11/13/AR2009111302221.html |
|                                     Retrieved on November 20, 2009 |


  "We propose that clinical psychology has not fulfilled its
  obligations to public health because, as a field, it is deeply
  ambivalent about the role of science and research in dictating the
  course and content of its practice. In this sense, it resembles
  medicine at a point in history when its practitioners were operating
  in a largely prescientific manner." (p.77)

In a strongly worded paper published in November in the journal
Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 9(2), 67-103, authors
Timothy Baker, Richard McFall, and Varda Shoham argue that the only
way in which clinical psychology can be moved to a more scientific
foundation is with the implementation of a new accreditation system
for psychologists. They present cogent reasons why the current
accreditation system of the American Psychological Association (APA)
fails and why it is intransigent to change.[2]

The writers begin by noting that as the demand for mental health care
has been growing, psychologists have been increasingly bypassed. They
say "psychologists have not made good business and clinical cases for
the value of their services and interventions." (p. 69) What
psychologists need to demonstrate is that the services they offer are
truly beneficial and that they are cost effective. The only way that
this can be done is to base practice on therapies that have been shown
through research to be effective. Unfortunately, research shows that
the majority of clinical psychologists ignore science.

  "Copious evidence suggests that many clinical psychologists today,
  perhaps the majority, are deeply ambivalent about the role of
  science in informing their practice. For instance, they value
  personal clinical experience over research evidence, tend to use
  assessment practices that have dubious psychometric support, and
  tend not to use procedures for which there is the strongest evidence
  of efficacy." (p.77)

Walter Mischel of Columbia University who wrote an editorial that
appeared in the same journal stated: "The disconnect between much of
clinical practice and the advances in psychological science is an
unconscionable embarrassment."

Clinical psychology, the writers suggest, is now at a place of
development where medicine was in the early 1900s when Abraham Flexner
wrote a report on medical education that was published by the Carnegie
Foundation. The Flexner report pointed to the rational scientific
medical practices that had proven therapeutic efficacy that had been
developed and pointed out that most doctors were still being trained
in techniques such as bleeding and purging that had no known
efficacy. The American Medical Association adopted new standards for
the training of physicians that resulted in the closing of many of the
existing training schools for doctors. The report revolutionized
medical education until it became what it is today: highly
standardized and highly demanding. The authors of the new report point

  "Still, reform did not occur overnight. Inferior medical schools
  survived, and charlatans continued to practice. (Of course, medicine
  is not entirely free from such problems even today.)" (p.79).

Baker and colleagues present much evidence to support the observation:
"Unlike the AMA in the early 1990s, there is no clear evidence that
the APA [American Psychological Association] sees a need to enhance
the scientific basis of training or practice." (p.84) Indeed, a 2006
APA report, "Evidence-Based Practice in Psychology (APA Presidential
Task Force on Evidence-Based Practice, 2006), "actually equates the
personal experiences of the clinician and client preferences with
scientific evidence - a striking embrace of prescientific
perspective." (p.84) Apparently the APA has no reason to change the
status quo.

The authors carefully point out why retraining is not sought by
clinical psychologists who are now practicing. The problem is that:
"considerable evidence indicates that many, if not most, clinicians
view science or research as having relatively little relevance to
their practice activities and decisions." (p.80) When these clinicians
are exposed to the information and training of the new effective
therapies, they ignore them. "Regardless of the reasons, practice has
remained largely a craft, not a science." (p.83)

In a response to the Baker et al. paper, officials of the APA defend
their system saying it's "accreditation system does encourage an
understanding of scientific research..." [3] As readers of the FMSF
Newsletter are well aware, however, vast numbers of APA accredited
courses are totally unscientific, including courses in satanic ritual
abuse and auras.

In 2006, in frustration, a group of the leading scientifically
oriented clinical psychology departments joined to provide a new
assessment program: The Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation
System (PCSAS). The hope is that the new accreditation system will
promote a new brand of clinical science training and "foster a new
breed of integrative clinical scientists who will work to reform the
mental health care system." (p.87) The PCSAS accreditation should be
a badge of distinction and provide a powerful positive example.

Will this new report and the creation of a new system of accreditation
make a change or will it be relegated to the heap of languishing great
ideas? Perhaps the time has finally come when there are a sufficient
number of concerned professionals to take strong action. FMSF families
know only too well how important and how needed these changes are.

[1] Baker, T.B., McFall, R.M., Shoham, V. (2009). Current status and
    future prospects of clinical psychology: Toward a scientifically
    principled approach to mental and behavioral health care.
    Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 9(2), 67-103.
[2] The Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System (PCSAS)
    was initiated by the Academy of Psychological Clinical Science
    (APCS). Information is available at:
    "The idea of creating an accreditation system targeted on doctoral
    education and training in psychological clinical science had been
    discussed for many years-at least since 1992, when the National
    Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the Association for
    Psychological Science (APS), and the Council of Graduate
    Departments of Psychology (COGDOP) sponsored a special summit
    meeting on accreditation in Chicago. The birth of PCSAS can be
    traced to a special meeting on accreditation organized by the APCS
    executive committee, held in Tucson, AZ, in January 2006. This
    meeting culminated in the decision to pursue development of a new
    accreditation system."
[3] Aujla, S. (2009, October 2. Report calls for added science in
    psychology Ph.D. programs. Chronicle of Higher Education.
    Retrieved on September 21, 2009 from
       Some additional articles about the Baker et al. report.
Los Angeles Times:
  Jaffe, E. (2010, January 11). Debate over cognitive, traditional
  mental health therapy. 2010 from:
  health/la-he-psychotherapy11 2010jan11,0,3172452,print.story

/                                                                    \
| "Syndromes, profiles, and indicators are simply hypotheses that    |
| provide direction for investigation. In and of themselves they     |
| are unreliable and cannot be used to prove anything. They are a    |
| start in the search for reliable and admissible opinion evidence,  |
| but only a start. Accurate data collection and proper scientific   |
| reasoning are required thereafter if there is any reliable expert  |
| evidence to arise from that beginning."                            |
|                                                 Alan Gold. (2009)  |
|                                  Expert Evidence in Criminal Law:  |
|                                  The Scientific Approach. (p.221)  |

       FMSF Newsletter readers may be interested to read again
         what FMSF published about restructuring education of
                    psychotherapists back in 2000.
                            Reprinted from
                      FMS Foundation Newsletter
                  January/February 2000 Vol. 9 No. 1

                      NECESSARY -- OR POSSIBLE?
                       Charles C. Congdon, M.D.

According to William Longmire in a recent issue of The Pharos,[1] "as
recently as the end of the nineteenth century, medical education in
the United States was in a deplorable state. Hundreds of medical
schools were little more than academically anemic apprenticeships."
Longmire cites extensively from Abraham Flexner[2] who was noted for a
famous study and report on medical education in the early part of the
20th century. Flexner was convinced that the central deficiencies in
medical education at the time were (1) the failure to teach state-of-
the-art knowledge, and (2) the absence of science-based and evidence-
based medical education. A revolution in medical education resulted
from the Flexner report. Medical schools were overhauled, many were
closed and the curriculum became science-based. To this day, doctors
still worry about keeping a balance between research and practice in
professional education.

Several contemporary observers have made the analogy between medical
education at the turn of the century and professional education of
psychotherapists now. For example, Paul McHugh, Chief of Psychiatry at
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, has commented frequently about the
comparison and the importance of improving education in the mental
health fields.[3]

The time is right. There was no scientific foundation for psychiatry
in its early years, but that has changed in the past two decades with
a veritable explosion of scientific knowledge about mental disorders
and how to treat them. In Therapy's Delusions, Watters and Ofshe also
bluntly make the comparison:[4]

  "Flexner's conclusion could not be more true of the mental health
  field at present. As medicine was a hundred years ago, the mental
  health field is now plagued by a large gap between its research and
  clinical applications."

In a 1994 survey, Michael Yapko [5] documented professional ignorance
of basic facts about memory and hypnosis. In that same year Robyn
Dawes[6] exposed the unscientific ideas that were a part of current
professional training. The lives of families, individuals and children
have been tragically shattered because of this lack of scientific
understanding, a harm well-documented in books by Mark Pendergrast,[7]
Terence Campbell,[8] Tana Dineen,[9] Joan Acocella,[10] and Margaret
Hagen,[11] to name a few.

If a similar tragedy is to be prevented in the future, improved
professional education must be an important part of the effort.
Medical education was transformed and became science-based. Can
education for mental health professionals be similarly transformed?
What would the process be? Who would provide the leadership? What
would the curriculum look like? How would such a program encompass the
multitude of different mental health professionals and regulatory

If there is to be a reform of education in psychotherapy, it must be a
fundamental reform. It will require scientific integrity and
scientific thought. Attention to the form without substance won't
work. In my opinion, the content for any restructuring of professional
education in psychotherapy should come from the educators themselves
with attention to the issues outsiders raise. Outsiders are essential
for change, but content is an insider game.

Is it possible to have a "Flexner" investigation and report on the
professional education in psychotherapy? It seems to me that could be
the first step in bridging the gap between research and clinical
applications in professional education.

[1] Longmire, W.P. The Halstedian influence goes west: Personal and
    historical remarks. The Pharos/Summer 1999, p. 19-24. (Halsted
    was a reformer of surgical training in the U.S. around 1904.)
[2] Flexner, A. Medical education in the United States and Canada; a
    report to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
[3] McHugh, P. public remarks.
[4] Watters, E. and Ofshe, R. Therapy's delusions: The myth of the
    unconscious and the exploitation of today's walking worried.
    Scribner, 1999. p. 230-231.
[5] Yapko, M. Suggestions of abuse. Simon & Schuster, 1994.
[6] Dawes, R. M. House of Cards: Psychology and Psychotherapy Built on
    Myth. Free Press, 1994.
[7] Pendergrast, M. Victims of memory: Sex abuse accusations and
    shattered lives, 2nd Edition. Upper Access, 1996.
[8] Campbell, T.W. Smoke and mirrors: The devastating effect of false
    sexual abuse claims. Insight Books, Plenum Press, 1998.
[9] Dineen, T. Manufacturing victims: What the psychology industry is
    doing to people, 2nd Edition. Robert Davies, 1998.
[10] Acocella, J. Creating hysteria: Women and multiple personality
    disorder. Jossey Bass, 1999.
[11] Hagen, M.A. Whores of the court: The fraud of psychiatric
    testimony and the rape of American justice. Harper Collins, 1997.

    Charles Congdon is Professor Emeritus in the Graduate School of
    Medicine at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in
    Knoxville. He is an experimental pathologist..

/                                                                    \
|   "For a hundred years, people thought memory was wired into the   |
|   brain. Instead, we find it can be rewired-you can add false      |
|   information to it, make it stronger, make it weaker, and         |
|   possibly even make it disappear."                                |
|                                                       Karim Nader  |
|                                Quoted in McGowan, K. (2009, July)  |
|                                                   Out of the past  |
|                                                   Discover. p. 32  |


In a disciplinary report in October, 2009, the Minnesota Board of
Psychology allowed St. Cloud psychologist Suzanne James, Ph.D., to
maintain her license even though she was found to have violated
numerous laws and regulations when she encouraged a patient's
delusions of satanic cult rituals and government mind-control
experiments. The Board said that James could continue to see patients
with multiple personality as long as she discusses her treatment
methods with a supervising psychologist and has training on
professional boundaries.

A complaint was filed in 2006 by a relative of the patient after
Dr. James brought her to a hotel so that she could avoid members of a
cult supposedly following her. The relative who filed the complaint
received a reply three years later. She has said that she is
disappointed and thinks "this lady needs her license taken away."

In 1999 the Minnesota Board of Psychology prohibited psychologist
Renee Fredrickson from treating patients who might believe in cult
abuse.[1] That case was brought by attorney R. Christopher Barden who
has commented that licensing boards must struggle with conflicts of
interest because they are supervising peers. According to the Star
Tribune, "Barden described such agencies as 'captured boards' that act
more like therapists than regulators aimed at protecting the public."
Barden stated: "The problem of how to deal with harmful quack
psychotherapies goes far beyond what a small staff of licensing boards
can manage." [2]

[1] See FMSF Newsletter, Vol 8 No 5, 1999.
[2] Pabst, L. (2009, October 31). Disturbed patient, disturbing
    therapy. Star Tribune, A1.  Pabst, L. (2009, December 7). Family:
    State failed patient. Star Tribune. A11.

/                                                                    \
|                      Recovering Lost Memories                      |
|                                                                    |
| "Recovering lost memories from childhood was a hot form of         |
| psychotherapy about 20 years ago. It fell out of favor when some   |
| patients exhibited "false-memory syndrome." But what about the     |
| others? Do many people truly block certain childhood memories,     |
| then remember them as adults"                                      |
|                                       L.J. Brey, Escondido, Calif. |
|                                                                    |
| "Some people surely do, but there's no way to know their number    |
| because evidence of the memories seldom exists. What is known now, |
| however, is that false memories -- happy or sad, blocked or not -- |
| are much more common than anyone had ever realized. They can be    |
| formed or triggered by all sorts of innocent catalysts.            |
|                                                                    |
| "Studies that were cleverly designed to plant innocuous incorrect  |
| memories in unwitting volunteers have shown that one-third to      |
| two-thirds of the participants recalled events that never          |
| happened."                                                         |
|                                               vos Savant, Marilyn  |
|                                                 (2009, October 11) |
|                                            Ask Marilyn. Parade, 18 |


  Maia Szalavitz, M. (2010, January 5). How childhood trauma can 
  cause adult obesity. Time. Retrieved on January 6, 2010 from health/article/0,8599,1951240,00.htm

A recent article in Time magazine claims that childhood trauma can be
a cause of adult obesity. This conclusion is based on data from the
Adverse Childhood Experiences study that includes thousands of
patients in the Kaiser Permanente health system. From this huge
database, Dr. Vincent Felitti and his colleagues recorded 17,000
reports of negative childhood experiences such as neglect, living with
only one parent, having a mentally ill, incarcerated or drug-addicted
parent, witnessing domestic violence, and sexual, physical or
emotional abused. Then the researchers searched for correlations
between the experiences and adult health.

It seems but a minute ago that researchers were claiming that
childhood sexual abuse was the cause of bulimia and anorexia. If one
believes the claims, trauma causes a person to be too fat or too
thin. FMSF Newsletter readers recall all too well the early 1990 lists
of problems believed to be caused by sexual abuse: wearing clothes
that were too tight or to be too thin; to be sexually repressed or to
be sexually promiscuous (i.e. Blume, E.S., 1989. Secret Survivors).
Indeed, people have claimed that more than 700 different symptoms are
caused by childhood sexual abuse.

Does trauma cause adult obesity? Although there appears to be some
evidence that physical abuse is associated with adult obesity (Bentley
& Widom, 2009), the research presented in the Time article does not
support the conclusion that trauma causes adult obesity.

It is one of the most elementary mistakes in psychology, as students
are taught in "psych 101," that correlation does not prove causality.
When we have dinner, the sun often sets, but it does not follow the
dinner caused the sun to set. People who smoke have a higher incidence
of adult-onset diabetes. Should we conclude that smoking helps cause
adult onset diabetes? No, because when people stop smoking, their risk
of diabetes goes up even higher. In other words, people who happen to
smoke also happen to be at risk for diabetes for reasons completely
independent of smoking. If anything, smoking seems to be slightly
protecting them from diabetes. This example shows that just because A
comes before B or A is associated with B, it would be foolish and
naive to assume that A has caused B.

But the mistakes go even deeper than that. The Time report mentions
that the researchers recorded "reports of adverse experiences." When
we ask people to describe experiences that they had in the past (a
so-called retrospective study), their recollection of the past is
colored by their experiences in the present - a phenomenon known as
"recall bias." For example, one study looked at women who gave birth
to a deformed infant and compared them to women who gave birth to a
normal infant (Werler, Pober, Nelson, & Holmes, 1989). When the women
were asked to recall exposures that they had experienced during
pregnancy (such as taking antibiotics or over-the-counter drugs) the
women with deformed infants were much more likely to recall such
exposures than the women with normal infants. But when the
investigators compared the actual documented histories of the two
groups, there was no difference in exposure rates. This finding is
hardly surprising. Women with a deformed infant would almost certainly
be more likely to think carefully about any possible exposures that
they might have had, whereas women with normal infants would be
unlikely to think as hard about it.

So in short, between 1) the fallacy that correlation implies causality
and 2) the problems caused by recall bias, it would be extraordinarily
naive to assume that just because one group of people reports a higher
level of a given childhood experience than another group, one could
assume that this childhood experience somehow caused the symptoms of
the first group.

So what about the issue of childhood sexual abuse? It turns out that
there are actual studies documenting the error of relying on people's
retrospective reports that they were sexually abused, and then
assuming that the sexual abuse played a causal role in their current
adult problems. For example, in one of the largest, best controlled,
and most sophisticated prospective studies of the effects of childhood
abuse to be published (Widom, Weiler, & Cottler, 1999), Dr. Cathy
Widom and her colleagues performed a 20-year follow up of a sample of
1,196 participants. These included 676 individuals who had been abused
or neglected in childhood, and a matched group of 520 other
individuals of similar gender, age, race, and approximate social class
with no evidence of childhood abuse. On the follow-up interviews 20
years later, Widom and her colleagues found that rates of drug and
alcohol abuse or dependence were virtually identical among individuals
in the abused group and in the comparison group. Specifically, a
lifetime history of substance abuse or dependence was found in 35% of
the participants who were known to have been abused, and in 34% of the
comparison participants. Among participants who specifically were
victims of sexual abuse, as opposed to physical abuse or neglect, the
lifetime rate of substance abuse was 33%. Thus, the study provided no
support for the theory that childhood sexual abuse causes individuals
to develop substance abuse problems in adulthood.

But here's what makes this study really interesting: at the time of
the follow-up interview, Widom and her colleagues did not disclose
that they were aware of the abuse histories of the participants from
the data that they had collected 20 years earlier. However, they asked
the participants, during the course of the follow-up interview,
whether the participants had been abused as children. Interestingly,
the participants with substance abuse problems were much more likely
to claim that they had been abused than were participants who did not
have substance abuse problems! In other words, if one had relied
simply on the retrospective claims of the participants, and had not
possessed the hard data collected 20 years earlier, one would have
erroneously concluded that childhood abuse was associated with
substance abuse later in life!

Another study by Raphael and colleagues (Raphael, Widom, & Lange,
2001), based on the same long-term follow-up study data, tested to see
whether childhood sexual abuse was associated with complaints of pain
in adulthood. As with the drug abuse study, this research found that
people who have been physically and sexually abused as children did
not show an elevated rate of pain syndromes as opposed to the
comparison group. Once again, however, when the adults were asked
retrospectively about sexual abuse, the ones with pain were much more
likely to report a history of abuse. Therefore, if we had simply
relied on people's retrospective reports, we would have erroneously
concluded that childhood sexual abuse was somehow associated with
adult pain syndromes.

The research reported in Time can be compared to results from a
prospective study reported by Bentley and Widom (2009) involving court
substantiated physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect incidents.
Bentley and Widom found that a "30-year follow-up of children with
documented histories of abuse and neglect" demonstrates the long-term
impact of childhood physical abuse on adult weight. Neither sexual
abuse nor neglect showed this relationship. Bentley and Widom cite
the strengths and weaknesses of their study, noting: "Because much
childhood victimization occurs in the context of multiproblem homes,
the maltreatment may be a marker for other family problems that
together lead to higher [body mass index]. These findings do not take
into account the likely contribution of hereditary influences on the
predisposition to become overweight." Bentley and Widom do not claim
that childhood physical abuse causes adult obesity. They state that
there is an "increased risk for physically abused children to be
overweight in adulthood."

One cannot help but wonder why Time chose to publish an article based
on such weak results when so many strong papers exist. Perhaps it is
because our culture still clings to the Freudian notion that problems
stem from past "trauma."

  Bentley, T. & Widom, C.S. (2009). A 30-year follow-up of the effects
  of child abuse and neglect on obesity in adulthood. Obesity,
  17(10). 1900-1905.
  Pope, H. (1997). Psychology Astray: Fallacies in Studies of
  "Repressed Memory" and Childhood Trauma. Upton Books.
  Raphael, K. G., Widom, C. S., & Lange, G. (2001). Childhood
  victimization and pain in adulthood: a prospective investigation.
  Pain, 92(1-2), 283-293.
  Werler, M. M., Pober, B. R., Nelson, K., & Holmes, L. B. (1989). 
  Reporting accuracy among mothers of malformed and nonmalformed
  infants. Am J Epidemiol, 129(2), 415-421.
  Widom, C. S., Weiler, B. L., & Cottler, L. B. (1999). Childhood
  victimization and drug abuse: a comparison of prospective and
  retrospective findings. J Consult Clin Psychol, 67(6), 867-880.
| "I have a photographic memory, but I don't have same-day service." |
|                                                    Peggy D. Joseph |
                            AARON T. BECK
           FMSF Advisor since June 1995, is the subject of
              the lead article in the current edition of
                The American Scholar, Vol. 78, Issue 4
                    (published by Phi Beta Kappa)

                           THE DOCTOR IS IN
                          By Daniel B. Smith
 At 88, Aaron Beck is now revered for an approach to psychotherapy
 that pushed Freudian analysis aside.

A few excerpts:

  "Beck is the inventor of cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT)...the most
  well-funded, deeply researched, popular, and rapidly growing
  psychotherapy in existence. It is taught in nearly every clinical
  psychology and psychiatric residency program in America, and it is
  the cornerstone of a new, $117 million program implemented by the
  U.S. Army to foster mental resiliency in soldiers. Beck, in turn, is
  today arguably the most well-known psychotherapist alive. In 2006,
  Beck won the Lasker Award, the most prestigious scientific honor in
  the United States, often referred to as the "American Nobel." In
  2007, he was short-listed for the actual Nobel, in physiology or
  medicine, although unlike every laureate in the 105-year history of
  the prize, he has never conducted biological research or invented a
  physiological or biological tool."
                               *  *  *
  "The power of this approach has led it to be adopted, in one form or
  another, by a vast number of mental-health professionals. "Most
  psychotherapists, consciously or unconsciously, are doing a lot of
  the things that Beck pushed," says the Nobel Prize-winning
  neuroscientist Eric Kandel. "They're more directly involved, they're
  giving more suggestions, they're pointing out thought
  processes. Whether they call it Beckian or not, and whether or not
  they're doing other things as well, they're doing Beckian kind of
  stuff." And yet, as Kandel and others are quick to point out, Beck's
  revolutionary impact does not emanate from his development of CBT,
  but from the methodical way in which he developed it. "The crucial
  point is, Beck took a form of psychotherapy and he did a series of
  systematic, empirical studies that showed that it's more effective
  than placebo, and that it's as effective as antidepressant drugs in
  mild and moderate depression,"

  "Kandel says. "And he wrote a manual for the therapy, a cookbook, so
  that others could do studies as well." His rigorous, scientific,
  data-driven approach to psychotherapy represented, Kandel says, a
  "major, major advance" for the profession."
                               *  *  *
  "He hasn't been the only person to insist that psychotherapy rest on
  a foundation of replicable data - he wasn't even the first - but he
  has been the position's most dogged, visible, sophisticated, and
  influential proponent. As a consequence, psychotherapy has been
  moving steadily from a model that is "eminence-based," as a rueful
  saying has it, to one that is "evidence-based" -- a powerful
  watchword in the field. Over the past several years, federal and
  state agencies in the United States and government-based health-care
  systems abroad have been spending hundreds of millions of dollars to
  disseminate psychotherapies for which there is a solid core of
  scientific evidence, while insurance companies have been encouraging
  the clinicians within their systems to practice "empirically
  supported therapies" (EST) above others. In short, more and more,
  Freud's world of subterranean drives is becoming Beck's world of
  scientific accountability."  
                                * * *
  "In England, the empirically supported therapies movement now
  benefits from full governmental support. In 2007, the British
  government announced it would be spending close to $300 million to
  train and employ 3,600 additional psychotherapists, primarily in
  CBT. This official endorsement has proved a powerful incentive for
  therapists not historically predisposed to empirical research to
  prove that what they do is valid. Peter Fonagy, one of England's
  leading psychoanalysts and chief executive of the Anna Freud Centre,
  has called on his colleagues to end their "splendid isolation" from
  the mainstream and to adopt "a scientific attitude that celebrates
  the value of the replication of observations rather than their
                           ELIZABETH LOFTUS
              Advisor since April 1992 was the winner of
            The Joseph Priestley Award: October 15, 2009, Dickinson

College's press release follows:

                    WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH MEMORY?

  "Plenty, according to Elizabeth Loftus, Ph.D., a distinguished
  professor and recognized expert in the field. Loftus explained the
  controversies surrounding this unreliable human resource during an
  October. 15, 2009 lecture at Dickinson College.

  "The author of 22 books, Loftus has researched human memory,
  eyewitness testimony and courtroom procedure for 20 years. Her work
  has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the
  National Science Foundation, and she has been an expert witness
  consultant in hundreds of cases. Loftus was awarded the 2009 Joseph
  Priestley Award for her contributions to society's understanding of
  childhood abuse and traumatic recovered memories. Named for the
  Pennsylvania scientist and scholar who discovered oxygen, the annual
  award honors distinguished scientists whose research contributes to
  the welfare of humankind.

  "Elizabeth Loftus, distinguished professor at the University of
  California-Irvine and an expert psychology witness in many prominent
  cases [is] the 2009 recipient of the college's Joseph Priestley
  Award. Loftus has been an expert witness or consultant in hundreds
  of cases, including the McMartin pre-school molestation case, the
  Hillside Strangler, the Abscam cases, the trial of Oliver North, the
  trial of the officers accused in the Rodney King beating, the
  Menendez brothers, the Bosnian War trials in the Hague, the Oklahoma
  Bombing case, and litigation involving Michael Jackson, Martha
  Stewart, Scooter Libby and the Duke University Lacrosse
  players. Loftus also has worked on numerous cases involving
  allegations of "repressed memories," such as those involving George
  Franklin of San Mateo, Calif., Cardinal Bernardin of Chicago and
  Gary Ramona of Napa, California.

  "Loftus' research for the last 20 years has focused on human memory,
  eyewitness testimony and courtroom procedure. Loftus argues that
  people have been led to remember non-existent events from the recent
  past as well as non-existent events from childhood. She said
  individuals can be led to falsely believe that they had experiences
  that would have been highly traumatic had they actually happened,
  and that false beliefs have consequences for people, affecting later
  thoughts, intentions and behaviors.

  "Loftus is a professor of law and holds positions in the Departments
  of Psychology & Social Behavior, and Criminology, Law & Society. She
  has a faculty appointment in the Department of Cognitive Sciences
  and is a fellow of the Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and
  Memory. She has published 22 books and more than 450 scientific
  articles. Her fourth book, Eyewitness Testimony, won a National
  Media Award (Distinguished Contribution) from the American
  Psychological Foundation. One of her most widely read books, The
  Myth of Repressed Memory, co-authored with Katherine Ketcham, has
  been translated into Dutch, Taiwanese, French, German, Japanese and
  other languages.

  "Her work has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health
  and the National Science Foundation. She served as president for
  several organizations, including the Western Psychological
  Association in 1984 and 2004-05, and the Association for
  Psychological Science in 1998-99.

  "In addition to holding several honorary degrees, Loftus has
  received numerous awards and honors for her research. In 2002, the
  National Academy of Sciences gave her the inaugural Henry & Bryna
  David Lectureship (an award for "application of the best social and
  behavioral sciences research to public policy issues"). The article
  that she wrote in conjunction with this award was subsequently
  selected for inclusion in "The Best American Science and Nature
  Writing." In 2005, she won the Grawemeyer Prize in Psychology (to
  honor ideas of "great significance and impact"). In 2006, she was
  elected to the American Philosophical Society, the oldest learned
  society in the United States. This year, she received the
  Distinguished Contributions to Psychology and Law Award from the
  American Psychology-Law Society.

  "In a study published by the Review of General Psychology, Loftus
  was ranked 58th among the 100 most eminent psychologists of the 20th
  century, along with Freud, Skinner and Piaget. She was the
  top-ranked woman on the list.

   "Each year the Priestley Celebration at Dickinson brings to campus
  a distinguished scientist to be honored for discoveries which
  contribute to the welfare of mankind. The award is made in memory of
  Joseph Priestley, discoverer of oxygen. During the celebration, the
  college's collection of Priestley apparatus and memorabilia is
  displayed. Award recipients are given an honorarium and a ceramic
  medallion struck from an original 1779 mold by Josiah Wedgwood which
  bears a likeness of Priestley derived from a pen-and-ink drawing by
  John Flaxman."

Media Contact: Office of Media Relations 717-245-1289,
                            Martin Gardner
            FMSF Advisor since April 1993, was the subject
             of a birthday profile in The New York Times.

                  By John Tierney, October 20, 2009

In October, Martin Gardner celebrated his 95th birthday with the
publication of his second book of the year, a collection of essays and
mathematical puzzles. According to Tierney, Gardner, who has published
70 books, is the "world's best-known recreational mathematician and
has probably introduced more people to the joys of math than anyone in

In 1956 the editor of Scientific American asked Gardner if he could
write a monthly column on "recreational mathematics," Tierney writes
that the term sounded "even more oxymoronic in 1956 than it does
today." Gardner accepted the challenge and became known to thousands
and thousands and thousands of people who enjoyed his mathematical
puzzles for a quarter century.

Gardner relinquished his column in 1981 but continued to write books
and essays. Tierney comments that his "reputation among
mathematicians, puzzlists and magicians just kept growing." Starting
in 1994, a "Gathering for Gardner" event has been held every two years
in Atlanta.

Some excerpts:

  "The number of puzzles I've invented you can count on your fingers,"
  Mr. Gardner says. Through his hundreds of columns and dozens of
  books, he always credited others for the material and insisted that
  he wasn't even a good mathematician.

  "I don't think I ever wrote a column that required calculus," he
  says. "The big secret of my success as a columnist was that I didn't
  know much about math. "I had to struggle to get everything clear
  before I wrote a column, so that meant I could write it in a way
  that people could understand."
                               *  *  *
  "Many have tried to emulate him; no one has succeeded," says Ronald
  Graham, a mathematician at the University of California, San Diego.
  "Martin has turned thousands of children into mathematicians, and
  thousands of mathematicians into children."
                               *  *  *
  Mr. Gardner says he has been gratified to see more and more teachers
  incorporating puzzles into the math curriculum. The pleasure of
  puzzle-solving, as he sees it, is a happy byproduct of evolution.
                               *  *  *
  "If all sentient beings in the universe disappeared," he writes,
  "there would remain a sense in which mathematical objects and
  theorems would continue to exist even though there would be no one
  around to write or talk about them. Huge prime numbers would
  continue to be prime even if no one had proved them prime."

Unmentioned in this piece is Martin Gardner's role in exposing
pseudoscience, particularly in his long-running column in The
Skeptical Inquirer, "Notes of a Fringe-Watcher."

/                                                                    \
|  "Memory, it turns out, has a surprising amount in common with     |
|  imagination, conjuring worlds that never existed until they were  |
|  forged by our minds."                                             |
|                                                         McGowan, K |
|                                                       (2009, July) |
|                                                    Out of the past |
|                                                     Discover. p.32 |
|                                                                    |
|  "How can one tell where memory ends and imagination begins?"      |
|                                     Ellen Anderson Gholson Glasgow |
|                                                                    |
|  "The past is malleable and flexible, changing as our              |
|  recollection interprets and re-explains what has happened."       |
|                                                       Peter Berger |


Kaplan, T. (2010, January 6). Santa Clara County judge orders man
freed. Mercury News. Retrieved on January 7, 2010 from

On January 6, 2010, Santa Clara County California Superior Court Judge
Andrea Bryan ordered a man who had been sentenced to 38 years to life
should be "freed on the grounds the trial prosecutor in the child
molestation case committed 'numerous acts of misconduct,' including
giving false testimony."

The man had been convicted in 2008 of sexually assaulting a young
relative, but the conviction was overturned because the prosecution
had withheld a videotape of the alleged victim's physical exam. When
the videotape was obtained after the conviction, it contradicted
prosecution testimony that the child had been abused. In addition, the
alleged victim states the man did not abuse him. Prosecutors had
attempted to retry the man.

Public defender Mary Greenwood commented on the decision:

  "The court sent a resounding affirmation that prosecutorial
  integrity is a key component to justice in the courthouse. Where a
  prosecutor commits misconduct, the entire justice system is
  imperiled and public confidence is compromised."

The videotape was not the only tape not given to defense counsel. It
appears that since 1991 that 3,300 videotapes were not shown to
defense counsel in child sex abuse cases. Santa Clara prosecutors
stated that they were aware of the videotapes but claim that "most of
the tapes are of little value." Judge Bryan's decision supports the
belief of legal experts that "dozens of other child sex abuse
convictions in [Santa Clara County] are at risk of being overturned."

                       L E G A L   C O R N E R
                              FMSF Staff
              Minnesota Court Excludes Expert Testimony
                 on Repressed and Recovered Memories.
       John Doe76C vs Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
    No 62-C9-06-003962. Minn. 2nd Judicial District. Dec 8, 2009.
On December 9, 2009, after a three-day Frye-Mack evidentiary hearing,
Minnesota District Court Judge Gregg E. Johnson ruled that expert
testimony about repressed and recovered memory could not be presented
by the plaintiffs. The purpose of a Frye-Mack hearing is to establish
that a scientific theory is generally accepted in the relevant
scientific community and that the particular scientific evidence has
foundational reliability.

Judge Johnson concluded:

  "Plaintiff failed to meet his burden of proof under the Frye-Mack
  standard of showing that the theory of repressed and recovered
  memory is reliable and trustworthy based on well-recognized
  scientific principles because of the significant methodological
  flaws in the studies presented by plaintiff in support of that
  theory and the lack of any test to show reliability."

Of particular interest in this decision were Judge Johnson's comments
about the inclusion of "dissociative amnesia" in the Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-IV).
Proponents of recovered memories have long cited as proof of their
acceptance the fact that "dissociative amnesia" is mentioned in this
manual. Judge Johnson disagreed and wrote:

  "However, the court does not agree that inclusion of dissociative
  amnesia in the DSM-IV establishes that the theory of repressed and
  recovered memories has attained general acceptance or has been
  scientifically proven. The United States Supreme Court has
  recognized that a diagnosis in the DSM-IV, 'may mask vigorous debate
  within the profession about the very contours of the mental disease
  itself.' Clark v. Arizona. 548 U.S. 735, 774, 126S. Ct 2709, 2734
  (2006). The DSM-IV is not a 'scientific paper or a scientific
  reference or a scientific review article.' (Tr. 315). And it 'does
  not, by itself, establish the validity of a diagnostic entity.'
  (Tr. 431). In fact, as the United States Supreme Court recently
  acknowledged in Clark, the DSM-IV itself cautions against the use of
  psychiatric diagnoses in forensic settings due to the 'significant
  risks that diagnostic information will be misused or misunderstood.
  These dangers arise because of the imperfect fit between the
  questions of ultimate concern to law and the information contained
  in a clinical diagnosis.'" (p.23)

The experts for the plaintiff were Constance Dalenberg, Ph.D. and
James A. Chu, M.D.

The experts for the defendants were Harrison G. Pope, Jr., M.D.,
William M. Grove, Ph.D., and Elizabeth F. Loftus, Ph.D.

Patrick Noaker and Michael Finnegan of Jeff Anderson & Associates, St
Paul, Minnesota represented the plaintiffs.

Christopher Barden and Thomas Wieser of Meier, Kennedy & Quinn,
Charered, St. Paul, Minnesota represented the Archdiocese of St. Paul
and Minneapolis. Anna Restovich of George F. Restovich & Associated,
Rochester, Minnesota represented the Diocese of Winona.
              Some other cases in which recovered memory
                  testimony was deemed unscientific:

  HAMANNE, et al. v. HUMENANSKY, Ramsey County Minnesota File
  No. C4-94-203, Judge Bertrand Poritsky, June 30, 1995, Transcript
  page 83-84. "The Frye hearing has been concluded and we are still on
  the record.. It's my finding, first, that the theory a person can
  block out of awareness [repress or dissociate] a long stream of
  [traumatic] events and subsequently recall them accurately is not
  supported by experts in the field. And further that there is no
  agreement by experts that there is general agreement that such
  [recovered memory] evidence is reliable and trustworthy. That's the
  Frye standard. As to the Daubert standard, it is also my ruling that
  such [recovered memory] evidence is not reliable nor helpful to the

  CARLSON v. HUMENANSKY (Minnesota Trial Ct), Judge Bertrand Poritsky
  (January, 1996). Judge Poritsky again found (as he had in Hamanne
  v. Humenansky) that repression and recovered memories were
  unreliable concepts, not accepted by the relevant scientific
  community, not helpful to a jury and thus inadmissible. Engstrom
  v. Engstrom California App., 2nd App. Dist., Div 2, (CA 1997)
  "[Repressed memory] is not generally accepted as valid and reliable
  by a respectable majority of the pertinent scientific community..."

  MORAHAN 698 A.2d 1244 (N.H. 1997) "The phenomenon of recovery of
  repressed memories has not yet reached the point where we may
  perceive these particular recovered memories as reliable."

  STATE of NEW HAMPSHIRE v. WALTERS 697 A.2d 916 (N.H. 1997) "[W]e
  conclude, as we did in Hungerford , that " [t]he indicia of
  reliability present in the particular memories in [this] case do not
  rise to such a level that they overcome the divisive state of the
  scientific debate on the issue."

  STATE of RHODE ISLAND v. QUATTROCCHI, C.A. No. P92-3759 (R.I. 1999)
  [on remand from the Rhode Island Supreme Court 681 A.2d 879 (R.I.
  1999)] "The State has not met its burden of establishing that
  repressed recollection is reliable and admissible as scientific

  STATE of NEW HAMPSHIRE v. BOURGELAIS, Docket No. 02-S-2834, Judge
  T. Nadeau, April 4, 2005. "the State's motion [to use repressed
  memory evidence at trial] is denied... the court determines, based
  on the law and the evidence, that the reliability of memory
  retrieval has not been sufficiently established..."

  RIVERS v. FATHER FLANAGAN'S BOYS TOWN, Doc 1024, Case No. 743,
  Nebraska State Court Judge Sandra L. Dougherty, November 25,
  2005. "In conclusion, the Court finds and concludes that Rivers has
  not met his burden of establishing that repressed and recovered
  memory is reliable and admissible as scientific evidence or that it
  is properly applied in this case. The Plaintiff's evidence lacks the
  scientific reliability and proper application necessary to admission
  under Rule 702 and Daubert/Schaferman. As a result, the Court finds
  and concludes that the Defendants' Motion in Limine No. 1 (banning
  all testimony regarding repressed and recovered memories) shall be

  States District Court for the District of Nebraska, Memorandum and
  Order of January 26, 2006 by Hon. Laurie Smith Camp, U.S. District
  Judge.  "[Plaintiff] Duffy filed a motion of withdrawal of expert
  testimony on the issue of repressed memory.... [thus] judgment will
  be granted to [Defendant] as a matter of law."


The New York State Education Department's Office of Professional
Discipline will soon be taking action on an ethics complaint filed by
Lucian and Josie Parlato, of Amherst, New York against James A.
Brigante, a licensed clinical social worker, also of Amherst.

Brigante began to treat Jodi Gburek, the married daughter of Mrs.
Parlato, In March of 2000. two years later, on March 8, 2002, in the
midst of a visitation dispute concerning Jodi Gburek's son, Shane
Naab, Brigante wrote a lurid and false letter which accused Mr. and
Mrs. Parlato of abusing Jodi sexually, emotionally and physically in
her childhood and thereby implying that the Parlato's should be denied
any visitation rights with their grandson.

Mr. and Mrs. Parlato originally contacted the office of professional
discipline in March 2003, but were not able to make any headway
because of the refusal of Jodi Gburek to release the confidential
records of her therapy sessions with Brigante.

It was only after recent proceedings in the New York State Supreme
Court that Mr. and Mrs. Parlato were able to obtain the written
records of Brigante's therapy sessions with Jodi Gburek, plus an
autobiographical narrative written by Gburek which was the basis of
Brigante's defamatory letter.

The ethics complaint, which now will be thoroughly investigated by the
Education Department's Office of Professional Discipline in Buffalo,
New York, alleges that Brigante grossly misrepresented the contents of
his therapy session records with Jodi Gburek, and that he suppressed
the secret narrative written by Jodi Gburek,

Mr. and Mrs. Parlato also charge that in his letter of March 8, 2002,
Brigante expounded a theory of repressed memory which is nothing but a
creature of Brigante's imagination and is not recognized by the
scientific community.

The Parlatos were involved in litigation in several New York State
courts from March 2002 up to two months ago. They are now requesting
the Department of Education to discipline Brigante because of his
unethical conduct and the deleterious effect his actions have had on
their family. The discipline imposed upon Brigante could range from
reprimand to revocation of his license to practice social work in New
York State.

Brigante is no longer treating Jodi Gburek.

[1] FMSF Newsletters, Vol 13 No. 1 and Vol. 17 No 4.

                     By B.D. in Overland Park, KS

On November 11, 2009, a 77-year-old grandfather and his four sons were
arrested and charged with child sexual abuse, allegedly occurring on
the family farm between 1988 and 1995. Arrested were; Burrell Edward
Mohler, Sr., 77 and his sons, Jared Leroy Mohler, 48, David A. Mohler,
52, Burrell Edward Mohler, Jr., 53, and Roland Neil Mohler, 47.
                           The Accusations:
The arrests came following police interviews with Burrell Ed Jr.'s
26-year-old daughter. According to the probable cause statement: "She
had suppressed many of the memories of abuse perpetrated on her as
well as her siblings and is very fearful of her grandfather, father,
and uncles. During this interview, she identified eight specific
memories of abuse and a ninth that was allegedly perpetrated on her
brother that she was forced to watch."[1]

The accusations included mock weddings, rapes, and being forced into
sexual relations with the family dog. Supposedly the girl became
pregnant in 1995 and was forced to have an abortion. The daughter told
investigators that as she and her siblings were abused, They were told
to write details of the abuse. Those notes were buried in mason jars
around the family farm. "The children were told to write down bad
memories and bury them there and the memories would go away," said
Sgt. Colin Stosberg of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. [2]

Since those original interviews, investigators contacted two other
sisters and one brother who corroborated the memories in one way or
another. The brother stated that he had once dug up and reburied the
mason jars containing the notes written by the sisters. [3] 

One sister recalled being forced into sexual relations with a horse
and she implicated a sixth man, Darrel Mohler, brother of the
grandfather. Darrel was then arrested outside his Florida home and
jailed in Lafayette County. Investigators say some of the reported
abuse occurred in other locations, and they expect further charges to
be filed in those jurisdictions. [4]

Lending credence to the allegations is Burrell "Ed" Jr.'s ex-wife and
the mother of the accusers, Jeanette Mohler. Jeanette claims that she
knew of the abuse at the time it took place. Although she admits she
did not take the information to authorities, she said that she spoke
to the ex-husband of Ed's new wife and to a clergyman in Ed's
church. [5]
                       The Accusations Expand:
Soon the siblings began reporting that they had been used in child
pornography and they said they remembered multiple murders committed
by their grandfather, father, and uncles. The men are alleged to have
written coded messages in a Louis L'Amour book about the murders and
to have kept souvenirs of coins and jewelry from the victims. The
siblings led investigators to an area of the family farm where they
say they helped to bury a 300-pound man. The man, the sisters say, had
been kidnapped from his own driveway, then choked and stabbed to death
by the siblings at the request of their father.[6]

When the accusers recounted memories of having seen another child held
captive in the basement of the farm house for several years, Sheriff
Alumbaugh of Lafayette County issued a public plea for other victims
to come forward: "I believe that there is, and I believe every
investigator here, after seeing the evidence, believes there's more
victims..." and "Pedophiles don't stop at one." [7]

When these accusations became public, another accuser came forward. a
young woman, not related to the family, claimed to have been held as a
sex slave in Burrell Sr.'s basement for two years. She says she was
impregnated twice. the first baby was murdered and buried in the dirt
basement. A few days later, a concrete floor was poured that covered
the gravesite. '[8]
                             The Reports:
During the weeks following the arrests, local papers and television
news lead with sensational headlines about the arrests. The Mohler
family was regularly referred to as a 'clan," which may perpetuate the
idea of incestuous hillbillies. We're told daily of the other items
located in the searches and farm excavation: an ax from a shed; a
box-like area in a basement; hand-labeled video tapes; an unidentified
bone fragment; a shard of glass. These were all reported as
significant findings. The nightly news also featured demonstrations by
members of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

When one of the accused men finally posted bond, Sheriff Alumbaugh did
not allow him and his attorney to leave by the door closest to their
vehicle. Instead, the Sheriff guided them to the front door and the
long gauntlet walk through reporters.
                            A Closer Look:
A review of the allegations raises many questions. For example, the
"box-like" structure located with radar in the basement was only
dirt. There was no baby under the concrete. The 300-pound man
allegedly buried behind the barn has similarly disappeared. Despite
the seizures of Louis L'Amour books and jewelry, no connections can be
made to any missing person at any time. There were no mason jars
discovered after excavating the entire farm where many were supposedly
buried. "After a two-day search on the Mohler family farm, police
uncovered a portion of a credit card, the sole of a boot or shoe, an
unknown type of bone, eye glasses and broken glass." [9]

On December 2nd, Sheriff Alumbaugh announced that the woman who
reported having been held for two years in the family basement "is no
longer a part of this investigation." [10] He has declined to say why.

Missouri's Case net shows that the mother, Jeanette Mohler (Cyr), made
numerous court appearances through the years in regard to visitation,
child support, and even requests for protection orders against Ed
Jr. The protection orders were all denied. Why would she not have
reported her accusations of abuse in one of those proceedings? [11]

Although the local newspapers made sweeping reports of "incest porn"
found in Burrell, Sr.'s home, a closer look at the actual titles
reveals a different story. Burrell Sr.'s collection appears to be a
hodge-podge of various legal pornography and does not indicate any
predilection toward young people. [12]

To date, none of the men has been charged with possession of child
porn or with murder. The Lafayette County prosecutor, Kellie Ritchie
says she does not expect to file any additional charges. No charges
have been filed by any of the other jurisdictions that readers were
told would be involved. [13]

After having made public gruesome details of the accusations, the
probable cause statements, the search warrant requests, seizure
documents from the searches, the results of the excavations, and the
erroneously incriminating sounding porn titles, the sheriff's
department is now saying they will not comment on any evidence
                        Thoughts of a Skeptic:
This case reminds us of how fragile our reputations truly are. All it
takes is an accusation.

These men are not vagabonds. They had careers, owned homes, paid
taxes, and were active in their churches. Family, neighbors, and
friends report being "shocked" by the allegations. People who knew
these men considered them to be hardworking, charitable, and kind
right up until the day they were accused. [14]

There is a concept in the law, "Falsus in Unum, Falsus in Omnibus"
(False in one thing, false in everything). No evidence, no
"treasures," no coded messages in books, no bodies buried at the farm
have been found to support the claims of murder. In my mind, this fact
destroys the credibility of the other claims.

[3] Application for search warrants
[4] KMBC-TV Kansas City November 11, 2009
[12] Search Warrant Seizures;

/                                                                    \
|                          Don't Miss This!                          |
|                                                                    |
| Read the interesting insights of retractor Jeanette Bartha in an   |
| online interview. See:                                             |
|     |
| with-psychiatric-abuse-victim-jeannette-bartha                     |

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

             From Our Holiday Mail -- Update from Friends

My husband and I were early members of the FMS Foundation when it was
first formed. My husband's sister accused his mother of sexual abuse
after attending months of "therapy" for depression provided by a
social worker using A Courage to Heal. Your support was valuable to us
as we tried to sort through the accusations that were tearing his
family apart. We attended a meeting organized by the Foundation and
the wonderful speakers there helped shed light on what we were going

I was so angry at this type of therapy that I went back to school to
obtain a masters degree in counseling. It has been my pleasure to work
for 11 years as a Crisis Counselor during which I took every
opportunity to educate people about false and repressed memories of

I'm enclosing newspaper articles about several men in Missouri who
have been accused. Once you are educated about FMS, your antennae
never go down and the stories just don't seem right. They remind me of
the Wenatchee, Washington sexual abuse hysteria back in the mid
1990s. Some of the men had asked for public defenders but were told
that they did not qualify, possibly because they own farms. I remember
meeting a farmer and his wife at one of the FMSF meetings I attended
who told me about having to sell their farm and house to raise money
for bail and defense. The man spent some time in jail before he was
declared innocent. Their story was very sad - but aren't all our
                                                                 A mom
                         Just Enjoying Today
After 15 years of separation, it's been over three years now that we
have been back with our daughter. We are in contact weekly and get
together for lunch or dinner at least twice a month. She always wants
to be included in family gatherings and has even gone camping for the
past two years in Glacier National Park with her cousins.

We have not talked about the past -- We are just enjoying today.
Thanks to FMSF for being there.
                                                         A mom and dad
                      Courage to Keep on Living
You are my friends, truly, for when at the nadir of my life, you
rescued me. It was your positive approach to life, coupled with my
religion that sustained me.

After the bombshell fell, and from one of my very own children, for
days I lived in a trance, reflecting on my life, my manhood, my
sanity. I was doubtful of all that I had been: a teacher, musician,
father, protector and guide to children, business executive, respected
member of Knights of Columbus, my church, and family.

Then, in 1992, I read about the new organization, FMSF that had been
founded in Philadelphia specifically to return some sanity to the
world that had gone berserk about decades old child molestation.

I felt that I had a friend who understood my dilemma. Almost
immediately, I found the courage to attack my problem. After the first
meeting of the local FMS group, I knew exactly what to do.

My Catholic upbringing taught me "examination of conscience." I truly
reviewed every second, every possible occasion that could have caused
my child to make such a horrible accusation. I could find nothing. I
then knew that I had no reason to feel any guilt about my behavior and
I felt secure in my innocence. I found both courage and a renewed
optimism in life.

At the next FMSF meeting, I gave a strong speech relating to my
"adventure." Afterward, more than 20 people came to me to tell me that
they also found that with innocence comes the courage to keep on
living, to forgive their children, to continue to love them, and to
hope that someday the accusers may themselves find peace and the
courage to reconcile.
                                                              A father
                         No Happy Ending Yet
In 1998, our daughter accused her father of abuse in her therapist's
office. In 2009, he wanted to see her so he went to her home and
knocked on the door. Her husband answered and told him to wait in the
car. A little while later our daughter came out swinging a Bible and
saying hurtful things. It was terribly sad.

We were always so proud of this daughter who now has two children we
have never seen. Someday I know I will phone you with the great news
of our daughter's return. Until then, we will continue to wait to hear
again her laughter, encouragement and long talks.
                                                            A sad mom 
                           Wanting to Talk
In the last FMSF Newsletter, a "Mom" asked if there was a way the
Foundation could assist with conciliation -- negotiation between cast
off parents and wrong-thinking accusers. The editorial answer was "no"
because the accusers must communicate to allow this. Regrettably, this
is true. However, we understand the motivation of the "mom." Most of
the newsletter deals with academic questions and ongoing research,
which is great, but parents are desperately looking for a way to get
their children back.

It might help both my family and the "Mom" if we could communicate.
Perhaps you could forward this letter to her and see if she would like
to email us. My wife is the person accused and she would like to talk
to others mothers who have been accused. If there are readers who are
interested in doing this, our email is
                                                       A searching dad

*                           N O T I C E S                            *
*                                                                    *
*            S O M E   B O O K S   O F   I N T E R E S T             *
*                                                                    *
*                       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                             *
*                                                                    *
*                            Karl Sabbagh                            *
*                   Oxford University Press (2009)                   *

*                     MAKING  MIND  and  MADNESS                     *
*                    From Hysteria to Depression                     *
*                Chapter 3: "A Black Box Named Sybil"                *
*                       Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen                        *
*                     Cambridge University Press                     *
*                                2009                                *
*                                                                    *
*              TRY TO REMEMBER: PSYCHIATRY'S CLASH                   *
*                 OVER MEANING, MEMORY, AND MIND                     *
*                       Paul McHugh, M.D.                            *
*                   Washington, DC: Dana Press                       *
*                                                                    *
*                                                                    *
* 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                *
*                                                                    *
*                      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                             *
*                                                                    *
*                       *
*                Matt Stone's website about Australia                *
*                                                                    *
*                                           *
*                    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                  *
                F M S    B U L L E T I N    B O A R D

Contacts & Meetings :

  See Georgia
  Kathleen 907-333-5248
    Pat 480-396-9420
  Little Rock
    Al & Lela 870-363-4368
    Jocelyn 530-570-1862 
  San Francisco & North Bay
    Charles 415-435-9618 
  San Francisco & South Bay 
    Eric 408-738-0469
  East Bay Area
    Judy 925-952-4853
  Central Orange County
    Chris & Alan 949-733-2925
  Covina Area 
    Floyd & Libby 626-357-2750
  Colorado Springs
    Doris 719-488-9738
Central Florida - Please call for mtg. time
   John & Nancy 352-750-5446
    Wallie & Jill 770-971-8917
  Chicago & Suburbs - 1st Sun. (MO)
    Eileen 847-985-7693 or Liz 847-827-1056
  Indiana Assn. for Responsible Mental Health Practices
    Pat 317-865-8913 & Helen 574-753-2779
  Wichita -- Meeting as called
    Pat 785-762-2825
   Sarah 337-235-7656
  Portland -- 4th Sun. (MO)
    Bobby 207-878-9812
   Carol 410-465-6555
  Andover -- 2nd Sun. (MO) @ 1pm
    Frank 978-263-9795
  Greater Detroit Area
    Nancy 248-642-8077
  Terry & Collette 507-642-3630
  Dan & Joan 651-631-2247
  Springfield -- Quarterly (4th Sat. of Apr.,
                 Jul., Oct., Jan.) @12:30pm
    Tom 417-753-4878 & Roxie 417-781-2058
  Lee & Avone 406-443-3189 
  Jean 603-772-2269 & Mark 802-872-0847
  Sally 609-927-4147 (Southern)
  Albuquerque -- 2nd Sat. (BI-MO) @1 pm 
    Southwest Room -Presbyterian Hospital
    Maggie 505-662-7521(after 6:30pm) or Sy 505-758-0726
  Upstate/Albany Area
    Elaine 518-399-5749
  Susan 704-538-7202
    Bob & Carole 440-356-4544
  Oklahoma City
    Dee 405-942-0531 
  Portland area
    Kathy 503-655-1587
  Wayne (includes S. NJ)
    Jim & Jo 610-783-0396
    Jo or Beverly 713-464-8970
  El Paso
    Mary Lou 915-595-2966
  Keith 801-467-0669
  See Oregon
  Katie & Leo 414-476-0285 or
  Susanne & John 608-427-3686

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

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

PAMELA FREYD, Ph.D., Executive Director

FMSF Scientific and Professional Advisory Board,      January 1, 2010

AARON T. BECK, M.D., D.M.S., U of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA;
TERENCE W. CAMPBELL, Ph.D., Clinical and Forensic Psychology, 
    Sterling Heights, MI;
ROSALIND CARTWRIGHT, Ph.D., Rush Presbyterian St. Luke's Medical
    Center, Chicago, IL;
JEAN CHAPMAN, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI;
LOREN CHAPMAN, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI;
FREDERICK C. CREWS, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, CA;
ROBYN M. DAWES, Ph.D., Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA;
DAVID F. DINGES, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA;
HENRY C. ELLIS, Ph.D., University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM;
FRED H. FRANKEL, MBChB, DPM, Harvard University Medical School;
GEORGE K. GANAWAY, M.D., Emory University of Medicine, Atlanta, GA;
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.
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