False Memory Syndrome Foundation Newsletter [email version] Summer 2011 Vol. 20 No. 3

False Memory Syndrome Foundation Newsletter currentnewsletter.pdf

The following are topics and articles included in this newsletter:

From the reference section to “Dear Friends” by Pamela Freyd

Pope, H. & Hudson, J. (1995). Can memories of childhood sexual abuse be repressed? Psychological Medicine, 25, 121-126 See http://www.fmsfonline.org/pope95.html.


Sidebar: “Some therapists claim to be able to ‘recover’ repressed memories of childhood traumas, but the field fell into disrepute in the 1980s when some unscrupulous therapists were found to be planting false memories of incest and child abuse.”                         |
Beck, M. (2011, May 31) Blanks for the memories. Wall Street Journal


Criticism by FMSF staff:


Myths about “repressed memories” continue to be spread by some therapists. Last month, a reader directed us to The Handbook: The Supplementary Guide to The Miracle Child Parenting Series: The Causal Series (2009) by Faye Snyder, PsyD. According to the handbook, its contents are “the notes that a student might jot down” as Snyder lectures. That way the student “can simply listen and grasp the main concepts while in class.”



To demonstrate dissociative amnesia:   Investigators should interview and follow-up people who experience a well-documented trauma. …..In such a study, if many individuals still deny memories at a clarification interview, we would have persuasive evidence of the possibility of dissociative amnesia. But until studies meeting these criteria    appear, dissociative amnesia remains unproven.

Pope, H.G., Hudson, J.I., Bodkin, A., Oliva, P. (1998)
Questionable validity of ‘dissociative amnesia’ in trauma victims: Evidence from prospective studies. British Journal of Psychiatry, 172, 210-215



2.04 Bases for Scientific and Professional Judgments

Psychologists’ work is based upon established scientific and professional knowledge of the discipline.


Reprint of:

         Psychologist, Spiritual Counselor and “Soul Surgeon”
Settle Case with Former Patient
Lackey v. DePaoli, Earl and NW Family Ministries,
Case No 0201-00733 filed Feb., 2002 and Lackey v. Baker and Lacey.
Case No. 0303-03121, filed Feb. 2001 Circuit Ct. Multnomah, County, OR
by Michael Shinn, Esq.

This case shares similarities with many other false memory syndrome cases reported in the FMSF newsletter over the years. However, it features what may be a unique distinction: the therapists asserted that Dr. Joseph Mengele, the notorious medical “experimenter” at Auschwitz, is the founder of Multiple Personality Disorder in America, and that he helped develop satanic rituals for the Masonic Temple which Masons use to this day.”… See newsletter for full article.

Excerpts from Diane Lackey Brooks’ (the plaintiff) Recent Letter:

I learned from the FMSF Newsletter that most of the recovered-memory cases now come through church counseling. That got my attention. I was pulled into the bizarre world of false memories through church counseling, and I am willing to do most anything to stop it from happening to others. I am angered that some churches think that they can do whatever they want because they are “spiritual counselors” and are not bound by secular law.


Edelson, M., Sharot, Tl, Dolan, R.J., Dudai, Y. (2011, July 1)
Following the crowd: Brain substrates of long-term memory conformity.
Science, 333 (6038) 108-111.

New research by Micah Edelson and colleagues shows that social pressure can influence the development of false memories. See newsletter for full article.


Oregon lawsuit brought by Stephen Skotko against spiritual counselor Marion Knox. Skotko believes that Knox was responsible for the fact that his children
accused him of sexual abuse and his subsequent arrest. …


There are now five different families in which Marion Knox’s practices appear to have caused damage. …

“Who is Marion Knox?”

“Can Marion Knox be held accountable?”

See newsletter for full article.


Sidebar:  Carol Tavris, Beware the Incest-Survivor Machine (1993)


                                    NEW BOOK OF INTEREST

The Pain Virus: True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear. by Seth Mnookin

Seth Mnookin set out to understand how people can continue to hold beliefs that are contradicted by very clear science results.


Sidebar:  “A man with a conviction is a hard man to change. …”

Festinger (1955), When Prophecy Fails


L E G A L   C O R N E R
FMSF Staff
Minnesota Appeal Court Rules Experts
May Testify about Repressed Memories
Doe 76C v Archdiocese of St Paul No 62-C9-06-3962 MN Ct of Appeals
A10-1951, Ramsey County District Court No 62-C9-06-3962, Filed June
27, 2011 Opinion available at: http://www.mncourts.gov/opinions/coa/

A three-judge panel of the Minnesota Appeal Court has ruled that experts may testify about repressed memories in Minnesota. The unanimous panel said that the Frye-Mack standard does not govern the admissibility of expert testimony about the repressed-memory theory in an action based on claims of child sexual abuse.” See Newsletter for full story.


Sidebar: “Psychiatrists are advised to avoid engaging in any “memory       recovery techniques” which are based upon the expectation of past sexual abuse of which the patient has no memory. … There is no evidence that the use of consciousness-altering techniques, .. are of unproved effectiveness.”                                                     |
Royal College of Psychiatrists
Reported Recovered Memories of Child Sexual Abuse, 1997 (UK)



In January 2011, Julian Wendrow and his wife Thal of West Bloomfield, a suburb of Detroit, received a $1.8 million settlement from the town for the ordeal they experienced in connection with their being accused of sexually abusing their daughter. [1] See Newsletter for full article.



Not only is there a question about the accuracy of a subject’s recollection during hypnosis, but there is also the problem that hypnosis leads to an increased vulnerability to subtle cues and implicit suggestions that may distort recollections in specific ways, depending upon what is communicated to the subject. Both the expectations of the hypnotist and the prior beliefs of the subject may determine the extent of confabulations or pseudomemories during hypnosis. …
Before proceeding with hypnosis, informed consent should be obtained from the subject.

American Medical Association, Council on Scientific Affairs, Scientific Status of Refreshing Recollections by the Use of Hypnosis. 1985


Survivor Doe, et al v Gerald Robinson et al, Ohio Sixth Appellate
Court, Lucas County, No L-07-1051, Trial Court No. CI 200502755

In April 2011, the Ohio Supreme Court in a 6-0 decision, refused to hear the appeal of a woman who was suing Reverend Gerald Robinson for past sexual abuse. See Newsletter for full story.




Textual Analysis of a Recovered Memory Trial,  Assisted by Computer Search for Keywords   Max Scharnberg
Free download at: http://www.yakida.se/max/start.html

Anyone interested in knowing what is happening in other countries in child abuse cases gone awry will likely want to read about the Swedish case that is examined in this book Others may find the  author’s textual analysis technique for trying to determine the truth to be of interest.


The Ravages of False Memory  by  Brigitte Axelrod                                             Translated into English by Robert Shaw for the British False Memory Society.

The aim of this book is to provide clear and informative answers for patients, families, professionals and lawyers who have questions about so-called recovered memory therapies and their destructive consequences for all those who are victims of them.
Brigitte Axelrad is Honorary Professor of Philosophy and Psychosociology at Stendhal University, Grenoble.

Ravages of False Memory is available at:


PAMELA FREYD, Ph.D., Executive Director

FMSF Scientific and Professional Advisory Board,          July 1, 2011

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;
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:

MARTIN GARDNER, Author, Hendersonville, NC;
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.

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