Expert Evidence on Recovered Memory in Historic Child Sexual Abuse Cases

Due process and the admission of expert evidence on recovered memory in historic child sexual abuse cases: lessons from America, International Journal of Evidence and Proof, 16(1), 66-92 (2012).

Sinead Ring, LL.M., of National University of Ireland, Galway School of Law,

abstract:

This article reviews the decisions of the US state courts on the admissibility of expert testimony on recovered memory in historic child sexual abuse prosecutions. Unlike their English and Irish counterparts, most US courts scrutinise the reliability of expert evidence on recovered memory. In examining the US decisions the article explores the challenges posed to the criminal process by the contested scientific status of recovered memory theory. It sets out due process arguments why expert evidence on the topic should not be admitted in a criminal trial.

 

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9 Comments

  1. Altus

     /  05/16/2012

    Anonymous, you seem to have some insight into this diagnosis. I had read that certain insurance companies question the DID diagnosis. Have you heard anything about this? The PTSD diagnosis seems to get less scrutiny. The sad thing is, this kind of therapy can give a patient PTSD by submerging them in an alternate hell for years at at time, focusing on a “trauma” that has no corroboration in life events, but becomes as real, if not more so, as any other memory over time. What a way to create a revenue stream, give someone PTSD and then treat them for it…uggh.

    I do find it interesting that so many trauma therapists embrace therapies considered to be based on pseudoscience like EMDR and cranial sacral stuff. Why not real CBT or ACT which focus on the goals and going forward? It just seems any therapy that pokes around and opens the door to dwelling on the hells of the past, often at ages the mind would have no vivid detail, like IFS, DID, etc. gets embraced .

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    • It’s true that many trauma therapies are based on pseudoscience. I’d love to know what codes and diagnosis they use to get paid. PTSD, Borderline Personality Disorder, & Eating Disorders are my guesses.

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  2. Anonymous

     /  05/16/2012

    Jeanette – why does your friend think “it’s over?” I’m curious, as the signs continue to be everywhere – world wide – one being the showcase of yet another multiple featured on Dr. Phil during May broadcast ratings sweeps.

    I’ve talked to journalists in Australia, Japan, France, Brazil and Spain who report rapid growth in recovered memory therapy, accompanied of course, by multiple personalities. They turn to the US for insight on how memory truly works, how to spot problematic practices and what to do with the patients who have been or or being harmed.

    It would seem the largest majority of combined knowledge here, is the savvy it took to repackage “MPD” with aa more plausible / wider spectrum disorder via new name (DID.) This enabled the former to cleverly shed its former association’s bad press. Many practitioners have dropped using the DID diagnosis altogether, preferring psychological excavating for hidden trauma, histories of transgenerational satanic ritual abuse and buried alters under the vast diagnostic blanket of Post Trauma Stress Disorder.

    The court who recently awarded a victim (yet another horrendous case) of malpractice a monumental sum of over 16 million dollars has the right idea. No tiny slap to the wrist for systematically ruining patients and their families by providing harmful therapy. Bankrupt each and every practitioner who continues utilizing known suggestive and harmful techniques. Insurance companies should flag accounts of treatment providers who appear to be building a huge clientele, using the same billing codes while increasing billable hours per patient. This information would then be used for medical licensing board submissions to investigate the parties involved, deny coverage and apply substantial disciplinary actions carrying stiff monetary penalties.

    This will most undoubtedly cause a major uproar – there are many, many multiples who have become highly dysfunctional, understandably addicted to their diagnosis, fiercely protective of their ‘savior’ therapists and convinced that any effort to clean this situation up is being master-minded by black hooded dark figures, pr pedophiles and their accomplices…

    Sad to say, the industry of treating bizarre, deeply embedded, ongoing, never-ending chaotic, and often suicidal (manufactured) patients is a lucrative business. Take a look at the luxurious Castlewood Treatment Centers if you have any doubt. Look up “Dr” Jerry Mungadze’s cash cow – Heisman trophy winner, former Cowboy’s player Hershel Walker-gone-multiple… University Behavioral Health of Denton, private freestanding psychiatric hospital, added a wing in Walker’s honor (with the book tour money no doubt) to treat DID. The devastating mental, emotional, health and financial toll that recovered memory therapy has taken upon an unfathomable amount of people is the APA’s best kept secret.

    It’s over? No, in fact, the madness continues to escalate with no end in sight.

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    • Hello Anonymous,

      Well you are talking to the choir here! lol

      I agree that changing the name of multiple personality disorder to dissociative identity disorder was necessary for the Psychology Industry to attempt to restore their credibility. It was a smart move and over several years actually worked. That is the main reason I continue to call it what it is – multiple personality disorder. They didn’t restore credibility but managed to divert attention away from the harm MPD therapy was doing and all the lawsuits that were filed. The general public doesn’t know this.

      I’m with you on the insurance companies. They paid an enormous sum for my repressed memory treatment. Hundreds of thousands of dollars – and I had 100% coverage at the time. I was discharged 2 weeks after the insurance dried up. Hum.

      What I find distressing is the increasing number of teenagers tampering with this pseudo-illness. They have no idea what harm can come them. They find forums and message boards and as time passes, they get more and more symptoms, become less functional, and pathologize their lives instead of realizing that their mood swings are usually normal for their age.

      Another thing I don’t understand is why some of these psychotherapists are not in jail. In Colorado Connell Watkins and Julie Ponder, the therapists who killed 10 year-old Candace Newmaker during rebirthing therapy were given prison sentences – but only because in Colorado, there is a mandatory sentence with a minimum of 16 years for child abuse resulting in death. But for that law, the judge would have let them walk. I know this because I was present in court for most of the trial.

      My former psychiatrist should have done prison time. Some of the treatment he did to me is against the Geneva Conventions regarding the treatment of prisoners. I was given intravenous truth serum interviews, sequestered for long periods of time, not provided with proper nutrition, and above all my physical and mental health deteriorated to where I could not eat solid food or care for myself properly. His behavior was criminal.

      People seeking mental health care don’t know how they should be treated, they are scared, vulnerable, and don’t ask questions like they do with medical doctors.

      Appreciate your comments.

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  3. Altus

     /  05/15/2012

    Whoops…sent the first one from a different account window I had open that was not registered and wasn’t sure it went through, so I sent the second one thru the regular account. Sorry for the double post. Nah, I don’t think it’s over at all. Parts therapy that pokes around for past “trauma” is very popular from what I am reading…it just begs for confabulation. Would be great to get a few courses in real memory science and critical thinking into these social work curriculums.

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    • Interesting point about social worker’s education. I wonder if they are required to have scientific training – somehow I doubt it. I would assume that critical thinking is absent without science requirements. Perhaps it’s assumed that they already are critical thinkers.

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  4. Altus

     /  05/15/2012

    Jeannette,

    Clicked a link in something Doug sent and found this. Don’t know if your familiar with this blog…she is from the UK but was living in SD when it happened. Bears an unsettling resemblance to your story. Starts with depression and ends with a horror story.

    http://memorydistortion.synthasite.com/stories-of-hope.php

    And a more recent story http://www.centredaily.com/2012/02/17/3093608/jury-awards-165-million.html

    So much for this being a part of the past. Of note from the article:

    “He stripped her down and took her life’s history. You all have your past. You all have your memories. No one has a right to take your life’s history and turn it into a horror story.”

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  5. Anonymous

     /  05/15/2012

    Jeannette,

    Don’t know if you are familiar with this blog. The story sounds strikingly similar…a woman goes into the hospital for depression and ends up getting sucked into a horrible vortex of distorted reality. She is from the UK but was living in SD when it happened.

    http://memorydistortion.synthasite.com/stories-of-hope.php

    and yet another more recent story http://www.centredaily.com/2012/02/17/3093608/jury-awards-165-million.html

    So much for it being a thing of “the past.”

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    • Wow! Thank you.

      Today I talked to an old friend of mine. She said, “it’s over”. Others say that too. I know that dissociative identity disorder therapy is still running rampant and that many women are still being diagnosed and living the multiple lifestyle where their mental and physical health deteriorates.

      I believe what happened is that therapists are using the diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder and Eating Disorders to keep under the radar and it’s working. That is what my former art therapist is doing. It’s quite elementary, Dear Watson. Treat eating disorders that are sometimes related to trauma + dissociation = multiple personalities. If you look into some of these therapy websites, they sometimes mention dissociative identity disorder or simply take a safer route and say they treat dissociative disorders.

      Perhaps one needs to be plugged into a different stream to see and know what is going on in that facet of psychotherapy. I don’t know. My friend is a retired social worker and very plugged in.

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