http://www.thisisby.us/index.php/conten ... foundation
The False Memory Syndrome Foundation
More drama than a Jerry Springer marathon! More lies than a Senate hearing!
oakling by oakling
Aug. 24, 2007
"The FMSF supports parents who say the accusations by their adult children of childhood sexual abuse are false. These parents are typically aged 50s, 60s and 70s. Their accusers are adults who, for one reason or another, have met unbearable emotional pain and insurmountable difficulties in adult relationships - at work, socially or at home - and have sought to relieve the burden of their memories." - Survivors of Swindon
A punchy enough quote. But a brief review of the background and personalities involved with the Foundation is enough to suggest that instead, this article should read:
The False Memory Syndrome Foundation was started in the United States in 1992, by parents whose children had come out about being sexually abused.
At least, that is the most neutral way to describe them.
As will be explained here, they are an organization which acts to discredit survivors of child abuse, founded and staffed largely by abusers.
On their website, they say their goals are:
* "to seek the reasons for the spread of FMS that is so devastating families,
* "to work for ways to prevent it,
* "to aid those who were affected by it and to bring their families into reconciliation."
It is crucial to understand, above all, that False Memory Syndrome, or "FMS," is not a communicable disease. It is not a valid syndrome at all, in fact. It is not recognized as such by any part of the medical community, and it does not qualify as a "syndrome" in the first place. It is a term made up by those accused of sexual abuse to shame and discredit survivors. The False Memory Syndrome Foundation, in short, invented this condition and then devoted itself to stopping its imaginary spread and healing its victims.
"Since 1995, I have become aware of the parallel between the intimidation and silencing in the microcosm of the abusive family and in the macrocosm of a society that is ill at ease in dealing with the abuse of children. During my childhood my father protected himself from being held accountable by threatening me into silence. I believe that published documents demonstrate how some members and supporters of false memory groups publish false statements that defame and intimidate victims of proven violence and their supporters. Such altered accounts are used to discredit others in court and in the press." - Jennifer Hoult
Their website is heavy on their history and theories, but extremely light on their actual actions. All they will say is that "the FMS Foundation has played a role as a clearinghouse of information and as a catalyst for discussion and research about the specific claims that have formed the basis of the debate in the areas of memory, social influence and therapeutic practice."
One of the FMSF's main activities is the filing of amicus briefs -- that is, unsolicited opinions -- in court cases relating to child abuse.
Between 1995 and 1998, the FMSF filed thirteen such briefs in the United States, mainly to appellate courts and once to a Court of Appeals.
They have also attacked therapists around the country. One of their tactics seems to be to sue therapists who treat survivors of ritual abuse, suing them for anything from trivial legal loopholes to alleged malpractice.
Primarily, however, they have acted as media boosters. From the beginning, the FMSF has pushed people to take their angry stories to the media, to talk shows as well as reporters. They have the benefit of a star-studded base of supporters: they have recruited many psychologists, lawyers, and government figures to their ranks. Their psychologists are often discredited, and their government connections are largely to the scarier parts of the CIA... but that just adds to the fun of it!
As Mike Stanton writes in the Columbia Journalism Review, "A  study published by a University of Michigan sociologist, Katherine Beckett, found a sharp shift in how four leading magazines -- Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, and People -- treated sexual abuse. In 1991, more than 80 percent of the coverage was weighted toward stories of survivors, with recovered memory taken for granted and questionable therapy virtually ignored. By 1994, more than 80 percent of the coverage focused on false accusations, often involving supposedly false memory. Beckett credited the False Memory Syndrome Foundation with a major role in the change."
Child Rights Watch puts it in a more damning nutshell: "A legitimising barrage of stories in the press has shaped public opinion and warmed the clime for defence attorneys. The concept of false memory serves the same purpose as Holocaust denial. It shapes opinion. Unconscionable crimes are obstructed, the accused is endowed with the status of martyr, the victim is reviled."
One of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation's main claims is that they simply promote the most recent scientific findings on memory. This is made easier for them by their Scientific Advisory Board, which includes such stellar figures as... well, actually, everyone discussed below except the Loftus couple.
Oddly enough, the scientific research produced by these people, and still promoted by the FMSF, has been thoroughly discredited.
For example, Board member Elizabeth Loftus is possibly the most vocal, visible, and quoted member of their organization. She produced the ground-breaking study entitled "Lost In the Mall: Misrepresentations and misunderstandings," wherein she presented twenty-four adults with four possible childhood experiences.
The experiences were presented as short written anecdotes, and culled from the subjects' relatives. The false story in each case featured the subject getting lost in a shopping mall as a child. Loftus asked the relatives to provide similar stories about childhood shopping trips. The subjects were asked to write anything they remembered about each experience, or to write that they did not remember the experience.
According to her study, six thought they remembered at least part of the one that never happened. One to two weeks later, the subjects were interviewed again. This time they were told that one of the stories had been false, and asked to identify which one. Nineteen correctly chose the shopping mall story; five did not. It is not clear whether those five students were part of the previous group of six.
Researchers Lynn Crook and Martha Dean have written several articles critiquing (among other things) the ethical and methodological issues involved with Loftus' study. However, even if her study had been airtight, it has very little relevance to the question of whether repressed memories are false.
Because a repressed memory of something traumatic which is unlike anything the family thinks happened does not have a whole lot of similarity to six out of twenty-four adults thinking they remember all of several similar childhood stories.
That is, repressed memories are generally of scary, threatening experiences. They are very different from what we convinced ourselves our childhood looked like. Loftus' study, and every other study I have seen which supported her findings, focuses entirely on seeing if it is possible to convince people that something happened to them which is very much like other things that they, and the researchers, know happened.
By way of example, a 1995 study by K. Pezdek and C. Roe entitled "The effect of memory trace strength on suggestibility" found that three of twenty subjects falsely recalled getting lost in (again) a shopping mall, but none recalled getting a painful enema.
And in a review of "Memory, Trauma Treatment, and the Law," (1998) attorney Helen L. McGonigle describes how the authors undertook a detailed review of thirty studies of memory and child sexual abuse, and found that "while base rates varied, the average rate of full amnesia across all thirty studies was found to be approximately 29.6%." That means that these studies consistently found that almost thirty percent of subjects had completely repressed the memory of the abuse; that's not even counting the many people who remembered only part of what happened to them. The authors also found that "the gist of recovered memories is generally accurate although perhaps not the insignificant, peripheral details."
Sidran Press, which publishes information on trauma, dissociation, and post-traumatic stress disorder, has a chart explaining the factors that affect whether a memory of trauma stays in conscious memory or is repressed:
Continuous Memory versus Dissociation/Amnesia
Single traumatic event | Multi-event (repetitive)
Natural or accidental cause | Deliberate human cause
Adult victim | Child victim
Validation and support | Denial and secrecy
Like a lot of information from Sidran Press, it is not true for everyone. But it is a good basic explanation of current findings in memory and trauma research.
So Who Are These People, Anyway?
The following does not represent their entire board or organization by any means; it's just a quick wander through their biggest names from the past ten years.
Peter and Pamela Freyd: Executive Directors, Co-Founders.
"I am the only one who speaks for the Foundation." (Pamela Freyd, in an interview with Treating Abuse Today)
In many ways, the entire battle of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation comes off as a family feud carried out to bombastic extremes.
Executive directors Peter and Pamela Freyd, upon being confronted by their daughter Jennifer Freyd (a professor of psychology) on their child abuse and rape, came up with a strange response. First, they published the accusations publicly and anonymously in Underwager and Wakefield's journal (see below), including what Peter would later admit were lies about their child's sanity and about what happened; then the four of them started the False Memory Syndrome Foundation.
Peter Freyd apparently told everyone that Jennifer was "brain damaged," and acknowledged to her later that in their public account of what happened, "tell the truth or make your lies more interesting|fictional elements were deliberately inserted." For her part, Jennifer Freyd has commented that "My family of origin was troubled in many observable ways. I refer to the things that were never 'forgotten' and 'recovered,' but to things that we all knew about.... during my childhood, my father sometimes discussed his own experiences of being sexually abused as an 11 year-old boy, and called himself a 'kept boy.'"
Jennifer's recovery of these memories took place without hypnosis or "recovered memory therapy." Nevertheless, the Foundation focuses on these two techniques and frequently claims that they are the cause of all recovered memories, and that all such memories are false. In fact, just as there is no such medical condition as "False Memory Syndrome," there is also no such therapy as "Recovered Memory Therapy."
During an interview in Treating Abuse Today, Pamela Freyd was repeatedly asked to define "False Memory Syndrome" and could not. The interviewer finally gave up and asked her how she could call it "False Memory Syndrome" without any evidence as to whether the memories were false. The only response she can give is, "People can ask just as clearly, how does one know they are not?" In fact, she did not even know what dissociation was, which begs the question: How can she try to speak on a national level about repressed memory without knowing what dissociation is or how it works?
She often attacks apparently-feminist organizations fighting child abuse by calling them "lesbians." It is not clear how this supports her argument. As for her own side: in a 1992 issue of the Foundation's newsletter, Pamela explained how they knew the group's members, and those it supports, were not child molesters."We are a good-looking bunch of people, greying hair, well dressed, healthy, smiling; just about every person who has attended is someone you would surely find interesting and want to count as a friend."
Well, that certainly clears that up. Thank God for Pamela Freyd!
As for Peter.... Psychologist and researcher Kathleen Sullivan has some keen observations. She writes, "What I find ironic is that Pamela Freyd and her cohorts proved the FMSF's connection to the CIA by how quickly they gained solid support from a host of former CIA contractors, starting with Martin Orne. Pamela also failed to mention that her husband, Peter Freyd, was involved in human experimentation.... A minimum of 29% of the advisory board members (of the FMSF, as of June 2002) were employed by universities and hospitals that, according to CIA records, were involved in human experimentation. There are other members who have been employed in the past, and there probably are other involved facilities that we do not have records on."
Which brings us to another quality member of the FMSF.
Harold Lief: Psychiatrist, CIA Researcher, Original Board Member.
And, inexplicably, Pamela Freyd's psychiatrist. Some people might call that a conflict of interest. Apparently not Doctor Lief!
Lief is a former colleague of Martin Orne's (a now-deceased board member; see below), having consulted with him in his work on "hypnotic programming" from the late 1960s on. Orne was a psychiatrist financed by the CIA to work on "the elicitation of 'anti-social' behaviour, dissolving memory and other mind-subduing techniques."
In fact, Harold Lief worked on many disturbing CIA projects. Dr. Colin Ross recounts one of his lesser connections: "[Robert Heath] did brain electrode implant research for the CIA and he would put brain electrodes in human brains for non-therapeutic purposes, and he would pour in psilocybin, mescaline, LSD, and other chemicals to see what would go tingle-tingle in the electrodes. And I will tell you more about that. He's funded by the CIA and the military. In one of his papers, he thanks Harold Lief for referring in one of his brain electrode implant research subjects."
It does not say much about what Lief himself did (or does now), but it does provide an illustration of the kind of work to which Lief and Orne have both been devoted.
In other words, the two of them are world-class specialists on the subject of trauma and repressed memory. They have dedicated their lives to these subjects. There are, hopefully, very few people who know more about the way that the human mind responds to extreme, inhumane, systemic, carefully planned trauma than Lief and Orne.
Although Ewen Cameron does come to mind.
Elizabeth Loftus: Former Psychologist, Professor, Board Member.
Loftus is probably the most often-referenced member of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation. They consider her to be an incredibly innovative and powerful researcher, and call her a "Renaissance Woman" on their website.
Renaissance Woman she may be, but her ethics as well as her psychological research have been repeatedly called into question. The False Memory Syndrome Facts website has pointed out that "Her misrepresentation of the facts in articles in Skeptical Inquirer and Psychology Today caused APA ethics complaints to be filed by Lynn Crook and Jennifer Hoult [plaintiffs who prevailed in civil cases in which Loftus testified]. However, in a slick maneuver, Loftus resigned her APA membership before the complaints could be investigated."
Run away, run away, and live to fight another day. Or, in Loftus' case, to violate ethical standards another day. In 1997, psychiatrist David Corwin published evidence of a genuine repressed and recovered memory in a journal called "Child Maltreatment." He did not name his client, calling her only "Jane Doe." Loftus hired a private investigator to figure out who Jane Doe really was and track her down. She then wrote her own article for the Skeptical Inquirer, challenging Corwin's findings; in her article, she included enough personal information that Jane Doe was easily identifiable. She also made presentations to professional organizations in which she discussed intimate details of Jane's life. Now Jane Doe is suing her, for libel as well as for using identifiable private information.
Meanwhile, Jane Doe had complained to the University of Washington (where Loftus worked) about the blatant violation of her privacy. The University investigated her work for almost two years, but ultimately decided that she had done nothing wrong. According to the Boston Globe: "The committee told her that she could no longer contact Jane Doe's mother, who had become a friend, without its permission. And that she should take an ethics class. Rather than submit to such indignities, Loftus departed in the fall of 2002 for a $155,000-a-year job at the University of California at Irvine. 'It was horrible,' she recalls. 'I left all my friends and a house I had lived in for 29 years.'"
Somewhat ironically, there was no need for Loftus to end up in such a storm of drama and misconduct. There have been many other studies done on corroborated recovered memories, usually using more than one person. In fact, there is an entire Recovered Memory Project at Brown University, which at the time of this writing has a database of one hundred and one corroborated recovered memories. (By 1998 it had forty-five cases, so while it may not have been up to one hundred and one in 2002, it was still a big resource.) The Project requires that all its cases "be identified with sufficient specificity to facilitate independent examination by others.... (and) be corroborated by at least one of the following sources: confession, guilty plea, or self-incriminatory statement; testimony from other victims (or from an eyewitness to the abuse), or corroborative documentary evidence that is vitally relevant to the charges at issue; (or) corroboration of significant circumstantial evidence."
Imagine how many lucrative job offers Loftus could go through if she stalked each of them!
Martin T. Orne: Psychiatrist, CIA Researcher involved in Project Monarch/MKULTRA, Board Member.
Orne was called by some the "shadow chairman" of this Foundation, and there is certainly something shadowy about him.
In "The Search for the Manchurian Candidate," John Marks states that according to CIA documents, Orne contributed a chapter to a book on "The Manipulation of Human Behavior" which was funded by the Society for the Investigation of Human Ecology, a CIA front. And, worse still, that Orne was involved in MKULTRA Subproject 84, one of their most-publicized forays into nonconsensual torture and experiments in mind control.
Furthermore, Orne spent many years at the University of Pennsylvania's Experimental Psychiatry Lab conducting human experiments to study the effects of over 16 biochemical warfare agents, the effectiveness of choking, blistering, and vomiting agents, toxins, poison gas, and various incapacitating chemicals. According to Toward Freedom, "During the same period, he also worked with the Cornell University-based Human Ecology Fund, sharing his findings with Dr. Ewen Cameron, who was then based at the McGill University Allen Institute in Montreal. At Human Ecology, electroshock, lobotomies, drugs, incapacitants, hypnosis, sleep deprivation, and radio control of the brain were all specialties of the house."
He is, by all accounts, a fairly notorious abuser, albeit one condoned and paid by the state. Why so much more is publicly known about his behavior than Lief's is not clear to me; it may be partly because Lief is still alive. Regardless, they are both quite a credit to the organization.
Ralph Underwager: Former Pastor, Former Psychologist, Co-Founder.
"The solution that I'm suggesting is that paedophiles become much more positive. They should directly attack the concept, the image, the picture of the paedophile as an evil, wicked, and reprehensible exploiter of children."
Underwager was once the director of the Institute of Psychological Therapies in Minnesota, but was forced to resign in 1993. He is married to Hollida Wakefield, and together they have written two books on this subject, been jointly interviewed in a Dutch pedophile magazine called Paidika, and published a journal for "child abuse skeptics" called "Issues in Child Abuse Allegations."
According to Child Rights Watch, FMSF founder Ralph Underwager told a group of British reporters in 1994 that "scientific evidence" proved that 60% of all women molested as children believed the experience was "good for them," and "in 1988, a trial court decision in New York State held that Dr. Underwager was 'not qualified to render opinion as to (whether) or not (the victim) was sexually molested.'"
In fact, that is only the tip of the iceberg as far as Underwager's history with the courts goes.
Let's turn on the television, shall we?
Here's an interesting program... an Australian episode of 60 Minutes which first aired there in 1990, two years before the FMSF was founded.
Dr. Anna Salter: Well, he is someone who makes his living going around the country and testifying against children in child sexual abuse cases. He says the same thing in essentially every case. Which is....
Reporter (voiceover): And Anna Salter knows what she's talking about. A Ph.D. from Harvard, and a Master's Degree in Early Childhood. She says young children can be believed.
Dr. Salter: This is consistent with the literature. If you look at what is the best legal textbook in the country today on children as witnesses, "Child Witness: Theory and Practice", John Meyers says clearly children as young as three can comprehend the duty to tell the truth.
Reporter: And this man is a highly respected legal scholar in America?
Dr. Salter: I think he's fairly clearly the chief leading scholar on child sexual abuse in the country.
Reporter: Six American states have given Dr. Salter a grant to check Underwager's methods in court. And what did she find?
Dr. Salter: That he isn't accurate. That what he says in court does not necessarily fairly represent the literature.
Reporter: He distorts the facts?
Dr. Salter: Uh, frequently. Sometimes he quotes specific studies, and he's frequently wrong about what the studies say.
Reporter: So we thought we'd get Dr. Salter to analyze the evidence Underwager gave under oath at the Mr. Bubbles hearing, where he testified his qualifications had never been questioned. But in an American case, the Swann case, this is what the courts said about Mr. Underwager.
Dr. Salter: The court remains convinced the psychologist did not have the qualifications to testify as a doctor. The trial court ruled that the psychologist's proposed testimony was not proper because there was no indication that the results of the doctor's work had been accepted in the scientific community.
Reporter: In the Mr. Bubbles case, he said his qualifications were never in question.... Now, the second incident, in the Mr. Bubbles case, was where Underwager said that 90 percent of accusations against child molesters are wrong. Now, is that backed up scientifically?
Dr. Salter: No, that's gobbledegook. I don't know of any study that would support that.
Reporter: This is Underwager's home base, Northfield, Minnesota. His so-called clinic is set on seventy acres of beautiful countryside. We arranged to meet him here to talk about his involvement in the Mr. Bubbles case. And, right on cue, Underwager presents his "evidence."
Underwager: Uh, there is a major German study that was done, and reported, in 1983 -- a major finding -- is that, for children who have been abused, the impact of adult behaviors toward actually abused children is more traumatic, and does more harm to the children than the abuse itself.
Reporter: Is that right?
Underwager: Yes. German . . .
Reporter: Uh, what report's this?
Underwager: Uh, it's (M.C.) Baurmann , 1983, in German it's, uh, "SexualitaÄt, Gewalt und psychische Folgen". Wiesbaden: Bundeskriminalamt, Forschungsreihe 15. (Sexuality, Violence, and Psychological Consequences)
Reporter: And what did Baurmann really say?
Dr. Salter: Well, I'm afraid what he said was, of the reported sexual contacts, half of the sexual victims claimed the sexual act itself to be the main cause of injury; one-third, the behavior of the suspect; and one-tenth each, the behavior of relatives, friends, or the police. In other words, instead of saying that the majority of children were harmed by the system, they said that it was a very small minority. (Editorial note: Compare this to Wakefield's comments on pedophila, below. See a trend?)
Reporter: Mr. Underwager, I have the Baurmann report in front of me.
Underwager: Yes sir.
Reporter: It's directly opposite to what you just said.
Underwager: No, I don't believe it is at all. I'm saying, I didn't say that that's what happens in every case.
Reporter: No, but you said the majority of cases.
Underwager: No, I don't believe I did.
Reporter: Over the past couple of years, courts across America have begun saying "No" to Underwager. That his "expert evidence" is unreliable. Two recent cases here in New York said just that. But even more damning was a case last year, the Hudy case (New York, May 1989).
Peters: It was the court's observation that Dr. Underwager's testimony was based on inadequate research, and his preparation was inadequate, and therefore lacking in sound foundation.
Reporter: Again, damning.
So: we add to their ranks a man who isn't even allowed to testify anymore in many states because he is notorious for making up evidence; who has dedicated his life to testifying against alleged victims of sexual abuse, who he doesn't even know, with the evidence he makes up; who was this thoroughly discredited before the False Memory Syndrome Foundation began, and who still produces arguments for them before various courts; and who, of course, helped create the entire organization.
And then there's his partner in crime....
Hollida Wakefield: Psychologist, Co-Founder.
A writer and editor working with husband Ralph Underwager. In their joint interview with Paidika, she explained her belief that it is not sexual abuse which hurts a child, but society's disapproval: that, in fact, if society would just lay off those poor pedophiles, there could be no harm done to the child. "The problem, as I would state it, is that in the United States, paedophilia is viewed so negatively that I think the possibility of harming the young man would be very real. I don't know if a positive model is possible in the United States. The climate is such in the United States that it would be very, very difficult for a paedophile, even with the most idealistic of motives and aspirations, to make his relationship actually work in practice. Even if the boy at some point viewed it as positive, after coming into contact with the way the society as a whole viewed it, the very real danger would be created of making the experience harmful."
Why didn't the rest of us think of that? Don't stop having sex with children - which is rape no matter what, by the way, because children don't have the developmental ability or knowledge required to be able to give informed consent about sexual acts - don't stop doing any of that at all! Just redefine it and make sure everyone tells kids it's great! They won't be harmed at all!
This is the kind of brilliant logic about the effects of child abuse that you can get from your local chapter of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation.
Interestingly, after that interview, Underwager left the organization, and I've repeatedly heard it implied that he was forced to leave. But Wakefield is still serving on their board.
Four and a Half Years of Struggle Against Lies, Stupidity and Cowardice
That was the original title Adolf Hitler chose for Mein Kampf; it might just as well be the wail of the FMSF Board, trying to understand why they are so maligned by survivor and pro-survivor communities.
In Treating Abuse Today, nurse Stephanie J. Dallam writes:
"...The FMSF's 2,056 unsubstantiated reports of 'false memory' must be understood in relation to the estimated millions of cases of sexual abuse and subsequent traumatic amnesia in our society. Rather than demonstrating an epidemic of false memories, the statistics provided by the FMSF demonstrate just the opposite: In spite of heavy media coverage, relatively few families have contacted or joined the organization. Furthermore, the incidence of false memory claims, which was never significant in proportion to the population, has declined steadily since 1992."
As for its CIA connections, their inclusion here serves two purposes.
First of all, this organization above all denies that ritual abuse exists. And they use its perceived nonexistence repeatedly to argue against recovered memories. Pamela Freyd in particular, when interviewed by Treating Abuse Today, constantly cited people's memories of ritual abuse as proof that memories could be implanted and that all memories of abuse were questionable. Yet both their Board of Directors and (above all) their Scientific Advisory Board have always included some of the premier ritual abusers in the country, by almost any definition of the term, according to the government's own documents.
I'm just saying.
Secondly, several researchers and reporters have made the leap to asking why there are so many connections between the CIA and the FMSF. As Husayn Al-Kurdi observes in Toward Freedom newsmagazine, "With links to CIA mind control experts and accused child abusers, the false memory movement turns 'blaming the victim' into a science... It should come as no surprise, then, that long-time CIA and 'intelligence complex' operatives turn up on the FMSF Advisory Board."
Researcher and psychologist Colin Ross goes even further:
"...The idea that there could be a deliberate disinformation campaign element to the False Memory movement is perfectly plausible, consistent with history, and could be expected.... So here we have, with all of this documentation, all of this proof -- we know that it is perfectly possible that people we are seeing in therapy who are claiming to be victims of systematic military mind-control experimentation are telling us about what actually happened to them.... Fortunately.... there is no way it could conceivably be possible, you will all agree, that there could... be any nervousness in the Intelligence Community about Manchurian Candidates spilling out into civilian psychotherapies and that a disinformation program based on False Memories would be required. It is obviously absurd. Nobody but a CIA conspiracy nut would ever suggest that."
Whether the False Memory Syndrome Foundation is a CIA front or a group of innocent parents tearfully wondering why their children don't love them anymore - or something in between - one thing seems certain: they are a very, very bad idea. Because of the FMSF, much of the mainstream media in the United States is devoted to spreading the comfortable idea that abuse mostly doesn't happen, and that it's far more likely that a therapist is just messing with your head than that anything bad ever happened to you. Many a court case has been slammed shut because of misinformation from the FMSF. They taint the pool of information with discredited studies and misremembered "facts," and apparently, somehow, with sheer charisma.
But worst of all, I think, is the effect on the survivor who is just now recovering memories of abuse. There is the sonic boom impact of decades of concentrated emotion, the shock of understanding so much more about why things are the way they are, and of not understanding how such things could ever have happened. There is the long, wrenching, and powerful journey toward feeling safe and whole and loved. And now, the constant questioning of sanity and the twitching certainty that when we finally tell someone this awful truth that we've spent so long working to accept, they will refuse to believe it, insist we have FMS, or even sue the people who have helped us deal with it.
Abuse itself is physically and psychologically violating enough. To extend that violation into adulthood, as the False Memory Syndrome Foundation has done, is unconscionable.
60 Minutes transcript
The Boston Globe on Elizabeth Loftus' firing
Child Rights Watch/Survivors of Swindon
Colin Ross on the FMSF
False Memory Syndrome Facts
False Memory Syndrome Foundation
Lief and Orne's work
Lynn Crook and Martha Dean
Jennifer Freyd’s history
Jennifer Hoult quoted in False Memory Syndrome Facts
"Memory, Trauma Treatment and the Law" review
MKULTRA information from "The Search for the Manchurian Candidate"
Mike Stanton in the Columbia Journalism Review
Orne's involvement in Monarch/MKULTRA
Pamela Freyd's interview with Treating Abuse Today
Recovered Memory Project at Brown University
Recovered Memory Project's criteria
Toward Freedom Magazine
Treating Abuse Today
Wakefield and Underwager's interview with Padika
False Memory Syndrome Foundation:
1955 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-5766
Telephone: 215-940-1040, Fax: 215-940-1042.
Pamela Freyd, Ph.D., Executive Director
(Scene switch to Peters' office )
Reporter: Do you think Underwager has got a lot to answer for over the years?
Peters: I think so. I think a lot of children have suffered at his hand. Children who probably have been abused...have been put back into situations where they're likely to have been molested again.
(Switch to Vaughan's office)
Vaughan: I think that Underwager must have trouble sleeping.
(Switch to Underwager's house where Underwager is standing over the reporter. A hulk of a man, Underwager is trying to kick the entire television crew out of his house.)
Reporter: Why don't you, why don't you sit down and talk about this? All this research that you quote.
(Throughout the following exchange, they are talking at the same time)
Underwager: You are to leave, you are to leave, you are to leave my home.
Reporter: Mr. Underwager you have researched, and quoted research, inaccurately, and distorted it for years, and you know it.
Underwager: You are to leave my home. I am not willing to continue. I am not willing to continue. You are a bastard.
Reporter: No I'm not.
Underwager: You are a bastard.
Reporter: I just love children.
Underwager: And you're a bastard. To come here under false pretenses--
Reporter: Not at all. Some say you go to court under false pretenses, Mr. Underwager.
Underwager: You, leave my home. Your people can leave now, you go out the door now.
Reporter: Questions getting a bit hard, were they?
Underwager: You go out the door now.
Reporter: I would like to ask you about your qualifications. In the Mr. Bubbles case you said that your qualifications had never been questioned in relation to the Swann case.
Underwager: You go out the door now.
Reporter: You told an untruth in the Mr. Bubbles hearing.
Underwager: You go out the door now.
Reporter: You don't want to answer that?
Underwager: I'm telling you to go out the door now, or I'm calling the police.
Reporter: I think, uh, you're showing your true colors, we should leave. Thank you, Mr. Underwager. Appreciate the time. Sure you don't want to continue the interview?
Underwager: (Gives a small laugh) I'm sixty-one years old Saturday. And I think you are one of the most dishonorable men that I have ever met.
Reporter: That's what a lot of clinical psychologists say about you. You should be aware of that.
Underwager: I am fully aware of that.
Fade to black.