False Memory Syndrome Foundation Information Articles
January 3, 2020 Comments Off on False Memory Syndrome Foundation Information Articles
False Memory Syndrome Foundation Information Articles
There have been allegations that Elizabeth Loftus violated ethical codes in the field of psychology. (Al-Kurdi, 1998; Notes from the controversy ethics complaints filed against prominent FMSF board member APA declines to investigate). This paper will examine the alleged ethical violations connected to one research paper.
“Remembering Dangerously” & Hoult v. Hoult:
The Myth of Repressed Memory that Elizabeth Loftus Created
Taus v. Loftus et al.
The measures used to reinvestigate her case are alleged by Taus to include misrepresentation, defamation, and invasion of privacy. For instance, Taus alleges that the defendants hired a private investigator to learn her true identity and that Loftus then began contacting family members to gather data about her without her knowledge or consent. Taus alleges that Loftus misrepresented herself to gain the cooperation of her foster mother. Taus claims that Loftus claimed misidentified herself as Dr. Corwin’s colleague and supervisor–someone she trusted. At the same time, Loftus apparently befriended Taus’ birth mother, who had lost custody due to physical and sexual abuse.
False memory syndrome proponents have done the following to try and ensure that only their point of view is in the public view.
1) Harassing debate opponents
2) Misrepresenting the data in the field
3) Controlling the media
Controlling the media
U-Turn on Memory Lane by Mike Stanton – Columbia Journalism Review – July/August 1997
“Rarely has such a strange and little-understood organization had such a profound effect on media coverage of such a controversial matter. The foundation is an aggressive, well-financed p.r. machine adept at manipulating the press, harassing its critics, and mobilizing a diverse army of psychiatrists, outspoken academics, expert defense witnesses, litigious lawyers, Freud bashers, critics of psychotherapy, and devastated parents. With a budget of $750,000 a year from members and outside supporters, the foundation’s reach far exceeds its actual membership of about 3,000.”
“As controversial memory cases arose around the country, FMSF boosters contacted journalists to pitch the false-memory argument, more and more reporters picked up on the issue, and the foundation became an overnight media darling. The story line that had dominated the press since the 1980s — an underreported toll of sexual abuse, including sympathetic stories of adult survivors resurrecting long-lost memories of it — was quickly turned around. The focus shifted to new tearful victims — respectable, elderly parents who could no longer see their children and grandchildren because of bad therapists who implanted memories…:” http://web.archive.org/web/20071216011151/http://backissues.cjrarchives.org/year/97/4/memory.asp
The False Memory Syndrome Foundation (FMSF)
In March of 1992 the False Memory Syndrome Foundation was formed claiming to have discovered a new syndrome. “Syndrome” is a clinical term that requires certain agreed upon signs and symptoms indicative of a disorder. The FMSF definition of “false memory” does not meet these criteria:
Despite the fact that “False Memory Syndrome” remained undefined and had never been the subject of any research, the FMSF focused its early activities on influencing the media and legal system…The definition of “False Memory Syndrome” did not evolve from clinical studies; rather the purported syndrome’s description is based on the accounts of parents claiming to be falsely accused of child sexual abuse, usually by their adult daughters.
Calof, D.L. (1998). Notes from a practice under siege: Harassment, defamation, and intimidation in the name of science, Ethics and Behavior, 8(2) pp. 161-187. Abstract: I have practiced psychotherapy, family therapy, and hypnotherapy for over 25 years without a single board complaint or law suit by a client. For over three years, however, a group of proponents of the false memory syndrome (FMS) hypothesis, including members, officials, and supporters of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation, Inc., have waged a multi-modal campaign of harassment and defamation directed against me, my clinical clients, my staff, my family, and others connected to me. I have neither treated these harassers or their families, nor had any professional or personal dealings with any of them; I am not related in any way to the disclosures of memories of sexual abuse in these families. Nonetheless, this group disrupts my professional and personal life and threatens to drive me out of business. In this article, I describe practicing psychotherapy under a state of siege and places the campaign against me in the context of a much broader effort in the FMS movement to denigrate, defame, and harass clinicians, lecturers, writers, and researchers identified with the abuse and trauma treatment communities. http://ritualabuse.us/research/memory-fms/notes-from-a-practice-under-siege/
Whitfield, C. L. (2001). The “false memory” defense: Using disinformation and junk science in and out of court. In Whitfield, C. L., Silberg, J. Fink, P. J. Eds. (2001). Misinformation Concerning Child Sexual Abuse and Adult Survivors New York: Hawthorn Press, Inc. (pp. 53 – 78)
“Attorneys for accused, convicted or found-responsible child molesters tend to use a superficially sophisticated argument, which can be described as the “false memory defense.” This defense is fraught with disinformation, smoke screens, and other untruths that are a distortion of what the available science of the psychology of trauma and memory shows. In this article, this seemingly sophisticated, but actually mostly contrived and often erroneous defense, is described and it is compared in a brief review to what the science says about the effect of trauma on memory.” http://web.archive.org/web/20061210182243/childabuse.georgiacenter.uga.edu/both/whitfield/whitfield2.phtml
False Memory Syndrome
The term False Memory Syndrome was created in 1992 by the False Memory Syndrome Foundation (FMSF). It has been called “a pseudoscientific syndrome that was developed to defend against claims of child abuse.” The FMSF was created by parents who claimed to be falsely accused of child sexual abuse. The False Memory Syndrome was described as “a widespread social phenomenon where misguided therapists cause patients to invent memories of sexual abuse.” Research has shown that most delayed memories of childhood abuse are true. In general, it has been shown that false allegations of childhood sexual abuse are rare, with some studies showing rates as low as one percent and some studies showing slightly higher rates. It has been found that children tend to understate rather than overstate the extent of any abuse experienced. It has been stated that misinformation on the topic of child sexual abuse is widespread and that the media have contributed to this problem by reporting favorably on unproven and controversial claims like the False Memory Syndrome.