The Benefits of Positive Parenting, Children’s Memory May Be More Reliable Than Adults’ In Court Cases

February 21, 2013 Comments Off on The Benefits of Positive Parenting, Children’s Memory May Be More Reliable Than Adults’ In Court Cases

The Benefits of Positive Parenting
By DAVID BORNSTEIN  February 20, 2013

Is there a science to parenting?

For all the current discussion in the United States about gun violence and mental illness, there has been little attention paid to root causes. Any effort aiming to reduce gun violence — or child abuse, intimate partner violence, suicide or sexual abuse — must include a serious discussion about how society can improve the quality of parenting.

In 2010, children’s protective service agencies investigated 1.8 million referrals of child abuse and neglect pertaining to 3 million children. Although only 20 percent of these were substantiated, researchers report that physical abuse, including harsh physical discipline that is equivalent to abuse, is vastly underreported and may be 20 times more prevalent than is reflected in official statistics. (In other countries, including Spain, India and Egypt, harsh punishment is even more prevalent.) In Philadelphia, this behavior has recently been linked to the recession and the rate of mortgage foreclosures. When lenders put people out of their homes, one unforeseen consequence is that more kids end up with traumatic brain injuries.

It is now well accepted that children’s protective service agencies is not only less effective than other non-coercive methods, it is more harmful than has often been understood — and not just to children. A review of two decades worth of studies has shown that corporal punishment is associated with antisocial behavior and aggression in children, and later in life is linked to depression, unhappiness, anxiety, drug and alcohol use and psychological maladjustment. Beyond beating, parents can also hurt children by humiliating them, labeling them in harmful ways (“Why are you so stupid?”), or continually criticizing their behavior….
http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/20/helping-the-parents-to-spare-the-children/

Children’s Memory May Be More Reliable Than Adults’ In Court Cases

Mar. 17, 2008 — The U.S. legal system has long assumed that all testimony is not equally credible, that some witnesses are more reliable than others. In tough cases with child witnesses, it assumes adult witnesses to be more reliable. But what if the legal system had it wrong?….

They say children depend more heavily on a part of the mind that records, “what actually happened,” while adults depend more on another part of the mind that records, “the meaning of what happened.” As a result, they say, adults are more susceptible to false memories, which can be extremely problematic in court cases…..

This research shows that meaning-based memories are largely responsible for false memories, especially in adult witnesses. Because the ability to extract meaning from experience develops slowly, children are less likely to produce these false memories than adults, and are more likely to give accurate testimony when properly questioned.
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080313124445.htm

Jerry Sandusky, Msrg. William Lynn and the Horace Mann School, Jury affirms recovered memory, rejects FMS defense, Pinching, purification and finding The Bridge to Total Freedom: Induction at the Scientology HQ

July 9, 2012 Comments Off on Jerry Sandusky, Msrg. William Lynn and the Horace Mann School, Jury affirms recovered memory, rejects FMS defense, Pinching, purification and finding The Bridge to Total Freedom: Induction at the Scientology HQ

“When the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony from victims of sexual abuse in 1994, there was one witness who testified in opposition: Pamela Freyd, Executive Director of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation.  Mrs. Freyd expressed the concern that extending the statute of limitations “may create more tarnished reputations” (Testimony of Pamela Freyd, Senate Judiciary Committee, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; May 24, 1994, p. 5).”

Jerry Sandusky, Msrg. William Lynn and the Horace Mann School

July 7th, 2012

Child sexual abuse has recently been the focus of three high-profile stories. Most prominently, former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of sexually assaulting 10 different boys since 1998. Most dramatically, Msrg. William Lynn became the highest ranking official in the Catholic Church to be convicted of a crime connected to covering-up the sexual abuse of children by priests. Most controversially, the New York Times published a long story about sexual abuse by teachers, none of whom had been charged in court, at the Horace Mann School….

The New York legislature needs to do what the Pennsylvania legislature did years ago: extend the statute of limitations well into adulthood. Had that not occurred in Pennsylvania, the Sandusky case would not have gone forward. Neither would the case against Mrsg. Lynn. The state would have been as powerless to act as prosecutors in New York are now that a former Horace Mann teacher has admitted to sexually abusing students, adding weight to a story that some criticized for focusing only on teachers who are deceased.

We would all do well to remember who lobbied against extending the statute of limitations in Pennsylvania.

When the Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony from victims of sexual abuse in 1994, there was one witness who testified in opposition: Pamela Freyd, Executive Director of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation.

Mrs. Freyd expressed the concern that extending the statute of limitations “may create more tarnished reputations” (Testimony of Pamela Freyd, Senate Judiciary Committee, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; May 24, 1994, p. 5). She urged the committee to amend the bill to “encourage and emphasize alternative means of resolving these matters other than courts” (Id., p. 7)…. http://blogs.brown.edu/recoveredmemory/2012/07/07/sandusky-horace-mann-and-msrg-william-lynn/

Jury affirms recovered memory, rejects FMS defense April 19th, 2012

A jury in Stockton, California unanimously found that Rev. Michael Kelly should be held liable for damages related to three counts of child molestation. The plaintiff, a former U.S. Air force major currently on medical leave from his job as a commercial pilot, testified that he was molested by Rev. Kelly in the 1980s and only recently recalled the abuse. The abuse was apparently corroborated by a second victim whose testimony was kept from the jury. The defense relied on Dr. J. Alexander Bodkin, an associate professor of psychology at Harvard, who argued, in a rather circular fashion, that the plaintiff’s recollections must be false because the recovered memory has not been broadly accepted in the field. The jury rejected this defense and the church, which defended Kelly, has since allowed that there were no grounds for appeal. The Church settled the case for $3.75 million. Kelly, as reported in the LA Times, fled the country, while the  investigation of other claims is still pending. http://blogs.brown.edu/recoveredmemory/2012/04/19/jury-affirms-recovered-memory-rejects-fms-defense/

Pinching, purification and finding The Bridge to Total Freedom: Inside a very sinister induction at the Scientology HQ

Members are checked if they are ‘Clear’ – which costs £82,000 to achieve
Cameras and audio monitor Clearwater site to keep a check on followers
Newcomers must undergo ‘purification of toxins’ which involves sweating out in a sauna

By Kerry Hiatt 7 July 2012

I’d been pinched – hard – in some kind of strange lie-detector test and seen rooms where people went to be ‘purified’.  I’d spent an hour subjected to a gruelling and invasive ‘personality’ test and revealed my deepest inner thoughts as if hypnotised. I’d also been invited to cross the Bridge To Total Freedom – but, in a panic, instead I found myself running away from Scientology as fast as I could – after just a day as a guest of the controversial religion.

I look back on my visit last week to Scientology’s Florida headquarters  to celebrate July 4 as one of the most unsettling experiences of my life, and yet it all started so innocently…

The invitation from the Scientologists had suggested we celebrate Independence Day at ‘the Friendliest Place in the Whole World’. Why should I refuse? The event sounded fun. There would be a barbecue, pool games, live music, a petting zoo and fireworks – just like other celebrations across America.

However, there was a hint that this party would be different. The invitation also said: ‘Get briefed on Scientology’s exponential expansion across the globe, our penetrating 4th Dynamic Dissemination Campaigns and a full view to our future.’

It had been sent to a close relative of mine who had briefly worked for Scientology almost a decade ago, inviting him to the Florida town of Clearwater, Scientology’s spiritual headquarters – where Scientologists own more than 200 shops, restaurants, hotels, banks and small businesses….

Scientology symbols are everywhere in Clearwater; on plaques, in paving stones, and engraved into the architecture. Security cameras are on all Scientology properties and even hidden in the shrubbery. Every move and, no doubt conversation, can be monitored. It feels incredibly sinister.

The town is dominated by the Church’s £57 million Super Power Building which will, eventually, be a centre for learning. Construction paper covers doors and windows so I couldn’t see what was inside and no one could tell me when it would open….http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2170232/Scientology-Pinching-purification-finding-The-Bridge-Total-Freedom-My-sinister-induction-Scientology-HQ–just-days-ago-July-4.html

Media Manipulation of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation

September 12, 2008 § Leave a comment

U-Turn on Memory Lane by Mike Stanton – Columbia Journalism Review – July/August 1997

The FMSF builds much of its case against recovered memory by attacking a generally discredited Freudian concept of repression that proponents of recovered memory don’t buy, either. In so doing, the foundation ignores the fifty-year-old literature on traumatic, or psychogenic amnesia, which is an accepted diagnosis by the American Psychiatric Association. In his 1996 book “Searching for Memory,” the Harvard psychologist and brain researcher Daniel L. Schachter — who believes that both true and false memories exist — says there is no conclusive scientific evidence that false memories can be created….The foundation and its backers “remind me of a high school debate team,” says the Stanford psychiatrist David Spiegel, an authority on traumatic amnesia. “They go to the library, surgically extract the information convenient to them and throw out the rest.”….Many therapists, like their patients, hesitate to speak out. Recently, though, they have begun to make a more concerted effort to mobilize a response.

One of the most outspoken critics of the false-memory movement is a Seattle therapist, David Calof, editor until last year of Treating Abuse Today, a newsletter for therapists. He has identified what he calls the movement’s political agenda — lobbying for more restrictive laws governing therapy and promoting the harassment of therapists through lawsuits and even picketing of their offices and homes. Calof himself has been the target of picketing so fierce that he has been in and out of Seattle courtrooms over the last two years, obtaining restraining orders. He was spending so much time and money fighting the FMSF supporters’ campaign against him, he says, that he was forced to stop publishing the newsletter last year. He recently donated the publication to a victims’ rights group in Pennsylvania, which has resurrected it as Trauma. The new publisher says that views part of its mission as reporting on FMSF, since the mainstream media don’t.

Among journalists, perhaps the most relentless critic of the foundation is Michele Landsberg, a Toronto Star columnist. In 1993, she says, an Ontario couple, claiming to have been falsely accused, contacted her and asked her to write about their case. Unconvinced, she declined, and eventually started writing instead about the foundation.She attacked its scientific claims and criticized the sensational media coverage. She described how a foundation scientific adviser, Harold Merskey, had testified that a woman accusing a doctor of sexual abuse in a civil case might in fact have been suffering from false memory syndrome. But the accused doctor himself had previously confessed to criminal charges of abusing her. Landsberg also challenged the credentials of other foundation advisers. She noted that one founding adviser, Ralph Underwager, was forced to resign from the foundation’s board after he and his wife, Hollida Wakefield, who remains an adviser, gave an interview to a Dutch pedophilia magazine in which he was quoted as describing pedophilia as”an acceptable expression of God’s will for love.” Landsberg also wrote that another adviser, James Randi, a magician known as “The Amazing Randi,” had been involved in a lawsuit in which his opponent introduced a tape of sexually explicit telephone conversations Randi had with teenage boys. (Randi has claimed at various times, she said, that the tape was a hoax and that the police asked him to make it.) “Why haven’t reporters investigated the False Memory Syndrome Foundation?” she asks. “It’s legitimate to examine their backgrounds –here are people who really do have powerful motivation to deny the truth.” http://web.archive.org/web/20090124212304/http://backissues.cjrarchives.org/year/97/4/memory.asp

Battle Tactics of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation – Noel Packard – New School for Social Research, N.Y. History Matters Conference April 23-24, 2004

Censorship is also a tactic that FMS Foundation adherents use to silence voices they don’t agree with. Katy Butler, published a critical review of Ofshe’s and Watter’s book, Making Monsters (1994) in the Los Angeles Times. Later the newspaper’s book review editor received a vague threat of a lawsuit from Ofshe’s representative (K. Butler personal communication with Lynn Crook January 28, 2000). Later Butler was asked to write a story for Newsweek examining the uncritical acceptance of Foundation claims and to provide documented cases of recovered memory and traumatic amnesia. Upon learning of this assignment Foundation Advisory Board members Richard Ofshe and Fredrick Crews, as well as Peter and Pamela Freyd, wrote strongly worded letters of complaint to Newsweek which effectively canceled Butler’s assignment (Stanton 1997). Although these censorship activities were reported in Mike Stanton’s article “U-Turn on Memory Lane” (1997) Nevertheless, Newsweek editors confirmed that the FMS Foundation letters helped kill Butler’s article. Butler said at a national conference of investigative reporters and editors in Rhode Island in 1996: “I’ve worked hard very hard to tell both sides of the story. What’s interesting to me about all of this that telling both sides has started to seem like a risky act.” (Stanton 1997: 49)….

In 1994 the editor of the Journal of Psychohistory Lloyd DeMause wrote to many professional subscribers to inform them that he feared a lawsuit by the FMS Foundation for publishing a special issue of his journal on cult abuse. Dr. Jean Goodwin a psychiatrist at University of Texas Medical Branch responded with a letter that conveys the overall feeling among the mental health community in the early 1990s. Goodwin: From a Psychohistorical viewpoint it is fascinating to watch this organization systematically limit freedom of speech in this area. Their suits of publishers have driven many books out of print. Board members have prevented publication of many articles. As far as I know you are the first journal editor they have targeted. The slander suit stopped the audio-tapping of many presentations in this area. The licensing attacks and the malpractice suits threaten freedom of speech in the psychotherapy consulting room, which is where it is supposed to be most free. Silence still is the priority for the perpetrator (Goodwin 1994) Goodwin’s letter captures the effect that Foundations’ tactics had on the therapy community in the early 1990s. Today the overall effect of the Foundation’s court cases and tactics is more muted. One newly graduated MFT told me that as far as she knows the Foundation has had no impact on the practices of MFTs at all. A social worker who teaches a certification class on mandated reporting includes the Foundation topic in her lectures, saying that the Foundation “made us clean up our act.” I’ve also heard a seasoned MFT who teaches a class titled, “Counseling as a Career Option” lament that practicing psychotherapy is becoming a profession only for the rich (both as practitioners and clients). Perhaps this is due to recent constrictions and costs associated with lawsuits, training programs, licensing and insurance policies? I

It appears that the Foundations’ efforts to drive non-cognitive therapy beyond the grasp of un-wealthy clients are having some success. Kondora’s and Beckett’s studies indicate that the Foundation has been successful in many of its efforts to manage public perception of child abuse victims, therapists and the people accused of child abuse. Kondora and Beckett show that not only has public perception of victimized children become skeptical, but in fact, the press often goes beyond the Victorian custom of neutrality on all fronts of the issue, to out-right sympathy for accused molesters. What began in the 1960s and 1970s as a child welfare movement has arrived today as an accused sex-offender welfare movement (Goldsmith 2003); and right in time for an era when people are having more babies, less birth control and have easier ways to create home based child pornography than ever before. The Foundation has won many expensive malpractice lawsuits that have made news headlines. Such cases have probably put a chill into more than one therapy session, which is what they are intended to do.

The Foundation’s efforts in and out of the court room have provided reasons for health insurance companies to reduce insurance payments for mental health care and have tied those payments generally to mental health diagnoses. Training programs for clinical therapists have become more like the clinical training programs of the cold-war years, more science oriented, more stringent, more bio-logically and drug oriented, and less theory and talked based. Many of the support groups, networks, newsletters, journals, and even significant names in the child welfare movement of the 1980’s and 1990’s have faded, vanished or been displaced by on-line and other services of the FMS Foundation. Kondora, Lori L. 1997. A Textual Analysis of the Construction of the False Memory Syndrome: Representations in Popular Magazines; 1990-1995. Ph.D. diss. University of Wisconsin, Madison. – Beckett, Katherine. 1996. Culture and the Politics of Signification: The Case of Child Sexual Abuse. SOCIAL PROBLEMS, Vol. 43, No. 1, February: 57-76. http://www.newschool.edu/nssr/historymatters/papers/NoelPackard.pdf

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