False Memory Syndrome: A False Construct

November 6, 2014 Comments Off on False Memory Syndrome: A False Construct

False Memory Syndrome: A False Construct

Research

The term False Memory Syndrome was created in 1992. 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. http://childabusewiki.org/index.php?title=False_Memory_Syndrome
http://goo.gl/t1oTue

Dallam, S. J. (2002). Crisis or Creation: A systematic examination of false memory claims. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse,9 (3/4), 9-36. “A review of the relevant literature demonstrates that the existence of such a syndrome lacks general acceptance in the mental health field, and that the construct is based on a series of faulty assumptions, many of which have been scientifically disproven. There is a similar lack of empirical validation for claims of a “false memory” epidemic.” http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/res/dallam/6.html

Memory, Abuse, and Science: Questioning Claims about the False Memory Syndrome Epidemic
Kenneth S. Pope http://www.kspope.com/memory/memory.php

False Memory Syndrome Facts Website http://fmsf.com/media.html

Memory & FMS https://ritualabuse.us/research/memory-fms/

Recovered Memory Data https://ritualabuse.us/research/memory-fms/recovered-memory-data/

Hall, J., Kondora, L. (2005) “True” and “False” Child Sexual Abuse Memories and Casey’s Phenomenological View of Remembering American Behavioral Scientist, 48, 10 p. 1339-1359 DOI: 10.1177/0002764205277012 “The notion of false accusation is often raised in cases where physical evidence is not available and a period of time has passed or when there has been a delay in recall of the events by a survivor of child sexual abuse. This is not to imply that false memories are not possible. This article outlines how rare they must be, however, based on historical factors and a phenomenological analysis of memory itself….Most scientists investigating traumatic memory doubt that memories of abuse could be planted.”
http://abs.sagepub.com/content/48/10/1339.full.pdf+html

“The hypothesis that false memories can easily be implanted in psychotherapy…seriously overstates the available data. Since no studies have been conducted on suggested effects in psychotherapy per se, the idea of iatrogenic suggestion of false memories remains an untested hypothesis.  Brown, Scheflin and Hammond (1998).” Memory, Trauma Treatment, And the Law” (W. W. Norton) ISBN 0-393-70254-5

False Memory Syndrome : A False Construct by Juliette Cutler Page “The concept of “recovered memory”, that is, memory of a traumatic event that had been forgotten for some period of time, has been variously explained by such mechanisms as repression, amnesia, and dissociation. However, there are over 100 years of reports and descriptions of recovered memory in the literature, including instances from times of war, torture, bereavement, natural disasters, and concentration camp imprisonment. (HOROWITZ) Many corroborated cases have been documented in instances of recovered memory of sexual abuse…”

Legal Information

Ground Lost: The False Memory/Recovered Memory Therapy Debate, by Alan Scheflin, Psychiatric Times 11/99, Vol. XVI Issue 11, “The appearance in the DSM-IV indicates that the concept of repressed memory is generally accepted in the relevant scientific community. This satisfies courts following the Frye v United States, 293 F.1013 (1923) or Daubert v Merrell Dow Pharmaceutical, 113 S. Ct. 2786 (1993) rules regarding the admissibility of scientific testimony into evidence in court.” And “Although the science is limited on this issue, the only three relevant studies conclude that repressed memories are no more and no less accurate than continuous memories (Dalenberg, 1996; Widom and Morris, 1997; Williams, 1995). Thus, courts and therapists should consider repressed memories no differently than they consider ordinary memories.” At http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/p991137.html

The “False Memory” Defense: Using Disinformation and Junk Science in and out of Court
Charles L. Whitfield, M.D., F.A.S.A.M. “This article describes a seemingly sophisticated, but mostly contrived and often erroneous “false memory” defense, and compares it in a brief review to what the science says about the effect of trauma on memory. Child sexual abuse is widespread and dissociative/traumatic amnesia for it is common.” http://web.archive.org/web/20070914163211/http://childabuse.georgiacenter.uga.edu/both/whitfield/whitfield1.phtml

Commonwealth vs. Paul Shanley.
Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, decided Jan. 15, 2010
The Leadership Council submitted an amicus brief in to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court advising the court on scientific knowledge regarding dissociative memory loss. On February 7, 2005, Paul Shanley was convicted of sexually abusing a child. The abuse occurred between 1983 and 1989 when the victim was attending classes at the church where the defendant served as a Catholic priest. Shanley appealed his conviction saying that it was based on recovered memory. His defense team contended that “…’repressed memory’ is a pernicious, unreliable, junk science notion without scientific verification.”

The LC submitted a brief explaining why this position regarding scientific acceptance of dissociative memory loss is inaccurate, and why the Court’s determination that testimony on dissociative memory loss and recovery is admissible was correct. The Court affirmed the conviction and held that ” the judge’s finding that the lack of scientific testing did not make unreliable the theory that an individual may experience dissociative amnesia was supported in the record, not only by expert testimony but by a wide collection of clinical observations and a survey of academic literature.”
http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/docs/ShanleyBrief.pdf

Silencing the Victim: The Politics of Discrediting Child Abuse Survivors
As a victim of child abuse who proved my claims in a landmark civil suit, there have been many attempts to silence and discredit me. This article provides an overview of my court case and its effects.
DOI: 10.1207/s15327019eb0802_3  Jennifer Hoult  pages 125-140
http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a918444285
http://www.fmsf.com/ethics.shtml

Ralph Underwager….Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. Anna Salter, Et Al., Defendants-Appellees., 22 F.3d 730 (7th Cir. 1994) http://vlex.com/vid/36092881


Media and Information

Originally published in Moving Forward, Volume 3, No. 3, pp 1, 12-21, 1995. The Highly Misleading Truth and Responsibility in Mental Health Practices Act: The “False Memory” Movement’s Remedy for a Nonexistent Problem by Judith M. Simon “Over the past few years, the “false memory” movement has manifested primarily as a media presence that discounts sexual abuse survivors as first-hand witnesses to their own experiences.” http://web.archive.org/web/20050906011329/http://members.aol.com/conch8/antiTRMP1.html

False memory syndrome proponents tactics – False memory syndrome proponents have done the following to try and ensure that only their point of view is in the public view. Harassing debate opponents, misrepresenting the data in the field and controlling the media.
http://ritualabuse.us/research/memory-fms/false-memory-syndrome-proponents-tactics/

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.”  http://web.archive.org/web/20071216011151/http://backissues.cjrarchives.org/year/97/4/memory.asp

Confessions of a Whistle-Blower: Lessons Learned Author: Anna C. Salter DOI: 10.1207/s15327019eb0802_2  Ethics & Behavior, Volume 8, Issue 2 June 1998 , pages 115 – 124
http://ritualabuse.us/research/memory-fms/confessions-of-a-whistle-blower-lessons-learned/

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. http://ritualabuse.us/research/memory-fms/notes-from-a-practice-under-siege/
http://goo.gl/vvNq6f

Battle Tactics
http://www.newschool.edu/nssr/historymatters/papers/NoelPackard.pdf

Disinformation and DID: the Politics of Memory Brian Moss, MA, MFT
https://ritualabuse.us/research/did/disinformation-and-did-the-politics-of-memory

Recovered Memories of Child Abuse: Accuracy and Veracity, 110 Corroborated Cases of Recovered Memory

November 4, 2014 Comments Off on Recovered Memories of Child Abuse: Accuracy and Veracity, 110 Corroborated Cases of Recovered Memory

110 Corroborated Cases of Recovered Memory:

53 Cases from Legal Proceedings
25 Clinical Cases and other Academic/Scientific Case Studies
33 Other Corroborated Cases of Recovered Memory
http://blogs.brown.edu/recoveredmemory/case-archive/

Recovered Memories of Sexual Abuse  Scientific Research & Scholarly Resources

Amnesia for childhood sexual abuse is a condition.
The existence of this condition is beyond dispute.
Repression is merely one explanation
– often a confusing and misleading one –
for what causes the condition of amnesia.
Some people sexually abused in childhood
will have periods of amnesia for their abuse,
followed by experiences of delayed recall.
http://www.jimhopper.com/memory/

Research on the Effect of Trauma on Memory
Research has shown that traumatized individuals respond by using a variety of psychological mechanisms. One of the most common means of dealing with the pain is to try and push it out of awareness. Some label the phenomenon of the process whereby the mind avoids conscious acknowledgment of traumatic experiences as dissociative amnesia .  Others use terms such as repression , dissociative state , traumatic amnesia, psychogenic shock, or motivated forgetting .  Semantics aside, there is near-universal scientific acceptance of the fact that the mind is capable of avoiding conscious recall of traumatic experiences.
http://www.leadershipcouncil.org/1/tm/tm.html

What about Recovered Memories?
Jennifer J. Freyd, University of Oregon
http://pages.uoregon.edu/dynamic/jjf/whatabout.html

The Recovered Memory Project
http://blogs.brown.edu/recoveredmemory

Research discussing corroboration and accuracy of recovered memories
http://pages.uoregon.edu/dynamic/jjf/suggestedrefs.html

Recovered memory corroboration rates
“Between 31 and 64 percent of abuse survivors in six major studies reported that they forgot “some of the abuse.” Numbers reporting severe amnesia ranged from under 12% to 59%….Studies report 50-75% of abuse survivors corroborating the facts of their abuse through an outside source.”
https://ritualabuse.us/research/memory-fms/recovered-memory-corroboration-rates/

Memory disturbances and dissociative amnesia in Holocaust survivors http://blogs.brown.edu/recoveredmemory/scholarly-resources/holocaust/
The following articles provide compelling scientific evidence in support of the phenomena of dissociation and recovered memory in Holocaust survivors.

Recovered Memory Data
https://ritualabuse.us/research/memory-fms/recovered-memory-data/

Recovered Memories – Child Abuse Wiki

Recovered memories have been defined as the phenomenon of partially or fully losing parts of memories of traumatic events, and then later recovering part or all of the memories into conscious awareness. They have also been defined as the recollections of memories that are believed to have been unavailable for a certain period of time[1]. There is very strong scientific evidence that recovered memories exist.[2] This has been shown in many scientific studies. The content of recovered memories have fairly high corroboration rates.

Scientific evidence
There are many studies that have proven that the recovered memories of traumatic events exist. Brown, Scheflin and Hammond found 43 studies that showed recovered memories for traumatic events[3]. The Recovered Memory Project has collected 101 corroborated cases of recovered memories[4]. Hopper’s research shows that amnesia for childhood sexual abuse is “beyond dispute.” He states that “at least 10% of people sexually abused in childhood will have periods of complete amnesia for their abuse, followed by experiences of delayed recall” [5] In one study of women with previously documented histories of sexual abuse, 38% of the women did not remember the abuse that had happened 17 years before.[6] Most recovered memories either precede therapy or the use of memory recovery techniques[7]. One studied showed that five out of 19 women with histories of familial sexual abuse either forgot specific details or had “blank periods” for these memories[8]. Another study showed that “40% reported a period of forgetting some or all of the abuse”[9]. Herman and Harvey’s study showed that 16% of abuse survivors had “complete amnesia followed by delayed recall”[10]. Corwin’s individual case study provides evidence of the existence of recovered memories on videotape[11].

Other researchers state:

Research has shown that traumatized individuals respond by using a variety of psychological mechanisms. One of the most common means of dealing with the pain is to try and push it out of awareness. Some label the phenomenon of the process whereby the mind avoids conscious acknowledgment of traumatic experiences as dissociative amnesia. Others use terms such as repression, dissociative state, traumatic amnesia, psychogenic shock, or motivated forgetting. Semantics aside, there is near-universal scientific acceptance of the fact that the mind is capable of avoiding conscious recall of traumatic experiences.[12]

A body of empirical evidence indicates that it is common for abused children to reach adulthood without conscious awareness of the trauma[13]

There is scientific evidence in support of the phenomena of dissociation and recovered memory in Holocaust survivors.[14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26] [27] [28] [29] [30] [31] [32] [33] [34] [35] [36]

Corroboration rates
Many studies show high corroboration rates for recovered memories of traumatic events. These rates vary from 50 – 75%[37], 64%[13], 77%[38], 50%[39], 75%[40] 68%[41] 47%[9], and 70% [42]. One study showed amnesia in 12 murderers, with “objective evidence of severe abuse…obtained in 11 cases”[43]. There are also additional studies showing the corroboration of recovered memories[44][45][46][47].

excerpt used with permission from http://childabusewiki.org/index.php?title=Recovered_Memories

Four arrested for ritual killing, The Witch-Hunt Narrative Untrue, Loftus Misrepresents Important Case

October 27, 2013 Comments Off on Four arrested for ritual killing, The Witch-Hunt Narrative Untrue, Loftus Misrepresents Important Case

Four arrested for ritual killing of five-year-old in Nigeria  Africa  Saturday 26 October 2013

KANO – Four people were arrested in south-eastern Nigeria in the ritual killing of a five-year-old boy whose body was mutilated before being dumped in a water tank, police said Saturday….

Kidnappings for ritual killings are rampant in Nigeria, particularly during election campaigns….
http://www.enca.com/africa/four-arrested-ritual-killing-5-year-old-nigeria

The Witch-Hunt Narrative: Politics, Psychology, and the Sexual Abuse of Children Hardcover – February 13, 2014
by Ross E. Cheit

In the 1980s, a series of child sex abuse cases rocked the United States….In the early 1990s, a new narrative with remarkable staying power emerged: the child sex abuse cases were symptomatic of a ‘moral panic’ that had produced a witch hunt. A central claim in this new witch hunt narrative was that the children who testified were not reliable and easily swayed by prosecutorial suggestion. In time, the notion that child sex abuse was a product of sensationalized over-reporting and far less endemic than originally thought became the new common sense.

But did the new witch hunt narrative accurately represent reality? As Ross Cheit demonstrates in his exhaustive account of child sex abuse cases in the past two and a half decades, purveyors of the witch hunt narrative never did the hard work of examining court records in the many cases that reached the courts throughout the nation. Instead, they treated a couple of cases as representative and concluded that the issue was blown far out of proportion. Drawing on years of research into cases in a number of states, Cheit shows that the issue had not been blown out of proportion at all. In fact, child sex abuse convictions were regular occurrences, and the crime occurred far more frequently than conventional wisdom would have us believe….
http://www.amazon.com/The-Witch-Hunt-Narrative-Politics-Psychology/dp/0199931224

Loftus Misrepresents Important Case
September 26th, 2013
In a recent TED talk about memory, psychology professor Elizabeth Loftus misrepresented the basic facts of a case study that led her to hire a private investigator and write an article that caused the subject of the case study to sue her for invasion of privacy. Loftus has mentioned the civil suit frequently in recent appearances and told audiences how terribly unfair it was that she was sued. Given the importance of these events to Professor Loftus, one wonders why she misrepresented the basic facts of the underlying case.

Loftus said the case was about a women who “accused her mother of sexual abuse based on a repressed memory” (See the 13-minute mark of this talk). That is not true. The accusation against her mother came in an evaluation when the child was 6 years old! What makes the underlying case so important is that the girl forgot the details, which had been videotaped at the time, and recalled them spontaneously at age 17….
http://blogs.brown.edu/recoveredmemory/2013/09/26/loftus-misrepresents-important-case/

CKLN-FM Mind Control Series, How our brains work to erase bad memories

October 23, 2012 Comments Off on CKLN-FM Mind Control Series, How our brains work to erase bad memories

CKLN-FM Mind Control Series – Table of Contents 
includes:
– Mind Control Survivors’ Testimony at the Human Radiation Experiments Hearings
– Interview with Valerie Wolf, Claudia Mullen and Chris deNicola Ebner
– Lecture by Dr. Alan Scheflin – History of Mind Control
– Claudia Mullen – Presentation to the Believe the Children Conference, Interview
– Lecture by Therapist Valerie Wolf, M.S.W.: Assessment and Treatment of Survivors of Sadistic Abuse
– Interview with Valerie Wolf, M.S.W., therapist to trauma and mind control survivors
– Interview with Dr. Stephen Kent, sociologist at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, on Cults and Ritual Abuse
– Making up for Lost Time Conference, Thunder Bay – Lynne Moss-Sharman Interview – ACHES-MC contact, ritual abuse victim
– Presentation by Professor Alan Scheflin – Risk Management in Dissociative Disorder and Trauma Therapy
– Ritual Abuse Panel — Toronto psychotherapist Gail Fisher-Taylor and Caryn Stardancer, California-based advocate for survivors and publisher of “Survivorship”.
http://www.randomcollection.info/mcf/radio/ckln-hm.htm

How our brains work to erase bad memories – Got a bad memory? The brain has a unique way of helping you forget. By Meghan Holohan  October 19, 2012

….Researchers found that we use two different ways — suppression or substitution — to avoid thinking of uncomfortable or unhappy memories.

“We assume that, in everyday life, healthy people will use a mixture of both mechanisms to prevent an unwanted memory from coming to mind,” says Roland Benoit, a scientist at the Medical Research Council, Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit at University of Cambridge, via email. “We did not know whether the processes of direct suppression and thought substitution can be isolated, and which, if any of them, would actually cause forgetting.”

Roland and his co-author, Michael Anderson, asked 36 adults to participate in a memory exercise where half suppressed memories and the other half substituted new memories. The researchers hoped to understand how we voluntarily forget and how it affects general memory. The subjects were tested during magnetic resonance imaging procedures, or MRIs, allowing the researchers to observe how the brain works during suppression and substitution.

While both processes cause forgetting, a different region of the brain controls each one. When people suppress memories, the dorsal prefrontal cortex inhibits activation in the hippocampus, which plays an important role in retaining memories.

“It thus effectively breaks the remembering process. This, in turn, disrupts the memory representations that would be necessary for recalling the unwanted memory later on,” Benoit explains….

“By just looking at how well people forgot memories, you couldn’t tell whether they had done direct suppression or thought substitution,” Benoit says. “These mechanisms are based on different brain systems that work in opposite fashion: One (direct suppression) by ‘slamming the mental break’ to stop the remembering process and the other (thought substitution) by steering the remembering process towards a substitute memory.”

Even though people exploit both to forget those nagging, unwanted memories, actively overlooking unpleasant events can negatively impact how we remember. But Benoit notes that learning how people deal with unwanted memories helps them understand how people with traumatic memories, such as PTSD sufferers, cope with remembering.

“It is perfectly natural for people, upon encountering an unwelcome reminder, to try to put the unpleasant reminding out of mind. We all have experienced this.  Intuitively, it feels as though we solved this problem.”
http://bodyodd.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/10/19/14540990-how-our-brains-work-to-erase-bad-memories

Lawyer doesn’t remember stealing paintings – Dissociative Amnesia

August 18, 2012 Comments Off on Lawyer doesn’t remember stealing paintings – Dissociative Amnesia

Lawyer doesn’t remember stealing paintings Thu Aug 16, 2012

Michael Gerard Sullivan, 54, has pleaded guilty to stealing two paintings from the Katoomba Fine Art Gallery in December 2008….CCTV vision clearly shows Mr Sullivan stealing two James Willebrant paintings between courses.

During his court case Mr Sullivan’s lawyers tendered two psychiatric reports which concluded he had dissociative amnesia and his actions were totally out of character.

The court heard the disorder caused him to take on the identity of an art thief and not remember his actions

Judge Jennifer English accepted the diagnosis, saying Mr Sullivan had previously lived an exemplary life.

She did not record a conviction.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-08-16/lawyer-does-not-remember-stealing-paintings/4202708

The Lawyer Who Forgot He Was a Thief
August 16, 2012 By Joe Palazzolo

Michael Gerard Sullivan, a lawyer in Sydney, Australia, was dining one night in 2008 at an art gallery restaurant when, according to the security cameras that recorded him, he excused himself between courses and stole two paintings worth $14,500.

Mr. Sullivan, who previously worked at some of the country’s top firms – including Freehills, Gadens and Mallesons (now King & Wood Mallesons after a big merger earlier this year) – pleaded guilty, with one caveat: He said he didn’t remember committing the crime….

The psychiatrists said Mr. Sullivan, who faced up to seven years in jail, was playing the character of an art thief. Australia’s ABC News reported Thursday that Judge English accepted Mr. Sullivan’s defense.

Judge English dismissed the charges but placed Mr. Sullivan on a two-year good behavior bond, saying he had lived an otherwise exemplary life, according to the ABC report.

The Cleveland Clinic, by the way, describes dissociative amnesia thus:

Dissociative amnesia occurs when a person blocks out certain information, usually associated with a stressful or traumatic event, leaving him or her unable to remember important personal information. With this disorder, the degree of memory loss goes beyond normal forgetfulness and includes gaps in memory for long periods of time or of memories involving the traumatic event.
http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2012/08/16/the-lawyer-who-forgot-he-was-a-thief/

Dissociative Amnesia
http://my.clevelandclinic.org/disorders/dissociative_disorders/hic_dissociative_amnesia.aspx

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