YOUR MEMORIES ARE NOT FALSE
A Reply to the False Memory Syndrome Foundation
[[Copyright 1994 by John Backus, Sc.D., and Barbara Una Stannard,
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Recently newspapers, magazine articles and TV have been publicizing
the work of an organization called the "False Memory Syndrome
Foundation" (FMSF), which makes the following claims: that many
memories of incest recovered by adults are "false memories" implanted
or suggested by therapists, that getting these memories is just a
current fad, and that the "false memory syndrome," to quote the FMSF,
destroys "the psychological well-being not only of the primary victim
but..-through false accusations of incest and sexual abuse..-other
members of the primary victim's family."
Here are some answers to the FMSF's claims (see page 19 for a summary
of the main points of this article):
I. A FEW BASIC OBSERVATIONS
The False Memory Syndrome Foundation
1) Much of the energy and money supporting the False Memory Syndrome
Foundation comes from people who maintain they have been falsely
accused of molesting children . The FMSF founders are Peter Freyd
and his wife Pamela, whose daughter has accused Peter of molesting her
as a child . An original member of the FMSF Advisory Board who was
active in forming the FMSF is the psychologist Ralph Underwager .
Dr. Underwager is on record as a defender of pedophilia : he was
interviewed in PAIDIKA, "The Journal of Paedophilia" (Winter 1993) as
follows. Question: Is choosing paedophilia for you a responsible
choice for the individual? Answer by Underwager: "Certainly it is
responsible." (p3). When asked how pedophiles might seek
decriminalization, Underwager replies: "... Paedophiles need to ...
make the claim that paedophilia is an acceptable expression of God's
will for loved unity among human beings" (p12). Underwager's wife,
Hollida Wakefield, another FMSF board member who took part in this
interview, favors "... a longitudinal study of, let's say, a hundred
twelve-year-old boys in relationships with loving paedophiles." (p12).
Much of the rest of FMSF support comes from old-line psychiatrists who
still agree with Freud's discredited "drive theory," which says that
children instinctively want sex with their parents. Freud believed
his patients made up fantasies about it actually happening. (We now
realize it was Freud's drive theory that was a fantasy, not the
memories of his patients.) Because of that false theory, for over half
a century therapists believed their patients were making up fantasies
of abuse and were therefore unable to help them. The FMSF is
basically attempting to revive the belief that memories of sexual
abuse are "fantasies."
Science and the FMSF
2) The FMSF wants us to believe that their claims about false memories
of incest are based on scientific research into the mechanisms of
memory. The evidence they use to build their case actually represents
just a few common sense facts about memory: for example, that our
memories are often mistaken about details (we get sequences of events
wrong, dates, colors, what age we were, etc.). Persons remembering an
accident often get the color of the car, or the number of people
involved, wrong but they are **never** wrong about the **important**
facts: that there was an accident or that someone was hurt.
The FMSF also wants us to believe that memories can be implanted, and
experiments have shown that suggestible people can be tricked into
falsely believing, let us say, that they got lost in a shopping mall
when they were children. But these implanted memories deal with
non-traumatic events that might normally have happened.
From these simple experiments the FMSF falsely concludes: (a) that a
person's memories are likely to be wrong about crucial events that had
a serious impact on their lives and (b) that someone can falsely
suggest that a major traumatic event happened to a person, who will
then docilely produce detailed memories about it.
There is no solid evidence that incest survivors  are mistaken
about the major events they remember or that they have generated their
memories of abuse at the mere suggestion of a therapist. While there
may be a few cases to support the FMSF's view, cases that involve
unscrupulous therapists or unprincipled or simple-minded clients, the
preponderance of evidence (some of which is given below) supports the
fact that childhood sexual abuse is common, that people often suppress
the memory of it and then recover its essential elements as adults.
3) The very name "False Memory Syndrome Foundation" is a
pseudo-scientific sham, for "syndrome," defined by Webster's New World
Dictionary as "a number of symptoms occurring together and
characterizing a specific disease" suggests that "false memories" are
symptoms of a newly discovered "disease." But how can such a disease
have a scientific basis when the truth or falsity of memories can
rarely be proved?
The literature of the FMSF pretends to be unbiased  and based on
science, but the low-level scientific work they cite cannot support
the theory that many memories about sexual abuse are false. For how
can the situation faced by incest victims be reproduced in the
laboratory? How does one scientifically determine whether accuser or
accused is telling the truth? A real scientist is someone who
searches for the truth, not someone who decides in advance what is
true and then tries to convince others by whatever means he can find.
If Science had been in the hands of groups like the FMSF, it would
have got nowhere.
Catching the "false memory syndrome"
4) The FMSF implies that you can catch the "false memory syndrome" by
the merest suggestion of a therapist or by reading a book, and that
once you've caught this "disease" you're likely to make up false
memories about childhood sexual abuse. The FMSF offers no explanation
of why people would make up memories so painful that they themselves
do not want to believe them. The FMSF also does not ask why, if the
memories are false, people get better by remembering them. People are
cured only by remembering the truth.
Furthermore, the FMSF does not consider that a fair number of people
always remembered their incest. (What they may not have dealt with
are the feelings..-the rage, the grief..-associated with it.) The
memories of those who always remembered and those who recovered their
memories are in every way comparable.
Moreover, if you ask: "Who has the stronger motive for making things
up, the person who remembers being abused or the person who is accused
of abuse?" the answer is clear.
Incest memories are not a fad, not implanted, not a witch hunt.
5) History shows that memories of incest are not just a current fad,
as some claim. The fact is that sexual and other kinds of abuse have
been going on throughout history. "The history of childhood," said
Lloyd De Mause in THE HISTORY OF CHILDHOOD (1974), "is a nightmare
from which we have only recently begun to awaken." De Mause's
carefully researched book shows that sexual abuse, while tragically
widespread today, was even more common in the past.
6) Most incest survivors get at least some memories before they see a
therapist or even read about incest, therefore their memories could
not have been "implanted." Furthermore, brains may be capable of lies
and fantasies, but can bodies lie? Almost everyone who has endured
serious abuse has "body memories" in which a recurring physical pain
or sensation insists on reminding them of some early abuse, a pain
that continues until they re-experience the abuse, whereupon it
disappears . A false memory could not have this effect.
7) Incest survivors' accusations of their abusers are compared by the
FMSF to the Salem Witch Trials  . There are two crucial
differences which they ignore. First, a girl who accused someone of
being a witch got instant power and praise, whereas a person who
accuses a relative of past sexual abuse gets disbelief, anger, anguish
and often separation from the family. Second, sexual abuse is a
proven fact, but it is clearly impossible to prove that someone is a
Evidence for the validity of incest memories
8) There are probably a few thousand incest survivor self-help groups
around the world. Anyone who attended their meetings would be struck
by the intense pain, grief and anger that people suffer when they
remember what happened to them as children. These feelings and
memories become even more authentic when one sees the beneficial
changes that come about from remembering. When the pain and grief are
first felt people become dejected and often dysfunctional, but
gradually the pain subsides and one sees the same people having more
energy, self-confidence and self-responsibility than they ever had and
become capable of better relationships. People also finally
understand the origin of their addictions (like drinking) and begin to
cope with their other psychological difficulties, difficulties they
did not understand before or thought were innate. It becomes utterly
clear that their intense emotions, their new self-knowledge and the
remarkable changes in their lives could not possibly be the result of
made-up fictions or implanted memories.
II. ABOUT DENIAL AND THE MOTIVES OF ABUSERS
The origins of denial
9) Most people have repressed a lot of the emotional pain they
suffered when they were children. If they were to believe that incest
survivors' memories are true, they would be at risk of remembering
their own lesser pain (for example, the pain of having been
rejected). The greater the repressed pain, the more numb people
become to the pain of others so as to avoid feeling their own hidden
wounds. Denial of childhood pain is so common that even many
therapists have not sufficiently dealt with their own pain, which
means that they are not open to the truth of their clients' memories
and therefore cannot help them. Such a therapist, of course, cannot
be a reliable judge of "false memories" . Denial of childhood pain
is the chief force behind the strong backlash against the incest
10) Society in general has a tendency to deny the existence of
horrendous acts of evil. The followers of the FMSF, in denying the
reality of incest survivors' memories, are not unlike the growing
number of people who deny or minimize the reality of the Holocaust,
people like neo-Nazi David Duke, the president of Croatia, and the
Republican columnist Patrick Buchanan, who assert, for example, that
only a few hundred thousand died in Nazi concentration camps .
Sexual abuse: the consequences of denial, the agony of recovery.
11) Consequences of denial: Dr. Richard Berendzen, the former
president of American University, had always known that his mother had
sexually abused him as a child. He thought he had "handled" it. But
in his fifties, not knowing why he was compelled to do it, he began
making obscene phone calls to women he knew were mothers. Dr.
Berendzen had always overworked, but when his obsession hit him, he
began working 120 hours a week .
Denial of the emotional pain of sexual abuse results in many other
kinds of life-defeating behaviors. For example, many sexually abused
children grow up to be as sexually obsessed as their abusers .
Some become prostitutes or in other ways are easily sexually
exploited. A minority become abusers themselves. Because their
self-esteem is so damaged, many adults who were sexually abused in
childhood cannot properly assert themselves and use their talents. In
order to run from the intense hidden pain that lurks just below the
surface, a great number of sexual abuse victims become alcoholics,
drug addicts or workaholics. The pain is so unbearable for many that
they kill themselves. Some suffer from dangerous bouts of rage, some
from chronic depression. Although a few have successful careers, they
remain numb and emotionally dead in large areas of their lives.
The agony of recovery: For those who face the pain of their childhood
sexual abuse, recovery often means years of working through intense
fear, grief and anger as they uncover their memories and relive what
happened to them. The process is so difficult that some can barely
function for a long time. One of the worst pains suffered by
survivors who remember their abuse is exclusion by their family, who
deny the truth of their memories.
The psychology of abusers: why they do it and why they cannot admit it.
12) At present, few people in our society understand that the very
abuse of children is a form of denial. Child abusers (who are
themselves victims of child abuse) usually do not remember what
happened to them. They repress the original abuse by means of a
psychological escape called fusion. When a child is molested, the
trauma is often so unbearable that instead of remaining the helpless,
hurt victim, the child merges with the abuser and experiences his/her
sexual thrills and delight in power. Child abusers continue to handle
the pain of the original abuse in the same way. Whenever the pain
begins to surface (and it always does), abusers pass on the pain to
another child, turning the child into the victim they once were and
themselves into the powerful abuser. (It is important to note that
only a small percentage of people who were molested become child
abusers; most victims handle their pain in other ways.)
Instead of understanding the psychology of abusers, society prefers to
believe that abusers are examples of "original sin" or "bad seeds."
Society is therefore unable to deal with the causes of abuse and is
unable to prevent its continuation. (Child molesters are let out of
prison after short sentences because it is not understood that they
are unable to stop molesting children unless they remember their own
abuse and experience the pain of it.)
13) The FMSF does not understand why most abusers are compelled to
deny what they did (beyond wanting to escape prison and not wanting to
face the shame of what they did). If an abuser were simply to confess
what he did, the bald, plain facts would remind him of the pain of his
original abuse, whereas when he is molesting a child, he is identified
with his abuser and feels only sexual arousal and power.
III. THE FOUNDERS OF THE FMSF The case of the family of Peter and
Pamela Freyd, the founders of the FMSF
14) The FMSF presents itself as objective but it was founded by Peter
Freyd and his wife Pamela when Peter was accused by heir daughter of
sexually molesting her . The daughter Jennifer is a distinguished
psychology professor who did not recover memories of outright incest
until 1990 when her mother and father planned a visit. Jennifer
became anxious. She did not know why and consulted a therapist. On
the second visit the therapist asked her if she had been sexually
abused as a child. She said no, but then memories began to come up.
She had always remembered that her alcoholic father constantly talked
about sex when she was a child, sat in his robe with his genitals
exposed, and when she was nine or ten suggested she read LOLITA. Even
when she was married her father continued his sexual behavior toward
her; he once threw a condom at her, and when she gave him a modelling
toy, he made a replica of his genitals which he displayed in his
living room. In 1990 she remembered he sexually fondled her when she
was three or four and raped her when she was sixteen. When Jennifer
tried to validate her memories with her sister, her sister asked "Is
that why you had all those locks on your bedroom door?"
Jennifer Freyd recalls that her father used to discuss his own sexual
abuse, which occurred when he was eleven years old. He did not call
it abuse however; instead he believed he was sexually precocious. He
referred to himself as a "kept boy" and said he later became a "male
prostitute."  (He later decided to become heterosexual.)
Jennifer Freyd also provides convincing evidence that her parents were
untruthful in their efforts to damage her reputation with her
colleagues: Her mother wrote an anonymous article by "Jane Doe" giving
her version of the family story. She sent it to Jennifer's colleagues
and made it clear it was about Jennifer by identifying herself as Jane
Doe. It states that Jennifer was denied tenure at a previous
university because she had not published enough. The fact is that
Jennifer moved to the University of Oregon as an Associate Professor
because there she could become tenured two years earlier than she
could at her previous university. Her mother sent the Jane Doe
article to Jennifer's Oregon colleagues **during the year she was up
for promotion to Professor**. Her father later admitted to her that
"... fictional elements were deliberately inserted ...". Jennifer
cites several other instances of her parents' untruthfulness in using
the FMSF to harass her.
The Freyds' claim that Jennifer's memories were "implanted" seems
ludicrous in the light of Jennifer's story. How could the mere
question "were you sexually abused as a child?" have implanted
Jennifer's memories of what happened? She is very clear that even
when she **wanted** her therapist to help her have more memories, the
therapist was unable to do so.
In spite of the dysfunctional family history, in spite of their
untruthful efforts to damage their daughter's career and reputation,
and in spite of the fact that both their daughters and Peter's older
brother do not want to have anything to do with them, Pamela and Peter
Freyd nevertheless insist that theirs is a loving family torn apart by
inaccurate memories and false allegations .
Pamela Freyd must have seen the many locks on Jennifer's bedroom door,
she must have known about her husband's sexual abuse as a child, his
claim of sexual precocity and his predilection for sexual talk with
Jennifer and acting out in her presence. If she were truly a loving
mother how could she then dismiss her daughter's memories so totally?
Pamela Freyd's attitude about her family is **denial** , which is
why the FMSF insists that families of accused abusers are "loving
families" who have lost a "loved" daughter through "inaccurate
memories and false accusations."
Pamela and Peter Freyd are clearly struggling, by every means they can
find, to impugn their daughter's convincing evidence that her father
molested her as a child. And it appears that they have created the
FMSF as a means of doing so.
IV. ABOUT MEMORIES
Very early memories exist and can be recovered
15) The FMSF claims there is general agreement that "most people
cannot remember anything that happened" before about two years of age
. While it may be true that most adults do not consciously
remember very early events, there is a great amount of evidence that
they do retain early memories nevertheless. We know that is true
because these memories can be accessed using techniques such as
hypnosis, meditation, drugs such as LSD, and certain breathing
exercises. Scientists view these techniques with great distrust ,
but the evidence is overwhelming that early memories can be recovered
by using these techniques with care .
That newborns and infants would have the ability to recognize and
remember important people and events makes sense because it is
essential for survival. (Nature provides the young of all living
creatures with such skills.)
That infants do retain memories of what happens to them is the subject
of scientific books, which give many examples of two- to
four-year-olds who remember their birth in surprising detail .
One little girl, speaking of life in the womb, said, "There was a
snake in there with me ...," an obvious reference to the umbilical
cord. This same child reported there was a "doggie" in there also
which she played with "like this" (waving her arms about) and heard it
bark. It turned out that her mother had acquired a puppy five months
before the birth and the dog had spent a lot of time on her stomach
. Many similar stories, which parents confirm, are recounted by
children who have been told nothing about their birth. This data
makes clear that many children remember a great deal about their birth
and prenatal life.
If two- to four-year-olds can remember the details of their birth, the
next question is: Do they continue to remember? The psychologist
David Chamberlin has proved that they can. He hypnotized ten grown
children (ranging in age from 9 to 23 years), whose mothers assured
him they had not discussed their births with them, and asked them
about their birth. He then hypnotized their mothers and questioned
them about the birth of their children. Chamberlin was careful to
avoid leading questions and kept mother an child separate during this
process. He also recorded their replies. The reports of mother and
child validated each other in many details .
Chamberlin found that of the ten mother-child pairs, there were on
average 13.7 points of agreement between the accounts of the mother
and child. For five of the pairs there was only 1 contradiction, for
four there were none, and for one there were four contradictions
. One child fantasized that her father and her favorite
grandparents were present when they were not. Despite this, this
mother-child pair agreed on 13 points.
The psychiatrist Stanislov Grof provides an example of an
independently verified intra-uterine memory elicited under LSD when it
was legal . A respected Buddhist meditation teacher, Jack
Kornfield, reports that students who practice serious meditation often
have experiences like this: "... suddenly I was one year old. I was
back there with my spoon, banging on the table" . The FMSF's
assertion that very early memories are virtually nonexistent is
another example of its ignorance and its bias: the FMSF seeks only to
verify its beliefs; it ignores the volumes of evidence that contradict
Repressed memories are real
16) The FMSF also implies that **there is no such thing as repressed
memories** . They cite (without references) Freud claiming that
he felt "impulse and desire are repressed..-not memories" . But
they ignore all the data about Vietnam vets, who often repressed
memories of traumatic battles, memories they had to remember in order
to get well. Many Holocaust survivors also repressed memories of
atrocities, which only surfaced later.
Some repressed memories are easy to access and others much more
difficult. We have all struggled to remember a name, only to have it
suddenly pop into our mind later. The name, though "repressed," was
always there. Painful memories often remain repressed until triggered
by an emotionally powerful event. Still other memories are so painful
they remain inaccessible for life or are brought to consciousness only
in some altered state.
Grof  provides another case about a repressed memory that was
independently verified. During treatment a patient named Eva
remembered that when she was nine, she and her younger brother asked
their father what men and women did in sex. He proceeded to
demonstrate by having intercourse with his wife in front of the
children. Grof was exceedingly skeptical about this repressed memory
until Eva's brother became his patient two years later and
independently remembered precisely the same event.
Finally, the FMSF claim that there are no repressed memories is
totally demolished by the work of the renowned brain surgeon Wilder
Penfield . He discovered that when he touched a particular area of
the brain with an electrode, his patient would remember in complete,
vivid detail some totally forgotten event or scene; if he touched a
nearby point, a different memory would emerge, again to the amazement
of the patient. His research clearly shows that our brains retain a
truly astonishing amount of information about our past, information
that, though normally inaccessible, can be retrieved. Penfield used
electrodes, but, as we have seen, memories can be retrieved
non-invasively by hypnotism, breathwork, deep meditation, and certain
In its publications, the FMSF once asked: what are we going to do
about Wilder Penfield? His scientific qualifications and approach
clearly frightens them because his work, which is universally
accepted, discredits their claim that there are no early or repressed
V. RECONSIDERATION OF TWO CASES
Two cases are reconsidered that supposedly prove the existence of
false and implanted memories. But do they?
17) The FMSF and recent articles in the media have produced a few
cases that they claim demonstrate that memories can be implanted and
that recovered memories can be false. However some of these cases can
be understood in ways that lead to entirely different conclusions.
Here are two cases the FMSF would say confirm their claims:
Case 1) In his NEW YORKER article, "Remembering Satan," Lawrence
Wright discusses the case of Paul Ingram, a deputy sheriff who Wright
says was accused by his two daughters of sexually molesting them over
a period of 15 years, molestation that involved satanic abuse. Wright
makes it seem that Ingram was wrongly convicted because, according to
Wright, his confession was based on false memories that resulted from
brainwashing and "trance-like states."
To prove Ingram's memories were false Wright points out that Richard
Ofshe (a member of the FMSF Advisory Board and a prosecution expert)
told Ingram the lie that his son and daughter had accused him of
forcing them to have sex together while he watched. Ingram later
confessed that he had. Because of this "false" confession, Ofshe and
Wright conclude that all of Ingram's other confessions were also false
memories, even though they were generally corroborated by his
daughters, sons, and wife. Moreover, neither Ofshe nor Wright
understands that a man as sexually obsessed as Ingram might well have
forced his son and daughter to have sex while he watched, that is,
that his confession of this incident was probably true. Wright
pictures Ingram going into "trance-like states" as a result of his
interrogations and of being brainwashed by psychologists and his
minister. Wright suggests that Ingram was therefore falsely accused
and convicted of sexually abusing his daughters over a period of 15
years, much of it in satanic rituals.
The facts present a very different picture. In a ruling  denying
Ingram's motion to withdraw his guilty plea, Judge Robert H. Peterson
states that Ingram "isn't charged with satanism. ... He isn't
charged with anything that occurred back in the 70's, ... He is
charged with six counts of sexual improprieties with his daughters in
1988." Moreover, Judge Peterson points out that Ingram made a full
confession during his very first interview by detectives, that is,
before he was seen by psychologists or the minister. Judge Peterson's
ruling also makes it very clear that Ingram's confession was not based
on "recovered memories" but on **direct** ones, since the confession
and the offenses all took place in 1988. Judge Peterson cites much
additional evidence showing Ingram's guilt. And, as Judge Peterson
points out, although satanism was involved in later confessions,
satanism had nothing to do with the charges.
In contrast to the common-sense clarity of Judge Peterson's ruling,
Lawrence Wright's article is devious and dishonest, an effort to prove
the FMSF's thesis that memories of sexual abuse are usually the result
of brainwashing or implantation and are therefore false. Wright had
to have read Judge Peterson's ruling, but he does not mention it
because it would invalidate most of his article. It would show that
neither satanism, nor recovered memories, nor brainwashing were at
issue, whereas Wright falsely made these issues the central ones of
his article. This kind of dishonesty typifies the efforts of the FMSF
to avoid, distort, and deny the truth about sexual abuse.
Wright called Judith Herman, a Harvard psychiatrist and expert on
sexual violence, to discuss the Ingram case. In his conversation with
her he argued that if some of the allegations against Ingram were
false, then all must be; and if false in this case then they must be
false in many other cases. Herman questioned him about his claim in
his NEW YORKER article that "thousands" of people were accused on the
basis of recovered memories and that "certainly many [of these
memories] are false." She asked "Thousands? Certainly? How many
of these cases have you documented?" After some thought, Wright
admitted: "One." **And that one was the Ingram case!**
Case 2) A woman whose story was told in a recent series of articles in
the San Francisco EXAMINER (May 1993)  remembered having a hole
drilled in her skull during her childhood abuse, a memory that could
not be confirmed by X-ray. What the general public does not know that
abusers often deceive children into believing they have been seriously
injured by telling them they are going to injure them and then hurting
them a little. When she was a child, the woman in the EXAMINER
article probably had a drill-like object pressed into her skull until
it hurt badly, so that she genuinely believed that her abusers did
drill a hole in her head. Thus do abusers, for their own self-serving
reasons, sometimes deceive children into believing false stories.
Abusers often go through fantastic charades like this so that if the
child (or adult) tells the story, it seems unbelievable (as was true
in this case) and the abuser can escape conviction.
Why some people repudiate memories of sexual abuse.
18) The FMSF cites a number of cases in which people recover memories
of childhood sexual abuse and later disavow them. The FMSF claims
that this means the memories were false. The FMSF does not understand
that most incest survivors during the early part of recovery have
strong doubts about their memories. Their almost universal reaction
to first memories is "I can't believe it, I must be making it all up."
When survivors do repudiate their memories (and some do), they almost
always do so to escape the intense pain, not only of the memories, but
of alienation from their families. Thus repudiation seldom means the
memories were false..-they were just too painful.
VI. ACCUSATIONS AGAINST ABUSERS AND THE FMSF RESPONSE TO THEM
Why people sue their abusers
19) The fact that children sue their abusers can indicate that their
memories are true. For what motivates some children to sue are strong
feelings of hatred, hatred generated because of what was done to them
and because their lives were ruined. Such strong feelings cannot be
generated by false memories implanted by a therapist. Their feelings
are generated by what really happened. (Others sue in an effort to
validate their memories and regain their confidence by standing up to
Concern for accused families and for abused children
20) Families accused of harboring a molester are invariably portrayed
by the FMSF as terribly grieved by their child's accusations,
concerned about the child's welfare and anxious to have the child back
in the family fold. The FMSF **assumes** that the accusation is false
and that therefore the child has lost a "loving" family. The FMSF
does not understand how much false concern some members of a family
can generate to cover up he presence of an abuser in their midst. The
family and the FMSF would rather protect the alleged abuser than open
up to the pain that the child may have suffered in the family. Most
people prefer to believe they had happy childhoods and blank out the
pain they actually experienced.
NOTE: We do not argue that there are **no** cases of fabricated or
mistaken memories of incest, just that they are few . We have the
greatest sympathy for the few individuals who are falsely accused of
sexual abuse. But we know of so many cases in which the accusation is
just (even though the abuser denies it and appears to be above
reproach) that we believe that most of the 2,345 to 10,000+ families
appealing to the FMSF do harbor an abuser.
VII. EVIDENCE OF SEXUAL ATTITUDES LEADING TO, AND RESULTING FROM ABUSE
When children are sexually abused, they become aroused because sexual
organs are made for pleasure and because the children absorb the
sexual excitement of their perpetrators, pleasure that shields them
from the pain of what is happening. When they grow up, and the pain
of their abuse begins to surface, many of them compulsively seek
sexual pleasure instead of experiencing the pain.
People like to believe that women like Madonna were born sexually
obsessed, but as incest survivors understand, **no child is born
sexually obsessed**; they **are taught** to be. In the movie "Henry
and June" we saw the sexual obsession of the writer Anais Nin. Now
that we know about her childhood , we can see the origin of her
obsession. When she was a child, her father photographed her nude,
beat her and seduced her. It was this abuse and her fusion with her
father's sexual feelings when she was a child that drove her to become
sexually obsessed when she was an adult.
Evidence of sexual obsession in society
21) Nin's sexual obsession is not unique; nor is its origin in her
abuse when she was a child. The rampant sexual obsession in our
society also has much of its origins in the widespread sexual abuse of
(A) Studies show that the multi-billion dollar pornography business is
largely produced by and consumed by people who were sexually abused as
children. (B) Moreover, many studies reveal that the vast majority of
prostitutes were abused as children. (C) And finally, still other studies
reveal that the enormous number of rapists in this country were also
sexually abused as children.
Evidence of sexually abusive feelings towards children
22) The FMSF wants us to believe that children are rarely abused, but
there is a well-known phenomenon in our culture that indicates there
is a lot of sexually abusive feelings in our society toward children.
That phenomenon is the brisk business in "kiddie porn." Illegal
magazines, films and videos show small children being forced to engage
in sexual activities with each other and with adults. Recently
"kiddie porn" has been widely circulated through computer "bulletin
boards." This material not only shows the existence of sexually
abusive feelings toward children, but also encourages the abuse of
23) [Apparently the writers of this article chose to believe the media
myths about Waco. Please see our links to the Branch Davidian FACT
24) Thousands of small children disappear every year and are never
seen again, except on flyers that ask "Have you seen me?". It is
likely that many of these children are kidnapped by pedophiles or
cults who sexually abuse and often kill them. Many FMSF followers try
to deny this by proclaiming that almost all missing/abducted children
are eventually recovered. But the fact is that of 1,487 children
reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children who
were abducted by non-family members, only 362 (less than one in four)
were recovered alive (187 turned up dead). And these figures of
abducted children are only the small percentage that are reported to
the Center; a 1990 Department of Justice report says that in 1988
alone there were 4,600 non-family abductions reported to police; if
the ratio of one in four is recovered, this means that about 3,450 of
just **these** reported children disappeared in 1988. Since there is
no central place where missing children **must** be reported, it is
safe to assume that all these figures understate the facts.
[Replace the word "likely" with "possible" that they have been kidnapped
by pedophiles or cults. They could have been kidnapped by -anybody-.
Also, take into account the many young adult runaways (12 and up) who
wish not to be found. -Astraea]
VIII. EVIDENCE THAT THERE ARE MANY "HIGHLY RESPECTABLE" ABUSERS
Sexual abuse of children by the clergy and scoutmasters
25) The FMSF would like us to believe that respectable people do not
abuse children . But recent cases demonstrate that some of the
most highly respected people, for example, the clergy and
scoutmasters, have been secret child molesters. Here are some horrors
that have lately been revealed:
(A) Father Porter, a Catholic priest in Massachusetts, molested
hundreds of children, children who as adults have come forward to
detail the nature of his rapes, sodomies and other sexual abuses.
When finally reported to the Catholic authorities, they merely
transferred him to another parish **without revealing his crimes**.
There he molested many more children. This scenario was repeated in
parish after parish until he was sent to a Catholic "treatment center"
for pedophile priests, where he also managed to molest some children.
[Well, this is all coming out of the woodwork now ... April 2002]
Father Porter is just one example of hundreds of clergy in churches of
all denominations who have recently been exposed as child molesters.
Until now the churches have dealt with sexual abuse in private, a
practice that permitted sexual abuse to continue. Only now, when
knowledge of sexual abuse has increased and become less shameful, have
people who were victimized by clergy felt ale to tell their stories.
(B) Female clergy have not been exempt. Recently PRIMETIME LIVE 
did a story on the "Gray Nuns." In the 40's and 50's they ran a
Catholic orphanage in Quebec where they not only sexually abused
children but also brutalized them..-beat them, tied them to bare
bedsprings for weeks at a time, and gave them electroshock as a
punishment. Hundreds of their former victims are now coming reveal
the cruelties these "respectable" nuns perpetrated on helpless
children in the privacy of their institution.
(C) Recently the CBS program DAY ONE  revealed that the Boy Scouts
of America had a list of pedophile scoutmasters which they kept
secret. That meant that when these pedophiles were finally discovered
and dismissed, they were able to become scoutmasters in other
communities. One much-admired scoutmaster, for example, abused many
boys in four successive communities before finally being sent to jail.
26) Although many pedophiles have been convicted, many, probably
thousands, remain in the employ of the churches and the Boy Scouts,
which, like the FMSF, want to go on believing that the sexual abuse of
children is not such a serious problem, an attitude that aids and
abets child molesters.
In a recent celebrated case of child molestation in California, Ellie
Nessler shot and killed Daniel Driver, the man accused of molesting
her 8-year-old son and three other boys. When Driver arrived seven
years earlier in the Gold Country town where Nessler lived, no one
knew he had recently been convicted on **multiple** counts of child
molestation in Santa Clara County . They did not know because
members of his church appealed to the Santa Clara judge, telling him
what a fine religious man he was, and the judge decided to parole him
instead of sending him to jail. The efforts of Daniel Driver's
congregation set him free to destroy the lives of four more children.
The efforts of the FMSF will likely result in ruining the lives of
thousands of children. The pseudo-scientific pronouncements of the
False Memory Syndrome Foundation are likely to convince hundreds of
judges to acquit or parole thousands of child molesters, who in turn
will go on to destroy the lives of tens of thousands of children. For
example, Driver destroyed the life of Nessler's 8-year-old son, who
became dysfunctional after the rape (and who threw up when he saw
Driver in court). In their sympathy for accused abusers, the FMSF are
willing to disregard the suffering of millions of children and to be
indirectly responsible for the sexual abuse of thousands more children.
Incest survivors are bringing new knowledge into the world, knowledge
about the abuse that children suffer in families and knowledge about
how to recover from that abuse. By accepting this new knowledge
mankind can be freed from much of its suffering.
But, like all major shifts in human consciousness, the insights of
incest survivors arouse resistance. Just as the Church forced Galileo
to recant the new knowledge he discovered about the solar system, so
do the forces of ignorance and reaction want incest survivors to
recant the new knowledge they have discovered. These reactionary
forces refuse to face that an enormous amount of abuse goes on in many
families. They want to pretend that the TV stereotype of the happy
family is real. Protecting a false image of parents means more to
them than the fact that children are being damaged. Whenever the son
or daughter of a celebrity reveals the unpleasant facts about his or
her family, the public attacks the son or daughter and refuses to
believe that what they revealed is true. This has happened again and
again, for example, when the son of Bing Crosby told the truth about
him and when Patti Davis told the truth about the Reagan household.
Incest survivors have looked deeply at the dark side of family life;
they know that parents often destroy their children's self-esteem by
abusing them in many ways (not just sexually). They see how this
abuse sets up a chain reaction that ruins the lives of generation
Followers of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation, like most people,
resist the new knowledge about family life because they are afraid of
facing their own hidden pain. They desperately keep on waving the
tattered banner of "family values." Their path of denial belongs to
the past. The path of incest survivors, the path of all those who
courageously face the truth, is the path of the future. It is the
only way to achieve lasting family values.
Have courage. The truth of incest survivors, like Galileo's truth,
will finally prevail because it **is** the truth.
Appendix I: SUMMARY
Here is a summary of the main points in this article.
.. The FMSF is biased. It was founded by and is run by an accused
child molester and his wife. Furthermore an original member of the
Advisory Board champions pedophilia. The FMSF is supported mainly by
the families of accused child molesters and by psychiatrists who
believe that children are born wanting to have sex with their parents.
.. The FMSF is unscientific. It draws false, high level conclusions
from basic low level data. Its name implies the existence of a
"disease" characterized by having false memories of incest, yet it is
usually not possible to determine the truth or falsity of these
.. The FMSF does not explain (a) why people would make up memories so
painful that they want to believe they are false; (b) how people could
get better remembering what is "false"; (c) why recovered memories of
incest that are alleged to be false are so similar to memories of
those who never forgot their incest and (d) why we should trust people
who have been accused of incest more than those who remember being
.. Incest memories are no fad. History shows incest was even more
common in the past.
.. Many incest memories occur before reading about incest or seeing a
therapist; these are clearly not "implanted." "Body memories," which
are relieved by remembering the cause of a physical pain, are clearly
.. Thousands of people lead richer lives as a result of remembering
their incest. No one recovers from recalling false memories.
Denial and the motives of abusers
.. Most people are in "denial;" they repress childhood emotional pain
and are fearful of having it activated by hearing or believing the
suffering of others. Many therapists are in similar denial and
therefore cannot be reliable judges of the truth or falsity of incest
.. Denial of the pain of childhood sexual abuse has many devastating
effects on victims' lives: sexual obsession, prostitution, depression,
debilitating rage, alcoholism, drug addiction, suicide, emotional
numbness, and an inability to assert oneself and use one's talents.
The family's denial of their children's memories adds to their pain.
.. The FMSF does not understand the psychology of child molesters.
When molesters were themselves molested as children they avoid the
pain of it by feeling the sexual excitement of their abuser. They
continue to avoid their childhood pain by remaining fused with their
abuser and molesting a child.
.. Abusers in almost all cases are compelled to deny what they did
because confession could make them feel the hidden pain of their
original abuse. (Confession does not protect them in the way actual
Rebuttal of the FMSF's claims
.. The case of the family of the FMSF's founders, Peter and Pamela
Freyd, illustrates the denial, bias, malice and untruthfulness
inherent in the FMSF. Their daughter's account of her father's own
childhood sexual abuse, of his continuing sexual obsession and of his
sexual abuse of her as a child is very convincing. many cases of
clear, independently verified, birth and prenatal memories refute the
FMSF's belief that most people cannot remember anything before about
two years of age.
. There is much evidence that the FMSF is wrong in believing there
are no repressed memories: the repressed memories of Vietnam veterans
and of Holocaust survivors; independently verified repressed memories
of sexual abuse; and the work of the renowned brain surgeon Wilder
.. A NEW YORKER article about the conviction of Paul Ingram for
incest presents the case as one of satanic abuse over an extended
period even though Ingram was not tried for satanism. It also
suggests that the case was based on old repressed memories that were
false because they were elicited by brainwashing, whereas in fact he
confessed the first time e was questioned to offenses that occurred in
that same year.
.. An article in the San Francisco EXAMINER appears to be a case of a
false recovered memory. We argue that it may be a case of an abuser
deceiving a child into believing a false story that was then
"recovered" as an adult. Abusers are known to confuse children with
charades so that the children's stories will be unbelievable when they
tell someone. The abuser can thus escape conviction.
.. The memories of incest victims are so painful that some victims
repudiate them. They do this to escape the pain of the memories and
of separation from their families; but repudiation seldom means the
memories were false.
Sexual attitudes leading to, and resulting from abuse
.. Sexual obsession is one result of childhood sexual abuse.
Children internalize the sexual excitement of their abusers because it
shields them from the pain of being a victim. As adults this
childhood defense becomes sexual obsession, obsession that protects
them from emerging fear or emotional pain.
.. The rampant sexual obsession in society is evidence of the
widespread sexual abuse of children. Studies show that the vast
majority of the following groups of people were sexually abused as
children: (a) the producers and consumers of the multi-billion dollar
pornography business, (b) prostitutes, male and female, and (c) the
large number of rapists.
.. There is much evidence of sexually abusive feelings in society
towards children: "kiddie porn"; sanctioned abuse of children in a
religious context: and the disappearance of thousands of children
every year, many of whom are possibly abused and killed.
Evidence of many "highly respectable" abusers
.. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of children are molested and their
lives destroyed by priests, ministers, scoutmasters and nuns. The
churches and the Boy Scouts are often more concerned with maintaining
their reputation than with the safety of the children in their care.
.. The pseudo-scientific pronouncements of the FMSF will likely
result in spoiling the lives of tens of thousands of children by
molesters set free by judges who believe the false conclusions of the
.. Incest survivors have brought a new understanding of the
prevalence and effects of child abuse and of how to recover from
abuse. Like Galileo's truth about the solar system, this new truth
about family life and child abuse is being denied by the forces of
reaction. But like Galileo's truth, the truth of incest survivors
will finally prevail because it **is** the truth.
APPENDIX II [Excerpts from the judge's ruling in the Ingram case:]
IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON
IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF THURSTON
STATE OF WASHINGTON,)
Plaintiff;) )No. 88-1-752-1
PAUL ROSS INGRAM,)
REPORT OF PROCEEDINGS - VOLUME VII
BE IT REMEMBERED that on Thursday, February 1, 1990, the
Dabove-entitled and numbered cause came on for hearing before the
HONORABLE ROBERT H. PETERSON, Judge of the Superior Court, held at the
Thurston County Courthouse, Olympia, Washington.
A P P E A R A N C E S
MR. GARY R. TABOR, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, appeared on behalf of
MR. MONTE E. HESTER, and MR. WAYNE C. FRICKE, Attorneys-At-Law,
appeared on behalf of the Defendant.
1:30 p.m. ...
My decision is this: I am going to refuse to set aside the guilty
pleas. I don't find a manifest injustice. ... I simply do not find
that the defendant has sustained the burden of proof to set aside six
guilty pleas to third degree rape.
... But these are powerful accusations [by the daughters] ...
against the father, particularly when there was a threat to kill if
one of the girls told.
First of all, the daughters. They were 18 and 22. And in the Fall of
1988 accused their father of molestation. There were several acts of
molestation that were repeated on each of these two women, and there
is no real reason that's been given to me here in this courtroom, why
they have or would falsely accuse their father.
... The way this came out .. it looks rather logical to me .. one of
these girls broke this at a church retreat. Another one broke it in a
letter to the high school teacher. The accusations came out, I think,
in a fairly normal fashion. So why would the girls lie? ...
He and his wife were on the Oregon Coast for a one week vacation prior
to November 28th. They knew that the daughters had made these
accusations. ... So he goes to work on the morning of the 28th ...
And then shortly after that, Det. Schoening and Det. Vukich start
questioning Mr. Ingram. And I have listened to the tape. It's not
terribly long, but in the tape that afternoon he, in my judgment,
essentially confess[es] to molesting both of these young women.
At one point he says, well, I would have done this, I would have done
that. And the detectives said: "Well, would you or did you?" Answer:
And specifically as to the older daughter he says .. and this is on
Page 4 .. I don't want to be unduly insensitive here, but I think you
should know what I'm finding.
He says: "I would have gotten out of bed" .. this is the afternoon of
the very first day of the interrogation .. "I would have gotten out of
bed, put on a bathrobe, gone into her room and taken the robe off, and
at least partially disrobing, and then fondled her breasts and vagina,
and telling her that if she told anybody that I would kill her"
Now that's Mr. Ingram's statement to two officers who are lower in
rank than him in the Sheriff's Department here in Thurston County.
There is .. this is on Page 9 of his statement. I'm not going to read
this, but he goes into graphic detail as to what he did with the
And ten on Page 11: "Did you ever tell them that they would not be
believed if they told anyone? Yes, I would have said that. And Paul
are there any other kind of sexual improprieties that you have engaged
in with these two women that we haven't discussed." Then he goes in to
some other specific sexual acts.
Now this is before any psychologist has been seen by the defendant.
This is before any of the ministers, or counselors have been seen by
the defendant. And so the brainwashing .. the alleged brainwashing, by
the chaplain and the alleged brainwashing by the psychologist,could
not possibly have occurred at that time.
And I just find that taking into consideration who Mr. Ingram is,
what his back ground was [he had been an insurance adjuster who
interrogated people as part of his work], what his position was at
that time, and who the people were who were interrogating him, it's
just highly, highly unlikely that he would be convinced to confess
unless he were guilty.
Now, the next thing I'd like to mention is this is business of
witchcraft, and satanism, and devil worship, and what not.
He isn't charged with satanism. He isn't charged with improper
activities with this other woman. Whose name I think was Dana. He
isn't charged with anything that occurred back in the '70's, or at the
time early on. He is charged with six counts of sexual impropriety
with his daughters in 1988, not in the distant past. The daughters
never recanted on the improprieties that their father foisted upon
them in 1988. They stick with that.
There were other statements that were later made that I have to
presume that were probably gross exaggerations. The business of 400
sessions with .. satanic sessions, 800. I think that those are
certainly gross exaggerations. And the girls have given
inconsistencies in their statements. There have been many statements,
but basically the doctors have stated this is not an unusual thing,
that when people have been subjected to severe sexual abuse over a
period of years.
... he's not being accused of raping his wife, of being involved with
multiple activities that have been described here in the courtroom
back in 1975, 1976, or any of the satanic .. alleged satanic. The
case here is rape of the two women in 1988, and that's all the charges
are. And I just find that he did it.
... In essence there are two psychologists, Hatcher and Peterson, who
had gone over Mr. Ingram very carefully, and in essence they say that
his statements and his conduct, and whatnot, are consistent with those
of a sex abuser. One family counselor, Dr. Lennon, is not a
psychologist, but he is an experienced person in the treating of
sexual problems, and he in essence is consistent, in my judgment, with
the testimony of the two psychologists.
One witness, Dr. Ofshe, who is a doctor of sociology says
differently, but I really feel that the three states witnesses are
more credible than Dr. Ofshe. ...
Dr. Lennon finds a dissociative disorder, but he believes that the
defendant admitted having a direct memory of molestation. ... in
this questionnaire that Dr. Lennon gave to Mr. Ingram when he was in
jail, and that Mr. Ingram filled out in his own handwriting, he
states: "What is your the background of your current situation? Long
term sexual abuse of my children by myself and others. Incest,
sodomy, and homosexual activity involved." He says, "I'm accused of
raping my daughter Julie in October of 1988. I have been able to
recall the incident." He does say that "I don't remember raping my
other daughter, but she says that I did it and so I did it."
But then he goes on, and again on Page 8 starts talking about what did
to the youngest daughter, and that he hit her in the face when she
says she'll tell. Then she moves out of the house.
... But were I a defense lawyer, and were I to refer the defendant to
Dr. Lennon for a report, and were I to get this report, I would be
very much down in the dumps, because it's a .. in my judgment, it's a
highly negative report from the standpoint of the defense.
Lennon, in the report, states, "Mr. Ingram stated that he had been
involved in either sodomy and homosexual activity. He stated I have
been involved in bondage and tying my victims up on at least three
occasions. He stated he threatened his family with threats of torture
and did he tell and handguns were used at least six times. "
He stated and .. a direct quote on again, so far as the younger
daughter is concerned, and on Page 7, "He is an individual who has
clearly indicated that, `I raped my daughters and sons.' "
Then Dr. Lennon comes in with the recommendation that he would be at
a high risk to reoffend. ... And he says here that he does not
believe he should be treated as a outpatient, that it would be an
inpatient situation, and it should be at Twin Rivers, which is the
Department of Corrections or, in essence, prison.
That is the defense doctor saying that. Nobody else, except Dr.
Ofshe, finds coercion. The other witnesses do not.
Let me talk just briefly about Dr. Ofshe. I have got another five
minutes of reasoning here. Then I will quit. My problems with Dr.
Ofshe's testimony are just these.
No. 1, he is not a clinical psychologist. He is a professor of
sociology at .. in Berkeley. He's not able to treat .. he's not able
to treat this defendant for the conditions that Dr. Lennon found that
2, he's not an expert in sex abuse or with matters with regard to
victims of sex abuse.
3, his experiment that he engaged in here was odd in my judgment. The
first day he came to Thurston County was February 2nd. And on that
very first day he went to the defendant and gave the defendant, when
he was allegedly working for the state, a false set of facts, but a
set of facts that came pretty close to what one of the victims had
accused the defendant of. But he said this person said this, and this
person said this. Now, what do you say about it. And then told him
to go back to the cell, and come back with a scenario as to what
happened. And he came back with a scenario.
If that had been a police officer making false statements to a
defendant, I think the state would come under very heavy criticism for
that. And Dr. Hatcher said that is not an appropriate technique that
he would have used. And if one were going to use a technique like
that, one would wait until you had exhausted all other avenues, then
come back and say nothing fits here, I'm going to try and experiment,
rather than doing it on the very first day. So there would be .. there
would be no tainting. If you're going to be doing things like that,
wouldn't you pick something that is totally foreign from anything that
could probably be true.
I think I would say, why don't you pick a scenario of a female and
male that live in Shelton, or Tacoma, or someplace else, and see if
you could get them to come back with details regarding that. He
didn't do that. And I find that it's a odd experiment, and the timing
The next problem I've got with Dr. Ofshe is he finds the defendant to
be in a hypnotic state, or in a trance, on November 29th from reading
a dry record. I find that to be strange. I wonder if that can be
done. I have great cause for concern with that. I find that really
he is considerably less qualified than Hatcher, Peterson, and Lennon
to give opinions in this area. ... ...
[In discussing Ingram's testimony toward withdrawing his guilty plea:]
He [Ingram] states now that Risch and Rabie [the other two men accused
by the daughters of molesting them] had no involvement with any of
this. He pulls back on all of his statements in that regard, after
having involved them with statements. And sometime in April .. I
can't be precise here .. or early May, he came up with the statement
.. the story that ten other people, some of whom I suspect may have
been law enforcement officers, committed sexual improprieties with
members of his family. Now, on the stand he says that was all
false. ... I believe his testimony is impeached, and I believe that
he is somewhat of a manipulator. These are powerful words. I
understand that. But I'm simply telling you what I believe and what I
The bottom line, I don't think there was a manifest injustice, and I
think the pleas of guilty were voluntary, and they will stand. So
[The rest of the transcript concerns issues of sentencing, etc.]
Comments? Please call the authors at (415) 731-8155, or write to John
Backus and Barbara Una Stannard at P.O. Box 16014, San Francisco, CA
94116. Single typeset copies may be obtained by sending a business-
size, self-addressed envelope with $.52 postage to the authors at this
Original: January 1, 1994. Revised and Appendix II added, September
 An FMSF flyer says 2,345 families have called complaining about
their children remembering sexual abuse (more recent data indicates
the number of families is now over 6,000 or even 10,000).
 Pamela is the Executive Director of FMSF. Together Peter and
Pamela effectively **are** the FMSF. See page 6 for their daughter's
sensational story about their family.
 In a newsletter of February 29, 1992, Pamela Freyd says that the
original list of 202 prospective FMSF member families came from Dr.
Underwager's "Institute for Psychological Therapies." Some 1992
callers to the FMSF 800 number spoke with Underwager in his Minnesota
office. A February 1993 FMSF flyer lists him as an Advisory Board
member; bad publicity caused his resignation, but the FMSF still
welcomes his help.
 "Pedophilia" or "paedophilia" is defined by Merriam-Webster's
Collegiate Dictionary as "sexual perversion in which children are the
preferred sexual object."
 In this article we use the popular term "incest survivor" as
shorthand for the longer phrase "adult sexually abused as a child."
 But recent revelations by the daughter of the founders of the FMSF
show that her parents founded the FMSF because they wanted to
discredit their daughter remembering that her father sexually abused
her. See page 6 for a discussion of the Freyd family.
 One man had a serious cough for three months until he remembered
that his mother tried to drown him. No medical treatment helped the
cough, which disappeared quickly after recovering the memory.
 See "Psychiatric Misadventures," by Paul R. McHugh, THE AMERICAN
SCHOLAR, Volume 61, Number 4, 1992, an article distributed by the
FMSF; see also "The False Memory Syndrome Phenomenon," an FMSF
booklet, pg 6.
 An FMSF "expert," psychiatrist Harold Lief, reveals the following
opinions in ADDICTION & RECOVERY (May/June 1993): if a memory occurs
after reading THE COURAGE TO HEAL, or if it concerns abuse by a woman,
or deviant abuse, or very early abuse, then, in Dr. Lief's opinion,
it is less likely to be true. (One must suppose that if someone
remembered deviant early abuse by his mother, and had read COURAGE,
then Lief would be **certain** it was false.) Lief also compares going
into the details of childhood traumas to "exorcism for demonic
possession." These illogical opinions seem more a result of denial
than of reason.
 DENYING THE HOLOCAUST by Deborah Lipset (Free Press, 1993).
 COME HERE by Richard Berendzen (Villard, 1993).
 See page 15 for further discussion of why this happens.
 Pamela Freyd is the Executive Director of the FMSF; she and her
husband are the driving forces behind it. In a very real sense they
**are** the FMSF. The evidence strongly suggests that the FMSF grew
out of the Freyds' effort to discredit their daughter Jennifer. That
is why it is important to give some details of their story from the
daughter's viewpoint. Their daughter has never sued her father. She
did not make her side of the story public until after her parents sent
their account to her colleagues. See "Memories of a Disputed Past,"
The Sunday Oregonian, August 8, 1993. See also the paper "Theoretical
and Personal Perspectives on the Delayed Memory Debate" presented by
J. Freyd at The Center for Mental Health at Foote Hospital's
Continuing Education Conference: Controversies around recovered
memories of incest and ritualistic abuse. August 7, 1993. Ann Arbor,
 This history of childhood sexual abuse is characteristic of many
child abusers, including the emotional denial of their own abuse. It
is little wonder that this exceedingly sexualized man..-who has not
dealt with the anguish of his own disastrous childhood..-has no
sympathy for his daughter's pain. Many abused children grow up
pleased with their sexual obsession; they often believe that they were
always "sexually precocious" because they are unable to face that they
were **trained** to be that way. They usually prefer to regard their
sexual training as "love." Their sexual obsession is important to them
because it often represents one of the few seemingly "alive" and
pleasurable aspects of their lives.
 An odd example of their "love": Peter Freyd wrote Jennifer "I
[think of] the whole project [**the FMSF!**] as being primarily a way
of communicating with our daughters." It appears to be more a means
for abusing them.
 Peter Freyd's older brother says of Peter and Pamela that "both
are convinced they have the only correct view, any disagreement is
seen as being misinformed or deranged." This kind of rigidity is a
common element of denial.
 FMSF Newsletter, December 5, 1992, pg 1.
 This distrust arises from the fact that these techniques create
altered states of consciousness in which subjects often become
suggestible. However, used with care to avoid leading or suggestion,
these techniques can produce a lot of information about facts and
 Remember that men of science have had many erroneous views; in
regard to the awareness, intelligence and sensibilities of newborns
and infants, they have been particularly obtuse: for example, until
recently the majority of doctors believed that newborns were
insensitive to pain and would operate on them and circumcise them
without anesthetics (many still do!). But many studies have shown
that newborns are sensitive to pain just as we are. Scientists also
believed the newborn brain to be primitive and poorly developed; they
consequently believed babies were non-persons who could not accumulate
a personal history. This skepticism about babies' mental abilities is
widespread even today, despite ever increasing evidence that even
preborns and newborns have remarkable mental capacities. For example,
they can pick out their mother's face from a set of photographs
minutes after birth. They recognize their mothers in the dark by
smell. The list of their abilities is long; see BABIES REMEMBER BIRTH
by David Chamberlin, Ph.D., (Tarcher, 1988) for a charming account of
their development and abilities; see also PRE & PERINATAL PSYCHOLOGY,
AN INTRODUCTION, Thomas Verny, ed. (Human Sciences Press, 1987). Thus
scientists' opinions can be just as inaccurate or even as foolish as
[Dr. Piaget, author of _The Child and Reality,_ who did more research
than anyone on the reasoning and intellectual capacities of infants and
children, confirmed that newborns were conscious and aware. He published
his findings forty years ago. -Astraea]
 Here is a conversation of a visibly pregnant anthropologist with
her young daughter in BABIES REMEMBER BIRTH (p102): Daughter: Is the
baby going to be dirty when she comes out of your tummy? I was dirty
when I came out of your tummy in the hospital. Mother: You were?
What made you dirty? D: Mud. It was all over me. It was yucky! M:
What color was it? D: It was white. M: What happened? D: They put me
in a bathtub and washed me all clean. M: And then what happened? D:
They gave me to you and you held me. Then they took me and put me in
a box. Why did they put me in a box? M: To keep you warm. What did
the box look like? D: It was a plastic box and it had a lid on it.
M: And what happened next? D: They brought me to you again and you
held me. ... M: What happened when we got home? D: You put some
pretty baby clothes on me and you put me in my crib and I went to sleep.
 BABIES REMEMBER BIRTH by David Chamberlin, Ph.D. (Tarcher, 1988)
 BABIES REMEMBER BIRTH pps 105-120.
 Here is one sample from the account of pair #6 (pp 107-8:
Mother: "I pick her up and smell her. I smell her head. I look at
her toes and say, 'O God! She has deformed toes!'" She then asked the
nurse about the toes and received assurances they were all right.
Child: "She's holding me up, looking at me ... She's smelling me!
And she asked the nurse why my toes were so funny ... The nurse said
that's just the way my toes were and that they weren't deformed."
 REALMS OF THE HUMAN UNCONSCIOUS by Stanislov Grof (Souvenir
Press, 1975) pps 161-2. A patient accurately remembered the sounds of
a village fair his mother visited just before his birth. His mother,
who had not told her son about it, told Grof about her excursion when
he questioned her later.
[We highly recommend -all- of Dr. Grof's early books, including BEYOND
THE BRAIN and LSD PSYCHOTHERAPY, as well as REALMS. -Astraea]
 "On Meditation and the Western Mind" in NOETIC SCIENCES
COLLECTION, 1980-1990, pg 119.
 He we do not make technical distinctions between "repressed," and
other, temporarily inaccessible memories such as those resulting from
dissociation or post-traumatic stress disorder. We use "repress" in
the dictionary sense of "to exclude from consciousness."
 FMSF Newsletter, December 5, 1992, pg 1.
 REALMS OF THE HUMAN UNCONSCIOUS by Stanislov Grof (Souvenir
Press, 1975), pps 66-8.
 THE MYSTERY OF THE MIND by Wilder Penfield (Princeton Univ.
Press, 1975). Penfield received a great many decorations and awards
for his work.
 Part II, May 24, 1993. Wright has written a book of the same
name, which we have not read.
 Ingram's wife, his two daughters, and his two sons all recount
numerous incidents of bizarre sexual activity in the family. For
example, the older son, who knew nothing about the case and lived in
another state, told detectives in his first interview of an incident
in which he discovered his father (and the **same two other men**
accused by the daughters) having deviant sex with his mother who was
tied up on a bed.
 IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON, IN AND FOR THE
COUNTY OF THURSTON, State of Washington, Plaintiff; Paul Ross Ingram,
Defendant; No. 88-1-752-1; Report Of Proceedings .. Volume VII. This
is the transcript of Judge Robert H. Peterson's ruling, dated February
1, 1990. Excerpts from the ruling appear in Appendix II of t See page
 For example, Ingram told Dr. Lennon, a defense expert, that he
had raped his younger daughter in October of 1988 [p909, lines 4-6 of
the judge's ruling]. His first confession of incest was on November
28, 1988, at most 2 months after this rape.
 "Remembering Satan," Part II, THE NEW YORKER, May 24, 1993, p76.
 See "Presuming to Know the Truth" by Judith Herman in NIEMAN
REPORTS, The Nieman Foundation at Harvard University, Spring 1994, p43
 This series is yet another example of biased reporting: One of
the authors, Stephanie Salter, was the lover of a man accused by his
daughter of molesting her.
 These usually occur in bitter divorce and custody cases.
 THE EROTIC LIFE OF ANAIS NIN by Noel Riley Fitch (Little, Brown,
 Brochure of the National Center for Missing and Exploited
Children. These figures cover eight years of the Center's operation.
The Center operates under Congressional mandate and works in
cooperation with the Department of Justice.
 For example, their brochure says that the median income of their
supporting families is $60,000, that 60% are college graduates and 25%
have advanced degrees. One must assume that this is supposed to
indicate that these families are "respectable" and therefore could not
have abused their children.
 May 6, 1993.
 June 14, 1993.
 Driver was also divorced in 1980 on the grounds that he had
molested his wife's 5-year-old son. A single child molester like
Driver or Father Porter, if not in prison, often wrecks the lives of
literally hundreds of children.
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