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.

1) Harassing debate opponents

Confessions of a Whistle-Blower: Lessons Learned Author: Anna C. Salter DOI: 10.1207/s15327019eb0802_2 Published in: Ethics & Behavior, Volume 8, Issue 2 June 1998 , pages 115 – 124 Abstract – In 1988 I began a report on the accuracy of expert testimony in child sexual abuse cases utilizing Ralph Underwager and Hollida Wakefield as a case study (Wakefield & Underwager, 1988). In response, Underwager and Wakefield began a campaign of harassment and intimidation, which included multiple lawsuits; an ethics charge; phony (and secretly taped) phone calls; and ad hominem attacks, including one that I was laundering federal grant monies. The harassment and intimidation failed as the author refused demands to retract. In addition, the lawsuits and ethics charges were dismissed.

Calof, D.L. (1998). Notes from a practice under siege: Harassment, defamation, and intimidation in the name of science, Ethics and Behavior, 8(2) pp. 161-187. Abstract: I have practiced psychotherapy, family therapy, and hypnotherapy for over 25 years without a single board complaint or lawsuit by a client. For over 3 years, however, a group of proponents of the false memory syndrome (FMS) hypothesis, including members, officials, and supporters of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation, Inc., have waged a multimodal campaign of harassment and defamation directed against me, my clinical clients, my staff, my family, and others connected to me. I have neither treated these harassers or their families nor had any professional or personal dealings with any of them; I am not related in any way to the disclosures of memories of sexual abuse in these families. Nonetheless, this group disrupts my professional and personal life and threatens to drive me out of business. In this article, I describe practicing psychotherapy under a state of siege and place the campaign against me in the context of a much broader effort in the FMS movement to denigrate, defame, and harass clinicians, lecturers, writers, and researchers identified with the abuse and trauma treatment communities. http://ritualabuse.us/research/memory-fms/notes-from-a-practice-under-siege/  http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a918444287

JENNIFER A. HOULT in 1988, filed a civil suit against her father – a member of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation – (J. Hoult v. D.P. Hoult), whom she alleged had sexually abused her throughout her childhood. In 1993, this case was unanimously decided in her favor, and she was awarded monetary damages. However, Hoult has seen the facts of her case twisted and misreported in the media and by FMS proponents. She writes:

“Since 1995, I have become aware of the parallel between the intimidation and silencing in the microcosm of the abusive family and in the macrocosm of a society that is ill at ease in dealing with the abuse of children. During my childhood my father protected himself from being held accountable by threatening me into silence. I believe that published documents demonstrate how some members and supporters of false memory groups publish false statements that defame and intimidate victims of proven violence and their supporters. Such altered accounts are used to discredit others in court and in the press.”Silencing the Victim: The Politics of Discrediting Child Abuse Survivors, p. 125. https://web.archive.org/web/20130225044634/http://fmsf.com/ethics.shtml

Abstract: 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. Silencing the Victim: The Politics of Discrediting Child Abuse Survivors – Ethics & Behavior, Volume 8, Issue 2 June 1998 , pages 125 – 140

2) Misrepresenting the data in the field

“Since at least 95 percent of child molesters initially deny their abusive behaviors, how can untrained lay people like Pamela Freyd and her staff “document” a real or “unreal” case of “FMS,” as appears to be the case with most of their communications, which usually occur over the telephone or by letter. (p. 76) (Memory and abuse: remembering and healing the effects of trauma by Charles L. Whitfield, Christine Courtois Published by HCI, 1995)

JENNIFER J. FREYD, PH.D., author of “Betrayal Trauma: The Logic of Forgetting Childhood Abuse.”
“Despite this documentation for both traumatic amnesia and essentially accurate delayed recall, memory science is often presented as if it supports the view that traumatic amnesia is very unlikely or perhaps impossible and that a great many, perhaps a majority, maybe even all, recovered memories of abuse are false….Yet no research supports such an implication…and a great deal of research supports the premise that forgetting sexual abuse is fairly common and that recovered memories are sometimes essentially true.” (p. 107)
Science in the Memory Debate – Ethics & Behavior, Volume 8, Issue 2 June 1998 , pages 101 – 113 https://web.archive.org/web/20130225044634/http://fmsf.com/ethics.shtml

Ethics & Behavior, Volume 8 Issue 2 1998 ISSN: 1532-7019 (electronic) 1050-8422 (paper) http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~db=all~content=g918444289

Ralph Underwager and Hollida Wakefield, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. Anna Salter, Et Al., Defendants-Appellees., 22 F.3d 730 (7th Cir. 1994) Federal Circuits, 7th Cir. (April 25, 1994) Docket number: 93-2422

“Psychologists Ralph Underwager and Hollida Wakefield have written two books…When a given reference fails to support their viewpoint they simply misstate the conclusion. When they cannot use a quotation out of context from an article, they make unsupported statements, some of which are palpably untrue and others simply unprovable. David L. Chadwick, Book Review, in 261 JAMA 3035 (May 26, 1989)”

“Both Salter and Toth came to believe that Underwager is a hired gun who makes a living by deceiving judges about the state of medical knowledge and thus assisting child molesters to evade punishment.”  https://web.archive.org/web/20100315032508/http://vlex.com/vid/underwager-hollida-wakefield-salter-36092881

3) Controlling the media

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

“Rarely has such a strange and little-understood organization had such a profound effect on media coverage of such a controversial matter. The foundation is an aggressive, well-financed p.r. machine adept at manipulating the press, harassing its critics, and mobilizing a diverse army of psychiatrists, outspoken academics, expert defense witnesses, litigious lawyers, Freud bashers, critics of psychotherapy, and devastated parents. With a budget of $750,000 a year from members and outside supporters, the foundation’s reach far exceeds its actual membership of about 3,000.”

“As controversial memory cases arose around the country, FMSF boosters contacted journalists to pitch the false-memory argument, more and more reporters picked up on the issue, and the  foundation became an overnight media darling. The story line that had dominated the press since the 1980s — an underreported toll of sexual abuse, including sympathetic stories of adult survivors resurrecting long-lost memories of it — was quickly turned around. The focus shifted to new tearful victims — respectable, elderly parents who could no longer see their children and grandchildren because of bad therapists who implanted memories…:” http://web.archive.org/web/20071216011151/http://backissues.cjrarchives.org/year/97/4/memory.asp