by Alex Constantine
May 20, 1996
At Carlton University [in Ottawa, Canada] a group of graduate researchers have concluded a study of the so-called "false memory syndrome," an explanation for recovered memories of child abuse promoted by a "foundation" of psychologists who appear frequently on talk shows to denounce therapists for filling the heads of children with recollections of horrific crimes. The False Memory Syndrome Foundation (FMSF) was co-founded by Dr. Ralph Underwager, the clinical psychologist who once said it was "God's will" adults have sex with children and suggested most women who are raped "enjoy the experience." Equally peculiar is the FMSF advisory board, a clutch of psychologists from leading universities, many with backgrounds in CIA mind control experimentation. The researchers at Carlton concluded they could find no proof that an insidious pathology, the "confabulation" of memories, exists, a charge the FMSF has been making about ritual abuse for years.
The Ottawa Survivors' Study searched for evidence of the false memory syndrome in 113 adult women who, as children, reported they'd been sexually molested. Four sets of questions concerning symptoms of false memory were drawn up. The women were asked about the type of therapy they received, problems with personal relationships and patterns of stress. A detailed analysis of their responses also sought the presence of pseudomemories, the core of false memory theory.
The study was headed by Connie Kristiansen, a professor of psychology at Carlton who proposed that the university evaluate the statistical claims of the Foundation, which have been widely repeated in the press. The FMSF insists that [at least] 25 percent [and possibly] all recovered memories of child abuse are completely false, in contrast to the results of the Ottawa study.
About half of the subjects remembered abuse. The other half had remembered buried memories of abuse as adults. The responses of the two groups were analyzed, and only two of the 51 women with recovered memories had symptoms that met the false memory criteria, leading the researchers to conclude that the syndrome does not exist as defined by the Foundation, and may not exist at all.
They advised that false memory syndrome should not be used in the courtroom to discredit recovered memories of abuse until the validity of false memory theory can be demonstrated.
Original file name: .CNI - False Mem Refute 5.20
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