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Religious Tolerance logo


Ritual abuse, Satanic ritual abuse (SRA), multiple personality
disorder (MPD), recovered memory therapy (RMT), etc.

News items, from the year 2007

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News items:

  • 2007-JAN-03: USA: Michael Phillips comments on the history of recovered memories: In his blog "Gods of Commerce," Phillips wrote, in part:

"A few weeks ago Dr. Laura, the straight shooting afternoon radio personality, made a strong statement that "recovered memory" was a sham and an absurd outrage. I like Dr. Laura for her candor and I love her for her strong stand on this issue."

"No one can forget years of physical abuse and no one has come up with a mental mechanism to explain how such abuse could be forgotten."

"But America was in an hysterical state from the beginning of the 1980s to the end of the 1990s in which 99.9% of Americans believed memories of serious and extensive abuse could be "recovered" in a therapeutic setting. In 1997 a college student reported that she had falsely said she was sexually abused as a child because every other woman in her dorm at a prestigious Eastern college had a story of being sexually abused. ..."

"The beginning of the end of the hysteria was recorded by two more prestigious articles in the New York Review of Books by Berkeley professor of literature Frederick C. Crews in 1993 and 1994."

"The hysteria still lingers in 2006, I would guess 20% of Americans still believe it. Thank you Dr. Laura for your strong stand." 1

  • 2007-SEP-29: North America: NBC's Law & Order SVU episode discusses MPD: An episode of Law and Order, Special Victims Unit titled "Alternate" revisited the multiple personality disorder theme. The story involved using MPD and false memories as an insanity defense strategy. In the story, two sisters conspired to murder their parents. One of the sisters pretended to have MPD with five well defined alters (alternative personalities). B.D. Wong, playing the role of a police psychiatrist, made a statement typical of the year 1987 rather than 2007: that the mental health community was divided on the topic of multiple personalities. He said that most MPD cases were bogus, but that the few that were valid involved horrendous abuse during childhood. The victims create alternative personalities as a defense mechanism. The police were able to lift a fingerprint implicating one of the sisters as the murderer. She was tried but was found not guilty by reason of insanity. After the trial, police found evidence of the sisters' conspiracy and charged the sister who had not murdered the parents with conspiracy to murder.

    Unfortunately, the episode will leave many viewers with the misinformation that a large percentage of mental health professionals still believe MPD/DID exists. The series is still appearing in reruns; the most recent broadcast that we noticed was on 2012-APR-15.

  • 2007-OCT-09: N. America: Boston Legal episode "The Chicken and the Leg:" Season 4; Episode 71: This episode has passing a reference to recovered memories: A widow hired a team of lawyers (Katie Lloyd and Jerry Espensonat) at the Boston legal firm to represent her. She wanted to sue her late husband's psychiatrist. It seems that he "recovered" repressed "memories" during therapy. The "memories" were responsible for the man's depression and triggered his suicide. She asserted that the psychiatrist did not inform the husband of the high failure rate of this type of therapy and therefore neglected to obtain informed consent. The lawyers were able to negotiate a large sum of money and settle the case out of court. 2

  • 2007-OCT-19: Scotland: ₤ 20,000 award for false recovered memories: Katrina Fairlie, 37, agreed to an out-of-court settlement worth about $41,000 in U.S. currency. She had claimed that Dr. Alex Yellowlees had used a form of RMT on her. She had recovered false memories of sexual abuse by her father, and a memory of him battering a six-year-old girl to death with an iron bar. These memories had caused extreme damage to her relationships with members of her immediate family. She launched a lawsuit in 2005, She said:

"I was determined to make people see what happened to me. I lost years of my life because of the opinions of psychiatrists. ... I am relieved that this is over and now I can move on. I am lucky because my family have stood by me and we have become closer because of this." 3

  • 2007-OCT-29: AR: DNA data proves innocence of West Memphis Three:  Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley or Jason Baldwin were convicted of the Satanic ritual killing of three six-year-olds in West Memphis, AR in 1994. They have since spent most of their lives in jail. Recent DNA testing showed that none of the DNA from the alleged murderers was present at the crime scene. However, DNA from the step-father of one of the victims was reported present. The West Memphis Three's (WM3) defense team issued a "Second Amended Petition for Writ of Habeus Corpus" on behalf of Damien Echols on 2007-OCT-29. They are arguing that new evidence, including the testimony of several prominent forensic pathologists, would convince any reasonable juror of the innocence of the WM3. The investigators also concluded that the cuts on the bodies of the victims were caused by scavenging animals postmortem-- not by a knife as claimed by the prosecution. More information.

References:

  1. Michael Phillips, "Unrecovered memory," Gods of Commerce blog, 2--7=JAN-03, at: http://phillips.blogs.com/
  2. "The Chicken and the Leg," Boston Legal, 2007-OCT-09, at: http://abc.go.com/
  3. "20,000 payout for woman who falsely accused her father of rape after 'recovered memory' therapy," Daily Mail, 2007-OCT-19, at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/

Copyright 2007 to 2012 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
Latest update: 2012-APR-15
Author: B.A. Robinson

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