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Newspaper Articles About the Problem


Houston Chronicle (may require free registration to view)

TV review: Report focuses on diagnoses of satanic abuse (24 Oct 95)
 "Dr. Jack Leggett, a clinical psychologist who used to review mental health claims ... reports that starting in the 1980s, he noticed 'a startling pattern' in MPD patients' claims: Most of them had very generous insurance policies with rich benefits claims."
 45 indictments in child abuse case dropped  (7 Nov 95)
"Assistant Attorney General Lisa Tanner asked that 45 indictments against 10 people be dropped because the special prosecutor and a team that once handled the case 'irreparably tainted' the children who were to testify .... Of particular concern ... was a 'highly controversial' technique in which the children were held and their ribs rubbed, sometimes to the point of raising bruises."
Abuse saga takes toll on victims (26 Nov 95)
Time wasted investigating false allegations of satanic abuse leaves real-life murder unsolved, a child institutionalized after abuse in foster care, and two foster parents dead by suicide:

Minneapolis-St.Paul Star Tribune

Jury awards patient $2.6 million; Verdict finds therapist Humenansky liable in repressed-memory trial  (1 Aug 95)
"Humenansky also told Hamanne that she could not remember the abuse because she suffered from repression, and that to be helped she would have to 'recover' memories of the abuse, the White Bear Lake woman alleged in her lawsuit."
 Board suspends license of psychiatrist Diane Humenansky (8 Feb 97)
"Many of the former patients complained that she incorrectly diagnosed multiple personality disorder and told them they must have been repeatedly sexually abused by relatives .... Humenansky pleaded no contest to the Medical Practice Board's allegations that she had demonstrated professional incompetence and had engaged in unprofessional conduct."
Psychologist accused of planting false abuse memories in patient (5 Apr 97)
"The female patient, who was identified only as a resident of Ramsey County, alleged that Renee Fredrickson, who wrote "Repressed Memories: A Journey to Recovery from Sexual Abuse," manipulated her into experiencing false memories of ritual cult abuse, torture, dismemberment and murder, according to the suit filed in Ramsey County District Court."

Penticton Herald (British Columbia, Canada)

 Noah's mark (18 Feb 97)
"MacDonald's license was subsequently revoked by the state of Washington for acting 'incompetently when she concluded a mentally ill patient (his daughter) had suffered sexual and ritual abuse as a child.' In revoking her license, the state found MacDonald had 'validated memories of alleged childhood ritual and sexual abuse without either seeking to confirm by any other means, or exploring alternative explanations for the memories.' .... Noah says he paid $78, took four hours' training and became a therapist himself, just to prove how easy it is for unqualified people to hang up a shingle and 'help' others."

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Father torn by incest accusation (11 Dec 92)
'It's like a cult,' he said about his daughter's therapy. 'It's all in Courage to Heal,' a book by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis that has become the Bible of the incest recovery movement. .... Noah said his wife and their four other daughters support his innocence,
but he said the stigma of the accusation is hard to shake: 'Everyone says, 'Why would she lie?'"
The Power to Harm (23-27 Feb 98)
"State workers responsible for protecting the children acted with a zeal that often did more harm than good. Mental health therapists behaved more like cops pursuing evidence than couselors easing children's pain. Police, prosecutors, and judges permitted civil rights violations, conflicts of interest and rulings that may have denied fair trials for many defendants. The guardians of justice failed in Wenatchee, as did the guardians of the children."

 St. Louis Post-Dispatch

  Furor over false memories puts hypnotherapist in the spotlight  (28 June 1998)
"She came to believe she'd been raped as a child by her father, the leader of a satanic cult that also included her mother, brother, grandfather and a neighbor .... So the young woman cut off all ties with her family for more than a year. Lamb told her that was the only way she could hope to recover. On Friday, St. Louis County Circuit Court Judge John Kintz sentenced Lamb to 30 months in state prison, the dramatic end of a criminal case with national significance."

Vancouver Sun

 Compensation for 'false memory syndrome' costly for B.C. taxpayers (12 March 1999)
"B.C. tax dollars are being spent to compensate people who have uncovered "memories" of childhood sex abuse, even though there is no proof the crimes occurred. Critics of so-called "false memory syndrome" -- including a father who says the B.C. government funds helped tear his family apart -- say governments that pay for counselling reinforce the impact of artificial memories "recovered" during dubious therapies."
 Memories split his family (12 March 1999)
"After his daughters went to therapists who helped them 'recover' memories about being sexually abused, Lloyd Corney lost his wife and children. But the accused man has never had his day in court and thousands of tax dollars have been spent on therapy for the accusers."


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