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About FMSF – Advisory Board Profiles

The FMSF Scientific and Professional Advisory Board – Profiles

Since the founding of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation in 1992, the term “false memory syndrome” has become a part of everyday language and the focus for intense professional debate. How has such a small group managed to have such a powerful impact in such a short time?

In forming the FMSF, we felt that we would be most effective if we could gain the help of members of the scientific and clinical communities who studied memory. With the help of world-renowned memory and hypnosis researchers Emily and Martin Orne, we began to identify people who published research in the field of memory or clinical practice might provide insights into the problem. We decided to approach senior members in the field so that they would not feel their careers pressured by the obviously passionate fray about repressed memories that were growing within the therapeutic community.

Through letters and phone calls, we made contact with the outstanding scholars and clinicians who became the FMSF Scientific and Professional Advisory Board. As word of the fledgling organization spread, interested professionals began to contact us. As it formed, it became clear that one of the strengths of the Advisory Board was the diversity of opinion on some of the topics, including hypnosis and repression. At the same time, the Advisory Board has been unified by an adherence to the fundamental notion that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. They are in agreement that external corroboration is necessary in order to know the truth or falsity of a memory. They are all concerned about possible harm to patients and families through the use of techniques that increase the risk of suggestion.

The False Memory Syndrome Foundation has had a powerful impact because of the brilliance, strength, integrity and courage of the members of the Scientific and Professional Advisory Board. The list below includes the names of Board members who are now deceased because their presence on the board was so significant.

Pamela Freyd, Ph.D.
Executive Director (December 2013)

JEAN P. CHAPMAN, Ph.D. (Deceased)ULRIC NEISSER, Ph.D., N.A.S. (Deceased)
ROBYN M. DAWES, Ph.D. (Deceased)MARTIN T. ORNE, M.D., Ph.D. (Deceased)
HENRY C. ELLIS, Ph.D. (Deceased)CAMPBELL W. PERRY, Ph.D. (Deceased)
DAVID A. HALPERIN, M.D., F.A.P.A., F.A.G.P.A. (Deceased)THOMAS A. SEBEOK, Ph.D. (Deceased)
PHILIP S. HOLZMAN, Ph.D. (Deceased)RALPH SLOVENKO, J.D., Ph.D. (Deceased)


Aaron Beck is University Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in Philadelphia. He joined the Board in May of 1995 after Martin Orne and Harold Lief informed him of its existence. “I was convinced it was a very valuable enterprise,” Dr. Beck said.

Dr. Beck is the winner of many awards and honors, including the Louis Dublin Award from the American Association of Suicidology (1983); the Einstein Award in Psychiatry (1992), the James McKeen Cattell Fellow Award in Applied Psychology (1993), Frawemeyer Award for Psychology (2004), and the Gustav O. Lienhard Award from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences (2006), the Sigmund Freud Award (2010) and the Edward J. Sachar Award (2011).

Dr. Beck’s career focuses on suicide prevention, depression, and cognitive therapy. He has authored or co-authored 22 books. Among them are Love Is Never Enough, Cognitive Therapy of Personality Disorders, and Prediction of Suicide. In addition, he has published more than 540 articles in professional and scientific journals.

Dr. Beck is known as the Father of Cognitive Therapy and considered one of the most influential psychotherapists of all time.

Asked about the outlook for the repressed memory crisis, Dr. Beck replied in 1994: “I think it will fade away like historical episodes of mass hysteria.”


Dr. Campbell is a graduate of Western Michigan University and received his Doctor of Philosophy in Human Development and Clinical Psychology from the University of Maryland. His post-doctoral training was in family therapy at the University of Rochester School of Medicine.

A highly regarded lecturer, therapist and teacher, Dr. Campbell maintains a private practice in family therapy and forensic psychology in Sterling Heights, Michigan. Dr. Campbell was a co-founder of the Psychodiagnostic and Family Services Clinic of the Macomb County (Michigan) Circuit Court in 1972.

Much of Dr. Campbell’s work has been directed at the legal aspects of child abuse accusations. His publications have appeared in various scientific and professional journals including The American Journal of Forensic Psychology, Behavioral Sciences and the Law, Michigan Bar Journal, and Michigan Lawyers Weekly.

In addition to his many articles in journals, Dr. Campbell has written several important books. In Beware the Talking Cure, Dr. Campbell discussed the hazards of irresponsible therapy. His second book, Smoke and Mirrors: The Devastating Effect of False Sexual Abuse Claims, showed the painful results of false accusations. Cross-Examining Experts in the Behavioral Sciences was published in 2001.

In 1992 the American Psychological Society made Dr. Campbell a fellow, in recognition of his “distinguished contribution to psychological science.”


Personal knowledge of a repressed-memory tragedy led Dr. Cartwright to join the FMSF board. “A friend and colleague had an adult daughter in therapy accuse him of childhood sexual abuse,” she says. “It was my best judgment that this was unbelievable of the person I knew and could only been induced by the therapist.”

Asked whether she had noticed any progress in resolving the false memory crisis, Dr. Cartwright replied in 1995: “Yes. Therapists are aware and are more careful in treatment in regard to these issues.”

Because of the nature of her long research career, Dr. Cartwright might have been the person singer Patsy Cline had in mind when she recorded, Sweet Dreams, for Dr. Cartwright has devoted much of her career to dreams and sleep disorders. In 2004 she was the recipient of the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Sleep Research Society.

Dr. Cartwright received her M.A. in psychology at the University of Toronto, her Ph.D. at Cornell, and was chair of the Department of Psychology at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago for 30 years. She was also director of its Sleep Disorder Service and Research Center. Her research into sleep disorders and depression has brought her several fellowships, including those from the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Psychological Association.

Besides authoring more than 200 articles in professional journals, Dr. Cartwright has contributed to many books, particularly in the field of dreaming. She was author with Lynne Lamberg of the book Crisis Dreaming (1993), and The Twenty-Four Hour Mind: The Role of Sleep and Dreaming in Our Emotional Lives (2010) in which the authors advocate ways of using dreams to make positive changes in the patient’s waking life. Dr. Cartwright has been referred to as the “Queen of Dreams.”

JEAN P. CHAPMAN, Ph.D. (Deceased)

After receiving her Ph.D. at Northwestern University in 1960, Jean Paulsen Chapman launched into a research career in abnormal psychology that has made her an authority on schizophrenia and other mental disorders. She is Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

With her husband, Dr. Loren J. Chapman, Jean Chapman received the Joseph Zubin Award from the Society for Research in Psychopathology in 1992. The award recognized the Chapmans for their lifetime contributions to research in psychopathology.

Beginning in the early 1960s, Dr. Jean Chapman wrote extensively on the subject of schizophrenia. Her articles appeared in a wide range of publications, including the Journal of Abnormal Psychology and the Schizophrenia Bulletin.

Dr. Chapman served on the editorial board of the Journal of Abnormal Psychology for many years as well as serving on other review panels. In 1973, she and her husband co-authored a book entitled Disordered Thought in Schizophrenia.

Another area of interest for Dr. Chapman is that of statistics, and she has written extensively on psychometric assessment. A feature review on this subject, Principles, Pitfalls, and the Magic of Statistics, recently appeared in Psychological Science.

LOREN J. CHAPMAN, Ph.D. (Deceased)

Loren Chapman did his undergraduate work at Harvard University and received his Master’s Degree in Experimental Psychology from Northwestern University.

After receiving his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Northwestern University in 1954, he devoted virtually his entire career to conducting research and writing about schizophrenia. In addition, he has taught psychology at the University of Chicago, University of Kentucky, Southern Illinois University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Since 1993 he has been professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin.

Besides teaching, writing and doing research, Dr. Chapman found time to serve as associate editor of the Journal of Abnormal Psychology. He also served on the board of the Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, and Contemporary Psychology.

His extensive writing has included two books. He was co-author with his wife, Dr. Jean Chapman, of Disordered Thought in Schizophrenia (1973). In 1993 the Chapmans teamed with D.C. Fowles as editors of Progress in Experimental Personality and Psychopathology Research. They have also published more than 100 research articles in professional journals.

Beside receiving the Joseph Zubin Award with his wife in 1992, Loren Chapman was honored in the same year with the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology.


Frederick Crews earned his Ph.D. at Princeton in 1958 and taught until 1994 at the University of California Berkeley, where he eventually served as chair of the English Department. Although English and American literature have occupied much of his early career, he now finds himself more and more embroiled in the current hullaballoo over what he calls “Freudian folklore” and its social consequences.

In his writing and editing career, Dr. Crews has managed to blend two disciplines: literature and psychology. Although most of his books have been concerned with literary figures and genres, Crews often approached those subjects from a psychological standpoint.

No stranger to controversy, Dr. Crews presented a stinging criticism of repressed memory psychotherapy in a two-part article in the New York Review of Books (1994), now reprinted in The Memory Wars (1995). He wrote Follies of the Wise: Dissenting Essays (2006), which features essays on Freudian psychoanalysis and the “recovered Memory” movement. Dr. Crews is a Founding Fellow of the Institute for Science in Medicine.

“I see my role in the FMS controversy as a dual one,” he says. “First, I have repeatedly tried to draw the attention of intellectuals and educated general readers to the reality and the urgency of the epidemic itself. And second, I have been trying to show that the FMS virus, even if it subsides over the next several years, will only recur in some mutated form unless the water that it swims in is drained. By this I mean that the ‘psychodynamic’ model of the mind lends itself all too readily to demonological theories….”

ROBYN M. DAWES, Ph.D. (Deceased)

Iconoclast is the word that often comes to mind when Dr. Dawes’ name is mentioned. In his biography, Dawes describes his life as “interesting,” which seems a vast understatement. He freely admits being “fired for insubordination” from his post as vice-president of the Oregon Research Institute in 1974. And in his book, House of Cards, he boldly challenges what he calls myths surrounding psychotherapy. He also wrote the book, Everyday Irrationality: How Pseudo-Scientists, Lunatics, and the Rest of Us Systematically Fail to Think Rationally.

He decided to join the FMSF Board, he says, “because I knew something about memory,” an understatement of great proportions. Citing research in the field and his general knowledge of memory, Dr. Dawes declares: “I was quite dubious that these constructive memories of implausible events could be historically accurate.”

After earning his B.A. in philosophy at Harvard (1958) and his Master’s Degree in clinical psychology (1960) at the University of Michigan, Dawes turned to mathematical psychology for his doctorate (1963). Memory work became the basis for his dissertation.

Since 1985 he has been at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where he is currently The Charles J. Queenan, Jr. University Professor. Dr. Dawes is a fellow in the American Academy of Arts and Science and a member of the European Academy of Science.

Besides writing more than 150 articles and five books, Dr. Dawes has collected numerous awards, including the William James Award, which the American Psychological Association bestowed on him in 1990 for his book, Rational Choice in an Uncertain World.


Since receiving his Ph.D. in Physiological Psychology at Saint Louis University in 1976, Dr. Dinges has conducted research and taught at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

He is Professor of Psychology in Psychiatry, Chief of the Division of Sleep and Chronobiology in the Department of Psychiatry; Director of the Unit for Experimental Psychiatry; and Associate Director of the Center for Sleep and Respiratory Neurobiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He is a member of the Graduate Group in Psychology and the Institute for Neurological Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. He also holds an Adjunct Professorship in the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems at Drexel University.

Dr. Dinges is an internationally recognized expert on excessive sleepiness and fatigue; their origins in sleep loss, disturbed sleep and circadian rhythms; their effects on human physiology, neurobehavioral functions, and health; and countermeasures for these effects.

During the past 25 years he has performed research for the National Institutes of Health; National Aeronautics and Space Administration; the National Space Biomedical Research Institute; the Air Force Office of Scientific Research; and the Department of Transportation. He has served on the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, the National Sleep Foundation, and been President of the Sleep Research Society.

Among his numerous research projects are original papers and abstracts on studies of sleep done in collaboration with fellow advisory board members, Dr. Martin Orne, Emily Orne, and others, on hypnotic-enhanced testimony. He has also written on demand characteristics; multiple personality in the forensic content; and on various aspects of hypnosis.

Dr. Dinges is currently the editor of the journals Sleep; Behavioral Sleep Medicine; Journal of Sleep Research; and Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Academy of Behavioral Medicine.

HENRY C. ELLIS, Ph.D. (Deceased)

After earning his Ph.D. at Washington University in 1958, Dr. Ellis began teaching and research at the University of New Mexico, where he was named Distinguished Professor of Psychology in 1987.

Prof. Ellis has been a researcher in the field of memory for most of his career, with general areas of interest in human memory and learning; emotional factors in memory and cognition; emotion and false memories; knowledge representation and comprehension, context and elaboration; and perceptual memory.

He was founding co-editor of Cognition and Emotion, and has served on the editorial board of that journal and many other professional journals.

Dr. Ellis has won numerous awards and honors, including fellowships in the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the British Psychological Society.

Dr. Ellis has been an expert witness in cases involving eyewitness identification and testimony since 1974 and more recently has served as a consultant on false memory syndrome.

He has served as a consultant in education affairs to many agencies and universities in various areas, including learning theory, cognitive psychology and instructional technology.

His publications and presentations of colloquia are numerous. One wonders how he finds time to be a member of a tennis club and many community service organizations in Albuquerque!


Dr. Frankel, Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, began his distinguished career in South Africa. For over a decade before his retirement, he was Psychiatrist-in-Chief and Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Beth Israel Hospital. Dr. Frankel had a deep interest in the area of hypnosis and published many papers in that area. As Editor of the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, he published two seminal journal issues devoted to the topic of false memories that set standards for clinical work and research in this area. In addition, Dr Frankel helped clarify the notion of “flashbacks” in a paper that changed public understanding of that phenomenon.

Dr. Frankel noted that: “I agreed to serve on the advisory board of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation in the company of many senior academicians, memory researchers, and clinicians, all of whom were responding in similar fashion to some authors’ strong convictions about the validity of recovered memories, despite the absence of evidence. The chronologic sequence is important. The advisory board was not assembled to impede clinical practice. Professionals with no special agenda of their own, who receive no material reward, have lent their names and advice to the Foundation to signify that there is a body of concerned professionals who seriously question the emphatic assertions of some of their colleagues about memories of childhood trauma.” New England Journal of Medicine, August 31, 1995.


“Freud would be turning over in his grave,” said Dr. Ganaway in discussing many fad therapies. In fact, Dr. Ganaway coined the term “McTherapy” to describe what he called “the fast food psychotherapies of the 1980s and 1990s.”

With a bachelor’s degree in clinical psychology from Duke and a medical degree from Emory University, Dr. Ganaway has combined careers in private psychiatric practice and in university teaching. He is an Instructor at the Emory University Psychoanalytic Institute of the Emory University School of Medicine as well as adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry.

Dr. Ganaway’s work with dissociative disorders has led him into several controversial areas in modern psychotherapy, including multiple personalities, Satanic Ritual Abuse, and repressed memories. He has often spoken on these subjects, and has even ventured into television and film. “I have been particularly interested in the depiction of hypnosis, dissociation, and multiple personalities in films and on television,” he says. He has served as technical advisor and/or script consultant for several programs including PBS documentaries and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s program, “The Fifth Estate.”

Former program director at the Ridgeview Center for Dissociative Disorders (now Ridgeview Institute) in Smyrna, Georgia, Dr. Ganaway notes that his technique in treating dissociative disorders “evolved clinically along very different lines” from many other such hospital and outpatient programs, “largely because I have emphasized a psychoanalytically-oriented approach to understanding and treating dissociative syndromes.”


Martin Gardner attained his degree in philosophy from the University of Chicago and was a math wizard who has been dubbed “The Master of Puzzles.”

Mr. Gardner’s writing career spanned 45 years, and includes projects so varied they range from Never Make Fun of a Turtle, My Son (children’s poems), to Relativity for the Millions (a lucid explanation of Einstein’s theory). He was also a contributor to Humpty Dumpty’s Magazine for children, and wrote a column for Scientific American from 1956 to 1981.

At 82, ever-active Mr. Gardner wrote The Night is Large, a collection of essays written over the past half decade. Book World’s review hailed it as “a superb volume, a mansion of a book in which one can live happily for a month or visit for a quarter-hour.”

A recent book, From Weird Water to Fuzzy Logic (Prometheus Books), is mainly a collection of Gardner’s Skeptical Inquirer columns, including two he wrote about the false memory phenomenon.

He retired as a contributor to the Skeptical Inquirer, where his Notes of a Fringe-Watcher column took frequent potshots at the humbug surrounding junk science.

Mr. Gardner held out hope for dispelling the repressed memory bugaboo. Answering an inquiry, he said, “I think jurors, attorneys, judges, and media bigwigs are slowly becoming educated about the crisis.” A successful resolution to the recovered memory therapy issue may hinge on courtroom developments, he believes.


Dr. Gelman’s landmark studies of preschool children have led to a breakthrough in our understanding of how young children develop their numerical concepts and skills.

For years, conventional wisdom decreed that preschoolers lacked mathematical and other conceptual ability. Dr. Gelman’s work changed all that.

“By repeatedly focusing our attention on what preschool children have rather than on what they lack, she has transformed the field of cognitive development,” reads the citation awarded to Dr. Gelman by the American Psychologist. The citation accompanied an Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions.

Dr. Gelman received her Ph.D. in 1967 at UCLA. Since then she has conducted extensive research in child development while serving as a Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, UCLA and, presently, Rutgers University.

Dr. Gelman has written numerous papers and chapters in the area of child development. In addition, she serves on the Editorial Boards of Cognition, Cognitive Development, Cognition and Instruction and Cognitive Psychology.

Included in her research interests are the development of classification, the perception of animate and inanimate objects, quantity concepts and language and communication skills.

HENRY GLEITMAN, Ph.D. (Deceased)

“The class was just spellbound when he lectured.” The speaker, a former student, was referring to Dr. Gleitman, a dedicated teacher who estimates he has performed his classroom magic for 25,000 students in the last 50 years. During most of that time – since 1969 – he has been a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Gleitman has provided enlightenment for scores of students who went on to positions of leadership. One of those is Michael Dukakis, the former presidential candidate. Another is Judith Rodin, the former president of Penn, who pinned the spellbinder label on Dr. Gleitman. “He is the reason I became a psychologist,” she explains.

Dr. Gleitman earned his Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley (1949) and has devoted much of his research since then to psycholinguistics and the relation of psychology to the arts. His current research also focuses on learning and memory. The fourth edition of his 1981 book Psychology appeared recently and is used in hundreds of colleges.

A long-time witness to the crises that have embroiled the psychology profession, he observed in 1993: “The only time American psychology could be said to have been moderate is when the pendulum happened to be swinging through that mid-point.”

Dr. Gleitman has viewed with concern the controversies surrounding psychotherapy, and particularly the repressed-memory conflict. Regarding repressed memories, Dr. Gleitman laments what he calls “the suspension of common sense,” and appeals for a return to the “Yankee way of looking at things – Show me; prove it!”


Lila Gleitman is one of the original members of the Foundation’s Scientific and Professional Advisory Board, joining when the Foundation was founded in March 1992.

Dr. Gleitman earned her Ph.D. in linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania in 1967, and distinguished herself as a professor of psychology at that institution. Now Professor Emerita of Psychology and Linguistics, she was founding director of Penn’s Institute for Research in Cognitive Science and was elected to the National Academy of Science in April 2000.

Dr. Gleitman joined the two disciplines of linguistics and psychology in her research, which focuses on the psychology of language. In 1985 she was co-author of the book Language and Experience: Evidence from the Blind.

With her husband, Dr. Henry Gleitman, she wrote Phrase and Paraphrase in 1970. She also was co-author and contributor for the book Language Acquisition: The State of the Art (1982).

Papers written by Dr. Gleitman have appeared in numerous professional journals and books, including Cognition and Cognitive Psychology.


Doctor. Lawyer. These two words sum up the professional career of Richard Green, who received his M.D. in 1961 from Johns Hopkins. Twenty-six years later he added the J.D. to his title when he graduated from Yale University Law School in 1987.

Almost from the outset, psychiatry has dominated Dr. Green’s teaching and research career. Dr. Green has been Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles, Professor of Psychiatry at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and Professor of Psychological Medicine, Imperial College, London. He was on the faculty of Law at UCLA and Cambridge. He has been a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists since 1994.

Numerous honors have been bestowed on Dr. Green. From 1982 to 1983 he was Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford. And in 1992 he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship, which allowed him to study medical law and child sexual abuse in England.

Writing and research have occupied much of Dr. Green’s time. He has written or edited numerous books, including Sexual Science and the Law, published by Harvard University Press, which combines both his medical and legal expertise. In addition, he has written scores of book chapters, covering such topics as Sodomy Law, Sexual Problems of Children, Childhood Cross-Gender Behavior, and Should Homosexuals Adopt Children? He has contributed over 150 professional papers or textbook chapters.

Dr. Green was founding editor of Archives of Sexual Behavior in 1971, serving as Editor for 30 years. In 1974 Green and the board of the new journal established the International Academy of Sex Research, with Green as the founding president; the Archives became the official publication of the Academy.

DAVID A. HALPERIN, M.D., F.A.P.A., F.A.G.P.A. (Deceased)

A graduate of Harvard University and the University of Virginia Medical School, Dr. Halperin had an illustrious career as a psychiatrist-psychoanalyst that has spanned over 40 years.

Dr. Halperin maintained a private practice in psychiatry and psychoanalysis, and was a consulting psychiatrist for the Custody Panel, Supreme Court of the State of New York. He was also an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York City, Assistant Attending Psychiatrist at Mount Sinai Hospital, and Adjunct Associate Professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the CUNY.

Throughout his career, Dr. Halperin often demonstrated his talent for innovation. He helped to found the Cult Hotline and Clinic, which was awarded the William Lederer Award from the National Jewish Child Guidance Association. The Association called it the most innovative outpatient program under its auspices.

In addition to being a published poet, Dr. Halperin’s papers and presentations highlighted his concerns about the effects of cults. Dr. Halperin was the editor of three books on cults, group therapy and psychodynamics and author of many articles on cults and the impact of the cult phenomenon.

ERNEST R. HILGARD, Ph.D., N.A.S. (Deceased)

Hailed as “a psychologist for all seasons,” Dr. Hilgard delved into studies ranging from classical conditioning to explorations of hypnosis. After receiving a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois, he turned to experimental psychology, earning his Ph.D. at Yale (1930) and was a Stanford professor since 1933.

Dr. Hilgard was a pioneer in the scientific study of hypnosis and he viewed the hypnotic process as “imaginative involvement,” and thus, hypnotic subjects are liable to form pseudomemories.

Dr. Hilgard’s books have been described as “always authoritative, yet always ‘user friendly’ to the co-specialist.” His first work, Conditioning and Learning, appeared in 1940 and soon became a classic. As his interest turned more and more to hypnosis, Dr. Hilgard published Susceptibility to Hypnosis in 1965, one of three books on this subject. His most recent work is Psychology in America (1987). In Introduction to Psychology (1953), Dr. Hilgard demonstrated his ability to present complex subjects in readable form. The book became so popular that it topped all psychology textbooks in sales, and was translated into more than 15 languages.

Dr. Hilgard was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Education and the American Philosophical Society. He served as president of the American Psychological Association. In addition to his numerous awards, Dr. Hilgard received honorary degrees from Centre College, Colgate University, Kenyon College, Northwestern University, and University of Oslo, Norway. On his 90th birthday in 1994, Dr. Hilgard was honored with several retrospective articles in Psychological Science, the journal of the American Psychological Society.


A forceful writer and a respected researcher, Dr. Hochman refuses to mince words when he writes about the recovered memory issue. “Welcome to the strange world of memory recovery therapy,” Dr. Hochman wrote in a 1993 article for the Los Angeles Times. “This is a pseudoscience …. The real message being sold by these new therapy messiahs is the ultimate crybaby solution to everyone’s pitiful human problems. It’s all someone else’s fault.”

A graduate of New York University School of Medicine, Dr. Hochman has devoted special attention in his career to cults and cult therapies. His research in this area gained him the John C. Clark Award in Cultic Studies in 1990. He served on the editorial board of the Cultic Studies Journal. Included in Dr. Hochman’s publications are several book reviews and an article in Skeptic (1994) entitled Recovered Memory Therapy and False Memory Syndrome.

A forensic psychiatrist maintaining a private practice in Encino, California, Dr. Hochman is also Assistant Clinical Professor at the UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences. He continues to devote considerable time to speaking and writing, frequently about “repressed” memories, cult phenomena, and “multiple personality.”

What are the most significant developments in the Recovered Memory Therapy phenomenon? Dr. Hochman sums it up in two words: “Legal cases.” Dr. Hochman has consulted or testified in many civil and criminal cases.

PHILIP S. HOLZMAN, Ph.D. (Deceased)

Dr. Holzman was a professor both in the Psychology and Psychiatry Departments at Harvard starting in 1977. Teaching, however, was not Dr. Holzman’s only love. His long and varied research career focused on psychophysiological abnormalities, particularly eye movements and spatial working memory as they relate to schizophrenia. These studies resulted in numerous papers on the subject. Dr. Holzman was a preeminent figure in the world of schizophrenia research.

Among Dr. Holzman’s other research interests are the effects of self-confrontation; the etiology of thyroid “hot spots”; and psychotherapy’s role in treating mental illness, particularly schizophrenia.

A Ph.D. graduate of the University of Kansas, Dr. Holzman wrote and taught about psychoanalysis, usually as a friendly critic. In 1985 he posed the question: Psychoanalysis: Is the therapy destroying the science? in an article for the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association.

Dr. Holzman noted progress toward resolving the repressed memory crisis because of a growing public awareness of the scientific issues involved and good research publications about the issue. Dr. Holzman envisioned a resolution of the repressed memory phenomenon, brought about in part, he said, “by the exposure of exploitative therapies,” and careful research into the nature of memory and the effects of abuse.


Having graduated from Rutgers University with a Ph.D. in clinical psychology in 1974, Dr. Karlin has been a faculty member at Rutgers ever since and is currently an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University.

His early work focused on brain function, hypnosis, and the ability to hallucinate the absence of pain. Then a new situation raised Dr. Karlin’s concerns: reports about the use of hypnosis to refresh memory in legal settings. “I became concerned by the obvious possibilities for injustice,” he says. “In the early 1980s I testified a number of times about hypnosis, as often for the prosecution as for the defense. I hope I contributed to the consensus that hypnotically-influenced testimony did not belong in court.”

Dr. Karlin had this to say about the recovered memory phenomenon: “What had been a peripheral bother – ignorance by numbers of practicing clinicians about how memory and suggestion work – became a catastrophe as the recovered memory movement gathered steam.”

As an example of “obvious nonsense,” Dr. Karlin turns to what he calls “the epidemic of multiple personalities.” “True psychogenic amnesia is extraordinarily rare,” he points out. “I have seen one case in over two decades of research and practice. Yet all of a sudden there were numerous cases of MPD where amnesiac barriers shifted from moment to moment in response to hypnotic suggestion.”

“It was like hearing reports of people running the mile in two minutes; the organism does not work that way. It was clear for that and other reasons that MPD was not a defense mechanism employed by overwhelmed children, but a dramatic role maintained by the support of certain therapists and ‘self-help’ groups.”

HAROLD I. LIEF, M.D. (Deceased)

“My goal in life has been to steer a course that fosters service to others and to society without undue sacrifice of individual aspirations.” Those words by Dr. Lief in “Who’s Who in America” have guided his work on behalf of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation and its members.

Dr. Lief earned his medical degree from New York University in 1942. After serving in the Army Medical Corps during World War II, he completed training in psychoanalysis at Columbia University and then became a professor of psychiatry and neurology at Tulane University. In 1967, Dr. Lief joined the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania as Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Division of Family Study, where he remained until 1982 when he became Professor Emeritus. After retiring from the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Lief served as psychiatric consultant at Pennsylvania Hospital and continued his private practice in Wayne, Pennsylvania.

A founding fellow of the American College of Psychiatrists, and a charter fellow of the American College of Psychoanalysts, Dr. Lief was a former president of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States. He also served as Director of the Marriage Council of Philadelphia.

Dr. Lief pioneered in the study of sex education in medical schools. “In 1960 I discovered that only three medical schools in the United States and Canada taught anything about sex,” he says. “I set out to correct this, forming the Center for the Study of Sex Education in Medicine. When I got through, about 1980, only three medical schools failed to include it in the curriculum.”

As a member of the FMSF board, Dr. Lief noted several advances in the crusade against false accusations based on repressed memory therapy. “There has been enormous progress in resolving this crisis,” he says, citing advances in professional, academic, legal and social circles. “Probably the most significant developments have been in the legal arena,” Dr. Lief notes. “They certainly will drive the social awareness of this phenomenon in the next few years.”


Elizabeth Loftus, Ph.D, is renowned for her groundbreaking work on the malleability of human memory. She is Distinguished Professor at UC Irvine, where she holds faculty positions in the schools of Social Ecology, Social Sciences and Law.

Since earning a doctorate in psychology at Stanford University, Loftus has published 22 books (including the award-winning Eyewitness Testimony) and 500 scientific articles. Her 30 years of research have focused on the misinformation effect, eyewitness fallibility, and the creation and nature of false memories. Loftus has contributed her expertise to hundreds of high-profile criminal cases.

Dr. Loftus is a past president of the Association for Psychological Science. She has received six honorary doctorates and has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. In a list of the 100 most eminent psychologists of the 20th century, the journal Review of General Psychology placed Loftus at No. 58, making her the top-ranked woman.

In the repressed-memory wars, Dr. Loftus has been a visible and vocal defender of those victimized by false memories of childhood sexual abuse. In her book The Myth of Repressed Memory, (with co-author Katherine Ketcham), Dr. Loftus succinctly sums up her view of the false-memory phenomenon, which she describes as “a world-wide crisis.”

No one should be surprised by Dr. Loftus’ dedication in The Myth of Repressed Memory. It reads: “Dedicated to the principles of science, which demand that any claim to ‘truth’ be accompanied by proof.”


Laypersons who believe that all scientists work only in ivory towers, far from the madding crowd, have never met Dr. McElroy. Her career belies such notions. Dr. McElroy’s research often takes her out of the laboratory and into more mundane places like shopping malls. She has studied such everyday aberrant behavior as kleptomania, compulsive buying habits, and binge eating disorders.

A graduate of Cornell University Medical College, Dr. McElroy has spent much of her career teaching psychiatry and pharmacology, first at Harvard and currently at the University of Cincinnati, where she is Chief Research Officer, Lindner Center of HOPE, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and Professor of Psychiatry and Neuroscience.

Her major research interests include bipolar disorder, impulse control disorders, obesity and eating disorders as well as pharmacology. She is the author of over 500 scientific papers in leading medical journals and was the 8th most cited scientist in the world published in the fields of psychiatry and psychology since 1996. She has also authored over 150 reviews and chapters in major psychiatric textbooks. Dr. McElroy is the editor or author of 4 scientific books and serves on the editorial boards of 5 journals.

In 1995 Dr. McElroy turned her attention to the repressed memory phenomenon. She was co-author of a paper in Biological Psychiatry entitled “Misattribution of eating and obsessive compulsive disorder symptoms to repressed memories.”


“I believe that this crisis will ultimately resolve, as all crazes do, to the shame of those who contributed to this injustice.” With those words, Dr. McHugh summarizes the outlook for the repressed memory crisis, which first attracted his attention several years ago.

Dr. McHugh has been outspoken in his opposition to the use of repressed memory therapy, declaring: “To treat for repressed memories without any effort at external validation is malpractice, pure and simple.”

Dr. McHugh attained his M.D. degree at Harvard, and completed his psychiatric training at the Institute of Psychiatry in London. He began teaching in 1964 at Cornell, where he founded the Bourne Behavioral Research Laboratory. Until 2001, Dr. McHugh was the Psychiatrist-in-Chief and Henry Phipps Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins. He currently serves as University Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry with a joint appointment in the Department of Mental Health and the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins.

The co-author and editor of three books on psychiatry and behavior, Dr. McHugh also has lectured and written extensively. His article Psychiatric Misadventures first appeared in The American Scholar in 1992, and was reprinted in The Best American Essays in 1993. Dr. McHugh‘s book about the recovered memory phenomenon, Try To Remember: Psychiatry‘s Clash Over Meaning, Memory, and Mind, was published in 2008.

Citing decisions in courts in Maryland, New Hampshire and Texas, Dr. McHugh applauds the judicial rejection of untested psychotherapy theories. His joy is tempered with regret, however. “I am sorry to say,” he adds, “that the most significant developments are in the courts and not in the science of psychiatry and psychology.”


Educated in England, where he was born, Dr. Merskey graduated in medicine from Oxford in 1953. Since launching his medical career, Dr. Merskey has published more than 150 articles, book chapters, and scientific letters on pain. In addition, he has written more than 180 articles or chapters in books on other topics, including aspects of neuropsychiatry, psychopharmacology, social psychiatry, and medical history and ethics. The second edition of his book, The Analysis of Hysteria: Understanding Conversion and Dissociation, appeared in 1995.

Since 1976, Dr. Merskey has lived and worked in Canada, where he is Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the University of Western Ontario since, having been a faculty member since 1977.

In 1992, Dr. Merskey published an extensive historical review of MPD, spanning 176 years, in which he cast doubt on the validity of multiple personalities. “No case has been found here in which MPD…is proven to have emerged through unconscious processes without any shaping or preparation by external factors,” he concluded. “It is likely that MPD never occurs as a spontaneous persistent natural event in adults.”

Acknowledging the impact the repressed memory crisis has had on families, legal standards and clinical practice, Dr. Merskey cites the upheaval caused in the entire field of psychiatry.

“For more than 100 years psychiatrists have used the idea of repression with patients in explaining difficulties they have on an individual basis, but without necessarily involving the interests of others. Now that it has become clear that the interests of others, as well as the patients, have been gravely harmed, repression has come under a much bigger cloud.”


On an FMSF advisory board composed mainly of psychologists, psychiatrists and college professors, Spencer Harris Morfit stands out as an exception. Instead of spending her professional life in a classroom or in a laboratory, she has survived in the rough-and-tumble world of business.

After receiving her B.A. degree from Middlebury College in Vermont, Ms. Morfit studied at the Art Institute in Chicago and the Rhode Island School of Design.

As a journalist, Ms. Morfit became aware of the Satanic cult phenomenon in the 1990’s. “Either this is true,” she decided, “in which case I have a good story, or it is not true, in which case I also have a good story.” She pursued her story and discovered her first impression was accurate: “The whole thing was bizarre.”

Ms. Morfit’s article Challenge to Psychotherapy: A Closer Look at the Implications of the False Memory Syndrome was published in The Journal of Sex Education and Therapy. It was the first time the Journal, which is the peer-review professional publication of the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists, had published an article by a non-professional.

Besides noting steady gains in the legal field, Ms. Morfit also reported “unprecedented public skepticism” about therapy, noting particularly that “therapies developed from Freudian roots are much more speculative and, thus, justifiably more vulnerable.” She predicted that there would be a movement toward therapies that have a more empirical basis, such as cognitive behavioral therapy.

ULRIC NEISSER, Ph.D., N.A.S. (Deceased)

Dr. Neisser, a Ph.D. graduate of Harvard and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, “helped lead a postwar revolution in the study of the human mind by advancing the understanding of mental processes like perception and memory.” He was a professor of psychology at Cornell University for many years.

He was catapulted into the false-memory limelight by a study of memories of the Challenger space shuttle explosion in 1986.

Recognizing that the disaster provided an opportunity to study so-called “flashbulb memories” – memories often claimed to be so significant they become indelible – Professor Neisser decided to establish records against which those claims could be checked.

On the morning after the explosion, a large group of Emory freshmen filled out a questionnaire about how they had heard the news of the disaster on the previous day. Three years later he asked the same students, now seniors, to try the questionnaire again. The result: Not only had many of the memories changed substantially, but most of the students adamantly stuck to a belief in their new, but false, memories. The study showed, said Dr. Neisser, that it is possible “to have vivid recollections of things that never occurred.”
Dr. Neisser’s study has entered the literature. The paper, Phantom Flashbulbs? False recollections of hearing the news about Challenger, is included in the book Affect and Accuracy in Recall: Studies of “Flashbulb Memories”.


“Recovered memory therapy, like lobotomy, illustrates the worst of all possible medical or psychiatric mistakes.”

Those are the words of social psychologist Dr. Richard Ofshe in his book, Making Monsters (with Ethan Watters), a 340-page critique of repressed memory therapy. The authors argue “that the practice of uncovering repressed memories, along with the attendant theories of multiple personality disorder and satanic-cult abuse, are fads that are as widespread and as damaging as any the mental-health field has produced this century.”

Never one to shrink from controversy, University of California at Berkeley Professor Ofshe has been in the front ranks of the recovered-memory debunkers from the beginning. A prolific writer and a forceful speaker, Dr. Ofshe seldom pulls his punches, a situation reflected by his topics: Police Brainwashing in America, Making Monsters: The New Dr. Frankenstein, Psychology’s Phlogiston – Robust Repression and Misused Influence, Pseudomemories and Real Malpractice, Beware Americans Bearing Gifts: The Spreading Satanic Cult Hysteria, and many others.

For his role in the Point Reyes Light newspaper’s exposé of Synanon, Dr. Ofshe shared in the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service that was awarded to the Light.

A recent area of interest to Dr. Ofshe is that of false confessions, and he has written and presented on this subject.


Research in the field of psychology has been the center of Emily Orne’s professional life since she launched her career in 1961 as a researcher in hypnosis in Boston. Now co-director of the Unit for Experimental Psychiatry in Philadelphia, she has studied topics ranging from hypnotic susceptibility and sleep patterns to memory reconstruction.

She has contributed to several books, including Hypnosis and Memory in 1988. Emily Orne and her co-authors wrote a chapter about the implications of reconstructing memory through hypnosis. In the 1984 work Eyewitness Testimony: Psychological Perspectives, she wrote about hypnotically-induced testimony and the criminal justice system. In addition, she co-authored numerous original papers in professional journals and is co-author of the Harvard Group Scale of Hypnotic Susceptibility.

Her work has brought her several awards, including the Benjamin Franklin Gold Medal for achievements in hypnosis from the International Society of Hypnosis. She also received the Bernard B. Raginsky Award from the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, as well as the Morton Prince Award.

Emily Orne is a member of the International Society of Hypnosis, a Fellow in the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, and serves on the Board of Directors of the FMS Foundation. She is Associate Editor of The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis.

Since 1983, Emily Orne has been a research associate of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

MARTIN T. ORNE, M.D., Ph.D. (Deceased)

Dr. Orne was almost as familiar a figure in the courtroom as he was in the classroom. Formerly a professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania and one of the world’s leading experts on hypnosis, Dr. Orne frequently testified in repressed memory cases. As an expert witness, Dr. Orne stressed that hypnosis is not an appropriate method for retrieving supposedly repressed memories.

In The Use and Misuse of Hypnosis in Court, Dr. Orne warned against establishing pseudomemories through well-rehearsed hypnotic confabulation. “The more frequently the subject reports the event,” Dr. Orne writes, “the more firmly established the pseudomemory will tend to become.”

Dr. Orne also cautioned that “psychologists and psychiatrists are not particularly adept at recognizing deception.” As a rule, he adds, the average hotel credit manager is a far better detective.

Dr. Orne held an M.D. from Tufts and a Ph.D. from Harvard. He was awarded 17 research grants, and held memberships in 32 professional societies. He had 17 editorial appointments, and served as editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis.

Those who view university research as an exercise in Ivory Tower esoterica never met Dr. Orne. His voluminous papers and books, dating back to 1958, include studies of hypnotic effects on smoking, control of pain, and sleeping disorders. He discussed the use and misuse of hypnosis in court and wrote about the multiple personality phenomenon.


“A fascination with the successful deceivers of history,” Dr. Pankratz says, led him to devote his teaching, writing, and speaking career to the exposure of quacks and charlatans. He has debunked faith healing, firewalking, mentalism, psychics and Satanic Ritual Abuse – all with equal fervor.

As Dr. Pankratz puts it: “My professional career has focused on understanding patients who deceive health-care professionals. I have published papers on malingering, factitious disorder, drug seekers, wandering patients, and pretenders of post-traumatic stress disorder.”

In the academic world, Dr. Pankratz was a professor of psychiatry and medical psychology at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, OR. He was also a consulting psychologist at the VA Medical Center in Portland. In 1995, he began devote his time to independent consulting, forensic practice and speaking.

With his reputation for skepticism, it is small wonder that Dr. Pankratz is a fellow of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal.

As a member of the ethics committee of the Oregon Psychological Association, Dr. Pankratz began to receive calls about problems caused by therapists. “It was one of these chance calls that eventually got me involved on the board of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation.”

CAMPBELL W. PERRY, Ph.D. (Deceased)

Two words – guarded optimism – summed up Campbell Perry’s outlook for a resolution of the repressed-memory crisis. “I think that the main progress has been the stabilization of the situation for falsely accused parents,” Perry said. “They soon learn they are not alone.” He added that “additional progress comes from the fact that the media, with only a handful of exceptions, has done a magnificent job in alerting the public to the scourges of FMS.”

Australian-born and educated, Campbell Perry moved to Canada in the 1960s. Since 1978 he had been professor of psychology at Concordia University in Montreal, and at the time of his death he was retired.

Dr. Perry has spent four decades studying and writing about hypnosis and its effects. In 1989 he was co-recipient (with Jean-Roch Laurence, Ph.D., first author) of the Arthur Shapiro Award for the best book on hypnosis (Hypnosis, Will and Memory: A Psycholegal History). A year later Dr. Perry won the Morton Prince Award “for distinguished contribution to the development of hypnosis in the science and profession of psychology.” This was a joint award of the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis and the American Board of Psychological Hypnosis.

Because of his extensive research into hypnosis, memory and eyewitness recall, Dr. Perry sometimes found himself in controversies surrounding modern therapeutic methods. On the subject of age regression, one of the tools of the repressed-memory therapists, Campbell Perry warned: “Any memory that might turn up in age regression might be a fact, a lie, a confabulation, or a pseudomemory caused accidentally by inappropriate suggestions by the hypnotist.”


Is there a link between temporal lobe activity and mental aberrations?

In a series of papers and books, Dr. Persinger has pursued the possibility that this may be the case. He notes experimental studies indicate that unusual temporal lobe activity contributes to “visual hallucinations, the sense of a presence, mystical (paranormal) experiences, unusual smells, anomalous voices or sounds, vestibular movements and anxiety.”

A veteran of more than 40 years as a professor at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, Dr. Persinger has concentrated much of his research efforts on how natural phenomena (earthquakes, geomagnetism, weather) can affect human group behavior and cause mental aberrations.

Among Dr. Persinger’s many treatises is one bearing the long but intriguing title, Elicitation of ‘Childhood Memories’ in Hypnosis-like Settings is Associated with Complex Partial Epileptic-like Signs for Women But Not for Men: Implications for the False Memory Syndrome. He suggests this may explain why more women than men recover illusory memories of abuse.

Dr. Persinger received his Ph.D. at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg in 1971, and immediately entered the teaching field in psychology at Laurentian. He has written or edited several books, including Neuropsychological Bases of God Beliefs. In this work, he argues that many mystical experiences may be traced to specific patterns of temporal lobe activity.


Dr. Piper received his undergraduate degree from Yale University in 1965. After receiving his M.D. degree from Howard University, Dr. Piper spent several years as a university faculty member. He is currently in the private practice of psychiatry in Seattle.

The author of many journal articles on a range of topics in psychiatry from addiction and psychopharmacology to false memory issues, Dr. Piper has also criticized the widespread use of amytal as a means of eliciting repressed memories. Amytal, he notes, is more a “suggestibility serum” than a truth serum; it should not be considered to guarantee access to anything remotely resembling “truth”; and it most assuredly cannot verify the diagnosis of Multiple Personality Disorder.

Dr. Piper’s book Hoax and Reality: The Bizarre World of Multiple Personality Disorder, published by Jason Aronson, takes a skeptical look at Multiple Personality Disorder. According to one reviewer, “The book marshals the evidence and reasoning that, once and for all, should relegate MPD to the annals of sorry psychiatric misadventure.” Another says, “It explodes the pretensions of those responsible for promoting this psychiatric disaster, and gives examples of some of the corrupt motives involved.” This is not his only venture into the world of Dissociative Disorders. He has made contributions on this subject to the British Journal of Psychiatry, the American Journal of Psychiatry, the American Journal of Psychotherapy, and the Journal of Psychiatry and Law.


Dr. Pope first became interested in the issues of “repression” and childhood sexual abuse after many years of studying eating disorders. As a result of research done with his Harvard colleague, Dr. James Hudson, Dr. Pope has challenged the notion that bulimia and anorexia are caused by childhood sexual abuse. “Current evidence does not support the hypothesis that childhood sexual abuse is a risk factor for bulimia nervosa,” Doctors Pope and Hudson maintain. Their position was stated in a 1992 article in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

Dr. Pope has studied other interests as well, including drug treatment of psychotic disorders and mood disorders, psychiatric diagnosis and nosology, marijuana and anabolic steroid abuse, impulse control disorders such as pathological gambling and kleptomania, and disorders of body image.

Along with his teaching career, Dr. Pope has found time to be an author or editor of many books, two of these on the subject of bulimia. Psychology Astray: Fallacies in Studies of ‘Repressed Memory’ and Childhood Trauma is a “must read” for anyone examining the research in the area of recovered memories.

To Dr. Pope, the issue of repression and the question of the effects of childhood sexual abuse “represent two of the most critical scientific debates in contemporary psychiatry.” He writes: “I think that enthusiasm for unproven beliefs, such as the hypothesis of ‘repression,’ is symptomatic of a larger problem: A tendency to reject scientific evidence in favor of a more ‘romantic’ notion of the truth…. I believe that, in the interest of our patients, it is critical to try to counteract this anti-scientific trend and to ensure that we provide state-of-the-art treatments grounded in solid research.”

Dr. Pope is Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the Director of the Biological Psychiatry Laboratory at McLean Hospital. He is one of the most widely-cited psychiatrists of the 20th century.


Honors and accolades are nothing new to James Randi, who devotes his life to exposing quacks and charlatans throughout the world. Both authors Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke have called him “a national treasure,” and scientist Carl Sagan praised Mr. Randi’s book The Truth about Uri Geller as “a healthy antidote to charlatanism on all levels.”

Mr. Randi was made a Fellow of the MacArthur Foundation, which praised his work in investigating claims of supernatural, occult and paranormal powers. He also received the Forum Award from the American Physical Society “for his unique defense of science and the scientific method in many disciplines, including physics, against pseudoscience, frauds and charlatans.”

Other awards were bestowed by the National Council Against Health Fraud, the American Humanist Association, and the Committee for Scientific Examination of Religion. In 1989, Mr. Randi was awarded the Gold Medal of the University of Ghent, Belgium, for combatting pseudoscience and quackery.

James Randi has become something of a celebrity through his skeptical books (he’s written 10) and his appearances on television. He also is a familiar figure on the international lecture circuit and is a founding fellow of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP).

Born and educated in Canada, Mr. Randi became a U.S. citizen in 1987. In a recent biographical sketch, he noted that he lives in Plantation, Florida, “with several untalented parrots, numerous other unnamed creatures and the occasional visiting magus.”


After many years of examining the inner workings of the human mind, Dr. Roediger has this to say about the concept of robust repressed memories: “The whole idea that we could be physically abused over a long period of time and not remember it seems to fly in the face of two basic facts I know to be true about memory.” One fact, he explains, is that people usually have excellent memories of very emotional events; the second fact is that repeated events are much better remembered than events that happened only once.

Since receiving his Ph.D. from Yale in 1973, Dr. Roediger has devoted virtually his entire career to studies of memory and teaching of the subject. He now is the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University professor in the Psychology department at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Roediger oversaw the launch of the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest, he has been editor of the journals Psychonomic Bulletin and Review and the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, and also has been involved in the administration of a number of scientific societies, and is a past president of the Association for Psychological Science.

Most of Dr. Roediger’s writing (he has 13 books to his credit) involves studies of implicit memory, memory retrieval, and forgetting. His study Creating false memories: Remembering Words That Were Not Presented in Lists has appeared in several journals, including the Journal of Experimental Psychology and Learning, Memory and Cognition.

Dr. Roediger has published many articles on the development of false memories and on memory illusions. He has also collaborated on an article entitled Recovery of True and False Memories, which appeared in the book Recovered Memories and False Memories edited by M.A. Conway.

Does he feel there has been progress in resolving the repressed-memory issue? “I would like to think so,” he comments. “Certainly, people both inside and outside therapy are much more aware of the potential problems and risks with ‘memory recovery’ therapy.”

CAROLYN SAARI, Ph.D. (Deceased)

Dr. Saari earned her Ph.D. from the Smith College School for Social Work. She has been able to divide her work between two worlds: One involving theory and teaching as a professor at Loyola University and another as a private practitioner, dealing with the everyday problems of children and adults. Dr. Saari is Professor Emerita at the School of Social Work at Loyola University.

Dr. Saari has contributed widely to the literature, having written four books and many professional articles. Among her papers are Clinical Empathy: Playing in Transcontextual Space, The Creation of Meaning in Clinical Social Work, and Clinical Social Work Treatment: How Does It Work? Her editorial talents have earned her positions on the boards of the Clinical Social Work Journal and the Journal of Teaching in Social Work. She was editor of the Clinical Social Work Journal for 11 years. In this capacity she has published two articles on the false memory problem.

In recent years, Dr. Saari’s work has brought her several honors, including the Distinguished Career Award, Alumnae Association, Simmons College School of Social Work.

Regarding the false-memory issue, Dr. Saari notes considerable progress. “Publicity about the problem has now reached most clinical social workers,” she says. “Whereas initially, I was the only faculty member warning students about this problem, many of my colleagues are discussing this in their classes. Students now come into my advanced classes already aware of the issue and much more receptive to an examination of the issues involved. In the long run this prevention will be the best cure for the problem.”


Dr. Sarbin’s long and varied career spanned over 60 years. His work ranged from the arcane Ontology Recapitulates Philology: The Mythic Nature of Anxiety to the more mundane Computer Crime from a Criminological Perspective. Among his later offerings was a skeptical look at MPD for the California PsychologistCritical Comments on the Diagnosis of Multiple Personality Disorder.

Much of Dr. Sarbin’s work involved hypnosis, for which he has received awards from the International Society for Professional Hypnosis, the Society of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis, and the American Psychological Association. He had long recognized the tendency of hypnosis to distort reality, calling hypnotism “believed-in imaginings.”

Dr. Sarbin’s research and teaching often involved practical aspects of psychology. Beginning in 1969, he was both professor of psychology and of criminology at the University of California in Santa Cruz. He was professor emeritus since 1976.

The armed forces often called upon Dr. Sarbin for psychological trouble-shooting on issues such as homosexuality and trust violations. He wrote on such diverse subjects as civilian espionage, the failure of the schizophrenia hypothesis, and patriotism.

A long-time critic of the repressed memory syndrome, Dr. Sarbin once wrote: “I agree with Paul McHugh that the exploitation of this concept is one of psychiatry’s most grievous misadventures. The descriptive metaphor, ‘repression,’ and the related metaphor, ‘dissociation,’ have been illicitly reified by uncritical therapists, leading to great harm.”

Dr. Sarbin received the Morton Prince Award from the Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis and the Henry Murray Award from the American Psychological Association. He was recognized with a lifetime achievement award from the Western Psychological Association in 2001. Just prior to his death, the American Psychological Association created a new award named after him, to be presented annually the APA division, the Society for Theoretical Philosophical Psychology.

THOMAS A. SEBEOK, Ph.D. (Deceased)

Born in Budapest, Dr. Sebeok immigrated to the United States in 1937, and became a citizen of the United States in 1944. Dr. Sebeok’s entire academic career was spent at Indiana University, where he taught since 1943. Although his career work focused on linguistics and semiotics, Dr. Sebeok was also an authority in other fields. He was Distinguished Professor Emeritus in linguistics and semiotics, Professor Emeritus of anthropology, Professor Emeritus of Uralic and Altaic Studies, and Professor Emeritus of folklore.

In 1991, Dr. Sebeok was presented with the Indiana University President’s Medal of Excellence for “research of international scope, illuminating the deepest impulses and the highest complexities of communication in human and animal life.” The honor was a crowning achievement in a career that stretched back to his student days at Princeton, where he received his M.A. and Ph.D.

Worldwide demand for Dr. Sebeok’s expertise made him a global traveler. Among his foreign assignments were universities in Austria, Spain, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, Uruguay, Argentina, Denmark, and Finland. In addition he held appointments at universities in Puerto Rico and Canada. Besides teaching abroad, Dr. Sebeok did field work in such faraway spots as Lapland, the Mongolian People’s Republic, Taiwan, the Armenian Republic and the Georgian Republic.


Michael A. Simpson is Professor of Psychiatry at the Medical University of South Africa and Director of the National Centre for Psychosocial and Traumatic Stress in Pretoria, South Africa.

Dr. Simpson’s primary area of expertise is Dissociative Identity Disorder, and he contributed a chapter in the book Dissociative Identity Disorder: Theoretical and Treatment Controversies (edited by Lewis Cohen et. al.) entitled Gullible’s Travels, or The Importance of Being Multiple. He has written articles on Munchausen Syndrome, self-induced depersonalization and multiple personality disorder for professional journals.

Another of Dr. Simpson’s areas of expertise, which he sees as very relevant to the FMS debate, is the issue of coercive interrogation in the context of human rights abuses. Many of the principles that were discovered in this area about how innocent people can be induced to “confess” to crimes they did not commit can also apply to the methods used in some “interview” situations.

In an article in a past FMSF Newsletter, Dr. Simpson summed up his views: “Since the formation of the FMSF, both the public and professionals have come to understand that ‘The memories which lie within us are not carved in stone,’ and that some therapy interventions may be highly suggestive.”


After a 50-year career as a clinical psychologist and researcher, Dr. Singer became increasingly concerned over what she saw as a trend toward misuse of therapeutic techniques. “If therapy works well,” she explained, “the patient ends up more autonomous, more responsible, more mature and more in charge of her life. But today patients are expected to display emotions in a way the therapist approves of. Many patients tell me they were urged by their therapist to be in a continuous rage. So how could therapy help them become more mature, and more independent, functioning citizens?”

Dr. Singer’s concerns stemmed from years of experience. A graduate of the University of Denver with a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, she studied a wide variety of subjects. These ranged from the experimental to the practical; from schizophrenia to speech problems in children; from western equine encephalitis to the process of human aging; from sleep deprivation and peptic ulcer to prisoner-of-war syndrome and teenage suicides.

In later years, she focused on intense influence phenomena in modern society, producing articles on this subject and two books, Cults in Our Midst and Crazy Therapies.

As a veteran therapist as well as a teacher – she was adjunct professor emeritus of psychology at the University of California in Berkeley – Dr. Singer was appalled by therapists who condition their patients to become parent abusers. “I feel very embarrassed,” says Dr. Singer, “that a healing profession could have strayed so far since Hippocrates declared, ‘Do not harm the patient’.”

RALPH SLOVENKO, J.D., Ph.D. (Deceased)

Never run from a fight. And never mince words. These two sentences could sum up the creed of Professor Ralph Slovenko. Dr. Slovenko’s outspoken public image belies the serious and studious side of this Wayne State University professor, who holds both a J.D. and a Ph.D. from Tulane. He is a Professor of Law and Psychiatry at Wayne State University, where he combines his two disciplines.

Author of hundreds of articles, essays, columns and more than 20 books, Dr. Slovenko has received the highest honor of the American Psychiatric Association. In 1974 the APA presented him with its Guttmacher Award, citing his book Psychiatry and Law, published by Little, Brown, as “a monumental study.” The work was a Book of the Month Selection of the Behavioral Science Book Club. His book, Psychiatry and Criminal Culpability, published by Wiley, was runner-up for the 1996 Guttmacher Award.

When the repressed-memory controversy heated up, it was Dr. Harold Lief, a longtime friend and colleague, who brought the matter to Dr. Slovenko’s attention. “He suggested that I join the board,” Dr. Slovenko recalls. “I am delighted that I became a member.”

Believing that “the tide has turned,” Dr. Slovenko credits much of the progress made in Recovered Memory Therapy “to the success of lawsuits against therapists involved in ‘revival of memory’.”

His sanguine forecast for the false-memory crisis? “It will pass from the scene in the not-too-distant future.”

DONALD P. SPENCE, Ph.D. (Deceased)

In his landmark book Narrative Truth and Historical Truth: Meaning and Interpretation in Psychoanalysis, Dr. Spence provided fresh insights into the pitfalls of psychotherapy. “Narrative truth is confused with historical truth,” Dr. Spence wrote, “and the very coherence of an account may lead us to believe that we are making contact with an actual happening.”

Further, Dr. Spence argued: “The model of the patient as unbiased reporter and the analyst as unbiased listener suggests a kind of naive realism that is hard to imagine, harder to practice, and runs counter to everything we have learned about the way we come to understand the world.”

Although Narrative Truth and Historical Truth may be his best-known work, Dr. Spence wrote two other books, as well as more than 100 articles and book reviews. Dr. Spence was the recipient of numerous grants and honors, including election as president of Division 24 of the American Psychological Association for 1992-93. In 2004, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award for the Theoretical and Philosophical Division of the American Psychological Association.

Dr. Spence graduated from Harvard University in 1947 and received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Columbia in 1955. In 1974, Dr. Spence became professor of psychiatry at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. His work ranged from studies of subliminal effects to dream interpretation and the role language plays in psychotherapy.


Earlier in his career, sociologist Jeffrey Victor focused his attention on social issues in France. When not concerned with this, Dr. Victor aimed his pre-1988 research at such issues as human sexuality and parent-child relations in Jewish and Italian families.

After 1988, Dr. Victor switched his attention to the Satanic cult panic, leading him to write his groundbreaking book, Satanic Panic: The Creation of a Contemporary Legend, which appeared in 1993. In addition, Dr. Victor has written numerous papers about satanic cult rumors and their dynamics. He says stories of satanic ritual abuse are “manufactured in the social interaction between believing psychotherapists and their highly suggestible clients.”

“The Satanic cult scare and claims about ritual abuse will not soon or suddenly disappear,” he suggested. “This contemporary legend has become highly institutionalized.”

He deplores the role non-scientific ideas play in the controversy, declaring: “I believe that the social controversy concerning ideas about repressed and false memories will ultimately reveal that many psychotherapists are informed by erroneous pop-culture beliefs rather than by scientific research.”

Dr. Victor was a Professor in the Department of Sociology at Jamestown Community College in New York until 2012, when he retired.


In the repressed-memory controversy, Hollida Wakefield can rightfully say that she was present at the creation. As a forensic psychologist, Ms. Wakefield started to become familiar with the phenomenon in the late 1980s. “At that time, we first encountered cases of adults claiming often bizarre abuse based on recovered memories,” Ms. Wakefield recalls. “By 1991, we had been involved in several cases and realized this was a widespread problem.”

Ms. Wakefield has been an elementary school teacher as well as a college instructor. She’s worked as a statistician for the Veteran’s Administration, and currently is co-director of the Institute for Psychological Therapies in Northfield, MN. She has been providing evaluation, assessment, and treatment for sexual offenders and victims of sexual abuse since 1976.

Her research interests have been devoted largely to child abuse issues, ranging from studies of the use of anatomically-correct dolls to evaluations of child witnesses in abuse cases. She has also looked into day-care abuse allegations and written about female sexual abusers.

Besides the book Accusations of Child Sexual Abuse, Ms. Wakefield is co-author of The Real World of Child Interrogations and Return of the Furies: An Investigation into Recovered Memory Therapy, twelve other books, and many journal articles. As an advocate of children’s rights, she frequently is invited to speak at symposiums and workshops.

Ms. Wakefield views the false memory crisis with both optimism and pessimism. On the bright side, she says: “The more bizarre claims (such as Satanic Ritual Abuse) are now discredited.” However, she adds this warning: “If the American Psychological Association fails to take a stronger stand than it has to date, psychology risks being discredited as a profession.”


“Repressed and recovered memory…is a fallacy.” This is how Dr. Weaver, professor of psychology and neuroscience at Baylor University, describes the results of his research into the repressed memory phenomenon, which he calls “one of the most disturbing trends in popular psychology.”

Recipient of a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Dr. Weaver has taught psychology at Baylor since 1989 and was lauded as Psi Chi “Professor of the Year” several times.

Dr. Weaver often teaches the psychology of memory and cognitive psychology. Aside from his memory work, he does considerable research into reading comprehension. His reading comprehension studies attracted the interest of IBM, which has funded some of his research.

A frequent writer and speaker on the subject of false memories and flashbulb memories, Dr. Weaver has served on the editorial boards of five journals and served as Associate Editor of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition and on a grant review panel for the U. S. Department of Education. He is the author of many journal articles and has also co-authored a psychology textbook with Elizabeth Loftus, published by McGraw-Hill.

To those fighting the repressed-memory struggle, Dr. Weaver offers encouragement. “For the first time in many years,” he says, “I can see light at the end of this horrible tunnel.”


British False Memory Society

Australian False Memory Association

French False Memory Site (there are two)

German Site

Scandinavian Site

Last Updated: July 12, 2019

After 27 years, the FMS Foundation dissolved on December 31, 2019.
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