Body Memories: And Other Pseudo-Scientific Notions of "Survivor Psychology"
Susan E. Smith*
ABSTRACT: The recovery movement and the sexual abuse survivor
therapies have led to an uncritical acceptance of a number of
pseudo-scientific concepts and assumptions. The notion of "body
memories" exemplifies this trend. The theories, assumptions, and
therapeutic techniques of survivor psychology are discussed on the basis
of literature from its proponents and data from a survey of current sexual
abuse treatment modalities in the Phoenix, Arizona area. The belief in
these pseudoscientific concepts appears to be related to scientific illiteracy,
gullibility, and a lack of critical thinking skills and
reasoning abilities in both the mental health community and in society at
Continuous media attention on sensational recovery stories
throughout the eighties resulted in the progressive redefinition of
behaviors and bad habits as "addictions" or
"diseases" (Bufe, 1991; Katz & Liu, 1991; Peele, 1989,
1991). The family has been redefined as an institution organized
around the "soul murder" of children (Bradshaw, 1987, 1988,
1990), and society itself is called "an addict" by recovery
culture theorists (Schaef, 1987, 1989; Schaef & Fassel, 1988).
Throughout the eighties the public had voraciously and uncritically
consumed unfounded "dysfunctionality" theories and seemed
hungry for more. The manipulative writing styles of recovery authors
were adopted by medieval and evangelical psychologists and several Ph.Ds
lent credibility to the completely undocumented and unresearched notions of rampant demonic
possessions, satanic ritual abuse, and the prevalence of multiple
personality disorders theoretically caused by satanic ritual abuse
(Fredrickson, 1992; Friesen, 1991; Mayer, 1988, 1991).
Recovery culture authors often quote absurdly high
"statistics" and "studies." However, where these
numbers came from or who did the "studies" are rarely, if
ever mentioned (Bradshaw, 1987; Diamond & Thompson, 1993;
Fredrickson, 1992; Friesen, 1991). For instance John Bradshaw (1987)
claims that 60% of women and 50% of men in this country have
"eating disorders" and are "killing themselves"
with food, but where he got this information is not specified.
Diamond, a "Christian counselor," claims that she has
clients with in excess of 2000 "alter" or multiple
personalities (Diamond &Thompson, 1993).
There is no large-scale historical precedent which parallels the
rise of a quasi-religious and pseudo-psychological therapy movement in
which new diseases or disease processes are invented by members of the
movement, who then become self-styled experts on the diseases of their
inventions, and the most appropriate and effective treatments as well
(Smith, 1992; Trimpey, 1989). The treatment prescribed most
for the innumerable and rapidly multiplying addictions and diseases
is the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous
(Ackerman, 1989; Bass
& Davis, 1988; Beattie, 1987, 1989; Becker, 1989; Black, 1981;
Lasater, 1988; Mastrich & Birnes, 1988; Middleton-Moz &
Dwinell, 1986; Whitfield, 1991).
Family systems and dysfunctionality theories continued to emerge
primarily through 12-step theorists and therapists throughout the late
1980s. The syndromes, symptoms, and issues of
"dysfunctional" families and adults also formed the foundation for the
philosophies, assumptions, and treatment
modalities of mental health professionals who work with sexual abuse and
incest survivors. The language and logic of 12-step psychology has been
integrated into many so-called "Christian counseling" programs
and is taught in conjunction with medieval mental illness theories and
fundamentalist application of Scriptures.
Mass media sensationalism of recovered memories of sexual abuse,
emphasis on 12-step psychology; and the resurrection of medieval
mental illness theories has transformed the unusual and deviant into
the mundane. Every form of deviance is declared "epidemic,"
and practically every human behavior is pronounced an
"addiction," a "disease," a case of multiple
personality disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder) or demonic
possession (Beattie, 1987) 1989; Becker) 1989; Blume) 1990; Bradshaw,
1987, 1988, 1990; Cruse, 1989; Diamond & Thompson, 1993;
Fredrickson) 1992; Friesen) 1991; Kritsberg, 1988; Mayer, 1988, 1991;
Nakken, 1988; Schaef, 1986, 1987, 1989; Schaef & Fassel, 1988;
Whitfield, 1991; Woititz, 1983).
Based on the paranoid notions first advanced within the recovery
culture about the soul-murdering function of family systems, and the
amnesia resulting from soul-murder (Bradshaw, 1987), survivor
psychologists now express the conviction that invasive and intrusive
therapeutic modalities and aggressive tactics to recover
"repressed memories are necessary and justified (Bass &
Davis) 1988; Blume, 1990; Diamond & Thompson, 1993; Fredrickson,
1992; Friesen, 1991; Mayer, 1988, 1991). The medieval belief in
demonic possession as the cause of mental illnesses or disorders
justifies every form of aggressive indoctrination and coercive
treatment modality known in the mental health community. Medieval and
evangelical psychologists claim that their treatments and diagnoses
are "given" by God (Diamond & Thompson, 1993; Friesen,
The expansion of the 12-step method to treat the human condition and the inclusion of various fringe
and borderline therapeutic modalities occurred with the advent of the "inner child" movement (Bradshaw,
1987, 1988, 1990; Kritsberg, 1988; Middleton-Moz & Dwinell, 1986).
Elements of "mind cure," Christian
Science, pop psychology; metaphysics, transpersonal psychology, and
psychoanalytic techniques were resurrected by 12-step theorists
(Kaminer, 1992; Smith, 1992). Bogus physiological and neurological
theories of the workings of the body and mind were presented as
"facts" by "recovery" psychologists (Bradshaw, 1987;
Kritsberg, 1988; Solberg, 1983). These theories were developed
in survivor psychology" and medieval or evangelical psychology
(Bass & Davis, 1988; Blume, 1990; Diamond & Thompson, 1993;
Fredrickson, 1992; Friesen, 1991, Marie, 1991a, 1991c; Smith &
The recovery movement created its own jargon and internal logic to
support the process of traumatic thinking, traumatic reframing, and
traumatic remembering which is the foundation of recovery culture
psychology. The jargon used in the sexual abuse/recovery literature
tends to describe generally mundane physical conditions as
"symptoms" and to reframe practically the full range of
behavioral transactions within the family in traumatic, emotionally
loaded and tragic terms (Bass & Davis, 1988; Blume, 1990;
Bradshaw, 1987, 1988, 1990; Covitz, 1986; Marie, 1991a).
This process lays the groundwork for ideological and therapeutic
coercion and occurs in both the urban underground therapeutic culture
dominated by the 12-step groups and in professional, or other
for-profit and purportedly non-profit therapy systems. The learned
processes of traumatic thinking, reframing, and remembering, which are
supposedly aimed at breaking "denial" and the "family
spell" (Bradshaw, 1987, 1988, 1990), in conjunction with
aggressive and biased therapeutic modalities, may predispose an
individual in counseling or psychotherapy to develop false memories or
identify with victim status by the exaggeration or fabrication of past
trauma (Smith, 1992).
The jargon and internal logic of the recovery/survivor movement
have been combined with loosely interpreted Freudian theories and
psychoanalytic procedures with a reversed application. Survivor
psychologists de-emphasize traditional nondirective facilitation and
cognitive insight, and focus on literally interpreted "feeling
work" and "memory work" (Bass & Davis, 1988; Blume,
1990; Bradshaw, 1987, 1988, 1990; Diamond & Thompson, 1993; Fredrickson,
1992; Friesen, 1991; Kritsberg, 1988; Marie, 1991a; Mayer, 1988, 1991; Middleton-Moz & Dwinell,
1986; Whitfield, 1991).
In addition to neo-Freudianism with a reversed focus, various
learning theories and family systems theories have been adapted to
suit the ideologies of survivor psychology. These quasi-legitimate
theories have been combined with metaphysics, paranormal phenomenon,
12-step fundamentalism, true believer logic, religious fundamentalism
(including demonology), and pseudo-scientific or even entirely bogus
physiological and psychological theories (Bass & Davis, 1988;
Blume, 1990; Bradshaw, 1987, 1988, 1990; Diamond & Thompson, 1993;
Fredrickson, 1992; Friesen, 1991; Marie, 1991a, 1991c).
One of the most recently invented syndromes is Blume's
"post-sexual abuse/incest syndrome." The "Sexual Abuse
and Incest Survivors Checklist," which is used to diagnose
"post-incest trauma syndrome," evolved from 12 items
originally written for rape and incest counselor's training. The list
was first published by NYWAR, which stands for New York Women Against
Rape. The 12 items evolved into 34 items and appears in the book
Secret Survivors ()()()
written by E. Sue Blume. It is not specified how this
list evolved, and the evolution of other lists, diagrams, and scales
to diagnose the existence of repressed memories or incest trauma are
not explained either. One of Blume's numbered categories in the list
of 34 items contains 43 "symptoms," which totals over 70
indicators of sexual abuse and incest (Blume, 1990).
The Courage To Heal ()()
by Laura Bass and Ellen Davis contains blocks
of information preceding each chapter listing "effects" by
which repressed sexual abuse is diagnosed and the damages are
assessed. There are 74 effects proposed (Bass & Davis, 1988).
A list circulated in a college seminar on sexual abuse and incest
contained 31 symptoms of sexual abuse and incest, and was written by
the instructor. Ten symptoms were said to be indicative of
"sexual abuse" and 15 symptoms indicative of
"incest." The symptoms included "... a dislike for tapioca
pudding, mashed potatoes and runny eggs" (Marie, 1991a, 1991c).
One of the most recent additions to the literature in the survivor
psychology field is Renee Fredrickson's 1992 book, Repressed Memories:
A Journey To Recovery From Sexual Abuse ().
Dr. Fredrickson presents a 63-item list for determining the existence of
"repressed memory syndrome" which she reports was developed to
"... describe those who have no memory of the abuse, as well as those
who remember but have a significant amount of amnesia" (p. 40).
complicated "PTSD Symptom List" is included, numbering 16
items but containing multivariant symptoms.
The symptoms were compiled through anecdotal reports by clients,
thus incorporating every imaginable quirk, twitch, preference, phobia,
constitutional propensity, personality tendency, or physical illness
as a "symptom" of repressed sexual abuse or incest issues
(Bass & Davis, 1988; Blume, 1990; Diamond & Thompson, 1993;
Fredrickson, 1992; Marie, 1991c).
Other newly defined "diseases," syndromes and disorders
have recently become accepted as factual by sheer repetition as well (Kaminer,
1992). Questionable or fanciful diagnoses, such as "sexual
addiction," "relationship addiction," and
"co-dependence" are considered our cultural legacy (Schaef,
1986, 1987, 1989; Schaef & Fassel, 1988).
There are presently a minimum of 33 groups using the 12-step
approach of the original Alcoholics Anonymous program. Six of these
deal exclusively with sex and incest related themes:
Sex Addicts Anonymous, Survivors of Incest
Anonymous, Sex Addicts Anonymous,
Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, Co-dependents of Sex and
Love Addicts Anonymous, and Sexaholics Anonymous (Whitfield,
1991). Sexual abuse and incest-related themes are not restricted to the above
named groups. Overeaters
Anonymous, Bulimics Anonymous, Anorexics
Anonymous, and the related "co-addiction" groups deal with
assumptions regarding sexual abuse and repressed memories as primary
causes of obesity or eating disorders, even though there is no
empirical evidence that the numerous disorders attributed to repressed
abuse and incest memories or to sexual abuse issues have a simple
cause and effect relationship (Pope & Hudson, 1992; Greenwald,
Leitenburg, Cado, & Tarran, 1990).
The subjective and projective approach to defining and treating
addictions infiltrated the mental health community; and soon the
belief that personality problems, addictions, and adjustment problems were caused by
repressed childhood trauma became treatment, counseling, and recovery
truisms. The erosion of boundaries between folk psychology and
professional mental health systems is due to many complex social and
economic factors that are beyond the scope of this paper; however, the
widespread acceptance of anything that is "self-improvement"
or "growth" oriented has compromised the credibility of mental
health systems, endangered the well-being of clients, and led to the
unchecked resurrection and promotion of 13th to 16th century medieval
psychology through some churches and Christian counseling facilities.
Recovery culture psychology is well integrated into these growing
branches of the mental health community and the notions of both
recovery and medieval psychologists have crossed over into
professional counseling systems (Smith, 1992). Practicing and
prospective counselors are attending satanic and ritual abuse seminars
in droves, even though the lectures and the literature are based on
the oral tradition of anecdotes (Diamond & Thompson, 1993;
Fredrickson, 1992; Friesen, 1991; Mayer, 1988, 1991). Both the
prevalence of the problem of "satanic ritual abuse" and the
"treatments suggested are unsubstantiated (Hicks, 1991; Lanning,
1989, 1991, 1992; Putnam 1991; Richardson, Best, & Bromley,
1991;Victor 1991, 1993).
As the theories of recovery culture proponents became progressively
anti-family, and the theories of survivor psychologists became
increasingly oriented to demonology, the therapeutic modalities
suggested in the literature became increasingly invasive, coercive,
and aggressive. This was justified by a missionary mentality which
claimed the world was in crisis because of "... adult children,
raising adult children who will become adult children" (Bradshaw
1987, p. 4), the claim that healing "co-dependence" would
heal the world's condition (Whitfield, 1991), and the notion that
special knowledge is being given to Christian counselors, who are
"anointed" to "minister" to the rapidly growing
numbers of MPDs and demonically possessed individuals manifesting in
the client populations of Christian counseling facilities (Diamond
& Thompson, 1993; Friesen, 1991).
According to Kenneth Lanning (1992), a law enforcement investigator
specializing in child abuse, reports of satanic ritual abuse are not
supported by any substantial evidence and the ideology of satanic
sexual abuse syndromes is primarily anecdotal. There is no evidence of
organized, intergenerational satanic cults operating behind the scenes
of the establishment, routinely engaged in infanticide, animal
sacrifice, serialized murder and rape and mutilation of children in
numerous ceremonial activities of a bizarre and heinous nature
(Gardner, 1990; Hicks, 1991; Lanning 1992; Mayer, 1988, 1991;
Richardson, Best, & Bromley, 1991; Victor, 1991). Anecdotal
are difficult to disprove, yet highly questionable. One cannot argue
with the subjective truth of one person or hundreds of people. Questioning the methods, logic, science, responsibility, and ethics of
the current sexual abuse ideology does not negate the claims of all
survivors nor deny that sexual abuse does happen. Critical appraisal
of memory theories does not deny that memories are sometimes
repressed, or more accurately, selectively suppressed (Ofshe, 1993).
The rewards of "memory work" are stressed in the
advertisement campaigns to sell inpatient treatment to the public.
The False Memory Syndrome Foundation
has compiled an extensive file of
such ads, all listing "symptoms" of "repressed"
memories, from the mundane to the most dramatic (Freyd, F1993). These
ads imply or claim that physical problems, health problems, weight
problems, employment difficulties, relationship needs, and many other
human desires and aspirations will be fulfilled by the
"healing" that memory work supposedly brings. Often these
"rewards" are tied to conditions, such as "spiritual
awakenings" or being "saved" or "reborn"
(Bradshaw, 1987, 1988, 1990; Diamond & Thompson, 1993; Friesen,
1991). The major condition is that the client "remember" a
horrible incident, whether it happened or not (Gondolf, 1992).
Indoctrination in the language and logic of survivor psychology
appears to be essential to acceptance of the physiological fairy
tales, psychological fables, quack counseling techniques and bogus
memory storage and retrieval theories. The psychology of the sale and
the persuasiveness of the language and logic is most tragically
evident when individuals become convinced they are sexual abuse survivors, even though they have no memories.
One of the most
commonly used theories to support the ideology of "repressed
memories" or incest and sexual abuse amnesia is "body
memories." Body memories are thought to literally be emotional,
kinesthetic, or chemical recordings stored at the cellular level and
retrievable by returning to or recreating the chemical, emotional. or
kinesthetic conditions under which the memory recordings are filed.
theory of body memories is a fascinating example of a seemingly logical
theory that is not only mistaken, it is dangerously coercive.
With the exception of Freud's early seduction theory, and the
recent rise in reports of recovered memories of UFO abductions
(Sullivan, 1992), there are no comparable theories or studies
available regarding the phenomenon of complete repression of traumatic
memories affecting such large numbers of people.
The crux of the problem seems to be hinged on scientific
illiteracy, gullibility, and a lack of critical thinking skills and
reasoning abilities in the mental health community and in society at
The Phoenix Survey
The following discussion of body memories and other
pseudo-scientific notions of survivor psychology contains excerpts and
information from a survey conducted by the author during the fall of
1992. This survey consisted of an extensive descriptive inquiry into
current sexual abuse treatment modalities conducted in the therapeutic
network in Phoenix, Arizona. Thirty-eight counselors specializing in
sexual abuse recovery were interviewed using a structured interview
questionnaire containing 41 questions with 103 items under
investigation. The questionnaire was constructed using the language,
logic, ideas, theories and notions gleaned from survivor and recovery
Incest and dysfunctionality theorists now routinely discuss
various forms of "thought crimes" and "face
crimes" (Orwell, 1949) that are labeled as "emotional
incest," "covert sexual abuse," or "covert
incest" (Bass & Davis, 1988; Blume, 1990; Covitz, 1986;
Fredrickson, 1992; Marie, 1991a). The psychic sexual abuse or thought
crime theory is based on the belief that children are extremely
telepathic and pick up the vibrational frequency of inappropriate sexual
thoughts (Marie, 1991a). One therapist in the Phoenix survey explained
covert incest in this manner: "Thoughts have a vibrational frequency and a sexual thought that
involves another person without their consent carries with it a
vibration that is felt on a covert, subliminal level."
The therapists also discussed various forms of thought-broadcasting
and quasi-paranormal events supposedly occurring within the family
that broadened the categories of abuse and incest, so that nothing
actually had to occur, but "incest" or abuse could still be
diagnosed. The thought broadcasting notion was popularized by John
Bradshaw's 1987 work, The Family, in which the intergenerational
learning theory was called "multi-generational
transmission." The uncanny clairvoyance of children supports this
theory as well, and "covert incest" occurs because children
supposedly are attuned to a "highly sexualized atmosphere in the
home" (Marie, 1991a). The transmission theory is also used to
explain or label dysfunctionality in families where alcohol is not a
problem or incest had not occurred. According to dysfunctionality
theorists, "alcoholic family rules" can jump generations
and so can "incest issues." Thus a child who has not been
abused psychically takes on the parents' "repressed" issues
and "shamebound" identities (Bradshaw, 1987, 1988, 1990;
The "face crime" theory is used to explain subjective
notions of emotional incest among clients without memories (Bass &
Davis, 1988; Blume, 1990; Marie, 1991a). Adults in therapy who cannot
remember sexual abuse can be coerced to remember adults somehow
communicating incestuous thoughts by facial expressions, thereby
committing incest. Now that incest and sexual abuse can supposedly
occur in the absence of sexual contact and incestuous thoughts are
carried by the vibrational frequencies of thought waves, the notions
of covert incest and emotional incest have reached even greater levels
of absurdity and meaninglessness.
One of the most persuasive and commonly used theories to support
the ideologies of survivor psychology is the notion of "body
memories." The theory of body memories is used to describe
feelings for which the individual usually has no visual, auditory or
other sensory memory imprint. It is claimed that the cells, DNA or
simply the body contains 100 percent recall of what the mind represses
or forgets (Bass & Davis, 1988; Blume, 1990; Marie, 1991a). This
is based on the idea that the body has no intellectual defenses and
therefore cannot "screen out" memory imprints, and the
corresponding erroneous idea that even though the mind
"records" everything that happens, many memories are
unavailable to conscious recall and will remain unavailable because of
the power of the mind (Diamond & Thompson, 1993; Fredrickson,
1992; Marie, 1991a; Mayer, 1988, 1991).
The body memory notion is bolstered up by two major survivor
psychology theories which have been adapted from traditional theories
to weave a superficially plausible and official-sounding supporting
argument. These two notions are the "traumatic memory"
theory and the "state dependent" learning or memory theory.
According to survivor psychologists it is possible to retrieve
memories of early infancy and even of being in the womb. These
memories are identified by the survivor psychology version of
"state dependency" which means that regression to the
developmental stage for which no cognitive structure exists will
produce memories in the manner in which they were imprinted. For
instance, survivors subscribing to this theory have reported feeling
teething pain, losing the ability to read, losing motor control, loss
of speech and blurry vision, all characteristic of infancy. While in a
regressed state, reports of somatic sensations such as feeling
suffocated or in terror are considered "proof" of infantile
sexual abuse (Raphael, 1992).
Developmental stages of comprehension and cognitive abilities
present at the time in which abuse allegedly occurred supposedly
"fixes" the memory or knowing at that stage of
comprehension. These stages are thought to be consistent with
"symptoms" of abuse that manifest in adults in the process
of traumatic memory construction. The age at which sexual abuse
allegedly occurred is pin-pointed by physical symptoms or somatic sensations that generally correspond to
developmental stages (Fredrickson, 1992; Raphael, 1992). For instance,
if an adult becomes tongue-tied during a regression, trance or
"abreaction" they are presumed to be on the infant level
because an infant has very little control of the tongue. When clients in
hypnosis or in a regressed state experience feelings of terror, rage, or
being restrained, but cannot articulate the sources of these feelings,
it is assumed that they are recovering "memories" of infantile
The traumatic memory concept is very loosely based on Freud's
theory of repression and Piaget's theory of cognitive development in
children which says that children function primarily through the
senses until the age of 6 or 7. Abstract thinking processes do not
normally begin until the age of about 7 or 8 (Pearce, 1986). Therefore, traumatic memories, extending as
far back as the womb, but
usually the first 6 months of life, are supposedly imprinted as
sensory memories which may have no cognitive support. The theory was
explained by one survivor in the following way "... it's not like I
remember picking up a Cheerio this morning, and it got stuck in my
throat. The dif that's a memory. What a traumatic memory
is I remember
the feeling of the Cheerio being stuck in my throat. Traumatic
memories come with the developmental age at which they happened ..."
(Raphael, 1992, p.2).
Traumatic memories are thought to be stored differently than other
memories. It is believed by survivor psychologists that they are
sealed away, compartmentalized or encapsulated and preserved in pure
form, waiting for a "safe time to be accessed or
"triggered," either spontaneously (supposedly when the
person is ready), or through therapy, when they have
"guidance" (Diamond & Thompson, 1993; Fredrickson, 1992;
Friesen, 1991; Mayer, 1988, 1991).
The phrases "developmentally appropriate" or
"developmentally inappropriate" are also used to reframe
past behavior or events that the client did not originally identify
as abusive. Developmentally appropriate stages, responses, or
reactions are said to occur in a fairly consistent manner and a child
acting above or below a developmental stage is being, or has been,
abused somehow. For example, an 8-year-old being bathed by a parent could be construed as developmentally
Regression and reliving "repressed" trauma is essential
to the theory of how healing occurs in survivor psychology. In
survivor psychology theory, the client must return to the
"ego" state or developmental stage in which abuse occurred
to "heal" the wound from that stage and grow up.
Survivor psychologists frequently claim that body memories take the
form of stigmata, manifesting actual physical representations of
events, such as "handprints appearing around a survivors
neck" or acute attacks of pain in the area that was purportedly
abused (Fredrickson, 1992; Marie, 1991a; Mayer, 1988, 1991). In
(), the 1980 work that greatly contributed to the
satanic abuse legends circulating in the therapeutic community,
several photographs of Michelle's arms and neck were shown. An
asymmetrical rash on her neck was labeled a "body memory" of
the "devil's tail" which had supposedly been wrapped around
her neck to choke her. According to Dr. Lawrence Pazder, "the
Devil" had literally manifested at a satanic ceremony and wrapped
his fiery tail around Michelle's neck and burned the imprint into her
flesh (Smith & Pazder, 1980).
The theory of body memories is not consistent with psychosomatic
disorders in which the manifestation of a psychiatric disorder is
physical. The concept of body memories presupposes that the body is
capable of harboring or retaining memories and operates by an
independent intelligence which attempts to communicate to the
individual about the repressed abuse by literally manifesting signs,
diseases, or stigmata. Numerous medical diseases are attributed to
repressed abuse such as cancer of the uterus, vagina, or breasts,
various gynecological problems, and other diseases and afflictions.
The addictive disorders are also considered to be direct results of
repressed abuse by survivor therapists (Bass & Davis, 1988; Blume,
1990; Diamond & Thompson, 1993; Fredrickson, 1992; Marie, 1991a).
The therapists in the Phoenix survey claimed that 59% of their clients experienced body memories, and
95% of the therapists said it was common for memories to surface via body memories.
Several therapists claimed 100% of their clients experienced body memories if they were "working it through" or if they
were sexual abuse survivors. This is where the beliefs and biases got
really interesting. Therapists often reported that their regular client
load, or those without sexual abuse issues, did not generally experience
body memories, that this symptom of repressed traumatic memories was
usually unique only to traumatic memories of sexual abuse.
Why body memories would be specific to traumatic memories of sexual
abuse is a curious assumption. It would seem that if the body had the
capability to record traumatic experiences, it would record all
traumatic experiences. It is also curious that body memories would
specifically deal with infantile sexual abuse. If the cognitive
processes are not developed enough to recognize, understand, or
remember sexual abuse, how would the body know the difference between
sexual trauma and any trauma? Trauma would simply be recorded as
trauma, if the theory had any validity at all. The fact that many
therapists believed that body memories of preverbal trauma were only
of a sexual nature demonstrated clearly illogical biases and
ideologies that have not been well-reasoned or thought out.
In a sequence of questions in the structured interview, therapists
were asked to describe the concept of body memories, asked if the
theory of body memories corresponded to the theory of cellular
memories, asked how they knew that clients were experiencing body
memories, and asked to explain how the body stores memories. Following
are some of their verbatim replies:
When asked to describe the concept of "body memories":
Subject #1: Yes ... When I first started working with someone and they
were talking about their father and they dissociated in the middle
of that and they were reacting like he was in the room right then
and not only did their whole body shake, especially like, you could
see goose bumps and the redness all up and down her legs, but you
could also see like, a hand print across her throat. It's like
though she didn't really remember it consciously what was happening,
her body registered what happened.
Subject #2: Let's see, what I believe is that memories can be
stored in the tissues of the body, and ah, sometimes people will begin to have symptomology around their bodies
before they have cognitive memories.
Most of the therapists gave similar scientifically illiterate and
biased descriptions of "body memories."
When asked if body memories corresponded to the theory of
"cellular memories" the following answers were given:
Subject #3: Okay, to me cellular memories are similar to what I
just described and often times there are actual data that comes up
with it at the same time that people have often reported that maybe
it didn't happen in this lifetime, that it happened in some other lifetime.
Or that it did happen in this lifetime but they don't have
a memory of it happening to them.
Subject #5: Yes, well I think whatever happens to us the body
remembers in great detail and doesn't lose it.
Subject #17: Cellular memories in my understanding are that the
very, within each cell there's a mitochondria that has the capacity
for recording events.
I'm sure physiological psychologists and molecular biologists would
be thrilled to find such a precise and localized little mitochondria
that records memories. How that theory was generated is a mystery, but
it was shared by the majority of therapists who unhesitatingly
launched into similar explanations of "cellular recordings."
The answers to the question "How can you tell when a client is
experiencing a body memory?" were loaded with assumptions and
selective reinforcement of symptoms:
Subject #11: ... actual twitching, body movement ... feelings of
warmth or wetness.
From symptoms this vague all one could reasonably conclude is that
the client was alive.
Subject #13: ... checking out or questioning (the client) what the
various parts of the body are feeling ... (and then) ... looking for
affectual responses that might cue that they're
Subject #18: (Clients describe) some kind of kinesthetic
experience that doesn't have anything to do with what's going on in
their lives right now. Usually when we track it in trance, it goes
back to a specific sexual abuse memory or cult memory.
Subject 18 also became very agitated and paranoid toward the end of
the interview and became concerned that I was a cult member. I
reassured her that I was not and reiterated the name of the university
I was attending and my advisor's names and offered phone numbers.
remained agitated because she explained that "the
establishment," including the academic community, is supposedly
involved in satanic cult activity on a large scale. Given the depth of
her belief systems about satanic cults, it's not surprising that when
she "tracks" clients' kinesthetic experiences in trance she
"finds" cult memories.
Subject #10: People who have no recollection of being abused seem to
have more in the way of body memories.
This is an interesting assumption and seems clearly coercive.
belief of this nature would contribute to selective reinforcement of
symptoms and could be used to convince a client with no memories that
they are, in fact, having memories, because they are displaying
symptoms common to other survivors with no memories.
Subject #10 also says she can tell a client is having body memories
by "... watching them, how they carry themselves, what they
do." Again, this is selective reinforcement and traumatic
interpretation of so called "symptoms" of repressed abuse
memories. Subject #10 explained that she'll ask a client, "What's
going on right now?" and they might answer, "Well, I have
this real sensitive area on my thigh, and there's no reason for that
but I know I've had that feeling before and it doesn't seem to connect
The erroneous idea that every little twitch, pain or bodily
sensation must have a reason or connect with something is a traumatic
reframing notion. Clients would be unlikely to talk in these terms if
they had not learned therapeutic thinking and jargon. People who have
not been trained in the language of counseling don't generally find
every vague feeling or sensation indicative of something of monumental importance.
training in therapeutic thinking or survivor logic, the average person
is unlikely to make an issue out of minor sensations and go around
musing, "You know, I feel this itch on my arm and it doesn't seem
to connect with anything."
Many subjects talked about clients having feelings or bodily
sensations that did not "connect" to anything in their lives
right now, which is a rather absurd notion in itself. Nothing happens
in the body that is not connected in the here and now. The body is in
the "here and now" and everything that happens to the body
does not have to have a psychological origin. The ideas that emotional
reactions and symptoms of stress which manifest in flushing, tremors)
shaking, changes in skin color or evenness, or that hives and spots
that appear on clients faces, necks, arms, or legs were literal
storyboards or histories written on the body to be read by therapists
is an unfortunate development which has fully constellated in survivor
psychology; even though the ideas have always been around in some
The notion of body memories has been recycled many times as a
foundational or supportive theory in many quack counseling systems,
eccentric philosophical systems, and pseudo-scientific or metaphysical
health and healing cults (Hay, 1983; Hubbard, 1985; Lawren, 1992;
Steadman, 1966). Like the term "false memory syndrome," the
notion of body memories is not new and has been known by a variety of
names. Unlike the established phenomenon of false memories, which is
based on studies of measurable and observable phenomenon including the
effects of influence, group psychology, suggestibility, interpersonal
cuing, and behavioral psychology (Baker) 1990; Spanos & Chaves,
1989), the notion of body memories is entirely subjective and the many
names for body memories are often fabricated, distorted, or literally
interpreted versions of cellular or biological metaphors.
The theory of the "repression" of traumatic childhood
memories originated with Freud, but the foundations for his theories
were highly influenced by Ernst Brucke (1819-1894), a physiological
scientist with a dynamic evolutionary orientation. Freud was exposed
to Brucke's ideas at the University of Vienna during his third year of medical school in 1816
Jones notes that Freud's later works correspond closely with
Brucke's ideas about "... transformation and interplay of
physical forces in the living organism" (Jones) 1961, p.31).
Freud did not renounce Brucke's biological
theories, he transformed them to describe mental phenomena that were
independent of an anatomical basis. A later influence on Freud's
theories was Theodor Meynert (1833-1892), a brain anatomist. In time
Freud challenged Meynert's theories on brain anatomy, particularly the
notion that the cortex contained "... a projection of the various parts
of the body." Meynert had also taught that "... ideas and memories
are to be pictured as attached to various brain cells" (Jones, 1961,
The crude and literal notions of early brain anatomists were
challenged over a hundred years ago, and even though Freud's
"repression" theory is often presented as the basis for
"traumatic memory theories, the current notions in
recovery/survivor psychology are closer to Meynert's theories of
localized sites of memory and idea storage. In fact, recovery/survivor psychology has descended
further into crude and literal
theories of memory storage with the invention and/or resurrection of
the concept of body memories and cellular memories.
Occasionally a credentialed scientist becomes intrigued with
cellular memory theories and begins doing research. This was the case
with a recent revival of the molecular memory theory, called one of
the 10 "greatest hoaxes of the 1980s" in an article in Omni
magazine (Lawren, 1992). The survivor psychology explanation of how
the body or mind stores memories bears a striking similarity to the
molecular memory theory proposed in the mid-1980s by Dr. Jacque
Benveniste, an immunologist at French National Institute of Health and
Medical Research (Lawren, 1992,p.51).
Benveniste described "molecular memory" as "A subtle
electromagnetic language that enables one molecule to record the
'essence' of a second, much like a tape recorder records a
sound." According to Benveniste, his work could vindicate the
discredited field of homeopathy and lead to "the medicine of the
future." Doctors could learn to tap into the "electromagnetic molecular communication system" and, in
effect, perform psychic surgery by learning the language of the molecules
and giving them signals in that language. Aspirin or other medications
could be administered metaphorically, by telling the molecules the
biochemical "signal" that translates as "aspirin" or
other medication in molecular language (Lawren, 1992, p.51).
Benveniste performed a series of experiments that he claimed proved
his hypotheses and submitted a report to Nature
in 1986 (Lawren, 1992,
p.73). His results were published in 1988 and brought on scrutiny and
criticism from the scientific community. A team of investigators,
including one with a reputation as a "scientific sheriff"
and noted skeptic, James Randi, began analyzing Benveniste's research
methodology and tried to replicate the results using his methods.
of the tests were negative, but after the initial controversy died
down Benveniste began repeating his original trials and is still
claiming positive results which no one else can substantiate (Lawren,
The electromagnetic or biochemical "energy frequency" of
certain emotional events which are "stored or
"remembered" by their frequency is the physiological
explanation of body memories put forth by survivor psychologists.
Benveniste's molecular memory theory, the traumatic memories
supposedly stored in the cells have their own "language" or
means by which they are accessed. Therefore, the therapist must take
the client back to the emotional state and developmental stage at
which the memories were "recorded" and activate the
biochemical or electromagnetic frequency at which the memories are
"stored." While "abreacting" or literally in the
age-regressed states at which trauma supposedly occurred, the cells
will "release" the memories or reproduce the physiological,
emotional and cognitive states and "replicate" the
experience for the client. The client has then "disempowered"
the memory, and can now metaphorically go back and change the outcome
or accept their past powerlessness and grieve it.
None of these memory storage or retrieval theories are supported by
any credible scientific data (Loftus, 1993; Ofshe, 1993; Wakefield
& Underwager, 1992a, 1992b; Wielawski, 1991).
Another example of an exploitive body memory theory is L. Ron
Hubbard's (1985) eccentric quasi-psychological, philosophical system
known as Scientology or Dianetics.
The foundational theory of L. Ron
Hubbard's self-proclaimed "mathematically precise, exact
science" of Dianetics is "engrams." Physiological
psychologist Karl Lashley used the term "engram" in his
25-year search for precise storage sites of memory traces in the
brains of rats. Lashley taught rats to run mazes and systematically
removed sections of their cortexes. Lashley was disappointed
repeatedly as the rats became increasingly impaired according to how
much brain tissue they lost, but they were still able to navigate the
mazes. By 1956 Lashley was forced to conclude that memory traces or
"engrams" did not have localized sites of storage but were
diffused throughout the brain (Hooper & Teresi, 1986).
The results of scientific research have never deterred crackpots
who have latched onto a seductive, potentially profitable and
self-aggrandizing theory. By 1948 L. Ron Hubbard had adopted Lashley's
theory of engrams, but ignored the results of his 25 years of
research. Hubbard decided that all neuroses, psychoses and illnesses
were caused by cellular recordings or imprints and then claims he
()(), the 614-page book, in three weeks (Gardner, 1956).
According to Martin Gardner, author of Fads and Fallacies in the Name of
Science (), this is not hard to believe because nothing in the book
resembles a scientific report and the "case studies" were
constructed from Hubbard's memory and imagination (Gardner, 1956).
Dianetics is a Greek word meaning "thought" and according
to Hubbard's philosophy, words are "imprinted" in the cells
of the body, particularly in the developing fetus and even in a sperm
or an egg prior to conception. According to Hubbard's theories
bear striking similarities to "body memory" notions and the
"memory retrieval "practices of current sexual abuse
therapies the subconscious mind, or "reactive mind" is
completely literal and all uncomfortable sensations, painful
experiences, or words heard in the womb and in early childhood are
imprinted in the cells and literally interpreted and manifested as
neuroses, psychosomatic disorders, and diseases by the body throughout
life unless they are "audited out." Auditing is merely a
process of hypnosis, which is called a "dianetic reverie."
The client is regressed and
aggressively questioned and coerced to make connections between current
problems and diseases to early memories or pre-birth traumas (Gardner,
1956; Hubbard, 1985).
Literal interpretation and distortion of the metaphorical language
used by cellular biologists has been used as the pseudo-scientific
rationale for the survivor psychology notion of body memories. This
development is a fascinating example of how a metaphorical means of
conceptualizing the relationship between physical states and emotional
states or the mind-body connection has become literally interpreted
and distorted. The pseudo-scientific slant on body memories is
borrowed from the metaphorical terminology and language used by
cellular biologists. The terms "biological memory,"
"cell commitment," or "cell determination" are
used to discuss cellular retention of phenotype during many rounds of
division (Wolffe & Brown, 1988). This has nothing to do with
literal memory notions, but is simply a way of conceptualizing genetic
stability and the stability of cellular processes.
A little pseudo-scientific terminology and a lot of
pseudo-psychological mumbo-jumbo and the blind commitment of true
believer fanaticism creates an internal logic that appears to make
sense, but the body memory theory is wrong. If the body memory theory
had any credibility, neuroscientists could stop looking for a cause or
cure for Alzheimer's in the brain and just activate all the body
memories, which survivor psychologists claim "remember everything
the mind forgets" (Bass & Davis, 1988).
Misguided and unethical therapists use the body memory theory to
manufacture "evidence" of sexual abuse and traumatic
memories where none exist. When the therapist interprets flushing,
hives, rashes, headaches, stomachaches, or other physiological
sensations of stress and emotional arousal as forms of memory"
during counseling sessions, hypnosis or groups, the notion of body
memories becomes a means of indoctrination into survivor logic. When
therapists teach clients that everything from the common cold to
cancer are body memories, clients develop attentional biases or
predispositions to interpret mundane sensations to serious illnesses
as body memories. This means of divination used by therapists to
convince clients with no memories of sexual abuse that they are
"survivors" is not responsible, credible, or supportable.
There are many physiological diseases, symptoms, and sensations
that are confusing and frightening. The "mind-cure,
spirit-cure" philosophies that claim people "cause" or
"choose" their own diseases and are entirely responsible for
"creating their own realities" leave many people with a
sense of guilt, distress, shame and a desperate need to explain the
unknown. The "cause and effect" body memory theory provides a
logical explanation for the common problems women experience,
particularly since some of the most frequently mentioned
"symptoms" of repressed incest and sexual abuse are said to
be vaginal pain, yeast infections, or any problem with female
reproductive organs (Blume, 1990; Fredrickson, 1992; Marie, 1991a).
The seduction of the "explanation delusion" (Meerloo, 1961),
or "the logical fallacy of the false cause," exploits the powerful
human need to know, explain, and make sense out of chaotic
or mysterious events and phenomena.
Emotional hyperbole, exaggerated suffering, and disregard for facts
and research is characteristic of zealotry, faith healing, religious
psychology, and mind-cure, spirit-cure-based programs such as the
12-step programs and the rapidly growing medieval/evangelical
psychology programs. Learning to think traumatically and reframe the
past to suit a socially constructed reality system is a common
religious and ideological conversion technique. However, exaggeration,
disregard for facts and research, and aggressive mental programming
are not traditionally characteristic of professional mental health
systems and do not belong in credible mental health systems.
Traumatic thinking and reframing has contributed to the
irresponsible expansion of the definitions of incest and child abuse.
When sexually-oriented physical contact between adult and child
relatives no longer has to occur, but "incest" can be
retrospectively determined to have occurred through psychic
transmission or "funny looks," a dangerous ideological shift has
taken place. The climate of suspicion resembles the social climate in
"Oceania," the setting in George Orwell's 1949 futuristic
Conclusions and Recommendations
It is well-accepted within the mental health community that helping
professionals must handle ethical, emotional, and personal issues in
the helping relationship with great care. Transference,
counter-transference, unresolved personal conflicts, coercion, and
abuses of power and influence are sensitive areas of ethical concern
(Corey, Corey, & Callahan, 1992).
Client welfare and professional ethics are the concerns of all
mental health professionals. Helping professionals are repeatedly
cautioned about using clients to serve their own needs, beliefs and
agendas. It is imperative that helping professionals curb such
tendencies, as well as remain aware and respectful of the client's
condition and personality propensities such as fantasy-proneness, high
suggestibility, high hypnotizability, histrionic tendencies, excessive
emotional neediness, attention-seeking behaviors, and the tendency to
want to please, conform or perform to perceived situational demands
(Corey et al., 1992; Lanning, 1992; Wakefield & Underwager, 1992a,
The widespread acceptance of the traumatic memory and somatic
memory theories are clearly factors in the mental health
professional's zeal to uncover "repressed" memories or pay
selective attention to erroneous symptoms of repressed memories.
Traumatic memories and body memories are differentiated from cognitive
memories by the distinction that there may be no mental pictures or
actual memory but that somatic impressions, sensations, or subjective
feelings constitute proof of early childhood or infantile sexual
abuse. This is absurd and flimsy logic, but highly persuasive to
clients who have had unresolved problems for many years and are
desperate to believe that the rewards promised through the recovery of
"repressed memories"" will be attained through believing they were
abused or constructing memories of abuse.
When numerous somatic sensations, impressions or subjective
feelings are refrained as "symptoms" of repressed memories,
it is assumed that these memories can be "recovered" and
that they exist somewhere in the brain or body, encapsulated in pure
form, unadulterated by on-going learning processes and unaffected by current belief systems (Fredrickson, 1992; Diamond
& Thompson, 1993; Marie 1991a). If the traumatic memory theory is,
in fact, held by a large number of mental health professionals, it may
be that remedial education should be suggested for practicing counselors
The process of educating an individual to act as a therapist or
counselor includes teaching healthy detachment and objectivity. Therapists are not generally supposed to become enmeshed in the
illusions of memory or narrative histories of clients. The goal of
therapy has traditionally been to create an environment in which the
client can explore illusions and myths and emerge with deeper insight
into psychological processes, a greater tolerance for ambiguity, and
an appreciation for the mysteries of human emotion and consciousness.
Research is generally undertaken to test a hypothesis regarding the
causation of a particular disease or psychological syndrome and also
to assess the efficacy of a particular treatment. In this case,
research is being done to assess the impact of a well-developed social
and therapeutic trend.
Study and investigation are particularly important when so many
people are affected by the consequences of believing in an epidemic of
incest, intergenerational satanic cult networks operating on a large
scale through family systems, and secret societies that have
infiltrated day care centers, religious institutions, and school
systems. The social and personal consequences of believing that 96% of
all family systems are dysfunctional (Bradshaw, 1987), and that true
pathology is rampant within the family and social institutions (Pride,
1986), may be more dangerous to society and the family than the
deplorable conditions and values that result in child abuse.
Concerned professionals and investigators looking into the charges
of repressed memories of incest and ritual abuse have been accused of
everything from harboring perpetrators, to being part of the
"anti-recovery backlash," to being practicing satanists
(Freyd, 1993; Lanning, 1991, 1992). Yet, ironically, the concerns of
most mental health professionals, investigators, and other responsible
adults run parallel. Protecting children, promoting the health and
integrity of family systems, protecting the best interests and integrity of both clients and the mental health
community, ensuring that clients receive appropriate care, and ensuring
that false accusations will not trivialize sexual abuse issues or
desensitize society to the needs and rights of victims and survivors are
common concerns (Gardner, 1990; Goleman, 1992; Lanning, 1992).
Questioning the efficacy of therapeutic modalities, examining the
methods used, reassessing assumptions, and comparing results and
consequences of various procedures and philosophies is of great
importance in the therapeutic process. This process has nothing to do
with denial of child abuse, harboring perpetrators, or practicing
The concept of "denial," apart from being an all-purpose
diagnostic device in the recovery culture, also deflects critical
scrutiny by asserting that the concern for accuracy, research, and
professionalism is motivated by "denial." Recovery
psychologists deflect criticism by projecting that the motives behind
reasonable inquiry or outright disagreements are the products of a
"sick" individual or a "diseased" way of thinking
(Whitfield, 1991). Survivor psychologists deflect scrutiny, questions,
and criticisms by chastising the dissenters and claiming that they
have "unresolved issues or are "in denial" (Bass &
Davis, 1988; Blume, 1990; Marie, 1991a; Whitfield, 1991). It has
become so politically incorrect to challenge the cherished (but
debunked) psychoanalytical notions or medieval superstitions that have
resurfaced in survivor psychology that questioning the wisdom of
exaggerating, over-estimating, and simply fabricating statistics of
addiction, child abuse, incest, demonic possession, and maladjustment
makes one a suspected supporter of evil doings or of a sick society.
This suspicion has created a climate in which those promoting
extremely controversial, and even dangerous, notions are no longer
obligated to back up their claims. Mental health practitioners using
invasive, coercive, and aggressive practices no longer need to
consider the consequences of their actions. Unethical
"educational" programs charging exorbitant fees and peddling
urban legends and medieval superstitions proliferate unchecked
(Diamond & Thompson, 1993; Victor, 1991).
The scientific illiteracy, low conceptual levels, lack of
rationality, and poor basic reasoning skills among the majority of the
therapists interviewed in the Phoenix survey is not surprising if the
popular survivor literature is indicative of prevalent notions in the
field. The books are written by nondegreed individuals as well as
Ph.Ds, and substantiation is absent in all the manifestoes (Bass &
Davis, 1988; Blume, 1990; Fredrickson, 1992; Friesen, 1991; Mayer,
1988 1991; Smith & Pazder, 1980; Stratford, 1988).
What is most clearly indicated in the data from the Phoenix survey,
and in reviewing the survivor manifestoes, is that the educational
process for counselors and psychotherapists is failing in critical
thinking and ethics as well as in biology and physiological and social
psychology. A common concern expressed by many professionals
investigating the recovered memory phenomena is that therapists can
practice without degrees. Although this is a major problem that should
be addressed, judging from the results of the Phoenix survey, the
level of education reported had little bearing on whether the
therapist practiced and promoted survivor psychology. The majority of
the therapists held Master's degrees, and it would seem that 18 years
of schooling would be sufficient to teach basic logic and reasoning
skills. There were 26 therapists in the sample with MAs, 6 with BAs, 1
with a BS, 4 with Ph.Ds, and 1 reported no degree. Ironically the
therapist with no degree expressed the highest level of scientific
literacy, skepticism, and professional ethics.
The data from the Phoenix study have many possibilities for
secondary analysis. Although no significant differences were readily
apparent between the styles and statements made by the MAS, Ph.Ds and
BAs, in-depth study may reveal significant differences. The styles and
statements of male and female therapists may be another avenue of
investigation. If the results of the Phoenix study reach the academic
and therapeutic community soon and on a large scale, it is unlikely
that the results could be supported. However, if the structured
interview questionnaire and interview procedures were used quickly,
and in a different geographical area, the results may be supported.
Ackerman, R. (1989). Perfect Daughters: Adult Daughters of Alcoholics
Beach, Florida: Health Communications.
Baker, R. A. (1990).
They Call it Hypnosis (). Buffalo, New York:
Bass, E., & Davis, L. (1988). The Courage to Heal ()(). New York:
Bettie, M. (1987). Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and
Start Caring For Yourself
()()()()(). New York: Harper/Hazelden.
Beattie, M. (1989). Beyond Co-Dependency and Getting Better All the Time
City, MN: Hazelden Foundation.
Becker, R. A. (1989). Addicted to Misery: The Other side of Co-Dependency
Beach, FL: Health Communications.
Black, C. (1981). It Will Never Happen to Me ()(). New York:
Blume, E. S. (1990). Secret Survivors: Uncovering Incest and
its Aftereffects in Women ()()(). New York:
John Wiley and Sons.
Bradshaw, J. (1987). The Family: A Revolutionary Way of Self-Discovery
Beach, FL: Health Communications.
Bradshaw, J. (1988). Healing the Shame That Binds You
()(). Deerfield Beach,
FL: Health Communications.
Bradshaw, J. (1990). Homecoming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner
Child ()(). Deerfield Beach, FL:
Bufe, C. (1991). Alcoholics Anonymous: Cult or Cure? ()
Francisco: See Sharp Press.
Corey, G., Corey, M., & Callahan, P. (1992). Issues and Ethics in
the Helping Professions (). Pacific Grove, CA:
Covitz, J. (1986). Emotional Child Abuse ()(). Boston, MA: Sigo Press.
Cruse, J. R. (1989). Painful Affairs: Looking for Love Through Addiction
and Co-Dependency (). Deerfield Beach, FL:
Diamond, R., & Thompson, K. (1993, February & April). Dissociative
disorders and satanic ritual abuse. Seminars sponsored by
the Samaritan School of Counseling, held at the Community Church of
Joy, Glendale, AZ.
Fredrickson, R. (1992). Repressed Memories: A Journey to Recovery From
Sexual Abuse (). New York:
Simon & Schuster.
Freyd, P. (1993, February 6). Presentation at a False Memory Syndrome Foundation
Meeting, Phoenix, AZ.
Friesen, J. (1991). Uncovering the Mystery of MPD: Its Shocking Origins ... Its
Surprising Cure ()(). San Bernardino, CA: Here's Life Publishers.
Gardner, M. (1956). Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science (). New York: Dover Publications.
Gardner, R. (1990). Sex Abuse Hysteria: Salem Witch Trials
Revisited (). Cresskill,
Goleman, D. (1992, July 21). Childhood trauma: memory or invention?
The New York Times, p. 21.
Gondolf, L. (1992, December 6, 8). Recorded phone interview occurring
in two parts.
Greenwald, E., Leitenburg, H., Cado, S., & Tarran, M. J. (1990).
Childhood sexual abuse: Long-term effects on psychological and sexual functioning in a
nonclinical and nonstudent sample of adult
Child Abuse & Neglect, 14, 503-513.
Hay, L. (1983). Heal Your Body: The Metaphysical Way to Health
()(). Los Angeles:
Hicks, R. D. (1991). In Pursuit of Satan
(). Buffalo, NY:
Hooper, J., & Leresi, D. (1986). The Three Pound Universe
New York: Macmillan.
Hubbard, R. L. (1985). Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental
Los Angeles: Bridge Publications.
Jones, E. (1961). In L. Trilling & S. Marcus (Eds.), The Life and Work of
Sigmund Freud (). New York:
Kaminer, W. (1992). I'm Dysfunctional, You're Dysfunctional: The Recovery Movement and
Other Self-help Fashions (). Redding, MA:
Katz, J., & Liu, A E. (1991). The Codependency Conspiracy: How to
Break the Recovery Habit and Take Charge of Your Life
()(). New York:
Kritsberg, W. (1988). The Adult Child of Alcoholics Syndrome
()(). New York:
Lanning, K. V. (1989, October). Satanic, occult, ritualistic crime: A
law enforcement perspective. Police Chief, pp.1-11.
Lanning, K. V. (1991). Ritual abuse: A law enforcement view or
Child Abuse & Neglect, 15, 171-173.
Lanning, K V. (1992). Investigator's guild to allegations of ritual
child abuse. Quantico, VA: National Center for the Analysis of
Lasater, L. (1988). Recovery From Compulsive Behavior (). Deerfield Beach,
FL: Health Communications.
Lawren, B. (1992, June). The case of the ghost molecules. Omni, pp.
Loftus, E. F. (1993). The reality of repressed memories. American Psychologist,
Marie, J. (1991a). Seminar Sexual Abuse Recovery, Course Number 410, PSY.
Spring Term. Ottawa University, Phoenix, AZ.
Marie, J. (1991b). How to help someone who has incest issues.
Distributed in Sexual Abuse Recovery Seminar, Spring Term. Ottawa
University, Phoenix, AZ.
Marie, J. (1991c). 31 symptoms of physical, emotional and sexual
Distributed in Sexual Abuse Recovery Seminar, Spring Term. Ottawa
University, Phoenix, AZ.
Mastrich, J., & Birnes, B. (1988). The ACOA's Guild to
Raising Healthy Children (). New York: Collier Books.
Mayer, R. S. (1991). Satan's Children Case Studies in
Multiple Personality (). New
York: G.P. Putnam's
Mayer, R. S. (1988). Through Divided Minds: Probing the Mysteries of
Multiple Personalities A Doctor's Story ()()(). New York:
Meerloo, J. (1961). The Rape of the Mind: The Psychology of Thought Control,
and Brainwashing (). New York: Grosser and Dunlap.
Middleton-Moz, J., & Dwinell, L. (1986). After the Tears (). Pompano
Beach, FL: Health Communications.
Nakken, C. (1988). The Addictive Personality: Understanding
Compulsion in Our Lives (). San Francisco:
Harper & Row.
Ofshe, R. J. (1993, April). Making monsters: An American tragedy.
Presentation at Memory and Reality: Emerging Crisis, a conference
sponsored by the False Memory Syndrome Foundation, April 16-18, 1993,
Valley Forge, PA.
Orwell, G. (1949). 1984
()()()(). New York:
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
J. C. (1986). Magical Child: Rediscovering Nature's Plan for Our
Children (). New York:
Peele, S. (1989). Diseasing of America: Addiction Treatment Out
()(). Lexington, MA:
D. C. Heath.
Peele, S. (1991). The Truth About Addiction and Recovery: The
Life Process Program for Outgrowing Destructive Habits (). New York:
Simon & Schuster.
Pope, H. G., & Hudson, J. L. (1992). Is childhood sexual abuse a
risk factor for bulimia nervosa? American Journal of Psychiatry,
Pride, M. (1986). The Child Abuse Industry
(). Westchester, IL:
Putnam, F. W. (1991). The satanic abuse controversy.
Child Abuse & Neglect, 15, 175-179.
Raphael, S. J. (1992, October 22). I can't hide my painful
secrets anymore. Burrelles Transcripts #1078, Multimedia Entertainment.
Richardson, J. T., Best, J., & Bromley, D. G. (1991). The
Satanism Scare ()(). New York:
Aldine De Gruyter.
Schaef, A. W. (1986). Co-dependence Misunderstood Mistreated
San Francisco: Harper &
Schaef, A W. (1987). When Society Becomes an Addict (). San Francisco:
Schaef, A. W. (1989). Escape From Intimacy The Pseudo Relationship
Addictive: Untangling the Love Addiction: Sex, Romance,
Relationships (). San Francisco:
Schaef, A. W., & Fassel, D. (1988). The Addictive
San Francisco: Harper &
Smith, M., & Pazder, L. (1980). Michelle Remembers (). New York: Congdon
Smith, S. E. (1992). Essay by an escapee from recovery cultism to an
empowerment system. In SOS Sobriety ()
(pp.I93-203). New York: Prometheus
Solberg, R. J. (1983). The Dry Drunk Syndrome (). Pine City, MN:
Spanos, N. P., & Chaves, J. F. (1989). Hypnosis: The
Cognitive-Behavioral Perspective (). New York:
Stratford, L. (1988). Satan's Underground: An Extraordinary Story of
One Woman's Escape (). Gretna, Louisiana:
Steadman, A. (1966). Who's the Matter with Me? ()().
Marina Del Rey, CA:
Sullivan, J. (1992, October). Psychiatrists: Help the abducted.
New Age Journal.
Trimpey, J. (1989). Rational Recovery From Alcoholism: The Small
Book (). Lotus, CA:
Victor, J. S. (1991). Satanic cult survivor stories. Skeptical Inquirer,
Victor, J. S. (1993). Satanic Panic: The Creation of a Contemporary
Legend ()(). Chicago, IL: Open Court Publishers.
Wakefield, H., & Underwager, R. (1992a). Magic, mischief, and
memories: Remembering repressed abuse. Unpublished manuscript (available from the
Institute for Psychological Therapies, 5263 130th Street East,
Northfield, MN 55057).
Wakefield, H., & Underwager, R. (1992b). Recovered memories of
alleged sexual abuse: lawsuits against parents. Behavioral Sciences
and the Law, 10, 483-507.
Whitfield, C. (1991). Co-Dependence: Healing the Human
Condition, The New Paradigm for Helping Professionals and People in
Recovery (). Deerfield Beach, FL:
Wielawski, I. (1991, October 3). Unlocking the secrets of memory.
The Los Angeles Times, pp. A1, A26, A27.
Woititz, J. (1983). Adult Children of Alcoholics (). Deerfield Beach, FL
Wolffe, A. P., & Brown, D. D. (1988, September 23). Developmental
regulation of two 5S Ribosomal RNA genes. Science, pp.1561-1724.
|1 This paper was first presented at the False Memory Syndrome
Conference at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, April 16-18, 1993. The paper
is adapted from her book, Survivor Psychology (), published by SIRS, 1993,
Boca Raton, Florida. [Back]
* Susan E. Smith is an author and social science researcher at 2019
W. Roma, Phoenix, Arizona 85015. [Back]