EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS: Peter and Pamela Freyd
The Freyds were publicly exposed by their own daughter – Jennifer
Freyd (professor of psychology) of child abuse and rape.
Ralph Underwager (psychiatrist)
The world’s foremost authority on false memory, but in the courtroom
– is repeatedly exposed as a charlatan. He is a self confessed
paedophile who quotes: It is "God’s Will" adults engage in sex with
F.M.S.F. ORIGINAL BOARD
MEMBERS: Martin Orn (psychiatrist)
Senior CIA Mind Control Researcher: Experimenting in hypnotic
programming, dissolving memory and other mind subduing techniques.
F.M.S.F. BOARD MEMBER:
Dr Harold Lief (psychiatrist)
CIA Mind Control Researcher. Experimenting in behavioural
modification and hypnotic programming.
The CIA, the False Memory
Syndrome Foundation & the Politics of Ritual Abuse
The Devil Denuded
The CIA, in fact, has several designates on the FMSF advisory
board. They have in common backgrounds in mind control experimentation.
Their very presence on the board, and their peculiar backgrounds, reveal
some heavily obscured facts about ritual child abuse.
Martin T. Orne, a senior CIA researcher, is an original board
members of the Foundation, and a psychiatrist at the University of
Pennsylvania’s Experimental Psychiatry Lab in Philadelphia. In 1962 his
forays into hypno-programming (the elicitation of "anti-social"
behaviour, dissolving memory and other mind-subduing techniques) were
financed by a CIA front at Cornell University. He was also funded
by Boston’s Scientific Engineering Institute, another front, and a
clearinghouse for the Agency’s investigation of the occult.
The CIA and Pentagon have formed a partnership in the
creation of cults. To be sure, the Association of National Security
Alumni, a public interest veterans group opposed to clandestine ops,
considers it a "primary issue of concern" that the Department of Defense
has a "perceived role in satanic cult activities, which qualify in and
of themselves as very damaging exercises in mind control."
The smoothing over of the national security state’s cult connections is
handled by academic "experts".
A forerunner of the Foundation is based in Buffalo, New York, the
Committee for Scientific Examination of Religion, best known for the
publication of Satanism in America: How the Devil Got More Than His
Due, widely considered to be a legitimate study. The authors turn up
their noses to ritual abuse, dismissing the hundreds of reports around
the country as mass "hysteria". Cult researcher Carl Raschke
reported in a March, 1991 article that he coincidentally met Hudson
Frew, a Satanism in America co-author at a Berkeley bookstore.
"Frew was wearing a
five-pointed star, or pentagram, the symbol of witchcraft and earth
magic," Raschke says.
Shawn Carlson, a
contributor to the book, is identified by the media as a "physicist".
Yet he runs the Gaia Press in El Cerrito, California, a New Age
publishing house with a and occult lore. Carlson is also a "scientific
and technical consultant" to the Committee for Scientific Investigation
of Claims of the Paranormal (a promoter of the "false memory" theory of
ritual abuse and UFO abductions), publisher of the Skeptical Inquirer.
The FMS Foundation is no less eccentric. Within two years of its
founding, it was clear that the Foundation leadership was far
disinterested on witchcraft
On the workings of childhood
memory, and concealed a secret sexual and political agenda.
FMSF FounderRalph Underwager (left), director of the
Institute of Psychological Therapies in Minnesota, was forced to resign
in 1993. Underwager (a former Lutheran pastor) and his wife
Hollida Wakefield publish a journal, Issues in Child Abuse
Allegations, written by and for child abuse "skeptics".
His departure from the False Memory Syndrome Foundation was
hastened by a remark in an interview, appearing in an Amsterdam journal
for paedophiles, that it was "God’s Will" adults engage in sex with
(His wife Hollida remained on the Foundation’s board after he
left). As it happens, holy dispensation for paedophiles is the
exact credo of the Children of God cult. It was fitting, then,
when Underwager filed an affidavit on behalf of cult members
tried in France in 1992, insisting that the accused were positively "not
guilty of abuse upon children". In the interview, he prevailed upon
paedophiles everywhere to shed stigmatization as "wicked and
reprehensible" users of children.
In keeping with the Foundation’s creative use of statistics, Dr
Underwager widely considered, or group of British reporters in 1994
that "scientific evidence" proved that 60% of all women molested as
children believed the experience was "good for them".
Dr Underwager invariably sides with the defense. His
grandiloquent orations have graced courtrooms around the world, often by
satellite. Defense lawyers for Woody Allen turned to him, he
boasts, when Mia Farrow accused her estranged husband of molesting their
seven year-old daughter. Underwager is a virtual icon to the
Irish Catholic lobby in Dublin, which raised its hoary hackles against a
child abuse prevention program in the Irish Republic. He was, until his
advocacy of paedophila tarnished an otherwise glittering reputation,
widely quoted in the press, dismissing ritual child abuse as a
He is the world’s foremost authority on false memory, but I the
courtroom he is repeatedly exposed as a charlatan. In 1988, a trial
court decision in New York State held that Dr Underwager was,
"not qualified to render
opinion as to where or not (the victim) was sexually molested".
In 1990 his testimony on
memory was ruled improper,
"in the absence of any
evidence that the results of Underwager’s work had been
accepted in the scientific community".
And in Minnesota a judge
ruled that Underwager’s theories on,
"learned memory" were
the same as "having an expert tell the jury that (the victim) was
not telling the truth".
Peter and Pamela
Freyd, executive directors of the Foundation, joined forces with
Underwager in 1991, and their story is equally wretched. Jennifer
Freyd, their daughter, a professor or psychology at the University
of Oregon, openly leveled accusations of abuse against her parents at an
August 1993 mental health conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
"My family of origin was
troubled in many observable ways," she said. "I refer to the things
that were never ‘forgotten’ and ‘recovered’, but to things that we
all knew about".
She gave her father’s
alcoholism as an example.
"During my childhood, my
father sometimes discussed his own experiences of being sexually
abused as an 11 year-old boy, and called himself a ‘kept boy’".
Peter Freyd graduated
to male prostitution as an adolescent. At the age of 13, Jennifer
Freyd composed a poem about her father’s nocturnal visits:
I am caught in a web
A web of deep, deep terror
she wrote. The diaries of
her youth chronicle the,
"reactions and feelings
(guilt, shame and terror) of a troubled girl and young woman. My
parents oscillated between denying these symptoms and feelings….. to
using knowledge of these same symptoms and feelings to discredit
"My father," she says, "told various people that I was brain
The accusation was unlikely.
At the time, Jennifer Freyd was a graduate student on a National
Science Foundation fellowship. She has taught at Cornell and received
numerous research awards. The "brain damage" apologia did not wash. Her
mother suggested that Jennifer’s memories were "confabulations" and
faulted therapeutic intervention. Pamela Freyd turned to her own
psychiatrist, Dr Harold Lief, currently and advisory board member
of the Foundation, to diagnose Jennifer.
"He explained to me that he did not believe I was abused," Jennifer
recalls. Dr Lief’s diagnosis was based on his belief that
Peter Freyd’s fantasies were strictly "homoerotic". Of course, his
daughter furrows a brow at the assumption that homoerotic fantasies or a
heterosexual marriage exclude the possibility of child molestation.
Lief’s skewed logic is a trademark of the Foundation.
He is a close colleague of the CIA’s Martin Orne.Dr
Lief, a former major in the Army medical corps, joined the
University of Pennsylvania faculty in 1968, the peak of federally-funded
behavioural modification experiments at Holmesburg Prison. Dr Orne
consulted with him on several studies in hypnotic programming.
His academic writing reveals a peculiar range of professional interests,
including "Orgasm in the Postoperative Transsexual" for
Archives of Sexual Behaviour, and an exploration of the possibility
of life after death for a journal on mental diseased edited by
Foundation fellow Paul McHugh.Lief is a director of the
Centre for Sexuality and Religion, past president of the Sex
Information and Education Council.
And an original board member of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation.
Two others, Jon Baron from Penn U. and Ray Hyman (an
executive editor of the aforementioned Sceptical Inquirer), a
professor of psychology at the University of Oregon, resigned from the
board after Jennifer Freyd went public with her account of
childhood abuse and the facetious attempts of her parents and their
therapist to discredit her. They were replaced by David Dinges,
co-director – with the ubiquitous Martin Orne – of the Unit
for Experimental Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania.
"At times I am
flabbergasted that my memory is considered ‘false’", Jennifer
says, "and my alcoholic father’s memory is considered rational and
sane". She does not, after all, remember impossible abuses: "I was
at home a few hours after my second session with my therapist, a
licensed clinical psychologist working within an established group
in a large and respected medical clinic.
"During that second visit to my therapist’s office, I expressed
great anxiety about the upcoming holiday visit with my parents. My
therapist asked about half way into the session, whether I had ever
been sexually abused. I was immediately thrown into a strange state.
No one had ever asked me such a question. I responded, ‘no, but….’ I
went home and within a few hours I was shaking uncontrollably,
overwhelmed with intense and terrible flashbacks". Jennifer asks
herself why her parents are believed. "In the end, is it precisely
because I was abused that I am to be discredited despite my personal
and professional success?"
published an open letter defending her husband in Ralph Underwager’s
Issues in Child Abuse Accusations in 1991. It was reprinted in
Confabulations, a book published a year later. Laced with lubricious
sentiment, the book bemoans the "destruction of families" brought on by
false child abuse accusations, and maligns "cult-like" support groups
and feminists, or "lesbian cults". Executive director Freyd often
refers to the feminist groups that have taken up the cause of child
abuse survivors as "lesbians", after the bizarre Dr Underwager,
"these women may be
jealous that males are able to love each other, be comrades,
friends, be close, intimate".
account of the family history, Jennifer insists, is patently
false. In an electronic message from her father, he openly acknowledges
that in his version of the story "fictional elements were deliberately
"Fictional is rather an
astounding choice of words," Jennifer observed at the Ann
Arbor Conference. The article written by her parents contends
that Jennifer was denied tenure at another university due to a lack
of published research. "In fact," Jennifer counters, "I moved
to the University of Oregon in 1987, just four years after receiving
my Ph.D. to accept a tenured position as associate professor in the
psychology department, one of the world’s best psychology
departments…. My mother sent the Jane Doe article to my
colleagues during my promotion year – that is, the year my case for
promotion to full professor was being considered. I was absolutely
mortified to learn of this violation of my privacy and this
violation of the truth".
Manipulative tactics are
another Foundation imprimatur. Lana Alexander, editor of a
newsletter for survivors of child sexual abuse, observes that,
"many people view the
false memory syndrome theory as a calculated defence strategy
developed by perpetrators and the lawyers and expert witnesses who
A legitimizing barrage of
stories in the press has shaped public opinion and warmed the clime for
defence attorneys. The concept of false memory serves the same
purpose as Holocaust denial. It shapes opinion. Unconscionable crimes
are obstructed, the accused is endowed with the status of martyr, the
victim is reviled.
The emphasis on image is obvious in "How Do We Know We are Not
Representing Paedophiles", an article written for the February 29,
1992 FMS Foundation Newsletter, by Pamela Freyd. In it,
she derides the suggestion that many members of the group could be
"we are a good-looking
bunch of people, greying hair, well dressed, healthy, smiling; just
about every person who has attended is someone you would surely find
interesting and want to count as a friend".
People forget things.
Horrible things. Here at the Foundation someone had a repressed
memory, or what would be called a repressed memory, that she had
been sexually abused.