On the contrary, Franklin’s junked van from 1969, located and microscopically studied by police investigators, bore no trace of the twenty-year-old crime. Eileen Lipsker did not decide to send her mind into a tailspin after making rational calculations about the opposing claims of justice and filial loyalty; she was progressively encouraged to do so by therapists who believed that full psychic health must wait upon a vomiting up of the repressed past. 61 (Autumn 1992), pp. Horner found that forty-eight experts, all examining the same material, could reach no significant agreement as to whether a child had been molested by her father. ↩, The Russians Have a Word for Dressing Up Reality. During five months of interrogation, no fewer than five psychologists and counselors kept the heat on Paul, preventing him from ever stepping back to test whether the grimmer yet more tentative of his two memory systems—his “horror movie,” as he called it—was anchored to actual events. In contrast, the junior partner in Making Monsters, Ethan Watters, was the first journalist to sound an alarm about the recovered memory movement, and the book casts him as a full collaborator; that is why I will refer to “Ofshe and Watters” below. With or without the therapist’s direct assurance that the patient’s symptoms are “consistent with abuse,” repression can supposedly be dislodged through “feelings work,” “body work,” “dream work,” “imagistic work,” “trance work,” and “group work”; through the production of journals and pictures that are sure to yield symbols of violation; through the cultivation of flashbacks, which are always deemed to reveal the truth of a past situation rather than compliance with current expectations; through administration of the tongue-loosening “truth serum” sodium amytal; and, of course, through hypnosis, including its deep-end forms of “age regression” and even “past life regression.” The considerable body of technical literature showing that none of these methods reliably leads to uncontaminated memories is simply ignored. To take only the most famous example, staff members of the McMartin Preschool in Manhattan Beach, California, who were accused of every imaginable horror associated with devil worship, had to endure the longest (almost seven years) and most expensive ($15 million) trial in American history before the case collapsed from the weight of its accumulated absurdities. Portents of such an eventuality can already be found. Thus in the movement’s most influential document, The Courage to Heal, first published in 1988, Ellen Bass and Laura Davis proclaim that “none of what is presented here is based on psychological theories.” Instead, Bass and Davis appeal directly to “the experiences of survivors”—who, however, may or may not be survivors of abuse, depending on whether they have actually learned the previously repressed truth or succumbed to therapeutically induced delusion. According to surveys taken by the False Memory Syndrome Foundation, at least 15 percent of all memory retrievers come to recall Satanic torture in childhood—this despite a lack of evidence to support the existence of any sadistic devil-worshiping cults in North America or anywhere else.20 The fact is that “memories” of baby barbecues and the like are usually evoked through the same techniques of psychic exploration commended by prestigious academics such as Judith Herman and Lenore Terr. Resonance #2, a song by Paul Dolden on Spotify We and our partners use cookies to personalize your experience, to show you ads based on your interests, and for measurement and analytics purposes. Beyond the already mentioned dubieties in Terr’s version of the Franklin case lie a good number of others emphasized by MacLean, Loftus and Ketcham, and Ofshe and Watters, and more briefly by Mark Pendergrast as well. Or, see all newsletter options here. Revenge of the Repressed. One remaining feature of the Lipsker case turns out to be reproduced in nearly every controversy over therapeutically assisted recall. Former Saturday Night Live comedian Dana Carvey satirized them as uptight prudes who believe sex is downright dirty. Review: The repressed return with a vengeance in the well-acted refugee thriller ‘His House’ Ṣọpẹ́ Dìrísù, left, and Wunmi Mosaku in the movie “His House.” (Aidan Monaghan / Netflix) Estrangement between sisters—one converted to hellishly revised memories of their years together, the other refusing to go along—is also a regular aftermath of therapy. (Revenge-of-the-repressed stories work especially well in cold climes full of white people.) ↩, On this point, see Matthew H. Erdelyi, “Repression, Reconstruction, and Defense: History and Integration of the Psychoanalytic and Experimental Frameworks,” Repression and Dissociation: Implications for Personality Theory, Psychopathology, and Health, edited by Jerome L. Singer (University of Chicago Press, 1990), pp. Lewis's sexuality has often been alluded to but never properly discussed. It makes a good deal more sense to suppose that Eileen only belatedly learned that evidence from hypnosis had recently been deemed inadmissible in California courts. Boys Chorus Settles Abuse Suit,” San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 1, 1994, p. A2. Needless to say, it is not classic psychoanalysis to which writers like Bass and Davis feel indebted. In a refreshingly sane essay, Paul R. McHugh, director of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, recently depicted a long-term struggle, within the mental health disciplines, between what he called empiricists and romanticists—between, that is, those who bind themselves to methodical study of facts and those who “rely upon feelings for evidence, on metaphors for reality, on inspiration and myth for guidance.”31 The essay is especially pertinent because it relegates both psychoanalysis and recovered memory therapy to the romanticist camp, where they surely belong. And while Freud only occasionally portrayed the undoing of repression as yielding undisguised, accurate information about a patient’s early past, contemporary “retrievers” entertain no doubts on the point; with the right coaxing, their patients can allegedly reproduce the exact details of their long-repressed traumas. The mavens of recovered memory concern themselves almost entirely with means of reinforcing incest suspicions, not with means of checking them against solid evidence pro or con. Other important recent books include Eleanor Goldstein and Kevin Farmer, Confabulations (SIRS Books, 1992) and True Stories of False Memories (SIRS Books, 1993). If they now go on to claim that untold millions of victims, mostly female, have forgotten what was done to them, their claim cannot be discredited by the mere fact that it sprang from an activist commitment. While Andrea Dworkin and Susan Brownmiller were hypothesizing that American fathers regularly rape their daughters in order to teach them what it means to be inferior, Bass and Davis set about to succor the tens of millions of victims who must have repressed that ordeal. Of course, Terr testified, an expert such as herself can verify the authenticity of a recovered memory through careful interpretation of the subject’s symptoms. And what, for that matter, do the champions of recovered memory mean by repression? 55–66. The result has been a widespread tragedy that is still unfolding before our incredulous eyes. Prefaces1. It is little wonder, then, that Bass and Davis, through the first two editions of The Courage to Heal, had yet to encounter a single woman who “suspected she might have been abused, explored it, and determined that she wasn’t.”2 Now, in a third edition that is beginning to sound nervous about “the backlash” in general and pending damage suits in particular, it is admitted that some therapists “have pushed clients to acknowledge abuse…that did not occur.” But even those few bad apples, in Bass and Davis’s still erroneous judgment, cannot “create new memories in their clients”; and the women who change their minds after leaving therapy “represent only a tiny fraction of the millions of actual survivors….”, The “false positives” problem has been exacerbated by the checklists of telltale symptoms that adorn the movement’s self-help manuals and advice columns. Exiting psychoanalysis at age forty-nine, Penelope was still smoking, drinking, and binge eating—the behaviors she had entered treatment to bring under control. Instead, he dwelt on mechanical cause-and-effect relations between symptomatology and the premature stimulation of one body zone or another. The result is a lasting sacrifice of resilience, security of identity, humor, capacity to show affection, and connection to the people who have cared most steadily about this woman’s happiness. Freud and Josef Breuer had first invoked repression in 1893 to cover miscellaneous symptom-producing “things which the patient wished to forget” (SE, 2:10); but Freud quickly became uncomfortable both with the random character of the offending thoughts and with his source of information about the repressed, namely, hypnosis. As Mark Pendergrast shows in Victims of Memory, if we put together the number of licensed American psychotherapists (roughly 255,000) with survey results about their beliefs and practices, it appears that well over 50,000 of them are now willing to help their clients realize that they must have endured early molesta-tion. As the therapist pushes to find more hidden memories, the client, who is already trained in the process, often comes up with still more accounts of having been abused…. Its main intended audience is women who aren’t at all sure that they were molested, and its purpose is to convince them of that fact and embolden them to act upon it. And even in the best of cases, a “survivor” is coached to reject the happiest actual memories of her childhood as being inconsistent with the stark truth of molestation. In McHugh’s opinion, the empiricists are winning hands down, because their insistence on real-world testing allows them to deliver what they promise, proven remedies for specific complaints. In this respect, too, Freud anticipated the contemporary trend. ↩, In recently redesignating MPD as “dissociative identity disorder,” the American Psychiatric Association has started to back away from the syndrome’s more lurid implications. I am being repressed. “Believe the children” was their tacit motto from the word go. As many studies have shown, small children can be readily induced to believe that they have experienced just about any fictitious occurrence. For writers like Bass and Davis, Renee Fredrickson, and E. Sue Blume, sexual molestation occurs whenever the victims thinks—or later comes to believe that she must have thought—that an inappropriate kind of contact is occurring. While California weighs the idea of extending the statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse survivors to come forward in seeking justice, more research supports the idea that adults can accurately recall traumatic events repressed from their childhood—specifically repressed memories of sexual abuse. Moreover, Ingram, who is now serving a twenty-year term in prison after having confessed to six counts of child molestation, came close to being joined there by others who were caught in a widening net of lunacy—and at least two of them, who were in fact jailed briefly and then kept under house arrest for five months each, will never recover their reputations. As a result, Freud withdrew into psychoanalysis, a doctrine that ascribes incestuous designs not to adult molesters but, grotesquely, to children themselves. France remains traumatised by the war in Algeria, which lives on in the festering resentments of the banlieues and prisons. So long as MPD promoters remain influential within the association, however, fundamental criticism such as Ofshe and Watters’s is not to be expected. 2. ↩, It must be admitted, however, that no one has yet approached Freud’s level of ingenuity in turning his own punning associations into knowledge about his patients’ histories. He assured Eileen at the time that it “wasn’t important… whether her visualizations were real or not,” and that they could “sort that out later.” In and out of therapy the details slowly cohered into a narrative. I…explain to the patient that [these distinctions] are only forms of his resistance and pretexts raised by it against reproducing this particular memory, which we must recognize in spite of all this (SE, 2:279–280).16. It is little wonder that Ofshe and Watters regard him as having “cut the very figure of a recovered memory therapist.”15 Listen to Freud’s own words: The work keeps on coming to a stop and they keep on maintaining that this time nothing has occurred to them. Yet while psychoanalytic loyalists have repeatedly attempted to conduct just such experiments, their positive results have at best shown a compatibility with repression, not a demonstration of its existence. That is how psychoanalysis as we know it came into being. So long as he cared at all about molestation as an etiological factor, he completely overlooked its real psychological effects, such as fear, moral confusion, and a diminished sense of selfhood. Thus Terr’s courtroom example of trustworthy clinical reasoning—proceeding from obsessive themes in King’s eventual artistic productions to a “repressed” fact about one early day in his life—actually dealt with a still uncorroborated detail superadded to a story in the public domain. What distinguishes this book is its focus on the resultant psychological transformation of patients. Fear solidified. ↩, Renee Fredrickson goes a step farther, remarking that patients may not notice any symptoms at all “until they are immersed in the process of dealing with their memories” (Repressed Memories, p. 36). The case, in which Terr herself served as an expert witness “to explain,” as she says, “‘repression’ and ‘the return of the repressed,'” came to national attention in 1989 with newspaper and television reports of Eileen Franklin Lipsker’s long-buried but amazingly lucid recollection of the way her father, in her terrified presence in 1969, had raped her eight-year-old best friend in the back of his Volkswagen bus and then shattered the girl’s skull with a rock and covered the body on a wooded hillside south of San Francisco. All three of the most convincing new books on false memory—those by Elizabeth Loftus and Katherine Ketcham, Richard Ofshe and Ethan Watters, and Mark Pendergrast—address the full tragedy and folly of the recovered memory movement. ↩, Intriguingly, one of the tiny errors that survived in Eileen’s testimony, having to do with a confusion between two rings on Susan Nason’s hands, corresponded exactly to a mistake made in a newspaper story in 1969. I don't remember what exactly started the bullying and I have a crapload of repressed memories about that period, but I do remember this one guy in particular. But it also relegates them to history’s ashcan. seek revenge and the results are disastrous for everyone. A single diagnosis for miscellaneous complaints—that of unconsciously repressed sexual abuse in childhood—has grown in this brief span from virtual nonexistence to epidemic frequency. [Eventually,] the client’s worst fears are forged into memories. ↩, Indeed, as Terr reports, so unaware was Eileen that her subsequently divorced father had been raping her that she went off to live with him for a while at age fourteen, right after the alleged eleven years of violation had ended. But Ofshe, immediately struck by the conditional quality of Ingram’s confessions and their suggestion that a scene was taking place in the mind’s eye (“I would’ve,” “I must have,” “I see it,” etc. C. Calluses: Hardened concepts and ideas. Third son (Chileab, probably, being dead) of David, by Maacab, daughter of Talmai, King of Geshur; born at Hebron, his name ("father of peace") indicating, perhaps, the hope entertained at his birth (2 Samuel 3:1-5). Yes, she repressed the memory for twenty years…but that’s a defensive reaction common to trauma victims. Awkwardly, however, her research interest in actual cases of repressed memory was quite new; it seems to have postdated the writing of her 1990 book, Too Scared to Cry, which contains no index entry for “repression” and which reports on cases of continuously remembered rather than forgotten trauma.7 Terr’s expertise on sudden recall, moreover, dated from her first interview with Eileen Lipsker herself—and was then swelled by a flood of highly dubious anecdotes about other women’s therapeutically prompted visions of incest. The exorcist’s fervor has passed into coarser and more passionate hands such as those of Bass and Davis. Recent Examples on the Web Far from your typical rose, ‘Distant Drums’ will add unusual two-tone color to your garden and have all of your neighbors asking about them. Some secular-minded readers may feel that the Ingram case, in view of its fundamentalist soil and its resultant exotic blossom of Satanism, is too outlandish to tell us much about the prudent and responsible search for incest memories. In such prosecutions, which continue today, a vengeful or mentally unhinged adult typically launches the accusations, which are immediately believed by police and social workers. ↩, Ingram himself learned, pathetically, how to talk the self-pitying lingo of the recovered memory movement. Lots of frustration and anger. Aha! We continue our look at the Enneagram’s repressed centers of intelligence this week by returning to the Heart. Precisely that kinship explains why other therapeutic descendants of Freudianism ought to be doing some soul-searching just now. xviii–xxi). Etc. Tone color definition is - timbre. The Network Case […] has been going on for exactly three years. Of course, that was an oversimplification; Eileen felt that the pedophile George was a threat to her own child, and besides, as many observers perceived, she had a distinct taste for fame.15 In a deeper sense, however, the jury was right: Eileen had opened a Pandora’s box of bitterness and recrimination that will probably trouble her for the rest of her life. And Terr, bent upon condemning George Franklin as a rapist, has lately supplied the useful “fact,” which is false, that semen was found in the dead Susan Nason’s vagina. Any of these overlapping works would serve a reader well as a survey, analysis, and call to corrective action. The anatomical detail would seem to imply Freud’s literal belief in his patient’s devilish “scene.” If, on the other hand, he was trying to correlate a false memory with a real disfiguration, his very sanity stands in doubt. Tests on thousands of subjects have shown conclusively, Loftus told the court, not only that memory always fades with the passage of time but that it readily incorporates “post-event information” (whether true or false) that becomes indistinguishable from the actual event. Factually impoverished, it came down to little more than a twelve-person referendum on the photographic return of the repressed. Emerald Fennell’s Dark, Jaded, Funny, Furious Fables of Female Revenge. I tried to resist the bullying and fight back but he was 2-3 years older and the difference in … Quixotically, however, the judge ruled all journalism from the murder period inadmissible—as if the only possible question to settle were whether Eileen was revealing the sheer truth or telling lies, instead perhaps of unknowingly recycling second-hand lore. “Hysteria,” of course, has vanished along with the doctors who battened on it; the psychic mysteries into which Freudian patients now get initiated are reassuringly universal, banal, and devoid of clear implications for changing behavior; and fastidious criteria of selection tend to weed out nearly all applicants who are suffering from anything more wrenching than a wish to know themselves better. Couldn’t Loftus have pointed out that other parties besides Eileen had “put her through it”? For one thing, it transcribes his numerous interviews with therapists, “survivors,” “retractors,” and accused “perpetrators,” allowing the cruel unreason of the recovery movement to be voiced with a minimum of editorial mediation. ↩, Whether Terr had actually detected anything is open to doubt. Sometimes, silence is the best revenge. But Terr’s account is not the only one available. The easiest answer is to presume that the abuse must have been more serious than originally thought, and that more repressed memories are hidden in the patient’s unconscious. In contrast to Freud’s own habit, the ideal Freudian therapist is supposed to be cool, nonjudgmental, and slow to reach closure about diagnoses and thematic connections. She must quench her thirst for revenge. Dec 10, 2020 #3 Makes sense. Gilman believes in creativity without restraints and argues that the narrator’s repressed imagination is the fundamental cause of her psychotic breakdown. The social and financial costs have been enormous. Raheem Kassam 26 Sep 2016. She even came to believe that George had physically assisted her godfather in raping her. a fag who enjoys using female underwear,more like! Feminists were certainly warranted, in the 1970s and 1980s, in declaring that the sexual abuse of children was being scandalously underreported. ... and repressed-memory revelations that the study of Satanic Ritual Abuse (often abbreviated as SRA) became, for a time, a recognized field within the social sciences. Later, the two of them drove across the country together to Florida, employing the back of the VW van, the supposed site of Susan Nason’s rape, as their joint sleeping quarters. ↩, See Lenore Terr, “Childhood Traumas: An Outline and Overview,” American Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. As Ofshe and Watters discovered, more than forty photographs of her in the relevant period—potential exhibits that the prosecution wrongly withheld from the defense—show no trace of missing hair. Like Loftus and Ofshe and Watters, Pendergrast offers case histories that will wring the classic emotions of pity and terror from any unbiased reader. A county under-sheriff (himself falsely accused of Satanism, but still an enthusiastic believer in its reality) became so enamored of this notion that he started moonlighting as a counselor to survivor groups and writing theoretical papers about the effects of repression.19 One can only second Lawrence Wright’s conclusion: “[w]hatever the value of repression as a scientific concept or a therapeutic tool, unquestioning belief in it has become as dangerous as the belief in witches.”. In doing so, however, she offers no clue that all this knowledge emanated from a regimen of therapeutic dowsing and that some of it preceded the original murder flashback. ↩, The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, 24 volumes, translated by James Strachey (Hogarth Press, 1953–1974), Vol. It is fruitless to press them very hard on this point, since most of them show an impatience with or outright ignorance of conceptual subtleties. Loftus offers no encouragement to the retrievers’ notion that “videotaped” records of events are stored in a special part of the brain and then suddenly yielded up to near-perfect recall. The creeping revenge of the unreformed state security machine pulled it back down, which means that myriads of secrets remain concealed from the public domain. And according to the ubiquitous John Bradshaw, a victim can be spotted either by her sexual promiscuity or, as the case may be, by her lack of interest in sex.3 These are all sterling examples of what experimentally minded psychologists dryly call a “confirmatory bias.”4. Third, Pendergrast offers illuminating material about physiological states (sleep paralysis, panic attacks) that have traditionally been mistaken for “body memories” of one lurid kind or another. They’re going to wonder what you’ve been doing. That is just what Loftus, a highly regarded researcher and a professor of psychology at the University of Washington, has done in her own experimental work—and that is also why she has been pilloried by the recovery movement as an enemy to incest survivors. Whether pleasant or unpleasant, it decays drastically over time, though less so if the experience in question gets periodically “rehearsed”—just the opposite of what the retrievers’ theory would predict. Reversal, Repression, and Revenge in The Monk M.G. Help, help. Demanding and untrusting in relationships. As Terr now recounts, she mentioned that feat of detection in order to create a helpful analogy in the jurors’ minds.8 She hoped they would see that, like Stephen King in his violence-ridden fiction, Eileen Franklin, for five years after the murder, had symptomatically acted out the awful scene that she had observed but almost immediately repressed. ↩, Mark Pendergrast, too, understands the deep affinity between Freud’s methods and those of our contemporary retrievers. Their knowledge base consisted of stories they had heard from women who clearly remembered that they had been sexually abused in childhood but who had been rebuffed by uncaring therapists and family members. 63 (Winter 1994), pp. ↩, Eileen Lipsker’s problems with memory are echoed by Terr’s own in her capacity as storyteller. The Revenge of the Repressed: Homosexuality as Other in The Killing. This is not to say that the Ingram family generated hallucinations entirely under its own steam. The recovery movement’s feminist affinity should not lead anyone to suppose that its incitement to militant victimhood serves the best interests of women. Yes, but most of them also persisted far beyond it. It is essential to grasp that memory retrieval emerged from mainstream ideas about the psyche and that it bears a strong kinship with every other style of treatment that ties curative power to restoration of the patient’s early past. It is certainly true that he showed precious little pity for child sexual victims after he became properly “Freudian” and cast children as the would-be seducers.14 Like Bass and Davis, however, the early Freud was less interested in comforting certified veterans of molestation than in rounding up converts to his all-purpose diagnosis. The “scene” in question includes an apparently ritualistic drinking of blood from the girl’s mutilated vaginal lip, which, Freud informs Fliess, “is even shorter today” (Freud-Fliess Letters, p. 227). Now Dalit leaders are fighting back to defeat the Hindu nationalists. (February 2017), Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery (Basic Books, 1992), pp. Indeed, as Elizabeth Loftus and Katherine Ketcham remark in their lively new book, The Myth of Repressed Memory,4 belief in repression has the same standing as belief in God. ↩, The Clinical Diary of Sándor Ferenczi, edited by Judith Dupont, translated by Michael Balint and Nicola Zarday Jackson (Harvard University Press, 1988), p. 93. When erect I tell her to put the penis into her mouth and to orally stimulate him…. ↩, Note Freud’s question to Fliess in 1897: “Do you remember that I always said that the medieval theory of possession held by the ecclesiastical courts was identical with our theory of a foreign body and the splitting of consciousness?” (Freud-Fliess Letters, p. 224). Preview 5 SONGS, 1 MINUTE psychological transformation of patients denies that physical touching need be at... 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