FALSE MEMORIES

(Investigator 36, 1994 May)


According to Freud we repress our worst memories.

As part of therapy some psychiatrists use hypnotism and regression to dredge up such memories. Some patients remember sexual abuse as long ago as the age of 1 or as  recent as the age of 8 or even 16 and blame all sorts of problems on it — eating disorders, depression, asthma, obesity, sleeplessness, drug addiction, etc.


One book says: "if you think you were abused and you have symptoms then you were."

Since the 1970s many elderly have been rejected by [their] offspring after psychiatrists used Repressed Memory Therapy to dredge up memories of sexual abuse.

It now seems that in some instances psychiatrists are unwittingly implanting false memories of abuse and the first court cases are underway.

There may be a connection with UFO abductees who, under hypnosis, seemingly remember being kidnapped and operated on by outer space aliens.

Patients may be eager to "remember" what is false in order to blame their problems on others.


The Advertiser, April 1994

Dad sues for $9m over rape claim

LOS ANGELES: A father in California whose life was ruined when his daughter accused him of raping her is claiming $9 damages from her therapist.

He says his daughter was encouraged to "remember" events that never happened.

Psychologists say victims can retrieve long-hidden memories of childhood sexual abuse years afterwards, but critics accuse them of using questionable techniques to plant false memories in the minds of suggestible patients.

If Mr Gary Ramona's claim succeeds, it would be the first time a therapist was held accountable for malpractice by a non-patient. The case is being heard by a Superior Court jury in Napa.

Mr Ramona, 50, was the $500,000-a-year vice-president of the Robert Mondavi Winery in Napa Valley when his daughter Holly, 20, who was being treated for depression and bulimia, "remembered" he had raped her from the age of five until she was eight.

Mr Ramona was dismissed from his job, his wife divorced him and he has had no family contact since. He is suing Dr Isabella and Dr Richard Rose, a psychiatrist, who gave the drug sodium amytal to Holly to help verify her "memories"...

He claims Dr Isabella planted the idea of sexual abuse in Holly's mind by telling her that 70 to 80 per cent of bulimia patients had been sexually abuse...
— The Telegraph





Update:

Mr Gary Ramona won but was awarded far less in damages than he had sought.

Wikipedia reports:

In 1994 the jury voted 10-2 against the defendants, and awarded Ramona $500,000, with half corresponding to damages faced in the future and the other half for wages not being earned. Stephanie Ramona stated that she continued to believe the therapists and her daughter.

Jury foreman Thomas Dudum stated that he disliked how Ramona perceived the verdict as a victory and that the jury intended "to make it clear that we did not believe, as Gary indicates, that these therapists gave Holly a wonder drug and implanted these memories.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Ramona

Detailed analysis can be read at:

http://www.katybutler.com/publications/latimes/index_files/latimes_clashmem_mixmessages_files

https://caselaw.findlaw.com/ca-court-of-appeal/1122202_files



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