Auteur: Dr Elizabeth Loftus & Katherine Ketcham
The nation's leading expert on memory exposes the recent wave of sex abuse charges based on "repressed memories" as akin to a twentieth-century version of the Salem Witch Trials.
Accross THE COUNTRY, families are being torn apart and people sent to prison, all because of a trendy new psychological phenomenon: recovered memory. According to many clinical psycholtiiists, when the mind is forced to endure a horrifying expe-rience,. it has the ability to bury the entire memory of it so deeply within the uncon-scious that it can only he recalled in the firm of a flashback triggered by a sight, a smell, or a sound. Therapists and lawyers have creat-ed an industry based on treating and litigat-ing the cases of people who suddenly claim to have "recovered!' memories of everything from child abuse to murder.
Dr. Loftus reveals that despite decades of research, there is absolutely no controlled scientific support for the idea that memories of trauma are routinely banished into the unconscious and then reliably recovered years later.
Loftus refutes the claim of recovered memory therapists that one half of all women Were abused in childhood and that one half of these survivors suffer from completely repressed memory. She acknowledges that childhood sexual abuse is a serious problem, but challenges, the notion of an epidemic based on so-called "recovered" memories.
Loftus shows that law enforcement offi-cials have found no evidence to support a con-spiracy of devil-worshipping cults, despite the increasing number of alleged victims.
She goes on to prove that many of these "memories" arc nothing less than complete—although unintentional—fabrications on the part of patients and overzealous therapists. Presenting her research in layman's teems, drawing on the many famous cases in which she has been directly involved, Loftus, with coauthor Katherine Ketcham, attacks the ideological agenda of recovered memory proponents. Using prose that is powerful and moving, she also paints a searing picture of the tragic human cost of the misuse of "repressedememory" in a book that is sure to be controversial.