Sunday, 27 November 2005

Ideological warfare

'The Courage to Heal', by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis, is considered by many to be the standard reference work of the recovered memories movement.
In his review of the book, written some years ago, it is evident that Robert Sheaffer had an axe to grind regarding feminism and feminists.
However, among other things, he did identify the driving force behind Recovered Memory Therapy: a hatred of parents, families, and in particular, males.
As Sheaffer put it "...fathers, grandfathers, brothers, and uncles are depicted not as loving relatives, but as sadists and rapists".
What he did not emphasise enough in his review is the impact that this can have upon a family.
Can you imagine what would happen within your family if you, or your father, grandfather, cousin, or uncle, were described in this way? Accused of unspeakable things?
Allegations of this nature can cause the individual concerned to virtually 'disappear' from within the family. A grandfather goes to the grave without ever seeing his grandchildren again; the grandchildren in some cases do not know that they ever even had a grandfather.
The therapy client too can 'disappear'. Quite often she or he is encouraged by the therapist to cut off all contact from 'non-believing' family members.
For the family concerned, there is virtually no defence.
As Sheaffer summed up his review: "The harm caused by 'The Courage to Heal' and similar books is not that of honest error in scholarship, but rather represents a form of sexual and ideological warfare. The harm it has caused is not accidental, but rather one that is celebrated with a degree of malicious glee. This harm has been compounded by a general unwillingness to recognize the attack for what it is."
'The Courage to Heal' reviewed by Robert Sheaffer