Monday, 20 August 2012

Repressed memories dealt a serious blow

By Harry Maclean 

Almost twenty years ago I wrote a book entitled Once Upon A Time: A True Story of Memory, Murder and the Law.

It told the story of Eileen Franklin’s “repressed memory” of her father murdering her playmate twenty years earlier. The jury convicted the father based solely on Eileen’s uncorroborated “recovered memory,” although the federal courts later reversed the conviction on other evidentiary grounds.

At the time the conversation between the two camps—those who supported repressed memory and those who challenged it as having no scientific basis—was highly charged and oftentimes vicious...

...Still, the war continues. A book recently published by Harvard University, Betrayal Trauma Theory, purports to provide a new basis for the validity of repressed memories. Two dueling foundations—the Recovered Memory Project, and the False Memory Syndrome Foundation—hurl accusations back and forth with regularity....

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