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 Australian False
    Memory Association (Incorporated)

 Message to Politicians and Policy Makers: Call for Inquiry


 

The AFMA seeks a full open inquiry, or Royal Commission, concerning the social impact of the ideas and practises associated with "recovered memories", particularly within the welfare and legal sectors.

The ideas and practises associated with recovered memory have not been isolated, but have been advocated and used within private and government services across the country, over the past decade. This has included the professional literature. The AFMA is aware that at least hundreds of "professionals" have been educated in such ideas and methods over the years.

Some of the claims made within government services have been extremely bizarre, including claims of ritual and satanic abuse, education about the CIA being involved with the implantation of memories in children, multiple personalities, and the use of practises that are known to have the potential to produce false pseudo-memories. Government services have engaged individuals to use such techniques in the gathering of evidence for criminal trials. Further examples of these bizarre and unfounded practises may be found on the AFMA website, and will continue to be documented. In some instances, professional services have been under the influence of delusion. This raises serious questions about the capacity of these services to provide rational solutions for the problem of child abuse.

Public funds have been invested in such ideas and practises. This includes compensation schemes, and the provision of legally unregulated counselling services. Therapists fees, as well as civil and criminal litigation, have been associated with such schemes. There has been room for significant conflicts of interest, and can influence criminal investigations.

One would ordinarily think that such a disastrous scenario would result in an immediate inquiry. This has not been the case. Rather, individuals continue to provide and espouse such services, seemingly unaccountable to anyone. They have even been successful in lobbying to restrict scrutiny of their methods and ideas via changes to the Evidence Acts of a number of States, under the guise of this being in the "interests of the client". Consequently, the police investigation, criminal prosecution, and defense, fails to reveal the nature of these cases. The AFMA is aware of individuals, many of them elderly, who have been either financially ruined, or jailed, as a sole consequence of such "recovered memories". This is continuing, even in the Year 2000, some five years after the first public exposure of these widespread and dubious practises.

The fact that these unfounded practises were advocated on behalf of the abused makes the issue all the more concerning. It raises serious concerns about how their welfare has been managed let alone that of those who recover false memories.

The impact of false receovered memories is ongoing. Individuals and families remain destroyed, financially and personally ruined. Frequently, this involves elderly persons, who hoped to retire to enjoy the lives of their grown-up children, only to find themselves shattered and disillusioned. Generations of families are devastated.

While it would appear that the issue has been laid to rest, this is not the case. These ideas and practises remain, albeit with a subtle new language. Those who have advocated such ideas appear to have been successful in concealing their own misguided actions.
A full and open public inquiry should consider such issues as;

  • The extent of the ideas and practises associated with "recovered memory".
  • The scientific and professional basis for the ideas and practises associated with recovered memory.
  • The impact of "recovered memory" upon the lives of the falsely accused, those who recover false memories, and the truly abused.
  • The role of financial compensation schemes, payments to therapists, and potential conflicts of interest.
  • The qualifications, education, and accountability of counsellors, therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists.
  • Examination of wrongful convictions and jailings.
  • Consideration of the legal process, and the handling of police investigations concerning recovered memory.
  • Examination of deaths and suicides associated with delayed claims of abuse.
  • Consideration of the social, personal and financial impact of these ideas upon affected individuals and families.
  • Consideration of how the public welfare of all, including the abused, may be enhanced by considering the issues raised by the present debacle.

For these reasons, the individuals and families represented by the AFMA call for an open inquiry with full powers to subpoena information and witnesses.

While AFMA may currently represent a socially unpopular view, it will continue to voice its concerns, in the interests of truth and public welfare.

 



Australian False Memory
    Association (Incorporated)

Australian False Memory Association
Caring for Individuals and Families

Email the AFMA at false.memory@bigpond.com

PO Box 74
Campbelltown SA 5074

Ph: 1300 88 88 77



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