Most famous skeptic ever, active since 1964 James Randi sits on the board of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation. Read more about it here FALSE MEMORY SYNDROME FOUNDATION: QUESTIONABLE BOARD MEMBERS TIED TO THE CIA’S MKULTRA PROGRAM AND CHILD ABUSE
|James Randi, the magician, is involved with the False Memory Syndrome Foundation.This group claims that many adults who have memories of pedophilia are actually having false memories!|
|“Some of our memories are true, some are a mixture of fact and fantasy, and some are false.”
FMS Foundation Asks Underwager and Wakefield To Resign From Advisory Board, Then Changes Position
By Lana R. Lawrence
The False Memory Syndrome Foundation’s executive director Pamela Freyd told Moving Forward that widely known psychologists and expert witnesses Ralph Underwager, Ph.D., and Hollida Wakefield, M.A., were asked to resign from the foundation’s advisory board on July 1. This action was taken as a result of questions raised over a 1991 interview that Underwager and Wakefield gave to the Netherlands’ publication Paidika, The Journal of Paedophilia (Winter, 1993). But the following day, Freyd changed her position and said that the foundation had not made a formal request for Underwager and Wakefield’s resignations.
Initially, Freyd said that the False Memory Syndrome Foundation (FMSF) board or directors (who are separate from the advisory board) had voted to remove Underwager and Wakefield if they did not agree to resign, and that Underwager and Wakefield had agreed to “step aside” from the board until the matter could be clarified. But in a later interview, Freyd indicated that they declined to resign, and that the matter would ultimately be decided by the more than 20-member advisory board.
In the first of two statements released by FMSF, the organization said:
We received an article in the mail today, June 28, 1993, that is profoundly disturbing. It is an interview with Hollida Wakefield and Ralph Underwager that appeared in a Dutch journal concerned with pedophilia. The article, which does not reflect our understanding of views by Wakefield and Underwager that have been printed elsewhere (1988), requires immediate response.
The views of Hollida Wakefield and Ralph Underwager that ‘Pedophiles need to become more positive and make the claim that paedophilia is an acceptable expression of God’s will for love and unity among human beings’ are diametrically opposite to views that animate FMS Foundation and as well [sic] the opinions of psychiatrists and psychologists who work with children and understand the nature of childhood….
. . . The FMS Foundation abhors this kind of behavior by adults and believes that the expressions of support for it if employed to encourage such behavior are reprehensible.
Wakefield and Underwager will step aside from the FMSF Board until this matter can be clarified.
Although the foundation’s statement maintained that Wakefield and Underwager would step aside temporarily, their resignation or removal from the board never transpired. In a later interview, Freyd indicated that “yes, that was our initial response.” She added, however, that she needed to review the foundation’s by-laws and consult with people involved in FMSF policy matters to determine what procedure should be followed in this case. Freyd also indicated that she would send copies of the Paidika article, along with a letter, to all of its advisory board members to elicit their responses.
But all references to Underwager and Wakefield’s status on the advisory board were missing from a second foundation statement issued the following day:
The issue of concern for the FMS Foundation is false accusation and consequently the establishment of criteria that can help avoid false accusations from occurring or to help resolve disputes if they do occur. To that end, we try to present accurate information about memory and alert people to the fact that there is a growing problem in one defined area. We were questioned recently [by Moving Forward] about an interview on this topic that was given by Hollida Wakefield and Ralph Underwager for a Dutch journal concerned with pedophilia (Paidika, 1993).
The treatment of pedophilia, while certainly important, is not the focus of FMS staff and we cannot speak to the issues in this area. The views presented in this article seemed inconsistent and contrary to our understanding of views held and published by Wakefield and Underwager.
This is important enough to take under advisement with the full Advisory Board. We need to determine if indeed these were accurate quotes and to ask Wakefield and Underwager to respond.
Underwager, who is the director of the Institute for Psychological Therapies in Northfield, Minnesota, and a widely known expert witness in sexual abuse cases (such as New Jersey v. Michaels or the “Wee Care Day Care Center”), and his wife Hollida Wakefield, who is a staff therapist at the Institute, began their work with FMSF during the first two months of its existence. According to Freyd, they answered the FMSF phone and developed materials to send out to callers–and were paid for those services–before the foundation set up its Philadelphia office. Since that time, Underwager and Wakefield have served as advisors to the foundation.
Moving Forward questioned Underwager about the views expressed in the article. He indicated that “we have been on record since our 1988 publication [Accusations of Child Sexual Abuse, Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas, 1988] writing that as far as our personal view is concerned, there can be no sexual contact between an adult and a child that is positive.”
Underwager went on to say that in the article he was expressing his views that pedophiles need to be “open, because that’s the only way we can deal with them.” He added, “What they’re saying is what they said in the Netherlands–that they believe that what they do is to love people . . . They’re saying that’s good. . . .”
In another reference to the Paidika article, Underwager said that “Holly [Wakefield] indicates in the interview that we have great trouble with the reality that they say they really love these children, but when the lad gets to be 15, 16, they just throw him over and go get a younger one. So, see, if they’re not saying it, if they’re not coming out and being open about it, then we can’t deal with them on that.”
Underwager then attempted to draw a connection between pedophiles’ concerns and the concerns of other groups such as Gays, Lesbians, and African Americans. He said, “Essentially what I’m saying is the same thing that we’ve [Underwager and Wakefield] said, or that the Gay Pride and the Lesbians and homosexuals say–that they are proud to be Gay, that they’re proud to be Lesbian–the Blacks said Black is beautiful. That’s the first step. Once you start saying that, then you can have a public discourse. As it is now, you can’t have a public discourse.”
“If the homosexuals, both male and female, claim that there is some kind of biological base, which,” according to Underwager, “they do, for their gender orientation–the pedophiles can, and some of them do, claim the same thing–that it’s an essentially genetic thing that is moving them to be attracted to children. All of the arguments that Gay Pride uses are available to the pedophile. The difficulty is that if they’re not making them, then we can’t deal with them–we can’t draw the distinction.”
He ended by saying, “If that’s what you believe, stand up for it, say it. And if you don’t believe it (laughs), go away.”
According to Underwager’s curriculum vitae, he has also served as a Lutheran pastor in California, Iowa, and Minnesota. Underwager has also conducted research projects funded by the National Institute of Mental Health: the Clergy Youth Project and Project Youth. The curriculum vitae also indicates that over the last 30 years, he has been involved in a professional capacity with sexual abuse of children in over 500 cases, and that since beginning private practice as a psychologist in 1965, one-third to one-fifth of Underwager’s practice has been with children. Along with his wife, he also conducted therapy programs for a community-based sex offender treatment program from 1974 to 1977.
In addition to conducting therapy programs with her husband, Wakefield, according to her biography in Paidika, has also worked as an elementary school teacher and college psychology instructor. Among the articles, papers, and books that the couple have authored and/or co-authored are The Real World of Child Interrogations (Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas, 1990) and an Amicus Brief in the Supreme Court of the United States (Maryland v. Sandra Ann Craig, April, 1990). They are also the publishers of the journal Issues in Child Abuse Accusations.
Lana R. Lawrence is the editor of Moving Forward.
Related article: “What They Said: ‘Interview: Hollida Wakefield and Ralph Underwager, Paidika, Winter, 1993′”
Following is the APA-style citation for this article, which may be copied and pasted into your document.
Lawrence, Lana R. (1993). “FMS Foundation Asks Underwager and Wakefield To Resign From Advisory Board, Then Changes Position,” Moving Forward, Vol. II, No. 4, pp. 12-13. Retrieved from the World Wide Web:http://movingforward.org/v2n4-fmsf-board.html