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#402453 - 07/03/12 09:27 AM Re: False memory? [Re: ahyden]
unhappycamper Offline

Registered: 10/21/11
Posts: 611
Loc: VA
The "false memory" thing started as a =legal defense=, not a psychological or medical diagnosis. As I recall, it came to prominence during the George Franklin case (1990-91) in California, where a man was convicted of murdering his daughter's playmate based entirely on his daughter's 20-year-old "recovered memories" with absolutely NO other evidence. I have to admit, if I were a juror, I would have "reasonable doubt" of his guilt, in the absence of any other evidence linking the defendant to this crime. Franklin was convicted but this was later reversed for violation of his right to avoid self-incrimination. The reversal had nothing to do with the "false memory" issue--rather, it was because the prosecutor had presented as evidence Franklin's refusal to answer his daughter's question about the death when she confronted him in the prison visiting room. He had simply made a "shush" gesture and pointed to the surveillance camera.

Since then the "false memory defense" has been used to discredit and disparage many delayed-recall witnesses, both credible and in-, corroborated and un-. There's no doubt that our memory can be erroneous, at least as to details, and that other people can influence what we believe we remember. However, the "false memory" argument carefully avoids the subject of traumatic amnesia, which ranges from forgetting one's lines due to stage fright, all the way to "missing time" in the course of extreme trauma.

I'm not a doctor and I don't play one on the Internet, but I've had to learn about this stuff in order to hang onto sanity over the past 18 years. Peace, all!


#402458 - 07/03/12 10:22 AM Re: False memory? [Re: ahyden]
Sailor John Offline

Registered: 10/04/11
Posts: 307
Loc: Newfoundland & Labrador
Hi ahyden,

There are many Medical Professionals who "laugh at you" when you tell them about memory recall of traumatic events. My doctor explained it to me this way - because traumatic events act on our brain the way they do, they get locked away in a dark corner of the brain until we are ready to process the information by being triggered by some event, smell, persons look, etc.

When our brain "gives us permission" to start processing the bad things, it allows only the parts of the trauma that our brain "gives permission" to recall. The flashback is why things won't necessarily occur in the order things happened. We are getting the "easier" stuff for us to process with the "harder" stuff comming as it "is cleared" by our brain to be processed.
I will mourn the teenager I never was and strive to make that dot of light way out in the far reaches of the end of the tunnel turn into a bright sun.


#402466 - 07/03/12 11:46 AM Re: False memory? [Re: ahyden]
Napoleon Offline

Registered: 04/06/11
Posts: 166
Loc: Utah
I have also read about cases where there are photos and still people deny it...

My very first recall was with a therapist. It was too traumatic to handle, and I re-suppressed it. It is possible for the memories to be brushed into accidently. However if you’re not ready they can re-suppress… Over the next 9 months the memory was re-suppressed… 9 months after the first “brush” the flashback began.

I think it interesting that people in a car wreck are expected to not remember because of the trauma, yet rape victims are expected remember the far more traumatic rape perfectly? Just a note…
“Your only limit within reason, is the one that you set up in your own mind.” Napoleon Hill, The Law of Success, 1925.

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