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Anonymous 3222

What do you think about false memory syndrome?
Essentially it is acceptable gaslighting. They use it to explain away testimony of sexual abuse victims if it is evidence that contradicts accepted narratives of "false accusation."
In the McMartin ritual abuse case
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McMartin_preschool_trial) they said literally hundreds of child accusers all had false memory syndrome. No one thinks this the least bit odd and if you say otherwise you're a conspiracy nut.

Anonymous 3224

The idea of "false memory syndrome" sounds p sus tbh, but according to the article you linked, it isn't an actual recognized, diagnosable disorder…which is a good thing i guess.
False memories defo exist, you can verify this yourself by keeping a diary or something and noticing how your memories warp slightly over time. There are also experiments you can do online where you are shown a list of words which can induce false memories of specific words.
But I totally agree that when other people are telling you your memories are false without hard evidence that you're misremembering something, it's just gaslighting, and I think psychiatry is very sus in general.
Regarding that particular case: people can develop false memories from being interrogated in very suggestive ways. The wikipedia article doesn't really say enough to tell of that was what happened though.

Anonymous 3226

I think that memory is nowhere near as reliable as people assume it is and I think it should have far less input in court cases than it does, but that particular case seems suspect, I won't deny that.

Anonymous 3246

Yes. No need for a 'syndrome' when it's obvious in how memory and social influence works to begin with. Most people aren't very particular and a modification to their memory or, say, some memory mixing with an idea put in their head creating moreorless a false memory, is totally normal. And because it's 'remembered', it solidifies further. Reactionary pressure (such as having to present evidence and get things straight) makes you strengthen and 'cohere' it among your other memories, changing those too.

But I dare say any 'psychology weapon' that is used to discredit or obscure child abuse is always suspect. This is because such child abuse is not isolated but organised on a large scale. People have an interest in covering it up. Another example of this is the shoddy attempt to discredit dissociative identity disorder / multiple personality disorder. They tried to push the idea that it was just mere suggestion or false memory, the interviewer crafting it all. And this is a recurring idea in all of these cases. Except for the fact that they do have multiple personalities and lack full access to their memories which is why there is a thorough process of uncovering them and getting personalities who do not know eachother acquainted.

Regarding the McMartin article. Interviewing children who have suffered abuse is a long, careful process. Even an adult will struggle but for a kid it takes special care. I imagine the way it was handled is as described but the purpose behind it is likely to muddle truth and fiction, distort their accounts, and deny them a proper interview.

Anonymous 3247

Yeah I think you are both right. I think memory is very fallible in terms of concrete details, but in general memories do not come from nowhere. Fake memories can be induced but in general you can't just create sexual abuse trauma out of nothing. If someone feels trauma from troubling sexual abuse memories, something definitely happened, even if the memories they have do not paint a fully accurate picture of what.

Therapists suggestively inducing memories to such a powerful/traumatic level is something I suspect is very rare if it ever actually happens at all. Especially after very public legal cases alleging this practice.

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