** SNAP CONFERENCE 2012 EXCLUSIVE ** One Hand Washes the Other: Jeff Anderson, Other Contingency Lawyers Bankroll Church-Bashing Group

Attorney Jeff Anderson Catholic abuse

Bringing in the cash: Minneapolis lawyer Jeff Anderson

The high-profile, Church-suing attorney Jeff Anderson offered up a whopping check for $43,950 to SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) as he orchestrated this year's fundraising session at the group's annual conference at the Hilton Rosemont in Chicago, according to sources who were there.

Seizing the microphone during a mid-afternoon session this past Saturday, the zealous Anderson pleaded aggressively with attendees in the conference room to donate to the anti-Catholic group. Anderson announced that he would match all pledges made during the drive.

As the pledges commenced, Anderson energetically dashed around the room working the crowd like a carnival barker, eager to rake in more money for his favorite cause.

Other contingency lawyers pitch in

Fellow big-time contingency lawyers quickly stepped up to the plate. Chicago's Marc Pearlman (a partner of Anderson) offered up $10,000, and Seattle's Tim Kosnoff pledged $5,000. Boston's Mitchell Garabedian may have offered $2,000.

The SNAP-lawyer alliance exposed

As we have often pointed out, lawsuits alleging decades-old abuse by Catholic priests have become a big business, an industry with literally billions of dollars in revenue.

But the industry is composed of a relatively small number of players: professional victims' groups like SNAP; wealthy contingency lawyers who typically pocket a third of successful suits; and Church-bashing "experts" always ready to opine in court.

If anyone had any doubt about this close-knit collaboration, SNAP's annual conference should put any doubt to rest. Wealthy lawyers were opening their wallets to fund their favorite Church-bashers, likely with the hope that their gestures will keep the clients and fat paydays coming.

Lawyers contributed well over half of all of the money raised at SNAP's big event. The intimate partnership between the purported victims' group SNAP and its wealthy benefactor lawyers is thus undeniable.

[**Stay tuned for even more exclusive information about SNAP's recent conference. It will definitely surprise you!**]


  1. Ted says:

    So SNAP is essentially a front group for contigency lawyers?
    Makes sense.
    So much for the poor victim advocate routine.

  2. Publion says:

    This was the sly genius of the Phase that was initiated in January, 2002. Rather than civilly sue the poor-as-churchmice individual priests, the tort-attorneys would be turned loose on the much fatter target of the Dioceses (and their Insurers). This was effected by applying the dodgy legal tactic of Respondeat Superior: that, under certain demonstrable conditions, an employing agency is responsible and liable for the misdeeds of its agents, even, in many cases, where the employer had published guidelines and rules precisely prohibiting its agents from committing whatever acts the accused agent had committed.
    This, on top of the already Stampede-like atmosphere created by the general sex-crime publicity and the hugely skewed ‘reforms’ introduced into the justice system,  also pretty much guaranteed that any competent attorney advising a Diocese would recommend a settlement for cash rather than trying to defend the case.
    Thus, when the tort-attorneys then brought together ‘bundled’ lawsuits – where a large number of ‘allegations’ and allegators were bundled together – the Dioceses, and especially their attorneys and Insurers, were induced to simply settle the lawsuits out of court with no effort whatsoever at defending the accused priests. And since it was the Diocese and not the accused-priests who was the Party-Defendant named in the bundled lawsuit, then the accused priests had no say in the matter.
    And, on top of all the monies paid out to whomever had gotten their name onto the Plaintiff roster with whatever suitable story (especially from the long-ago and even against priests deceased), the ‘advocates’ could then claim – speciously – that such and such more a number of priests were thus ‘guilty’ of sex-abuse allegations. Although few if any allegations and stories were ever put to an evidentiary test (such as it exists any longer now in this type of thing), and nobody can say with any degree of demonstrable certainty how many of the priests in all those settlements over the past decade were actually guilty – or not.
    With contingency fees of at least 30 percent (plus expenses) for each Plaintiff’s slice of the pie, this abuse crisis has been very very good to the tort-attorneys … sort of like manna from heaven.
    And it turned them into yet another school of remoras riding the Great Shark that is driving the Catholic abuse crisis.
    It’s hard to let go of a piñata so easily rigged as this one is.
    Which is why it seems to me that the lawyers at this conference (I hope we get a general report on it) were pretty stingy if they were coming up with the amounts they are reported to have come up with. They should be pledging a whole lot more. After all, SNAP has made their day.

    • Colleen Sheehy says:

      AND this is why certain people are absolutely furious with (and demonize) the National Catholic Risk Retention Group (NCRRG) and Virtus. Not to say that they are entirely blameless and without fault – what organization/entity created by humans can make that claim? – but they're hardly demons either!

    • jim robertson says:

      Pul, ya darlin boy!
      I figured out who you are. Your Catholicisms history writer. All the world gets it wrong but you get it right. O.K. by me. But Public Relations is what you are. And what a "spin" you give it.
      C.BDeMille says hi!

    • jim robertson says:

      The only reason people can go after 'deeper' pockets is because the hierarchs transfered known abusers (Cardinal Law) and or they should have known about the abusers that they had placed in charge of minors.
      Windows of opportunity became neccesary when victims were offered, like my self, 12,000 dollars as a compensation settlement.
      The career rise of religious inside the Church seems largely based on money accumulated, compared to monies dispersed.
      Any real believer in Christ would know that treatment and compensation for victims is required if not commanded, statutes of limitations or not.

  3. HeilMary1 says:

    This web site is a front for mother-killing pedophile priests.  As an abuse survivor who never got a dime from the Nazi RCC, I'd take SNAP and victims' lawyers any day over abusers and their spin meisters.  And we know Jesus would be on the side of us victims and our supporters.

  4. Michael Skiendzielewski says:

    The intimate partnership between the purported victims' group SNAP and its wealthy benefactor lawyers is thus undeniable.
    Dave………..this clergy sexual abuse debacle has its own share of "intimate partnerships" on the other side of the issue.  How would you describe the relationships between the archdioceses/dioceses across the nation, the states' Catholic Conferences and the lobbying that goes on in various state capitals re the objectives and interests of Catholic Church management and leadership?
    And, where does the money come from that funds these "intimate relationships"?  Parishioners' contributions and donations across the US?

    • TheMediaReport.com says:

      1. “How would you describe the relationships between the archdioceses/dioceses across the nation, the states’ Catholic Conferences and the lobbying that goes on in various state capitals re the objectives and interests of Catholic Church management and leadership?”

      I would describe it as part of the operations of the Catholic Church.


      2.¬†“[W]here does the money come from that funds these ‘intimate relationships’? ¬†Parishioners’ contributions and donations across the US?”

      Yes, and I think 99% of people are pretty much aware of that.

    • jim robertson says:

      Michael what if that lawyer was funneling money to SNAP from the Catholic Church in order to make victims appear "Dangerous ooooooooooo Hostile   ooooooo willing to confront you with priest sex in front of your children at Sunday mass. boooooooooo.( I'm trying to write scarily with the ooooooooo's but I don't think it's working) 
      Why would victims want to drive you, the matrix we came from, away?
      We don't want that .
      The Church doesn't want the victims and the people in the pews to see what our commonality is: and that is : there but for fortune , God's Grace whatever. goes YOU.
      You all could have been the victims.
      You weren't> We were. My  grandkids hopefully won't be victimized but am I to be in battle with them if they were? It makes absolutly no sense. No sense at all.

  5. Tom says:

    Whoever writes this blog does a great public service.

  6. Julie says:

    You explained it all very well, Publion. I know that a lady who called herself a victim wrote a letter to the editor in my diocesan newspaper. She got a settlement because a long time ago, a priest once made a strange, very fumbling verbal come-on to her. And never touched her. And she got a settlement. And said "We victims are never going away!" I thought it was weird she got a settlement for that, actually. Thank you though, Publion, for explaining it. There is something so terribly corrupt about what is going on here. It's all so rigged.

    • josie says:

      So much of the truth needs to be known..God help us find a way. There are so many falsely accused priests. We all must know one or more and yet once accused the reputation is ruined. It is such a disgrace that this injustice go on any longer. I have known of womanwho was abused by her father..she then claims she was abused by a priest..and then says she was abused by another until she was 24..I ask–was not this consensual if it happened later? This woman says that she was very attractive and the priest was attracted to her. ok. I would not think abuse there. I am no longer buying the 'I am afraid to speak up or report stuff'….This is a make money while you can game. It is disgusting.

  7. Tony de New York says:

    HeilMary1, u a 'victim'? HARDLY! u r a bitter and angry anti catholic.

  8. Oren says:

    Did your source need to take a shower after the conference?

  9. Fitasafiddle says:

    Publion, dear Publion, just whatever are we going to do with you? Children, you see, take a long while to absorb their sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests. As  you recall, dear Publion, the priests all over the parishes of the United States had quite a bit of prestige attached to their roman collars. Sometimes, as you must have witnessed yourself through the years, the only person the parish Dads ever bowed to was the Catholic priest, and the boys of the Parish who saw their Dad's bowing to the priest ,  well, these little boys ( and girls)  were quite traumatized  and did not know how to articulate that Father Popular was raping them.  In most  cases, dear Publion,  this kind of sex abuse by Transubstantiators took decades to be spoken of.
    It is in the nature of the crime itself that its telling was prevented  until the Statute of Limitations ran out.
    Protecting pedophile priests because of a Statute of Limitations is not the trait of  a follower of Jesus. dear Publion. No matter what the bishops tell you.  And the lawyers who have helped expose this corruption of these bishops are not anti-catholic. That would be the bishops themselves who attempt to keep the Statutes in place so that more child victims will be voiceless.
    Bashing SNAP from here to Kingdom Come will not change those stubborn facts, Publion. With all their religious ritual, all their dogma, they ( read bishops here) could not distinguish between right and wrong, even when the wrong was the hideous sexual abuse of children by men of the Holy Orders.

  10. kmc says:

    This make sense, unfortunatley.  The only "benefit" for lack of a better term of this realization
    is that the public will be learn the underpinnings of these suits.  The priests must be relieved the
    truth is coming to the surface.  Is there already an account established for falsely accused
    priests that is insulated/protected?  If so, let us know how to donate?
    Please be sure the fund is clearly labelled:

    • kmc says:

      Clarification:  This "fund" concept developed from the comment entered by Ken W. on Aug 2:
      Most priests don't have this luxury………….referring to unrelated case of persons livlihood being destroyed.
      Any way the fund can be limited to "everything under the sun" except legal fees, therefore,
      benefiting the falsely accused directly while not encouraging more lawsuits because the
      new fund has been created?

    • jim robertson says:

      You guys are just like that great old Catholic senator in the '50's, Joe Mc Carthy.
      He too always had lists of names that were not shown.
      Let's make a list with all the names of all the priests who've been falsely accused and number them.
      Then let's make a list of all the victims who haven't been compensated or even given therapy.
      Or we can only do the priest list . I as a victim would love to send my condolences to these men.
      But I kind of need to know who they are and where they are. And why they were picked wrong by SNAP.
      I think that's fair don't you?

  11. Publion says:

    As anybody reading the ‘repressed memory’ material quoted in the relevant recent article on this site would have to carefully consider, human beings do not – and are not neurobiologically wired to – ‘forget’ trauma; indeed, precisely the opposite (which is a survival mechanism of the species, much like children quickly learning that hot-stoves are not something to touch with your bare hand).
    Or is it being suggested by FAAF that ‘abuse’ – however defined, and the lower end of that spectrum is very low indeed – is somehow traumatic by its very nature, rather than by the intensity of the specific act perpetrated? Or that somehow all of the repressed-memory stuff may be invalid in all other cases, but is somehow ‘traumatic’ simply because the alleged perpetrator was a Catholic priest? I’d like some serious explanation if either of those two hypotheses are being inferred.
    The cartoon scenario of “parish dads” somehow ‘bowing’ to “the Catholic priest” is a figment of somebody’ imagination. But – by the most amazing coincidence – happens to correspond to the usual SNAP talking-points. Ditto then that the male children of the parish dads saw their daddies bowing and bowed too. And once again I point out that very very few actual allegations are on the rape end of the broad abuse spectrum. Thus nothing adds up – except on the FAAF-and-SNAP cartoon board – to explain away the repressed-memory problem.
    And are we to credit the necessary result that this skein of assertions by FAAF implies: that for all those years all those ‘dads’ knew of all the alleged abuse and simply “bowed” to it? Or they knew of all that “rape” and simply “bowed” to it?
    I have absolutely no idea as to what sense can be made of the sentence “It is in the nature of the crime itself that its telling was prevented until the Statute of Limitations ran out”. The most charitable interpretation seem to be that FAAF is trying to say that since a) they saw their daddies bow to the priests, and since b)  ‘rape’ is so traumatic, then the allegants could not “absorb” (whatever that means in terms of relevance for reporting) the abuse until well after the SOLs ran out. And precisely what does "absorb" mean in this context?
    But what then for all the allegants who did not claim ‘rape’? How does FAAF’s hypothesis (assertion, actually) explain those far more numerous cases? Or is it thinking too much even to ask?
    And once again the old “protecting pedophile priests” mantra, to which FAAF adds – as if ‘ex cathedra’ – that seeking to rationally examine assertions is somehow “not the trait of a follower of Jesus”. Why is it that so many SNAPP-ies and FAAF here like to pontificate about Catholic theology? (As long as they can somehow twist it to sound like it agrees with their cartoons.)
    The bishops have told me nothing. Does FAAF imagine that Catholics or any rational persons are incapable of thinking for themselves and conducting an analysis?
    I have explained at length on this site why the SOLs are a vital Constitutional issue – either FAAF has not read that or refuses to address those explanatory thoughts. But this concoction of assertions made here in the foregoing comment add nothing to the consideration of this issue at all.
    The “voiceless” trope is also from the SNAP talking points, by amazing coincidence. In what way do the SOLs prevent anybody from voicing their concerns in the therapeutic or media realm? But if the ‘voice’ wishes to make formal allegations in the juridical realm, then evidentiary principles enshrined in Constitutional jurisprudence must be accepted – or else anybody could claim anything about anybody else and expect the Sovereign coercive authority of the government to accede to every ‘voiced’ whim and story and demand.
    Nobody is “bashing” SNAP – merely examining its assertions for conceptual integrity and some level of congruence with known psychological and legal realities. Nor can it be demonstrated that FAAF has provided in this most recent comment any “stubborn facts” that have been ignored. Except by FAAF and SNAP. But of course, to certain types, the attempt to understand accurately is indeed gall and wormwood, if that attempt doesn’t lead to the ‘facts’ that they have crayoned-up on their mental cartoon board.
    So, lastly, despite the obvious anti-bishop and – I get the strong impression – anti-Catholic animus revealing itself here and there in the comment made above, FAAF has yet to demonstrate how repressed-memory, in a Catholic or other-than-Catholic context, is credible conceptually.
    If FAAF will kindly share her insights as to the neural-architecture that enables such repressed-memory dynamic, or as to how so profoundly fundamental an evolutionary competence as remembering dangers and pains can be neutralized in even the merest and lowest-rung abuse cases, I’d very much like to see that. Or if FAAF will kindly share – if applicable – the clear conceptual analysis that justifies the implication that ‘abuse’ of even the least kind (the kind most often allegated officially) can qualify as ‘trauma’ in terms of overriding the memory-retention abilities, then I’d very much like to see that too.
    As for the smarmy condescension, save it for the water-cooler declamations at the SNAP meetings you don’t attend. These are serious matters under consideration on this site, and adolescent verbal games are of no constructive use at all.

  12. abuse victim says:

    This article does a great disservice to abuse survivors. SNAP has helped many survivors abused by priests for years get justice after years of suffering.  Priests and the church covered up these crimes for many years.  It is good to see lawyers helping those abused by priests and others and not helping the abusers.  Of course people forget traumatic memories. Soldiers and car accident victims suffer total amnesia for their traumas. Child abuse victims do the same. This is well documented. The Father Paul Shanley case helped prove people forget their memories of abuse.  Proof people forget memories of abuse is at the Recovered Memory Project case archive at brown.edu with 110 corroborated cases of recovered memory.

  13. Publion says:

    One further thought that occurs to me in regard to repressed-memory and all that.
    We perhaps see now a new quiet but sly twist in the SNAP-like talking-points. With it becoming increasingly clear (and public) that the trusty old repressed-memory tool has seen its day in the advocacy game, but not wanting to let go of the absolutely vital ‘justification’ and ‘explanation’ role that repressed-memory had played in that game, there is a subtle new twist that a) keeps them all from looking like they are embracing a discredited theory while b) enables them to keep at least the appearance of a ‘justification’ and ‘explanation’ for the fact that so many are trooping to the attorneys with stories from the long-ago that they are just now acting-upon: it takes that long to “absorb” abuse.  
    What precisely that means is a Question none of them would like anybody to ask.
    But rest assured that because of what has been ‘absorbed’, then fresh demands for juridical ‘closure’ will be soon to follow.

  14. Publion says:

    While I’m on the subject – and once again FAAF provides a classic example – I point out the difference between a genuinely scientific approach and an ideological approach.
    The genuinely scientific approach starts by acquiring and examining the most reliable date it can find, from which it develops a hypothetical ‘picture’ of a situation, and then continues to acquire and analyze reliable data, while also publishing that data and sharing it with others who might want to analyze the data for themselves. And in the process of so many independent sources analyzing that data, then the original hypothesis is assessed and criticized (in the positive sense of that term) and is either supported or rebutted. Note that genuine scientific analysis welcomes independent assessment of its hypothesis and welcomes critical assessment and input.
    The ideological approach is hell-and-gone from that: it starts with a Picture it has already decided is accurate (or at least it is the Picture that it will insist is accurate), and then selectively cuts and pastes factoids (accurate or not, it doesn’t matter) that appear to support that Picture. It does not seek comprehensive data because it already ‘knows’ what the Picture (or Narrative) is.  It does not seek to share its data for the purposes of encouraging independent examination (it will share this or that factoid only as such sharing becomes useful for its purposes). Indeed, from any who are shown its Picture the ideological approach seeks not independent or critical analysis but only agreement. Thus, if you question SNAP you are “bashing” SNAP; your job is not to think but – in SNAP’s and any ideologue’s view – simply to accept and respond as required (shock, outrage, horror, etc etc etc).
    What the Catholic ‘abuse crisis’ shows us is how very very badly the Ideological Approach will misfire, especially in a constitutional democracy and especially if all the traditional agencies of genuine and honest scientific discovery of truth are also in on the treachery: legislators and media being the most vital. In fact, as we have seen, ‘truth’ is also kicked to the curb, as is the Rule of Law, if either of them get in the way of the ideological Picture and Narrative.
    A.J. Liebling realized this almost a century ago when he said that people are entitled to their own opinion, but not to their own facts.  It is precisely here that the Ideological Approach (Picture first, facts later – if they fit the Picture) parts company with truth as well as factuality.
    Lastly, I hope that certain types of comments continue to appear on this site. You can write and write about the conceptual, but there’s nothing like a comment fresh and on the hoof to demonstrate exactly what sort of mindset embraces the Ideological and rejects the Scientific and the Factual and the Truthful.

  15. josie says:

    Publion, I am thinking as I vainly apply my tan from a bottle (rather than expose to the sun) that the process of "absorbtion" into the skin will take place and I will become a slightly new color.  From my experience with reading some of the comments on various outlets, I believe that there are many "victims" that are absorbed with SNAP talking points to say nothing of the larger dose of  lawyering  up with vultures out to get the church and the professional victims' advocates that profit so nicely from tanning the person. It is an interesting subtle process. And yet, the facts go out the window. There are people (NOT ALL-PLEASE TAKE NOTE-NO ATTACKS) that are seriously mentally ill that are making this stuff up based on their repressed memory (some have been abused by their own fathers/brothers/uncles ).

  16. Publion says:

    'Josie' raises an interesting point or two indeed. I've been wondering myself.
    Sorry for the roll here but one more thing.
    I notice an exchange in the comments above in regard to the Catholic Church’s “intimate connections” with politicians; to which DP’s response was that this constituted nothing more than standard operating procedure for the Church.
    I’d add that just about any large organization nowadays keeps some amount of liaison with government at some level(s) … the Red Cross, the Scouts, General Motors, Kiwanis, and so on.
    The “intimate partnership” bit is a little more subtle, if not also sly. This implies a sinister collusion of some sort. What would hypothetically be the crux of such a sinister relationship in the Church’s case? That the Church colluded with politicians to prevent abuse-trials and lawsuits? If so then I would say that a) the Church is a world-class bumbling incompetent in that line and that b) if it were true, then there are numerous pols at state if not national level who have colluded with the Church … who might they be and shouldn’t they be outed? If they exist.
    On the other hand, the ‘motive’ and ‘opportunity’ for such collusion between SNAP and tort-attorneys and legislators are not only conceptually clear but – the evidence being all around us – actually quite successful as a collusive enterprise. SNAP gets to continue existing as a ‘nationally-recognized’ entity even though it apparently has not and never has had competent leadership (CEO Clohessy admitted as much in his Deposition) and has never provided professional services to ‘victims’ nor spent much of its money on them; the tort-attorneys get a piñata that Dewey, Scroom, and Howe could only dream about; the legislators get political bennies for being ‘sensitive’ by disassembling Constitutional protections for the accused, plus garnering creds and votes from the victim and feminist and secularist ‘bases’ in a tough election year; and the media get an on-going soap-opera and melodrama that is so obviously scripted that no Hollywood studio would accept it from an aspiring script-writer as believable fiction.
    Meanwhile, those who don’t like God or religion or the Church or priests or men or hierarchy or ritual or whatever – outside the Church or inside it – get a nice Stick with which to whack the piñata for their own ideological purposes.
    I had mentioned in prior comments on both the Philadelphia and Santa Clara trials that there were surprisingly strong coincidences in terms of political influence. In the Philadelphia matter, former Philly mayor and PA governor Ed Rendell, now Partner in a large Philly law firm, is also a recent former DNC Chairman. In the Santa Clara case (Lynch assaulting Lindner in San Jose), a current Vice-Chairman of the DNC is Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA), whose 15th District – by the most amazing coincidence – encompasses San Jose.
    That’s way too many coincidences, suggesting some level of successful “intimate” collusion by a number of parties – some of them rather highly-placed and holding offices of public responsibility.
    So then, in addition to 'the bishops', how about 'the politicians', if folks really want to get to the bottom of such an "intimate partnership"?

  17. Abuse Survivor says:

    - The above article does a great disservice to abuse survivors. SNAP has helped many survivors abused by priests for years get justice after years of suffering.  Priests and the church covered up these crimes for many years.  It is good to see lawyers helping those abused by priests and others and not helping the abusers.  Of course people forget traumatic memories. Soldiers and car accident victims suffer total amnesia for their traumas. Child abuse victims do the same. This is well documented. The Father Paul Shanley case helped prove people forget their memories of abuse.  Proof people forget memories of abuse is at the Recovered Memory Project case archive at brown.edu with 110 corroborated cases of recovered memory.

    • Ken W. says:

      That is incorrect. The article shows that Jeff Anderson is more interested in yourself retaining your spite and hatred than he is in finding out the truth and achieving true healing. Every example listed in the Recovered Memory Project's archive is the exception, not the rule. For every case that they list as "corroborated", there are hundreds that are bunk. The False Memory Syndrome Foundation has enough strong arguments, and there have been plenty of "recovered memories" later proven to be false. There's a few of them being proven false in my locale right this minute. That alone is reason to view "recovered memories" with a healthy dose of scepticism. 
      Falsely accusing an innocent is every bit as evil as if the abuse really happened. The split second that SNAP acknowledges that, I will consider supporting them. As it sits right now, the SNAP mindset is too loose and frivolous in lobbing out accusations and presuming guilt. 

  18. Publion says:

    Several points in regard to the comment by ‘Abuse Survivor’.
    First, note that any analysis or discussion “does a disservice” to those who find things going in an inconvenient or undesirable direction. The overriding objective, I am saying, should be finding truth – and in that cause no effort at analysis should be considered as ‘doing a disservice’ ultimately to anybody. But this ‘disservice’ bit is a handy tool for trying to derail any efforts that may create a loss of control of the spin and the ‘narrative’ and the Script.
    Consider the actual implications of the current Script: if the “priests and the church covered up these crimes for years” (and we are talking decades and perhaps centuries here) then there would have to be numerous parents, parishioners, law-enforcement agents and even politicians who went along with it somehow. It is utterly impossible to credibly maintain that hundreds of thousands of ‘abuse’ (let alone ‘rape’) incidences were going on, and in all cases the Evil Perp was totally alone with the Innocent Victim, twirling his moustache and leering Bwa-ha-haaaa! Although – as you can see from my characterization of it in the preceding sentence – such an image perfectly fits the script of an old-time silent movie.
    There is a queasy bit about lawyers helping the abused and “not helping the abusers”. Lawyers “helping” the accused is a sly way of trying to spin the classic role of defense counsel in American law, which presumes the innocence of the accused. (Which, logically, has always meant that a self-declared victim cannot actually claim the status of ‘victim’ until the accused is found Guilty in a trial – which would hugely gum up the works in the Victimist playbook and gameplan, where the term and the status of the role of ‘victim’ is ladled out like hot fudge on a sundae. I wonder if people really understand the profound Constitutional issues at stake when they spout the usual Talking-Points.
    No, there is no evidence that “people forget traumatic memories”. Soldiers and accident survivors may forget if there was physical injury to the brain, but the key here is the mechanism of injury: while the brain can be physically damaged such that it cannot perform its normal functions, it is not possible to ‘forget’ simply on the basis of the emotional content of the  experience itself (recall that the original PTSD presenting-problem was “intrusive memories”, not forgotten memories). Thus if in the act of ‘abuse’ a person were also hit on the head with a baseball bat, then – yes – it is possible that s/he might forget things, but absent a physical attack that damages the brain, the emotional experience of ‘abuse’ won’t – and can’t – simply cause forgetting (and let’s not forget the rest of the Theory: that you can then recover it pristine and perfect, like a long-unviewed photograph). And this holds even more so for the easily tossed-off use of “total amnesia” here. I don’t think most people understand the implications of their easy use of professional-sounding terms.
    Ditto for the tossed-off assertion that “child abuse victims do the same” (as the soldiers and car-accident victims). But is so, then a) what is the mechanism of injury there; b) how distinguish between repressed-memory dynamics and the naturally undeveloped-state of the child’s brain (depending here on the age of the child); and c) as I have put the situation in prior comments about an auto-accident claim, why have we not seen incidences of ‘recovered memory’ in any other fields of human experience? (The quickie one-liner comeback is that this lack simply demonstrates the ‘uniqueness’ of the sexual-abuse experience, but given the cumulative total of problems of all sorts with the Recovered/Repressed Memory Theory, I’d say that this is just a dodge to avoid facing the probability that the whole theory is baloney.)
    The existence of an archive does not ‘prove’ anything. If it did, what does ‘Abuse Survivor’ do with the False Memory Foundation’s archives and ongoing material, which very largely counters everything on the Recovered Memory Project’s site? Once again, the comment seems to assume that if there’s an archive, then that ‘proves’ the points s/he wants everybody to accept. But then how handle the equally (and I would say far more accurate) archive of the False Memory Foundation? Wouldn’t that ‘prove’ that repressed-memories as they are conceived in abuse-matters are impossible?
    In the ongoing tissue of unsupported assertions that constitutes this comment by ‘Abuse Survivor’, it is asserted that the Father Paul Shanley case “proves” the theory. Actually, all it proves is that a jury can buy this stuff from time to time (other juries and courts have refused to do so, as we have just seen at the Minnesota Supreme Court). And if I recall correctly, one juror on the Shanley case later mentioned that they had serious difficulty with the credibility of the whole thing, and only resolved it by following the prosecution exhortation that to find for Shanley would “send the wrong message” and so the jury decided that case not on the basis of the Charge against Shanley but merely on the basis of not wanting to generally “send the wrong message”. Give that some thought.
    But even without the juror’s recall, the entire ‘send a message’ trope – often used by prosecutors to shore up iffy cases – undermines the primary purpose of a trial: to judge whether this accused is or is not guilty of the specific Charges brought by the prosecution in this specific trial. The ‘send a message’ trope turns the whole thing into the worst and most dangerous kind of ‘show-trial’ (think Nazi and Soviet jurisprudence here).
    And once again, we see in the comment a simplistic and almost cartoonish selection of convenient factoids, instantly presumed to be ‘proof’ and then strung together as a skein of ‘proofs’. No wonder such types of folks are so continuously enraged: they convince themselves through such cartoonish thought-processes, and then can only explain all the doubts of more complex-thinking persons by imagining a conspiracy on the part of everybody else against them … which rather nicely recapitulates the operative dynamic of paranoia, and if somebody showed up in a genuine therapist’s office with this type of thing, they would be signed up for treatment without further ado.
    I have not for this comment reviewed the 110 cases at the Recovered Memory Project. Some years back I went over cases at that site (there are also numerous cases at the False Memory Foundation site, demonstrating just the opposite). As I recall, if you factor out all the dubious or multiple mechanisms of injury, the selection of cases that took place at the extremes (childhood or old age) of brain competence, and all the not-relevant cases where the actual dynamics do not really prove the claimed assertions about Repressed/Recovered Memory Theory, then there are far less usable cases than the site claims.
    Again, while the R/R Memory site can archive whatever it wishes, you simply have to think about the necessary dynamics and mechanisms required by the Theory and compare them with what is known about the brain (you can’t claim that the Theory is true exactly because ‘we don’t know much about the brain’), and before long you realize that this Theory is hugely incredible on numerous bases of analysis.
    And so again I say that we see in this ‘Abuse Survivor’ comment a very clear example of the type of mental process (not to be accurately termed genuine ‘thinking’ or ‘analysis’) that leads so many people to be true-believers: selective factoids cartoonishly strung-together to provide a simplistic and ‘proven truth’, and then asserted by the bundle in public venues as if these folks were sharing the results of competent and careful thought and analysis.
    And – I would add – in the current American cultural situation this is all taken as heroic and estimable.
    Lastly, I invite readers to see how much text is required to deal with such a comparatively short skein of assertions as were made in the ‘Abuse Survivor’ comment: hidden within such seemingly simple and short toss-offs are dense but real thickets of problems and issues that must be considered if any genuine appreciation of the issue is to be achieved.

    • jim robertson says:

      I know you won't believe this but SNAP in L.A. hated HATED recovered memory. They were completly on the Church's side with that. Thought you might like to know.
      I as yet have no information I can add either way.

  19. Julie says:

    Abuse Survivor, No you have it completely wrong. I have been in two horrific roll-over accidents, which praise God I survived. I have forgotten the scariest parts but NO WAY would i EVER FORGET that the accidents happened. And I do remember some parts of the accidents as they were happenening. If I went back and tried to sue the drivers now, saying, I had forgotten it happened but thanks to a psychiatrist I now remember there were accidents and you were driving and I was hurt, I would get laughed out of court. But if it involved a Catholic priest from 40 years ago it would be accepted as legitimate. And remember, years ago, they thought these sick men could be cured. What were other churches besides Catholic churches doing with their pervs? You can get some idea from stopbaptistpredators.org. ALL children and youth need to be protected. Strangely, SNAP only seems to care about victims or alleged victims connected to institutions with deep pockets.

  20. kmc says:

    If someone in my family was a priest, I would hope two funds were created and "promoted", and the titles be…..False  and Frivolous.  The promotion of the funds may serve to diminish the entrenched "promotion" that has been in the works.
    ………………………………….and justice for all.

  21. Abuse Survivor says:

    The research shows that recovered memories have high corroboration rates.  (see h t t p childabusewiki(dot) org recovered memories). The above arguments denying the existence of repressed memories and dissociative amnesia ignore the scientific data showing these to be valid proven scientific concepts. Their inclusion in the DSM-IV shows that these concepts have been scientifically proven. Name calling using the term "true believer"  is part of the false memory proponents rhetoric. False memory proponents often ignore all data contrary to their opinion and often use name calling and insults to attack ideological opponents.

    The concept of the False Memory Syndrome was created largely to defend accused and convicted child abusers. One of the founders of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation, Ralph Underwager, said "Paedophiles spend a lot of time and energy defending their choice. I don’t think that a paedophile needs to do that. Paedophiles can boldly and courageously affirm what they choose. They can say that what they want is to find the best way to love. I am also a theologian and as a theologian, I believe it is God’s will that there be closeness and intimacy, unity of the flesh, between people. A paedophile can say: “This closeness is possible for me within the choices that I’ve made."

    One of the other false memory syndrome foundation founders was accused of child abuse by his daughter.  Other family members backed up his daughter's side of the story.

    SNAP does a very good job helping abuse survivors get justice and exposing child molesters.  Articles like this do a disservice to child abuse survivors.

    • jim robertson says:

      Abuse survivor, You've said more with less unlike Pub who says less with more. Thanks very much.

  22. Publion says:

    First, the reference given by Abuse Survivor (henceforth: AS) does not exist.
    Http//childabusewiki.org/recovered memories is kicked back. There is a Child Abuse entry on wiki, but it is for all forms of child abuse (physical, sexual, psychological/emotional), and the “high corroboration rates” (does AS really understand this technical term) apply to Child Abuse generally, to the extent that the term applies at all. I don’t recall anybody on this site doubting the existence of Child Abuse.
    This seems more than an innocent mistake because there is actually a specific wiki entry for Repressed Memory, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repressed_memory . But that entry does not support AS’s objectives: it continually refers to Repressed Memory as a “hypothesis”, notes that its “very existence” is “controversial”, and that among professional psychologists it is also “controversial”. So much so that the American Psychological Association not only admits that “it is not currently possible to distinguish a true repressed memory from a false one without corroborating evidence”. Also that “there has also been significant questioning of the reality of repressed memories” and “the existence of repressed memory has not been accepted by mainstream psychology nor unequivocally been proven to exist” … this is not a disease or injury classification that anybody has a lot of confidence in.
    And in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (where the formal term is Dissociative Amnesia and is specifically distinguished from Amnestic Disorder Due To A Brain Injury) the APA also warns – in polite professional and formal language – that “there are no tests or set of procedures that invariable distinguish Dissociative Amnesia from Malingering” – and Malingering is defined as “the intentional production of false or grossly exaggerated physical or psychological symptoms, motivated by external incentives such as avoiding military duty, avoiding work, obtaining financial compensation, evading criminal prosecution, or obtaining drugs”.
    And the Manual then goes on to advise that for memory-difficulties related to a post-stress event, then really the Dissociative Amnesia classification should not be used, and instead you should use Somatization Disorder, where the loss of memory following a traumatic event is listed as a “pseudoneurological symptom” and the Manual warns – tactfully – that “laboratory test results are remarkable for the absence of findings to support the subjective complaints”.
    So neither the APA nor its marquis classification Manual are anything less than extremely cautious about the whole Repressed Memory construct.
    And in regard to Recovered Memory, inclusion in the Manual does not “show that they have been scientifically proven”, and – on top of that – there is no entry for Recovered Memory or Repressed Memory in either the Table of Contents or the Index, which should not be surprising since the Manual does not recognize R/R Memory as a distinct and free-standing entity.
    As far as ‘proving’ anything simply by its being in the Manual, it must be noted here that the way a disease or injury entity gets formally classified as by a vote of the APA members; thus, for example, one day back in the early 1970s homosexuality was a officially a psychological disorder and the next day it officially wasn’t. (I am not here agreeing or disagreeing with that particular development, but merely pointing out that entities can be ‘voted onto the island’ or ‘voted off the island’ in the space of a morning or an afternoon).
    And in fact, the new Fifth Edition of the Manual (DSM-V) appears to have done away with a major chunk of the R/R Memory stuff and – on top of that – introduced a new classification called Factitious Disorder Imposed On the Self, the criteria of which include: “falsification of physical or psychological signs of symptoms; presenting oneself to others as ill, impaired, or injured; the deceptive behavior is evident even in the absence of obvious external rewards”; and “the abnormal illness behavior is not better accounted for by another mental disorder such as delusional disorder or other psychotic disorder”.  (You can look up changes at this site: wwwdsm5.org  ) So R/R Memory may soon be voted off the island.
    Hence when I use the term “true believer” I don’t consider myself “name-calling”. AS has given clear evidence of selective use of information (which information s/he doesn’t seem to clearly understand) in the service of a Picture that relevant professional mainstream science does not largely accept, and rather than engage or answer questions simply keeps coming up – like a true-believing fundamentalist – with more ‘proof-texts’ that are supposed to shut everybody up. On top of which, the ‘proof-texts’ selected don’t actually achieve any such thing nor support the Picture in the first place.
    Additionally, AS then introduces a quotation about pedophiles and what they choose to believe (that their imposition of sexual experience is a form of ‘love’) which has nothing substantively to do with the issue at hand, and then tries to neutralize the False Memory Foundation by claiming that one of its founders was “accused of child abuse by his daughter”.  And in regard to that I would say a) I don’t know about the credibility of the charge (although what parent, under today’s conditions, could not be accused by a child?), but that b) the validity of the FMF’s conceptual material and research is hardly impugned by the possible personal history of its proponents. And that c) SNAP’s own CEO Clohessy has admitted failure to report known or suspected child abuse in his own family – so what is to be done then about SNAP as an organization?
    Nor is it anything but sly that AS then says “SNAP does a very good job helping abuse survivors get justice and exposing child abusers”.  As we know from its own admissions, SNAP does very little to “help” victims, spending next to nothing on therapeutic personnel or counseling. But it is sly to say “helping abuse survivors get justice” because this provides a neat cover for what SNAP has really been up to: operating as a middleman or clearing-house to steer potential litigants to tort-attorneys who will kickback monies won in settlements to SNAP. This dynamic seems to me to qualify for what back in the day was termed a “racket”.
    And from what I have said in comments on this site, ‘justice’ as it exists in abuse-matters today is fundamentally corroded and even corrupted (the political uses to which such trials as Philly and Santa Clara have been put, for example) and now constitutes a fundamental Constitutional danger to the country and its future.
    AS concludes – defiantly and stubbornly or ‘courageously and heroically’ with the “disservice” bit.
    I will simply say that in my opinion SNAP and all the matrix of behind-the-scenes elements that have supported this Oz-like racket for decades have perpetrated nothing less than a monstrous disservice against truth, the rule of law, and the Citizens of this country – and its future as a democratic republic.

  23. Publion says:

    And in regard to my immediately previous comment, there is a NY Times piece from last Sunday that discussed Sen. Harry Reid, top-ranking Democratic Senator,  using many of the same tactics in political manuevering that have been seen in much of the Catholic Abuse 'Crisis'. This is a link to a commentary on that which also includes the link to the Times piece:  http://senseoffenses.blogspot.com/2012/08/we-know-politics-now.html

  24. jim robertson says:

    Pub which party do you think Jesus would be closer to? ( I think neither. capitalism wasn't invented when Himself walked the planet.) The party that wages un-just wars?( that's both.) Or would Ayn Rands disciple Paul Ryan who's now dressed up Rand's sociopathy in church vestments be your choice?
    Or maybe President Obama the best Republican President since Reagan? The other Obama the one in office compared to the Obama running for office. Two very different men.
    Jesus would have kicked them all to the curb.in my illogical opinion.