false memory syndrome

27 Apr: A Thorny Question: An Experiential Analysis of Spontaneous and Hypnotically Induced Past Life Memory Retrieval – Jenny Cockell (Is.32)

by Jenny Cockell

Abstract—In this article, Jenny Cockell, well-known author and personality in the field of reincarnation research, seeks to compare and extrapolate her own experiences of spontaneous past life memory recall with her experiences of accessing past life memories utilising hypnosis. In this well-considered and intimate account, Jenny shares examples of the positives and negatives, gains and detriments, of both experiential realms. Further, she addresses the question as to whether or not hypnosis is a useful tool in retrieving past life memories which can be validated in the same manner in which many thousands of spontaneous past life memories have been interrogated and verified. If not, why not, are questions which run throughout the body of her article.… Read the rest

01 Mar: Biased Evaluations of Regression Experiences: How reincarnation disbelievers subjectively interpret data – Jan Erik Sigdell (Is.28)

by Jan Erik Sigdell, Ph.D.

Several cases of past-life regression experiences have been investigated by various authors, some of them in a rather biased way. The apparent intent was to find errors and doubtful contents that could disprove the reality of the experience and classify it as cryptomnesia or even fantasy. A few such cases are reevaluated and other kinds of errors exposed, amounting to false conclusions, inadequate reasoning and improper analysis. The cases reviewed are the Matthew case of Jonathan Venn, the O’Malley and Dick Wonchalk cases of Edwin Zolik and the Dorothy case of Reima Kampman. The tendentious way of reasoning in the evaluation of these cases is based on the preconceived idea that reincarnation is impossible Read the rest

01 Dec: The False “False Memory Syndrome” Syndrome – Hans TenDam (Is.17)

by Hans TenDam

Dr. Hans TenDam shares his thoughts and experiences about the so-called “false memory syndrome,” something of concern to all past-life therapists and, in fact, to all who use altered states in their work. Dr. TenDam grounds his theories in what he has actually seen with clients.

The False Memory Syndrome is a bogeyman hindering the acceptance of our profession. It has been discovered that clients who graphically “relived” sexual abuse by a parent when they were very young, had often “remembered” something that did not happen. It has led to court cases and negative publicity. It sometimes leads also to extra work for us as therapists. I have had several clients utterly shaken because of the false … Read the rest

01 Dec: “Anything Else But” Past Lives – Robert T. James (Is.14)

by Robert T. James, J.D., C.Ht.

Robert James Fights Back! In this well-researched article, James discusses the “Anything Else But” syndrome, a mental state that seems to afflict many critics of all things parapsychological, including past-life regression work. He makes some solid criticisms of his own in this astute analysis of some of our critics’ own research. Let the critics beware!

In a recent talk given in Colorado, Dr. John Mack (1995), the Pulitzer Prize-winning Harvard Medical School psychiatrist and author of the controversial book Abductions: Human Contact with Aliens (Mack, 1994), commented on the vigorous efforts on the part of his detractors to find that the alien abduction phenomenon is due to a cause other than that the … Read the rest

01 Dec: Two Notions: Snugging Into Paradigms – Thelma B. Freedman (Is.14)

by Thelma B. Freedman, M.A.

In this article, Thelma Freedman speculates on ways in which past-life narratives, if real reincarnation memories, might fit within already established models of the world. Her interest is to stimulate conservative model-making based on what we really know.

Past-life therapy is at a decisive moment in history, both its own history and the history of humanity. Past-life therapy is not about to move into the mainstream: It is already on the march, as we see more therapists every day discovering this magical approach to healing. That is all to the good. We also see that more and more people are accepting reincarnation as their personal belief system, and that is probably a good thing, … Read the rest

01 Dec: The Influence of the Therapist in Past-life Therapy – Rabia Lynn Clark (Is.14)

by Rabia Lynn Clark, Ph.D.

Rabia Clark recommends that past-life therapists question some of their fondest assumptions about past-life therapy. Like David Ritchey in this issue of the Journal, she discusses the “false memory syndrome” controversy as it may relate to our methods of practice. Clark suggests self-examination and a further dialogue on the subject.

The “false memory syndrome” is a controversial issue right now, and one very relevant to us, as past-life therapists may encounter serious repercussions if they create false memories in their clients. Perhaps they should re-examine their techniques to avoid being thought unethical.

A Doonesbury cartoon puts the issue in a nutshell. A therapist is interviewing Mark on the radio. The therapist says:

“It’s … Read the rest

01 Dec: Rememberings from Somewhen: Brain, Mind, Memory, & Other Lives – David Ritchey (Is.14)

by David Ritchey, Ph.D.

In the following paper, David Ritchey, as does Rabia Clark in the next article, discusses the “false memory syndrome” and its relevance to past-life therapists. Among other things, Ritchey reviews the history and definitions of false memory syndrome, the arguments “pro” and “con” that circulate around it, and the possible states of consciousness that are involved. Like Clark, Ritchey ends with a warning for caution in our interpretations of “past lives.”


While this paper is specifically directed toward those who work with memories of “other lives” (a term I will use henceforth in lieu of “past lives,” so as not to limit too narrowly the boundaries of my thesis), the dynamics involved apply as … Read the rest