Waging Ghostly War on a National Level: Ad Hominem
Hey, maybe tomorrow some woman will accuse You [X. Dell] of raping her when [she] was 3. Good luck with defending yourself.–earlier commenter on this series.One of the most, um, endearing traits of the FMSF, those representing them, and those supporting them is the tendency to direct talk away from the personal experience and scientific research that establishes the validity of delayed memory recall, and to substitute ad hominem attack for reason or discussion. Almost everyone who has written critically about the FMSF on this here World Wide Web--and even those not critical of the organization who have nevertheless failed to march in lockstep with their assertions--have faced scorn by someone representing the foundation.* They have also had their thoughts and writing distorted beyond recognition by those wishing to create an easy strawman. Better that, than honestly confront a serious issue.
Of course, I personally have gotten off easy. Legitimate researchers and professionals targeted by the FMSF have had their practices disrupted, their reputations marred, and in some cases their licenses revoked. Virtually all have become a magnet for accusations, most of these provably false, and others that are probably or possibly false. Some of them can relate to you the financial toll these accusations have taken on them in defense of relentless litigation. Childhood sexual abuse victims, who experienced delayed recall of their abuse, and then later proved them independently, have seen the particulars of their cases mischaracterized in popular and professional literature.
The attacks have had a rather chilling effect on open and candid discussion about this subject. Anti-FMS researchers, childhood sexual abuse victims who have independently corroborated stories, and organizations representing the latter, have been rather skittish about engaging me in dialogue on this issue. They have good reason to do so. In the past they’ve granted interviews with people posing as press, or academic researchers only to find that they’ve been talking to a private investigator attempting to build a court case for an FMSF supporter. In one case, the very institution which should have (if we believe its mission statement) helped defend one practitioner, joined the FMSF actions directed against him.
As our friend Shrinky wrote earlier in this series, “Boy, what a minefield.”
In the next post, we’ll talk about some people whose only response to our favorite Manx blogger would have to be, “You ain’t whistling ‘Dixie,’ sister.”
*On a rather ironic note, I have someone labeling me “a shill of the FMSF” because of my refusal to walk in lockstep with her/his assertions. Needless to say, the subject area is rife with rather intense emotion that throws reason and understanding out the window.