Friday, September 23, 2011

Court: daughter's dream that father raped her 12 years earlier was inspired by true memories; father convicted of rape

A 26-year-old Israeli woman, living in New York, claimed she had a dream four years earlier, when she was 22-years-old, that prompted her to recall that her father had raped her when she was 10-years-old. It took four years after the purported dream before the woman supposedly summoned the courage to return to Israel and submit a police complaint about her father.

A Tel Aviv court accepted the word of expert witnesses who said that the woman’s dream was inspired by real memories. The court pointed to the fact that she had experienced similar nightmares previously and had told her cousin that she felt her father had “done something to her.” The woman had also expressed discomfort about her relationship with her father and felt disgusted by him, they noted.

Said one expert witness: “The clinical symptoms, personal and interpersonal dynamics and the way the complainant tells the story fit the characteristics of fathers who harm their daughters.”

And that was enough to convict the father of raping his daughter. The father was sentenced to a 12 year prison term on a claim of "he said, she dreamed" rape.

The case in Tel Aviv should trigger painful memories of US parents, especially fathers, stung by the recovered memory craze from the mid-80s to mid-90s when there were thousands of false memory cases across America -- daughters suddenly remembered that their fathers raped them twenty years earlier, when they were toddlers.

One such case involved Katie Spanuello’s daughter, who accused Katie and her husband of abusing her as a child. It turns out the allegations were made only after the daughter had read a book called “The Courage to Heal,” written by feminist poet and creative writing teacher Ellen Bass and incest survivor Laura Davis, which encouraged women to find the source of their emotional problems by dredging up painful memories of childhood abuse. The problem is, many women dredged up things that never happened. Aside from reading “The Courage to Heal,” according to Katie Spanuello, the daughter made her false claim only after affiliating herself with “militant feminists.” The daughter eventually recanted her claim.  See here.

Many of the cases took on a lurid, sensational quality involving satanic rituals, with wild, far-fetched allegations that were accepted at face value for no reason other than the fact that a child uttered them.

In Friedman v. Rehal, No. 08-0297 (2d Cir. filed August 16, 2010), the Second Circuit Court of Appeals explained: “Overall, at least seventy-two individuals were convicted in nearly a dozen major child sex abuse and satanic ritual prosecutions between 1984 and 1995, although almost all the convictions have since been reversed. . . . Some defendants, fearing trial, pled guilty or ‘no contest’ to impossible acts of ritualistic abuse, and in some cases they provided detailed confessions in exchange for immunity or generous plea bargains. . . . . Many have described these widespread prosecutions as a modern-day ‘witch hunt.’

“These prosecutions were largely based on memories that alleged victims ‘recovered’ through suggestive memory recovery tactics . . . . Indeed, the dramatic increase in conspiratorial charges of child sexual abuse has been traced to a relatively small group of clinical psychologists who supported the psychoanalytic notion of ‘repressed memories’ and encouraged patients to employ extensive ‘memory recovery procedures’ to ‘break through the barrier of repression and bring memories into conscious awareness.’”

Although mothers were not spared from the daggers of their daughters’ lies in false memory cases, fathers, and their penises, were, and still are, the primary targets of repressed memories.

While it might seem other-worldly that we would permit witch doctors to determine whether men languish behind bars in sometimes inhumane prisons for many years, when it comes to men and sex crime allegations, no “science” is too bizarre, primitive, or inhumane. It’s for that reason that penile plethysmograph testing, a sort a junk science polygraph of penises, and “masturbatory satiation” sessions, are often used as a basis to decide whether men and boys convicted of sex offenses should be released from custody.

I have a better idea to decide the fate of a man accused of a sex offense: bind his hands and feet, and throw him in a lake. If he floats, he’s guilty.

Dream rape story here: