In Memory Warp, Mark Pendergrast sounds a clarion call to stop the ongoing pseudoscience of “repressed memory therapy,” which has destroyed millions of families and continues to do so. In the 1990s, Pendergrast’s book Victims of Memory helped to debunk the repressed memory craze. Now, more than two decades later, he revisits the subject and proves that this form of “therapy” is still widespread, still destroying family relationships and causing false allegations of terrible crimes against innocent parents and caregivers. With meticulous research and captivating writing, Pendergrast brings coverage of this issue up to date.
Independent scholar and science writer Mark Pendergrast has written well-researched, critically acclaimed nonfiction books about a wide variety of subjects. He lives in Colchester, Vermont, and can be reached through his website, www.markpendergrast.com.
Introduction: The Return of the Repressed
1 How to Become a Survivor
2 The Memory Maze
3 How to Believe the Unbelievable
4 Multiple Personalities and Satanic Cults
5 And a Little Child Shall Lead Them (and Be Led)
6 A Brief History: The Witch Craze, Reflex Arcs, and Freud’s Legacy
7 Cultural Contexts
8 Survivorship as Religion
9 Conclusions and Recommendations
Note on Sources
"Must Paul Revere ride twice? Mark Pendergrast was heroic in opposing the recovered memory craze twenty years ago. It’s back—but so is he, with an urgent and eloquent plea for adherence to scientific truth about the mind.”
“In Memory Warp, Mark Pendergrast has captured not only the personalities of all those involved, but the science (or lack thereof) underlying the repressed memory debate. His compassionate, even feminist, account makes for compelling reading that explains how the repressed memory epidemic arose and (unfortunately) continues.”
“Reading Memory Warp could save your finances, your sanity, your family, and even your life. If you seek mental health treatment in the US health care system, you are at serious risk of being harmed by reckless methods based on dangerous junk science theories and practices. Mark Pendergrast has written a compelling, well-researched book about the epidemic of false memories of abuse that occurred in the final part of the 20th century and continues in a reduced—though still dangerous—form to this day, negatively impacting the lives of millions of people.”
Science writer Mark Pendergrast makes a strong case that the repressed memory controversy is far from over and offers a clear warning about the worst pseudoscience in psychology in the modern era. Memory Warp is brilliantly written, with jaw-dropping details, stories, and insights that are novel, fascinating, and engrossing.
A brilliantly written, powerful, and meticulously documented exposé of the
contemporary recovered memory movement. Pendergrast demolishes the widespread myth that suggestive techniques designed to recover supposedly repressed memories – and the often devastating effects of these techniques on psychotherapy clients and their families — are a thing of the past. This extremely important book is a reminder that, in the words of William Faulkner, ‘The past is never dead. It’s not even past.’”
“Memory Warp is a thorough, calm, and devastating look at how memory works and doesn’t work, and how pseudo-scientific claims about ‘repressed memories’ have ruined lives.”
“In the 1990s, as families were shattered by wide-spread belief in repressed
memories (especially through psychotherapy), Mark Pendergrast stepped up to become a leading figure in the vanguard of truth and reason with his groundbreaking book, Victims of Memory. Now, over 20 years later, he again sounds the alarm that the dangerous embers of repressed memory belief still burn underneath our cultural surface and threaten to burst once again into flame. With precision, thorough documentation, and scientific insight, Memory Warp brings to light the shared cultural mythology that the public and so many ‘professionals’ still believe, promote, and practice. Compelling and reasoned, Memory Warp is a must-read.”