Dr. Richard Gardner

Mac-a-ro-nies blogging about Trish Wilson’s entry on the suicide of Dr. Richard Gardner (this entry includes other interesting comments and quotes, too).

Once again, we are reminded that America is a young nation prone to adolescent, hysterical extremism. Most often it manifests itself in bouts of witch hunting. After Fells Acres and other bizarre “magic juice”/”secret room” trials; after an avalanche of coerced “recovered memory” revelations, no wonder someone in the psychiatric profession came forward with a theory designed to neutralize the madness. And, as should have been expected, ceaselessly crying “wolf” left the sheep unprotected. It is quite likely that some sexually abused children were left in the custody of the abusive parents by courts that relied on Gardner’s theory. On the other hand, I’m certain the late doctor helped a good deal of decent men protect themselves against their vindictive exes.

The root of the problem seems the 1980s sex abuse hysteria — although it’s much deeper, somewhere in the dark of the American psyche. The victims, apart from the falsely convicted adults, are, as usual, children.

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