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August Piper

False Memory Syndrome Foundation Columnist, Expert Witness for the Defense
Published columns attacking the diagnosis of MPD/DID and therapists specializing in trauma therapy.

August Piper is a MD psychiatrist and member of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation Scientific Advisory Board, who wrote regular columns critiquing Multiple Personality Disorder in the FMSF newsletter. He helped Pamela Freyd write “questions and answers about false memory syndrome,” an informational pamphlet sent to those requesting information about FMS. [1] Piper testified in court as an expert witness for the defense, arguing that the phenomenon of recovered memory lacks sufficient empirical evidence, and that the care given to patients (“Recovered memory therapy”) is inadequate. Approximately 20-30% of Piper’s income stemmed from consulting, testifying, or assisting with lawsuits. [1]

Despite having a “private practice as a psychiatrist in seattle” August Piper has never been board certified in psychiatry. According to Piper, he took the boards twice; once in 1992, and once in either 1996 or 1997, failing both attempts. [1] The majority of his scientific presentations and clinical work with his patients as a MD Psychiatrist pertains to the appropriate dosage of medication. [1] He has never been trained as a clinical psychologist, though he has been board certified by the American Society of Clinical Hypnosis. [1]

Views on Incest:
Piper has a very narrow definition of incest. When questioned during a deposition about how common incest is in the united states, Piper objected multiple times, stating that “we have to be a little careful because when you say incest, again it depends on how you define it… it is a contentious issue that revoles around how you define “incest.” Eventually, he gave his opinion: “When I say “incest,” I’m talking about forcible intercourse and penetration ether vaginally or anally of a father against his daughter.” He estimated that “maybe half a percent to a percent” of people experienced it. [1]

In his article “A Skeptic Considers, Then Responds to Cheit,” Piper implied that “sexual contact between children and adults” could be “neutral or positive,” and that children’s negative reactions to CSA are “adversely conditioned” by society as they experience “no significant harm.” [2]

Junk Skepticism:
Piper published a critique of the corroborated cases archive in Ethics and Behavior (1999) titled “A Skeptic Considers, Then Responds to Cheit.” Beyond under-reporting the amount of cases chronicled in the archive, His analysis misconstrued these cases, omitted critical information, omitted key witnesses, and reported false facts. Beyond this, Piper contradicted himself about the impact of the archive and incorrectly defined “corroboration.” [2]
You can read Ross Cheit’s detailed response to Piper’s critique in “Junk Skepticism and Recovered Memory: A Reply to Piper” which upholds the burden of proof.
“Piper purports to challenge the facts in seven cases. As detailed later, in virtually every instance his argument is undocumented and inaccurate.”
“Piper demonstrates, however, that junk skeptics will never be satisfied – nor will they engage the real facts of most cases… Piper’s article adds insult to the real injury of child sexual abuse, unmasking the harsh reality of FMS politics.” [3]


[1] Joye v. Rosmann. Deposition of August Piper, Junior, MD. (District Court of Shelby County, Iowa, 1998, September 2-4). No. LACV017111.
[2] Piper, August. (1999). A skeptic considers, then responds to Cheit. Ethics & Behavior, 9(4), 277–293.
[3] Cheit, Ross. (1999). Junk skepticism and recovered memory: A reply to Piper. Ethics & Behavior, 9(4), 295–318.

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