top of page

David Calof

Role: Clinical Psychologist
Impact: Founder of Treating Abuse Today newsletter, advocate for victims with recovered memories.

David Calof is a clinical psychologist and researcher who works with people who've experienced trauma. Calof founded and ran a newsletter titled Treating Abuse Today, covering the most recent research and news on the topic of trauma, dissociation, and childhood abuse. During the recovered memory controversy, Calof was able to interview a few key figures on the subject, such as Pamela Freyd and Ofra Bikel.

David Calof ended up as the target of a harassment campaign run by Chuck Noah. Calof's office was picketed for months, his patients videotaped while entering and exiting his building, and received numerous threatening phone calls. Calof has never treated Noah, his family members, or anyone from a family involved in the local FMSF. Calof remained a leading clinician in the treatment of childhood trauma.

In his article titled “Notes From a Practice Under Siege: Harassment, Defamation, and intimidation in the Name of Science,” David Calof describes Chuck Noah’s harassment campaign in detail.

The following quotes are sourced from this article and an interview he conducted with Ofra Bikel.

Examples of harassment:

“Groups as large as 15 people have set up huge displays in front of my therapy offices well over 100 times, sometimes stretching over three city blocks… The malicious and derogatory slogans declare inter alia: "Pseudo Therapist creates victims for profit!!," "David Calof Sexploits Women," "David Calof Prowls for Women Victims," "(Pious) Calof Preys on Women victims,".... "Voodoo Therapy Practiced Here," … "300' [feet] to 'Cagey' Dave Calof s Voo Doo pit." One sign, most often displayed just outside my office window, warns: "Beware Calof s Crooked Femi-Nazi Pow [sic] lies." It is adorned with two red Swastikas… this group has mounted a virtual around-the-clock presence, working in shifts to exchange each other's sign-laden vehicles to keep a near constant presence in front of my building.” [1]
[image of sign, link in drive]

“Office personnel and visitors have had to endure shouted obscenities and slurs, many of which are based on perceived race, physical appearance, and sexual preference. Noah has stalked me… while loudly taunting me with insults and epithets (such as: "That's right, baldie, go back to your hallucination pit," "cocksucker," "asshole," and the like).” [1]

“They recorded license plate numbers to identify staff, clients, and professional colleagues. They have kept me, staff, and clients under surveillance, including the use of videotaping and photographing. They have displayed large public signs speculating about the identity of some of my confidential counseling clients.” [1]

“We had worked with the police and the phone company regarding harassing phone calls… Just to tell you how frightening they were, one of them called me at work and said “We like your wife’s yellow car.’” [2]

“They pledged money to various organizations in my name and ordered magazine subscriptions for which I have been billed… My wife has received several unsolicited sexually graphic advertisements for telephone sex services.” [1]

“In 1996 I was forced to relocate my offices… However, 3 months after I moved into my next offices, in the summer of 1996, Noah came uninvited to my new office landlord's house in a bid to join forces and rout me from my offices. He boasted how he had helped my former landlord roust me and offered his services to my present landlord to do the same. Finally, a little more than a year later, because of the unrelenting antics of this group, I faced eviction from my present offices and had to relocate again. I found potential landlords reluctant to rent to me once they comprehended the magnitude of the campaign against me. It took me nearly 5 months to find suitable space.” [1]

“It is worth noting that Noah's aggressive pattern of behavior is not without precedent. After he was privately accused of child abuse by his daughter, he used similar aggressive and very public tactics. In 1993, he was finally forced to stop picketing his daughter's former therapist when that therapist obtained a second antiharassment order against him (MacDonald v. Noah, 1993).” [1]

False Memory Syndrome Foundation’s Support of Noah’s Harassment:
“When people contact the FMSF seeking an FMSF contact in the Seattle am, they are mailed a business card imprinted with the FMSF name and address and with the names ‘Chuck and June,’ along with Noah's home phone number and the designation, ‘volunteer coordinator.’” [1]

“As [Pamela] Freyd spoke, Noah's picket signs clearly were visible leaning against the wall behind her… After her talk, [Pamela] Freyd introduced Noah to the group as one of the "important people" in the FMS movement.” [1]

“In a recent interview, [Pamela Freyd] opined: "To some of the [FMSF] families who have been afraid to act, Noah seems like a very noble character. I'd be lying if I said otherwise.” [1]

Various items have been published in the FMSF newsletter describing Chuck Noah as “a precious commodity, a truly dedicated man, a man with a mission,” “a man of strong principles” and “A hero and a symbol to many families.” [3]

The FMSF newsletter referenced Noah’s harassment campaign in Seattle without using his name. It encouraged readers to make a difference by emulating the tactics used in Seattle “picketing efforts” such as “picketing in a mobile home and utility trailer.” [4]

Pamela Freyd (FMSF Founder)’s Letter Denying Calof’s Harassment

Calof reported the harassing calls to his phone company. Following this, Pamela Freyd stated that she also reached out to Calof’s phone company on the behalf of the FMSF about the issue to ‘help’ with “FMSF members [who] might have been harassing [Calof].” Pamela Freyd claimed to find no reports of threatening calls, and as such, wrote a letter claiming that Calof was fabricating his harassment. “Copies of [Pamela] Freyd's letter with this assertion about me were widely distributed on the Internet and elsewhere.” Chuck Noah “introduced a copy of this letter in evidence at the antiharassment hearing” to prove that Calof was "paranoid” and “falsely believing” that he was being harassed. [1]

However, “the phone company's internal security department launched a 3-week investigation” which concluded that Pamela Freyd’s “purported phone call to Mrs. Morris never took place.” Freyd’s stated contact, Mrs. Morris, was in the community relations department, had no access to internal security records, and denied speaking with Pamela Freyd. [1]

In short, Pamela Freyd falsely claimed to speak with the phone company in order to deny the harassment of Calof by FMSF members. She widely distributed this information, giving Chuck Noah “evidence” to present to the court that he did not harass Calof.


Digital Copies of Calof’s Newsletter, Treating Abuse Today, can be found on his website along with a variety of resources published or collected by Calof:
[They can also be found at Brown Hay’s Recovered Memory Archive]

Interview with Ofra Bikel

Interview with Pamela Freyd, published in Treating Abuse Today

[1] Calof, David. (1998). Notes From a Practice Under Siege: Harassment, Defamation, and intimidation in the Name of Science. Ethics & Behavior, 8(2), 161–187.
[2] Calof, David and Bikel, Ofra. (June 5, 1995). Personal interview.
[3] Souza, Ray and Shirley. (1996, January 1). Thank you all. FMS Foundation Newsletter. 5(1), 15.
[4] FMSF Staff. (1994, November/December). Make a difference. FMS Foundation Newsletter. 3(10), 8.

bottom of page