In a brief extract from an essay "Are Freud's Critics Serious?", at b&w, Frank Cioffi draws some parallels with the way Freudians excuse the lies of their master:
Sigmund Freud may have been a great man but he was not an honourable one. Freud’s claims to greatness rest on his imaginative and expressive powers; his dishonour arises from his leadership of a movement in whose interests he perjured himself repeatedly. The most striking fact about responses to documentation of Freud’s perjuries is how often they take the form not of denial but of extenuation.
Here is one example of how this is done. Freud repeatedly put forward as a demonstration of the therapeutic power of psychoanalysis, even at its most primitive, the case of a patient, Anna O, although he knew she had to be confined to a sanatorium in spite of the 'talking cure'.
What kind of response has this disconcerting revelation, that Freud's repeated allusions to Anna O.'s cure were false, met?
This is how Elisabeth Roudinesco reconciles the historic facts with the Freudian falsehood in her history of the psychoanalytic movement. The false story of Anna O's cure '...bears witness to an historical reality to which we cannot oppose the simplistic argument of a reality of facts...’ She argues that we must not confuse the construction of a fable with an intentional lie.
A stratagem analogous to Roudinesco’s has been imputed to the classicist Paul Verne who apparently argued on behalf of Holocaust deniers that 'the denial of the reality of Auschwitz is not 'a falsehood but a mythical truth’ Would Elisabeth Roudinesco have come to the rescue of holocaust deniers with her opaque distinction between a ‘historical reality’ and ‘a reality of facts’? [...]
There are also those who retreat to a different mode of truth. An English novelist convinced that the primal scene in Freud's case history of the wolf man never happened argued that it nevertheless possessed 'a different, deeper kind of truth.' There are still others: those who appear willing to dispense with truth altogether in view of the moral grandeur of the Freudian vision. This too has its analogies in the history of Soviet apologetic. André Malraux once argued 'Just as the inquisition does not detract from the fundamental dignity of Christianity so the Moscow Trials do not detract from the fundamental dignity of communism.' It is my impression that no sooner has it been made impossible for Freudians to maintain that Freud's discoveries are true in the sense in which they were advanced and taken, than they will discover that they possess a ‘a fundamental dignity’.
In other words, it's not a science, it's a faith.