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Former Patients File Complaints Against Castlewood

FMSF News Alert - November 21, 2012

Dear Friends,

FMSF has finally developed a regular pattern for sending News Alerts. I feel that we owe you an explanation for why it has taken most of the year to get to this point.

In the final issue of the newsletter (Fall 2011), we had written that to replace the newsletter, we would be sending more frequent regular news updates. But you did not receive any updates from FMSF until this October. That is not because there was a lack of FMS-related news. There has been plenty.

Alas, FMSF had a digital catastrophe last winter! The entire FMSF email list was destroyed during changes that were made to the hosting computers. Sure, it’s not supposed to happen, but it did.

Reconstructing the list seemed overwhelming. We made stabs here and there, but it was not until FMSF stalwart J. Bean pitched in to help that we have returned to a point where we are able to send alerts and updates.

We are glad to be back, and have several other projects to which we can now turn our attentions.

Have a joyful and abundant Thanksgiving!


****Legal News****

Former Patients File Complaints Against Residential Treatment Center

In November of 2011, a former patient from Castlewood Treatment Centers in St. Louis, Missouri, filed a lawsuit against the facility claiming she had been encouraged to believe hypnotically induced false memories of sexual and satanic abuse. Since that time, three other women have come forward making similar claims against the facility -- the most recent filing on November 9, 2012. All combined, the four women have cited approximately $1.5M in medical and therapy bills related to their treatments.

Castlewood is a residential treatment facility, run by Mark Schwartz and his wife Lori Galperin, and specializing in eating disorders. The center utilizes the teachings of Richard Schwartz, creator of the Internal Family Systems (IFS) Model of therapy -- sometimes referred to as "parts" therapy as it identifies conflicting emotions as competing "parts" within the individual.

Indeed, at least one of the complainants alleges she was told she would die if she did not allow her "parts" to speak and several claim they were caused to believe they suffered from multiple personalities.

Although Mark Schwartz, Ph.D. has claimed he did not do the things for which he has been publicly accused, it is interesting to note that he was one of the therapists listed in the credits of the notorious MPD documentary "Search for Deadly Memories" - in which patient "Gretchen" was injected with sodium amytal to help her recover memories of abuse.

With the lawsuits still pending in St. Louis, Mark Schwartz is now opening a new treatment center at a converted bed-and-breakfast in Northern California.

For more information on the Castlewood lawsuits see: many links to additional information)

Fourth Patient at Ballwin Treatment Center Alleges Abuse (Includes reader comments) (Includes links to the complaint filings)

FMSF Newsletter, February 1996 (Information on "Search for Deadly Memories" Documentary) (Includes information on the California project)

****Science News****

Brief Exposure to Misinformation Can Lead to Long-Term False Memories Which Persist as Long as True Memories

New research by Zhu, B. et al. [1] examined whether false memories last and if so, do they persist as long as true memories.

The authors found that a brief exposure to misinformation can lead to a significant amount of false memory. The 342 subjects were tested again after a year and a half. The researchers found that about half of "the misinformation false memory persisted which was the same rate as for true memory."

1. Zhu, B., Chen, C., Loftus, E. F., He, Q., Chen, C., Lei, X., et al. (2012). Brief Exposure to Misinformation Can Lead to Long-Term False Memories. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 301-307. Published online 15 December 2011 in Wiley Online Library ( DOI: 10.1002/acp.1825

A fine description of this research can be found at:

Hill, Kyle. (2012) How long will a lie last? New study finds that false memories linger for years. Scientific American, November 14, 2012. Scientific American


University of California Irvine Honors Elizabeth Loftus

FMSF Advisory Board member Elizabeth Loftus, PhD., has received another honor. On Saturday, October 27, the University of California at Irvine awarded Loftus the UC Irvine Medal honoring individuals who have had a profound impact on the university because of their contributions in research, teaching and public service.

"Elizabeth Loftus, Ph.D., is renowned for her groundbreaking work on the malleability of human memory. A UC Irvine Distinguished Professor, she holds faculty positions in the schools of Social Ecology, Social Sciences and Law.

"Since earning a doctorate in psychology at Stanford University, Loftus has published 22 books (including the award-winning Eyewitness Testimony) and 500 scientific articles. Her 30 years of research have focused on the misinformation effect, eyewitness fallibility, and the creation and nature of false memories. Loftus has contributed her expertise to hundreds of high-profile criminal cases, including those of Martha Stewart, the Hillside Strangler, Oliver North, Scooter Libby and Michael Jackson.

"Past president of the Association for Psychological Science, she has received six honorary doctorates and been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. In a list of the 100 most eminent psychologists of the 20th century, the journal Review of General Psychology placed Loftus at No. 58 -- making her the top-ranked woman."

To learn more about Elizabeth Loftus, listen to a podcast interview from the National Academy of Science: Interview

Selected papers by Loftus can be found on her website:


Letter from a French Family

There are many paths leading to the hell of false memory. If we decide to tell now the story of another French family we came to know at the beginning of our own nightmare, it is because it has reached now a new milestone which probably haunts many FMSF members.

Sylvie (no real names used) had always been a bright girl, but at the same time unable to fit within any hierarchy. In her early twenties, she managed an organic food shop. This is where she knew a man who became her teacher in meditation, recruiter to a sect, and lover as well. She would have ended somewhere in India if her family had not abducted her, at the last minute, pregnant.

Sylvie’s father owned and ran a family business and was near retirement age. He took Sylvie to work there while she followed in parallel psychology classes. Then, she left the job, took training in child education, all this to arrive in 1996 at the event we have all known: The Accusation -- rape by the father in this case.

Sylvie had a younger brother, Gregoire, born in 1961, who also had a rather complex life, with a preference for humanitarian jobs. He married Simone in 1988 and they had two children, Isabelle (1989) and Philippe (1992). The relationship between Simone and her parents-in-law was tense. Gregoire’s psychological health deteriorated gradually and he had to stay in several psychiatric institutions. He died in one of them late in 1997. His parents have never been able to learn precisely how and why. Legal rules protecting privacy apply even to mother and father! To make the story complete and worse, it would be necessary to include how Sylvie and Simone associated to sell the family business.

Then began the long silence, almost to this day. No contact with the grand-children; never any answer to cards; all too familiar...Until, suddenly in fall 2010, a letter from Philippe, the grandson (just reaching legal majority): "I wish to know you, in secret, through e-mail."

Grandparents and grandson met for the first time in the summer of 2011. Many questions and of course, the unavoidable one: "Have you really raped my aunt?" As our friend puts it, there is but one possible answer: NO from the depth of my heart. What else indeed? And still, think of the consequences: There is a boy left to wonder who is the true criminal. How long will the false memory shock reverberate across generations?

Comments from people who have been through a similar experience will be much appreciated.

If you wish to respond to "French Family" send to and it will be forwarded to them.