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DATA EXCERPTED FROM THE FMSF LEGAL SURVEY, MARCH, 1997

Sample of reports of lawsuits brought against mental health care workers alleging creation of False Memory Syndrome through the use of repressed memory therapy:

Abney v. Therapist, In the District Court of Harris County, Texas, 11th Judicial District, Cause No. 93-054106.

Former client, her two daughters and husband sued hospital and doctors for negligence in misdiagnosing multiple personality disorder and encouraging the belief that her family had participated in satanic cult rituals. Plaintiff also claimed fraudulent misrepresentation of her condition to the medical insurance carrier. In April, 1995, suit settled through mediation for an undisclosed sum under confidentiality agreement.

See, Gangelhoff, B., "Devilish Diagnosis: Hypnotized and bound by restraints, the patients of Judith Peterson say they came to believe they had multiple personalities or had belonged to satanic cults. So, apparently did their therapist," Houston Press, July 6 - July 12, 1995.

See, also, "Suits against abusive therapists settled," FMSF Newsletter, June, 1995, pp. 11-12.

Althaus v. Cohen, in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Case No. 92-20893.

On December 16, 1994, a jury awarded $272,232.07 in compensatory damages to parents and daughter against daughter’s psychiatrist for failure to properly diagnose and encouraged her to believe in nonexistent events including accusations of parental sex abuse and satanic ritual abuse.

See, "Parents win suit against psychiatrist in sex case," The New York Times, December 17, 1994.

See, also, Ross, A.S., "Blame it on the devil," Redbook Magazine, June, 1994.

Bean v. Peterson, Superior Court of the State of New Hampshire, in and for Cheshire County, Case No. 95-E-0038.

Malpractice suit brought by couple alleging psychologists’ treatment temporarily convinced Mrs. Bean that she suffered from multiple personality disorder and had been programmed as a child by a satanic cult. Plaintiffs claimed the treatment caused her to become suicidal. Pending.

See, Poor, E., "Jaffrey couple brings suit over malpractice: Beans charge that Dublin psychologist abused his position in treatment," Monadnock Ledger, May 18, 1995, p. 15.

Brennan v. Nussbaumer, Denver District Court, Colorado, Case No. 94-CV-2524.

On November 2, 1995, a jury awarded plaintiff $120,858 against her former therapist for negligence in a case of recalled memory.

See, Lindsay, S., "How therapy drove woman into the hospital: Jane Brennan talks about ‘false memory’ suit she won and the power therapists have," Rocky Mountain News, November 5, 1995, p. 6A.

Burgess v. Braun, in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois County Department, Law Division, Case No. 93-L14050.

Former client and her husband and two minor children suing former therapists and hospital for negligence, breach of the standard of care for uncritical acceptance of multiple personality disorder diagnosis, failure to perform appropriate testing, prescription of inappropriate medications which would be expected to increase a tendency towards suggestion, and the use of hypnotic techniques without first advising of risks involved. Pending.

See, Keenan, M., "The Devil and Dr. Braun," New City, Chicago, IL, June 22, 1995, reporting on seven malpractice lawsuits pending against Dr. Braun, an authority on "multiple personality disorder, a man who is hailed by peers for his innovative treatment methods -- [T]wo closely related Illinois cases allege he induced patients to unravel tales of satanic ritual abuse and administered unsafe doses of powerful medications."

See, also, PBS Frontline Documentary entitled, "The Search for Satan," aired October 24, 1995 (video available from: Journal Graphics (800) 435-6850).

Carl v. Peterson, et al., U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, Case No. H-95-661.

Lynn Carl’s suit for $18 million against Judith Peterson, Spring Shadows Glen, et al., alleges she spent more than $2 million on mental health treatment after therapists at Spring Shadows Glen convinced her she was satanically ritually abused. She is now divorced and not allowed to see her children. Plaintiff’s attorney is quoted, "What these mental health professionals have done to my client is as bad as what you would expect an enemy to do to a POW." On July 1, 1996, suit settled out-of-court for an undisclosed sum under strict confidentiality agreement.

See, Tedford, D., "Woman sues therapists: Over 500 personalities claimed," Houston Chronicle, March 8, 1995.

See, also, The Houston Press, "Devilish Diagnosis: After being drugged, hypnotized and bound by restraints, the patients of Judith Peterson say they came to believe they had multiple personalities or had belonged to satanic cults," by Bonnie Gangelhoff, July 5-12, 1995, Vol. 7, No. 27.

Carlson v. Humenansky, District Court, Second Judicial District, Ramsey County, Minnesota, Case No. CX-93-7260. On January 24, 1996, a jury awarded $2.5 million finding defendant psychiatrist negligent in failing to meet recognized medical standards of care. Carlson had accused Humenansky of planting false memories during treatment which included hypnosis and sodium amytal.

See, Guthrey, M. and T. Kaplan, "Second patient wins against psychiatrist; accusation of planting memories brings multi-million dollar verdict," St. Paul Pioneer Press, January 25, 1996, p. 1B.

Cool v. Legion Insurance Company, Kenneth C. Olson, et al., State of Wisconsin, Circuit Court of Outagamie County, Case No.94 CV 707, Medical Malpractice No. CH 655, 30104.

Nadean Cool, her husband and two adult children brought a complaint against the former director of St. Elizabeth Hospital, psychiatrist Kenneth C. Olson, for the negligent use of hypnosis and implanting false memories, negligent prescription of drugs, misdiagnosing multiple personality disorder with 120 separate and distinct personalities and continuing to counsel her after he recognized that his treatment was responsible for her deteriorating condition. On March 3, 1997, the defendants settled out-of-court for $2.4 million.

See, also, Jones, Meg, "Doctor accused of bogus therapy, bills Appleton woman says former psychiatrist convinced her of many personalities, billed for group therapy," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, February 4, 1997, p. 1.

See, also, Associated Press, March 3, 1997, "Doctor accused of planting false memories settles suit for $2.4 million."

Deck v. Anonymous Therapist, Superior Court of Washington in and for King County, Case No. _____.

Malpractice suit brought by former client against a therapist who induced her to believe that as a child she had been sexually abused by an admired family member and satanic cult. On April 26, 1995, defendants made a confidential settlement. As part of the settlement, plaintiff agreed not to refer to defendants’ names when discussing the case.

See, Nalder, E., "False Memories - It seemed the only way to get better was to believe things that would make her feel worse," The Seattle Times, November 5, 1995, p. A1.

Diament v. Genesis Associates, Patricia Neuhausel, Patricia Mansmann, Kathleen Fitzgerald, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Case No.96-CV-5342.

Suit filed by a former Genesis patient who claims she was encouraged to "detach" from her children, husband, mother and sisters and that if she ever left the Genesis program she would "go insane and/or die." Carol A. Diament of Ashland, Oregon, claims she was "encouraged and pressured ... to have flashbacks and/or memories from her past that were false ... some of which involve participating in Satanic rituals and suffering abuse (physical, mental, sexual or otherwise) at the hands of family members." Pending.

See, Duffy, S.P., The Legal Intelligencer, "Genesis Associates Litigation Becoming ‘Devil’ of a Case," August 21, 1996, p. 3.

See, also, Rellahan, M.P., Daily Local News, Westchester, Pennsylvania, "Genesis at heart of bitter divorce dispute," January 9, 1997. Carol Diament asked Judge Jacqueline Carroll to disqualify her husband’s attorney because the attorney had earlier represented her in the divorce. At a hearing before Carroll, Diament said that Cornelia Farrell Maggio, acting as the "in-house" counsel for Genesis, made her sign documents giving up custody of her children, admitting she sexually abused them and confessing to having once been a member of a satanic cult. Maggio, who represents Genesis in the host of legal challenges against it, has denied ever representing Diament in the divorce action. At the hearing, Judge Carroll ordered Maggio to get an attorney for herself because she would likely be called to testify about her connections with Carol Diament.

Downing v. McDonough, Essex County Superior Court, Essex, Massachusetts, Case No. _____.

Plaintiff alleges her former therapist coerced her, despite her resistance, into believing she had been abused as a child. Pending.

See, Rierden, A., "When a buried truth wants out, is it real?" The New York Times, April 24, 1994, Section 14 CW, p. 1, Connecticut Weekly Desk.

See, also, McKenna, M.A.J., "‘Abuse’ backlash builds: ‘Victims’ deny ‘memories,’ sue therapists," The Boston Herald, April 8, 1994, p. 45.

Father v. Psychologist, Superior Court of the State of California, in and for the County of Orange.

Third party suit by father alleging professional negligence of clinical social workers and other therapists for diagnosing repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse through "body and cell" memories in his daughter. Plaintiff’s argues his daughter’s memories were false and the product of unethical, inappropriate and negligent conduct by defendants.

Fultz v. Carr, in the Circuit Court of the State of Oregon, for the County of Multnomah, Case No. 9506-04080.

Malpractice suit brought by former client, her husband, minor children and her husband’s parents against the therapists who treated the client and her children alleging techniques used were likely to produce mental images, ideas, thoughts and suggestions which would be misconstrued as real, historically accurate memories and that group therapy would reinforce these beliefs that the images were real and historically accurate. The Complaint also alleges that defendants failed to obtain informed consent or to disclose the highly controversial nature of the diagnosis and treatment. The Fultz family settled their case against Dr. Chyril Walker, one of the two defendants, for $1,150,000 and on September 11, 1996, settled with Dr. Sophia Carr for a confidential amount.

See, "Therapist defendant settles out of court in third party suit," FMS Foundation Newsletter, September 1, 1996, p. 11.

Ganger, et al. v. Gardner, et al., State of Michigan, Circuit Court for the County of Osceola, Case No. 95-6846-NO.

Several former patients of counselor, Joseph Gardner, allege they were brainwashed by the defendant into believing or saying they had been molested. Eagle Village is a private agency that cares for abused, neglected and delinquent children from all over northern Michigan where Mr. Gardner was the main therapist and counselor.

See, Kresnak, J., "Former clients sue sex-abuse therapist: They say they were coaxed into admissions," The Detroit Free Press, September 5, 1996.

Gavigan v. Connors, et al., Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles at Long Beach, Case No. NC010863.

Melody Gavigan sued her former therapists and Los Altos Hospital and Mental Health Center for medical malpractice, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence. Her complaint alleged that as a result of defendants’ misconduct and misdiagnosis and at their suggestion and encouragement, she falsely accused her father of childhood sexual abuse. The hospital settled out of court in 1996. In January, 1997, the treating therapist settled prior to trial.

See, Mail on Sunday, "The feminist police tearing fathers and daughters apart," by Sharon Churcher, November 28, 1993.

See, also, The Observer, "Incest, lies and therapy," by Sarah Strickland, January 15, 1995.

See, also, FMSF Newsletter, February, 1997, p. 10.

Glasspool v. Seltzer, Appellate Division of Superior Court, New Jersey, No.A-001662-95T5.

Five family members appealed the trial court ruling that psychiatrists and other medical professionals owe no duty to third parties for the possibly litigious effects of their therapeutic efforts. The Glasspools were originally defendants in a suit filed by Laurie Gerlach in 1990 in Bergen County, New Jersey alleging sexual molestation she remembered after undergoing memory stimulation with the so-called "truth-serum" drug, sodium amytal under her psychiatrist’s direction. In July, 1994, Judge Marguerite Simon dismissed the complaint on statutes of limitations grounds. In August, 1994, the defendants in the dismissed suit filed the present suit, naming as defendants Gerlach’s psychiatrist, Dr. Ronni Lee Seltzer, as well as Seltzer’s employer, Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck, New Jersey. They also named two self-help facilitators who aided in the "recovered memory" therapy, Ariel Jordan and Valerie Heller. In November, 1996, the Appellate Division ruled against the Glasspools finding that under the "Entire Controversy Doctrine" which is unique to New Jersey, the Glasspools should have brought the claim against the psychiatrist in the original suit brought by Laurie Gerlach in 1990 and was, therefore, barred by statute of limitations. The Glasspools do not intend to appeal to Supreme Court.

See, Snider, A., "Accused abusers fight back: Novel suit says therapists instilled false memories of incest," New Jersey Law Journal, Vol. CXLVI, No. 7, November 18, 1996.

Halbrooks v. Moore, in the District Court, Dallas County, Texas, Case No. 92-11849.

A jury found therapist guilty of negligence and that his actions were the proximate cause of damage to his former client. In March, 1995, a jury awarded plaintiff $90,000 for past medical expenses, lost wages, mental anguish, pain and suffering and her husband was awarded $15,000 for loss of consortium. The defendant hospital settled prior to trial for approximately $50,000.

See, Blow, S., "Memories almost split this family," The Dallas Morning News, May 21, 1995, p. 35-A.

Hammane v. Humenansky, U.S. District Court, 2nd Judicial District, Minnesota, Case No. C4-94-203.

On July 31, 1995, a jury awarded plaintiff over $2.6 million in malpractice claim for planting false memories of sexual abuse and satanic rituals, falsely diagnosing multiple personality disorder and subjecting her to an increasingly coercive program of mind altering drugs, hypnosis and threats.

See, deFiebre, C., "Psychiatrist in trial says patients victims of satanic cults," Star Tribune, June 24, 1995, p. 5-B.

See, also, Associated Press, "$2.5 million for fake sex abuse memories; verdict ‘a stunning warning to therapists,’" The Philadelphia Daily News, August 2, 1995.

See, also, Bauerlein, M., "The mirror cracked: Vynnette Hamanne spent three years losing her mind with the help of her recovered memory therapist," City Pages, Vol. 17, No. 768, August 23, 1995.

Hart v. Ross, Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench, File No. CI-94-01-79802.

Malpractice suit by former patient against psychiatrist, Colin Ross, M.D.

See, also, Stainsby, M., "Psychiatrist found demons where they didn’t exist," The Vancouver Sun, December 4, 1995, p. C5. Roma Hart, during 5 years of therapy, became suicidal, hooked on prescription drugs (up to 50 mg of Halcion a day) and accused her father of sexual abuse, pedophilia, witchcraft and producing pornography. Her psychiatrist, Colin Ross, M.D., an expert in multiple personality disorder, diagnosed her as having 12 personalities and "introduced demons where they absolutely didn’t exist."

Heusted v. DeGroot, et al., Superior Court of California, County of Santa Barbara, Case No. 204645.

A woman who charged that a county mental health therapist misdiagnosed her and implanted false childhood memories received $90,000 from the county to settle the lawsuit. Heusted alleged that DeGroot counseled, treated and hypnotized her "so as to input in her mind and induced her to believe that she had been sexually abused as a child, that she had been the victim of satanic ritual abuse, and as a result of all this abuse she was a multiple personality."

See, Santa Barbara Independent, July 26, 1996, "Counseling Case Settled for $90,000."

Hungerford v. Jones, United States District Court, District of New Hampshire, Case No. 96-C-599-M.

Joel Hungerford, a man accused of rape by his daughter in a pending criminal case, is suing his daughter’s therapist, Susan Jones, for $2 million charging that she planted the idea of rape in his daughter’s mind.

See, Edler, Shirley, "Therapist sued over repressed memories," The Boston Sunday Globe, December 29, 1996.

Khatain v. Jones, District Court of Dallas County, Texas, No. 90-14035-D.

On December 14, 1994, a jury awarded $350,000 to parents against their daughter’s therapist for slander. Plaintiffs argued that sodium amytal made it possible for therapist to plant false memories of sexual abuse. Plaintiff’s daughter has since recanted the allegations of abuse and ended her six-year relationship with her therapist.

See, "Recovered memory case ends with $350,000 decision against psychiatrist," Clinical Psychiatry News, January 1995.

Larson v. Ells, et al., Superior Court of Maricopa County, State of Arizona, Case No. CV-95-00831.

Complaint filed in January, 1995, alleges counselor and others planted false memories of childhood sexual abuse and satanic ritual during therapy. In December,1996, defendants Alfred Ells and House of Hope settled out-of-court under a confidential agreement. The suit is ongoing against defendant Remuda Ranch Center for Anorexia and Bulimia in Wickenburg, Arizona.

See, Whiting, B., "Counselor hit with another suit: Woman claims therapist planted ‘false memories,’" The Arizona Republic, January 20, 1995, B-2, regarding two lawsuits against Scottsdale counselor, Alfred H. Ells and others accused of planting "false memories" of child sexual abuse and Satanism during therapy.

See, also, S. v. House of Hope listed below.

See, also, Snyder, J., "Therapist’s certificate revoked in ‘demon’ diagnosis," The Arizona Republic, April 7, 1996.

Lindgren v. Moore, 1996 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3450 (March 22, 1996); 1996 WL 134261 (N.D. Ill.); 1995 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15140.

A third-party suit brought by the father and two siblings of Amy Lindgren against her therapist and the therapist’s supervisor "for inducing what has been labeled as ‘False Memory Syndrome.’ " Plaintiffs argue that under special circumstances when the patient herself does not recognize the injury, only the injured third party is able to hold the therapist liable for his or her actions. Plaintiffs’ opening brief concludes, "without granting the injured father standing in these cases, the falsely accused parent is powerless to redress the profoundly tragic injury suffered and powerless to bring a measure of accountability to the health care provider who negligently propagates false allegations." Court dismissed malpractice and negligence claims but allowed the intentional infliction of emotional distress and loss of society and companionship claims to go forward. Pending.

Lujan v. Genesis Associates, Patricia Neuhausel, Patricia Mansmann, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Case No. 96-CV-5098.

Brook Lujan aka Diane Tuman filed suit individually against Genesis Associates and two of its therapists, licensed social worker, Patricia Neuhausel and psychologist, Patricia Mansmann claiming they convinced her that her parents were Satanists who had sexually abused her, impregnated her and then killed her child as a sacrifice.

See, Duffy, S.P., The Legal Intelligencer, "Genesis Associates Litigation Becoming ‘Devil’ of a Case," August 21, 1996, p. 3. Article describes four lawsuits filed following a confidential settlement of a Genesis patient who claimed therapists implanted false memories in their daughter that caused her to change her identity and flee (see below, Tuman v. Genesis Associates, et al., U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Case No. 95-272.

See, also, Tuman v. Genesis, et al., 894 Federal Supplement 183 (1995); 935 F.Supp. 1375 (1996).

Mark v. Zulli, Superior Court of California, County of San Luis Obispo, Case No. CV 075386.

Former client and her husband sued former therapists because their activities led her to falsely believe she had been molested as a child and suffered from multiple personality disorder. The suit also named author of The Courage to Heal Workbook, Laura Davis, alleging her book was responsible for creating false memories of sexual abuse. Laura Davis was dismissed from the lawsuit on First Amendment grounds in September, 1994. On December 5, 1995, the case settled in favor of plaintiffs in the amount of $157,000.

See, Wilcox, Dave, "False memories suit targets author, local hypnotherapists," San Luis Obispo Telegram-Tribune, May 2, 1994.

Noreen v. Mark D. Stephenson, et al., Barnard v. Mark D. Stephenson, et al., North American Collections v. Goad, defendants and third-party plaintiffs v. Mark D. Stephenson, et al., third-party defendants, in the District Court of the Seventh Judicial District of the State of Idaho, in and for the County of Bonneville, Case Nos. CV-95-220, CV-95-222, CV-95-1157.

Suits allege Idaho Falls psychologist, Mark D. Stephenson, used hypnosis to convince plaintiffs they were victims of childhood sexual abuse and satanic ritual abuse. The psychologist was suspended from practicing his profession after he was found to have committed a number of ethical violations. Trial scheduled April 7, 1997.

See, Johnson, P.M., "Patients sue psychologist over false abuse memories: Repressed memory cases on the rise nationwide," Idaho Falls Post Register, January 30, 1995, p. A-1.

See, also, Wallace, C.G., Idaho Falls Post Register, "State board suspends psychologist’s license," July 3, 1996, p. A-8.

Pasley v. Anonymous Therapists and Hospital, in the District Court, Texas.

Malpractice suit brought by former client and her minor daughter against her treating therapist and medical center for therapeutic negligence and fraud, creating an unhealthy dependence, giving sub-standard care and helping to induce false memories of sexual and physical abuse. On June 25, 1993, suit settled for an undisclosed sum under confidentiality agreement.

See, Pasley, L., "Misplaced trust: A first-person account of how my therapist created false memories," Skeptic Magazine, Vol. 2, No. 3, 1994, pp. 62-67

Ramona v. Isabella, Superior Court of the State of California, for the County of Napa, Case No. 61898.

On May 13, 1994, a jury awarded plaintiff father $475,000 against his daughter’s therapists for negligence in providing health care and implanting or reinforcing false memories of childhood sexual abuse.

See, "Jury Finds therapists implanted false memories of incest," The Sacramento Bee, May 14, 1994, p. A-1.

Rice v. Gamage, Clark County Superior Court, Washington, Case No. ______.

Suit alleged that because of negligent and harmful therapy by the defendant, the plaintiff recovered memories of satanic, ritualistic abuse and became convinced she was being pursued by members of a cult who would harm her or her children. Because of those so-called hallucinatory commands, Rice caused a multiple vehicle accident in Tigard, Oregon, that killed a Portland man. She said that a "good witch" took control of her car and was "telepathically directing her to safety" moments before the head-on collision. In April 1993 she was found guilty but insane of a charge of first-degree manslaughter and sentenced to 20 years probation (cannot leave home without permission except for routine errands). Defendant Gamage was a hypnotherapist Rice went to help quit smoking, lose weight, etc. On May 21, 1996, the case settled in favor of plaintiff after day long mediation in the amount of $425,000 and $1,570 per month for the remainder of plaintiff’s life.

See, Westfall, Bruce, "Former Patient Sues her Therapist," The Colombian, March 9, 1995.

See, also, Conklin, Ellis E., "Therapy blamed in delusions, death: Woman settles suit, says grisly memories planted," Seattle Post Intelligencer, May 21, 1996, p. B1.

RMH & JAH v. Wadle & Associates, et al., District Court, Polk County, Iowa, Case No. _____.

A father and son sued a Des Moines therapist and psychiatric clinic alleging that their ex-wife and mother was subjected to "false memories" of ritual Satanism and abuse. The suit states that, as a result of the treatment by Anita Jordan, the woman has abandoned her family. The woman sought treatment for depression after her family’s home was deluged by record floods in 1993. The suit alleges professional negligence, fraudulent misrepresentation, public nuisance, intentional infliction of emotional distress, failure to obtain informed consent and negligent hiring.

See, Eggen, Dan, "Father, son sue therapist in ‘repressed memories’ case: Lawsuit challenges therapist’s treatment," Des Moines Register, June 10, 1996, p. 1M.

Roome v. Memorial City General Hospital Corporation, et al., 164 Judicial District Court of Harris County, Texas, Case No. 94-011879.

Suit claiming negligence, gross negligence and conspiracy to bleed plaintiff’s $1 million in medical insurance. Suit settled for undisclosed amount under a confidentiality agreement, January, 1996.

See, Gangelhoff, B., "Devilish Diagnosis: Hypnotized and bound by restraints, the patients of Judith Peterson say they came to believe they had multiple personalities or had belonged to satanic cults. So, apparently did their therapist," Houston Press, July 6 - July 12, 1995.

Roberts v. Los Altos Hospital and Mental Health Center, Superior Court of California, for the County of Los Angeles at Long Beach, Case No. NC014592.

Malpractice suit against Lori Robert’s former therapists and Los Altos Hospital. The final defendant settled out-of-court on January 9, 1997. After several months of inpatient treatment, the hospital staff recommended intravenous sodium amytal to "unlock her repressed memories." During the session, Lori "saw" her father molest her and the staff then had her confront her parents with this new-found information.

See, FMSF Newsletter, February, 1997, pp. 10-11.

Rutherford, et al. v. Strand, et al., in the Circuit Court of Greene County, Missouri, Case No. 1960C2745.

Malpractice suit brought by Tom and Joyce Rutherford and their three children, Beth, Lynette and Shara for the treatment of Beth Rutherford, alleging defamation, intentional interference with economic relationship, professional malpractice, negligence, negligent infliction of emotional distress and intentional or reckless infliction of emotional distress. Named in the suit are Donna Strand, a psychological counselor and employee and/or agent of Park Crest Village Assembly of God, Inc., Strand’s husband, the Rev. Robert Strand who is pastor of Park Crest and Reg Larson, a Grandview man listed as "agent of the Southern Missouri District Council of the Assemblies of God, Inc." Beth, now 22, went to Donna Strand for counseling in 1992 and after more than 64 psychotherapy sessions, became convinced that her father, an Assemblies of God minister, had repeatedly raped and sodomized her as a child, recalled two pregnancies terminated by hanger abortions, according to Strand’s notes. Beth Rutherford is a virgin according to a medical report. On October 14, 1996, the suit settled in favor of plaintiffs for $1 million.

See, Springfield, MO News-Leader, June 23, 1996, describes case of Beth Rutherford, a young woman who accused her father, an Assemblies of God minister, and her mother of sexual abuse when she as a child. Ms. Rutherford has since recanted and together with her parents and two siblings is suing the unlicensed therapist. Ms. Rutherford’s allegations include impregnated twice by her father, forced to perform crude coat-hanger abortions on herself - gynecologist reported she is a virgin. FMSF Newsletter, July/August, 1996, p. 3.

See, also, Springfield, MO News-Leader, August 4, 1996, "Church, therapist sued for $12 million: A Springfield family says false memories of abuse were planted during counseling sessions," by Ron Davis.

See, also, Springfield, MO News-Leader, November 12, 1996, "Assembly, family reach settlement in lawsuit: A local church and therapist had been accused in a false-memory case," by Ron Davis.

See, also, San Antonio Express-News, November 16, 1996, "Family settles $1 million over false repressed memories," Associated Press. The article reports that the Rutherfords plan to use the settlement money to travel the country, warning others of the dangers of recovered memory therapy.

Shanley v. Peterson, U.S. District Court, Houston Division, Case No. H 94 4162.

Negligence suit brought by former client against her therapist, therapist’s supervisors and Spring Shadows Glen Psychiatric Hospital in Houston where she was treated. Allegations involve repressed memories of satanic ritual abuse, sexual abuse by an ex-school teacher and multiple personality disorder.

See, Gangelhoff, B., "Devilish Diagnosis: Hypnotized and bound by restraints, the patients of Judith Peterson say they came to believe they had multiple personalities or had belonged to satanic cults. So, apparently did their therapist," Houston Press, July 6 - July 12, 1995.

See, also, Houston Chronicle, December 13, 1994, "Suit hits Satanism memories: Woman blames care by doctors."

See, also, PBS Frontline Documentary entitled, "The Search for Satan," aired October 24, 1995 (video available: Journal Graphics (800) 435-6850).

S. v. House of Hope, Inc., et al., Superior Court of Maricopa County, State of Arizona, Case No. CV-94-17678.

Complaint for negligence alleges plaintiff became "came to believe and express false memories of satanic abuse, multiple personality disorders and other supposed mental illness." In October, 1996, the negligence suit was resolved in a confidential agreement and the suit was dismissed with prejudice.

See, FMSF Newsletter, January, 1997, p. 8.

See, also, Whiting, B., "Counselor hit with another suit: Woman claims therapist planted ‘false memories,’" The Arizona Republic, January 20, 1995, B-2, regarding two lawsuits against Scottsdale counselor, Alfred H. Ells and others accused of planting "false memories" of child sexual abuse and Satanism during therapy.

See, also, Snyder, J., "Therapist’s certificate revoked in ‘demon’ diagnosis," The Arizona Republic, April 7, 1996.

Stegman v. Martinez, in the Circuit Court for the 1st Judicial Circuit of Illinois, Massac County, Metropolis, Illinois, Case No. 95-L-67.

Complaint by father against two counselors whose treatment allegedly caused his daughter to accuse him of murder. Criminal charges were filed based on claims by Stegman’s daughter that she uncovered repressed memories of a 28 year old murder. These criminal charges were dismissed on October 25, 1995.

See, Rosenbery, P., "Ex-defendant suing daughters, counselors over murder allegations stemming from repressed memories," The Southern Illinoisan, October 27, 1995, p. A3.

See, also, Fraser, D., "Two counselors remain defendants in Larry Stegman’s civil lawsuit," The Paducah Sun, May, 9, 1996.

Stone v. Anonymous Psychologist, Colorado District Court, Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Former client brought malpractice suit against therapist for negligently implanting false memories of childhood sexual abuse and creating false multiple personality disorder. Three days before trial, on September 15, 1995, defendants agreed to a settlement under a confidentiality agreement. Following the settlement, the licensing board re-reviewed an earlier complaint against the psychologist and sent it to the disciplinary board of the Attorney General’s office for formal proceeding.

Schwiderski v. Peterson, et al., 129th Judicial District, Harris County, Texas, Case No. 93-0254348.

Malpractice suit brought by former client, her ex-husband and children against doctors and hospital. The case settled under a confidentiality agreement in October, 1995.

See, Waterhouse, Rosie, "There’ll be the devil to pay: The future of America’s ‘recovered memory movement’ is at stake in a $35 m lawsuit. Rosie Waterhouse reports on one family’s battle," The Independent, Monday, 17 October 1994.

See, also, Gangelhoff, B., "Devilish Diagnosis: Hypnotized and bound by restraints, the patients of Judith Peterson say they came to believe they had multiple personalities or had belonged to satanic cults. So, apparently did their therapist," Houston Press, July 6 - July 12, 1995.

Tinker v. Tesson, in the Circuit Court of the 19th Judicial Circuit, in and for Martin County, Florida, Case No. 95-444-CA.

Suit brought by former patient against Dr. Alan R. Tesson, M.D. Plaintiff accused Tesson of planting suggestions of satanic ritual abuse in her subconscious during 2 1/2 years of hypnosis sessions. In December, 1996, the case settled in favor of plaintiff in the sum of $650,000.00.

See, also, Moore, P., "Patient alleges psychiatrist planted cult ideas," The Palm Beach Post, February 23, 1996, p. 1B. Tesson frequently consulted with Utah hypnotherapist Cory Hammond, a self-proclaimed expert in satanic ritual abuse, court records show. Tesson attended a lecture for hypnotherapists in which Hammond told the group a satanic cult was introduced to the United States by Nazi scientists who devised a mind-control system to induce cult members to commit murder, ritual sacrifices and child pornography, court records state.

See, also, Associated Press, "Psychiatrist settles with patient," Times, December 25, 1996, p. 9B. A woman who sued her psychiatrist, claiming he implanted false memories of satanic ritual abuse, has agreed to a $650,000 settlement.

Tuman v. Genesis, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Case No. 95-272.

See, Tuman v. Genesis, 1995 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10149; 1996 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5406. Suit brought by parents against mental health professionals alleging defendants implanted false memories of sexual abuse and satanic ritual abuse in their daughter. In May, 1996, suit settled for an undisclosed sum to plaintiffs.

See, Duffy, S.P., "‘False memory’ lawsuit upheld by U.S. Judge; Pa. Supreme Ct. Stance Predicted," The Legal Intelligencer, July 26, 1995, p. 1.

LICENSE SUSPENSIONS

In the Matter of the Medical License of Diane Bay Humenansky, M.D., License No. 32,069, Before the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice. Findings of Fact, Conclusions and Final Order dated December 20, 1996.

The board found numerous violations pursuant to the findings of fact and allegations which included engaging in medical practice which is professionally incompetent, an inability to practice medicine with reasonable skill and safety to patients and noted that respondent denied any wrongdoing indicating that she was a "victim" in this matter. With respect to numerous complaints and civil lawsuits filed against her, respondent blamed those on the "perpetrators of childhood sexual assault." The order states that respondent’s license to practice medicine and surgery in the State of Minnesota shall be suspended for an indefinite period of time.

See, FMSF Newsletter, February, 1997.

In the Matter of the License to Practice Psychology: Mark D. Stephenson, License No. Psy-253, Before the Board of Psychologists, State of Idaho, Case No. PSY-03-95-005.

At issue was the treatment of three female patients who initiated complaints to the Board that said through hypnosis, he implanted false memories of sexual and satanic abuse into their minds. The State filed a complaint alleging that respondent violated the American Psychological Association (APA) ethical standards in his treatment of the three female patients. The board ordered respondent’s license suspended for three years.

In the Matter of the Disciplinary Proceedings Regarding the License to Practice Medicine in the State of Colorado of Spencer K. Annenberg, M.D., License No. 23426, Before the State Board of Medical Examiners, State of Colorado, Case No.: ME 96-08.

Final Board Order dated September 17, 1996, revoking the license to practice medicine in the State of Colorado of Spencer K. Annenberg. The Board based their ruling on evidence presented in three complaints against Annenberg: Two by former patients and a third-party complaint filed by the parents of one of Annenberg’s patients. The Medical Examiners’ comments regarding the third-party complaint include the following: Respondent ignored the patient’s presenting symptoms which suggest she was suffering from depression and mourning in relation to the rupture of her significant romantic relationship; Respondent diagnosed the patient as suffering from repressed prior trauma. -- The basis for Respondent’s diagnosis of repressed prior trauma was flimsy at best; Based on his diagnosis, Respondent embarked on an intense, insight-oriented treatment in which he assumed that the patient’s problems arose from deeply rooted experiences in the past which need to be dug out. The patient began a downhill course and was no longer able to function at her previous level. Respondent recognized the deterioration of the patient’s mental health but did nothing to reevaluate or reorient his treatment plan.

See, FMSF Newsletter, February, 1997.

In the Matter of the Accusation against: Douglas Detrick, Ph.D., Before the Board of Psychology, Department of Consumer Affairs, State of California, Case No. W-46, OAH No. N9510015.

Stipulated Settlement and Decision dated January 15, 1997. Detrick, a Porto Valley Psychologist who specialized in treating patients for Multiple Personality Disorder, surrendered his license under threat that the license would be revoked. Following a nine-month investigation, the California State Attorney General’s office filed a complaint against Detrick accusing him of 16 acts of gross negligence in the treatment of three women patients from 1987 to 1991. The first woman, "K.W." was treated for nearly three years for multiple personality disorder allegedly brought on by a history of satanic ritual abuse, sexual abuse and torture. A second woman, "L.B." alleged that Detrick’s heavy use of "abreaction" or reliving of past abuses, left her in a deteriorated mental state culminating in a second suicide attempt. The third woman, "M.M." had been treated up to two hours a day, five days a week for nearly two years. Detrick had her relive satanic ritual abuse allegedly suffered as a child. "M.M." committed suicide in September, 1991.

See, FMSF Newsletter, February, 1997.

In the Matter of Patricia Mansmann, psychologist and Patricia Neuhausel, social worker of Genesis Associates, Exton, Pennsylvania, Before the Pennsylvania State Board of Psychology. The State Board of Psychology approved a consent agreement on March 4, 1997, which bars Mansmann and Neuhausel from counseling for several years. Last March, 1996, the state filed 229 counts of misconduct against Mansmann and Neuhausel charging their methods used in their treatment were harmful, disruptive and dangerous. Under the consent agreement, which was approved by the State Board of Social Work Examiners last month, Mansmann and Neuhausel are barred from practicing psychological counseling or social work for what is expected to be a period of two to three years. For the balance of the five-year period, they would be allowed to practice under the eye of a state appointed monitor.

See, Gordon, S., "Therapy licenses pulled: Two Exton practitioners have been barred by the state from all counseling for several years," The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 5, 1997.

See, also, PBS Frontline, Divided Memories,

In the Matter of the Disciplinary Action Concerning the Counselor Registration of Linda Rae McDonald, Respondent. State of Washington, Department of Health Counselors, RC 94012, OPS No. 95-03-09-715 RC, Agreed Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order dated July 14, 1995.

The State of Washington suspended the license of Linda Rae MacDonald of Gateway Counseling for 5 years and fined $5,000 on grounds she acted incompetently when she "validated" memories of alleged childhood sexual abuse and satanic ritual abuse. All but 3 months of MacDonald’s suspension and $500 of her fine were suspended providing she further her education and refrain from working alone. Her work must be supervised and the supervisor must file reports with the state assessing her performance. According to Velma Rogers, Program Representative, Counselor Programs in a letter to Mr. and Mrs. Charles Noah dated February 15, 1995, "This is very likely the first time that any State Department of Health has acted in this way on a complaint by a third party (parent) against a therapist/counselor of their daughter."

See, The Seattle Times, August 4, 1995, "Bellevue Therapist’s License Suspended,"

In the Matter of Alfred H. Ells, Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners, BBHE No. 07909.

Ells, who has been practicing Christian based therapy for 20 years, is on one year’s probation because of complaints of five Arizona families. The board, after reviewing the facts of the Larson case, found Ells guilty of unprofessional conduct and gross negligence. In both the Larson and S. cases, Ells told the patients they were possessed by devils. Peter Loiselle, a board member, said Ells wrongly convinced patients they were abused as children. Ells, who runs the House of Hope counseling service in Scottsdale, plans to continue his practice because the state does not require therapists to be certified. The revocation of Ells’ certificate is stayed pending appeal to the Superior Court.

See, Whiting, B., "Counselor hit with another suit: Woman claims therapist planted ‘false memories,’" The Arizona Republic, January 20, 1995, B-2, regarding two lawsuits against Scottsdale counselor, Alfred H. Ells and others accused of planting "false memories" of child sexual abuse and Satanism during therapy.

See, also, S. v. House of Hope

OTHER ACTIONS

Barbour v. Otten, Franklin County Circuit Court, Missouri, Case No. CV-195-1458CC.

Concordia Seminary Professor Joseph Barbour sued a religious newspaper, its editor and the regional synod for libel based on a May 1995 article which described repressed memory therapy as dangerous. According to the article, one of Barbour’s clients had accused her father of rape, incest and sacrificing babies to Satan. The charges were investigated by church officials who found that there was no evidence or basis in fact for the charges which Barbour and his client insisted were true. During deposition examination by defense attorney, Robert Doggett, Barbour spoke of his practice which, he says, includes about 80 clients who believe they had been satanically abused. Barbour also stated that multiple personality disorder is due to sexual abuse 98 percent of the time. Plaintiff dropped the case in January, 1997.

See, "Therapist describes ritual abuse during deposition," Christian News, October 7, 1996. Excerpts of deposition testimony published (it has reported ongoing developments in this case since 1995).

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