|UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,||CRIMINAL NO. 97-237|
|JUDITH A. PETERSON,|
|RICHARD E. SEWARD,|
|GEORGE JERRY MUECK,|
|FOR THE PLAINTIFF:||LARRY EASTEPP|
|FOR DEFENDANT PETERSON:||RUSTY HARDIN|
|CATHLEEN C. HERASIMCHUK|
|FOR DEFENDANT SEWARD:||CHRIS FLOOD|
|FOR DEFENDANT MUECK:||LARRY FINDER|
|FOR DEFENDANT KERAGA:||DAN COGDELL|
|FOR DEFENDANT DAVIS:||DAVID GERGER|
Anne Traylor, CSR, RPR
Official Court Reporter
515 Rusk, Room 8016
Houston, Texas 77002
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 1998
THE COURT: All right, Mr. Eastepp, you may proceed, sir.
MR. EASTEPP: Thank you, Your Honor.
May it please the Court, Counsel, Mr. Ollison, Special Agent Durney, Special Agent Harrison.
MR. EASTEPP: Ladies and gentlemen, what you just heard and what I think the evidence will prove in this case, the voices that you heard on that tape will be identified, the wailing, screaming, moaning voice will be of a 13- year-old girl by the name of Karen G., who was an inpatient at Spring Shadows Glen Hospital. The other two voices you heard goading her on, in that particular tape, will be identified as Dr. Judith Peterson and Sylvia Davis, two of the defendants in this courtroom right now.
What the evidence will show is that they were processing the memory of a rape of this young girl. What the evidence is going to show in this case and what these defendants knew at the moment that tape was recorded was that rape never occurred. And what I mean by "never," I don’t mean maybe, kind of, could have, any other qualifier you want to put on it, but they knew at the point in time they were doing that session with that girl and billing her parents’ insurance company, that that rape had never occurred. And I can show you right now with some of the evidence exactly what I mean.
When this particular session was over, it’s noted at the bottom, it’s dated 6-24 of ’92. It’s by Dr. Peterson. You see it says, "Ph.D. psychotherapy consultation, PT, patient seen with Sylvia Davis, did process in a memory retrieval by patient of rape, angry parts." I think the evidence in this case will identify when you hear words like "parts" or "alters," they mean that this child has multiple personality disorder and those are different personalities, different parts of personalities.
"Fearful parts, angry parts were able to contain effect, put off electroshock. Patient had very good session, very physical session. J.A. Peterson, Ph.D."
This session occurred because a few days earlier in a session with Ms. Davis, another defendant in this case, a memory of a rape was resurrected from this child’s mind.
Going back in time to the few days leading up, the day before you will see that Ms. Davis -- put it up there -- Ms. Davis wrote this note that says "Individual psychotherapy" -- and these are Spring Shadows Glen records for this patient -- "processed with alters in the abreaction," and I anticipate the evidence in this case will show that an abreaction, a memory of retrieval, these are sessions like you heard, that snippet of the tape where these patients are having these memories resurrected from their minds.
And, again, this particular one we’ll show you never occurred and the defendants knew it at the time they were doing it. "Abreaction plan for the next day," which is this tape that you heard. On two days before that, you will see it at the top, actually the day before, there is another session with Ms. Davis with this young child where she talks about processing young alters who was hostile toward Karen -- Karen is her name -- encouraging them to write her sister’s abuse, and the evidence is going to show that her sister is an inpatient at this time, as is her mother.
"More mind control, torture revelations, young alters, program with electroshock and having to sacrifice animals for the cult." The testimony is going to show that you will see throughout this case references to a satanic cult and that it’s the satanic cult that supposedly has caused these three terrible abuses, like rape and torture, cannibalism, making women have babies so that the babies can be either new cult members or be sacrificed in cult ceremonies, and that this child -- then it goes on to say and Ms. Davis said that she finally revealed rape part of torture.
And, again, all of this is arising from a session that occurred, and this is in the last part of that note, saying "The young child is holding therapist’s hand for -- this work processing with great force and trembling with fear."
And it all started -- and we’re going to bring you the tape of this particular session where Ms. Davis has recorded talking to this child where this memory of this rape was first resurrected from this child’s mind, and again, this rape that never occurred.
You will see on this particular tape and throughout all the tapes, we’ll provide transcripts, and the Judge will read you a charge, much like the charges he’s already talked to you about this morning, that tells you, as you listen to these tapes, you should hear what you hear. The transcripts are only provided to you to tell you who the speakers are and to give you an idea of what we think the words are being spoken on the tape. The Judge will charge you that you’ll get to hear.
But one of the things you should be cognizant of as you listen to this tape and any of the other tapes is, who’s doing the most talking? Is it the patient that’s talking and coming up with these memories, or is it the therapist who’s talking and suggesting memories and suggesting things that the patient should say?
And in this particular case, when you hear this tape, when you see the transcript, once you finally hear it, you will see that the words are coming out of Ms. Davis’ mouth, not out of this child’s mouth.
What this child says -- what this note by Ms. Davis says is "dictating and processing of memory from last night’s -- taking body memory, and said the child is having cramps." And it goes on to say that "artwork done" and includes with "painfully, shamefully reported in bad effect, sexual assault by two men in black robes while on shocking table at cult meeting, mommy in the room," said "she was beaten by mother before this happened with a braid and again after the assault and shocking and, yet again, at home with belts afterwards."
Now, why am I telling you I think that we can prove that this rape never occurred? It’s because when this child checked into the hospital -- Dr. Seward, as her physician, ordered that she have a gynecological exam. The evidence is going to show, and I’ll show you a document in a minute that shows exactly the day she checked into the hospital, that this child was checked in on her 13th birthday to protect her from the cult.
The evidence is not going to show that she had a mental disorder, that she was having trouble in her life, that she was acting up at school, that she was in any way anything but -- and I hate to use the word "normal," because I think the evidence is going to show she was an above normal child, made As in school, active in her church, active in the band at school, lots of friends, an above normal 13-year-old girl. But she’s checked into the hospital. And I’ll show you how she gets checked into the hospital in a minute.
But she’s checked into the hospital and shortly thereafter Dr. Seward, a defendant in this courtroom, as a medical doctor, the psychiatrist who checks her in, gets a obstetrics gynecological check from a board certified gynecologist at Memorial City Hospital.
This is the order Dr. Seward cut on 2-20 of 1992, "See if Dr. S. Levine can perform pelvic exam for pregnancy in part and sexual trauma." And the evidence will show that that’s Dr. Seward’s, R. Seward, M.D.’s statement.
Well, this order is cut so that the staff in the hospital can have the authority to take this child down the street -- from Spring Shadows Glen Psychiatrist Hospital down the street to Gessner and I-10 where the big, mother hospital is, Memorial City General Hospital, that is the owner at the time of Spring Shadows Glen. That’s where Dr. Levine’s office is. And Dr. Levine is going to come in here and testify for you about her check, check on this young girl.
She will -- their records in the case will show that after the exam, she sent back to the hospital with the staff of the hospital that accompanied young Karen G. to get this exam, that there were no signs of sexual assault or sexual abuse, rather, normal exam. Dr. Levine will testify that -- that big "S" is the way she signs her records.
What she will also come in here and tell you is that what she meant by "no signs of sexual abuse, normal exam," is that when she did the examination of this young girl, this young girl’s hymen was fully intact, meaning, in common parlance, she was a virgin, meaning, in medical parlance -- and Dr. Levine will tell you in her medical opinion -- this young girl could never have been raped by two men in black robes on the shocking table as that memory four months later is retrieved by Dr. Peterson and Ms. Davis, that the evidence in the file told them that she had a normal exam.
One little phone call to Dr. Levine, "Dr. Levine, what did you mean by normal exam?" She just said, "Well, my file shows the girl’s hymen is fully intact." "Well, Doctor, could she have been raped by two men, you know, in a cult ceremony?" And Dr. Levine will tell you that, in her medical opinion, "Well, of course not." She would not have had a fully intact hymen if she had been sexually assaulted in a cult ceremony. So, in their own file, they knew when that memory -- when that tape was made, we played a snippet, that this young girl had not been raped.
Now, we get into why in the world would they do something like that? Why in the world would they make a young girl moan and wail and retrieve and talk about and bring up things like rape and sexual assault in cult meetings when they know it never occurred?
And I think the thing you’re going to see, based on the evidence we’re going to present in this case, is that without a doubt that what was going on at this hospital at the time had nothing to do with patient health, but it had everything to do with these folks. They did it for the money. They did it because this young girl was so unfortunate that she had a stepfather who loved her, who happened to have unlimited lifetime maximum inpatient mental health insurance, and that’s why she was in there. That’s why she was kept in there.
The evidence is going to show that from when she checked in on February 18th, on her 13th birthday, her family was never, ever, ever, to the moment she comes in here in this courtroom and talks to you, together again.
What happened was her parents got divorced because of this. She and her sister went into state custody because of all of these abuse stories that the child abuse authorities are being told are coming from these memories that I’ve shown you they knew didn’t occur. And it’s kind of like Humpty Dumpty fell and broke and was never put back together.
In the most real world sense I can ever tell you, it was a family that was shattered completely for the simple fact that, the evidence will show, because they had unlimited mental health insurance, and these folks were willing to use their skills as therapists, as doctors, as administrators of hospitals, to bill insurance companies and destroy lives.
Now, I want to show you the chart to show .you what I’ve been talking about, about this young patient’s father’s -- stepfather’s insurance.
And the evidence is going to show that Mr. L.T. Abney was married to a woman by the name of Lucy Abney, and when he married her, Mrs. Abney had two young children. She had a daughter named Catherine S. from her first marriage. She had a second daughter, Karen G., that I’ve already been showing you records about, when he married her.
Mr. Abney is going to come in here and tell you that he treated those girls like they were his biological children. He loved them. And as you will see throughout the evidence we’re going to present in this trial, he fought like heck to get them out of there, and every instance he was defrauded by these folks so they could continue billing insurance companies.
Mr. Abney and his wife, at the time they checked into the hospital, had insurance, and I tell you that at this point because it becomes an important story as the evidence develops about what the hospital did in relation to Mr. Abney and these insurance benefits he carried at his job.
Mr. Abney and Lucy Abney, and all of these patients I’ll be talking about, just to get it out here in front, they’re all going to come in here and they’re going to sit on this stand and they’ll testify under oath and tell you all what happened. You all are going to get to see they’re flesh and blood, living, breathing human beings. They’re going to come tell their stories and they’re going to let these lawyers cross-examine them, as they have the right to do.
And what you’re going to hear from the Abneys is that, at a point in time earlier in their marriage, they were unlucky and they didn’t have health insurance. They were scared to death as time went on because of that, and when both of them get into better jobs, like a lot of people do, they were overinsured.
Mr. Abney worked for an insurance company called Combined Insurance Company of America. It was a wholly owned subsidiary of Aon Corporation, that you’ll find out is a big umbrella corporation of insurance companies. He was a salesman. And because he works for an insurance company, not surprisingly -- you work for Chevrolet, you drive a good Chevrolet -- he works for an insurance company, he had a great insurance policy.
His wife works for DHL Airways, you know, the overnight carrier like Federal Express. She carried insurance for the whole family, too.
Mrs. Abney and Mr. Abney will tell you the reason they did that is because of the prior time in their marriage when they didn’t have insurance -- and they’re going to tell you that they kept hers because it’s an HMO, a health maintenance organization, that many of you all are probably familiar with by hearing about it on the news or you may have an HMO at your job.
But they kept it and they had a carrier, the provider, who they needed to go to for doctor services here in Houston of Kelsey-Seybold, the large clinic that a lot of you, if you live here in Houston are probably aware of familiar, clinics all over town.
She kept it because, under the HMO policy, she’ll tell you, if she needed to go have a checkup or if one of the girls had an earache or something that’s simple where you really don’t care about a specialist, you just want to get your problem looked at quickly, that their HMO coverage is like $10 to go.
And because they had been so fearful about losing insurance early in their life, they kept it so that they could do that, and they kept Mr. Abney’s, kind of, as a reserve. It’s an unlimited lifetime. So if they ever needed to see Michael DeBakey to have a heart operation, a specialist, it may not be an HMO doctor, they could go to him under Mr. Abney’s unlimited lifetime policy.
And so, at the point in time, in 1991, when you’ll hear they started having some problems in their life that caused them to have to seek out mental health officials -- or mental health professionals, Mr. Abney’s policy at Combined Insurance provided for unlimited lifetime maximum benefit.
And what does that mean? It also meant if he had outpatient care on a yearly visit, that’s the maximum. You could have 30 visits at $75; meaning, you could go to a psychologist’s office or a psychiatrist’s office, and you could talk to them and have a session, but you could only have 30 sessions, and the doctor would only be paid $75. Versus, if you go into a hospital inpatient to see the same psychiatrist, it’s unlimited lifetime maximum.
They will tell you that in 1991, they got a call from the school counselor that Katherine, the oldest daughter, had written a note to a friend saying she was contemplating suicide. They will tell you, and as most parents would react like they reacted, they were scared to death. They sought out help for that for Katherine.
Mrs. Abney will tell you that she was not only scared, that it caused her to start having problems. And they’ll tell you, too, like most marriages, theirs wasn’t perfect. They had husband and wife problems, and Kathryn’s a teenage girl that not only has wrote this suicide note, but could be a little rebellious at times. But, you know, a teenager in a family and a husband and wife having problems, it’s, you know, not that unusual. But they’ll come talk to you about that.
They will tell you that eventually Katherine gets recommended to see a doctor by the name of Richard Seward, one of the defendants in this case, and that led to a hospitalization of Katherine. And eventually, Mrs. Abney felt she needed to get some treatment too, and eventually, she gets hospitalized a little -- for a little time in 1991 at a different hospital. I’m not talking about Spring Shadows Glen. And, at that point in time, they become aware of a therapist by the name of Judith Peterson.
Mrs. Abney will tell you, and the rest of the Abney family will tell you, that in early February of 1992, Mrs. Abney had been seeing a pastoral counselor by the name of Tom Billings, and that Mr. Billings decides she needs to see an expert. She thinks that she has active -- cult activity, that she’s MPD; and that diagnosis, you’ll find out, had already been given to Katherine and to Mrs. Abney during this prior hospitalization that Dr. Seward was involved in.
But they’re going to come tell you that Mr. Billings says: You know, I think you need to see Judith Peterson; she’s an expert. And throughout this trial, you’re going to see and you’re going to hear words that Judith Peterson is described as an expert, a national expert is used quite often, in MPD satanic ritual abuse.
And at the end of the evidence in this trial, you’re going to find that her expertise in this satanic ritual abuse that never occurred is really no greater than counselors that have heard kids tell ghost stories for years. If that made them expert in ghosts, hearing patients tell stories that she’s eliciting -- made her an expert in satanic ritual abuse.
But you will see time and time again that they use those terms particularly, particularly when they’re talking to insurance companies and review companies for insurance companies to try to hold them off from checking out what they’re doing. "You don’t need a second opinion. We got a national expert, Judith Peterson, in this hospital giving care to these patients."
We’re going to show you that Mrs. Abney is brought by Mr. Billings to see Dr. Peterson. Dr. Peterson not only audio recorded this particular event, we’re going to bring you the videotape, where it’s actually videoed. And that’s going to be, I think, relevant to you for a couple of different reasons as we move through the evidence.
But you’re going to see, and these are just selected excerpts of this tape that’s done on 2-13 of 1992, Dr. Peterson is asking Mrs. Abney about cult meetings, "When was the last time," and Mrs. Abney will say, "Oh, a week or so ago." Dr. Peterson will say, what -- "When is next time?" Mrs. Abney answers, "They haven’t let us know yet."
You will see as this tape goes on, later in it, and you will see this is a frequent theme when you see or you hear from Mrs. Abney, when you hear from Lynn Carl, the woman in one of the other families that are in this indictment, and from Mary Shanley, that one of the things these doctors did and the hospital did was they used CPS as a sword to also try to hold off insurance companies and convince insurance companies that what they’re doing is proper.
And you will see that these women were forced to themselves contact CPS and tell CPS that they committed atrocities against their children, that much like that rape where it said, mommy, meaning Lucy Abney, was holding Karen G. down on the shocking table while she was raped by two men, these doctors knew it never occurred. But you’ll see they used it as a sword to tell insurance companies, to get insurance companies to hold off.
And you will see also one of the things, as I talked about breaking families, that one of the biggest things you will see that they do with the women in this case, Lucy Abney, Lynn Carl, Mary Shanley, is they put mother against child, and in particular, maternal instincts where they’re saying: You’re a bad mommy. If you don’t -- you don’t love your child, or you would do this or you would do that. That’s exactly what this quote is talking about.
Dr. Peterson tells Mrs. Abney later in the session, "Well, if you want to stop it, what would you -- what you would voluntarily do is suggest that your children be placed out of your home immediately."
Mind you, Dr. Peterson is just really mellow, just really sitting down, and she’s telling this woman minutes into it, and you’ll see how long that is, that she ought to get her children out of the house. I dare say there is not an expert in the world that can make a decision that quick.
"At the beginning -- at the beginning it changes things dramatically, letting everyone know down deep, know is, means down deep alter, deep personalities, that things are going to change, because you really believe that things are happening that sends you to places where there are horrible things happening and that your daughter’s involved in.
As far as I’m concerned, if the child’s hair is touching their head, I am going to be horribly, horribly upset, that you would at least rescue them. If someone would come forward about that and they don’t, they sit here," meaning, Lucy, you would do something about this, you would rescue your children and help.
Dr. Peterson goes on to tell her, and you will see on the videotape that we’ll present, "because that would be the first thing to do is to make the assumption that both girls are involved and to make a suggestion that they be removed from the home. Right now, she’s making assumptions that they’re involved in cult activity with no evidence at all. You do that as the first step, and then perhaps therapy could proceed.
"Because if they’re telling you that, then you can only go on what they’re telling. And I would think that you would be concerned enough, Lucy, that you would want them to leave home until you’re sure they’re safe, without you having to know all of the details yet. And my like concern would be that you do that voluntarily," and Miss Abney says, "I will call CPS." Dr. Peterson says, "You should call CPS, and I have lots of reasons for that. One of the reasons is that one of the things the cult would want to do is them to have said that I -- well -- that, well, I know she came here and it was really all Dr. Peterson’s idea."
And there was really nothing wrong with her children or family, and Dr. Peterson or Dr. Billings had caused their family to be disruptive and pulled apart and it caused great emotional trauma. And since no one can really prove cult activity, and as you will see throughout the evidence in this case, they’re constantly telling the insurance companies things about this cult being real and the fears in the patients being real to keep these patients in various states of distress so that they can keep them in the hospital.
"I think it’s essential that this be something that Lucy would convince her husband and would suggest and demand and help the children to be removed so that they would be rescued and then maybe parts would come forward inside of Lucy about how she could be safe," meaning then, her alters, her other personalities could come forward, if she could just get her children safe.
You will see here, and when you hear it, you will see that it’s Dr. Peterson that suggests when the next cult meeting is. I showed you the earlier clip, earlier in this same tape, where Mrs. Abney says, "Well, I don’t know when the next one is." Dr. Peterson says, "I want everybody inside to really hear me. I don’t believe that the next day you’re supposed to be -- (inaudible) -- and why.
"Only you hear again, it’s tonight. Tomorrow is the 14th. Maybe it’s tomorrow tonight, because you know they like to do things on Friday night because they work, meaning cult members.
"It’s like everybody, every other group, you know, they don’t want to go to work all tired on Friday, so maybe it’s tomorrow tonight. It’s Valentine’s Day. So I’ve heard it’s a big day. So it’s not a while from now.
"If the alters inside are going to that meeting" -- and of course, you’ll see Lucy’s actions. You’ll see her action -- reaction to this and you will hear her voice. "So I need to get Kathy out of there real fast," meaning, Katherine, the older daughter I talked about, "like within the next 24 hours." Dr. Peterson says, "Well, I think that if you believe she’s in danger, that any mother would do that, if she’s in danger for any reason; but you have two daughters."
"And there is one that’s not in treatment." She says, "Doc, what about her?" And you’ll hear that these are asking for another therapist that the family had been seeing, says she’s worked with her a couple of times and that she said Karen is not really involved. And Dr. Peterson says, "Say that again." Mrs. Abney, you will see on the tape, says she didn’t think that Karen was involved and that Karen was being abused.
Dr. Peterson, "Who said that?" "Diedra," and then it says, "Dr. Seward had suggested that at a family meeting we had back in December." Dr. Peterson, you’ll see a reaction as well, "How could Diedra know? You don’t look very involved. You don’t look very abused. I can’t tell. That’s, I say -- can you tell that she looks abused?" Dr. Billings says, "Not at all, but I certainly have my suspicions about just one or two selected members of the family to be involved." And Dr. Peterson says, "It doesn’t work that way."
Finally, what may be one of the most significant things you see, because it was captioned on this tape, is that you can see that someone says to Dr. Peterson directly before these people ever get into the hospital, that this patient is highly suggestible, and you will see that that’s an issue throughout this thing. You will hear that as a defense when insurance companies are being talked to. "We’re not suggesting any of this. We do it proper. We don’t ask leading questions. We just have therapy sessions."
You’ll see that Mr. Billings says to Dr. Peterson, "I agree every answer she’s, Lucy Abney, given you has been whatever you suggested to her, high degree of suggestion, though, something that I’ve noticed all the way through," which is exactly what happened.
Lucy Abney will tell you she left this meeting, went home, called CPS, got Katherine, checked herself and Katherine into Spring Shadows Glen Psychiatric Hospital that day. Katherine stayed from that day until the first part of December of 1992, some ten months. Mrs. Abney stayed for nearly a year. She got out at the first part of February, 1993.
And what do we know? I’ve already told you that at the time she checked in, the hospital knows that she has HMO coverage. That’s her primary insurance and that her husband’s insurance is back-up. You’re going to see where they sought and received, which was proper, the denial from the HMO, because she’s choosing to go to a hospital that’s not an HMO hospital, and she’s choosing to use a doctor that’s not an HMO doctor. So once they get the denial, they can start billing the husband’ s insurance, which is exactly what started happening.
But, as you’ve seen, you know Karen got admitted to the hospital, the 13-year-old. I’m going to tell you how that came about. Within days, Mrs. Abney and Katherine S., the older daughter, get checked into the hospital, you will see that there is a meeting held with Dr. Seward, one of the employees from Dr. Peterson’s practice, and you will hear that Dr. Peterson had a practice called Peterson Psychological Associates, and that it had several people that worked for it, including Ms. Sylvia Davis who was its psychodramatist. It had a woman by the name of Pat Grakowski. It had a woman by the name of Patricia or Trish Taylor that worked there, that worked for Dr. Peterson and worked with the patients that Dr. Peterson was seeing in Spring Shadows Glen Hospital.
You will see that when Mrs. Abney was checked in, their records establish that there are certain tests that the doctors use and the tests come from this book, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The version in effect at the time was called 3R, meaning the third revised version of this particular book, and it is the handbook for psychiatrists and psychologists.
It defines what and what not -- you know, what is a psychiatric disorder or psychological problem and gives basic treatment criteria. But it also has some of the basic tests that should be used to get somebody into the hospital or to evaluate it is, I guess, the better way to say it, but it is used when people are checked into the hospital.
And it has Xis One, Xis Two, Xis Three, Xis Four, Xis Five. It is giving the doctor a total picture of what is happening in that person’s life, psychologically, health wise, environmentally, everything at that moment that that patient is in front of the doctor.
And you will see in this particular case, Dr. Seward rated Lucy Abney, 2-13-92, the same day that we’re going to show you in the video -- so this is the second reason that I submit to you this video will be important to your ultimate determination in this case, is not only will you see the words that I just went over, about suggestibility and about the cult meeting and who said that and who didn’t say that, but you will also be able to see what Lucy Abney looked like, sounded like, what she talked about, her appearance, her demeanor, her attitude at the moment in time she was videotaped on the same day she was put in the hospital.
But Dr. Seward ranks her at her current global assessment of functioning at a number 17, and that’s a test. You’ll hear us referring to it as G-A-F or GAF, but it’s how they’re functioning at that moment mentally is the easiest way to say it.
And, again, that comes from the book, the DSM3R, and he ranks her at 17. He says, "In the last year our highest global assessment of function in the past year was a 63." Well, it tells you, this is just a -- it’s a basic test. It has grades. Anybody can look at it, and you can read what a 17 is.
If you can’t read it, I’ll read it for you. Between -- a 17 would obviously fall on this scale -- 0 is low, 90 is the high end, meaning 0 is you’re doing as bad as you could ever do, 90 is you’re doing as high as you could ever do, you know, on that irrelevant mental scale. But it shows a 17 would fall in the upper range of the 11 to 20.
It says, "Some danger to hurt itself or others, suicide attempts without clear expectations of death, frequently violent, manic, silent, or occasionally fail to maintain a minimal of personal hygiene, e.g. smears feces or gross impairment to communication, e.g. largely incoherent, or mute."
I will submit to you, you will not hear any evidence that will show -- and you’ll get to see what she looked like on February 13, 1992, and how she talked and whether she was incoherent or mute and how she was acting and reacting on that day. So you’ll get to see, and you will see that when Dr. Seward rated her at 17, he did that with fraudulent intent to get her into that hospital so that they could start billing the insurance policy.
He talks about Katherine S., the daughter who is also admitted on the very same day, as I’ve told you. He rounds her at 12, even lower than that. You’re not going to hear any testimony in this case that will show that she was having anything going on in her life that rated her that low.
And I submit to you, we’re going to have lots of doctors come in here, doctors who are experts, doctors who saw patients, other mental health people like nurses, therapists who are trained, and this scale I showed you, the GAF global assessment of function sale, is something they all use, but you don’t necessarily need to be a medical doctor to read that scale and to understand that scale. As you saw, it gives you examples that’s in fairly plain language, even though it’s written in a doctor’s book.
They’ll all tell you when they come in here, that they don’t know if they’ve ever even seen a 12,that that is so low, that a person who’s 12 -- who is a 12 or even a 17 is just lying in bed, can’t get up, can’t do anything, can’t take care of their personal hygiene, like the example gives.
You’re not going to hear that any of these patients, any of them that are coming in here, and we’re going to show you other stories that were given to get these patients into the hospital, that any of these patients were as low as they were rated by these doctors.
Back to the story of how did Karen get into the hospital. Well, shortly after Valentine’s Day, it happens to be Karen’s birthday, it’s going to be her 13th birthday.
You’ll hear that her stepfather, because his wife and his older stepdaughter is in the hospital, he’s assumed all of the roles in the house, that he had a cake prepared, that he’s ready to, you know, have a celebration, what -- you know, what celebration they could have with half of the family being in a mental hospital, but he was going to have a celebration because it’s a big deal. She’s turning 13 years old.
But he gets intercepted before then with a phone call from his wife that he needs to bring Karen to the hospital and check Karen in, and that call came as a result of a session that was held between Dr. Seward and Mrs. Abney. And this is just, again, an excerpt.
We’ll bring the whole tape. You’ll get to hear the whole tape and you’ll get to hear Dr. Seward talking about all of this. And he starts talking to her about Karen and whether Karen needs to be safe and where Karen needs to be, and you will see there is a long litany and a long discussion about that.
And Lucy says, "Oh, she can come to the hospital." Dr. Seward says, "Why? How would that be safe?" And Lucy says, "It’s safe here." Dr. Seward -- "I’m confused." Lucy says, "You’re confusing me." And Dr. Seward asked her "In what way?" She says, "Because you’re asking me questions." He says, "Uh-huh." "And I’m giving you answers." "Uh-huh." "And you keep asking me questions." "Uh-huh, because the answers don’t make sense," Dr. Seward says -- and Lucy says, "Is there a safe place for her?" Dr. Seward says, "I don’t know." Lucy says, "Because I don’t know of one besides this hospital."
And you’ll hear Dr. Seward say exactly what’s on here, "Well, now, I’m real curious that it’s taken us 30 minutes to get to that point, if the hospital is safe. What’s that about?" And Lucy says, "Because I wasn’t thinking in terms of hospitalization." And you will see what happens before that, because they talked all about alternatives, Mr. Abney’s relatives, her relatives, friends, and at every point she’s -- that maybe they’re -- 14 (inaudible) -- you can’t trust them, leading to this.
And Dr. Seward says, "How come?" Lucy says, "I don’t know." He asks her, "What’s that about? What’s that about?" She says, "I don’t know." He says, "Somebody knows. I’m left with the conclusion that the hospital is felt as unsafe in some way." Lucy says, "No, it’s not. It’s just that when we think of Karen, we don’t think in terms of therapy in a hospital."
He says, "How come?" "Because up until this point it hasn’t been necessary." Dr. Seward says, "You’re telling me that she needs to be initiated tonight as a recruiter in the cult?" And that’s PT, Patricia Taylor, one of the employees of Dr. Seward -- "Dr. Peterson talked about."
"And last night you talked about being groomed, in the way in which she was being groomed." Dr. Seward says, "And you haven’t thought in terms of therapy. This doesn’t make sense to me." Lucy says, "I’m sorry, I still don’t follow what you’re driving at." Dr. Seward says, "Why didn’t you -- why did you finally think the hospital? What’s that about?" Mrs. Abney, you’ll hear on the tape, say, "I don’t know what it’s about. Isn’t it possible that I didn’t even think about it?" Dr. Seward says, "I don’t think so. I wouldn’t believe that it would be possible, because that tells me that Katherine is unsafe." And Lucy says, "Well, if Katherine is unsafe, then Lucy is unsafe, too."
And you’ll hear her go on to say, Mrs. Abney say, "You mean you think somebody inside tried to" -- meaning an alter, another personality inside "tried to keep us from thinking about hospitalization of Karen?" And Dr. Seward says, "Well, that’s one possibility. What do you think?" Mrs. Abney says, "Keep her out where they would get to her," meaning the cult, Dr. Seward -- or Lucy says. Dr. Seward says, "What’s that about?" Patricia Taylor says, "Yeah, what do you think about that?" Lucy says, "What kind of people have I got inside," and Dr. Seward says, "Cult people."
And she, of course, describes herself as a monster because she’s being told that she doesn’t care for her daughter. Well, see, that’s what I’ve already told you she does. She calls Mr. Abney and says, "We need to get Karen in here to keep her safe," not because she’s mentally ill, not because she’s having trouble, as I’ve already told you, not because she has any disorder at all. She hadn’t stubbed her toe or had a runny nose or even a cross thought. She’s put in the hospital to keep her safe, because on her 13th birthday, they’re claiming she’s going to be initiated into the cult.
Well, how do they get her in there? What do they need? Well, they need some scores, because insurance companies, when you admit somebody, they ask questions. It makes sense. You’ve probably had it happen in your life.
Everybody giggled yesterday when Judge Werlein asked the question about insurance companies. I think everybody got a laugh out of that about dealings with them, because they are tough to deal with. They ask questions.
And you will see that when they ranked Karen, they ranked her as a 23. Well, that’s just above the scale that they rated her mother and her sister. And let’s look back at what 23 is.
23, "Behavior is" -- on the bottom level of this scale, the bottom half, "Behavior is considerably influenced by delusions or hallucinations or serious impairment of communication and judgment, e.g. sometimes incoherent, acts grossly inappropriate, suicidal preoccupation, or inability to function almost all the time, e.g. stage that -- (inaudible) had no job or friends."
What do we know that was happening at Karen’s life at the time? The hospital’s records will tell us what was happening in Karen’s life at the time, because they -- when you check into the hospital, the hospital has staff that talks to patients when they check in. They take detailed histories. That’s probably not a surprise to you either. And they had a social worker talk to Karen and get information from Karen, and the information they got is the truth, that information that they got.
You will see that they talked to her. A fair rapport was established. She was familiar with him because he had worked with the older sister. She was noted to be subdued and very blase while discussing those allegations.
When introduced to ideomotor signals, and you’ll find out what that is, that it’s some sort of hand signals where they ask questions and they get the patients, instead of answering, they use their finger, so that they’re -- how are you feeling, they raise their finger. You’ll hear lots of talk about that as we go along.
It says, "She readily went into a trance and noted to be experiencing dissociation." What that means is -- it means what it says. She went in a trance. Dissociation is a medical word that comes out of this book, for example. It’s one of the signs and symptoms of multiple personality disorder. I’ll submit to you there was no evidence that she did not go into some trance. She did not have some sort of dissociation. The records needed to be created to get her into the hospital.
So it goes on to say that "she presents as a girl that is potentially extremely disturbed due to the nature of the allegations that are coming from her mother. Because of the known history of her sister, these allegations appear at this time to be credible," meaning all of this cult talk, meaning her mother said it and her sister said it, therefore it must be true.
But as I’ve already shown you, at least some of the talk of the cult came out of Dr. Peterson’s mouth and on that videotape which Dr. Peterson had suggested when the next cult meeting is. It says, "With her pervasive for obvious dissociation must be assumed" -- must be assumed, not that she had, but he’s assuming, to get her into the hospital, "that she has parts that may, in fact, represent a multiple personality disorder. However, this remains to be confirmed with clinical investigation."
"In any case, if remote allegations are accurate, there is an immense amnestic barrier." And what you’re going to hear amnestic barrier is, she’s sitting there telling him, it’s like ME. You know, I don’t know anything about this cult stuff. And you will hear that when they don’t come up with the memory and tell them they’re being amnestic, they won’t come up with it. So that’s a cult part that is taught not to talk about it.
And if they’ll talk about it, you’ll find they lose because they get put on restrictions, and I’ll go over that in a few minutes. But if they don’t talk about it, they get in trouble because they’re blocking it. So these patients, as you will see throughout the evidence in this case, they lose either way they go when they talk with these doctors.
"In any case, remote allegations, there is an immense amnestic barrier between the host and the rest of the Karen’s knowledge." And you will see that these people end up being called. They lose their personal identities along with a lot of other personal dignity throughout their hospitalization. And what they lose, they quit being referred to as simply "Karen" or simply "Lucy" or "Lynn" or "Mary" or "Kristi." They become the Kristi’s system, Kristi’s parts, Mary’s parts. They get dehumanized completely throughout this hospitalization.
I told you a social worker did a check. What did they know about Karen when they said she had no job, no home, no friends, no school, that thing I read on the DSM to you all just a minute ago? She’s in the middle of 7th grade. It says, "The highest grade completed by Karen is the 6th grade with average grades of As and Bs. She’s been a presidential scholar in the 6th grade, consistently been on the honor roll. She’s attended approximately five schools. She’s never repeated grades, is currently attending Cook Junior High School in ^ Cy Fair, a school that’s been primarily a public school system." What else did they know about her?
Even when she checked in, and the records will show you that when she checked in, they not only knew that she was doing well in school, they knew that she was active in her church, was in the band, she had friends, and otherwise, was, as I said, again, I hate to call her normal because she was an above normal girl in her life activities at that time.
You will see that when she checks in, too, Dr. Peterson did, along with a member of her staff, Debbie Felio, they did a GAF score on her also, a G-A-F. Dr. Peterson’s score is a 65, at the same time Dr. Seward is rating her a 23. But as you’ll find out, it’s the medical doctor, it’s a psychiatrist that checks the person into the hospital. He’s the one that the insurance company is going to look to for the details of the initial checking in and the initial admission into the hospital.
So even Dr. Peterson was disagreeing that Karen was a 23, as you’ll see on the scale that I’ve already showed you. I’m not going to be putting it back up there now because you’re going to hear plenty of testimony about it. There is a wide gulf between a 65 and a 23. There is a tremendous gulf between what those two people are doing. You’ll see even their own records are inconsistent about what this little girl was doing at the time she got checked into the hospital.
So, now we’ve got all three of them into the hospital and I’ve already told you the length of stay that they were in there, how many months that was.
Well, one of the issues I alluded to earlier is about Mr. Abney and that the fight that he’s putting up within a short period of time to get his wife and two stepdaughters out of the hospital, because he’ll tell you and the records will bear out what he’ll tell you in here, because they’ve got memorialized at the time, either on tape or in an insurance company record or in a letter or some other way that it got noted in some sort of record, that he catches on that the only reason -- the only thing that’s keeping them in there is not mental illness, it’s because he has great insurance and he has this unlimited lifetime insurance policy. And he starts putting up a big fight.
And one of the other things you will see that’s pretty consistent throughout the facts of this case, concerning these different families and also concerning staff at the hospital and other people who were around these particular defendants, if you’re with them, you’re fine. They don’t accuse you of anything. You know, if you go along with them, you are okay.
But you will see, when people like Lewis Abney, Mr. L.T. Abney, that the second he starts questioning this treatment that’s happening to his wife and children and daring to bring up that they don’t need to be in the hospital, he gets labeled a cult member. He gets attacked as a cult member.
And you will see, as this long fight goes on, on his part to get them out of the hospital, that eventually it leads to Dr. Seward noting in the records that Karen G. told him, meaning Dr. Seward, that she wanted to have sex with Dr. Seward like she had been having with her stepfather, and that was noted in September of 1992, again, long after Dr. Seward knew she had been sent to a gynecologist and that she had been medically proven to be a virgin, that her stepfather wasn’t having sex with her.
He wasn’t allowed to see her when she was in the hospital, so we know it didn’t occur there, and that it was simply done at the point in time that he was raising all sorts of questions to get his wife and children out of the hospital.
One of the things you will find out throughout this case, too, and I’ve alluded to it by using a generic term of insurance company, is that we really have two different things that we will be talking about, two different entities or types of entities in this particular case.
One is an insurance company, sometimes called a third-party administrator, and what that means in insurance language is, you have some -- a big company, for example, the Carl family that will come in here and testify to you. Mr. Carl works for Time Warner. If you live here in Houston, you may have Warner Cable. They own Time Magazine. They own lots of stuff. It’s a huge, huge company.
And lots of these huge companies are self-insured, but they don’t want to have to tie up their own personnel by having their personnel processing claims and dealing with their employees. And they’ll tell you, too, that that’s somewhat a touchy issue. They would not want to have an employee turning down benefits for another employee. It could just create all sorts of internal company policies.
So they hire an insurance company to act as their administrator. You will hear it called a third-party administrator, meaning, the insurance company processes the claims, does the admissions, does everything, the money flows from the company into the insurance company, but it’s the insurance company that disperses the monies on behalf of the insurance company. It takes that big headache out.
The insurance people of the third-party administrators that will testify in the case will tell you, too, that they think that they’re far more -- meaning the insurance companies that are already set up to sell and process insurance claims, it’s very easy for them to process claims for other companies, because they’ve already got the mechanism and that it actually saves big companies like Time Warner money, even paying the fees to the third-party administrators. You’ll hear that term.
But you’ll also hear a term called "utilization review." Now, you’ve probably heard the term because it’s in the media all the time, called "managed care." That’s an insurance term. What managed care, I submit to you, you will hear, what it is, is that managed care means the insurance company hires people to help manage what’s going on, to try to cut costs, to make sure that the best and most proper treatment is being given to the patient, and ultimately and concededly; they’re trying to make sure they’re getting a bang for their buck, that their dollars are being spent wisely; and as we’ve all talked about, insurance companies are not apt to give up their dollars very easily.
They hire these utilization review companies -- and you’ll hear what they are, particularly in the mental health field, are companies that have nurses who are trained in the mental health field and particularly doctors, psychologists or psychiatrists that they hire to review records and review claims, if necessary, and to talk doctor to doctor if need be, so that the insurance company, through this utilization review company, can have somebody who knows the lingo, knows the terminology, can understand and talk doctor to doctor. It kind of makes sense when you hear about it.
You will hear that it’s utilization review companies that most of the diagnosis information that we’ll be presenting in this case, that it gets communicated to the utilization review company and they make the decision and it’s based on the decisions they’re making that causes the insurance companies to spend or not spend the money.
You’ll hear in this particular case, talking about the Abneys, that their insurance company, Aon, is self-insured, hired a third-party administrator called Brookfield. That’s in Chicago. And that they also hired a utilization review company called Health Care Compare. It’s now called First Heal. I think First Heal bought it fairly recently.
Health Care Compare happens to also be in the Chicago area, which will play an important role because you will hear that right off the bat, Health Care Compare as kind of questioning this MPD diagnosis and satanic cult stuff. They’re asking questions, as you can imagine. You know, just when you all first heard it yesterday, it probably struck you as a little funny if you’ve never heard about it before. You know, what’s that all about? Well, these are professionals and it’s striking them that way, too.
So they’re going to -- starting to ask questions, and one of the first things they ask -- or one of the first things they’re told by the hospital on the phone is in a conversation Dr. Seward has when he’s talking doctor to a doctor up there called Dr. Jeff Maney. Dr. Maney is a psychologist and he’s going to come down from Chicago and talk to you all.
I anticipate that this will be proven to be a business record of Health Care Compare, a utilization review document that I’ve talked about, and it’s -- could you zoom it?
On 2-28 of ’92, we will show you that this record -- this one was from Mrs. Abney, but it’s a -- they enter it because they’re talking about all three patients. It will be entered for Mrs. Abney, Katherine S., Karen G., but it’s entered into the record on 2-28 of 1992, and that’s the time of day. C and B will be identified as call made by AP, attending physician, Seward, director of the dissociative unit.
It will be proven to be the unit at Spring Shadows that Mr. Meuck set up, that he hired Dr. Seward to be the medical -- clinical medical director of, and Dr. Peterson to be the clinical director of, and it’s to house these MPD patients that have this satanic cult abuse in their background.
And so Dr. Seward is telling him he’s the director of the unit. It says, "See additional medical information, MIN, and attending physician qualifications in the S. file." I anticipate that when you see that, it will show that it’s one of these instances where Dr. Seward has said that "Dr. Peterson is working on this, and she’s a national expert in this field," so they’re using that term. It says, "The client remains to assess treatability and does not look good. The national expert Bennett Braun has been involved and has been on the unit for consult. Received certification 3-11," meaning March 11th. The hospital -- Dr. Maney’s initials are right there.
He’s authorizing that these people stay in the hospital until March 11th, and you will see these reviews go on constantly and that’s -- these people stay in the hospital constantly, but that also means there is consult contact from the doctors and from the hospital staff where these medical records and medical information are being communicated, like on this particular one, over an interstate wire, meaning a telephone call from Houston to Chicago, "with the understanding that the patient will be discharged and determined not treatable."
Well, the interesting thing here is "the national expert Bennett Braun has been on the unit for consult." Bennett Braun is one of these people that I think Judge Werlein read the list yesterday, unindicted coconspirators, that you will hear that term in association with Dr. Braun.
Dr. Braun is a physician in Chicago. He is, I think you will hear, the godfather or the one who first started treating patients for this MPD satanic ritual abuse, and he did it in conjunction with a psychologist by the name of Dr. Roberta, commonly called, Bobbie Sachs.
You will see not only this connection to the Abney family, when I get to talking about Mary Shanley and her family, you will hear that they started in Chicago with Dr. Braun and Dr. Sachs will get passed along down here to Houston to Spring Shadows Glen Hospital.
This particular page says, "National expert Bennett Braun has been on the unit for consult." Jeff Maney will come here, Dr. Maney from Health Care Compare, to tell you that he knew who Bennett Braun was.
Dr. Maney is in Chicago. He will tell you he had a colleague that worked with Dr Braun so he was highly familiar with Dr. Braun. He knew at the time, and you will hear lots of talk about this, that this MPD satanic cult thing was new at the time. The diagnosis that was suddenly being used all over the country and was becoming new to the insurance companies and the hospitals and people around the country.
And then you will hear Dr. Maney say that when he heard Bennett Braun was involved, he knew Bennett Braun was the man in the country at the time. He knew that through his colleague and he knew it from simply being in Chicago and being a psychologist, you know, in the same field. As Dr. Maney will tell you, he has his own private practice, too. It was his patient. And when he’s told, it meant something to him. It meant two things. It meant that the best expert in this field had been there to consult and had agreed with the treatment, but also, not only had he consulted, but that he had physically been in Houston, Texas, to consult with these patients.
The evidence in this case will show there is not a shred of evidence, one, that Bennett Braun was in Houston, Texas, between February 13th of 1992, when Lucy Abney and Katherine S. checked in, up through and including a couple of weeks later on 2-28 when Dr. Seward as on the telephone saying, "Bennett Braun has been in Houston consulting on this case." It simply never occurred. He was never here.
But the significant thing Dr. Maney will tell you, that it colored the judgment of this insurance review company throughout the rest of the treatment of these people, because what do they think? The best expert an the country in their own city -- he’ll tell you that, you know, "Dr. Maney, if that had never been said, if that had never occurred and you wanted to get a second opinion, who would you have gone to?" He said, "We would have called Bennett Braun. Everything I knew about him at the time, he’s the man, you know."
If you’re in Houston, Texas, and you’re going to have your heart cut on, Denton Cooley and Michael DeBakey, right? Chicago, MPD, it was Bennett Braun in 1992. And they will tell you that colored their judgment throughout the rest of this treatment, because they said, "Who can we use?" And they’re relying on the fact that what these doctors are telling them over the telephone, like Dr. Seward, is that they’re being told the truth, a simple thing to ask for people, that you’re going to be told the truth.
As the treatment -- as the treatment rolls on, you will see that Mr. Abney really starts kicking up a fuss. I mentioned that a couple of times. But it really gets going, and it ultimately culminates in Mr. Abney agreeing, at the insistence of the doctors here in Houston, that he go to Chicago for treatment himself. Where does he go? Bennett Braun, Roberta Sachs.
And he goes up to be evaluated, to see whether he is a member of a satanic cult or has been abused himself, you know, has these multiple personalities that he just doesn’t realize, because he’s going to tell you he didn’t think he had anything wrong with him, nor did he think there was anything wrong with his family as to multiple personality disorder. He’s going to tell you that he agreed, that he agreed, and he went up there and spent two weeks and let Bennett Braun and Roberta Sachs evaluate him.
And you will see the records from that where it shows that they put him under truth serum as the common words, put him under this chemical, and they have a session where they talk to him, and they actually did it a couple times. And he’ll tell you at the end of that, and the records will show, that it shows in Bennett Braun’s handwriting and Roberta Sachs’ handwriting that there was no satanic cult involvement. He had not, in their opinion, been an abuser of his stepchildren. He’s not connected in any way.
Well, the evidence will show that when that information finally made its way down to Houston, Texas, Dr. Peterson in particular was just livid. The code had been broken. Her colleagues in Chicago that are supposed to be in on this thing with her had not done what they’re supposed to do. She is mad. She is upset.
And of course, Mr. Abney is coming down here saying, "You sent me to the experts, I’m clear now, start letting me see my family, you know, I want back in on this treatment thing, and ultimately I want my family out of that hospital."
And you will see that the fight really kicks up at that point. You will hear that there as supposedly an expression of a different opinion later on by Bennett Braun or Roberta Sachs. That’s another thing, you’re not going to find any evidence that supports that. If there was ever any evidence that Bennett Braun changed his mind or Roberta Sachs changed her mind about the treatment Mr. Abney received where they cleared it when he went to Chicago. But you’re going to see it ultimately culminate in a meeting on 7-24, a family meeting of 7-24. On 7-24 of 1992, there is a family meeting where Mr. Abney is there and everybody is in the room. Sylvia Davis is in the room, Dr. Seward is in the room, Dr. Peterson is in the room, Katherine S., Karen G., Mr. Abney.
And you’re going to hear that there is a big discussion about Mr. Abney and whether he needs to go back to Chicago, and you’re going to hear him saying he doesn’t need to go. He doesn’t want to go. He wants his family out of there.
You’re going to hear the whole tape, but you’ll see that Lucy Abney’s crying, and she does tell him, "Either you choose to go into treatment, or there will be no family moving back to Chicago."
And Mr. Abney says, "Well, then, I’ll file my divorce Monday morning. How’s that?" And she says, "That’s your choice." And he says, "That’s my choice, and I’ll cut insurance today." And you’ll see Dr. Seward say, "You have not the option to do that," telling him he doesn’t have the option to stop the insurance.
One of the things you’ll find out is that he had no legal obligation to cover those -- his stepdaughters anyway. He was doing it truly because he considered them part of his family, and because his wife had insurance of her own, he was under no obligation to carry her. He didn’t have to anyway. Husbands don’t have to carry wives.
But you will see Dr. Seward say, "You have not the option to do that." Mr. Abney says, "I do have the option." He says, "No, you don’t." And he says what is -- I mean, it’s a legal conclusion but he’s correct. Those are not his responsibilities to cover them.
He goes on to say -- Dr. Seward tells him, and this will become significant, that "the insurance will continue. We’ve already checked into that." And Mr. Abney says, "I checked into it yesterday, and it will not continue. I talked to the insurance company yesterday." And we’ll show you records where he did talk to the insurance company the day before.
And Dr. Seward says that he’s not going to argue with him, and he goes on and Dr. Peterson interjects and says, "Would you like to hear what the girls have to say?" And Mr. Abney says, "Yeah, I’m sure I would." And Ms. Davis interjects and says, "You girls need to know your insurance is going to be secure." Mr. Abney says, "No, it won’t." Again, the fight is on.
Katherine tells Mr. Abney about a memory she’s had and she reads it to him. And it says, "I was 15 years old. Me, you, mom, Karen, along with various other cult members were all in the field, and I’m tied to a tree in the field. The tree has several markings on it. I don’t know if I should show him the markings."
And she goes on to say! "You are holding a coil of bull whip and a cattle prod, and as you uncoiled the whip and snatched it toward my body and I screamed but it quickly -- I am quickly silenced by a gunshot -- I am quickly silenced by a gunshot to the west of my head. As the whip coils around my body and the tree, it is jerked back tearing the skin from my arm. After three or four snaps in the whip, the whip is then handed to mom, who takes her turn, and then passes to Karen. After it’s all over, I’m then unchained and untied from the tree, and Karen is tied and chained and the same process is repeated with each of us on and on and on."
They go on in this conversation to discuss at and Katherine tells him that "even you were beaten by each one of us." And Mr. Abney asked what may be an obvious question, "Where’s the marks? Where are the marks? I never had marks in my life like that. Where was the marks on you? Where was the marks on your mother? Where is the marks on Karen? May I ask why are you looking at her?"
Katherine says, "Because I don’t know where the marks are." Mr. Abney says, "If you’re whipped with" -- Katherine tells him they’re not there anymore, and Mr. Abney says -- finish what his thought was, "a bull whip, I think there is going to be marks all over you, I believe. If you re shocked with a cattle prod, I believe there would be marks on you."
He goes on to say, "I’m just asking where are the marks? How come I never had any marks on me? How come you never had any?" Dr. Peterson asks, "Does it upset you to think you might have been whipped?" He says, "It upsets me to think that anybody could imagine that I could do something like that." Dr. Peterson says, "Does it upset you to than that you could have been whipped?" And he says, "No it upsets me to think that I could do something or be accused." And Dr. Peterson says, "She’s upset." And he says, "Well I’m upset that something happened to you," Dr. Peterson says. He said, "I think it was made up story because there was never -- where were you whipped at, where was I whipped at, where was your mother whipped at, or Karen, where?"
He goes on to talk about the marks. Lucy says, "The cult teaches you how to do things where you don’t leave marks." And he says, "Come on, a bull whip would leave marks. I don’t care where you -- how you do it unless it’s just rubbed against you slightly." She says, "No." He says, You tell me that when you take a whip and -- (inaudible)
Karen says, "No." He says, "Well why not? Okay. "Prove at. If the cult can teach you to do that, good. Prove it. I’ll be the witness. If you can leave a -- whip me with a bull whip and not leave a mark on me, please, please show me, and I meant show me." And Katherine says, "You want to be taught?" He says, "I want to be shown how. I want you to see -- how you whip me with a bull whip and not leave a mark on me."
Dr. Seward, of course, says, "We don’t allow that here." And Mr. Abney says, "In other words, that’s bull what you’re telling me." And Dr. Seward says, "No, we don’t allow physical damage." And doctor -- and we’ll see Dr. Peterson tells him what an interesting piece of logic that is. And Mr. Abney is being insistent, as you can see, about not leaving a mark.
It goes on, Dr. Seward says, "We’re talking about how he would accept proof." "First, I’d like to say, if you whip somebody with a bull whip and not leave marks," and Dr. Seward says it’s irrelevant. But you’ll see that’s throughout with these stories about the beatings torture and everything, he’s saying it’s irrelevant. Well, what it is, is evidence and evidence that they don’t have, because there would be marks.
Mr. Abney tells him what his -- (inaudible) -- if it’s one thing that doesn’t leave marks, it blows the whole story. It goes on to talk about -- meaning, going on and on fighting, and you’ll hear it on the tape, but he’s talking about, "Well, why would there not be any marks?" And Dr. Seward ends up saying that, "All you have to do is pad it, and you’ll get a bruise and the bruise will go away," meaning that the cult somehow knows how to pad a bull whip to whip people with a bull whip and that it not leave marks on you at all.
And you’ll see when you hear this tape that Katherine not only said that she was whipped with it, but that it cut her open, cut her flesh, this padded bull whip cut her flesh. And you’ll see she never had any scars, that Dr. Seward is a medical doctor saying that she did.
As it goes on, the fight really occurs over the insurance policy. On this particular day, after that meeting, if you can imagine, Mr. Abney, and he’ll tell you, he was pretty irate about what was happening, the way these doctors were treating him and the fact that he can’t get his family out. Well, what he ends up doing is on September the 10th, 1992, he ended up handwriting out a letter saying, "I am cutting off insurance benefits for my wife, my two daughters, cutting them off from my policy."
And he hand-delivered -- or has it delivered to several people, including the hospital, including some of these defendants. You will see on the letter Dr. Seward, Dr. Keraga, Dr. Weinstein is just the regular general practitioner or medical doctor at the hospital, another doctor at the hospital, Dr. Peterson, the people that work for her, to the hospital.
And it’s dated on September the 10th. We know that they became aware of it on September the 10th. We’ll show you an entry that Dr. Keraga made on September the 10th, 1992, where Dr. Keraga said that she has talked to Mr. Abney and she’s aware of what his actions are going to be and if his letter is there.
So it will confirm in the record that not only he wrote it, but these people are aware of it. We also know that this record, and we obtained it from the records of Dr. Keraga’s practice, Houston Psychiatric Resources, and from Dr. Peterson’s practice.
He closes the letter by saying, "All charges and debt made by the above," meaning his wife and two daughters, "mentioned persons will be the sole responsibility of Lucy Abney and or her group insurance, Sanus of New York Life Insurance company, through her employer, DHL Express, as of 9-15 of ’92."
He communicated this to this insurance company, to his. So they’re cut off. And this goes back to the thing I was telling you about her having an HMO. Well, what this means at the time, what the hospital already knows and what the records will show they know, is that they have to check the Abneys out of the hospital at that time, because they don’t have insurance that will cover the inpatient any longer.
What the hospital did on this particular day, you’ll hear that the business manager, Miss Martha Hairston, got a check. You’ll hear that the procedure for obtaining a check from the hospital, that it flows through Mr. Mueck, the administrator of the hospital, and that she went to a bank, converted this check from the hospital into a cashier’s check. She puts the wrong name on it. She put the name of the check, Combined Insurance, Mr. Abney’s employer, but she sent it to Sanus of New York to pay Mrs. Abney’s HMO premium.
And the reason they needed to do that was that Mr. Abney was paying that out of his pocket, because when Mrs. Abney went into the hospital, she went on disability at DHL. And so when she got a check, the deductions didn’t normally come out of the check, like it’s your job, you may have your health insurance premium come directly out of your paycheck before you ever get your money.
Because she was on disability, that was not occurring. Mr. Abney had been making that payment. Not only did he cut her off of his policy at the time, he quit paying her HMO premium, which was $60 a month. He had not paid it for August. Had not paid it yet for September when he cut this off.
The check that Miss Hairston gets and then she mails to DHL, was for $180, for August, September, October of ’92. Well, she pays it for Sanus, clearly knowing, telling you that they know Mrs. Abney has other insurance.
And why that also becomes important, you’ll hear talk about something called Cobra. You may have heard of that in your normal experience in life, in the media reading about it; but it’s an acronym from a federal statute that is fail safe insurance. And what it means is, if you lose your job suddenly, your employer has to offer you the right to continue your benefit plan at the company for a certain period of time.
But it comes -- to get Cobra, there has to be a triggering event, losing your job, getting divorced, meaning if your -- husband and wife is married, wife is being carried by the husband, they get a divorce, she’s off the husband’s insurance, she has the right to carry it for a while until she can transition and get her own, some triggering events like that.
Well, one of the triggering events that you don’t have is if you already have insurance, you don’t get Cobra. All right. It’s a fail safe program. Well, she had insurance, so she’s not eligible.
So, these people stayed in the hospital at this time. The hospital knows, I submit to you, that they’re not getting paid. These doctors know about this. We’ll show you records in a minute, that they know what’s going on. Their business side of their practices, they know what’s happening. But these people stayed in the hospital.
Well, they’ve got an insurance company that’s gotten this letter and cut the benefits off as of 9-15 of 1992. They’re not paying any longer. Mr. Abney’ s insurance, Aon, through Brookfield, the third-party administrator.
Well, you will hear from someone who formally worked at the company that they get a call later on from somebody at the hospital, not Mrs. Abney, that says she’s getting divorced. And so they sent out the Cobra election form. Why is that significant?
Well, we’ll show you records where Miss Hairston said to another employee and it’s noted in the business record at the hospital, that she knows that the Abneys are not eligible for Cobra. So the hospital knows she’s not eligible.
It’s someone other than Mrs. Abney that made the phone call. The insurance company doesn’t know about the other policy, mails out the form. Well, Mrs. Abney has been in the hospital. She doesn’t have any money. So what does the hospital do?
The hospital pays for the Cobra premium. They quit paying this Sanus premium, because it’s not getting them anything. It’s getting them zero, zero, and they know it’s going to always get them zero, because they’re a nonparticipating hospital. And they kept them in, so the bills are mounting up, the bills they know that they were not eligible to receive payment for.
Well, they send this Cobra payment in and it cut the tap back on. Aon started paying them again, and what it got them, we’ll show you charts that we had an analyst from the FBI add the money up, just simple math, that what the hospital got by fraudulently sending the money in for the Cobra payment when they knew they should have checked her out and let her HMO carrier take care of it in September, got them about $150,000 by doing that.
And we’ll show you the records from the practices of the defendants that this was a concerted effort on the part of the business office of the hospital and these doctors to keep these people in the hospital, and I’ve already shown you they didn’t need to be in there from the beginning.
You will see, too, that when the people checked out, we’ll show you the discharge papers, where they use terms like "prognosis is grim for Karen G.." And you’ll hear that these patients are continuing, and all the patients we’ll be talking about, are told things like, "You’re never going to function in society." Mary Shanley will tell you Dr. Peterson told her, "You’ll never even be able to write a check out at the grocery store."
But you’ll see with the Abneys that those sorts of things were said about them. What I want you to know, and Karen G. will come in here and tell you, that after they got out of the hospital, they went into CPS custody because their stepfather was being accused of all of these abuses.
Their mother is still in an institution and is said she helped abuse them through all of this cult mess. So CPS takes them. They go to a girls’ home in Waco for abused girls and it ends up months and months later before that family is reunited again. And then Mr. and Mrs. Abney got divorced and I’m talking about before the daughters see their mother again.
But the end of the story, and they’ll come in here and tell you, Katherine S. is fine today, has a beautiful one year old that makes a lot of noise. I talked to her on the phone just the other night.
Karen G. will come in here and tell you that, and all of them will tell you, I’ll get this out front if I haven’t said it, none of these patients are going to tell you they were ever multiple personalities. They are going to tell you they were led and coached and suggested, berated, beat upon, badgered, tied down, all of those things, just to bill their insurance companies. But they’re not going to come in here and tell you, there is not going to be a qualified doctor to come in here and tell you they ever had MPD.
But what they’re going -- Karen’s going to tell you is that she ended up going getting back into high school when she got back with her mother, graduated with honors from Woodlands High School, that she’s now in college and she’s going to be a missionary, is going to go overseas and help other people.
You’ll hear that Mrs. Abney is doing fine. Mr. Abney is doing fine. They’re just not a husband and wore any longer because of what happened in their lives at this time.
The next family I want to talk to you about that you’re going to hear from is the family from Austin, Texas, by the name of Carl.
THE COURT: Mr. Eastepp, if this is a breaking point --
MR. EASTEPP: It’s a good point, Judge.
THE COURT: This, I think, might be where we should take our noon recess, then.
Ladies and gentlemen, we’ll be in recess now for the lunch hour. Let me remind you again, I won’t remind you every time we take a break, but the instruction always applies, not to talk about the case or anything you’ve heard. Confine your discussions to other topics.
Don’t let anyone approach you. Remember, hold yourself apart, as I told you yesterday, from all of the parties or witnesses or other people that appear here interested in this case. And they should hold themselves apart from you so that you will not encounter them. Avoid any kind of pleasant conversations or anything else with the people that are involved or participants in the case as parties or lawyers or witnesses or spectators who may have an interest in this.
All right. Thank you We’ll be in recess now until 1:30, 1:30. Don’t eat too large a lunch, because you’ve got a lot to hear this afternoon. Thank you.
(Noon recess taken.)
THE COURT: Very well. Mr. Eastepp, you have used an hour and twenty-two minutes of your time. You may proceed, sir.
MR. EASTEPP: Thank you, Your Honor.
I hope everybody had an enjoyable lunch.
Judge Werlein told you yesterday that we’re going to be in trial for a couple of months, and you heard what he what he said, I used an hour and twenty-two minutes. I have an hour and eight minutes now, an hour and seven minutes, and the time is ticking and we’re going to be in trial for a long time.
Clearly, I cannot stand up here, and I dare say my colleagues that are representing these defendants, with the time that they have allotted, to cover everything that they want to cover.
So I’m going to hit some highlights, and I went through an incredible amount of detail this morning, go through some detail with some of these other patient families that you’re going to hear from that are the subject of this indictment.
Also, I’ll cover what was happening inside the hospital at the time on the administrative side and on the nursing side. We will move on to some other issues like what mental health regulators were hearing and doing during this time period to set the whole scene for you all.
When we stopped, I was about to start in on the Carl family. I’d like to tell you about the Carl family. The Carl family is composed of Alan Joseph Car1, Joe Carl is what he normally goes by, his wife Lynn, their son, Brian, that they call BJ, Brian Joseph, and their daughter Kristi.
They lived in the Austin area. Mr. Carl works for Time Warner, for the cable system. I think it was actually called something different at the time but owned by Time Warner. And Lynn was a -- stayed home, mom, real active in her children’s lives, those sorts of things, carrying the kids to do their various activities.
She began to experience some normal -- not normal, but depression symptoms that people get. Depression, as you will hear throughout this trial, is, in the mental health field, not too far away from sinus infections and tonsillitis and some of those common ailments that people get quite often in the physical medicine side. It’s something that is not all that uncommon and it has various degrees. You’ll hear testimony about that.
But Lynn started having some depression symptoms, started seeking out professional help. It ends up she gets referred to a couple of people in Austin, Texas, named Kathleen Adams, who is a Ph.D. doctor and Frank Schultz, another Ph.D.
These two people began doing therapy with Lynn and she’s diagnosed with multiple personality disorder, satanic ritual abuse, the same story that I went over this morning with the Abney family.
Well, it ends up in 1991, about the middle or the year, it is suggested that Lynn needs to go to Houston to be evaluated, to come down here for a little while, because Dr. Adams and Dr. Schultz have these colleagues here on Houston that are experts in this field and she needs to be evaluated.
And she’ll tell you that she was at home at the time, not in the hospital, packs her bags, comes to Houston thinking she’s going to be there be here on Houston for a little while at Spring Shadows Glen Hospital. Well, it turns out she’s in there for about two years. She entered in the middle of 1991 and left in the spring of 1993. That’s about 22 months, I think, total time in the hospital.
You’re going to hear that has the same sorts of therapy going on that like the therapy tape we played a snippet of this morning with Karen G., have these abreactive sessions, where they’re retrieving memories of all of this cult abuse, and that records and insurance companies are being told about these things to keep her in the hospital. During this time, you’ll hear that her husband is back in Austin trying to do his best as daddy to two children and also working at his job
In the Fall of ’91, you’ll hear that the children came to Houston to be evaluated. They were here just for a visit and went back home. Then you’ll hear that on the summer of 1992, Joe Carl is talked into bringing the children to Spring Shadows Glen to check then in to be further evaluated. You’re going to hear that during the point in time that when Lynn went in, his wife, in the middle of ’91, to the next year, 1992, he had been continuing to see Frank Schultz because he thought he needed somebody to talk to about these problems.
It just wasn’t something you would go to the guy that you worked with at that coffee counter at your job and say, "Well, you know, my wife is in a mental institution, multiple personality, satanic cult. What do you think about that?" It just was not something he was comfortable talking about. He continued talking to Frank Schultz and he’s being told things by Frank Schultz that are coming from Houston, Texas, via Judith Peterson.
And eventually, he agrees to bring his son, Brian, down to Houston, to let Brian be evaluated. And just a few days later, Kristi, his daughter, checks in. The evidence in this trial will establish, much like with Karen G., there was no mental health medical reason at all for those two children to be checked into a mental hospital. Checking them in for evaluation is one thing. They stayed for about a year.
What happened with the Carl family? Well -- and how did all of this happen? Once again, they had the same curse on their family that the Abney family had on them. They had great insurance.
The corporation that he worked for at the time, as it’s called under Time Warner, and also as you will see, the time periods of June of ’90 to December of 1992 he had a lifetime maximum of a million dollars. As of January of ’93, it changed. It had no maximum limit. Once again, this is a family, as I’ve talked about, has great mental health insurance.
When they check in, what do we know about them? When Lynn checks in, you’ll see, I went over it this morning, we talked about the GAF scale, that’s what this actual five scale talks about. She’s rated 15 to 30. You won’t hear any testimony that she was what a 15 to 30 is on the scale that I read to you this morning. This, again, is a record that we allege was created solely to get her in the hospital and keep her there.
Dr. Keraga checks in BJ or Brian Carl, June 8th of 1992, like I talked about earlier. You’ll see he’s ranked at 45 to 50 on admission, and once again, the evidence will not bear out that he was a 45 to 50.
If you look on down, it says "He’s a 13-year-old male from Austin on a self-destructive bath programming he received." Supposedly that’s cult programming that he’s received. And of course, the source of this information is alleged to be Lynn Carl, the mother who’s, of course, by this time, she’s been in Spring Shadows Glen for 13 months by the time this child is checked into the hospital.
And they say, "He’s a 15-year-old boy that had recently stole the family van without a license, putting himself and others in danger as he drove it." Your going to hear about that. He’s going to say he took his daddy’s van three times, went joyriding, took it back home.
There’s not a wreck. He wasn’t driving the wrong way down 1-35 in Austin doing 108. He merely took the family van three times and drove it. It may not be appropriate for a 15-year-old to be doing that, no doubt, but for that, he ends up spending almost a year in a mental institution.
The daughter, Kristi, is checked in just a few days after Brian on 6-14 of 1993. She’ll tell you she knew she was probably going somewhere because her daddy took her to the mall the night before and let her buy whatever she wanted, which is exactly what Joe Carl had done for BJ the week before.
And both of these kids and Joe Carl will tell you, when they’re checked in, he thinks they’re just being evaluated. The kids think they’re being evaluated. They’re glad it’s on summer break. They think it’s going to be done, and they’ll be back in school in the Fall. Once again, they’ve stayed in for almost a year going through these sorts of treatments.
You’ll hear a lot about Kristi Carl once we get into testimony from nurses and others in the hospital. One of the things that happened throughout this case to all of these patients is they’re constantly put on certain restrictions. The restrictions are alleged to be related usually to suicide or some sort of self-danger
You’ll hear in the trial terms like "UR," which is different than utilization review that I talked about like Health Care Compare this morning. But UR, meaning unit restriction, meaning they could not go off from the unit in the hospital.
CL, you’ll see that in records and hear it. It’s called central lobby. And what they did with central lobby, if they thought a child or a patient was a danger, they dragged mattresses out into the nurse’s station lobby and made them sleep out there on the mattress, on the floor And of course, a hospital being a 24 hour a day operation, nurses are around, there is noise, people moving around, but you had to sleep out there so you could be watched.
You also will hear of things called "one-to-one." What one-to-one is, it means you’re such a danger, according to the doctors, that you have to have a staff member right there with you at all times, one staff member, one patient.
And what that means, also, is, someone is with you all the time. You’ll hear that if a patient is on one-to-one on these type of suicide restrictions placed on, if they need to take a shower, somebody is standing watching them. If they need to go into the toilet to take care or their personal business, somebody has to stand there and watch them the entire time.
Now, as this whole evidence unfolds, and I know you may have been thinking even over lunch, "Well, how could these mothers or how could these people come up with these stories," you will hear about when they’re placed in the hospital, how they’re isolated from their family and friends, cut off from the outside world when you’re so dehumanized, that you can’t even go to the bathroom without somebody standing there watching you or taking a shower because you’re supposedly a danger.
And I’ll get to it in a minute talking about the nurses, how strongly they will come in here and tell you they weren’t seeing all this suicide stuff, they weren’t seeing all this switching to alters and multiple personality disorder and they’re the ones that had to be with these patients 24 hours a day.
It was a dehumanizing process that went along that you will hear, including the restraint sessions where they’re strapped down on these beds, strap down, 14 points, strapped, you know.
You saw the old movie Frankenstein where he’s strapped down being experimented on. These patients are strapped down on these beds and having these memories processed by these doctors, and you will hear lots of testimony throughout this case about these restraint sessions, that if you didn’t produce the patients will tell you, if you didn’t produce, produce is come up with a story, what the cult did, what the cult didn’t do, what the memory is, whether you harmed your son, whether you harmed your daughter, whatever they want you to say, if you don’t come up with it, you get left strapped down.
You’ll hear stories of people being strapped down hours upon hours, and I dare say you’re going to hear one instance where a kid was strapped down for three days, three days, strapped to a bed waiting for cult memories, those sorts of things, to come forward.
All these things you’ll hear break these people down. And they’ll tell them whatever you want, strap you to a bed, catch you off from the outside world, and they got their stories. The insurance companies hear the stories and the people stayed in the hospital.
You’ll hear that in particular about Kristi, that for whatever reason, Kristi seems to have been picked on more than any of these other children. She rarely got to sleep anywhere but on central lobby on a bed and a mattress. She’s constantly on one-to-one, two-to-one, three-to-one. She was 13 when she checked in and you’ll see how big she is today. She’s a little bitty thin girl, woman now.
Three staff members to one, because supposedly she’s such a danger. And you’ll see throughout the record, most of the danger is written that she is a danger to Dr. Peterson, that some alter is going to come out and is going to harm Dr. Peterson.
And of course, these alters and these harmful things don’t come out until you get strapped down on the bed to do these abreaction sessions. You’ll hear that throughout.
When -- the nurses will tell you when the patients are in the room, when they’re just around, they’re not a danger to anybody. It’s only when they’re with the doctors and strapped down. We’ll show you the dichotomy and the charting of these things where nurses will say, "Kid is playing nicely with the other peers on the unit."
The next entry is in a session with one of these doctors, and suddenly "the patient is having wild homicidal alters that want to kill everybody that can get their hands on or do all sorts of wild deviant sexual things." You’ll see that throughout this case, and all or those things are created to break the patient and to keep the money flowing, so they have information they can tell insurance companies.
Some of the other taped sessions, and most of the sessions or a lot of them were taped, and we’re going to bring you a lot of the tape recordings, and I’ll try not to drag it out, because I know we’ve already talked about how long we’re going to be in here. But it’s important for you to hear exactly what happened, so that way you’re not getting the version of the government, you’re not getting the version of the defense. What you’re getting is what happened, simple
I mean, we all talk about that, do you have a videotape one of your friends, you know, says, "Oh, yeah, I saw you do something." You go, "Do you have videotape?" We all say that in our common parlor.
Well, we got some videotape and we got lots of audiotapes of what exactly happened at the time, and not only will you hear leading and suggestive things, you’re going to hear these patients, as I said I think this morning, berated and belittled and talked about in ways that you would not want anybody to talk to you, much less a patient in a hospital.
BJ, Brian Carl, the kid, when he checks in, this is in August after he’s been there just a few weeks, one of the first things he says is "I have really strong feeling I’m making this up, because I know that everything I had said and I remember everything I’ve said and I told Joe that" -- Joe being his daddy -- "when I first came in here, and I was really frustrated because I couldn’t find anything, any memory, as things went along. I like -- it seemed like I was making stuff up, and as I say it and then I’d, like don’t know how I said it."
We’ll bring you a tape where he comes up with names and he tells them, "I’m just making it up." And they go, "Well, where are you coming up with names?" He says, "Well, that was the names of my frogs, names of my other pets, names of my friends." Well, I’ll tell you after this session what happens, he had a big old sit-down session with Dr. Peterson that we’ll come and play for you, and you’ll see how she treated him for him daring to say he was making this up.
This is Kristi Carl. It just says Carl, but it’s Kristi Carl. You’ll see Kristi, and this is in December of 1992, where she’s saying, she tells them, "Well, what do you want to hear from me, and I’ll tell you?" Dr. Peterson says to her, "What did you say?" And she, of course, says, "I said exactly what I said." You’re going to find she’s a fairly headstrong young girl, and the more she talked back in a fairly normal 13-year-old way of talking back, the more restrictions she got put on. And Dr. Peterson says, "Could you repeat it? All I heard is I’ll tell you. I didn’t hear the rest."
"And was it a usual complaint, a cult statement," Dr. Peterson’s saying to this 13-year-old girl. She says, "No." Dr. Peterson says, "Oh, okay." And that’s Page Johnston who worked for Dr. Peterson, "Either that or she didn’t want to hear your monkey story," and it goes on.
She once again, "What do you want to hear?" Dr. Peterson says, "I don’t want to hear anything. I want to meet the parts," meaning parts of her personality that are supposed to take the body by, "so that perhaps there might be similar choices over the next few days, and this next -- and this week might be different, and I think you’re really telling me a lot of particulars about what happened on birthdays, am I right -- (inaudible) possibly -- (inaudible)," meaning she’s trying to get stories about what’s happened in the past about her birthday. Kristi is trying to tell her nothing happened. She has no cult memory to tell her.
It goes -- on and you’ll see Kristi tell them, "I still haven’t grasped exactly what you all are looking for. What do you want to hear from me?" You’ll hear throughout this -- where these patients are saying things like that, you know, "What do you all want me to say, I’ll say it, just tell me what you want me to say." That’s how memories get brought back up when patients occur to just make it up and tell them.
This is Dr. Peterson once again talking to Kristi on March 24th of 1993. You see her saying, "Well, I’m sure when she’s acting like this, it’s a total slave," and she’s talking about -- she’s calling a 13-year-old girl a total slave. "Of course, that doesn’t mean if they want to switch her into somebody else and hurt her anyway," meaning the cult. She goes on to say, Dr. Peterson tells her, "Well, they only have to be a post-on -- let’s see, five days a week for an hour. That’s five hours. How many hours a week, I don’t know. I forgot the day. I got lost in my old age."
She goes on telling her that "she is going to remain that good little cult girl, the slave girl, isn’t that right? I mean, do they want me in therapy or not because I’m not going to mess around anymore. Are you going to work, or are we going to plan discharge?" And you’ll see that this girl stayed in about four months after that comment.
She goes on to call her that she’s -- (inaudible) in this submissive slave position. "Sure, yeah, I know when you sit up you have to cover your eyes. You get to be submissive. So you’re 14 years old and you can’t sit up and look at other people. They trained you very well and you re a good slave." I just totally submit to everybody hat’s -- (inaudible) . You’re a good slave girl.
And you’ll see, once again, through this that that’s the way the patients are being treated. That’s the way they’re being talked to. They’re not being talked to like a normal doctor/patient relationship, because this is not a normal doctor/patient relationship. What it is, is a scheme merely to bill insurance companies.
It keeps going on and saying, take, cult --(inaudible). You will hear in this particular case that the insurance company for the Carl family, you’ll hear that Joe Carl’s insurance employer hire different third party administrators. So you’ll hear from different insurance companies as third-party administrators for Time Warner, because different years they would hire different companies because they’ve got different products or whatever.
But you’ll hear that about 1993, after Lynn Carl’s been in since the middle of ’91, the children have been in since the middle of 1992, that a new insurance got involved and that they hired a local physician, a local psychiatrist to go do a second opinion, look, and this doctor’s name is Dr. Ron Garb. He’s going to come on and tell you two or three very important details.
One of the details he’s going to tell you is that he was on staff at Spring Shadows. So he’s not truly some outsider. He didn’t come from some other hospital or have some total unawareness of what was happening at Spring Shadows Glen.
In fact, he’s going to tell you that he, in fact, had warned Mr. Mueck, the administrator at the hospital, that this whole MPD cult thing was headed for trouble for the hospital, and he’ll tell you Mr. Mueck just very politely thanked him for his words and didn’t do anything about the warning that Dr. Garb gave him.
You’ll also hear Dr. Garb actually talked to Lynn Carl and eventually talked to the children, and he’ll come in and tell you that one of the things that struck him about the visit in talking to the Carls, A, he’ll tell you, they weren’t MPD and didn’t need to be in the hospital, and he told the insurance company that, which started a chain of events that led to the people getting out, but only after several months.
But he’ll also tell you not only that they did not have MPD, he’ll tell you about the lack of cooperation he got from his other colleagues. I mean, he’s on staff at that hospital, and he’ll tell you that it was not -- he was not warmly welcomed when he went in there to do this second opinion, and despite the fact the hospital had policies that they were supposed to work with reviewers when reviewers come in. You’re going to see he was -- he’s going to tell you about what a hassle it was to merely do what he was trying to do and that is talk to these patients.
Well, once this insurance company hears what his opinion is, you’re going to find out that the utilization review doctors for that company, which this company is out in California and these doctors are going to come on, they decertify or say, "These patients have been in the hospital long enough. We’ve had a second opinion. They need to be let out of this hospital."
Well, they’re going to tell you that Dr. Keraga, in particular, got real involved in the appellate process. The insurance company, they didn’t just decertify and the patient has to leave.
They have rules and they say, "Okay, we’re going to decertify, but you have appellate rights." We’re going to show you some letters that Dr. Keraga wrote during this appellate process where she says that these children had been through horrors worse than the Nazi concentration camps, and we’ll bring you the whole letters in context and let you read the whole thing.
And I dare say that she wrote the letter knowing that these kids had not been through horrors like the Nazi concentration camp, that they might have told stories like Karen G.’s false rape that I played you the tape of this morning, but she is telling an insurance company that as if it is fact. She knows it as if it is fact and you’ll see that when you see the letter.
Eventually, Lynn Carl gets out of the hospital. She got out first. She gets out in early March. You will find that her story and Lucy Abney’s story is very similar, that they’re basically told, at first, that we’ll protect you because the cult may still be out there, because these patients will tell you, by this time, they are so paranoid that this cult thing is out there, because they’ve heard about it 24 hours a day for months and months on end in this hospital.
Lucy Abney ended up in Virginia at a women’s shelter and she’ll come in and tell you the rest of that story. But Lynn Carl ended up going to Miami, eventually working her way up into Baltimore to another facility at Shepherd Pratt Hospital. It’s connected to the John’s -- they all say it’s connected to the John’s Hopkins Medical School, that you’ll hear is one of the finest medical schools in the country.
Eventually she gets seen by a prominent psychiatrist there and clearly one of the leading psychiatrists in the country, named Dr. Paul McHugh, and Dr. McHugh is going to come in here and tell you that he examined Lynn, and she never had MPD and should not have been in the hospital that long.
The children eventually get out and kind of, you know, went from the frying pan into the fire sort or thing, because they ended up going right back to Kathleen Adams and Frank Schultz in Austin, but eventually and luckily were able to get away from that situation.
And the family will come in here and tell you what their story is. I told you the Abney story, how it s ended up, and the Carl family will come on here and they’ll tell you how their stories ended up.
The next patient family you’re going to hear from is a woman by the name of Mary Shanley. This is another one of those Chicago/Houston connections.
Mrs. Shanley was a school teacher, married to her husband Joe, had a son named Ryan, lived in Schaumburg, Illinois. Schaumburg is a bedroom suburb in Chicago.
Mrs. Shanley taught elementary school, and when she wasn’t doing that was active in her son’s life, raising him. We’ll bring people in that are going to tell you about the Shanley family prior to getting mixed up in -- the family getting mixed up in mental health treatment.
Mrs. Shanley will tell you that she had a hysterectomy and had a couple of other things happen in her life and she started having some depression, too, and ends up getting sent eventually to Roberta Sachs and Bennett Braun, and gets diagnosed with this multiple personality disorder, satanic cult abuse and is placed in Dr Braun’ s hospital in Chicago where she stays for nine months.
Now, she gets out, she goes in in 1990, gets out in the early part of 1991.
When she’s out, she’ll tell you that she, too, was still paranoid about this cult thing. Otherwise, she was back living an okay life. She’ll tell you that she was not teaching, because she had been in the hospital for so many months and was on disability from her job, but that she was going to her son’s school and volunteering in the library and doing some sort of things like that, fairly normal things in her life.
She will tell you that she was summoned in middle of 1991 to a meeting at Dr. Sachs’ office, and at this meeting she met an individual by the name of Dr. Corey Hammond, who was another doctor who is supposed to be one of the leading authorities on this multiple personality disorder, satanic cult abuse.
You will see when we introduce records from the hospital that contain Dr. Peterson’s curriculum vitae or resume, that she lists Dr. Hammond as someone she talks to all the time in professional consultation.
Dr. Hammond has a consultation with Mary, and Mrs. Shanley will tell you she didn’t know she was coming to meet this doctor, that it was kind of just sprung on her when she got there.
You will hear that Dr. Hammond, who is another unindicted coconspirator in this case, starts talking to her about a Dr. Green, who supposedly was a doctor named Greenbaum from Nazi Germany, who was Jewish, who fled Nazi Germany and came to this country, change -- dropped the "baum" off the end of his name and started setting up cult mind control sorts of things, that after speaking with Dr. Hammond, Dr. Hammond determined she’s programmed with this Dr. Green programming, and that based on that, she is too programmed to go back into Dr. Braun and Dr. Sachs’s program into their hospital because she may mess up the treatment of their other people because of the programming through the cult, and that she needs to go somewhere else.
And of course, Dr. Sachs miraculously comes up with a place to go. You’ll here her say Dr. Sachs tells her she’s got a colleague in another state that she can send Mary to to save her from this Dr. Green program.
You’ll hear more about this Dr. Green and this Nazi mind control theory later in the case, because two of the experts that Dr. Peterson has notified us will testify in this case, ^ Alan Schefflin and Dan Brown, the names I read yesterday, have written a book with this Dr. Hammond and knew him well. And we’ll visit with them about this Nazi Dr. Green theory once they come into the courtroom, so that you know the full picture of who Dr. Hammond is and what his beliefs are.
Mrs. Shanley finds our when she gets to the Chicago airport, that she’s going to Houston, Texas. And she comes to Houston, Texas. And, again, she thinks she’s coming here for an evaluation, just to see if she’s okay and get back with her family.
She’ll tell you she gets here in about May or 1991, that she’s kind of the grandmother of this case, because she stayed until the middle of the summer of 1993. I think it was about 26 total months without leaving Spring Shadows Glen Hospital.
She will tell you that when she checked in, she had epilepsy. She had it because she had had a long held lesion on her brain. We’ll show you transcripts of the tape where Dr. Peterson accuses her of having a lesion on her brain -- that it’s the cult that put the lesion on her brain, not the naturally occurring event that happened in her life. And you will hear that she’s not treated for her epilepsy and you will hear that epilepsy can cause you to, the type she had, the temporal lobe epilepsy, is the type that can cause somebody to zone out.
And you will hear that it’s things like that that gets turned around and, "Oh, she’s dissociated. She’s switching into a different alter." You’ll hear that sort or thing.
You’ll also hear of an accident where Mrs. Shanley is clearly having an epileptic fit, and Dr. Peterson stands above her screaming at her to get up while she’s having the fit, doesn’t try to help her, doesn’t lend a hand, screams.
You will hear that Mrs. Shanley and her son also came down into the hospital with her at first, that he doesn’t stay very long and that he left the hospital and went back up to Chicago where her son, who is very young, was being treated by Dr. Sachs.
I tell you that because it becomes an important factor later on in a phone conversation that we have that was recorded by Mrs. Shanley’s insurance coverer, a utilization review company, in February of 1993, after she had been in the hospital for nearly two years. The significant thing you’ll hear on this telephone call Dr. Peterson and Dr. Seward on the telephone and they’re to a doctor for the insurance review company. We’re going to bring that doctor down to explain the telephone call to you.
But you’ll hear several things on this telephone call, and one of the things that you’re going hear, you’ll hear Dr. Seward say that Mrs. Shanley has 10,000 alters. Mrs. Shanley will tell you that she had been she had lots of alters and she had lots of multiple personality disorders, but she had never been told she had 10,000 alters.
You’re going to hear Dr. Peterson talking about various things she claims she does not do her treatment. You’re going to hear her use words about voluntary restraints, and I’ve already talked about strapping somebody down on the bed, but she starts to use those very sparingly and very carefully are the words that Dr. Peterson uses on this tape.
We’re going to bring you hospital staff that will say that’s not true. We’re going to bring you hospital records that are going to show that’s not true. We’re going to bring you regulators from the mental the health industry in Texas who are going to say that statement is simply not true, when Dr. Peterson said it on that particular tape.
You’re also going to hear Dr. Peterson say on this tape, when the doctor questions her whether these memories are being retrieved through hypnosis, you’re going to hear Dr. Peterson say, "No, I don’t do that. I train my people not to do that." We’re going to present to you evidence to show that’s not true, including one of the nurses who’s going to come in and tell you that Dr. Peterson gave the nurse a book written by Corey Hammond, the same guy I talked about a few moments ago, on how to do hypnosis.
You’re going to hear all about Mrs. Shanley’s treatment. You’re going to hear about other things on that tape including that Dr. Peterson says when the psychiatrist tells her, you know, she doesn’t really believe a lot of this MPD cult thing, that Dr. Peterson switches from talking about being a cult to suddenly talking about it being organized crime.
And we’re going to bring you other people on here that will show how quickly they switched their theory in talking about a satanic cult to talking about it as organized crime, and I submit to you the evidence will be that that’s because no one believes in satanic cults, the way it’s being laid out by these people, but everybody has TVs and knows who John ^ Gotty and organized crime is.
The nurses, I talked about that a little bit. I want to talk about that more fully. One of the things, as we get into this case, is not only, you know, what’s happening with the nurses, you know, it’s what’s happening on the administrative side of the hospital, and that’s another thing that I want to caution you.
In just the little time that I have, I certainly couldn’t talk about every detail, and don’t think because I didn’t spend as much time on one defendant as the other defendant that I didn’t have anything to say. We have lots of evidence coming on every defendant.
But Mr. Mueck, what’s his role in all of this? Well, you’ll find out as the administrator of the hospital that he’s the man in charge. It probably doesn’t come as a big shock to you.
You’re going to hear a lot of talk about hospital committees and physician/lay committees and those sorts of things. But one thing you’re going to find out is the administrator of the hospital is in charge of everything And particularly, he’s a very hands—on guy.
One of the things that he’s in charge of, is he’s in charge of the nursing staff, and we’re going to bring you several nurses, supervisory nurses, unit nurses, those type of people who spent lots of time with these patients, but also lots of time trying to explain to Mr. Mueck what was happening with these doctors and what was being observed by these nurses.
You’re going to hear he is constantly being told these patients are being mistreated, that voluntary restraints are being used in an improper way.
You’re going to hear that he’s being told that the nurses are being encouraged by Dr. Peterson and Dr. Seward to chart behaviors that they don’t see, chart behaviors that they don’t see, and that in every instance where he is provided with information, he does nothing. We’re going to bring you testimony where you’ll hear comments that he made like, "Well, I’ll take the word of a psychologist over a nurse any day."
You’ll hear testimony from these nurses about Mr. Mueck where Dr. Peterson is demanding extra help to put a patient on a suicide type prevention where they need hospital help and we’ll show you in the records at the hospital that one-to-one has to be ordered by a doctor but approved by the administration of the hospital. That’s because it’s hospital staff not the doctor who has to stand there and do the one-to-one. So it’s a joint order from the doctor and on the part of the hospital.
We’re going to hear -- present testimony to you that Dr. Peterson would say she knows how to -- "I know how to get Jerry to do things, Jerry understands money." You’re going to hear stories about that, and sure enough, these nurses will tell you every time any sort of incident like that happened, Dr. Peterson went to Mr. Mueck and she got what he wanted.
You will hear at every instant when Mr. Mueck is confronted with these nurses saying things like they’re telling us to chart behaviors, that he may put a band-aid on it but he doesn’t stop it. He even goes to therapy sessions. He knows exactly what’s happening. And the one thing he certainly knows is that these patients are bringing millions of dollars and that’s what we’re going to prove. Millions of dollars come in based on this treatment.
We’re going to give you an instant where nurses are called in to his office and he’s got up on his computer screen what one of these families is bringing in. He brags, "Look what we’re making off of these people." He was fully plugged in to what was happening on the money side. He was fully plugged in on what was happening on the therapy side. And you’re going to hear testimony, "Well, golly, he’s not a doctor. What could he do about it?"
The hospital had lots of policies he could have invoked. You’re going to hear he created this unit that they housed the MPDs on. You’re going to hear that once the state got all over his back, he killed the unit. That’s pretty powerful. If he could create it, he could kill it. He didn’t have to go to a doctor to do that.
You’re going to hear that he could have done things with the credentialing of these doctors. You’re going to hear things about Dr. Peterson and Dr. Seward.
I talked about Dr. Peterson screaming at Mary Shanley when she’s having an epilepsy fit. You’re going to hear about these doctors screaming at people all the time with patients around in common areas of the hospital. Behavior that’s just, I frankly think, will shock you, that a doctor, a professional in a professional environment is acting like that. You’re going to hear lots of testimony about that. In every instance, you’ll just hear that he says things like, "I’ll take the word of a psychologist over a nurse any day."
These nurses will come in here and tell you that they talked to him so much and got so little action, that they had to resort to making anonymous phone calls to the Texas Mental Health and Mental Retardation investigators to come in and investigate these instances, because they felt so strongly that not only the rights of these patients were being violated, their basic human rights were being violated.
And you’re going to hear that Mr. Mueck, in an effort to appease these nurses early on, set up an MPD committee to study this, and one of the things I alluded to this morning is, if somebody crossed the path of one of these doctors, Dr. Peterson and Dr. Seward in particular, and said, you know, "I don’t believe these patients are ill. I don’t think anything is happening," well, you’re in the cult.
We’re going to bring you a document from the hospital’s own records, when Mr. Mueck was confronted with the fact that 27 combined employees of the hospital had been accused of being in the cult, 27 employees of the hospital, and this is a cult that if they truly believe is what the patients are being encouraged to say it is, they’re murderers, they’re rapists, they are doing the things that you can’t even imagine, like cannibalism, killing babies, sacrifices.
And you’ll hear when confronted with 27 employees of the hospital, what happens? No new security guards, the staff is not being -- having background checks done, they’re not all being called in to be examined, not a thing he does -- I submit to you when this -- at the end of the evidence, when you hear the whole story about this that it’s going to curl your hair, that if they believe it’s happening, why don’t they do more?
Well, he’s not doing more because he knows it’s a scam. He wants the money to keep coming in. He doesn’t want to cross the doctors because the doctors -- and you’ll hear that that’s another threat the doctors use, "we’ll just pull out of here, Mr. Mueck. We’ll take our money elsewhere." That’s another instance you’ll hear that every time he’s confronted with that he sides with the doctors.
The regulators. Did he know going in that this unit was going to be a problem? Did he know if any patients were going to be a problem? Did he know -- should he have expected, and I’m talking about Mr. Mueck, that all of these troubles were going to end up being caused by this treatment and by these doctors, eventually leading to some fairly drastic action by the regulators? The answer is yes, and I can tell you why it’s yes. It’s yes because we have records what he was warned.
This is a record that will be identified from the Spring Shadows Glen records. It’s one of the staff committees of the hospital.
On May 9th of 1990, Mr. Mueck you’ll see is not here in this particular meeting, but I’ll show you in a minute how he knows about this. It’s discussing the topic of multiple personality disorder and it’s talking about the goal of the quality assurance. "The focus review is to improve quality of care, the summary -- (inaudible) level views include confusing -- what appropriate care is." You’re going to hear lots of testimony that throughout 1991, ’92, and ’93, that was exactly one of the problems.
(Inaudible) -- "lack of appropriate documentation and/or assignment of diagnosis not being made, meaning they got people in there that a diagnosis is not properly being made. Again, you’re going to see that that’s a continuing problem.
"Reviewing physicians indicated need for a clear definition of what the criteria are for the QA review of MPD to be able to review the medical record." Again, that’s going to be shown to be a problem.
"New terminology in the medical record, even though one could -- even though one could interpret what was meant," and that’s what you’re going to hear about all these parts and alters and those sorts of things.
Not knowing what treatment should be done: They’re checking people in the hospital and they’re admitting in May of ’90. They don’t even know what treatment should be done for these patients.
Possibility of staff taking on a heroic approach, and you’re going to see that’s exactly what happens to these nurses.
It goes on to say questions concerning abreaction. I’ve already talked about that. You heard years later, you have Karen Abney being abreacted, the rape never occurred.
Physical restraint I’ve already talked about. Making a patient go through the trauma again, meaning, that if you take them, you know, at what they’re saying they’re doing, they’re taking patients they think are abused, maybe women that have been raped, so they strap them down and make them relive the memory, make them go through the trauma again, and that makes them well. That’s what that means.
"No. 8, to what extent does treatment generate the problem." You’re going to hear that throughout this, particularly from the nurses and from some of these review doctors, like Dr. Garb is going to talk about it. He’s going to say it’s the treatment that’s causing the problem, not a problem that needed a treatment, just the opposite. Again, this is May of 1990.
"No. 9, are individuals seeing things that are not there and missing others." Again, doctors were telling nurses to chart things. A couple of years later the nurses will tell you, "We weren’t seeing -- we knew what we were seeing. We weren’t seeing what they told us we were seeing."
"Disturbing concerns that nonphysicians have control of case management and not the physician." And you’re going to hear by the time this MPD unit is up and running in 1992, that it is clear who they’re going to tell you is in charge of that unit. It’s Dr. Peterson, a nonphysician, not Dr. Seward, the physician, not any other doctor in the hospital, but exactly that.
Again, how do we know Mr. Mueck knows about it? At the next month’s executive committee meeting, they discussed what this committee was talking about. I’m going to show you that so you know that in June of 1990 he’s there, and this is just summarizing what I just read with Dr. Matthews telling what the committee is working on.
So he knew about it as early as that. We’re also going to present you testimony where Mr. Mueck was personally warned by someone to watch out in 1991 for Dr. Peterson and her methods of treatment, that they could cause problems at the hospital. We’re going to get that from Mr. Mueck saying to someone that he had been warned.
We’re also going to present you testimony from a doctor at the hospital where Dr. Peterson was working right before Spring Shadows that will tell you that she was causing great problems at that hospital and what they did, they merely took away the right to do restraint sessions and she took her business elsewhere.
You’re not going to hear any testimony that Mr. Mueck did anything like that, that he let her keep strapping people so that the money would keep flowing in. We’re going to have testimony where he was prewarned about her.
Now, we’ll get to the regulators and what they’re doing. You’ll hear in this particular case that the hospital is being reviewed by a couple of different people.
I mentioned Texas MHMR, Mental Health Mental Retardation. It may be a term you’re familiar with. You’re also going to see that the Texas Department of Health, which at the point in time in the early ’90s was two separate agencies of the state of Texas. Today they’ve been merged together into one, but TDH, Texas Department of Health was also doing reviews at the hospital, but they were doing the reviews for Medicare.
When hospitals have Medicare coverage, they are subject to having reviews, just like if you have -- the hospital has its licenses to be a hospital and to be a mental hospital, that’s what gives the state the right to come in and regulate the hospital and send reviewers in. You’re going to hear because the hospital took in Medicare patients, that Medicare, through the Texas Department of Health, had the right to come in and do reviews.
You’re going to hear about all these complaints that I told you the nurses are making and nobody is listening to them at the hospital, particularly Mr. Mueck.
They had to start making anonymous phone calls to the state and the state starts coming in and doing reviews. We’re going to present you evidence and these reviewers will tell you, that in the point in time that this hospital is being reviewed, when these doctors were in control of that unit, that this was the most complained of hospital, mental hospital in the state of Texas. It’s the one that gave them the most problems at the time.
This is a document we’ll present. It was written by one of these reviewers. Where it’s in 19 -- late 1992, that shows you -- at the bottom, there you go -- September of 1992, which is almost two and a half years after that committee note I read you all a while ago where the hospital is admitting they didn’t know what to do with these patients. Well, the reviewer feels strongly enough that she handwrites this and she leaves it with the Texas Department of Health who’s in there reviewing, gives it to Mr. Mueck, where she says every -- she finds a problem.
It says, "Each patient must have an individualized comprehensive treatment plan which may -- (inaudible) -- based on patient strengths and disabilities. Written plan must include a substantiated diagnosis, short term, long—term goals, specific treatment that’s to be utilized." Again, all of these things are the things that they’ve known about for two and a half years but why do they -- it keeps rolling along because the dollars continue rolling in.
Next, you’re going to hear from a reviewer, a couple of reviewers from the state of Texas who are going to tell you about continuing or growing problem, a lot of it being related to the restraint issue and some of these other issues that were going on at the time at the hospital.
You will see that the cumulative effect that the reviewers and the state, MHMR, had been in in August of ’92, September of ’92, again later in September, and again in February of ’93, that’s when this particular document was written, where they’ve gone and reviewed patient records, and the problems that they’re finding, problems with restraints, same problem we told you about they’ve had for a long time, the need for time limited physician orders, meaning -- we’ve already talked about that on these restraint sessions. They just drag on and on.
Their inadequate -- (inaudible) restrictive intervention. They’re strapping people down when there might have been something else they could have done to them. None contraindication, possible reenactment of physical abuse of victimization.
Again, these are things that reviewers are coming in reviewing and telling that this hospital already knew. They’ve known for years but they’re not stopping what they’re doing. They’re continuing to strap these patients down.
This goes on to talk about the consents and the consent form they’re making the patients sign that’s frequently illegible, can’t read it.
Physician assessment is where the patient is -- (inaudible) provided a form, inform consent not documented, meaning, they even -- you know, is favorable them. These patients are having consent they’ve had in a mental institution, and like Lynn Carl and Mary Shanley’s case, you know, for almost two years. And they’re having them say they’re competent enough to give consent. The voluntariness consent -- (inaudible) to which the active therapy is described, is questionable, based on failure to inform.
Under patient rights, you will see the mail, telephone calls, right of visitation (inaudible) without documented clinical rationale. You’re going to see this is another thing I talked about it earlier. It’s a hot button issue.
You’ll see these patients get checked in, instantly, they cut them off from the outside world, can’t have telephone calls, can’t have mail. It’s all because of, well, the cult may contact you. But what it is, it’s to isolate the patients so that they can make them more malleable to the treatment that they’re going to give them, so that they give a memory to give to the insurance company to keep the money.
Patient admission criteria do not require that the patient exhibit signs and symptoms of mental illness. I’ve already been over that. This time, by September of ’92, I showed you in their own records where they could have reviewed them and seen that Karen G. didn’t show any signs of mental illness but she was put in the hospital. "Right of privacy, requiring them to sleep in the central lobby," we’ve already talked about that. "The level system on dissociative disorder unit appears to be based on a single diagnostic criteria rather than individualized needs of each patient in the absence of behavioral criteria and/or guidelines for staff in using patients on a given level. When clinical justification rationale are documented, the appropriate standard of psychiatric necessity or security is not always there."
It goes on to say, that’s a handwritten note from one of the reviewers, that they gave them five working days to respond. They’re going to tell you that’s the strictest thing they can do to them. That’s the strongest review they could give them, is doing this and giving them five working days to respond. Again, you’re going to hear that there are band-aids put on, particularly about the restraints, until one issue finally brought to a head.
We’ll present you a reviewer from Texas Department of Health reviewing on the part of Medicare that will tell you that she was so offended by what she had seen, so offended by the lack of action on the hospital to stop them from going on, she finally pulled the big threat out personally to Mr. Mueck to get him to stop, and that is, she threatened to pull Medicare.
You’ll hear what effect that had on the hospital if they pulled it, because you’re going to hear that it may have an effect not only on Spring Shadows Glen, but on the other mother hospital, Memorial City General Hospital Corporation. You’re going to see that that threat got his attention in April of ’93.
"Effective immediately the use of voluntary restraints is prohibited at Spring Shadows Glen." You’re going to find it took until April of ’93, after all these other complaints, after that review that I just showed you, where the state reviewers had said, you all are doing it wrong, you shouldn’t be doing it this way, that it finally took the threat of money.
Remember Dr. Peterson says she knows what Jerry understands. It’s the threat of money that finally got them to stop what they were doing. It took until then.
You’re going to find that throughout this. when confronted with problems about these patients, the hospital had procedures, as you can guess, that would kick in and would allow the hospital to overrule a doctor to review it. It’s no different in mental health than if a hospital, St. Luke’s Hospital here, found out they had an alcoholic surgeon who was cutting on people while they were drunk. Clearly, the hospital wouldn’t have to wait days and days and have meetings and meetings and meetings to stop something like that from happening. You know, it doesn’t make sense. It was no different in this situation.
Despite all these complaints about the treatment, despite second opinion doctors saying these patients are not MPD, despite what these reviewers are saying, despite what the staff is saying, you’re going to hear that Mr. Mueck didn’t do anything to trigger his own hospital’s policy.
They had length of stay policies; meaning, the hospital can itself judge if this person has been in here too long. And if they decide they are, they can do something about it to get the patient out.
They have a utilization review plan that says that the attending physician can be overruled. The physician, if he’s got somebody in the hospital, can be overruled by the UR committee, including at least two members of the committee that doesn’t necessarily have to be doctors.
You’re going to find that those policies were never allowed to be used by Mr. Mueck, because it kept the money flowing in. We’re going to present you lots of testimony about the other policies of the hospital.
Finally -- and I’m running out of time -- despite all in evidence, we’re going to go ahead and bring you an expert witness. We’re going to bring an expert witness by the name of Dr. James Hudson. He’s going to tell you he’s from Harvard University, teaches at the medical school, went to Harvard himself.
He’s going to tell you he’s on staff at McLean Hospital, which is the biggest mental hospital in the Boston area, been there since the 1800s, and that -- Dr. Hudson is going to tell you that among his many areas of expertise within the field of psychiatry is that he practices psychiatry, and he’s got a lot of clinical experience.
And he’s going to tell you that we shipped him all these patients’ records, and you’re going to see once we get them in here volumes upon volumes, for these seven patients I’ve been talking about, the Abneys, the Carls, Mary Shanley.
We shipped him audio and videotapes and we said, "Doctor, would you read these things? Doctor, would you listen to these things? Doctor, would you tell us your opinions?" Well, he’s told us his opinions, and he’s going to come in here and tell you all his opinions.
And what’s he’s going to tell you is: He looked at these records and some things jumped right out at him. The treatment at the time was controversial. You will not see any records that were created by these doctors where these patients are being told, "Hey, this is controversial treatment. Hey, you may not get better with what we’re doing. Hey, you know, what we’re doing to you is really not proven to be effective."
He’s going to come in and tell you lots about informed consent and a lot about the fact that there is no informed consent in this case. And these patients will tell you the obvious, that had they been told the things that Dr. Hudson says they should have been warned about, about the type of treatment, and where it could lead, and what it could cause to them, you know, what the treatment could cause, not that it’s going to make them better, that the patients will tell you that they never would have consented to this.
But Dr. Hudson is going to tell you he’s reviewed these records. Then he’s going to tell you what he saw in these records, and he’s going to confirm some of the things that I’ve shown you this morning about things in the record where the doctors had scientific proof such as a medical exam that a young girl’s hymen is fully intact and they’re saying she’s been raped.
Other instances just like that where there is scientific proof where these doctors knew that what they were putting in the records and what they were telling insurance companies, and these things like the rape of Miss G., the insurance company was told about that that did keep her in longer, if I didn’t mention that, but they are told those sorts of things. He found those sorts of things in the records and he’s going to come in here and show you several of those that he found.
Significantly, also, he’s going to tell you that when he reviewed the records, one of the things that really struck him is the denial of the basic human rights of these patients, some of the things I’ve already talk about, the one—to—one restrictions.
These children were not allowed to go out and play. You’re going to see fantastic weight gains on the fact of these patients, because they’re being kept on these units. They don’t allow them to go out. They don’t allow them to exercise, because you’re going to hear story after story that if they let them outside, maybe the cult would kidnap them, those sorts of things. So they keep them locked down in their own little world where they can watch them all the time.
So Dr. Hudson is going to come in here and he’s going to explain that he’s looked at all these records, and he’s going to sit up here and tell you what all of his opinions are. And at the conclusion of Dr. Hudson testifying, of course, the defendants will get to testify. They’re going to bring several experts, according to the notices we’ve given. We welcome the opportunity to, as we say in East Texas, visit with them about their opinion. I think you will see that once they come in here, that none of the doctors will tell you what Dr. Hudson tells you and will have done what Dr. Hudson’s opinion that will carry much weight with you at the end of day when you’ve heard all of the evidence in this case.
At the conclusion of all of this evidence and at the conclusion of all this case, it’s without a doubt, and it’s at least beyond a reasonable doubt, it will be shown that each of these five defendants, acting in concert with some of the other individuals that I’ve named, took these patients, destroyed their lives, mistreated them, berated them, belittled them, but always billed them, billed their insurance companies, and that all of this would be shown to just be a scheme to defraud, and that it cost millions of dollars, and it wasted a lot of time in people’s lives and harmed a lot of people’s lives.
I look forward to presenting this evidence over the next couple of months.
THE COURT: Thank you, sir.
|(End of opening statements by the government.)|
I certify that the foregoing is a correct transcript from the record of proceedings in the above-entitled matter.
Anne Traylor, CSR, RPR