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USA v. Peterson, et al. Trial, Month Six - February 1999

Monday, February 1, 1999.

Houston, Texas.

From notes by attendees

DISCLAIMER: The following material, based on hand-written notes, is presented for those who may be interested in the writers’ personal impressions of the courtroom proceedings as they happened. Although the writers have attempted to be as accurate as possible, the official transcripts remain the authoritative reference for what actually occurred.

Joe Carl is on the witness stand.

Dan Cogdell, defense attorney for Dr. Gloria Keraga cross examines the witness. Cogdell questions Joe Carl on what he believed at the time of the therapy.

Cogdell calls attention to October 1992 taped therapy session transcript.

COGDELL: "It is you that recognizes the alter BC."

Cogdell quotes Joe Carl from the tape, "I have seen that look and position before, that’s BC."

JOE CARL: At home I never saw alters.

COGDELL: The right answer was at home [I didn’t see alters]. I did see alters as SSG.

COGDELL: How old were you?


Joe Carl confirmed that Joe Carl is now 50, had been a marine for 4 years and had worked at an insurance company.

COGDELL: You are a person that is not easily fooled.

JOE CARL: I would hope so. I am not infallible.

COGDELL: You believed in those personalities.

JOE CARL: I assume that they did.

COGDELL: Most of the time when alters presented they were believed.


COGDELL: Today you are firm with the belief that the treatment was improper.


COGDELL: You believed that the treatment was proper then.


Cogdell questions Joe about his beliefs concerning allegations of sex between his son and daughter, BJ and Kristi. Cogdell refers to January 18, 93 tape.

COGDELL: On the tape there is some discussion about BJ having sex with Kristi.

JOE CARL: I would have to read the transcript.

Cogdell directs Joe Carl to page 6 of the transcript. BJ on transcript: [refers to sex between BJ and Kristi] "How could you not remember? I want to know how you would not know anything about this."

COGDELL: Did you...[remainder of question was not recorded]

JOE CARL: I never suspected that they did.

BJ on transcript: "How come you continued to let us sleep in the same room?"

JOE CARL: It was a concern at the time. BJ was 14 and Kristi was 12.

Joe Carl said that there was also the concern about the how the children were coping with their mother being gone. He testified that he allowed them to continue to share the same room to help them deal with the situation.

COGDELL: Did you have some concern that it was inappropriate?

JOE CARL: Yes, I had concern.

Cogdell asks about what Joe Carl believes when he hears what BJ says on tape.

JOE CARL: I don’t know if I believed him or not.

COGDELL: BJ had a flat affect. That flat affect would talk that way when he was coming up with a story.

JOE CARL: Sometimes he was trying to ...[???]

COGDELL: You didn’t call him on it or you didn’t say it was [not] true.


COGDELL: If you felt that it was untrue you would have stopped him.

JOE CARL: Maybe I would. Maybe I would not.

Cogdell summarizes - The children having sex was at SSG and after SSG. There was a lawsuit that it was allowed to happen. There was a confession by son.

Cogdell next addresses the overt act number 43 from the indictment. [43. On or about February 19, 1993, Keraga sent a letter to Patient no. 0090112830’s review company that included, among other things, the false statement about a restraining order.]

It is Cogdell’s contention that the restraining order was a part of the divorce papers that were being discussed in the January 18, 1993 therapy session. As evidence to support this position he refers to statements about restraining order on the transcript.

Cogdell discusses Joe Carl’s support for the therapy.

COGDELL: The bottom line on alters and [satanic cults?] is that you believed at the time.


COGDELL: You said that this was the worst period of your life.

JOE CARL: Right.

COGDELL: You understood the type of treatment [at SSG - MPD, abreaction sessions, art therapy, group sessions, etc.]


COGDELL: You understood that abreaction was [part of the therapy].


COGDELL: You understood that retrieving memories was part of the therapy. Joe Carl: Yes.

COGDELL: You understood, you acknowledged and agreed [in the use of restraints.]

JOE CARL: Correct.

COGDELL: Your wife and children believed they were necessary.

JOE CARL: Correct.

Cogdell next introduces letters from Joe Carl that are complimentary to the treaters for their treatment of his family at SSG.

COGDELL: In your meetings with Keraga you never had disagreements for almost two years.

JOE CARL: No. The only complaint that I had was that she would come in late.

At the end of Cogdell’s cross he comes back to the issue of the alleged rape of Kristi by her brother BJ.

COGDELL: Were you there when BJ made the statement?

JOE CARL: Seems like it.

Cogdell reads the first part of the statement which advises BJ of his rights.

COGDELL: Did he make statements about being coerced in to... [remainder of question not recorded].


Cogdell then reads the remainder of the statement that went into detail about the alleged rape incident.

COGDELL: You believed that it happened.

JOE CARL: Correct.

COGDELL: You believed it enough to file a civil lawsuit.

JOE CARL: Correct.

Witness passed to Gerger at 9:44. David Gerger is the defense attorney for Sylvia Davis. David Gerger goes over selected records from the first three months of Lynn Carl’s hospitalization at SSG. Gerger maintained that Sylvia Davis was not working for Peterson and Associates at that time and she did not treat Lynn Carl in this time period. Joe Carl said that he did not know one way or the other. Gerger said that Lynn Carl saw Page Johnson as much or more than anybody.

JOE CARL: If your records show that I won’t argue.

GERGER: For the first five months while Kristi was seeing Page Johnson Sylvia Davis was not her therapist.

Gerger reviews evidence to show Sylvia Davis as a therapist who provided support to her patients.

GERGER: Your wife was suicidal. The treaters wanted to get her to be less suicidal.

Gerger refers to the emotional tape when Lynn Carl was preparing to leave SSG and go to Florida. Gerger calls attention to sections on the tape where she is encouraging Lynn to go forward. She told Joe on the tape [in Lynn’s presence] that Lynn had the capacity to make new friends. Gerger introduces session note that shows that after the session Joe Carl gave Sylvia Davis $100 to give to Lynn. Gerger notes how Sylvia Davis was careful to document that she had received the money.

GERGER: Do you know how much money Sylvia Davis was paid for [treating your wife?]?


In the records reviewed for the first three months of Lynn Carl’s hospitalization at SSG there were repeated references to suicide.

GERGER: These are entries from people that you never filed a lawsuit against.

JOE CARL: The entries are correct. These are correct for that particular date.

Witness passed back to the Prosecution.

Eastepp reviews records to show when Lynn Carl first came to believe in SRA. Eastepp states that SRA was not in the records prior to the consultation with therapist, Dr. Kathleen Adams, unindicted co-conspirator, on February 17, 1991 From Dr. Adams notes of the interview she indicated that she used ideomotor signals and did a trance interview. She indicates that her clinical impression was that Lynn was MPD - cult. She states that her official diagnosis was that Lynn was dissociative with some features of MPD. Dr. Adams notes indicated that Lynn does not quite meet the diagnosis of MPD with multi-fragmented alter states. The note continues with a lot of discussion about alters. She listed several things that were suggestive of ritual abuse. List included what she had learned from Lynn’s ideomotor signals and statements from Lynn about being locked in a cage with insects, needing to die and descriptions of abuse from her brother. Dr. Adams said that right hand alters would answer questions that only left hand alters would know. Dr. Adams also noted that Lynn had a dread of birthdays and Christmas which were cult holidays.

Dr. Adams note continues: My hunch is that this patient has been ritually abused.

Dr. Adams assisted in getting Lynn Carl admitted to SSG.

Eastepp goes over records in April to show that Lynn Carl was in CPC hospital in Austin. Eastepp reviews the curriculum vitae of Dr. Judith Peterson to show that she conducted seminars at CPC hospital at that time.

Eastepp reviews July 31, 91 nurse note: Wife is in restraints, ate 30 percent of tray, fed by staff, having to use bed pan.

EASTEPP: Did you ever see your wife where she had to eat in restraints or go to the bathroom while she was in restraints?


Issue of restraining order

EASTEPP: Was there ever a restraining order other than the one issued by [? Dated ?]? [The date was either in March or April.]


Eastepp then reviews events and therapy sessions immediately prior to the rape allegation from Kristi Carl in November. Eastepp then wants to play tape of patient, 15 year old Kristi Karl and her therapist Dr. Frank Schultz, unindicted co-conspirator. There were strong objections from the defense. When the defense was overruled the defense insisted that the entire tape be played. The majority of the tape was inaudible. On the tape Kristi Carl talks about a dream of someone raping her. Dr. Schultz states that if Kristi says something had happened to her she will be protected. Dr. Schultz refers to BJ and uses the "f***" word to describe what could have happened.

End of redirect at 2:25 -

Use of the f word.

HARDIN: You were not present when this tape was made?

JOE CARL: Correct.

HARDIN: IS it possible that Dr. Schultz was responding to language used by Kristi in earlier inaudible portions of the tape?

JOE CARL: She never talked like that before she got there.

Hardin produces journal entries that show Kristi Carl often used the word in her journals.

Hardin asks Joe to point out on the transcript where Dr. Schultz was making suggestions to Kristi Carl. Joe Carl calls attention to a portion of the tape that starts on page 8 of the transcript.

JOE CARL: He is stating if he [BJ] did do something...

There are additional exchanges concerning this issue that were not recorded in notes.

The chronology of the events: 11/15/93 - date of alleged rape 11/16/93 - tape of therapy session 11/18/93 - Kristi reports rape

Hardin reviews records prior to the alleged rape where sex between Kristi and BJ was discussed. These records were discussed at length.

At 5:15 pm witness is excused.

Judge Werlein states that it is too late in the day to call another witness. Before dismissing the jury he says, "By tomorrow evening I will bring you up to date on where we are." He then adds, "Brace yourself!"

Tuesday, February 2, 1999.

Houston, Texas.

From notes by attendees

DISCLAIMER: The following material, based on hand-written notes, is presented for those who may be interested in the writers’ personal impressions of the courtroom proceedings as they happened. Although the writers have attempted to be as accurate as possible, the official transcripts remain the authoritative reference for what actually occurred.

New witness - Dr. James Hudson

Eastepp starts by getting background on Dr. Hudson and establishing that he is an expert witness.

Dr. Hudson resides in Boston, Massachusetts. He is a staff psychiatrist at McLean Hospital. McLean Hospital is a teaching hospital associated with Harvard Medical School. Dr. Hudson was born in Annapolis, Maryland. He graduated from Yale in 1970 with a degree in Philosophy. Later he graduated from Tufts Medical School and did his residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Chicago. He returned to Boston and studied Psychiatry for 3 years. In 1983 he took the position of a staff psychiatrist on the faculty of Harvard Medical School. His responsibilities include patient care, teaching and research (primary responsibility). His patients had a wide range of psychiatric disorders. In 1985 - 1986 Dr. Hudson ran a Unit for eating disorders. Dr. Hudson’s responsibilities include teaching medical students, residents and others on a range of subjects that include basic principles of psychiatry and how to diagnose, theory [on specialty?], and eating disorders. Dr. Hudson completed residency program in psychiatry and has passed the board certification exam. He has been board certified for the past 12 - 13 years.

Eastepp then reviews with Dr. Hudson’s curriculum vitae. [section to be completed later]

EASTEPP: Have you ever been a expert?

Dr. Hudson indicated that he had been an expert witness six or seven times and he had consulted on numerous other cases.

At this point Eastepp said that he would like to tender Dr. Hudson as an expert.

EASTEPP: Have you in your clinical experience treated patients as the "doctor of last resort?"

Dr. HUDSON: You can’t see psychiatric patients without seeing patients with trauma, sexual abuse victims, Nazi concentration camp survivors, victims of natural disasters...

EASTEPP: Have you ever seen patients with MPD?

Dr. HUDSON: I have not made the diagnosis myself.

EASTEPP: How would you characterize MPD?

Dr. HUDSON: MPD is a disorder that is highly controversial.

EASTEPP: Have you studied the controversy?

Dr. HUDSON: Yes.

EASTEPP: Describe MPD?

Dr. HUDSON: MPD is one of the dissociative disorders.

EASTEPP: Are you an expert on MPD?

Dr. HUDSON: I am an expert on the controversy.

EASTEPP: You are here because we hired you. What patients and what types of records have you reviewed.

Dr. HUDSON: I have reviewed records for Mary Shanley, Lucy Abney, Karen G., Catherine S., Lynn Carl, BJ Carl, and Kristi Carl.

EASTEPP: What type of documents?

Dr. HUDSON: I have reviewed 50,000 pages - medical records, journal entries, 60 audio tapes and 3 video tapes.

EASTEPP: When did you start your review?

Dr. HUDSON: Spring last year.

EASTEPP: You were working for a fee. [How much was the fee?]

Dr. HUDSON: $350 per hour.

EASTEPP: How many hours?

Dr. HUDSON: 250

Dr. Hudson said that for the most part his time was spent reviewing the material, reviewing records and listening to tapes. He said that he had been in Houston for a couple of weeks waiting to testify.

EASTEPP: What was the total [charge to the government for his time]?

Dr. HUDSON: $90,000

EASTEPP: The government has given you marching orders to look over the records and give your professional opinion. Did you form an opinion?

Strong objection from Gerger, Hagemann, and Hardin. [Qualifications?] Objection was overruled.

Dr. HUDSON: These records represent the most fraudulent treatment of patients that I have ever seen.

Strong objection from all defense attorneys to the use of the word "fraud." Objection was overruled.

EASTEPP: Explain in more detail your particular opinion.

Dr. HUDSON: One issue that concerned me was the lack of informed consent.

EASTEPP: What is informed consent?

Defense Objection - Expert does not have knowledge of the laws for standard of care in Texas. Objection sustained.

Eastepp asked Dr. Hudson about his training in issues related to informed consent.

Dr. HUDSON: Medical training, my research with human subjects, and my experience serving under committee.

Dr. Hudson said that he saw no evidence that patients had informed consent.

EASTEPP: What is informed consent?

Dr. HUDSON: The risks and dangers and alternative treatment was not explained. An example for a patient who was suffering from back pain the doctor might suggest bed rest as an alternative to surgery. I did not see a differential diagnosis.

EASTEPP: Did you teach informed consent?

Dr. HUDSON: Yes. This is done in every medical school throughout the country.

EASTEPP: Is it only medical?

Dr. HUDSON: No. Basic principles are used throughout the medical and psychological profession.

EASTEPP: What were you looking for?

Dr. HUDSON: Progress note.

EASTEPP: When you went through medical documents could you tell what the patients were treated for?

Dr. HUDSON: They were treated for the after effects from Satanic cults. Clearly something which is not accepted by the scientific community. By this time [early 90’s] investigators had determined that there were no multi-generational Satanic cult present at all in the US. Abreactive - memory retrieval techniques, hypnosis - highly controversial. The controversy was never explained [along with] the risks and benefits of treatment.

EASTEPP: What is required?

Dr. HUDSON: The risks and benefits are fully explained to the patient. [There was no evidence that this was done for the 7 patients.]

EASTEPP: Did you form any opinion as to the suggestibility of the abreaction sessions?

Dr. HUDSON: These techniques are known to be highly suggestive and highly leading.

Dr. Hudson explained that the risks of these techniques were well known in the psychiatric community.

EASTEPP: Did you see evidence that these patients were forming false memories?

Dr. HUDSON: Yes. The most glaring examples was of Karen G. for a rape that was not true.

EASTEPP: When you reviewed the records did you note who was or was not on restrictions?

Dr. HUDSON: Yes.

EASTEPP: What about restrictions?

Dr. HUDSON: There were numerous restrictions in the hospital: mail, visitation, patients with family members in the hospital were kept from seeing each other.

EASTEPP: Did you note one to one?

Dr. HUDSON: Yes.

EASTEPP: Unit restrictions?

Dr. HUDSON: Yes.

EASTEPP: [Telephone?]

Dr. HUDSON: Yes.

EASTEPP: Restraints?

Dr. HUDSON: Patients were not told that the restraints would be used to that degree.

Dr. Hudson noted that Kristi Carl spent 6 months in the central lobby. He said that there was no discussion on the effectiveness of this. Dr. Hudson testified that there was no scientific evidence for this type of treatment.

Dr. Hudson said that the patients suffered from depression and mood disorders. He stated that there were well established treatments for mood disorders that were cheaper, more effective and much less [intrusive?].

Series of questions based on review of documents

EASTEPP: Assume that [the patients had previously been diagnosed with MPD] would your opinions change?

Dr. HUDSON: Not at all. It is the duty of any mental health professional to come to their own diagnosis.

EASTEPP: Would the patient’s symptoms change your opinion?

Dr. HUDSON: Not at all.

EASTEPP: For all seven.

Dr. HUDSON: Not at all.


Dr. HUDSON: It’s not for the patient to decide. It’s up to the doctor to make the diagnosis.

EASTEPP: Assume that MPD was accepted. Would it change your opinion?

Dr. HUDSON: Not at all.


Dr. Hudson gave two reasons. (The reasons were not in notes.)

Eastepp gives Dr. Hudson a notebook containing excerpts from the medical records. He asks Dr. Hudson to turn to tab 2. Eastepp indicates that the records are the admission and psychiatric assessment of Karen G.. Eastepp asks Dr. Hudson about the 5 axes in Karen’s provisional diagnosis.

Dr. HUDSON: These axes are defined in DSM and it is the way we make our diagnosis.

Dr. HUDSON went on to define each axis. The following is taken directly from DSM-IIIR.

Axes 1 and 2: mental disorders. Axes 1 and 2 constitute the entire classification of mental disorders. Axis 3: Physical (medical) disorders or conditions. Axis 4: Stressors. A scale is provided in DSM to code the overall severity of a psychological stressor. Axis 5: The Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF).

Dr. HUDSON: The diagnosis involves all 5.

EASTEPP: In this particular case [Karen G.] did you form an opinion?

Dr. HUDSON: It was totally inappropriately given.

EASTEPP: In the GAF how is it set?

Dr. HUDSON: It is going to vary [but there are] some pretty clear guidelines [in the DSM]. [For this patient] 23 was too low.

------lunch break ------

After lunch, before the jury returns, the judge talks to the attorneys about the use of the word "fraud." He says that he has changed his mind and the term should be avoided in connection with the medical testimony. When the jury returns the judge explains this to the jury.

Eastepp resumes his discussion of Karen’s GAF scores. Karen had a GAF of 60 [for the past year?] and a GAF of 23. Before lunch Dr. Hudson said that the 23 was too low. Dr. Hudson said that the 60 came close based on the documentation in the charts. He clarified that Karen had problems in her life because of the hospitalizations of her mother and sister. Eastepp then reads the discharge summary.

Discharge summary: Axis 1: MPD, PTSD, Axis 2: Antisocial, Axis3: multiple allergies, Axis 4: Acute event catastrophic, Axis 5: 18 Eastepp then reads the text associated with GAF 11 - 20 in DSM-IIIR .

DSM-IIIR -GAF 11-20: Some danger of hurting self or other (e.g., suicide attempts without clear expectation of death, frequently violent, manic excitement) OR occasionally fails to maintain minimal personal hygiene (e.g., smears feces) OR gross impairment in communication (e.g., largely incoherent or mute.)

EASTEPP: When you reviewed w...[remainder of question not in notes]


Dr. HUDSON: The [GAF] was far, far lower than was justified from the material I reviewed.

EASTEPP: From your experience [are GAF scores] lower at discharge?

Dr. HUDSON: Can happen.

Eastepp next discusses Kristi Carl’s admission psychiatric assessment. June 14, 1992 Assessment: Axis 1: MPD - poly - fragmented, Axis 2: Deferred, Axis 3: Asthma, Axis 4: catastrophic, Axis 5: 45-50. Eastepp reads the text associated with a 45-50 GAF score from DSM-IIIR.

DSM-IIIR: Serious symptoms (e.g., suicidal ideation, severe obsessional rituals, frequent shoplifting) OR any serious impairment in social, occupational, or school functioning (e.g., no friends, unable to keep job).

EASTEPP: Your review...

Dr. HUDSON: Yes. It was low but not outrageously low.

Eastepp displays a fax cover sheet to the Jury. Fax: To: Mary Jones, From: Debra Ofelio, Subject: Please deliver to J.P. Subject of testing: Kristi Carl - Date: ?, Axis 1: PTSD, Axis 2: deferred, Axis 3: None, Axis 4: ?, Axis 5: 48. Assessment date: 6/19/92. Eastepp indicated that this record was signed by Dr. Peterson.

Eastepp reads assessment done 5 days after hospital admission. Admission was on 6/14/92. Assessment: Axis 1: PTSD, Axis 2: deferred, Axis 3: none, Axis 4: Severe, Axis 5: 10.

EASTEPP: Did you see any support for [this GAF score]? ... with a GAF score of 10 from DSM-IIIR.

DSM-IIIR GAF 10: Persistent danger of severely hurting self or others (e.g., recurrent violence) OR persistent inability to maintain minimal personal hygiene OR serious suicidal act with clear expectation of death.

Eastepp now goes back to Karen G.’s record to examine in more detail. He starts with the physicians order for a pelvic exam.

Dr. Seward physician’s order: See if Dr. Estivain can perform pelvic exam. Exam was performed by Dr. Levin. Dr. Levin’s recorded that hymen was intact.

EASTEPP: Did you know what that meant?

Dr. HUDSON: I knew what it meant. There was no sign of sexual abuse.

Eastepp then shows the same record from Dr. Levin’s exam taken from patient’s chart.

Hospital record, Master Treatment Plan: Patient had behavioral problems on unit, patient appears [normal?], began school, open to talking in groups, Dr. Fink has encountered 9 year old unnamed alter. Pelvic exam was reported as normal.

EASTEPP: Is this supported?

Dr. HUDSON: Yes.

EASTEPP: Lucy Abney Journal entries, Saturday, May 2, 1992. Have you reviewed those records?

Dr. HUDSON: Yes.

Lucy Abney Journal entries, Saturday, May 2, 1992: I hand Karen to him and he sits in a chair and I can see he has an erection. Holding Karen, he tries to make her sit on it. Karen screams and my heart breaks in a thousand pieces. Finally he achieves penetration. I know. I can see blood. He moans and stops. He hands her back to me. He puts on his robe. Karen is screaming and crying and bleeding. Karen is sewn up. I try to quiet her... He raped her the same way my father raped me.

EASTEPP: Records from CPS. Entry June 19, 1992. Both girls had been involved in pornography and prostitution. - put in a lobster cage - tortured -

EASTEPP: Did you review this record?

Dr. HUDSON: Yes.

EASTEPP: Transcript of tape recording June 19, 1992, Sylvia Davis and Karen G.. See page 27 of the transcript. Rape that...[rest of sentence was not in notes].

EASTEPP: Did you review?

Dr. HUDSON: Yes I did.

EASTEPP: Next progress note, Davis signature, June 19, 1992: Session - processing of body memories, ... [section missed] of two men and black robes at cult meeting - patient electroshocked - mother was beaten. Patient given reassurance - not her fault. We will protect her. Processed CPS involvement - phone call today to Crissy Dahl.

EASTEPP: Journal entry: Today was fair. I didn’t sleep. Someone inside told me about rape. I know that it had happened before. I thought about how horrible...

EASTEPP: Did you review?

Dr. HUDSON: Yes.

EASTEPP: Journal entry: Today was... I stayed with Karen [?] . I told all about my dream. Abreaction. I hated being raped. Mom took advantage of me. I hate mom. If... Thank you Sylvia for helping me.

EASTEPP: Did you review?

Dr. HUDSON: Yes.

EASTEPP: note, June 22, 1992, signed by Davis: processing young alter that is hostel to Karen, mind control torture, sacrifice animals for rape, torture continues. Trembling with fear - I hate the bad men and mommy didn’t even care.

EASTEPP: Did you review?

Dr. HUDSON: Yes.

EASTEPP: Letter to CPS, Lucy Abney, June 23, 92: Dear Ms. Dahl, This letter is to clarify the abuse that my daughter Karen has [experienced?]. I have... near drowning in... sex, child pornography, being suspended above fire, tied to a cross and then turned upside down... The girls have both been given drugs, electroshocked, forced to watch... Sexual rape by... Catherine may have had a child when living with father. I am still in treatment.

EASTEPP: Did you review?

Dr. HUDSON: Yes.

EASTEPP: Tape, June 24, 92, G. and Peterson: On this tape they used the term abreaction.

Dr. HUDSON: Yes.

EASTEPP: Progress note from tape session: Patient seen... processed memory retrieval of rape. Patient had a very good session. Judith Peterson

EASTEPP: Journal entry, June 27, 92: ...take advantage. Rape worst way of abusing people.

EASTEPP: Did you review?

Dr. HUDSON: Yes.

EASTEPP: Physicians note, Sept 9, 92: Patient confronted on sexualized transference. Expects sex with me.

EASTEPP: Did you review?

Dr. HUDSON: Yes.

EASTEPP: Taped session, Sept 3, 92: Well daddy was there and I was in bed and I didn’t like it. That isn’t what I talked to Dr. Seward about. He said that he thinks there are alters... This makes me feel sick. They didn’t... Were you able to tell Dr. Seward?

EASTEPP: Did you review?

Dr. HUDSON: Yes.

EASTEPP: Letter out of Karen G. record: Ivy Chambers, CPS, I have really been abused. I have been programmed by cult. Lewis T. Abney has abused me. He constantly abused me and raped me. I want all of this to stop before it ruins my life. I no longer want any contact with him at all. He sent men to my window to threaten me. My therapy work has slowed down I want your help.

EASTEPP: Did you review?

Dr. HUDSON: Yes.

EASTEPP: Letter, 10/29/92 from Karen: Sylvia, I am past [?] that I wanted to run everything in therapy. I have decided to live in real world, the only way I can be free. I was the only one in the cult family that kept her out of therapy. family members get her. I had to do my job. I had to sacrifice one baby. The sacrifice... placed head in fire... that next... that... whole evening...never to be treatable. I loved being a part of that, so I moved up making sure that my family succeeded. I came in with my new job and my old job was to be my conciliation for missing my birthday party. The way I saw it I would be so high up. I was taken... I could get all the glory. I was told that I was doing the best job I could do. I took drugs to cover all. I was a great cult princess. I did everything I was supposed to do that... I was the perfect kid with no problems. I honestly believed ... Everyone was here to make sure that I was doing my job. You are always being told to do your job better. November came. Every family session would build up my power a little higher and mom will not know what happened by the time... I have complete control over her. She will follow me back to the cult. I am the one that called up the... Eventually she will have no control of her alters. I was supposed to ... I would have that wonderful crown and everything would be OK. When I saw... It just wasn’t worth it. I am not sure that mom’s and Catherine’s parts that were there before. I am not sure that Catherine will go back. If I don’t do my job I will be hurt or killed. All I know is that I... Signed [?]

EASTEPP: Did you review?

Dr. HUDSON: Yes.

EASTEPP: Based on the examined documents did you form an opinion?


EASTEPP: What was your opinion.

Dr. HUDSON: It was medically impossible and many of those things are grossly inappropriate.

EASTEPP: What about Lucy?

Dr. HUDSON: Rape and other events were medically impossible and were being diagnosed as the reason for the problem.

EASTEPP: In your review of the docs did you see [rest of question not in notes]?

Dr. HUDSON: I did not see any evidence that they were dissuaded?

EASTEPP: [question not recorded]

Dr. HUDSON: Some things are impossible and you don’t accept them. You are trained not to accept them.

EASTEPP: What happens when a doctor...?

HUDSON: It is the responsibility for the doctor to inform about treatment.

(Throughout the testimony, after almost every question there was an objection, usually by David Gerger. His objection was to the qualifications of the expert witness. Gerger had asked the judge ahead of time if it was necessary to object after each question or could he have a running objection. The judge said that he should object after each question. In all cases the objections were overruled.)

Selected records of Catherine S.

After reading each record Eastepp would ask Dr. Hudson if he had reviewed what was read. The answer was always yes as was with Karen above. The exchange was not included in the notes below.

EASTEPP: Physicians order, 2/20/92: drug [?] arranged for Dr. Levin to do pelvic per order of 2/15/92.

EASTEPP: Record from Dr. Levin file: Shows initial GYN 2/24/92 -pregnancy exam for Catherine S. age 16 - pregnancy 0 [zero] uterus small cervix... negative urine pregnancy test.

EASTEPP: Catherine S. journal entry, June 18, 1992: I also remember that I had been pregnant... cult had had an abortion

EASTEPP: Catherine S. journal entry, June 6, 1992: Catherine’s body raped by older brother. Pregnant with brother’s child. ...shame... eventually I was shamed by my entire family. My father called me a whore and a slut... physical problems starting at 4 months - terror that I would lose my child. I was no doubt on the edge of some... I delivered at 7.5 months and was in labor for 2.5 days. midwife from next door. She gave me several shots, went off to sleep, cried from the time the chord was cut until I dozed off. I had no milk to give her so she was left hungry. I woke the next morning - baby was no... baby taken away right after delivery. Every day I wonder... I hope to find her someday and tell her everything.

EASTEPP: Journal entry: My brother raped me several times - pregnant only once.

EASTEPP: Trish note, 6/30/92: Patient having memory of abortion in Georgia at age of 14. Patient Sarah [alter?] will be put out in body for safety.

EASTEPP: Trish Taylor note, July 1, 92: status - patient abreacted in two point voluntary restraint - abortion when 14 - witnessed by several others including mother and brother - voluntary restraint -

EASTEPP: from tape: cult abortion group - without anesthesia.

EASTEPP: Shannon Hall note: Patient put on UR - upset - two children ages 2 and 4 - patient afraid that... [children will be harmed?]. I will get the kids and come back here.

EASTEPP: Physician progress note, Sept 9, 92: Seen with Trish Taylor - patient controlling access to therapy by metronomic beat of foot. Used metronome - accessed ... must leave hospital by September 9, 1992. ... told by stepfather. Patient driven by cult programming to sabotage therapy. Increased risk of kidnapping.

EASTEPP: Trish Taylor note, Sept. 9, 92: Blocker ... alleges cult to return [that?] to break her out. Incident later evening was ... cult members capture her - cult makes regular visits to window.

EASTEPP: CPS, 10/15/92: Worker not allowed to visit alone with patient. Dr. Peterson present. Discharge coming soon - doesn’t want stepfather - Mr. Abney raped her on many occasions - brother got her pregnant - two births and four abortions - porn films - electroshocked. Wants living arrangements away from mother and sister.

EASTEPP: After having reviewed...[did you form an opinion?

Dr. HUDSON: It was grossly improper and unreasonable in ...satanic cults. It should be evident to any doctor.

Eastepp starts to review the records of Mary Shanley when the judge stops the court session for the day. Before dismissing the jury Judge Werlein gave them a revised estimate on when the trial would end. The following went into his revised estimate.

Seven days have been lost because of illness Defense has used 16 hours more than the prosecution for recent witnesses (2.5 days). Judge Werlien stated that the prosecution was allowed time to compensate for the to 2.5 days used by the defense. The judge said that the prosecution indicated to him that they were ahead of schedule and would not need the 2.5 days. There is a possibility of days off for spring break in March. One of the jurors has already made prepaid travel plans on the assumption that the trial would be over.

Bottom line: The judge now thinks the end date will be late March or early April.

Wednesday, Feb. 3, 1999.

Houston, Texas.

The federal criminal trial against Judith Peterson et al for insurance fraud is now in its sixth month. On the stand February 2 as an expert for the prosecution was Dr. James Hudson, a psychiatry professor at Harvard Medical School. Dr Hudson testified that the treatment of patients at Spring Shadows Glen as victims of satanic abuse was a "severe example of fraudulent diagnosis and fraudulent treatment." Defense attorneys objected to Hudson’s use of the word "fraudulent" and said that as a psychiatrist he was not qualified to give a legal opinion. U.S. District Judge Werlein asked Hudson to refrain from using that word.

Hudson testified that he reviewed 50,000 pages of medical records and 60 tape recorded therapy sessions. He said it was his conclusion that the therapists encouraged the belief in satanic cults and used leading or suggestive questions in the therapy sessions while having no evidence that such cults existed. He said that the therapists should have known that the use of hypnosis in their therapy put patients at risk of recovering distorted or false memories. He stated that the medical evidence was contrary to the stories of a 13-year-old patient’s memory of being raped and to her 16-year-old sister’s memory of giving birth to two children and having four abortions.

"It’s absurd to take things at face value, especially from mental patients," Hudson said. Hudson has taught at Harvard Medical School since 1983 and has treated several thousand patients. He has billed the government about $90,000 for his medical review.

In his testimony, Hudson expressed concern that therapists at Spring Shadows Glen did not inform patients about the controversial nature of their treatment, that the treatment included many restrictions such that they often could not have mail or visitors and that there was no demonstration that such restrictions were beneficial.

Defendants in the case include psychiatrists Gloria Keraga and Richard Seward, psychologist Judith Peterson, therapist Sylvia Davis and hospital administrator George Jerry Mueck. Spring Shadows Glen is now under different ownership and called Memorial Spring Shadows Glen.

Defense attorneys argue that the defendants provided appropriate psychiatric care for the patients whom others had diagnosed with serious mental illnesses before admission to Spring Shadows Glen.

Prosecutors argue that the defendants are white-collar criminals who schemed to make patients believe that they were sicker than they really were in order to keep them in the hospital and collect insurance benefits.

This summary is based on a Houston Chronicle article by Mark Smith, "Satanic abuse therapy cited as ‘severe example’ of fraud," 2/3/99.

Wednesday, February 3, 1999.

Houston, Texas.

From notes by attendees

DISCLAIMER: The following material, based on hand-written notes, is presented for those who may be interested in the writers’ personal impressions of the courtroom proceedings as they happened. Although the writers have attempted to be as accurate as possible, the official transcripts remain the authoritative reference for what actually occurred.

Court was to start at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, because a juror had an appointment. It didn’t convene until 10:55. Larry Eastepp continues his direct examination of Dr. James Hudson, an expert witness for the Government.

EASTEPP: I want to clear up the issue of the Basic Rights form. Five patients signed this form, but Mary Shanley and Lynn Carl had not signed. However, they had signed a form that said the rights had been explained to them.

Eastepp reads from the Document of Hospital Notification of Patients’ Rights and Responsibilities: Patients over 16 should have a copy. Patients hospitalized by commitment will have the rights read to them. The nurse should document if a patient refuses to sign. The document should be attached to the patient’s chart. Revised Rights Document 7/26/90: Right to periodic review. Rights are protected by Texas law. Right to appropriate treatment. Right not to participate in research programs. Patient must give informed consent to participate in research programs. Right to have treatment explained. Right to receive mail, visitors, and communicate with people outside. Patient and family should understand all treatment.

Dr. HUDSON: Two of the patients were not informed of these rights, but they were informed about the risks.

Eastepp reads a progress note for Mary Shanley from Dr. Seward dated 4/16/1992: Feels somewhat better. Animal parts, humiliating to create, but now it is over. Attached to animal parts, which ejaculate inside. Discussed complaint of Mary’s.

EASTEPP: What is the goal of progress reports?

Dr. HUDSON: A progress report should list the patient’s symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment plan. These were false entries because this event could not possibly have happened.

Objection by Hardin and Gerger

Dr. HUDSON: My feeling that this is not a proper notation.

Hageman objects.

Dr. HUDSON: In this record the patient experienced things that were completely preposterous. There was no skepticism by the doctor. This particular act was reported as Axis 4, on the DMS Chart of Psycho Stresses for Adults. An example of Axis 4 would be like the death of both parents.

EASTEPP: Did you review the tape transcript of the family session with the Abneys.

Dr. HUDSON: Yes.

Eastepp read page 39 of the transcript where LT is stating his feelings about the bullwhip:

LT on tape: Where are the scars and bruises?

Seward on tape: You only have to pat the bruises and they go away.

Eastepp reads Katherine S.’s journal 1/20/92: Well I just talked to Dr. Seward. I am going to dictate what Karen remembers.

Eastepp asks Dr. Hudson for his opinion.

Dr. HUDSON: This was talking about events as if they actually happened. This could have never occurred. It is the responsibility of the treator to evaluate what the patient is saying.

Eastepp reads Dr. Keraga’s order sheet 8/19/92: Patient is on one-to-one. Prevention of self-mutilation. Remove toothbrush. Possible internal damage. Must be examined by Dr. Levine.

A later note of Dr. Keraga: Discontinue the one-to-one for patient.

Keraga’s progress notes: Gynecological examination is terminated. Watch patient for fever or pain to order consult. Considered possibility of emotional trauma.

Keraga’s notes 9/22/92: Kristi is angry and upset at staff for holding her down and putting her in a quiet room. Patient was told that it was too late. Patient admitted that she had put things inside herself. I asked the patient about the meeting about the contraband she had hidden. Another alter knows where it is, but couldn’t tell me, because other parts wouldn’t let her. A blocker knows of the glass, but cannot tell me where it is. I called a gynecologist who is near by, but he wasn’t in. Patient told therapist that she wanted BJ here. Later the patient calmed down. Keep her on one to one. Patient was told the need for X-ray to check for items. No glass was found.

Dr. HUDSON: For a young woman who had been diagnosed as suffering from satanic abuse, a gynecological exam would be appropriate. The Xray would be a higher risk to the patient because of cancer of the ovaries. It the glass were found a gynecological exam would have to occur.

Staffing meeting 6/18/93: "Keraga notified staff that patient reported that she had been abusing self in vagina area. Nursing staff did not observe any self-mutilating in 15 minutes checks.

EASTEPP: Did you notice the entry of the nursing staff?

Dr. HUDSON: Yes.

Keraga’s Patient care monitoring: Alters discussed that a gynecological examination would not be done, due to the trauma of the exam to a girl who had brutally sexually abused.

Dr. HUDSON: A simple gynecological examination would have been appropriate.

Eastepp reads Seward’s notes 3/30/?: Patient presents mapping system. Killer alters continuing to harm. Sore throat, headache, knee injury (her knee was hit with a basketball), continues self-mutilation.

EASTEPP: How can a headache be self-mutilation?

Two hour lunch break

EASTEPP: Throughout, the records showed improper diagnosis and Treatment.

Dr. HUDSON: None were properly diagnosed.

Many objections.

EASTEPP: What are some examples?

Dr. HUDSON: All patients were self-mutilating.


EASTEPP: From your review of the records.

Dr. HUDSON: (His response is incomplete) The patients were told that the hospital was the only safe place. The patients had to come up with some sort of abuse, and even some of the family had to come up with abuse. What they referred to as a cult was one that believed in sacrifice and cannibalism.

Objection by Gerger

Dr. HUDSON: The satanic cult, they believed in, was an organized group that programmed, used mind-control, triggered suicide, impregnated women, and sacrificed victims. This cult included some of the SSG staff.

EASTEPP: When you reviewed the records, what technique was used to perpetuate these beliefs?

Dr. HUDSON: Many sessions were called psychotherapy, but they were not. They were really perpetuating these beliefs by using hypnosis inappropriately. The patients had group sessions where satanic experiences were shared. Patients had Art therapy sessions where they were told what to illustrate. Journaling was uses to elaborate on the alters who were caused by satanic abuse. They also used isolation and restrictions. When family members entered the hospital they couldn’t see each other. An example was the Carl family. BJ and Kristi were admitted to SSG in 1992. BJ came up with memories of abusing Kristi. He was told that his mother and sister had the same memories. They never got to see each other to straighten this out.

Dr. HUDSON: Physical restraints were used to make the patients more susceptible to induction. Lucy Abney, LT, Katherine, and Karen were sexually and physically abusing each other. In the Carl family, BJ was abusing Kristi. All three mothers reported themselves to the Child Protection Agency. They couldn’t see the children, and the children couldn’t see them. They couldn’t leave the hospital, and the children couldn’t leave because there was no one to take care of them.

EASTEPP: In the Patient’s Rights, the patient has the right to clean, humane environment.

Dr. HUDSON: In my opinion the environment was not good. Inappropriate use of restrictions and not privacy.

EASTEPP: What about the right to treatment?

Dr. HUDSON: The treatment was not appropriate. All hospitalizations were satanic cult abuse.

EASTEPP: What about the right to be free, have consultations?

Dr. HUDSON: They should have the least restrictive environment possible. It is healthy to have family members surround you. Your mail should not be censored. Your rights should be reviewed every 7 days. In my opinion the overall effect was to keep these patients ill and in the hospital.

Eastepp passed the witness.

HARDIN: How long have you been down here?

Dr. HUDSON: Four or five days at a time.

HARDIN: Do you have a contract?

Dr. HUDSON: Yes.

HARDIN: When were you first contacted?

Dr. HUDSON: In February or March of 1998.

HARDIN: Were you contacted by Eastepp? Did he ask you to be an expert witness?

Dr. HUDSON: The agreement was I wanted a description of the documents before I made up my mind.

A large number of documents were send to Dr. Hudson. He didn’t ask for any particular ones.

HARDIN: Was there any further conversation?

Dr. HUDSON: I became more aware of the case.

HARDIN: How many times have you been called for deposition?

Dr. HUDSON: About 15 to 20 times.

HARDIN: How many cases have been criminal?

Dr. HUDSON: Two.

HARDIN: Were they depositions for trial? For any of the civil cases you kept the documents?


HARDIN: What did you know about the case?

Dr. HUDSON: It was a mental hospital with 37 patients. It was a fraud case.

HARDIN: When did you agree to be a witness, in March or April?

Dr. HUDSON: I agreed in principle that I might become a witness.

HARDIN: What did you know about the case?

Dr. HUDSON: I agreed to review the records and I might testify.

HARDIN: Did you tell Eastepp that you would be a witness in this case before you read the records? Isn’t it true that you agreed to testify against these people before you saw any documents?

Dr. HUDSON: Yes.

HARDIN: Do you know that the ethics of expert witnesses is that you offer your expertise and not bias.

Dr. HUDSON: Certainly.

HARDIN (showing Hudson a contract): Do you have this in your files? It is dated March 30,1998. This says "Original Contract" anticipating the start and ending of services, March 31 to July 31. You signed the contract April 16. How will you know if it is an estimate or fact?

Eastepp objects. Pressuring the witness.

HARDIN: When did you conclude that 20 hours was not going to be enough?

Hudson couldn’t recall when he added more time to review the case. Perhaps it was in May.

HARDIN: When did you get paid the $40,000 or $50,000, the $2800 per day?

Dr. HUDSON: After I reviewed the material.

HARDIN: What documents did you review?

Dr. HUDSON: Medical records. Many of the documents in this binder.

HARDIN: How many hours did you use up?

Dr. HUDSON: About 50 percent.

Hudson said he reviewed documents four hours on Monday. In August he examined documents, more audiotapes, therapy sessions. Airfare was $517. He got another $30,000.

HARDIN: 168 hours have not been enough. Some figures are in the original document. It is not enough. Feb.1, 1999 another supplement for 84 hours.

Dr. HUDSON: I said I spent 150 hours. I estimate a total of $90,000.

HARDIN: Who is Dr. Pope?

Dr. HUDSON: A psychiatrist.

HARDIN: How many videos have you made?

Hudson names the videos he has made: "Psychiatric Diagnosis", "Eating Disorders", "Psychopathology", "Dissociative Disorders", "unclear", and "General Psychiatry"

HARDIN: Do any of these areas take board certification?

HARDIN: When did you fist get involved in Dissociative Disorders? By the mid 1990’s you began writing about it. You were an expert on the controversy.

Dr. HUDSON: There are those who believe and those who don’t believe. I am going to testify that the majority of psychiatrists do not believe in this diagnosis.

HARDIN: Did you in fact make $90,000 on this case?

Dr. HUDSON: Yes.

HARDIN: You make $5,000 for a deposition?

Dr. HUDSON: Once I made $5,000, but that is rare.

HARDIN: Is it true, that you have published 127 articles?

Dr. HUDSON: I have written 127 original reports. I have testified on a lot of subjects.

HARDIN: How many were on dissociative disorders? Start with article 1 and tell me which articles had anything to do with dissociative disorders.

Dr. HUDSON: Article 84, written in 1995.

HARDIN: The time of conspiracy of this case was 1991-1992. They wouldn’t have been able to use this article. You and Dr. Pope didn’t write that article until 1995. Not a single member of the defense team would have the advantage of your expertise. What do you know about this case?

Dr. HUDSON: Allegations of conspiracy to defraud insurance companies.

HARDIN: Do you believe there is such a diagnosis as MPD?

Dr. HUDSON: That question cannot be answered. I believe that there are patients who fulfill the description.

HARDIN: Do you believe in this as a valid diagnosis?

Dr. HUDSON: No. I do not.

HARDIN: Are there cults?

Dr. HUDSON: Yes.

HARDIN: What kind of cults do you believe in?

Dr. HUDSON: Small groups of people who meet together for some purpose, but do not do human sacrifice or torture people.

HARDIN: Do other psychiatrists believe in cults?

Dr. HUDSON: Not in the U.S.

HARDIN: Suicide?

Dr. HUDSON: Yes.

HARDIN: Afraid for safety?

Dr. HUDSON: Yes.

HARDIN: If the mother is in the cult the child probably is too?"

Afternoon Break

HARDIN: Go back to the article, "The Controversial Treatment," 1995. You and Dr. Pope have been associates since 1984. How many of the 127 articles did you write with Dr. Pope?

Dr. HUDSON: 107 were written with Dr. Pope.

HARDIN: Did Dr. Pope participate in any discussions with you about this case?

Dr. HUDSON: Yes. He had written several articles on Dissociative Disorders. "Can childhood sexual abuse be repressed?"

HARDIN: Isn’t it true that this article is about some of the studies other people have done? Did you do a study on some research on Dissociative Disorder?

Dr. HUDSON: Pretty tangential. I reviewed some case studies and wrote the conclusions. In 1994.

HARDIN: This has nothing do to do with Dissociative Disorder.

Dr. HUDSON: Yes.

HARDIN: You have not participated in any studies of your own.

Dr. HUDSON: My article came out in this month’s American Journal of Psychiatry.

HARDIN: At the time you wrote your expert opinion what had you written on the subject before you became an expert? What article did you write using your own clinical research?

Hudson named an article.

HARDIN: How many clinical researches have you done on Dissociative Disorder?

Dr. HUDSON: I have done no published papers on dissociative disorders.

HARDIN: What makes you an expert?

HARDIN: Have you written any articles on informed consent?

Dr. HUDSON: Yes, this article contains the basic elements of informed consent, only tangential.

HARDIN: Who is Dr. James Chu?

Dr. HUDSON: He is a psychiatrist. The director of the Dissociative Disorder Unit at McLean Hospital.

HARDIN: Have you ever discussed dissociative disorder with him. Isn’t his position higher than yours?


HARDIN: Have you ever talked to him?


HARDIN: Do you consider him well known? You came in late into this field.

Dr. HUDSON: I did criticize it.

HARDIN: Didn’t you actually cite Chu in your article? Is it wrong for Harvard to have such a unit?

Dr. HUDSON: Our University should have one.

HARDIN: Colin Ross is an opponent of yours. You don’t approve of Colin Ross?

Dr. HUDSON: I didn’t.

HARDIN: You wrote an article against Colin Ross.

Dr. HUDSON: Yes I did.

HARDIN: When did you become familiar with FMSF?

Dr. HUDSON: In 1992 I gave a lecture at a conference FMSF sponsored.

Hardin pulls out a program of the conference. He Interrupts: It was in Baltimore.

Dr. HUDSON: It was about childhood sexual abuse.

HARDIN: Skip Simpson was also at the conference. He reads from the program: "Childhood Sexual Abuse Adult Psychiatric ... 9:30. A co-authored paper and presentation with Dr. Pope with questions and answers.

HARDIN: Did you attend a talk by Skip Simpson in the afternoon? Have you ever advised him on his cases? At the conference did he tell you to watch for mail fraud? Is it true Sir, that you were already a witness on a case?

Dr. HUDSON: I became a science advisor to a criminal case. One daughter was raped the night before by her father. Her repressed memory was valid.

HARDIN: This was the first time you testified. You and Pope have appeared in the Ramona case in the spring of 1994. You testified for the plaintiff that repressed memory should not be allowed as evidence in court.

Court adjourned.

Tuesday, February 9, 1999.

Houston, Texas.

Mistrial Declared

The federal criminal trial against psychologist Judith Peterson, psychiatrists Gloria Keraga and Richard Seward, therapist Sylvia Davis, and hospital administrator George Jerry Mueck came to a sudden conclusion when a mistrial was declared.

A juror was disqualified because he or she had inadvertently had contact with a prospective defense witness. The trial had begun on September 9 with 12 jurors and four alternates. For various reasons five of the panelists had been dismissed. This left eleven jurors. A federal jury can return a verdict with eleven jurors if both the prosecution and the defense agree. In this trial, however, the defense did not agree.

Government prosecutor Larry Eastepp said, "We were prepared to go forward with 11 jurors, but because all parties failed to agree, the law said we could not go forward. We have no problems with the defense attorneys making their decision. It was entirely their prerogative."

Defense attorney Dan Cogdell said, "The bottom line from the defendants’ side is we hope this will conclude the trial. When the government reviews the decision on whether to retry the case, they will review the evidence, the cost to taxpayers of tying up a courtroom another seven months, limited prosecutorial resources, and weigh the cost of additionally traumatizing witnesses. I think they will conclude that a retrial is not in the best interest of anyone."

On March 3, Judge Werlein will consider motions from both sides regarding further action in the case.

This summary is based on a Houston Chronicle article by Mark Smith, "Juror disqualification sparks mistrial in cult-memory case," 2/9/99.

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