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USA v. Peterson, et al. Trial, Week 11

Tuesday, November 17, 1998.

Houston, Texas.

Trial Proceedings -- 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.


Lucy Abney is on the witness stand

When the previous court session ended on Thursday November 12th the prosecution was playing a tape from a Lucy Abney therapy session with Dr. Seward. The first part of the tape is reviewed in the notes from November 12. A portion of the tape is replayed to maintain continuity.

The therapy session was on February 18, 1992 and it was Karen’s (Lucy’s daughter’s) 13th birthday. In the session Dr. Seward and Trish Taylor discuss with Lucy what needs to happen to keep Karen safe on her 13th birthday.

Eastepp: Restarting the tape at page 9 of the transcript.

Tape

SEWARD: Today is Karen’s 13th birthday. What needs to happen?

LUCY: She would be safe in Lafayette.

SEWARD: How is she going to get there?

LUCY: Somebody would have to take her.

SEWARD: Like who?

LUCY: I don’t know. It wouldn’t be a good idea for L.T. to take her.

SEWARD: I can’t take her.

LUCY: The only person that I could be think of would be a friend of Lucy and L.T.’s, Sherman Waters.

SEWARD: You said they go everywhere. How would she be safe in Lafayette. I’m getting confused again. I need to ask again is it important that Karen be safe tonight?

LUCY: Yes.

SEWARD: What do you need to do?

LUCY: There are so few people [that you can trust].

SEWARD: Are you safe?

LUCY: I am safe here.

SEWARD: Is there anybody here that you can trust?

LUCY: She could come to the hospital.

SEWARD: I’m confused.

LUCY: YOU ARE CONFUSING ME.

LUCY: You are asking questions and I am giving you answers Is there a safe place for her?

SEWARD: I don’t know.

LUCY: I don’t know one besides the hospital.

SEWARD: It’s confusing that it’s taken 30 minutes to get to the hospital.

LUCY: I wasn’t thinking about the hospital.

SEWARD: How come?

LUCY: I don’t know.

SEWARD: I conclude that you think the hospital is unsafe in some way.

LUCY: When we think of Karen we don’t think of hospitals and therapy.

[There is discussion between Trish Taylor and Seward about Karen being groomed for the cult. Taylor refers to the previous session with Peterson from the night before.]

SEWARD: It doesn’t make sense that you haven’t thought about therapy for Karen.

[There is discussion about the safety of the hospital and Lucy that she and Catherine are safe at the hospital. ]

SEWARD: We need to concentrate on Karen’s safety.

LUCY: We need to get her here.

SEWARD: How can we do that?

LUCY: Somebody needs to bring her in.

LUCY: L.T. needs to bring her in.

SEWARD: How do we accomplish that?

[Most of the remainder of the tape discusses how Lucy will arrange for L.T. to bring Karen into the hospital and when she should arrive. Near the end of the tape is the following.]

TAYLOR: Lucy needs to stay protected.

LUCY: She has been out some today but nobody knows about what happened last night.

TAYLOR: Thank you Doris.

LUCY: It’s like pulling teeth to get information from those people down there.

TAYLOR: I know.

LUCY: and it pisses me off. Can we get away from these people?

SEWARD: It’s possible.

TAYLOR: You can act on what you know now for Karen.

LUCY: So now they have all the children. That’s not right.

SEWARD: Who’s here?

LUCY: Doris.

SEWARD; The next step is for Karen to be safe - conserve energy for the work - one step at a time - place that energy somewhere you can get to it. Let the energy flow to a safe place where it can be used for the work - you are relaxed now. How does the body feel? Is the body safe? So you will take the responsibility for the contacts to make Karen safe.

End of tape.

EASTEPP: What did you do following the session?

Lucy indicated that she went and made the arrangements necessary for Karen to be admitted.

Seward note after session: Asked about daughter’s 13th birthday. Much initial [resistance?] - patient showed rage - "they have got my daughter."

Taylor’s note after session: talked with patient about daughter on her 13th birthday.

Lucy testified that she was aware when Karen got to the hospital but she was not allowed to see her.

EASTEPP: Why was Taylor there?

LUCY: I don’t know.

[Possible reason - Taylor had been in the therapy session with Peterson on the previous day when Karen was the main topic of discussion.]

EASTEPP: When Karen got there were you allowed to see her?

LUCY: I was not allowed to see her. I was told by the nursing staff that she was there.

EASTEPP: Why Doris?

LUCY: By this time I had been in therapy over a year and I believed that Doris was one of my alters.

EASTEPP: Who was Doris?

LUCY: It was me.

Lucy stated that when she was admitted, Dr. Johnson was her doctor. She said that she didn’t interview him - he just came on the unit one day.

Peterson note - Feb 21, 1992: Patient seen with Trish Taylor. - [Lucy stated that this happened occasionally she was also seeing Sylvia Davis] -patient is beginning to feel like a monster - more acutely suicidal.

LUCY: I don’t think it was accurate. I wouldn’t take my life. I wouldn’t do a thing like that.

Hypnosis

Lucy testified that hypnosis was being used early on by Dr. Peterson, Dr. Seward and Sylvia Davis. Comments about going to a safe place were to hypnotize. In her treatment with Dr. Billings, he would tell Lucy to go to a safe place. A safe place was a place to relax in stressful times. Lucy said a safe place was created under hypnosis - at first it was therapist induced - later it was self induced.

EASTEPP: When did you use self hypnosis?

LUCY: When memories were coming up - when I journaled.

Lucy said that she often did trance writing in her journals. She described trance writing as daydreaming and writing whatever came to mind. She said the journaling that she did at home was the same as at SSG.

Seward Note - Feb. 24, 92

Transferred case to Dr. Gary Johnson. Discontinued visitation with daughter per patients request.

Lucy testified that Dr. Johnson was her medication doctor until Dr. Keraga took over on May 22, 1992. She said that she never understood why the change was made.

A tape is played of a February 24, 1992 therapy session with Dr. Peterson.

Tape:

(The tape is difficult to understand.) Peterson brings out a metronome and Lucy asks Dr. Peterson not to start the metronome because it scares her. Later in the tape Dr. Peterson starts the metronome and the sound is louder than the voices on the tape. Lucy continues to plead with Dr. Peterson to stop the metronome as they talk about how the device is used by the cult.

Tape ends:

EASTEPP: Why was the metronome used in the session.

LUCY: To frighten me. I was not getting along with her in therapy. She thought I was lying.

EASTEPP: Why didn’t you tell her more.

LUCY: I didn’t know more.

[Nurse?] note after session: She appears depressed.

Lucy was put on one-to-one after the session and on suicide precaution.

On February 24th Lucy had no contact with her daughters. She was seeing L.T. every day but they were not allowed to touch. The orders came through Dr. Peterson.

Seward note - Feb. 24, 1992: Addendum - feeling abused by Dr. Peterson. Confronted - "Why don’t you fire her?"

Lucy: I didn’t know anyone else to work with. We continued. The cult would get me if I left the hospital and there was no other therapist available to me.

Peterson Note - Feb. 26, 1992: Patient passive - processed [memory?] gave names of alter Karen - said she saw daughters electro-shocked.

Lucy testified that her therapy was confrontational. She said that therapy with Dr. Billings was gentle.

EASTEPP: Did you hear about Dr. Braun?

LUCY: At some point Dr. Peterson said that I would go to Chicago and work with Dr. Braun.

Peterson Note - March 7, 1992: Patient confronted about electro-shock and hitting daughter on knee with mallet.

LUCY: I believed that I had done that. We had a wooden mallet in the kitchen That was used to crush ice.

EASTEPP: Why would you accept that?

LUCY: Dr. Peterson was the expert.

Nurse note - March 8, 1992: Patient is talking with peers about daughter being dissociative. [Information was communicated to Lucy via L.T. the previous weekend.]

Johnson note- March 9, 1992: Unit restrictions - suicide precaution - Husband not to visit for a week.

LUCY: L.T. was affectionate and liked to touch. Dr. Peterson believed that certain ways of touching would cause a patient to shut down. The order was written and I did not get a chance to talk to L.T. I wrote him a letter.

Peterson note- March 9, 1992: Patient remains superficial -no affect to back this up - sociopath - patient constantly presenting a fake or fabricated system - it does not seem real.

EASTEPP: Was it explained how you would tell [if what you were saying was true]?

LUCY: No. I felt that if I left the hospital I would be killed.

Davis note - March 10, 1992: Patient processing how alters can use any excuse to hamper therapy. Lesser alter appeared after provocation - their corporation challenged. "Healing from Within" recommended.

LUCY: All she said to me was it doesn’t feel real to me. She felt that there were fake alters inside me. The cult had created fake alters to sabotage treatment.

Peterson Note - March 12, 1992: Patient saw film "Significant Others"

LUCY: Video about patient that had been involved in SRA. The video was to give information and to help patients understand. Patients talked about their experiences and what had happened with their family.

Peterson Note continues: Processed feelings with others. Patient went superficial. Hostel alter still in control of affect. "Anger and full of rage."

Peterson Note - March 13, 1992: Davis used "Doubling Technique"

LUCY: She would speak for alters.

Peterson Note continues: Patient has several ways of avoiding therapy - pleasant conversation- robots - changing subject every sentence - sending out parts with no names -sending out child parts that are resistant.

Lucy was barred from seeing her husband.

Lucy Letter dated March 14, 1992: To whom it may concern. Requesting L.T. not to visit.

LUCY: The letter was suggested by Dr. Peterson. She believed that L.T. was keeping me from working by touching me.

March Master Treatment Plan [Peterson?] Continue to work on host personality to show proper affect over abuse of children. Continue hypnotic work to break down amnesic barriers. The projected date of discharge was 3 to 6 months at that time.

EASTEPP: Was discharge ever discussed with you?

LUCY: Not until right before I left the hospital. I didn’t want to leave the hospital I was afraid that the cult would get me.

CPS Notes[?] Christi Dahl from CPS visits on March 16, 1992. Initial interview with mother. Asked how family had wound up in the hospital. Patient had difficulty giving information. Mrs. Abney explained how she became aware of the current cult abuse. Mallet and twisting fingers memories. Issue came up in early March. Abney stated that she had been electro-shocked. Asked how electro-shock worked. Bands on arms and legs. Daughter was breeder for cult. Denies that Husband is involved in cults.[CPS notes?]

EASTEPP: Where did you get that [daughter breeder for cult]?

LUCY: Material that I had read.

EASTEPP: Who was present?

LUCY: Dr. Peterson. I had met with her before the meeting.

Peterson note - after meeting with CPS: Met with patient and CPS - daughters to cult next - she said that she couldn’t leave hospital or she would go back to cult.

Nurse note: March 18, 1992: patient requested staff one-on-one - she remembered her daughter being raped when she was 10. She was angry and said "I am not going to let them win." Patient requested prn medication and lisceral (sleeping medication).

LUCY: I think it was a dream.

EASTEPP: What about your roommate.

LUCY: Rachael was young, about 18. She had an MPD diagnosis also. They had to put her in restraints.

EASTEPP: Was issue of your daughter being raped ever discussed again?

LUCY: I have a general knowledge that it was.

Sylvia Davis note - March 18, 1992: Things not being real [?] Lack of genuine feeling about abuse of daughter.

LUCY: Dr. Peterson said over and over that I didn’t have feelings. Relationship with Dr. Peterson had improved.

Tech Note: (Alexander) : Patient in room in tears after session with Peterson. Confronted about lack of affect - stated determination to get better - "I will satisfy her."

Note - March 19, 1992: Patient told that if she didn’t show progress next week she would be moved to Unit C. Patient not motivated at this time - wanted to see husband.

Note - March 23, 1992: Requested extension for [not] talking with husband on phone or visiting. Lucy had written another letter for her chart "I wish this order to be in force until March 27, 1992."

LUCY: I had a discussion with therapist. He was keeping me shut down. If I didn’t visit him it would speed up therapy.

March 23 - Lucy wrote letter to L.T. "Dear L.T. I want to explain what is happening.... Peterson is out of town. ... I miss you. I love you deeply."

Nurse Note - March 23, 1992: Patient is quiet and withdrawn. Husband has been told that visit has been delayed.

March 24 Peterson note: Met patient with Carol Smith, program director. Choice has always been with Lucy on whether or not to visit husband. Met Satan part - represented ugly things.

Lucy wrote long letter to CPS ten days after their visit. The letter was to keep CPS interested in case. In the letter Lucy added additional details that were not mentioned during their visit. - shocking was done with metal bands on wrist and ankles - I was forced to witness abuse of children in cult - Catherine was used as breeder for the cult - children to sacrifice - Karen was to be raped on her 13th birthday, a ceremony was to take place where she was to be the bride of Satan. - mutilation and killing of animals - put in cages - holes in ground - forced to eat own waste.

LUCY: I believed these events had authenticity. The information came up in therapy.

EASTEPP: Was the letter mailed?

LUCY: It was mailed from the unit.

Peterson note: March 27, 1992: Dr. Fink transferring case to Seward on Monday. Husband complaining to administration and to doctors. Patient said that she had lied. Patient to be considered for other programming out of state. Husband has had more outpatient therapy. Husband appears to have increased alcohol consumption.

LUCY: She suggested that I go work with him. [Braun?] She said that they were experienced with patients that were having problems coming up with memories.

Letter from Lucy on March 27, 1992: "To whom it may concern. - I want to request that I receive no phone calls or visits."

Nurse note - April 1, 1992: Patient stated- "I am worried about my children. It is hard for me to believe that I abused my children."

Davis note: weeping a great deal - some suicidal - fingers indicated suicide.

Note- April 17, 1992: Patient agitated to learn that husband was being assessed for cult involvement.

Nurse note: Husband very angry and wants to talk to patient without therapist. Husband angry that he could not see patient. - talked about canceling insurance.

Lucy: He was very angry and he didn’t understand why he was not allowed to visit.

Lucy wrote letter to L.T.: [trying hard to explain to L.T. what was going on.] "Please know that I love you very much. I want very much to have the whole family together again. We have made a choice to get away from the cult in this generation. If you pull the insurance we will be discharged and I will go back to the cult. This is no joke. We are not on a vacation. This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Please do not pull the insurance. No one is brainwashing me. Meet with Dr. Peterson and talk to Dr. Billings."

LUCY: Billing insurance was a big deal at the time.

Nurse note - May 7, 1992: Patient confronted - flat affect - "therapist keeps asking for answers that I don’t have." I suppose that people could be lying about the patient. Patient treatment team was concerned.

Taped session May 8, 1992 Judith Peterson - Sylvia Davis - Lucy Abney

Tape:

Near the start of the tape Lucy is concerned about the mother’s day holiday. She thinks that she had been programmed to kill her self. The main discussion is the lack of progress by Lucy and giving information that is inconsistent in her therapy. She is told that she is not doing anything to help the girls. Lucy is told that Catherine is about to be discharged because she is not working. There is some discussion about a family session that will be on the following Monday. End of tape.

EASTEPP: Do you recall the issue about your daughter stopped working - she wanted to leave hospital.

[Answer not recorded]

Note: fear for safety and children’s safety - wants to continue treatment.

Nurses Note: Sylvia Davis says patient should be put in central lobby for Mothers day.

Nurse note: Found plastic knife.

LUCY: I don’t recall incident. I have no idea why I had a plastic knife.

Family session - Catherine had stopped working. Dr. Peterson said that Lucy had keys to children’s system. The session was attended by Dr. Seward, Dr. Peterson and Page Johnson.

[Eastepp pointed out at least twice that Dr. Johnson was not in the session.]

[Someone’s notes}Processed Catherine’s needs - Mr. and Mrs. Abney want Catherine to stay in hospital.

Peterson Note after session: Patient apprehensive about girls - concerned About Catherine leaving hospital.

Peterson note - May 13, 1992: Husband confronted wife that she had the key to therapy for girls.

Nurse Note - May 15, 1992 - Central Lobby with husband - feeling anger - combative with husband.

Nurse note - May 19, 1992 - Patient attended group - affect quiet - "I’m missing my children. It’s hard to believe all this stuff." - afraid to leave hospital.

Family session -May 20, 1992 Attendees include Lucy, L.T., Catherine and Karen, Dr. Peterson, Dr. Seward and Sylvia Davis.

Tape:

The tape starts with Catherine presenting a collage that she has made on poster board. The pictures were clipped from issues of National Geographic magazine. According to Catherine the pictures were related to what was going on inside her. She asks her mother to look at the pictures. Lucy is told that she has the key that would allow her daughters to progress in therapy. Lucy has the "access codes" for the daughters. At one point in the tape Lucy gives a string of numbers as the access code. Her responses are met with ridicule and at the end of the session there is no progress. End of tape.

Nurse Note after session: Patient had flat affect - very depressed that she was unable to help daughters.

Peterson note - May 28, 1992: Patient [Catherine] seen with Dr. Stewart. Processed lack of progress by mother.

After the family session Catherine was moved to Unit D [Dissociative Disorder Unit and Lucy was moved to Unit C.

Lucy testified that Dr. Johnson stopped being her doctor when she moved to Unit C. She was told about the transfer by Dr. Peterson and she had no discussion with Dr. Johnson. Dr. Peterson talked to Dr. Johnson.

LUCY: I thought I wasn’t working hard enough. Lying - I couldn’t give them the access codes - I was lying about the experiences that the girls had had.

After the transfer to Unit C Lucy testified that she started seeing Dr. Keraga.

Her sessions with Keraga were late in the evening (after 10:00pm) on Unit C. Lucy stated that Dr. Keraga asked questions about her feelings and her medications. Lucy told Keraga that she was MPD and had been involved in SRA. Dr. Keraga did use hypnosis in her therapy. Lucy stated that Dr. Johnson had not used hypnosis when he was treating her. The therapy with Dr. Keraga worked around memories or things that came up with Sylvia Davis.

Keraga note - May 26, 1992: Patient became very agitated. Insurance only let her stay until Friday [?]. System shut down. Patient talked about having to kill 3-month-old baby after a gun was put to her head. Alter had job of putting baby in burning embers after - could smell the burning flesh - patient started shaking.

Lucy testified that she did not recall the story. On Unit C Lucy and L.T. started having family therapy with Sylvia Davis. The therapy discussed how L.T. was coping with the rest of the family in the hospital. He could stay in the hospital as long as visiting hours allowed since Lucy was on Unit C. He and Lucy were allowed to touch.

Document - June 9, 1992: "I, Lucy Abney, do allow SSG to verbally disclose to Dr. Braun about my daughter and me."

LUCY: I don’t remember signing this document.

A similar document was prepared for therapists in Austin, TX (Kathleen Adams and Frank Schultz).

Physicians order: Allowed Adams and Schultz to sit in on sessions.

Lucy had 3 abreaction sessions the first was in June 17, 1992

Keraga note: June 17, 1992: Patient put in 9 point restraint with the expectation that patient would show behavior that was danger to self and others.

LUCY: It was called memory processing. The patient would relive the memory all over again with everything that went with it. I was told it was necessary to recover from the abuse.

EASTEPP: Was it discussed why you waited until June?

Answer not recorded.

Lucy testified that the first abreaction session was with a 2 point restraint and that was about the only thing she could remember.

Keraga note continued: Patient child alter came out - body memories of being Beaten largely blocked - patient sent back to safe place.

Lucy: I don’t recall most.

------------------------- Letters from Lucy

EASTEPP: How did the letter to CPS come about?

LUCY: In a session with Sylvia Davis she indicated that she didn’t think CPS was taking enough interest.

Letter to CPS - June 23, 1992: I am writing to further clarify that I have participated in - Cages (Lobster cages came from Catherine) - Child Porno (came from Catherine) - tied to wooden cross (source unknown) - sexual assault from adult members of cult - ritual abuse - drugs, electro-shock, forced to kill, etc.

EASTEPP: Was the letter mailed?

LUCY: It was mailed by the staff on Unit C.

Lucy became aware of the complaint to MHMR regarding treatment of her daughters.

Note: Patient very upset about complaint.

Letter to MHMR from Lucy: I wish to make it clear. I request that the girls not be interviewed.

Lucy: Sylvia Davis requested that I write the letter. She eluded that we may have to leave the hospital.

Release letter - July 14, 1992: - I Lucy Abney disclose [medical records] on self and daughters to Braun, Sachs, and Levitt.

Tape session - July 20, 1992 - Lucy Abney, Dr. Keraga, and Sylvia Davis Tape:

Lucy learns that Catherine has recovered memories of L.T. sexually abusing her in a cult. Future actions are planned based on that knowledge. End of tape.

End of court session for the day.

Wednesday, November 18, 1998.

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.


Eastepp continues questioning Lucy Abney about the tape that was played late yesterday afternoon. Lucy said this had been a low point in her life. The stress was building after she was moved from Unit C to Unit D. Unit D was the MPD unit. She said she had crazy thoughts, was distraught and frightened. By this time she had spent 7 months in therapy. She found out that Katherine believed that LT had sexually abused her. Lucy wrote a note requesting no calls or visits from her husband.

July 7,1992: Keraga’s medical order: "Patient on one-to-one, no calls from husband, or any of the family members."

Group Therapy for the family some time in April: Lucy, Katherine, Karen, LT Abney (Lucy’s husband), Dr Keraga, Dr. Seward, Dr. Peterson were there. Katherine confronted her stepfather with her memories of sexual assault.

LUCY: "It was my worst nightmare. My family was being dissolved. When you’re in this kind of therapy you become crazy."

Lucy said that she didn’t question Katherine’s memories. She had been convinced that the memories were true and they were accurate facts. She said that LT was very angry and threatened to stop the insurance. LT was told he should go back to Chicago and go into therapy.

Nurses notes the same day: "Patient is so sorrowful. Her husband threatened to sue for divorce because Katherine had accused him of sexual abuse."

LT did not follow through at this time.

July 4,1992: Eastepp projects a letter on the screen that Lucy sent her employer, DHC. She requested that her disability check be sent to her at the hospital, rather than at home. She had been on disability since February 1991.

EASTEPP: Were you aware that they were insuring her at this time.

LUCY: "No."

July 27, 1992: LT wrote Lucy a letter that said he had decided to go into therapy. He was sorry that he had abused the girls. He had no memories of having done so. He asks her to forgive him and tells her that he loves her and the girls. Lucy thought he was going to Chicago, but he went to Louisiana. The letter touched Lucy. Sylvia Davis read this letter to her. Lucy was allowed no uncensored mail. Lucy said that it was suggested that LT was multiple also.

July 30,1992: CPS hospital visit record: A new worker, Ivy Chambers, takes over the Abney family case. Lucy was to be moved in August. The girls are having memories of being sexually abused by their stepfather. Lucy told Ms Chambers that the girls would be out of the hospital in two or three months and they would need a guardian. Keraga had suggested that the girls needed someone to protect them if they should get out before Lucy did. The CPS worker was not allowed to see the girls

A letter from CPS came to Lucy. It said, "since the girls were safe in the hospital the case was closed." Davis read this letter to Lucy, and Davis felt the case should remain open.

Lucy received a letter from her company that stated that her disability leave would expire February 14, 1993. Her insurance would remain in effect as long as she paid her monthly contributions.

LT wrote letter of complaint to the Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation about the therapy his wife and children were receiving. Dr. Peterson told Lucy that she needed to write a letter to the agency telling them how satisfied she was with the treatment. Lucy said that she didn’t believe she wrote the letter.

August 25,1992: Sylvia Davis writes that Lucy said, "If I have to go back to the cult we will all be killed. The cult part of LT knows that too.

EASTEPP: Had you ever thought of asking the police for help.

LUCY: No, I knew that Peterson was an expert and I had confidence in her.

July 7, 1992: Lucy wrote a letter to CPS about the girls and drugs. (Drugs came up in Katherine’s memories, and later in Karen’s journaling). Lucy was worried that the girls had no place to go after she was released. She asks CPS to reopen the case because of Katherine’s memory of LT’s abusing her as part of a cult ritual.

September 10, 1992: A letter from LT stating that as of September 15 he will no longer be responsible for anyone’s expenses other than his own. Lucy said that this letter was a surprise to her. She said she didn’t get out of SSG because of this letter. She testified that she wasn’t aware that her group insurance was covering her.

LT had gone to the nurse supervisor to try to see Lucy. but wasn’t allowed to. Keraga told LT that she would call him.

Keraga’s record: "Called LT and he was angry and hostile. LT said to tell Lucy she would have no insurance after September 15. He said he had a right to talk to Lucy and that he was not cult. He wanted to know if he should get the divorce or whether Lucy should get it. Patient had a good session. Got real deep."

Nurse on Unit D found a lawyer for Lucy.

September 17, 1992 Lucy was urged to write a letter for her record by Peterson, Keraga, Davis, and Trish Taylor. She was to explain what brought her to SSG. The cult had a purpose for Lucy to come to this hospital.

Lucy wrote, "I am writing this for my chart. I am allowed to come to the hospital to shut down Linda. She’s very powerful. After the shut down we were to be dismissed. LT was involved in child pornography and was using the money for illegal drugs. We want to be free."

The letter rambles on about how LT was laundering money through his company, etc. Lucy doesn’t remember to whom she gave the letter. She wrote the letter while she was in Unit D. (It was in her record)

TAPE #1 (for today): This tape was hard to follow. The judge, jury, and defense team had transcripts of the tape to follow, and they do. The issues in this tape seems to be primarily insurance and insurance payments. The tapes keep the jury focused.

SYLVIA DAVIS: It is my understanding the hospital paid two insurance payments...Or he is making no payments. So maybe you can look into this.

LUCY: All of the facts are there. The details are not filled in. Seward felt I could fill in now that Katherine has shut down. You and Peterson wondered why I came here.

DAVIS: Now the question is why? Maybe it is not accurate? Some of the real concerns?

LUCY: LT wants to shove us aside. Why bother? I’m not going to get my hopes up.

DAVIS: You wrote the letter to CPS, you should follow up, maybe with a letter.

LUCY: Will there be any difference if they prosecute him?

Other things discussed on the tape were the possibility of pressing charges against LT for sexual assaulting his daughters, unless he will go into therapy and Lucy asking Davis what she could do to help her daughters’ therapy.

September 29, 1992 Peterson’s records: A letter to Lucy Abney from CPS. "I have received your letter. There is no concrete evidence that their stepfather had abused your daughters." Lucy testified that this letter had no effect on her thoughts because the doctors just ignored it.

October 2,1992 Tape #2 which lasted for 45 minutes. Karen, Davis, Seward, Peterson, attended the therapy session. Karen cries through much of the session. The issues were Karen’s not working, and Karen coming up with memories of sexual abuse by LT. The last person on the tape to speak was Peterson, who said, "Bring her up." (Out from hypnosis)

Eastepp questions some points on the tape for Lucy to clarify. He asks her who she had talked to about her insurance.

LUCY: I talked to Trish Taylor, Dr. Peterson, Dr. Seward, and Dr. Keraga.

Tape #3 Session with CPA, Davis, Peterson, Martha Harrison (business office), and Lucy. Early October The issues were insurance, and finding reason to keep the family in the hospital. At one point on the tape, the social worker says, "It sure feels good here."

October, second week the CPS social worker comes to see Lucy. She cannot see Lucy alone. Peterson, Keraga, Taylor and Davis were a part of the visit. Lucy was worried about her daughters being close to being discharged. She tells the social worker that their stepfather forced the girls into the cult. She said that Mr.Abney had made charges against SSG for malpractice. She said that girls have no contact with their real fathers. Lucy had never observed the girls having parts. It had come out in therapy that the girls had perpetrated each other. Lucy did not know this.

October 26,1992 Keraga’s record: In an abreaction session with Trish Taylor and Lucy Abney "Patient presented killer alters who had the knowledge of four murders committed by her alters. Patient contracted for her safety. Patient will journal about shutting down these alters."

October 9,1992 Lucy wrote a letter to Ms Thornton. Lucy wrote: "this is the day the girls will be dismissed. Please find Karen a residential treatment center. A temporary shelter will not be safe." She said that the stepfather has no legal rights and that Karen should have a different name.

November 23,1992 A COBRA document is signed by Lucy Abney. This was to change her insurance coverage. It said, "Do not send any payment with this form." It was a comprehensive dental and mental health coverage for 36 months.

EASTEPP: Did you discuss this with anyone other than Davis.?

LUCY: Maybe with Keraga.

December 8,1992 Note concerns a continuation of payment schedule of $390.00 per month retroactive 9/15/92.

EASTEPP: Were you still covered by your group insurance?

LUCY: Yes, but I didn’t know it.

EASTEPP: Did you have $1300?

LUCY: No, the hospital paid for it.

January 1 the benefits changed to $150,00 lifetime coverage for mental health and substance abuse.

December l,1992 Karen and Katherine were released from SSG to CPS. Lucy testified that she was very concerned for her daughters. She wasn’t sure they were prepared to face the outside world. She was also afraid that she would never see them again.

For the protection of the children Lucy had to sign custody to CPS. She couldn’t take care of them, and LT was not safe. A lawyer was contacted and who said she would draw up the divorce papers for Lucy.

Lucy continued with abreaction therapy. She had no contact with her children until Karen called her from Waco from her therapist’s office. She saw her in the spring of 1994. Kathy called Lucy in September 1993 on Lucy’s birthday.

December, 1992 Journal entry: "I was also upset because the benefit had changed. $150,000 for life time treatment. That will be eaten up quickly. Perhaps I shouldn’t cover the girls."

December 25, 1992 Keraga’s record: Keraga and Carol both verified that $150,000 was all the insurance left. Acute care in the hospital could go through that money quickly.

December 22, 1992 Two cashier checks. Patient remains as an in-patient. Peterson was informed.

January 11,1993 Lucy doesn’t remember being told that the COBRA policy had been canceled. The reason: "Patient doesn’t meet the qualifications."

EASTEPP: When did you find out that you were leaving?

LUCY: In January the insurance was used up. I recall at the time I had made good progress. The alters were still there. I was scared to death. Sylvia Davis urged me to change my identity. I was going to Richmond, VA, to a YWCA shelter for battered women. I took a taxi to the airport, and I was afraid that the cult would get me.

1/3193 Keraga record: "Staff will accompany the patient to the airport in a cab and see the patient board the plane." (Lucy went alone by taxi.)

Discharge record: Keraga and Seward attending physicians: Patient was admitted to SSG on February 13, 1992. She had MPD, post traumatic stress disorder, highly fragmented, and catastrophic sex abuse.

EASTEPP: Were you better when you left?

LUCY: Probably I was about the same.

Keraga’s dismissal record: Patient is full of rage. Internal dialogs were established. Complicated stay. Children were satanically abused. Patient believed husband was part of the cult. He sabotaged her treatment. Patient had planned a divorce. She was unable to take care of her children because she was still in the hospital when they were released.

Lucy testified that she was on a lot of medicine when she was released, which she continued to take. She only stayed in Richmond for two weeks. She concentrated on getting a job. She was frightened to get out of the shelter. Even though she was afraid, she said that she made herself go out. She cut her medicine in half after she had been there a few days. Lucy began to think about her stay in the hospital. She said she really didn’t want to change her name. She was terribly lonely, and missed the girls and LT. She decided to call LT and see if she could go home. She did call and left a message on his answer machine. LT called her and said he wanted her to come home. She arrived in Houston on February 15, 1993. She was trying to sort out her stay in the hospital. She was apprehensive about relationship with LT and the girls. She was beginning to question all of it.

LUCY: I believed that the alters were still talking to me, but they were not writing anything.

EASTEPP: What were you hearing?

LUCY: My own thoughts.

Lucy testified that she was still apprehensive about the cult. She was still taking her medicine, but later quit completely. Lucy did have a few therapy sessions with Adam, a colleague of Keraga’s. However she didn’t like him and didn’t go back.

EASTEPP: Why did you choose Adam?

LUCY: I didn’t know anybody. I knew Adam. I wanted someone to help me sort what was real and not real. I did call Billings, but he was not accepting any new patients.

Lucy said that she was still confused.

EASTEPP: When did you find out where the girls were?

Lucy testified that when she had given CPS the custody of her children, she thought it was temporary. But it was permanent. An attorney was provided for her by the state. Her daughter, Katherine, decided on her own to come back home and said all the stuff wasn’t true. Lucy explained that she saw Karen in the spring of 1994. LT could not see her. Lucy could only visit for an hour with Karen’s therapist in the room.

Lucy tried to write a chronology in the late summer of 1993. She realized that these things could not have happened. She was still journaling. She saw a TV tape where there were people who had the same therapy as hers. She contacted FMSF for information on cults, and the pros and cons of MPD therapy. She had never been a member of FMS. She talked to other women around the country. She went to a meeting in Dallas in 1993. Dr. Paul (Skipt) Simpson did a workshop in which he talked about the law. She thought that Pam Freyd was there. LT asked Freyd to write a letter to CPS and explain the foundation. Freyd also met with a local group of parents one Saturday afternoon.

Eastepp read a letter dated June 8, 1993 written by Pam Freyd to Jane Davis, caseworker for CPS . The letter said that:

"L.T. Abney has asked that we inform you about the Foundation. Over 60 women have called us...Most of these women are now involved in suing their doctors. I urge all professionals to have sympathy for these women."

Freyd sent a packet of information, and said that she would be happy to answer any questions. This was simply an information letter, not a suggestion of misdiagnosis as Hardin suggested in his cross-examination of Karen.

Lucy talked to Pam Freyd several times. She continued to go to meetings. They usually were on Saturday afternoon with speakers. There were therapists, social workers, and parents who had lost their children to this therapy. Eastepp asked if she had any contact with previous patients. Lucy had seen Mary Shanley several times, and once in a while they talk on the telephone.

EASTEPP: How did the issue of filing a law suit come up?

LUCY: LT’s attorney suggested that he file a suit, September 1993. I went along with the idea.

EASTEPP: Was your attorney involved with FMS?

LUCY: No. My family had been destroyed. I lost my children. I wasn’t warned about the dangers of hypnosis. The therapy itself was confrontational. I felt that I was attacked and abused. My maternal instinct was questioned. I was on suicide watch one day and turned loose to go free the next.

EASTEPP: Lucy Abney was on suicide precaution for 23l out of the 356 total days at SSG. She was on Unit restriction for 280 days out of the total 356 days. She had no visitors. Did not see her children except at therapy sessions. She had no mail. Hypnosis was used in therapy and the memories are unreliable.

Court resumes at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, November. 19

Thursday, Nov. 19, 1998.

Houston, Texas.

Lucy Abney’s Testimony

Lucy Abney, a former patient at the Spring Shadows Glen private mental hospital in Houston from February 1992 to February 1993, testified for six days in the federal criminal trial against psychiatrists Gloria Keraga and Richard Seward, psychologist Judith Peterson, therapist Sylvia Davis and administrator George Jerry Mueck. The five defendants are accused of mail fraud, insurance fraud and knowingly misdiagnosing MPD in order to keep patients in the hospital. Abney said that during her therapy she came to believe that her husband had abused her children and her in satanic rituals. Some of the "memories" involved torture of her daughters in lobster cages, the sacrifice of a baby in a fire, and a pornography ring. "I truly believed there was a cult and if I left the hospital I would be killed by the cult." Abney said. She testified that her therapists told her the "memories" that she recovered were real.

Hospital records show that Abney was placed on suicide watch for 268 of the 354 days she was at Spring Shadows Glen. She was discharged without supervision in early 1993 when her insurance approached its limit.

Abney testified that when she was discharged she moved to a shelter for battered women in Richmond, VA because her therapists had told her that Texas and Louisiana were not safe because of her cult involvement. But Abney stayed only two weeks in Virginia. She decided to reconcile with her husband and she returned to Texas. She also reconciled with her two daughters, Catherine S. and Karen G. who had also been patients at Spring Shadows Glen and who were then in the custody of Child Protective Services.

Defense attorney Rusty Hardin suggested that Abney should bear some of the responsibility for her treatment. He asked if the cult abuse memories were lies.

Abney replied, "If Dr. Peterson believed I was lying, why didn’t she tell me and release me from the hospital?"

Abney testified that she had come to believe that she had been abused and had multiple personalities while in therapy the year before entering Spring Shadows Glen. She admitted that she had read several books about cults and MPD. She agreed with Hardin that it was not the therapists’ responsibility to investigate independently her claims.

Hardin suggested that it was strange that the therapists at Spring Shadows Glen taped so many of their therapy sessions if they were involved in a conspiracy to defraud insurance companies. "If you are doing something wrong, wouldn’t you agree it is a strange thing to do to tape it?" he asked.

Abney and her family settled a civil malpractice suit related to her treatment at Spring Shadows Glen. Hardin suggested that the family decided to file suit only after they had had contact with the False Memory Syndrome Foundation. He said the group has spurred members to file lawsuits against therapists across the nation.

The trial will recess for Thanksgiving and resume on November 30

This summary is based on a Houston Chronicle article by Mark Smith, "Ex-Patient testifies therapy convinced her of satanic rites: None of memories real, she says," 11/19/98

Thursday, November 19, 1998.

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.


Lucy Abney is on the witness stand

Government Attorney Larry Eastepp only had a few more questions for Lucy Abney at the start of the day’s court session.

Lucy testified that she had spoken at a Houston FMS meeting in June 1993. At that time she was sure that she was not MPD and she didn’t think she ever was. After contacts with the media she did speak with others to help them with their situation. For therapy after SSG she had gone to Dr. Stephen Brown and Dr. Joe Solomon. Both were marriage and family therapists. She and L.T. [her husband] filed a lawsuit that was concluded to her satisfaction. Lucy stated that she and L.T. had been divorced for almost 3 years. She explained that the allegations that had been made against L.T. continued to cause problems with their marriage and was part of the reason for the divorce. She said that she and L.T. are friends and then added I think good friends. The government first contacted Lucy’s attorney about the case in June 1995. Lucy was contacted by Randy Durney in May 1997 . Lucy testified that most of the preparation for testimony was spent listening to the therapy session tapes.

At 8:45 Eastepp passed the witness to the defense.

HARDIN: Did I understand that your divorce was caused by your stay at SSG and you blame the doctors at SSG?

Answer not recorded.

In answer to additional questions from Hardin, Lucy testified that on Feb. 1, 1993 she flew to Richmond, VA. She flew home on Feb. 15, 1993. She had reconciled with L.T. and they started living together. At that time L.T. was employed by American General Insurance Company.

Lucy testified that she attempted to see Dr. Billings but that he refused to treat her. She said that she didn’t know anyone else to go to. [Dr. Billings referred Lucy to Adam Mason]

LUCY: I saw Adam at the end of February for a couple of times.

She said that she saw him for about 45 minutes the first time and she saw him a second time but she stopped seeing him because she did not like the man. She said that she did not care for him personally. Lucy stated that she saw him until late March. In the summer she saw Dr. Brown.

Hardin asked about the lawsuit. Lucy explained that the lawsuit was filed in October 1993 and L.T. was a party to the lawsuit. The lawsuit was settled April 21, 1995.

HARDIN: The divorce was filed in February 1996, eight months after the lawsuit was settled.

Hardin wanted to know when she and L.T. started talking about suing the people at SSG. He wanted to know if it started in February.

LUCY: We were not talking about suing back in February.

HARDIN: Are you sure?

LUCY: By April or May I felt that what they had done was morally wrong.

HARDIN: When did you start having problems with Dr. Peterson.

LUCY: Probably at the first session in the hospital about February 14, 1992. I found Dr. Peterson to be cold, confrontational and she attacked my character and made me feel abused.

HARDIN: You felt that way from February 14th forward.

LUCY: No question in my mind.

HARDIN: You did not consider suing before then? [April or May]

(Answer not recorded but probably the answer was yes.)v

HARDIN: What was Mr. Abney’s position?

LUCY: I don’t know how he felt.

HARDIN: How did you get to the position of lawsuit?

LUCY: L.T. was in contact with an attorney named Jackie Taylor.

HARDIN: Who made the decision on who to sue?

LUCY: The attorney but I agreed with the decision.

Lucy testified that after the lawsuit was settled the government contacted her lawyer about the case. On April 21, 95 the lawsuit was settled and in May 1995 the government talked to the plaintiff’s attorney. In June 1997 Lucy met with Gov. Attorney Eastepp, and two FBI agents. The meeting lasted 45 minutes. The next meeting was in January 1998 and there have been a few additional meetings this year. Lucy said that she did not appear before the grand jury.

Lucy stated that Catherine now lives in Willis. She has just turned 23 and she has been a mom for 17 months. She said that Catherine came home right before her 18th birthday. She got her GED and she lived with Lucy and L.T. for 3 or 4 months. She moved out in May 1994 to an apartment in Montrose [area on west side near downtown Houston]. Lucy said that Catherine worked in Jason’s Deli for a while. Later Catherine worked as a waitress in a lounge in Austin for 19 months. She came back to Houston and lived with Lucy and L.T. in July-August 95. She moved out and moved in with Bart whom she later married. She now works 2 days a week. Lucy stated that she sees Catherine about once a week and talks to her on the phone.

HARDIN: After you met with the government in the summer - when was the next meeting?

LUCY: In September I came down on weekends.

Lucy said that she talked to the government 6 or 7 hours on Saturdays and Sundays. For the two weekends she said that she spent about 28 hours with FBI agent Durney. Lucy said that she did not get documents until she came down to testify. Lucy stated that she had not seen her journals since she turned them over to her attorney Mr. Walner. She said that she met with Walner in the summer of 1993.

HARDIN: Did you decide that you wanted revenge?

LUCY: I didn’t decide that I wanted revenge. Yes I have said that.

HARDIN: Do you bear any responsibility for your treatment?

LUCY: It was all their fault. They were the experts. Dr. Peterson claimed to be the expert on Satanic Ritual Abuse.

HARDIN: You went to Dr. Peterson.

LUCY: We went to Cypress Creek and I was referred to Dr. Peterson by Dr. Billings.

HARDIN: Were you mentally ill?

LUCY: It would be more accurate to say that I had a problem that I needed help with.

HARDIN: Did the government show you your journals?

LUCY: I saw them for the first time yesterday.

Lucy said that she had left SSG with her journals. The journals were in a portable file box. She stated that her journals were turned over to her lawyer. She said that she started to journal on January 8, 1991 when she was being treated by Dr. Billings. She continued to journal as SSG but not as often. Lucy said that when she journaled she had often put herself in trance and it would not be possible to tell which entries were written while she was in trance and which were written when she was not. She estimated that about 50 percent of the entries were written while in trance.

Hardin asked Lucy when she first started talking to the media. Lucy mentioned Mark Smith of the Houston Chronicle. Hardin then asked Lucy to point him out in the courtroom.

HARDIN: When did you first meet with Mark Smith?

LUCY: Summer 1993. Aug 93 ?

At this point Eastepp objects to Hardin lecturing the witness. (sustained).

HARDIN: Who is the FMSF?

LUCY: It is an organization based in Philadelphia that gathers information on repressed memory.

HARDIN: Was it not that the generating event that led to the starting of FMSF - one of the Freyds was accused of molesting a daughter.

Eastepp objects that testimony about the Freyds is irrelevant (sustained).

HARDIN: Isn’t it true that the membership claims to be falsely accused of child abuse?

Answer not recorded.

HARDIN: You are a what is known as a retractor. [Explains term retractor] You are given special treatment by FMSF.

LUCY: I haven’t gotten anything from the FMSF.

HARDIN: You spoke at three meetings of FMSF - June 1993 ...

[Note passed to Hardin]

HARDIN: Abuse by your father came up with Billings. What memories do you blame on SSG?

LUCY: That would be impossible for me to say. She went on to say that she attributed all the cult and SRA stuff to SSG. [Later evidence shows this to be incorrect.]

HARDIN: Do you know Zachary Bravos?

LUCY: Yes

HARDIN: Did FMSF talk to you about lawsuits?

LUCY: I don’t remember.

Hardin asked about Lucy’s participation in FMS meeting.

LUCY: I gave a brief informal talk.

HARDIN: Did you meet other people suing their therapist?

LUCY: [That is] not accurate [characterization of meeting] - suing therapist.

Eastepp objects to this line of questioning. (sustained)

long pause

Judge Werlein speaks to Hardin and says "You have been on this quite a while."

HARDIN: When you decided to sue had you met Mr. Simpson?

LUCY: I met him in August 1993.

Hardin then brings out that Lucy knew Lynn Carl and Mary Shanley and that they were using the same attorneys. "There was a group that are close friends that were going to the same attorneys and all had attended FMS meetings."

Lucy stated that she had had contact with Mary Shanley but Mary had not filed a lawsuit at that time. "We never discussed lawsuits - attorneys recommended against it."

HARDIN: Are you swearing under oath that you did not discuss lawsuit as early as February 1993?

LUCY: Yes

HARDIN: You saw Mark Smith in April.

LUCY: I met with him.

Hardin then asks about Lucy wanting revenge.

LUCY: I remember writing "I want revenge." I don’t remember when I wrote it.

[Note Lucy continued to journal after she left SSG and the journals after SSG were included in the ones turned over to the lawyers.]

HARDIN: (Reading journal entry )- Mark Smith called on April 7, 1993.

LUCY: Show me the entry in journal about meeting with Mark Smith.

Hardin displays binder containing excerpts from Lucy’s journals. "We are not going over every one."

LUCY: I hope not.

Journal entry - February 24, 1993: Almost week - talked to girl - talked with lawyer about getting children - had an appointment to talk to lawyer yesterday.

LUCY: We talked [to lawyer Paul Waldron]

HARDIN: If you look back to page 158 [journal entry]

Journal entry - August 5, 1993: Mark Smith came by last night - had supper- did not leave until late - absolutely amazed at what he had learned about Judith Peterson.

----break ----

Lucy testified that she had 3 or 4 contacts with Mark Smith. Hardin then asked her about other media that she contacted.

LUCY: I didn’t contact them - they contacted me.

Lucy confirmed that she still believed in alters on February 17, 1993. She said that she had an aversion to sex because of the incest between her and her older brother.

HARDIN: Wasn’t it a constant problem with you and L.T. in your marriage between 1981 and 1996?

LUCY: Yes

Hardin starts to list problems in the Abney family - drug problem with L.T.’s son - Catherine molested by friend of her father -

HARDIN: Settlement gave you financial freedom. After the settlement you moved out. L.T. was talking about filing a lawsuit [in February]. Marriage had a boatload of problems before SSG.

LUCY: No.

HARDIN: L.T. didn’t have a drinking problem?

LUCY: They made it [sound like he did]

Hardin presses Lucy about L.T.’s drinking and she becomes angry in her responses. She maintained throughout her testimony that L.T. did not have a drinking problem.

HARDIN: You did not like Adam? [first therapist after SSG]

LUCY: We didn’t gel - we didn’t have rapport.

HARDIN: In February 1993 you needed Adam. Later you sued with Dr. Billings and everybody else. Now are you telling this jury that you never liked Adam?

Answer not recorded but was most likely yes.

HARDIN: Lets look at journal for March 23rd.

LUCY: In the second paragraph I said that I liked him. My recollection is that I don’t know why it wrote that. I have no idea why I wrote that.

HARDIN: You needed him. You were still talking to alters and out of SSG - not in a trance. At the time you wrote this you were interviewing lawyers to sue.

HARDIN: Before you arrived at SSG you were reading about cults. Before you had contact with these doctors you believed in SRA.

HARDIN: When did your brother start having sex with you?

LUCY: When I was 10 or 11 and he was 12 or 13.

HARDIN: How often did it happen?

LUCY: It did not happen very often. The last time was when I was 18.

Lucy indicated that her mother blamed it on her. She stated that she did not tell her first [or second?] husband about the abuse from her brother. She told L.T. in 1984 or 1985.

Hardin goes back to L.T.’s drinking.

LUCY: He wasn’t drinking very much.

HARDIN reading from CPS notes: Lucy kept making excuses for husband. He did lose his temper. In the incident reported to CPS in 1984 the CPS record indicated that Catherine had a cut on her face.

Lucy denied that this was the case. She said that CPS had lied.

LUCY: They lied. I have no idea why. I was there I know what happened.

Note passed to Hardin and subject is changed.

Hardin asked about Catherine’s early problems and why Lucy put her in therapy.

LUCY: It was play therapy to address her behavior problems. She didn’t relate to other children, she did a lot of whining, she stole - she was born premature. She was disruptive in class.

Hardin goes back to CPS incident and home discipline.

Lucy testified that L.T. was strict about rules. One of the rules was about having lemons cut for the tea. Catherine ignored L.T. [when requested to cut lemons?] and he sent her to her room. Other things that would irritate L.T. included a messy room.

Hardin raised the issue of L.T.’s rage. Rage was mentioned frequently in therapist notes to describe L.T.’s anger. Lucy said that it was rage. Rage was defined as out of control screaming and yelling and she said that L.T. was not doing that.

Catherine was raped by a friend of her father (Castleberry) when she lived with her father in Louisiana. Catherine had been 13 when she went to live with her father and when she was 15 she ran away to a shelter. After she had been in a shelter for a few days she called to tell her mother where she was living. She said that she had been raped and wanted to come home. The family went immediately to pick her up. Lucy said that Karen was 9 or 10 at the time. Lucy stated that they discussed the rape the next morning after they got home.

HARDIN: How long did you talk with her?

LUCY: About an hour.

HARDIN: Did you think about reporting to police?

LUCY: No.

HARDIN: Why didn’t you talk to the Louisiana police?

LUCY: We took her to a therapist. She was totally resistant.

Hardin asked how the girls got along with L.T. after Catherine’s return. LUCY: They got along with L.T..

HARDIN: Why did Catherine become suicidal?

LUCY: I don’t know why.

HARDIN: What were your feelings about Dr. Seward?

LUCY: He appeared to be a nice man. He had experience with adolescents and he was recommended by Dr. Billings. He had experience with MPD.

HARDIN: Journals after SSG - Is it possible that you didn’t want his [Adam] treatment to interfere with lawsuit?

LUCY: No.

Hardin states that Lucy’s statements about Adam do not agree with what is in her journals.

LUCY: I don’t remember everything that I wrote.

Journal entry - April 7, 1993: We [Lucy and alters] had a session with Adam and we were really switching - going through journals for hospital stay - intensity of feelings. - I was really getting upset.

LUCY: I was terrified when I came to the hospital.

Journal entry - April 6, 1993

HARDIN: You were not under a trance.

JOURNAL: Saturday we [alters] went back to weight watchers.

HARDIN: You start talking about alters.

JOURNAL: I feel shame about the way we look - so far the program is good planned meals for this [week?]. [entry continues about quitting smoking - talks to alter Evelyn and others - the alters are afraid...] Hardin: This is 9 weeks after SSG. You still believed in cult and blamed mother. Alters are complaining about not getting enough attention at SSG.

Journal entry - May 19, 1993: Over a month since I had contact with FMS and I am an FMS survivor.

HARDIN: How long before that did you contact FMS?

LUCY: I had several phone calls.

HARDIN: Would you agree that they asked you to sue?

LUCY: They asked me to speak.

HARDIN: Six weeks later - you made it all up - [and say] "I am an FMS survivor". Isn’t that a radical departure?

LUCY: Yes. I vacillated back and forth - believing and not believing.

-------break for lunch --------

HARDIN: Let’s go back where we started.

Lucy had made her first journal entry after SSG on Feb. 17, 1993.

JOURNAL: I don’t know.[???]

HARDIN: Did you do any work in Richmond?

LUCY: No

Journal continues: L.T. and I are finally back together. He picked me up at the airport.

HARDIN: Who took you to the airport [from SSG].

LUCY: Taxi - They should have had a staff person go with me. - It would have been a courteous thing to do.

Hardin then goes into a discussion about a patient being discharged after heart surgery. He stated that there would be no staff person go with them to the airport if they were from out of state.

LUCY: Ordinarily a family member would be there with them.

HARDIN: You were given five or six places that you could go - Richmond, Atlanta, Denver, Minneapolis and others. You picked Richmond. SSG made a connection for you.

LUCY: After two weeks I felt lonely, unhappy, wanted girls, wanted to put marriage back together.

Journal entry - February 17, 1993 [date?] - I feel tired, exhausted - not enough sleep the last couple of weeks have been a terrible strain - lost 10lbs - the apartment is very nice and it is really .... Uproar over what I should do about therapy. I have been thinking and I am convinced that Peterson has a racket going.

HARDIN: Why all the focus on Peterson?

LUCY: She was the most confrontational. She called me a liar.

Hardin discusses how both Peterson and Seward were indicating that her affect was not matching up to her journal.

LUCY: They said that I didn’t have feelings.

HARDIN: Peterson was writing that your presenting self was inconsistent with writing. What should they have done?

LUCY: Showed compassion.

HARDIN: You testify that all those horrible things you wrote were after you came to SSG.

LUCY: My family had not been torn apart.

HARDIN: Are you aware that your journaling is inconsistent with that? If you wrote differently in your journals at the time what would you explain that to be?

LUCY: I don’t remember everything I wrote in those journals.

Hardin brings up FMS meeting in May 1994 - 3rd FMS meeting.

HARDIN: Did you say at that meeting, "I think she initially meant well" ?

LUCY: By SSG it had changed. She was confrontational in the TV therapy session.

HARDIN: Show me from the transcript.

LUCY: I remember what I was feeling.

HARDIN: Is it possible that you had a bunch of opinions?

Answer not recorded.

Hardin then starts through the transcript of the video tape session on February 13, 1992. The session was with Dr. Peterson. After the session Lucy decides to check into check into SSG.

HARDIN: How is Peterson leading? - reads from the transcript

Transcript- Peterson: Well what’s going on?

Transcript-Lucy: We believe that there is a possibility that there is current cult activity going on and there seems to be a link between my daughter and myself.

LUCY: The original idea came from Seward in December 1991.

Transcript-Peterson: (talks about signing release forms to get information from Dr. Billings.) Who do you think inside would know about the current cult activity?

HARDIN: Point out where she is putting ideas in your mind.

Lucy then starts talking for a 29 year old cult alter named Lucy.

Transcript - Peterson: Is it safe for her to come out and talk?

[At this point Lucy states that she was nervous about the meeting]

HARDIN: What were you nervous about?

LUCY: What the outcome of the meeting would be.

Hardin then reads from the transcript where Peterson talks about safety. After Peterson states as one of the rules that you don’t throw furniture Lucy laughs. Hardin comments that it didn’t sound like she was nervous.

LUCY: I laughed nervously, yes.

Transcript - Peterson: Could I talk to Lucy 29? Tell me when she is here. ---[Peterson to the alter] It sounds like you have some important information.

Hardin comments about Peterson’s monotone soothing voice and compares her voice to the monotone voice of Government Attorney Eastepp.

Transcript-Lucy: I have headaches.

Transcript-Peterson: So there are parts that make you have headaches.

Transcript-Peterson: Would they have more information?

Transcript-Lucy: They might have more.

Transcript-Peterson: What would happen if they talk?

Transcript-Lucy: Everybody would know what was going on.

Transcript-Peterson: Everybody on the inside or outside.

Transcript-Lucy: Everybody would know what is going on. Everybody on the outside.

HARDIN: So far this is an attempt to get you to talk on your own terms.

Transcript-Peterson [Long philosophical section that ends with "Grand Canyons of therapy"]

Transcript-Lucy: I like that.

HARDIN: That doesn’t sound like a woman who is scared. On page 7 [of the transcript] Peterson is still trying to get them to talk. You are telling herw unsolicited - alters have signed a pact to stay away from cult.

Transcript-Lucy: And that they are angry.

HARDIN: Third level belief system brought to SSG on February 13th.

LUCY: from the work I did with Dr. Billings.

HARDIN: You said that you are going to have revenge by suing.

LUCY: I have never discussed filing criminal charges.

HARDIN: [How can you blame these doctors?]

LUCY: Why did the therapy continue?

Hardin Why can’t you accept some of the responsibility?

LUCY: In 1991 we were not a dysfunctional family.

HARDIN: By December 1991 was it a fault of therapy that police were called, suicide threats by your daughter, daughter slapped up side of face by stepfather, daughter steeling at the age of 3, acting out at the age of 5, the fact that your husband put down your daughter because of lemons for ice tea and not refilling ice trays, husbands drinking, mother alcoholic, daughters father’s friend incested your daughter, mother alcoholic.

[Eastepp objects that Hardin is repeating the same things over and over. (sustained)

HARDIN: Page 7 [of transcript] We are at the third level. Page 8. We still haven’t found her [Peterson] abusive. Who was they talking about on page 8?

LUCY: I think they are talking about Lucy.

HARDIN: Your condition was desperate. Were you in a condition where you could not function?

LUCY: I was working and taking care of my family.

Transcript-Peterson: When was the last time you were with the cult?

Transcript-Lucy: Right before Christmas.

Transcript-Peterson: Where?

Transcript-Lucy: In the country in the woods.

HARDIN: We are up to page 9 -[Peterson is] not confrontational. All the information is provided by Lucy.

Hardin skips pages 10 and 11 and moves to page 12 of the transcript and discusses the alter Andrew that was on the 4th level.

Transcript-Peterson: How long have you been with the cult? Andrew.

Transcript-Lucy: A long time.

Transcript-Peterson: Who abused you before then?

Transcript-Lucy: Father.

HARDIN: Father is a member of a cult and he abused you. Why is it the fault of the therapist that you come up with these ideas?

LUCY: The therapist keeps saying you are not telling me everything. It’s the power of suggestion, dreams, visualizations are true [according to her therapist]. Nobody ever refuted anything Dr. Billings told me.

HARDIN: Why are therapists supposed to investigate what the patient is telling them? In therapy therapists have to rely on what the patient is telling them. You are not telling your darkest secrets to someone...Do you think your father would admit it if she called him?

LUCY: She made no attempt to check it out.

HARDIN: Is it the responsibility for therapists to go out and check?

Answer not recorded.

HARDIN: Don’t you think it would be irresponsible for a therapist to just say, "Lucy have a good day."?

LUCY: I agree that I wanted help.

HARDIN: Would it be irresponsible?

LUCY: Right.

Transcript-Peterson: Who abused you before then?

Transcript-Lucy: Father

Transcript-Peterson: Was he in the cult?

LUCY: She thought it was preposterous that I did not get involved in the cult until age 12. [indicated on the transcript]

Transcript-Peterson: You are wasting my time to throw out Andrew.

HARDIN: She said that you made it up. Why don’t you take responsibility for making up a lie?

Short unclear section skipped

LUCY: They believed you because of their own belief system.

HARDIN: What you hold against Adam is what they believe. If they believe in the cult and you believe in the cult and even if later you decide there is no cult...

Eastepp objected (sustained)

HARDIN: Have you found anywhere up until this point where Peterson has been suggestive?

Judge Werlein asks Lucy to look at page Hardin had skipped over and says to Hardin that he is not giving her a chance to read the document. Long silence in the courtroom as Lucy reads transcript. Lucy is still attempting to identify suggestive statements when Hardin decides to move on.

HARDIN: I want you to go back to May 1993 [in her journal]

Journal-Lucy: It’s been over a month since I made contact with FMS. Abused by father or mother[notes not clear???] I have talked to Melody, Elizabeth, and Lynn.

Hardin gets Lucy to identify these names as recanters.

Journal entry continues: Beverly White, a parent that had been accused - we had lunch together - meeting on 5th of June - I will speak. We went to Lafayette a few weekends ago. I have decided to stop therapy. I want to stop digging into the past. I met with Donna Schultz with the regulatory board. Missing children -crueler than death - L.T. is going through the ordeal all over again - watching my pain. I am mad at doctors and Peterson and Associates. I want revenge and you can be dammed sure that I am going to get it. L.T. was out of town and I talked to Susan [long time friend in Florida].

-----break------

After break Hardin asks Lucy if she has had a chance to look over the transcript for instances where Dr. Peterson was suggestive. Lucy replied that she had not gone back over the transcript.

HARDIN: Is the real reason for stopping therapy was so that it would not interfere with a lawsuit?

Response was not recorded.

Hardin then introduces records from therapist Adam Mason. Mason note- May 4, 1993. -control of switching - worked with Evelyn- misses children - client has pulled back - more guarded of internal processing. Entry near bottom- canceled by phone call - doesn’t want therapy to interfere with lawsuit.

LUCY: I don’t recall telling them. I don’t recall why...

HARDIN: He had no reason to lie.

Note continued: Evelyn had much information about structure and about many alters - rapid switching many times in session.

Mason note- March 30: [third meeting with Mason] 109 alters on map.

LUCY: This was the map that I had drawn at SSG.

Note continues: controlled switching - playing with child alters.

HARDIN: (after reviewing from Mason notes other meetings that she had had with him) The number of times that you saw doctor that you remembered as only twice was 6. How could you get so confused?

Answer not recorded

Hardin return to the journal notes.

Journal - February 17, 1993: Peterson had a racket.

Journal - February 18, 1993: ...at least two lawsuits against Peterson for the same thing.

Journal - February 24, 1993: Had appointment with lawyer. He is very interested in case against Peterson.

HARDIN: You were talking about alters as far along as April 13 and witches with Dr. Mason - two months after talking about suing. My only point to you is - can you explain [your actions]

LUCY: I was going back and forth for weeks - what was real and what was not real.

Journal- May 19, 1993: Another therapist is recommended by attorneys.

HARDIN: You had already appeared at FMS. Talking in journal about calls from FMS. "I want to talk again with a lady in Dallas." LUCY: I had contact with recanters.

Journal-July 12, 1993: had meeting to plan FMS meeting - Beverly brought in Laura Pasley’s story.

LUCY: I only heard Laura speak at one meeting and that one was in Dallas.

Journal continues: I had a most wonderful surprise. - Mary Shanley is in Houston [and she calls me]. She got my number from FMS. FMS meeting in Dallas - Skip Simpson and Pam Freyd [were speakers]

LUCY: I attended the meeting.

HARDIN: When you were talking - [about] different psychiatrists and different lawsuits around the country. If therapists could be suggested to the recanters - the belief system of the FMS could be suggested to recanters. You started reading literature about FMS.

LUCY: They had no suggestibility.

HARDIN: Are you different personally?

LUCY: I am much stronger.

HARDIN: Stronger Feb 13, 1992 or Feb 15, 1993. [note details are missing but Hardin was making the point that Lucy said she was stronger after her treatment at SSG]

LUCY: That’s not true at all.

HARDIN: Were you able to live alone.

LUCY: No

HARDIN: That should be borne out by the records.

Hardin talks about how Lucy was able to get to the plane, fly to Richmond and get in touch with husband.

LUCY: I don’t think that is what they did [that enabled me to do that].

Journal entry - August 4, 93: L.T.’s birthday. This time last year I was in the hospital.

Lucy then talks about the Perkins case. She had attended the trial of Bruce Perkins where he was convicted and sentenced to 4 consecutive 30 year sentences for sexually abusing his grandchildren. Lucy stated that she only attended a portion of the trial.

[Note regarding Perkins Case. Bruce Perkins was convicted of molesting his grandchildren after his two daughters had recovered memories of the sexual abuse. The abuse was to have taken place at upstairs at home while a birthday party was going on downstairs. Children who were not even at the party remembered that the abuse took place. There were aspects of the case that could not have happened - Perkins cut of dog’s penis for example - yet the dog was observed to have a penis after the alleged mutilation.]

HARDIN: Perkins was a member of FMS. I am curious how you came to believe that he was innocent.

LUCY: I believe the person involved and their character. The case was based on recovered memory.

HARDIN: Do you feel like we have come full circle?

Answer not recorded.

Journal entry - August 5, 1993: It’s been quite a weekend. Carol rode up as planned and I got to meet the Grady’s and others. Laura spoke on Friday night - she has...Paul Simpson - psychologist from Arizona... Saturday was flooded by information by people from FMS. Pam Freyd - Saturday morning, Paul Simpson and Skip Simpson.

HARDIN: Isn’t Skip Simpson the one who said that all you had to do was load up the truck and pick up the money?

Hardin states that Lucy was the same woman that was so suggestible attended this meeting where the FMS people had their own suggestible belief system.

LUCY: My mind was already made up by then.

HARDIN: The cult views extreme - Is it possible for kernels of truth? Why do you have to go from one extreme to another?

LUCY: I cannot operate well in the middle of the road?

HARDIN: Amen

HARDIN: [Quotes Skip Simpson] "Like shooting fish in a barrel." Did you become friends with Laura?

LUCY: We haven’t talked in a while.

HARDIN: Let’s move on.

Journal entry- September 17, 1993: Current Affairs, they came and did a TV show. I can’t believe so much has happened. We have moved to a different apartment. Letters from Mary Shanley, Bruce Perkins, Diana Halbrook. Last Sunday the article came out in the Chronicle - met my viewpoint - other side not [???] Mark worked long and hard to get it printed - a lot was cut out - it was wonderful - got me swamped with phone calls. [Lucy asked Mark to refer the people that called to her attorney]. Videotaped it in early September. Dr. Brown made an announcement in Sunday school. Church was supportive. Catherine called. Never in my wildest dreams that it would happen so soon.

Current Affairs was at Lucy’s home videotaping the show when Catherine called. Lucy allowed the video taping to continue while she talked to her daughter.

HARDIN: You let Current Affairs - you let a show tape that. You cannot see that promoting and ...

LUCY: I didn’t think about it.

Judge Werlein: You were about to move on.

Journal notes continue: Everyone was overjoyed for us. A woman recanted as a result of our story. Truly this has been an awesome week.

HARDIN: [You recorded much more in this journal entry talking about the TV show than about your daughter]. Which excited you more the TV or your daughter?

Answer not recorded.

Journal entry - October 28, 1993: Cathy and I had lunch with Sharon Gornic and Pat Tracy [also a former patient].

HARDIN: Is this the Pat that was head of Houston FMS?

LUCY: No that was a different Pat.

Discussion about the Retractor newsletter.

HARDIN: Is that a publication by FMS?

LUCY: No.

Journal entry - date?: Stronger - I am much better than before SSG.

HARDIN: How were you when you arrived?

LUCY: How did I get to Dr. Billings?

HARDIN: Did they tell you that Dr. [Tom] Billings was an unindicted co-conspirator in this case?

LUCY: They told me.

HARDIN: Do you know what a unindicted co-conspirator is?

LUCY: It’s a person that was involved in a crime but has not charged.

HARDIN: That’s close enough for government work. Do you think Dr. Billings was involved in a conspiracy to [get money from the insurance companies].

LUCY: I really don’t know.

HARDIN: [The charge is that] they got together and conspired to steal from the insurance company. What facts do you have to indicate to you that Dr. Peterson and these other doctors are guilty of mail fraud?

LUCY: I know that my insurance company was billed for the time I was in the hospital.

HARDIN: To your knowledge, were all the sessions that were billed conducted.

LUCY: As far as I know.

HARDIN: You were diagnosed as having MPD. When you arrived you thought that this was an appropriate diagnosis. They treated you for a diagnosis that you already had when you got there.

Dr. Billings note - Jan 8, 1991: Referred by pastor- personal friend.

LUCY: I liked him all through 1991.

Hardin then introduces Lucy Abney’s 1991 medical records from Dr. Billings.

End of court session for the day

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