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USA v. Peterson, et al. Trial, Week 5

Monday, October 5, 1998.

Houston, Texas.

Day 11 of trial - Shanley cross-examination begins

The fifth week of the trial U.S.A. v Peterson et al. began with the ongoing testimony of former patient Mary Shanley about her treatment at Spring Shadows Glen Hospital. Psychologist Judith Peterson, psychiatrists Richard Seward and Gloria Keraga, therapist Sylvia Davis and hospital administrator George Jerry Mueck have been charged with 60 counts of insurance fraud, mail fraud and knowingly misdiagnosing multiple personality disorder in order to keep patients in the hospital. The private psychiatric hospital is now under new management and is called Memorial Spring Shadows Glen.

This was the eleventh day of trial and the sixth day of testimony from Shanley who was sent to the hospital in 1991 to be deprogrammed from the influence of a cult that practiced cannibalism and murder. Peterson was believed to be an expert in this. Shanley testified that she was put in restraints more than 100 times during her stay. She said that most of these took place when she was undergoing "abreactive" therapy to bring out her alternate personalities. She said that once she was kept in restraints for more than four hours because she did not come up with "satisfactory answers."

Shanley testified that when she was in restraints she was strapped at her wrists, thighs, ankles and even her neck. She was forced to use a bedpan and had to be fed. Most sessions in restraints lasted about one-hour but once she was restrained for 19 hours after she pulled her hair and scratched herself and another time she was restrained for 21 hours with only a 30-minute break. (The dissociative unit in which Shanley was located while at Spring Shadows Glen was closed after an inspection by the state in 1993.)

Prosecutor assistant U.S. Attorney Larry Eastepp introduced what appeared to be a draft of a letter written by Peterson in May 1992 to another therapist in which she says that Mary had had only a few abreactions. Medical records at the time, however, showed that Shanley had been in restraints 55 times.

According to the testimony, while Shanley was still in the hospital, her husband Joe filed for divorce in January 1993. Shanley wrote to her husband that she wanted to put the family back together but she promised she would keep trying to provide therapists with memories of cult-related information because she wanted to help Joe and her son Ryan. She believed that this was a way to keep them safe from the cult.

A videotape of one of the last times Shanley saw her husband in a therapy session on November 20, 1992 was shown to the jury. Joe Shanley tells his wife that "You are not even human. It’s over, Mary is gone. You don’t control her anymore."

In another therapy session Mary Shanley discussed an alleged plan by the cult to kill Joe and her son in a staged car accident. She now denies that there was ever such a plan and that she was only trying to please the therapists. She said, "They wanted a plan to kill Joe, and that was the best i could come up with about a plan to kill them... There is no cult so I didn’t have any control about anything at that point."

Shanley testified that defendant Seward told her husband Joe that she planned to escape from Spring Shadows Glen and go back to Chicago to kidnap her son and return him to the cult. Shanley said that she does not understand how this could have been a concern since at the time she had no money, was under close watch, suffered back problems and was very weak from losing 25 pounds.

The defense began its cross examination late in the day. Attorney Rusty Hardin will continue the cross examination when the trial resumes Tuesday morning.

Defense attorneys have argued that the treatment patients received at Spring Shadows Glen was appropriate because the patients arrived at the hospital after they had been diagnosed with serious mental illness. Defense attorneys have questioned why the Houston defendants have been singled out for prosecution since a large list of unindicted co-conspirators has been identified.

This report is based on a Houston Chronicle article by Mark Smith, "Ex-patient offers details of clinic’s therapy methods" 10/5/98.

Monday, October 5, 1998.

Houston, Texas.

Day 11 of trial - 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.

According to an observer in the courtroom of the federal criminal trial against five mental health workers from the former Spring Shadows Glen private psychiatric hospital, the defense team seemed more active than they had been up to this point in the trial. There was more paper shuffling, and defense lawyer Heather Peterson, Judith Peterson’s daughter, made several trips carrying boxes filled with paper. Perhaps this was in preparation for the fact that the defense was expecting soon to cross examine former patient Mary Shanley who was in her sixth day of testifying about her treatment at Spring Shadows Glen.

This is the 11th day and the fifth week of the trial U.S.A. v Peterson et al. Psychologist Judith Peterson, psychiatrists Gloria Kerega and Richard Seward, therapist Sylvia Davis and hospital administrator George Jerry Mueck have been charged with mail fraud, insurance fraud and for knowingly misdiagnosing MPD in order to keep patients in the hospital in order to collect insurance.

When the jury members entered the courtroom they were already wearing earphones and had transcripts in their hands ready to listen to more tapes. The transcripts may be helpful to the jurors because most of the tapes of therapy sessions have a great deal of background noise and it is often difficult to tell who is speaking.

Eastepp began by playing a tape of a 1992 therapy session and then asked Mary about a gynecology exam that was discussed on the tape. According to Peterson’s notes that had been introduced last week, Mary Shanley had been sent for a gynecological exam after being told that she had had sex with so many epople that they wanted to check for AIDS. On the way to the exam, Mary learned that the real purpose of the exam was to check her for self-inflicted internal and external vaginal injuries. On the tape Mary confronts Peterson about this trip. Mary told Eastepp that it was not true that she harmed herself.

Eastepp asked Mary to explain why Judith Peterson asked "Who am I talking to?" on the tape that was heard. Shanley testified that Peterson was trying to identify which alter of Mary’s was speaking. She said that Peterson often helped her identify alters. Shanley explained that on the tape that they had just heard, Peterson was trying to find the alter who was in charge. The problem was that the alters kept changing.

Then Eastepp read from the tape transcript and asked Mary: "What did Peterson mean when she said you were splitting the treatment center?" Mary replied that: "When I reported something negative about doctors or treatment she said I was trying to split the doctors and nurses."

Many of the same subjects come up during therapy sessions. On the tape heard today there was a discussion of the treatment of Mary’s nine-year-old son Ryan who had arrived with Mary at Spring Shadows Glen in 1991. Ryan stayed at Spring Shadows only a few weeks before being returned to Illinois and Mary was not able to see him. On the tape Mary wonders if Ryan’s treatment was proceeding as fast as it should. She said that she and her husband Joe had decided that Rush Presbyterian was the best place for Ryan. Mary also wrote about her concern for Ryan’s treatment in her journal. She wrote about Ryan often a sign that he was always her biggest worry. Mary was not impressed with the way Peterson handled children. When Eastepp asked her why she thought Rush was better, Mary answered that she had formed that opinion because she had watched Dr. Sachs work with children.

Dr. Roberta Sachs is a psychologist at Rush Presbyterian Hospital in Chicago who has been named by the prosecution as an unindicted co-conspirator in this case. Dr. Sachs was a colleague of Bennett Braun, M.D. who headed the dissociative unit at Rush, also named as an unindicted co-conspirator. That unit was closed in January 1998 and Dr. Braun has been charged in an action by the Illinois License Board for removal of his license to practice.

Mary continued her testimony describing how Dr Peterson would often check Mary’s hands to see if she were lying during the therapy sessions. Mary said: "If you gave her an answer she didn’t like she would say you’re lying. Sometimes she would have me sit on my hands." This hand watching had been mentioned in previous testimony. Peterson was looking for a kind of finger code used by Mary when she is under hypnosis. Supposedly it involved the programming done by the cult to Mary. But Peterson believed that some of the alters would let her know when Mary was lying by finger movements.

During the taped therapy session when Shanley is under hypnosis, she expressed concern that she had been at Spring Shadows Glen too long. She said "Peterson had control of my life."

Eastepp asked Shanley to clarify something she had said during the therapy session: "Did you say that they will keep you here until the insurance money runs out?". Mary testified: "Yes. I had seen this happen to others. I believed this." On the tape of this therapy session, Shanley also said that she was prepared to go the whole way to get well and get back to her family.

Eastepp continued to ask questions and read from the tape transcript and from Mary’s journals. He showed an example where Mary expressed feelings of worthlessness and Peterson told her she felt this way because the cult had programmed her to lessen her self-esteem.

While pages from her journal were projected on the screen, Mary explained that she spent a lot of time on Sundays writing in the journal. This was during the time when the other patients were visiting with their families or friends. Shanley testified that she feld that she had to use her time well because she knew that the money was running out and that she would have to leave the hospital and she feared that the cult might get her again.

In some of her journal entries, Shanley expressed concerns that Peterson and Seward would never let her see Ryan again. She said that she wrote these things down so they could address them in therapy. Shanley said she also tried to write in her journal after each therapy session.

Eastepp pointed out some of Mary’s comments about Halloween which is supposed to be an active cult time. Mary had noted that Spring Shadows Glen did not do any decorations for Halloween because Peterson felt that this was a dangersous cult time. Mary contrasted this with Rush Hospital where they had parties and decorations "to desensitize us." In October 1992 there were about 10 patients total in the dissociative unit at Spring Shadows Glen and six of these were from out of state.

Up until this time, Shanley’s only contact with her husband Joe was by telephone. Peterson told Mary that Joe might come in September -- which he did. He came to take part in two abreaction sessions, and he was prepared for the abreactions by Peterson. Joe and Mary had no time alone together during his visit.

When the jury returned after a break at 10:30 AM, a videotape of a another therapy session was played. Dr. Peterson led a session in which Mary was hypnotized. She could be heard screaming. Mary’s husband Joe, Richard Seward, Sylvia Davis and Joan Russell were among the people present at this abreaction session.

Mary explained that the purpose of this session was to help Ryan, Mary and Joe’s young son. Mary said that did not remember meeting with Peterson before this session and she did not know if Joe had met with her. On the video tape, Peterson was seen whispering to Mary. Prosecutor Eastepp asker Mary what Peterson was saying.

Mary replied: " Peterson was asking me to bring out my alters. It was important for my alters to come out because it showed how sick I was." "I had to come up with one [alter] like Joe."

Eastepp then asked: "What was the reality?"

Mary explained: "I had no control. There is no cult. There is no reality."

When Eastepp asked, "Why was Joe referring to you as if your mother were there?"

Mary explained: "He thought my mother alter was there."

Mary testified that she didn’t see Joe again after this abreaction session until April 1995. In January, 1993 Joe filed divorce papers. Mary was told a day or two before she got the papers that they were coming. Mary wrote Joe a letter that Dr. Seward edited with a red marker. Mary testified that Dr Seward had told her that she couldn’t tell Joe she loved him because it would trigger Joe to suicide. Mary had to rewrite the letter after Seward crossed out all the "trigger" words, including love. The original letter was in Mary’s journal. Mary testified that she wanted to keep her family together.

Eastepp projected a document (letter) from the Child Protection Service on the screen. He then asked Mary the purpose of this letter. Mary testified that the letter was intended to keep her from having any contact with Ryan. She said that by this point she had no expectation of getting to see Ryan. Her husband Joe had already told her that Dr. Seward called him and told him that Mary was coming to Chicago. Joe had called the CPS to protect Ryan. Mary’s name was put on the Illinois child abuser’s list although several years later, Mary successfully litigated removal of her name from this list.

After Mary first left Spring Shadows Glen she lived in nursing home in LaGrange, a small town west of Houston. While she was there Dr. Seward restricted her use of the telephone, mail, and visitors. Eastepp projected on the screen the orders Seward had written for these restrictions.

Mary testified that she had to use the phone at the nurses’ station to make calls while she was at LaGrange. Using this telephone, Mary had family sessions with her husband Joe, her son Ryan, and and psychologist Roberta Sachs. Joe, Ryan and Sachs were all in Chicago. Around this time Joe filed for divorce. Mary had difficulty finding a lawyer to handle the divorce but eventually did with the help of a friend. She communicated with this lawyer by telephone. After a while the restrictions imposed by Seward were lifted. Mary testified that she didn’t know why they were removed.

Eastepp then projected a chart with the Dates, Duration, and Points of all the times that Mary had been put in restraints. He also projected her medical records on the screen. He asked Mary to count how many times she was restrained on each page of records. The points of restraints were wrist, hand, lower arm, neck, chest, thigh, and ankles and ranged from 1-11. Mary usually had 11 point restraining orders and was restrained anywhere from 30 minutes to 24 hours without a bathroom break.

Prosecutor Eastepp then asked Mary if she had been suicidal and Mary replied "No" It appeared that Eastepp was trying to make clear to the jury that Mary was not put in restraints in order to protect her from committing suicide.

Eastepp asked Mary: "How many abreactions did you have?"

Mary replied: "I had 56 abreactions."

The 56th abreaction was on May 13, 1992. Eastepp then projected a letter on the screen for the jury to see. It appeared to have been written at about the time of Mary’s 56th abreaction. Following is the essence of the letter.

Dear ______,

Mary, a former patient of yours, has only completed a few abreactions. June 5 was the first time. The Patient thinks she is in MPD school. This is very effective if you carefully follow the criteria.


Patient has an alliance with the therapist.
Patient has ego strength
Patient has learned and practiced hypnosis
Patient’s treated alters were clear and ready to work, retrieving appropriately.
Abreaction is carefully evaluated.

Abreactions should never be repeated if hostile alters, or negative feelings. If patients are advanced and very organized you can use abreactions twice a week. A hypnotically well trained patient is a special candidate for abreaction linear integration.

Eastepp asked Mary if she fit the criteria listed. She answered no for each of the criteria except the third one. She said she had learned and practiced hypnosis. Mary said she never had a clearing out of alters.

Shanley then testified that in February, 1993, she thought she had been fired by Dr. Seward. He told her that she was not to talk to any patients in the unit. Shanley said that Steward had no trust in her. Someone in the hospital told Mary that a doctor can’t fire a patient and explained to Mary that all the patients were being discharged. Out of 9 or 10 patients there were only 2 left. Mary said that she was transfered to an adult unit where there were no MPD groups. Mary met with her lawyers and went to a few spiritual groups. Mary also went to see Gloria Keraga.

Eastepp asked Mary what she talked about when she visited Keraga. Mary replied: "We talked about mostly physical things. I couldn’t eat in the cafeteria. I wanted to eat out of the refrigerator. Keraga was no help."

Mary testified that in April, she received a letter from Dr. Seward delivered by courier. She said that she understood why she got the letter. A new patient had questioned Mary about bringing her children into treatment and Mary told this patient not to do that. Seward told Mary that he could put a restraining order on her. Mary testified that she didn’t feel she had done anything wrong. The letter did not affect Mary’s therapy because Seward was no longer her doctor.

Mary testified that during the spring of 1993 she was waiting to see what the therapists would do with her. She was still concerned about cult activities and she was now working with Dr. Taylor. Mary had very little in the way of possessions. Her husband Joe came to Houston and took her car. Mary said then she was told that she had no legal reason not to return to Chicago.

Eastepp asked: "Did anyone tell you you were well?"

Mary said: "No, I thought that they just had no place for me."

Eastepp then asked: "Did you ever have a session with Keraga explaining why you were no longer receiving therapy?" and Mary said, "’No"

Eastepp projected Dr. Peterson’s records from June 13, 1993 on the screen. Some of the comments in the notes were:

Prosecutor Eastepp asked Mary about her life after she left Spring Shadows Glen and he asked whom she had sued in Houston and Mary replied: Dr. Peterson and Associates, Dr.Seward, Dr. Bethlehem(?), Dr. Keraga, Dr. Patricia Taylor, and one other person. He then asked whom she had sued in Chicago and Mary said: Bennet Braun, Rush Presbyterian, Roberta Sachs, Forest Hospital System, Dr. Ramon Colfield. Eastepp asked if these had been settled to her satisfaction and Mary responded "Yes."

This concluded Mary Shanley’s testimony for the prosecution. The cross-examination by Rusty Hardin started at the end of the day.

Tuesday, October 6, 1998.

Houston, Texas.

Day 12 of trial - Shanley cross-examination continues

The federal criminal trial charging five former employees of the former Spring Shadows Glen private psychiatric hospital of an insurance fraud scheme continued with testimony from Mary Shanley who was cross examined by defense lawyer Rusty Hardin. Defendants in the trial are psychologist Judith Peterson, psychiatrists Richard Seward and Gloria Keraga, therapist Sylvia Davis and hospital administrator George Jerry Mueck. This is the fifth week of the trial and the 12th day in court.

In a sixty-count indictment, defendants were charged with insurance fraud, mail fraud and knowingly misdiagnosing multiple personality disorder in order to keep patients in the hospital. The defense has argued that patients at Spring Shadows Glen received appropriate treatment there because they arrived with serious mental problems that had already been diagnosed at other hospitals. They claim that in the late 1980s and early 1990s, hundreds of patients across the nation were diagnosed as having multiple personality disorder that had been caused by abuse in intergenerational satanic cults.

In previous testimony Shanley has described that under intense therapy at Spring Shadows Glen, she was encouraged to find alternate personalities that had participated in torture and cannibalism as part of a satanic cult.

Mary testified that by late 1989 she had talked about satanic cult activities with her family, several therapists and a Chicago police officer after having read and seen videos about it. According to medical records in January 1990, Shanley told therapists that she was afraid that she might be involved in such a cult. Defense attorney Hardin pressed Shanley that her memories of cult abuse may have been spurred by her own research in books and videos. Shanley admitted to her increasing concerns about cult involvement but said that she did not form a strong belief about this until she was in inpatient care. She testified that her husband Joe may have believed in her cult involvement earlier.

According to medical records from November 1989, Joe Shanley reported to therapists that he believed his wife was recovering memories of cult activities that took place when she was between two and seven years old. Joe also believed that Mary’s parents were involved in the cult.

Hardin argued the behaviors that were shown in the medical records were typical of multiple personalities or other dissociative disorders. The records showed that Shanley sat in hot showers for long periods of time, that she curled up in a fetal position and that she got lost while driving. Hardin said that these were all possible symptoms of dissociation in which a patient looses track of time or identity.

Shanley is a diagnosed epileptic and she testified that if these incidents took place they could have been explained as memory lapses following seizures. Mary said that she could not recall all the incidents in the records and suspected that her husband may have exaggerated.

Medical records from January 1990 when Shanley was an inpatient in Illinois and had been diagnosed with a dissociative disorder indicate that at one time she began talking like a child with the name of "Emma."

Shanley testified that she had been warned by one physician in Illinois who was treating her for depression and anxiety "not to go down that [cult] path." Mary said that she trusted the advice of her husband and another therapist to keep looking for cult involvement. Hardin said that decision by her showed that Mary should bear some of the responsibility for her later problems.

Shanley then responded that the therapists had a duty to warn patients about the hazards of recovered memories of sexual and cult abuse. "I don’t think I hold any responsibility for the treatment I received. I expect a medical professional to say this could or could not occur... to let me know it was controversial."

This summary is based on a page-one Houston Chronicle article by Mark Smith "Ex-patient tells of earlier cult memories" 10/7/98

The trial will resume Wednesday afternoon October 7, 1998.

Tuesday, October 6, 1998.

Houston, Texas.

Day 12 of trial - 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.

The trial started at 8:45 this morning, 15 minutes late, because bad weather delayed one of the jurors. Mary Shanley was cross-examined by Rusty Harden. The testimony covered the time prior to Shanley’s admission to Rush-Presbyterian in Chicago. The main thrust of testimony established that Mary already believed in cults long before she saw Braun, Sachs and therapists at Spring Shadows Glen.

Opening question:

HARDIN: What were the the circumstances for you going to Alexian Brothers hospital in May 1989?

MARY: The medications that I was taking for depression were not working. Dr. Teas wanted to put me on a strong anti-depressant -- one that would be effective and it was necessary that I be hospitalized for the treatment.

At this point Hardin introduces several defendant’s exhibits. The exhibits included Mary Shanley’s early journals her and medical records prior to admission to Rush. Starting in September 1988 Mary started seeing Karen Gernaey to work on her rape issues. She said that she stopped seeing Gernaey after October because that work was completed.

Series of questions about journaling

MARY: I started journaling in 1988

HARDIN: How did you journal when you were an outpatient?

MARY: I recorded dreams before school and whatever else that seemed important to write down. I journaled throughout school year.

MARY: Most of the journals were done in early morning and there were no themes suggested [by therapist]

MARY: The journaling would be the basis of therapy. I would read entries to therapist.

MARY: At Spring Shadows Glen(SSG) I gave copies of journals to staff.

HARDIN: Between 1988 and 1993 was there ever anyone who told you what to enter?

MARY: At SSG there were suggestions about what to journal about and I was to journal about what went on in therapy sessions.

HARDIN: Is it true that Karen Gernaey was not telling you what to say [in your journals]?


HARDIN: Prior to 1990 there were no treaters that had copies of your journals. [Is that true?]


Mary indicated that in her journaling while seeing Braun and Sachs there was more direction -- she joined groups on how to journal -- journal entries were your own thoughts -- she indicated that she was given "The Courage to Heal" which included journals from others.

Questions about when Mary started believing in cults

HARDIN: Did you believe in 1989?

MARY: No....I did believe in 1990....Cults were the reason for repressed memories....Cult influence was over a long period of time... Rape was a short time....During this time I had a lot of anxiety, panic attacks, seizures, forgetfulness -- around seizures I don’t have a good sense of what happened.

HARDIN: Joe was telling you that you were scary. Mary: Yes.

Mary’s burns

Karen Gernaey’s notes indicated that Mary had burns on the back of her hands that she attributed to the paint remover she was using on the dining room table. Her husband Joe, however, had spoken on the telephone with Gernaey and had indicated that Mary burned her hands while holding them under hot water. Mary does not remember this.

MARY: I told Karen Gernaey that I burned hands while stripping dining room table.

Origins of belief in cults

Mary and Karen Gernaey both went to a presentation on cults.

May 1989: [discussions with therapists related to abuse in family]

MARY: We talked about feelings of low self esteem -- mother was critical of me and verbally abusive and she told me that I was not her favorite child....I did not like the way she treated Ryan.... She came to see us about twice a year -- she honored birthdays etc.

HARDIN: When did you start telling therapists [about your cult abuse]?

MARY: I don’t remember before Dr. Sachs.

HARDIN: Do you remember feeling that you were abused in cult before then?

Mary said "Yes" but she placed some limits on her cult beliefs at that point in time. She said that it was when she was at Forrest that a police officer first suggested that she had been abused in cult.

MARY: It was Dr. Sachs that suggested that I was cult royalty when I was at Old Orchard.

HARDIN: You had spent 3 or 4 months in therapy with Karen Gernaey -- at the end of 1989 you believed in cults -- this was 1.5 years before SSG.

Mary indicated that it was during the hospitalization at Forrest when she started to really believe.

Hardin reviews therapy with Karen Gernaey

KAREN Gernaey NOTE: Patient recently attended retreat but didn’t seem to remember much about it -- had two large burn marks on top of hand -- when asked she reported that she had burned her hands in hot water -- the burns look more like cigarette burns -- did not go back to school -- got leave extended -- talked about dreams.

MARY: She is saying that they [the dreams] happened.

KAREN Gernaey NOTE concerning dream: woman hanging upside down on meat hook -- one eye is out -- a portion of rear end is gone.

MARY: I don’t remember the session. I remember these as a dream. I do not remember them as a true story.

KAREN Gernaey NOTE: talked about Mary saying that her mother had urinated on her head.

MARY: I don’t remember saying that.

KAREN Gernaey NOTE: They do things to babies that sound like molestation....Frank and Jim [her supervisors] thinks patient is delusional.

MARY: I don’t remember this session -- I do remember dream....Things got more bizarre as we went along. -- When I would say they were dreams Karen would say they really happened.

HARDIN: At this time they sound pretty grotesque but you concede that you believe at this time. Karen Gernaey also believed....How did Karen Gernaey go about a therapy session?

MARY: She would interpret a dream.

HARDIN: Do you believe that you are believable?

MARY: Yes.

Two incidents at home that had great influence on Mary

October 1989 -- A woman came to the door of the Shanley home and had a large bag. She claimed that she was on her way to a slumber party and was lost. Mary thought that this person was trying to get Ryan. Mary also received phone call and the woman on the other end of the line stated that "We are watching Ryan".

MARY: We were very hyper -- concerned about cult holidays and Halloween.

The incident was reported to Karen Gernaey and her husband Joe had already talked to police several times.

MARY: I read ’Michele Remembers’ around this time.

Hardin asked Mary to describe that book. Mary also indicated that she had read ’Satan’s Underground’ and other books by John Bradshaw.

Hardin: What else did you read in 1989 dealing with cults?

MARY: Hand out material from Karen Gernaey... I read the first book on MPD given to me by Sachs at Old Orchard....There was seminar at Old Orchard and Sachs brought the books to me.

HARDIN: Is there any difference between reading the material as an outpatient or in the hospital?

MARY: In the hospital hypnotized -- Yes

Hospitalization at Alexian Brothers [A.B.]

MARY: I was admitted to be put on a medication to control my depression.

HARDIN: Your husband thought you were suicidal.

MARY: I don’t think I was -- this was a point of contention between us.

Hardin mentions this point several times -- that there were others outside SSG who considered Mary to be suicidal. Mary’s husband took her to the hospital. Mary was upset.

MARY: I wasn’t sure I was doing the right thing.

Mary had started seeing Dr. Teas during March-April 1989 to help her with her depression. He admitted her in May because nothing was helping.

May 13 Hospital note -- Client’s husband called me at home -- stated an alter appeared in a glass.

Joe thought Mary was going to kill herself.

MARY: Joe was mixed up and confused. Joe was fearful....I talked to Joe afterwards and cleared things up.

MAY 26 ENTRY BY NURSE: Mother was alcoholic -- mother had mental illness as far back as patient could remember. Would find mother sleeping in closet or on the floor in a corner. Father traveled most of the time. Patient remembering abusive events by mother. She is remembering verbal abuse. Client has not discussed her findings with mother or father -- discussed with other siblings and they concur with her conclusion.

MARY: I had discussed verbal abuse -- not physical abuse.

NURSE NOTE: patient is increasingly depressed.

May 27 discharge summary from Dr. Teas: Dr. Teas told Mary not to pursue the cult. [The statement "not to go down that path" became a refrain for the rest of the day.]

Hardin wrote the statement on a flip chart. He referred to panel of recanters at Dallas FMSF meeting in 1994.

[I think he indicated that her answer was different to the following question than it is now. Explained her difference because of what she had learned from depositions since then]

HARDIN: What portion of the blame do you put on yourself?

MARY: None.

MARY: Medical professionals should have known better.

HARDIN: Why didn’t you follow Dr. Teas advise, "Don’t go down that path"?

MARY: Everyone that I loved and supported me gave me a different direction.

Mary explained that Dr. Teas was someone she trusted but she did not have a relationship with him.

Other notes in discharge summary from another doctor. -- anxiety -- patient concerned that she is more irritable toward husband and son. Patient called son dummy and stupid -- is abusive. In commenting on this note, Mary emphasizes that she is talking about verbal abuse.

Hardin brought out information from notes and comments from her husband Joe that Mary had lost weight, that Joe was afraid she was about to overdose, and that on three or four occasions Mary had come very close to harming herself by an overdose.

HARDIN: Why would Joe say that if it were not true?

Mary did indicate that in 1989 she was saying things like "I could not live like this".

Hardin again noted that the medical records as far back as 1989 did indicate potential suicide and that her husband Joe felt there was a real danger for suicide in 1989.

HARDIN: You chose to follow the advise of a social worker rather than that of a trained medical professional.

November 1989 -- Karen Gernaey referred Mary to Dr. Giolahs (Dr. G.) Joe contacted Dr G. and told him that Mary had been a victim of cult abuse between ages 2 and 7, that her parents were involved in cult abuse and that Mary was just now having memories of this, according to Dr. G’s notes.

HARDIN: As far back as November 1989 Joe was believing and relaying to health care professionals.

DR. G. NOTES: husband says suicidal in May, off epilepsy medication -- OK -- Joe and Mary have recently been harassed by cult [the two incidents mentioned earlier-woman at door and phone call]

HARDIN: By November 22, 1989 is it possible that this was your opinion?

MARY: It’s possible.

At this point there was some discussion about transference. Several therapists had indicated that Mary had indicated their behavior was like her mother. Mary indicated that she did not agree with this. She felt that the idea of transference was overdone.

DR. G. NOTE: Extreme transference from Dr. Teas.

MARY: Dr. Teas was not a good listener.

DR. G. NOTES: -- seems more paranoid all along -- couldn’t get out of compulsive obsessive behavior - someone had to come get her out of shower -- she doesn’t know who she is -- scared of almost everything -- more and more anxiety attacks.

MARY: (commenting on shower incident) This is something that originated with Joe. I have no memory of it.

HARDIN: Do you believe in dissociation?

MARY: Yes.

Mary then goes on to qualify what she means by the term saying that she does not believe in MPD.

MARY: MPD is an improper diagnosis.

Dec 1989 DR. G. NOTE: Things have gone bad to worse. Mary needs someone with her at all times -- destructive to her sense of hope -- not making sense half the time’

MARY: I was very sick at that time -- I was very mentally sick.

Mary stated that she did not remember being stuck in shower or sitting in a ball on the floor.

MARY: I don’t remember but I believe it if Joe says it was true.

HARDIN: If in 1989 you balled up in a fetal position -- wandered off -- doctor said that you were not making sense -- you were acting more and more bizarre -- you were more and more paranoid -- you believe that this was due to seizures?

MARY: No that is not true.

lunch break

In early January 1990 Mary saw Karen Gernaey on an outpatient basis at least once a week. On Jan 3rd Mary was taken to Forrest Hospital

HARDIN: This is the 2nd trip to hospital -- 2 months before meeting Sachs and Braun.... What was it that caused Karen Gernaey to have you admitted?

MARY: I think I had a seizure.

On this particular day Mary’s mother-in-law took her to see Karen Gernaey and when the elevator opened on the 5th floor (where Karen Gernaey was waiting) Mary was curled up on the floor.

MARY: I attribute it to a seizure. I have no memory.

There followed a discussion about reasons for forgetting. Mary gave reasons for forgetting: seizures, hypnosis, normal forgetting, passage of time. Mary then went on to answer how long the seizures lasted (a short time) but her memory was impacted a short time before and sometimes a long time afterward.

HARDIN: Are you aware of the study that a high percentage of people with MPD have epilepsy? Were you having an epileptic seizure when you were acting as a child?


Mary drove to the hospital. She said that she was told that she was going to see Dr. G. She was upset when she was told that she was going to be admitted.

When she had gone for her appointment with Karen Gernaey she started singing softly "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" in Karen Gernaey’s office. Karen Gernaey had indicated that Mary did not know who she [Karen Gernaey] was but she was a nice lady. Later Mary said at Rush that Karen Gernaey had betrayed her. She had also made the statement that "I will do what I need to do to get out of here." At this point Hardin made it a point to show that Mary was very familiar with procedures (rules) for checking herself in and out of hospitals and the distinctions between voluntary and involuntary admissions.

Jan 11 Mary signed letter that she wanted to get out of the hospital. Then she later changed her mind.

Hair brush story

Mary indicated in a 1996 deposition that she remembered her mother hitting her in the face with a hair brush. Mary now says that the incident was not true.

HARDIN: What happened to change your mind?

MARY: I now know that it was a recovered memory and it is not true. I may have thought I was telling the truth then but it wasn’t true. I am saying that it never happened.

HARDIN: Are you saying that what you say is unreliable because of what you have experienced?

long pause

MARY: I never had those kinds of memories before I went into hospital.

HARDIN: Did you ever warn the prosecution that your memories are subject to change?

Wednesday, October 7, 1998.

Houston, Texas.

Day 13 of trial - Shanley cross-examination continues.

Defense attorney Rusty Hardin continued his cross-examination of former Spring Shadows Glen patient Mary Shanley on Wednesday October 7, 1998, in the 5th week and 13th day of the federal criminal trial against psychologist Judith Peterson, psychiatrists Gloria Keraga and Richard Seward, therapist Sylvia Davis and hospital administrator George Jerry Mueck for insurance fraud, mail fraud and knowingly misdiagnosing multiple personality disorder in order to keep patients in the hospital.

Described by Mark Smith as a "cross-examination that bordered on psychoanalysis" Hardin suggested that Mary Shanley had transferred her anger at her mother to the therapists who treated her at Spring Shadows Glen. Shanley had been sent to Spring Shadows Glen in May of 1991 to be seen by Judith Peterson who was supposed to be an expert in deprogramming people who had been involved with intergenerational satanic cults that practiced murder and cannibalism. Shanley testified that although her mother may have been domineering and abusive, she did not think that caused her to focus her anger onto Peterson and other therapists at Spring Shadows Glen.

Hardin suggested that in the early 1990s, Shanley’s anger was focused on the cult that she had come to believe had abused her and that later she substituted the therapists for the focus of her anger. Hardin asked Shanley, "Would it be possible you ultimately replaced the cult as your enemy with therapists, in particular Dr. Peterson?" Shanley testified that she was able to separate her negative feelings about the cult and the therapists.

Hardin then suggested that the reason Mary had filed civil lawsuits against the therapists was to search them for blame. Mary testified that she was not searching for blame. She said "I’m searching for justice." She said that was the reason she had come all the way from Illinois to testify in this case. She told Hardin that she thought she had been victimized at Spring Shadows Glen.

The defense has argued that Spring Shadows Glen provided appropriate treatment for the patients who came they because those patients had already been diagnosed with serious mental illness before they arrived. Hardin pointed to medical records and statements from Shanley and others that showed she already believed she was involved in a satanic cult before she arrived at Spring Shadows Glen.

In response to defense questions, Shanley admitted that she had once lied about the details of a sexual assault when she was in her first year of college. She testified that was because she was confused about the interpretation of ’rape’ and because she was concerned about embarrassing her mother.

This report is based on a Houston Chronicle article by Mark Smith, "Transfer of anger suggested on stand: Trial of ex-hospital staffers continues" 10/7/98.

Wednesday, October 7, 1998.

Houston, Texas.

Day 13 of trial - From attendee notes

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.

The trial began at 1:30, because one of the defense lawyers had been called to an appeal hearing in the morning. Peterson’s defense lawyer Rusty Hardin continued to cross-examine Mary Shanley. Hardin based his interrogation on three sets of documents:

1. Shanley’s medical records from Forest Hospital in Chicago January 30,1990 to February 12, 1990.

2. Shanley’s medical records from Old Orchard Hospital starting in March 1990

3. Shanley’s testimony from her civil suit against Peterson in Dallas in 1996.

There were some clear themes or threads running throughout Wednesday’s interrogation: Shanley had been seeking help from therapists for a long time, starting when she was in college after a date rape; Shanley believed that she had MPD before she came to SSG, well before she met Roberta Sachs and Bennett Braun; Shanley believed in the cult before she went to Old Orchard Hospital; Shanley didn’t have epilepsy; Shanley is a very suggestible person.

This report is not in chronological order, but ordered by topics. The afternoon was characterized by Hardin comparing what was in the medical records with what Shanley had said under oath in 1996.


Hardin: Did you talk about Emma?

Shanley: I don’t think so. After an abreaction I was trying to say S’in-me’ and it may have sounded like Emma. I don’t know what happened after that -- so long ago.

Hardin: Did you speak like a child, singing fragments of the song "Round and Round"?

Shanley: I don’t remember doing this. As I sit here today I have no memory.

Hardin: Do you suspect that when you are having a seizure you don’t remember?

Shanley: I don’t remember after I have had a seizure.

Hardin: In your own mind do you reject the idea you were behaving like a child?

Shanley: I have no independent memory of that.

Hardin: In your own mind do you reject the fact that you were acting like a child?

Shanley: I have no independent memory of that?

Hardin: If you had a seizure would you act like that?

Shanley: My seizures have changed over he years. It depends upon medication. If I am on medication the seizures will be partial; if not the seizures will be general. My seizures got worse. When I am having a seizure I am not aware of what I am doing.

Hardin: Were there people whom you trusted tell you what happened when you had a seizure?

Shanley: It would depend upon who was observing the seizure.

Hardin then asked if one of her doctors ever suggested to her that one of her seizures lasted two hours and Mary said that she didn’t remember that discussion.

Hardin: If you were in the midst of a seizure and sang "Round and Round" and a nurse told you, would you believe it?

Shanley: Only if the person was trained in seizures.

Hardin: Have you had any seizures since you left Spring Shadows Glen?

Shanley: I had a seizure in Dallas and one in Chicago. I was with a friend and she told me I cried and sounded as if I was choking, and I was rigid. I said strange things like I wanted to go home and see Ryan. She had trouble recognizing that I was in stress. She thought I needed medical attention and took me to a hospital.

Hardin asked if this was when she was in Dallas and stayed with Laura Pasley and attended a conference with other patients from Spring Shadows Glen and people from FMS.

Shanley: I wasn’t staying with Laura Pasley, and I don’t want to talk about FMS.

Hardin: Wasn’t Laura Pasley a retractor?

Mary: Yes.

Later in the afternoon Hardin returns to the subject of the seizures. He said that when Shanley left Forest Hospital, Dr. Falk told her that she didn’t have epilepsy. He told her that her EEG test was clear. Shanley explained that a clear EEG means only that you are not having a seizure at the time it was taken.

Hardin: Did Dr. Falk tell you that you didn’t have epilepsy?

Shanley: I don’t remember it. In January 1990 a brain scan showed lesions.

Shanley’s Suggestability

Hardin: You are a very suggestible person?

Shanley: Yes.

Hardin: Do you suppose that after you left Spring Shadows Glen it was suggested to you that you had been abused by your therapists?

Shanley: I know I was abused at Spring Shadows Glen. I knew at the time I was being abused.

Hardin then asked if is was true that in 1988-1989 she was reading stuff about MPD and actively looking for answers to find the cause for her depression.

Mary: The doctors I trusted and listened to told me they thought I had MPD.

Hardin: Isn’t it true that you listened to certain people and not to others when they told you what your problem was?

Shanley: Yes.

Hardin: Then you found out they were wrong.

Shanley: Yes.

Hardin: Then after you got out did you find that you were not MPD.

Shanley: Yes.

Hardin: After you got out you continued to study and find out that you didn’t have MPD. You became friends with the other patients. You all talked about your experiences.

Shanley interrupts Hardin and tells him that isn’t what they talked about.

Hardin: Is it possible that Mary Shanley is just as suggestible today as she was in 1989? Is it possible that is the reason you believe so strongly in things that you cannot remember?

Shanley answers firmly that she is not as suggestible.

Later in the afternoon Hardin came back to the topic of Shanley’s suggestibility and asked her if she remembered having a dream of worms crawling out of her feet? Shanley said that she did remember.

Hardin asked which therapist implanted that and Shanley replied that it wasn’t a therapist, but a book she read and she doesn’t remember which one. Hardin then showed Shanley a copy of "Michelle Remembers." Shanley said that books influence patients. She said that similar incidents to those that appear in books have come up in therapy.

Another thread of the questioning that came up Wednesday afternoon was Shanley’s relationship with her mother. Mark Smith’s article on the trial in Thursday’s Chronicle (see summary) covered this well.

In addition to Peterson, Hardin has added Dr. Braun and Dr. Sachs to his defense. While this is not completely new, it was more pointed, and done more often.

Hardin read from the medical records from Forest Hospital, February 2, 1990, noting that Mary was still experiencing long showers and couldn’t get out. Mary was getting ready to go home. She could show anger at therapists when they were not treating her correctly. Mary will not be taken advantage of.

Hardin: It is a current theme that you don’t want to be a victim of therapy.

Hardin ended the day with this statement: "Whenever you decide that something happens to you why do you assume that it has been created by the therapist? Couldn’t you have been making it up?"

Court dismissed until Thursday.

Thursday, October 8, 1998.

Houston, Texas.

Day 14 of trial - Shanley cross-examination continues

The 14th day of the trial in which psychologist Judith Peterson, psychiatrists Gloria Keraga and Richard Seward, therapist Sylvia Davis and hospital administrator George Jerry Mueck have been charged with insurance fraud, mail fraud and knowingly misdiagnosing multiple personality disorder in order to keep patients in the hospital continued with the cross-examination of Mary Shanley, a former patient at Spring Shadows Glen private psychiatric hospital.

Mary testified that the increasingly bizarre memories that she acquired while being treated at Spring Shadows Glen were part of a "survival technique" in her therapy sessions. She said that no one challenged her stories of cannibalism and murder as part of an intergenerational cult but that she could not attribute any specific false memories to her therapy.

She testified that she was rewarded when she came up with memories of cult activities. "If you hit on the right set of ideas you were rewarded and if not, punished," she said. Mary said that punishment included being "isolated, mocked, put in restraints and overmedicated."

Shanley retracted prior testimony that her therapists had implanted specific memories, but she said that her memories of cult abuse were made worse or some implanted during her three years in the hospital from 1992 to 1993.

Shanley explained that she was diagnosed with multiple personality disorder and in her therapy sessions underwent hypnosis to find new personalities. She said she could not remember the details of some of those sessions when she was pressed by defense attorney Rusty Hardin. When Shanley said "It doesn’t mean it didn’t happen," defense attorney Rusty Hardin responded, "It doesn’t mean it did happen ... you can’t give me any evidence of it."

Hardin brought up details of Shanley’s medical records indicating that she may have been suicidal, that she was fearful of a cult and that she was suffering from multiple personality disorder before she arrived at Spring Shadows Glen. The defense has argued that patients received appropriate treatment at the hospital because they had already been diagnosed with serious mental illness before they arrived.

In previous testimony, Shanley had said that a Spring Shadows Glen therapist had helped implant false memories that Mary had given birth to a baby named Colleen who died when she was 14 months old. Pressed by Hardin, Shanley retracted this testimony when shown evidence that she had discussed this child’s birth before she arrived at Spring Shadows Glen.

Hardin asked Shanley how a therapist could implant a memory that included the details of a name, and birth/death dates. Mary replied that therapists gave some concepts or information about a cult and that she would elaborate on that. She said that sometimes they gave the specifics.

Hardin also asked Shanley why she continued to believe in memories that were not true, and Shanley replied that the therapists should have tried to check the accuracy of her claims. Hardin then commented that Shanley seemed willing to blame therapists for her treatment but did not give them any credit. Shanley agreed that the therapy had helped her become stronger and a better communicator and more assertive. She then added, "I wish I had never gone through therapy...I would never want to have gone to Spring Shadows Glen or met any of the defendants."

Testimony will resume Monday October 12, 1998.

This report is based on a Houston Chronicle article by Mark Smith, "Former patient can’t attribute false memories to therapy" 10/8/98.

Thursday, October 8, 1998.

Houston, Texas.

Day 14 of trial - 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.

Medical History

Mary Shanley was admitted to Old Orchard Hospital on March 3, 1990 and she stayed there until a bed was available in the Dissociative Disorder unit at Rush Presbyterian Hospital in Chicago. She was moved to Rush on June 29, 1990. She was treated by Braun and Sachs in both hospitals. Hardin brought out that Rush was was one of the leading hospitals in and the DD unit was not very old. Braun and Sachs were the ones that set up the unit. Mary had just read the article "Many Shattered Minds" that discussed the DD unit at Rush and the work of Braun and Sachs.

HARDIN: What was your reaction [to the article]?

MARY: This confirmed that I was being treated by the experts in the field.

The medical history at Old Orchard Hospital was taken by a social worker (Elaine Stefa) and it was several pages in length. Included in the history were what Mary referred to as dreams that were interpreted by previous therapists as facts. Two examples from history:

MEDICAL HISTORY (MH): patient was in bar with her mother and she saw a woman urinate in the face of a man

MH: mother covered patients face with fecal material, forced her to look in the mirror and then told her that she was worthless

MARY: I was told that dreams reflect reality.

HARDIN: In March 1990 no therapist had suggested that you saw a woman urinate in the face of a man or that your mother covered your face with fecal material.

MH: had memories of being placed on a dining room table and given an enema by mother. Remembered wallpaper in dining room and confirmed with sister the existence of the dining room wallpaper.

MARY: I was told that this is the way repression worked.

MH: patient had recurring problems with constipation when she was growing up -- patient on tegratol for seizure disorder -- patient denies having problems with drugs or alcohol -- patient reports that her mother sexually abused her -- patient had hysterectomy in 1987 -- patient complained of emotional upheaval in month of October.

MARY: In the years 1988 and 1989 I had a cold and was run down during this time. Seasonal changes causes cold.

HARDIN: Isn’t there a significance to Halloween?

MARY: Yes.

MH: Patient reports grocery store anxiety

MARY: I found it difficult to be in a grocery store because of all the stimulation

HARDIN: Meat-counter anxiety

MARY: Yes.

HARDIN: Do you remember someone coming to get you because of your anxiety at the grocery store?

MARY: No. I don’t remember.

HARDIN: Is it possible?

MARY: Yes.

MH: rage against her husband and Ryan which seems to come from nowhere.

MARY: I’m not sure that I labeled it as rage.

HARDIN: Is it possible?

MARY: Yes.

MH: compulsive about cleaning house -- wants to run away and leave everything behind -- sleep patterns disruptive -- wakes up in the middle of the night

MH: marriage stable -- exhibits many instances of dissociation

MARY: I remember I had trouble collecting my thoughts.

MH: patient has a deep love and admiration for son -- stopped leaving son with mother -- remembers mother tripping Ryan

MARY: Sister stated that mother hated boys.

MH: Mary is very anxious, exhibited signs of dissociation in my presence.

MARY: I agreed with most except for the terms memory and dissociation. They were the things I believed at the time.

Addendum to report March 6 Record: it was determined that she was programmed by the cult to bring Ryan in -- she was to sever finger at large knuckle and make it into a necklace -- programmed for suicide

MARY: I don’t believe that I ever told her that.

HARDIN: In March 1990 patient safety was a concern?

MARY: Yes.

MH: Patient believed that son was going to be taken out of school -- believed that brothers and sisters would do it

MARY: I don’t remember that until much later but while at Rush hospital

MH: Patient indicated that she was programmed to scar herself about wrist and neck

HARDIN: This became part of the record that came to Houston.

HARDIN: There are incidents later that in which you were put under restraints to keep you from hurting yourself.

good guy - bad guy lists

Hardin produced charts for each hospital listing the names of individuals who had made entries in her medical records. He asked Mary which who she thought had done her harm, who she didn’t know and who she thought were OK. Hardin then mentioned Mary’s characterizations when referring to the entries in her medical records. There appeared to be about 75 names on the three or four charts presented.

Art therapy

Mary testified that at Spring Shadows Glen:

At the end of the day some of Mary’s drawings were introduced into evidence. The drawings included a robot that had a key at its foot for unlocking alters.

Old Orchard Records -- checking self out of hospital

Hardin indicated that he did not plan to go over Braun’s record.

HARDIN: Page 45 indicates that on 3/8 you signed a 5-day letter and refused an EEG.

MARY: I signed letter because I wanted to go home.

HARDIN: You changed your mind.

MARY: I don’t remember why.

HARDIN: As far back as March 1990 you knew that you could sign letters and go home.

OLD ORCHARD RECORDS: Need for personal protection

Hardin referring to nurse Cohn noted: she indicates that you suffered episode of dissociation where you were reliving past event -- became fearful and saying mommy I don’t want to look.

BRAUN AND SACHS NOTE: about cutting self -- placed on one-to-one for personal protection.

HARDIN: You were placed on one to one as far back as 1990 for your protection.

MARY: It was around Easter and they thought there was cult programming that I might not be aware of.

MARCH 9, NURSE NOTE: gave finger signal that she would cut self today with sunglasses and eye makeup -- items removed.

HARDIN: Nurses as well as doctors were indicating that you would cut yourself.

NURSE NOTE: Put on one-to-one for your protection.

HARDIN: This was 15 months before Spring Shadows Glen.

PAGE 51 NOTE: dispassionate AM -- asked if it was a full moon and tried to choke self with hands -- nurse tries to talk and reassure patient.

HARDIN: Aren’t your records full of incidents that you don’t remember or contend that they did not happen?

HARDIN: Do you remember that event?


April 11 afternoon note: patient claimed that she didn’t sleep well -- took 70 minute shower -- shortly after that patient cried out and I went in and turned off shower which had been turned all the way to hot. Asked patient if she wanted to hurt self -- she responded no.

HARDIN: Isn’t it true that at this stage in your life you don’t want to admit that you were suicidal? Don’t you begin to believe?


HARDIN: It looks that way from the records.

HARDIN: Wasn’t it one of the things that made you mad was saying that you were suicidal?

MARY: Yes.

HARDIN: Lets assume:

Wouldn’t you be concerned for the safety of the patient and wouldn’t you want the patient guarded?

Old Orchard records - memory of coal bin

Page 67 - session with Sachs, Braun and husband Note: A 3 year old personality came out and shared some information about being stripped of her clothes and being put in a coal bin and kept there by guard dogs. [this memory was documented several times in Mary’s records.]

MARY: Memory could have been put in my mind by therapists. I was hypnotized and I don’t know where it came from.

Old Orchard records - Mary’s weight

There followed several questions and statements about Mary’s weight. According to Mary’s records at Spring Shadows Glen, her weight was 108 when she was admitted and 108 when she came out. Mary considers her ideal weight to be 110. Mary indicated that there were times in the hospital that she weighed less than 100 lbs and was put on special diets to bring her weight back up.(Hardin seemed to create some doubts about the severity of Mary’s weight problem.)

Old Orchard records - More memories

Note by Dr. Reslin (sp): Patient reports dissociating in shower -- rats and being in a box -- patient appears anxious

3/17 nurse note: Patient seems to be in good mood -- seems to get along well with patients and staff -- needs support to work on issues Indicates that mother and father were involved in occult -- she is still affected by this -- said that one of the [cult] members had tried to take child and she had to fight them off.

HARDIN: Can we agree that SSG was not responsible for making you believe that:

MARY: Yes.

Hardin asked if Mary would agree that her belief in cult holidays started before Spring Shadows Glen and Mary answered that Spring Shadows Glen added to this belief.

Hardin made the point that before she was treated by Sachs and Braun Mary believed that:

MARY: Sachs was the one that said that I was cult royalty.

HARDIN: What memories were created at Spring Shadows Glen?

MARY: Neo-nazi. (Mary appeared to be thinking when Hardin asked the next question.)

HARDIN: You cannot say for sure that any of this was created by Peterson or anyone else at SSG.

HARDIN: What specific thoughts were implanted at SSG?

Mary did not answer

lunch break

discussion about therapy

PAGE 73 NOTE: Questioning need for one-on-one

MARY: At Rush one-on-one was given when there was high cult activity.

DR. RESLIN NOTE: discussed sexual abuse by mother

PAGE 88 NOTE: Draws picture of child-like drawing of a farm scene -- a child is naked in a circle with containers of cows blood on each side.

MARY: This was from a book given to me on the unit... The book was given by therapist on the unit to validate that it was true.

(Hardin asked Mary a question that was unclear)

MARY: They took advantage of me in the state that I was in and directed me in the direction of cult beliefs -- because they believed in the cult...I was led to believe in the their belief system more and more.

HARDIN: Isn’t it true that you went voluntarily to Old Orchard to be treated by people with this belief system?

MARY: When I doubted they projected their belief system on me... Treating professionals did not try to talk me out of it.

HARDIN: Treatments for cancer. Isn’t it true that there are a lot of theories on how to treat cancer? ......You believed that there was cult involvement.

MARY: They should have said that there was another point of view.

HARDIN: What do you think the doctors did to take advantage of you?

MARY: They reinforced their belief system on me. They should have given me other options.

HARDIN: What we are trying is not the kind of therapy. Can you tell us what the defendants are charged with?

The prosecution objected and the judge said that Mary didn’t have to answer questions about the charges.

psychological testing

Page 68 note by Dr. Levitt: More disturbed than she clinically presents.

MARY: I don’t see how he can say that based on his tests. He concluded from tests that were conducted after a therapy session -- his tests were all broken up -- he didn’t know what mind set I was in -- all things that had gone on before influenced the test results... The video showed that they kept after me until they got what they wanted.

wanting to go home

April 4, 1990 page 100 Hardin: You signed another 5 day request for discharge.

PAGE 101 NOTE: She agreed to rescind her 5 day note -- has no recollection of anger last night and didn’t remember the anger from the night before.

HARDIN: On the 4th you wanted out, on the 5th you rescind, then there was another 5 day note. Isn’t it true you were vacillating about wanting to quit and go home?

MARY: I was getting pressure from doctors, husband, etc.

There followed a discussion about nurses that had to go along or they were replaced. Hardin had brought up Sally McDonald from the Frontline tape. He wanted to know if Mary knew Sally. Mary answered no but she did admit that she had read one of her articles. Hardin asked for the names of specific nurses who had been fired and Mary could not name any from either Rush or Spring Shadows Glen. She did insist that even though she could not name them there were some.


PAGE 489 NOTE: Patient had several mood changes with shift -- she was pleasant the early part of the shift -- later demanded to sign 5 day notice. Staff tried to explain how 5 day notice worked -- listened to staff and then rescinded note -- later patient started yelling and screaming.

MARY: I don’t recall this independently.

PAGE 133 4/23/90 DR. REISNER NOTE - losing time on Sunday night

PAGE 134 NOTE by art therapist: Dissociated 4 or 5 times... quickly dissociated into a small child - a frightened little girl

Mary then explained that sand therapy had cult like things in the sand in order to get what was expected.

PAGE 147 BRAUN AND SACHS NOTE: Story about oral and vaginal sex under stairs with guard dogs keeping control

4/13/90 2AM NOTE: patient crawling around on all 4s with bear in her mouth

MARY: I don’t doubt that it occurred... I was given the wrong medication and the wrong treatment.

PAGE 150 APRIL 30, 90 -2100HRS- NOTE: Ok in the morning but in the afternoon dissociated and was Mary Beth

MARY: Mary Beth was a name that I had when I was growing up...Mary Beth was a representation of a normal child.

HARDIN: Who was Rosemary?

MARY: I don’t remember Rosemary until Spring Shadows Glen.

HARDIN: 13 months before Spring Shadows Glen there was Emma, Mary Beth and Mary.

Dealing with anger and rage

HARDIN: Did you ever in therapy with Sylvia Davis and say "I hate you"?

MARY: Therapists would demonstrate how to get out anger by hitting something and saying "I hate you over and over."

HARDIN: Did you ever encourage a child to kick or hit something to vent their anger when they were angry?

MARY: No I never encouraged a child to get rage out.

June 29 Discharge summary from Old Orchard by Braun

HARDIN: What did you think of Dr. Braun?

MARY: I did not trust him. I did not like him.

BRAUN NOTE: Mary experienced apparitions -- discussed the use of Inderal -- rationalized the use of drug at higher than normal usage.

Mary: I don’t know that the risks were explained to me.

BRAUN NOTE: Mary experienced panic attacks, flashbacks, apparition, yelling mommy. Had incestuous relationship with brother from 3 - 13. Mar 22 - Apr 13 one of the inside parts thought she would be in danger


MARY: I was taught self hypnosis.

HARDIN: How often have you used self hypnosis since Spring Shadows Glen (SSG)?

MARY: Maybe about 8 times all within the first couple of weeks after leaving SSG.

The story of Colleen

According to medical records on April 30th therapy was on track. Records mention patient had the idea of a child that dies at age 14 months. Old Orchard records state that Mary was pregnant at age 13.

MARY: Every cult person had pregnancy at certain years.

MAY 8, 1990 ADJUNCT TO THERAPY NOTE: patient complained of feeling pregnant -- caught unresolved feeling since baby’s death. Began to draw figure with empty abdomen -- said that she would not look at drawing -- seemed to switch between Emma, Nellie and Mary -- did not want to look at picture -- patient very disturbed by drawing.

MARY: By this time I had come to believe that I had had other pregnancies.

MAY 16 ALICIA ART THERAPY NOTE: Patient talked about processes of other children lost. At least one child given up to cult. At age 33 had a daughter. [this would be 1983] Child died.

At age 36 Mary had hysterectomy

MARY’S VOLUME 14 JOURNAL - exhibit 28: Friday Sept 21, 1990 entry in Mary’s handwriting "I think I am on my way to much progress." In her journal Mary expressed resentment over the way the nurses were acting and she listed her children with their birth years. -Nellie - 1963; -Ella - 1966; -Nora - August 6, 1970 [daughter from rape]; -? - 1981; -Ryan ? - live birth [live birth was Mary’s note beside Ryan name]; -Colleen -March 23, 1985; -? - 1986.

MARY: I believed that I had had a child named Colleen

HARDIN then goes back to T. Moore’s admission notes at Spring Shadows Glen. In earlier testimony regarding those notes Mary indicated that the notes in reference to a baby who died at 14 months were not true.

HARDIN: Doesn’t it concern you that you are accusing someone about lying [when we show that this is what you believed]

MARY: I didn’t remember.

HARDIN: Listing Colleen with a life of 14 months match. [Colleen supposedly died of SIDS]

RUSH RECORD - Peterson 4 -page 296 9/17/90 Nurse Hansen entry: patient visited by husband early -- tense but asked to go off unit with him -- discussed events of past few days -- appeared beyond processing rape because of something worse

Another entry: other children -- Colleen

HARDIN: As far back as 1990 you thought that you had had a daughter named Colleen.

Hardin noted that the records showed that Mary had referred four times to Colleen before going to Spring Shadows Glen. He refers to Page 386 of the evidence, (Most likely a page from mary’s journal) "I get angry because no one has time for me...I would be connected to him but not like Colleen."

HARDIN: This is #5. [references to Colleen before SSG] This idea was not implanted at SSG. The first reference was May 1990....Are you not sure where the idea came from?

MARY: I think it had to do with children being born at certain ages. The idea came from Dr. Sachs -- the idea that there were multiple births at certain ages in a patient’s life -- the specifics came from the patient -- you were encouraged to embellish it.

HARDIN: Less than 2 months after you were admitted to SSG on July 9, 1991 in the notes there are issues related to the death of a daughter.

HARDIN: You shared this with a group.

MARY: Therapists should have checked. I think therapist believed me.

HARDIN: I am trying to understand [what you think] other peoples responsibilities are.

MARY: I began to realize that therapy never led to a conclusion.

HARDIN: Did therapy at SSG help you in any way?

MARY: Yes - it made me stronger, more assertive - because of bad therapy, my communication skills were improved within the group.

HARDIN: Would you say that it was like basic training in the military where you don’t like it when you are going through it but you come out a better person at the other end?

MARY: I wish I had never gotten involved with repressed memory therapy and I had never met the defendants in this case......

HARDIN: In March 1993, when you were expressing doubts about Colleen. Sylvia Davis suggested that you talk to your husband?

MARY: I had no contact with my husband.

There followed a discussion of how her husband Joe came to believe in the cults.

MARY: The concept that I was programming him came from the therapists.

HARDIN: In March 1993 Sylvia Davis encourages you to ask your husband.

MARY: By that time Colleen may have been the child of a cult.

Hardin referred to a note from Dr. Gloria Keraga six days later: patient trying to accept that her alter baby Colleen was her son.

MARY: I could not function on the medication that I was on... If it is delusional thinking the therapists should say that it is delusional thinking.

Hardin introduced a typewritten letter from Joe to Mary after she was in Spring Shadows Glen. The letter stated that all contact with him should go through Peterson, Sachs and Braun. The letter was a part of a prosecution exhibit. After the letter was read the prosecution asked that the remainder of the exhibit be introduced. It was. The remainder was the canceled stamped envelope giving Joe’s return address.

MARY: All my mail had to be reviewed by the hospital staff before I saw it.

HARDIN: [examining the envelope] I don’t know how you can conclude that from this exhibit.

HARDIN: One year earlier in your notes you write "Ask Joe if it’s real" [memories of Colleen].

At the end of the day Hardin showed some of the artwork done by Mary Shanley at SSG. Mary was asked to describe the artwork and to tell the significance of various objects in the artwork.

Jury was dismissed.

After jury was dismissed there was discussion about the length of the trial -- it’s behind schedule but attorneys indicated that the pace would pick up. Hardin indicated that he had about finished with Mary and that the other attorneys indicated that they did not have too much more to ask her. The indication is that for Thanksgiving week there will be court sessions only on two days.

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