Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hypnosis for Eating Disorder Led to False Memories About Satanic Cult Abuse, Suit Says

Posted By on Tue, Nov 29, 2011 at 2:50 PM

natural_hypnosis_2.jpg

A Minnesota woman is suing her Ballwin eating-disorder clinic and its director for giving her hypnosis treatment and psychotropic drugs that caused her to believe she was the victim of multiple rapes and a member of a satanic cult that sacrificed babies.

The hypnosis and drugs that Castlewood Treatment Center provided to Lisa Nasseff also caused her to slip into at least twenty different personalities and induced her into thinking she'd been the victim of satanic abuse herself, according to the malpractice complaint recently filed in the Circuit Court of St. Louis County.

According to the complaint, Nasseff's psychologist and hypnotist, Mark Schwartz, who is also the director of the clinic, singled her out based partly on her ability to pay for long-term continuous inpatient services, which she called "intentional and reckless."

Nasseff alleges that Schwartz called her last fall and told her if she didn't return to the clinic for more counseling and treatment she would most assuredly die from her eating disorder. She claims that when Schwartz learned that a lawsuit was possible, he left Nasseff a threatening voicemail suggesting that the suit would re-trigger her memories of satanic ritual abuse, multiple rapes and membership in a satanic cult, which, in turn, would cause more mental suffering.

We left a voicemail message for Schwartz and will update this post if he calls back. The Castlewood website says Schwartz is a licensed psychologist who earned his doctorate in psychology and mental health from Johns Hopkins University and is an adjunct professor in the psychiatry department at St. Louis University School of Medicine. It also says Schwartz has achieved international recognition for his treatment of intimacy disorders, marital and sexual dysfunction, sexual compulsivity, sexual trauma and eating disorders.

Nasseff, who says she was treated from 2007 to 2009, is suing the clinic and Schwartz on four counts, claiming she was forced to spend about $650,000 on Castlewood's faulty services, which led to numerous hospitalizations.

Photographs of the center, located on the bluffs surrounding Castlewood State Park, depict a idyllic retreat house flanked by bucolic trails, trees and flowers.

We left a message for Nasseff's lawyer, Kenneth Vulsteke, who was quoted in a recent article in Missouri Lawyers Media, accusing Schwartz of intentionally stirring up false memories in Nasseff because he knew she'd keep paying for his services.

"You're creating a confused mind, a vulnerable mind, and then either accidentally or, as we allege, perhaps on purpose people are led to believe these horrible things happened," Vuylsteke said. For example, "you may have participated in the sacrifice of a baby to Satan, then you were brainwashed to forget it by the cult, and you can't believe you've done such a thing so you repress it somehow."

Although the complaint does not mention baby sacrificing, Vuylsteke told a reporter for Courthouse News Service that sacrificing babies was a part of Nasseff's false memories.

Tags: ,

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 13, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2021 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation