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Castlewood Treatment Center

Two of the four lawsuits filed against the Castlewood Treatment Center, a Ballwin, Missouri eating-disorder clinic accused of implanting patients with false memories of ritualistic abuse have now been resolved out of court. All four of the former Castlewood patients in the suits claimed they were given false memories of past abuse, Two of the patients claim the false memories involved satanic rituals. The Castlewood Treatment Center, which has denied its therapists created false memories or used hypnosis, released a statement confirming that two of the four cases had been resolved. 

Plaintiff’s attorney Kenneth Vuylsteke says he can’t discuss the settled cases but that in the two pending cases patients were misled to believe they had a dark past. “During the course of hypnosis as well as the time they were given psychotropic drugs, they had implanted in their memory false memories of abuse that really did not occur,” Vuylsteke says. He added that “These two patients at Castlewood had false memories of sexual abuse implanted in their minds by this therapy that’s employed, mainly through the hypnotic-type state that they’re induced.” (CBS St. Louis, 12/17/13) [IT 5.2]

Four women have filed separate lawsuits in St. Louis County Circuit Court against Castlewood Treatment Center and its head, Mark Schwartz, alleging that he hypnotized and brainwashed them into believing they were members of Satanic cults. They say he implanted in them false memories of sexual abuse. Schwartz is no longer leading the Center and seems not to be involved in its daily operation. A Castlewood spokesman calls the allegations “spurious” and said the center will “defend this case vigorously.” Castlewood—which specializes in dealing with eating disorders—employs a therapy called internal family systems, which encourages patients to counteract their destructive qualities; according to some experts, this is not the standard of care for eating disorders because patients treated with this mode become malnourished and vulnerable to psychological damage. (St. Louis Post Dispatch, 5/29/13) [IT 4.3 2013]

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