Fourth Patient Files Lawsuit About 'False Memories' of Sexual Abuse

Ballwin-based Castlewood Treatment Center received another lawsuit from a former patient who said she was led to believe she "suffered multiple rapes from a family member," per a KMOX-TV report Monday.

A former patient of the Castlewood Treatment Center in Ballwin is filing a lawsuit that alleges the therapy she received at the center gave her false memories of sexual abuse, according to a Monday report from KMOX-TV. She is the fourth patient to surface these type of allegations, stemming from her interactions with the center during 2010.

See previous articles:

New Plaintiff Joins Suit Against Castlewood Clinic in Ballwin

Third Woman Sues Ballwin Treatment Center for “Implanting False Memories"

The woman’s attorney, Ken Vuylsteke, told KMOX the patient spent several months at Castlewood for an eating disorder when she was in her late 30s.

The attorney told KMOX his client was subjected to hypnosis and psychotropic drugs. He also said she was made to believe she had suffered physical and sexual abuse by a relative, and had "suffered multiple rapes by a family member."

These alleged instances are all memories Vuylsteke said his client did not have before she attended sessions at Castlewood.

Castlewood's website suggests recent lawsuits about this matter are copycats. Castlewood calls the allegations in the original lawsuit “false, absurd and bizarre.”

The site provides a response from the center dated July 19, 2012:

Whenever there is a lawsuit with publicity, others want to jump on the bandwagon. Castlewood is known nationally and internationally for specializing in the treatment of anorexia and bulimia. In addition, it is one of the few facilities that also specializes in eating disorders with post-traumatic stress disorder often caused by sexual abuse. The Castlewood staff are leading experts in the field and lecture throughout the country to literally hundreds of thousands of professionals. When clients go from one treatment center to the next without getting better, they often are referred to Castlewood, even from other treatment centers. Of the thousands of clients treated, most are extremely grateful but there will be a few who are angry and need someone to blame—and there will always be lawyers waiting. We will defend the case vigorously and let justice prevail."

ruby November 15, 2012 at 04:05 AM
I was there for three and a half months. This place is cult like with patients made to believe they are crazy, I was one of them. I never had a flashback before I went there, I ended up having several in a day. Memories were created that I never had before entering Castlewood, I would never recommend this place to anyone, especially someone who has suffered trauma.
Math Problem November 15, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Castlewood is a small 10 bed facility. The average stay for a patient is 4-6 months, some longer. The probability that so many of these patients would end up with the same diagnosis is astounding!! Numerous patients have been admitted to Castlewood for the treatment of an eating disorder without any prior history of sexual abuse and then ended up with “recovered memories” of horrific sexual abuse and were diagnosed with DID (dissociative identity disorder) or multiple personalities. The story always follows a similar path, alienation from their family, reports to police, CPS, rape crisis centers, etc., and then months and months of treatment for the traumatized patient. What are the chances that a extremely rare diagnosis ends up being shared by all these Castlewood patients?? They came from all over the country, all different ages and backgrounds and yet the story ends up the same. Another statistical improbability is the lack convictions as a result from all of the crimes reported by Castlewood. You would think that criminal investigations would produce at least some evidence to support the allegations made from all this “recovered memory therapy”. And yet you never hear about the abusers ending up in jail. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that something isn’t adding up here. Mark Schwartz is a fraud and so is the IFS therapy model!
Altus November 15, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Math...I've been following and reading about IFS and Mark and Richard. What IFS does is get women thinking they have parts from the get go...these are vulnerable women. Castlewood then uses "drama therapy," the same crap that was outlined in this article to "remember". Lori and Mark used to head a "Dissociative Identity" Group Therapy. It was right on Castlewood's website...they since renamed it. DID is extremely rare and they are holding GROUP meetings with a handful of women---how did they get so many cases of DID? Like you say, do the math. When you can get women to talk of themselves as "we" through IFS and subject them to isolation and put them in groups where everyone is acting out...you see the outcome. The whole IFS model is a MESS! Therapists who "specialize" in DID and trauma are using this outside of Castlewoodegads. This "therapy" has NO clinical trials..It was made out of Freudian myth...it's the new repressed memory meme. You "forgot" your trauma...let's talk to your "parts" and help you remember..
Math Problem November 15, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Altus, thanks for providing the links. With all the information that has surfaced about the problems with ISF in general and Castlewood in particular why do you think they continue to fly under radar? What would it take to get an official investigation going???
Math Problem November 15, 2012 at 06:09 PM
Ruby...you are brave to come forward about your experience at Castlewood. To have this kind of pain and suffering intentionally inflicted upon you is about the worst thing I can imagine I hope you find some peace and that Castelwood is brought to justice.
Altus November 15, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Maybe if people keep speaking out and educating folks and the professionals get involved...the licensing authorities will wake up and do to these folks what they Bennett Braun. Google him.
ruby November 15, 2012 at 08:55 PM
I truly believe in my heart one day they will be shut down once and for all. It is so scary, how safe you feel when you are there, as though you are under a spell. They feed you lie after lie, and you are too sick to question it. I will seek justice for my false memories in the near future.
Lisa Krug November 16, 2012 at 02:03 PM
Ruby - Lets hope that the time is now, that with all the people who are coming forward and those who are expressing that they were in the same situation, that someone will start a formal investigation, now!!!!
AvelinR November 18, 2012 at 04:08 AM
Still sounds like people trying to make money off a clinic that helps a lot of people. Catlewoods a big place. Copycat lawsuits like the article says are people jumping on for the money.
Altus November 18, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Avelin, To your comment below. Please read the articles. You are posting in a vacuum. The people "making money" off of this might well be Mark, Lori and Richard. All of them are marketers. Mark and Lori go back to "marketing" positions at Masters and Johnson. They figured out a way to separate out women with great insurance coverage and literally mind-screw these women until they drove them to near suicide. This required years to repair...which they pocketed money from. Richard Schwartz markets an IFS system (perfect cover for Lori and Mark) that functions more Mary Kay than healthcare. His annual meetings are more like Amway pep rallies than any serious discussion of health care. He loves getting folks to suck others into his belief system (that will never have any REAL studies because its new age bunk---and dangerous according to professionals in the field.) You don't help some people and nearly kill others in the process. Healthcare doesn't work like that. .
Castlewood Victims November 23, 2012 at 07:49 PM
castlewoodvictimsunite@yahoo.com is an on-line email and blog based resource dedicated to helping victims of the Castlewood Treatment Center in St. Louis, Missouri. If you, a family member, or loved one was damaged by the Castlewood Treatment Center's horrific and dangerous therapeutic practices feel free to contact us. Tell us your story, or read the stories of other victims and family members who have had their lives destroyed or irrevocably damaged by Mark Schwartz and the staff he leads at Castlewood. Our goal is to bring as many Castlewood victims as possible together in a support group environment. There is strength in numbers. United we can help each other cope with the results of Castlewood's malpractice, and find ways to have that business investigated by local and state agencies. Contact us using your real name, or anonymously until you feel more comfortable. Always remember, no matter how badly your family was damaged by Castlewood, there is always hope. You are NOT alone!
Castlewood Victims November 29, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Eff Yu December 01, 2012 at 08:16 PM
I was there for a month and at first was also pulled into their crap model. While I don't believe my "false memories" and they have not ruined my life, I do have them since being there. Luckily this first case was filed shortly after my exit, so I knew I was not alone in having them and that they were definitely false. Its not just the IFS model that is unsafe at Castlewood, the whole environment is unsafe. They have you narrate your trauma in front of everyone, I guess in hopes to bond you with your fellow inmates, but having a bunch of traumatized people listening to more trauma really seemed to be counter productive. Esp if you haven't really been traumatized, you're mind begins to invent things just to feel accepted. And people who were obviously not DID, would play DID b/c you could get away with murder and no one would say anything to you. If you didn't want to eat, you could play a "part" and get out of it. I'm very glad I got out early. But I do know people who have gone back multiple times. They think that not being there is the reason they can't function in life, which is what really makes them a cult. I'm just glad they didn't get me.
Castlewood Victims December 02, 2012 at 12:35 AM
God bless you Eff (funny name). I am so happy you got out. My situation has ruined so many lives. Please keep telling your story.
jeanette bartha December 03, 2012 at 04:42 PM
Comments criticizing Castlewood are right on target. If they want to treat patients irresponsibly, they earned the wrath of the US courts. If only patients didn't have to suffer.
Math Problem December 04, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Why does Castlewood urge patients to break off ties with their families following "recovered memories" of abuse? I find it highly suspicious that anyone who could corroborate or disprove these events is pushed away. Most patients in treatment for eating disorders need their families to join them in therapy in order to recover. And yet, time and again we hear that Castlewood encouraged patients to withdraw from their families. This in effect places the patient in a cult-like environment surrounded by like-thinking others. This effect is magnified by group therapy where patients are encouraged to narrate their trauma in front of others. In a video produced by Castlewood, featuring Mark Schwartz he lists hypnosis as one of the methods he uses to "access trauma". These tactics are likely highly suggestive and may actually produce false memories. Given the large number of Castlewood retractors that have been surfacing lately I think it is high time for an official investigation into their therapeutic practices.
BrokenHeart December 09, 2012 at 05:46 AM
You are right on target AvelinR!
Russell Judson January 30, 2013 at 06:42 AM
My daughter has had the same thing happen at Mercy Ministries in Lincoln, CA, and we have come to find out that many other young women have as well there...unfortunately many of them don't realize the "memories" were false yet and by the time they do the statute of limitations in CA will have run out and so a lawsuit is not an option. This kind of "therapy" is very harmful and destructive to women and their families, and it's got to stop!
Russell Judson January 30, 2013 at 06:45 AM
Mercy Ministries does the same thing as Castlewood, I know personally of several families whose daughters there (at the Lincoln, CA facility) also have cut ties at the urging of their "counselors".
brokeaway February 06, 2013 at 05:59 PM
I am baffled trying to figure out how CW got my insurance to cover 5+ months of treatment.. Then I realized they probably are "flexible" with how they bill. Claiming they use a variety of methods, (the more traditional ones that insurances like to see, the ones that have been empirical evidence supporting them) while the majority of treatment is focused in IFS or IFS based theory. Every staff member when I was there was trained and taught to use IFS language. I don't doubt for a second CW is above flat out lieing to insurance companies about what treatment is provided in order to get paid. The group schedule they post looks good on paper for insurance and prospective clients, does that mean that is what goes on there? Obviously there is alot going on there that only the staff and clients know about. They go through great effort to make sure it stays that way. The truth is out there and GAG orders and PR tricks aimed at deception will only work for so long.
brokeaway February 06, 2013 at 06:12 PM
This is more then complaining. It is also not about money. These women are standing up to try and prevent more victims coming from the hands of Mark Schwartz, IFS and Castlewood. Unfortunately the state of California has granted permission for the residential treatment cetner MonarchCove to opened as an "affiliate" of Castlewood, where this will continue. Castlewood spends alot of time on their website and facebook pushing publishing positive "stories of hope and gratitude" from former clients as well as defending themselves. Lots of effort defending themselves
brokeaway February 06, 2013 at 06:23 PM
No damage has been proven in court yet. Damage as a direct results of Schwartz's neglect or malpractice needs to be demonstrated in court. It's difficult to prove psychological damage as I'm sure their defense is going to be these women were already "psychologically damaged" before they entered CW. More people I beleive would be willing to step forward, however they know their entire history is going to be up for scrutiny and speculation. Schwartz allegedly warned the first woman, LN that if she went forward with this lawsuit everyone would know her "secrets" and she would regret it. Using fear and shame, manipulation tactics he knows well, to try and prevent his name from being brought into question. Google Galperin and Schwartz, Two Rivers "could it be ..Satan." He already went through a lawsuit were he was acused of implanting false memories and he thought it was burried. His temper and ego could not tollerate the thought of another trial. He spoke to the media about the case right away, before he had a lawyer trying to deny accusations but confirming LN was a client. Can't keep his composure when his own professionalism and conduct is called into question.
brokeaway February 06, 2013 at 06:33 PM
Sarcasm of course, but you are expected to leave your family and everyone in the relationships you had while you were sick (still eating disordered) in order to follow the word of Mark. Too many people did this, and to this day will defend anything related to CW because they became followers of MS. Litterally beleive his word is gospel. To please Mark, to win his attention and affection is what some of these women spent months, even years of their lives doing. He is actually a very ill man. If it was just him that perpetrated this neglegence and malpractice I would be okay with him never practicing again. But CW continues and has expanded. Lori Galperin continues. This needs to stop
Math Problem February 06, 2013 at 07:07 PM
Dick Schwartz has left Castlewood and has cut ties with Mark Schwartz. Even the ridiculous affirmations of IFS think that what Mark Schwartz is doing is WRONG. This speaks volumes a to what is actually going on at Castlewood. I can't wait for the trials!!!
Math Problem February 06, 2013 at 07:14 PM
@brokeaway... you have my sincere gratitude tor having the courage to speak out against Castlewood. I pray that find peace and justice for what has happened to you and your family. THANK YOU, so much for commenting. There are so many that have yet to come forward. We need to reach them. Maybe it is one comment, or maybe it is the entire internet cause that speaks out against Castlewood, Mark Schwartz, IFS, DID or False Memories that will play a part in liberating another victim. We need to continue to move forward and push the TRUTH. Again, brokeaway, I applaud you and your courage!!!
brokeaway February 06, 2013 at 07:18 PM
I was not aware of this. Good for Richard Schwartz
Kiss my ass February 23, 2013 at 07:19 AM
Sometimes I think about what cw took from me and I just want to scream. But, then I remind myself all in time all in time. Truth will prevail. Its true mark and Lori are sick and many therapist are brained wash to do their evil to their patients. I feel sorry fir their souls and the lives of people that go there. I think when your desperate and feel alone and sick you'll believe anything. I did! But I also didn't. I made them think I believed them. I think mark figured me out because he threw me out as quick as he could and I was so happy and never looked back. I now have a therapist that believes me about castlewood and the mind fuck I had by them. I'm in recovery and I can say everyone who has stood up to them and sued has recovered and are doing well with the right help. If I had one thing to say to them (cw) it would be I look forward to see you sweat and afraid and fall on your cw faces. Oh and watch you all burn in hell. Just saying
Kiss my ass February 23, 2013 at 07:30 AM
Oh and I need to say I'm from the area and I'm aware of the scare in the 90,s. And I had a therapist that tried the same shut with me and other clients of hers (Gerri Lamb) and she went to prison. I think mark and Lori needs to follow her to prison. The Midwest was flourishing by the satantic craze in the 90's and master and Johnson followers. I too was sent to two rivers by this therapist before she went to prison. And yes it was just like cw. I've been in this tunnel of hell for much of time. All I wanted was help with my Ed. And yes guess who were the directors at that time there mark and Lori. It's been a scam for them. And when I went to cw the first time and left after 3 days AMA. They had the same therapist I had at two rivers working at castlewood. How interesting don't you think. It's been a scam for a ling time in many many placed and who's always behind the curtains mark and Lori. They are the ones that need mental help. Just saying
Math Problem February 24, 2013 at 05:01 PM
I have a feeling Mark is afraid...very AFRAID. 4 Lawsuits, getting branded with discrimination by the Department of Justice, Dick Schwartz cutting ties and leaving Castlewood, and more victims coming forward all the time. The Castle is crumbling before his eyes and there is nothing he can do to stop the truth from coming out. You can run, Mark...but you can't hide. We will expose you.
Parentofasurvivor March 19, 2013 at 03:20 AM
What about employing a former patient who received treatment at CW less then a year before working there. A brand new clinician who is now an ED therapist. It may not be 'illegal' but any one with a shred of ethical competency would never even consider this. Talk about dual relationships. Conflict of interest. Clearly he does not have his patient or employees best interest in mind. $$$


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