From: <CEvans1950@aol.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1998 10:04:52 EDT


Here is where the depredations of those foolish enough to believe "recovered memories" come home to roost. It seems that they give away psychological/psychiatric/social worker credentials to anyone whose check clears.

If the patient in this case could manage to add up the numbers of neighbors-who-became-chow and realize their absurdity certainly the shrink should have been able to figure it out.

I've been having occasional email/instant message conversations with a well-meaning goofball who is possessed by bizarre Christian-sounding delusions who has just received her Social Worker credentials in California.

Can't imagine she's going do anything worthwhile with them and I suspect she intends to use them as a tool to convince unsuspecting folks-who-seek-help that their problems all stem from a lack of her-brand-of-Christianity.

She will be a vector of mental illness rather than a positive force.... one more delusional simpleton who, with good intentions, is going to cause more heartbreak and trouble than she solves.

We were discussing a paper she was writing on "cults" and she had such a convoluted notion of the term that she ended up with a definition that effectively meant "anyone who doens't go to my church and believe my way is a cult member". She is well-meaning... but Typhoid Mary thought she was helpng folks out when she cooked them supper, too.

Well-meaning simpletons with official-sounding credentials they neither earned nor deserve will be the ruin of us.


Repress-Memory Doc Faces Rebuke

.c The Associated Press

CHICAGO (AP) -- Illinois has moved to discipline a prominent psychiatrist accused of convincing a patient that she was a cannibal who ate human flesh meatloaf, a child molester and the high priestess of a satanic cult.

Depressed after the birth of her second son, Patricia Burgus sought therapy from Dr. Bennett Braun. Burgus says the doctor, through repressed-memory therapy, led her to believe she possessed 300 personalities, ate meatloaf of human flesh, sexually abused her children, and served in the cult.

In November, Burgus, 42, won a $10.6 million settlement in a lawsuit against Braun, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Hospital, to which his practice is connected, and another psychiatrist at the hospital, Dr. Elva Poznaski.

"I began to add a few things up and realized there was no way I could come from a little town in Iowa, be eating 2,000 people a year, and nobody said anything about it," Burgus told the Chicago Tribune.

The Illinois Department of Professional Regulation issued a complaint alleging Braun's techniques almost destroyed the lives of Burgus and her family.

"He's misused the course of treatment of multiple-personality disorder the way a surgeon" could misuse a knife, said Thomas Glasgow, chief of medical prosecutions for the agency.

Glasgow said Thursday the punishment could range from a simple reprimand to revocation of Braun's license.

Burgus, of Glen Ellyn, has an unlisted telephone number and could not be reached for further comment Thursday. Braun's office referred questions to attorney Harvey Harris, who was not in his office Thursday afternoon and did not immediately return a message.

Braun, 58, of Glenview, founded the International Society for the Study of Disassociation. He helped train many of the therapists who treat multiple personality disorder around the nation.

After the difficult birth in 1982, Burgus had seen a number of therapists before she was referred to the Chicago hospital.

There, she said, she was incorrectly diagnosed with multiple personality disorder. She was hospitalized in 1986 and spent more than two years in a psychiatric ward.

She said she was given sedative, hypnotic and psychotic drugs in inappropriate doses. She was frequently hypnotized and sometimes restrained with leather straps to stimulate abuse memories, her lawsuit said.

Burgus also said Braun and Poznaski persuaded her to hospitalize her two healthy children, then ages 4 and 5, for almost three years.

Dr. Marlene Hunter, a Canadian psychiatrist who is president of the society Braun founded, called him "a very dedicated psychiatrist."

She said it was a "situation where a therapist has done the best he could according to what he thought was right at the time."

Braun faces a Sept. 28 preliminary hearing on the state's complaint.

AP-NY-08-13-98 1753EDT


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