People who deny the effects of hypnosis or participate in hypnosis may want to take caution, because a therapist is being sued for allegedly brainwashing his female patients into believing they were in a satanic cult.
ABC News reported, Lisa Nasseff, 41, of Saint Paul, Minn., is suing her former therapist, Mark Schwartz, and the Castlewood Treatment Center in St. Louis, Mo., where she received 15 months of treatment for anorexia.
Schwartz is accused of hypnotizing Nasseff into believing she possessed multiple personalities and participated in satanic rituals such as the “ritualistic eating of babies.”
"We're not talking about memories from when she was a little kid," said Nasseff's attorney Kenneth Vuylsteke to Courthouse News. "We're talking about a 28-year-old woman who believed that a couple of years ago that she participated in satanic abuse and sacrificed babies. ... These aren't memories that happened to little kids. These are memories that supposedly happened two or three years ago that this woman was brainwashed to believe."
It was reported that Schwartz maybe sued by several patients who claim they were also lead to believe they were a part of a satanic cult. The women receiving treatment realized that their stories were very similar to each other’s.
Schwartz still serves as the facility's clinical CO-director and denies ever hypnotizing Nasseff.
"We don't use hypnosis," said Schwartz, who told ABCNews.com he has not yet retained a lawyer. "It's usually exposure therapy where the person is exposed to the memories of their trauma in various ways in order to move beyond it … A person is avoiding the memories and the feelings [associated with those memories] so you have them begin to talk about it in a safe way, that's not re-victimizing."
The Castlewood’s website states the treatment center's staff specializes in several areas, including hypnosis.
"We strongly believe that all of these claims are without merit and we intend to defend these claims vigorously," said Castlewood's Executive Director Nancy Albers to Courthouse News.