BALLWIN, Mo. (KMOX) — The founder of a Missouri eating disorder treatment center accused of hypnotizing patients in to believing they were members of a satanic cult, is no longer leading the facility in St. Louis County, or its facility in California.

Four women have filed lawsuits since 2011 against Castlewood Treatment Center and its founder Mark Schwartz. All four of the former Castlewood patients claim they were given false memories of past abuse, two of them claim the false memories involved satanic rituals, even “witnessing the sacrificing of a baby.”

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Attorney, Ken Vuylsteke, is representing each suit.

“The instances of this type of thing, if at all, specifically satanic ritual abuse, if it ever occurs, certainly is not occurring to patients who happen to cluster in this particular treatment facility in St. Louis, Missouri,” Vuylsteke said. “It’s just not possible.”

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Mark Schwartz and his partner, Lori Galperin, stepped down from daily operations in December, though the change wasn’t confirmed until Tuesday.

Castlewood director Nancy Albus is now CEO.

In a statement to KMOX last November after the fourth lawsuit was filed, Castlewood claimed “the allegations in this and the other cookie cutter-style lawsuits filed by the plaintiff’s attorney in this case against Castlewood are categorically false.”

“Like the other complaints, this one aims to generate publicity with bizarre, lurid allegations that are the stuff of Hollywood. Castlewood’s dedicated professionals deserve better than to be maligned in this manner. Countless individuals who, along with their loved ones, once feared all options had run out have sought and received treatment for anorexia and bulimia at Castlewood, one of the rare facilities specializing in eating issues involving post-traumatic stress often caused by sexual abuse.”

Schwartz is scheduled to give a deposition in July.


(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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