On February 14, 2011 I put my then little girl on a plane to the Castlewood Treatment Center. That day most of my life came to a halt. I didn’t realize it then, but looking back, that life choice actually initiated the beginning of the end. Since about then, six years ago, I’ve been fighting. First to defend myself, my loved ones, my friends and my business from insane, preposterous, impossible and completely dis-proven false allegations. False claims of horrific abuse reported by my daughter while under intensive inpatient “therapy” at that residential treatment facility. Reported abuse so satanic, so lurid and vile that going into detail here regarding it would not be productive. Allegations not just against me, but against nearly one-hundred random people. Some in her life, many who never even existed at all. This story, my story, the recounting of what occurred those days at the hands of The Castlewood Treatment Center, its founder Mark Schwartz and his staff of cult minions has been told many times. I’ve told it here nearly annually. It’s been the subject of brilliant articles in mainstream media. Telling it again would be just too painful. Surf around CASTLEWOODVICTIMSUNITE.ORG for the specifics if you so desire. It suffices to sum it all up like this: I lost my daughter, my only child, my future, and most of my happiness to horrible criminal self-serving, leading and long debunked “therapeutic” treatments. Six years ago today.
Losing an only child to a cult, or to sick evil therapists is painful beyond measure. You reach a point where all you have left, is giving up. Your daughter moves on, continues her life. Many former victims of Schwartz and Castlewood have told us here at CVU they were manipulated very early on to cut any and all ties with those they were convinced to falsely accuse. To even go into deep hiding, for fear of retribution. Convinced by their Castlewood “therapists” that they are even in mortal danger. Sometimes other friends or family members get swept up into the delusion of false abuse. Harboring and “protecting” the Castlewood patient once released from the cult headquarters. Reaching out to your daughter after all this is no longer an option, even if you can find out where she is, or what she is doing. There comes a point no matter how innocent you are, you’ll simply look bad in trying to force the issue with her. You have to let go, give up. I reached this point years ago. It was an awful and painful realization. She is gone.
To fill the void left by the loss of my daughter to the horrors of Schwartz and Castlewood my wife and I decided to help save others from the same fate. This ended up being potent therapy for both of us. We pushed back against the criminal evil that happens at Castlewood. Not for us, as my daughter is gone and most likely will never come out of her therapy driven delusions. But for others that have experienced the same Castlewood horrors we did. Then, in preventing potential victims from falling prey to Schwartz and Castlewood at all! “Castlewood Victims Unite” was formed. I am proud of the CVU resume.
CVU recognized the incredible importance and contribution those first four lawsuits against Schwartz and Castlewood represented. Lawsuits that illustrated what REALLY happens during “therapy” at Castlewood. Lawsuits that chronical situations very similar to our own. Lawsuits that were settled VERY favorably for the victims of Schwartz and Castlewood. We launched CVU on the coattails of these brave heroic young ladies, fellow victims of Schwartz and Castlewood. Since the inception of those lawsuits we have been motivated to constantly expose Schwartz, Galperin, Rechtien, Albus, and Castlewood itself.
Our efforts have not been in vain. Working closely with Missouri and national media CVU was able to shine the light of reality and truth on Castlewood and it’s leaders. The founders and leaders of Castlewood Mark Schwartz and Lori Galperin were drummed out of their own operation in shame and disgrace. Trinity Hunt, Castlewood’s parent company along with some Board of Directors realizing the damage those two did, sent Schwartz and Galperin packing just ten years after they created the place. Today, after being ousted from other facilities as well, Schwartz and Galperin struggle to lure clients into their private practice. Now being accurately viewed in the mainstream world of therapy as jokes or punchlines at cocktail receptions, Schwartz and Galperin operate a kind of strip mall, storefront, walk-in, one-stop-shopping therapy center in California. Trolling for customers through their ever expanding list of offered “services”. Every step they now take to improve their destroyed reputation simply screams irrelevance and desperation. Mike Rechtien, the number one tool of Schwartz during my daughter’s destruction there has also entered the world of therapeutic irrelevance. A remarkably under-credentialed sheep to Schwartz, he too was shown the door by Trinity Hunt and Castlewood. The most recent cherry-on-the-cake; last month even Trinity Hunt dumped Castlewood. Spun by their PR firm as a good thing, it was obviously a parent company unloading one of its embarrassing portfolio companies. I’m sure they were happy to get out from under the freak counter-culture nut-jobs at Castlewood.
Castlewood itself has been feverishly trying to reinvent its broken public image and perception. PR firms and social media experts trolling our Facebook pages and website. Reacting to what we illuminate, by constantly and defensively altering their own online presence. If we point out how Castlewood employs long debunked hypnosis practices, they re-brand hypnosis as “guided image therapy”. When we illustrate that the two are the same thing, they pull “guided image therapy” down altogether, and so on. On their Facebook business page we empowered many of their own past clients to review Castlewood. The reviews from their clients were scathing one-star descriptions of the hell Castlewood inflicted upon them. So Castlewood dumped and abolished the “Reviews” section of their Facebook account. Obliterating all the true accounts by former clients of the horrors that take place there. We saved many! They’re on our website.
I can’t in this one post even begin to list all the gains CVU has had in helping victims of Schwartz and Castlewood. I don’t have enough time nor space to list all the future steps we plan to take. It has been over five years since we started. In the name of those victimized by Schwartz and Castlewood and their loved ones, it suffices to say we have shaken the evil cultists to their core, and will not stop until all of them are completely exposed and the damage is repaired.
HELPING OTHER VICTIMS THROUGH EDUCATION…..
Today on the sixth anniversary of losing my daughter to the horrible therapeutic practices of Schwartz and Castlewood I can talk of my most recent endeavor to combat horrible therapy. Inadvertently this project ends up not just protecting victims from Castlewood, but from poor therapy conducted elsewhere as well. Through educating state courts and social service agencies about bad therapy and how to identify it.
My particular case is a textbook example of how horrible therapy can lead to unimaginable false accusations. Then be brought back down to reality through common sense and actual evidence. To help others who are victimized by false accusations created during leading and debunked therapeutic techniques I’ve begun the process of reaching out to Family Court Judges, Investigators, and Child Protection and Social Service offices around my state. I’ve assembled packages to present to these folks in meetings we schedule. Overviews and timelines of my terrible story lead off the binders I present. Followed by reams of paperwork and digital media that chronicles my personal experience. Progress notes from all the investigations conducted involving my case, transcripts and audio files of hearings that were conducted, letters I would write my daughter while she was at Castlewood desperately trying to keep her from slipping out of reality while there, emails between my daughter and her therapists, attorney communications, results and reports from investigations I was conducting at the time, then all the historical data we’ve compiled on Schwartz, Galperin, Albus, and Castlewood itself here at CVU. Complete background on the four major lawsuits and related depositions involving horrible therapy conducted at Castlewood. Dozens of articles and investigative reports concerning the nightmares that have resulted for so many families because of the terrible therapeutic practices conducted at Castlewood. Finally the findings and results of my particular case along with interviews conducted with folks involved in that process. I HAVE opted to redact and omit my daughter’s name from all these documents. While she doesn’t and perhaps may never realize it, she is a victim of this terrible therapy. Castlewood cost her the truly loving and innocent relationship she enjoyed with her only father. While it hurts so much every day knowing she’s gone, I always will want the best for her. Wherever she is and whatever she’s doing, I want her to be happy and free of this burden. I’ll shoulder it myself. I don’t want to dump it on her. Additionally I’ve begun the process of sending all this information to major insurance carriers that do business with Castlewood. Along with dozens of testimonials from other Castlewood victims and their families describing situations and horrors so similar to my own. All being connected back to one common denominator, the Castlewood Treatment Center.
Terrible cult-like therapy is sadly not limited to just Castlewood. There are a handful of other nut-job treatment facilities around that destroy lives and families in similar ways. I can’t go back in time and un-send my daughter to Castlewood. She’s gone from my life and I pray every moment of every day that wherever she is, whatever she’s doing, she is safe and happy and living well. No, I can’t turn back the hands of time and undo my Castlewood mistake. But after all this, I am fully equipped to educate others about the horrors and destruction bad therapy can inflict on innocent people and families.
GETTING PAST IT, OPENING LONG SHUT DOORS…..
I guess I sometimes I do live vicariously through the reunification of other Castlewood victims and families. It does happen! I’m also very PROUD to say that my wife and I have assisted in opening long lost communication between parent’s and the daughters they lost to Castlewood. In one case on our older CVU Facebook page a young lady victimized by Castlewood and convinced her parents abused her began participating in our forum discussions under an assumed name. While her own parents were doing the same, also under assumed names! They ended up talking directly for the first time in years! Having reunited right here at CVU. So yes, it CAN happen. So having six years’ experience in losing a daughter, and five years’ experience in helping other Castlewood victims I feel qualified to offer up some advice based on my experiences. Yes, I know, I have not succeeded at opening communication with my own daughter, and most likely never will. But I HAVE seen it happen with other Castlewood victims and their families. So let me just put this out there.
RELAX! DON’T PRESS THE ISSUE…..
She was in a residential cult-like facility for a while! She had awful therapists and peers leading her into believing people harmed her in the worst of ways. In “Art Therapy” (Ugh, Jesus, SO stupid) she did finger-painting style masterpieces of recently conjured up “abuse”. In Group Therapy her peers would cheer her on to “divulge” abuse at your hands. She was given psychotropic drugs while obviously malnourished. She was subjected to “Guided Image Therapy”, creating abuse that never occurred. To HER these nightmares are a reality. Undoing that mess takes time, years, if it can happen at all. There is no convincing her to come back. There is no pointing out that all this was a manufactured delusion. It is her reality. You’ve lost her. Believe me, I know that pain. But accept it. IF she’s ever going to come out of it, she will do it completely on her own timetable and her own way. This I learned DIRECTLY from Castlewood victims who falsely accused their loved ones of abuse, then realized the abuse never occurred. They told us the more they were pushed, the further they ran. Try to go on with your life somehow. Pray and hope their minds clarify. But don’t try to force it.
VERY PRIVATE, VERY SLOW…..
If your Castlewood victim does reach out, the initial contact will be just a little crumb. Of all the Castlewood victims we know who made horrible accusations and broke ties with their loved ones NONE of them came running back smiling. The “Hey Mom, sorry about all those things I said, but let’s just start over” fantasy has never once happened. It’s not how they come out of it. In nearly all cases we know of Castlewood victim accusers establishing contact with those they accused its been a very slow process. It needs to be for them. It is also a very private process. They have described to us a feeling of guilt and concern for their loved ones. They’re not dead. They’re living and functioning and going through their lives often just fine without you. In their minds sometimes even in spite of you. But most described just one little ray of doubt that had entered their minds. That doubt combined with a love for you that is now deeply buried and denied causes them to be sometimes slightly concerned for you. So a number of the Castlewood victims we have worked with described just letting their loved ones know they are ok and safe. Just a three line letter or email. Maybe a very brief call. Or, maybe a short conversation with someone else close to you. It’s just them cracking the door an inch, and saying “Hi, I am doing well.” DO NOT JUMP ON THIS! Respond just as briefly. If you ever do get this contact tell them briefly that you are so glad they reached out. Tell them you’re glad they are ok. Tell them you love them unconditionally and you’re always there for them. THAT’S IT! No questions. No pleading. No crying. Oh, cry all you want alone! Hell after say a decade your lost daughter just reached out to you! But contain yourself. You sent them to Castlewood for an eating disorder. People suffering from eating disorders usually describe a desire to have control of their own lives. Or feeling a lack of control in relationships. If they reach out accept their contact. Then, WAIT for them to contact you again whenever THEY want to. It was a huge big bold step they just made. Respect that. Let them control the situation, even if it takes more years.
Keep the initial contact PRIVATE! Sure you’re going to have the urge to climb the nearest mountain and scream out that she contacted you! But we’ve spoken to Castlewood victims who have come out of it and made up with their families. They want it very low key. Keep it to yourself. Don’t post it on Facebook. Don’t tell other family members. I promise you, she doesn’t want that yet. If she ever does reach out to you she will want it brief, emotion free, and very confidential. At least initially and most likely for quite some time. The Castlewood victims we’ve spoken to that have come out of their delusions have said the hardest part of their entire ordeal was that first contact after years of silence. They also said they didn’t mind an occasional birthday card or Christmas card after that. Very short, very sporadic, and very simple. Until such a time that they feel comfortable with a slightly higher level of communication. I feel a little hypocritical here talking about succinct short communications. When I had my daughter in my life I guess I was an over-communicator. I’d write, text, email, and call her all the time! Hey, I just loved her. But it could have appeared overbearing at times. Oh well, live and learn from my mistakes and all the experiences we have listened to from other Castlewood victims.
So fellow Castlewood victims, that’s my life update six years to the day after losing my daughter. I am glad for the many of you that were able to unwind the damage from Castlewood and have relationships with your families again. I am SO happy for you loved ones that have your daughters back. I’m really cheering for you loved ones who like me, miss your daughters every day. But try not to give up hope. They may come back. I LOVE getting those emails! Nothing makes me happier than hearing about a Castlewood victim and their loved ones working together to repair the damage done at that mountain top cult. Keep the updates coming and chime in here if I overlooked anything.