Psychiatrist Has License Suspended

The Associated Press, October 8, 1999
By Martha Irvine

CHICAGO (AP) - A psychiatrist had his license suspended over allegations he used drugs and hypnosis to convince a patient she killed scores of people in satanic rituals.

Dr. Bennett Braun agreed to the two-year suspension and five years' probation in a settlement with the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation, department officials said Thursday.

Once considered a leading expert in the treatment of multiple personality disorder, Braun will not be allowed to treat anyone with the disorder during the seven-year period.

He will also have to provide evidence he deserves to be taken off probation.

"This is a very good agreement. Certainly it's designed to protect the

public," said department spokesman Tony Sanders.

Braun and his lawyer, Harvey Harris, did not return messages Thursday from The Associated Press.

The state's case against Braun centered largely on his treatment of Patty Burgus, a patient he diagnosed as having multiple personality disorder in the late 1980s.

Burgus claimed Braun used drugs and hypnosis to convince her she possessed 300 personalities, ate meatloaf made of human flesh and was a high priestess in a satanic cult.

Braun at one point had gained national attention for claiming to have discovered a trend of "satanic ritual abuse," deemed the work of a

clandestine network of devil worshippers who'd been torturing people for centuries.

In a deposition given for a lawsuit filed by Burgus, Braun admitted he did not get written informed consent to hypnotize her and did not tell her about the potential effects of drugs he was giving her.

The drugs included Inderal, a heart medication that can cause severe hallucinations, and sodium amytal, a potentially lethal drug known informally as "truth serum" that some doctors associate with brainwashing.

Braun eventually settled with Burgus and at least one other patient for millions of dollars. Other cases are pending.

Burgus said she was relieved by the suspension.

"But this is not the sort of victory you celebrate," she said. "There are people I was hospitalized with who are dead. There are people who have not recovered their minds.

At least for a while, we're able to keep other people safe.


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