Update: Bennett Braun Case

by David Bloomberg

As discussed previously, the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation filed a complaint against psychiatrist Bennett Braun, a leader in the repressed memory movement. On November 9, the administrative law judge oversaw a pretrial hearing.

Braun filed two more motions. The first again claimed the Medical Disciplinary Board was biased against him (this time using the Dateline NBC episode as the reason); the judge again denied the motion. The second motion was described by Thomas Glasgow, the lead prosecutor, as "offensive." In it, Braun asked to have the Burgus family undergo psychological tests. His reasoning is that if they are healthy now, his treatment must have been okay (this ignores the fact that they ceased treatment under Braun in 1992 and have seen other doctors since then; it is also an illogical conclusion under any circumstances). Glasgow said this is nothing more than an attempt to "intimidate and bully" the Burgus family into not testifying. The judge is still considering the motion, but Glasgow fully expects it to be denied.

Braun did file his answer to the 23-page complaint, essentially denying everything. His trial has been set for May 18 to June 11.

Earlier, Glasgow had indicated he might modify the complaint to add the great amount of new information he got from other witnesses. However, because of the complications this brings, he will probably not do so at this point. He did again say that further complaints are being investigated against other health care professionals in connection with this case.

Dr. Elva Poznanski, the similarly-charged child psychiatrist colleague of Braun’s, also responded to her complaint. She denied the charges while at the same time picking on technicalities in the complaint. Her trial has been set for July 20 to August 13, but Glasgow will be filing a motion to join the two, since the charges and witnesses are essentially the same.

In addition to the legal wrangling, the Dateline NBC episode discussed points that had not been well-publicized. For example, Braun told Burgus that the pope was the head of the satanic cult and he had sexually abused her sons. The FBI was part of the conspiracy as well. Braun refused to allow flowers to be sent to her room, because the cult used flowers to send messages (such as to kill herself). He had Pat Burgus’ husband bring back hamburger meat from a family barbecue and had the hospital lab test it for human flesh. It just keeps getting stranger.

Glasgow has obviously been sickened by what he has seen in this case. In a phone interview, he said that people are supposed to be able to trust their doctors, but Braun abused that trust. He called Braun’s treatments "re-education" and said his therapy was "more like a North Korean concentration camp than a hospital." He added that "every aspect of their lives was controlled by Dr. Braun and his minions," and it was "almost maniacal in the way this was perpetrated."

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