The file includes a letter to the board from the patient's husband, a Houston professional, denying his wife had abused their children. He noted that his wife had always carried a Swiss Army knife on her key chain, but said he found it difficult to believe she would assault anyone with it. He also admitted that he had once trusted Peterson's judgment but was now embarrassed that he had done so.
"I was convinced for a time (solely based on Dr. Peterson's statements) that my wife might escape to 'the cult' at night. Dr. Peterson had recommended putting locks on our bedroom windows and a burglar alarm on our bedroom door. Dr. Peterson sent home a leg restraint with which I was supposed to strap [his wife] to the bed at night."
Peterson had helped his wife after she began therapy with the psychologist in 1988, the husband's letter says, but then something changed.
"It was Dr. Peterson's description to me of how people could control [my wife] by transmitting sequences of phone tones to her over the telephone, of how she could be made to sneak out in the middle of the night or to take our children to the cult or to commit suicide or to kill someone. It was those claims that stretched my ability to believe Dr. Peterson. Dr. Peterson suggested I rent the movie The Manchurian Candidate to see the types of programming she was dealing with."
That 1962 thriller tells the story of an Army platoon taken prisoner and brainwashed during the Korean War, with one of its members programmed to kill fellow soldiers and assassinate the president upon the soldier's return to the United States. He is "cued" to kill by the ring of a phone.
The man's wife -- Peterson's patient -- also wrote to the board about her therapy for incest (it is unclear from the letter where she underwent the therapy):
"I also went to a group session she had with several other women, one whom she had just diagnosed as MPD ... we saw this other patient get lots of extra attention (gifts for alters, etc.). We were all a little jealous. Soon she was also said to be a 'satanic cult victim.' Our incest group was then filled with stories of killing babies and eating body parts .... Dr. Peterson began pressing me about letting her use hypnosis. I finally agreed. I got deeper and deeper into a trance. Dr. Peterson would tell me things I had said and didn't remember. I always trusted her.
"Dr. Peterson had gradually gotten to where everything related to some satanic cult. All her patients in our incest group were eventually diagnosed as cult victims and MPD .... I stopped therapy at a point because it was getting so crazy. Dr. Peterson had hospitalized me at least 12 times over the past 16 months and was doing restraint sessions. I would be on a locked unit, would be in 11-point restraints [that is, restraints at 11 points on the body] and she would insist that there were more layers that had to come out before I could leave the hospital. I would make them up, and I told her that was what was happening ... she would just say I was in denial."
In a letter Peterson wrote the board -- which was stamped "confidential" -- the psychologist complained about the ex-patient and a problem she said she understood was occurring "in other practices nationally."
"On November 4, 1991, a patient that I had seen for a year told me in detail how she had been specifically sent to my practice to slander me or kill me, and if she was not successful she was to kill herself .... The patient said she was to lie about me and say that I put ideas in her head during hypnosis to make her believe that she was in a cult or that she sexually abused people. She also said that she was to say that I sexually abused her in my office, particularly in my quiet room. She said that the people who sent her want me out of practice, in jail, and, hopefully, dead. This woman indicated that people have been and are being sent into my practice as patients with the specific purpose to slander me .... When I asked this patient how long the upper alters had known that their job was to slander me, she indicated that they knew about that job the entire year. They knew about trying to kill me for a month. They were specific about how to quietly kill me by strangling me."