Christian Psychiatrist Services in Memphis, Tenn, shuts down

Christian Psychiatrist Services in Memphis, Tenn, shuts down June 17, 2018

Dr Valerie Louise Augustus has been forced to close her office for two months and could lose her medical licence after it was discovered she beat at least ten patients with whips and riding crops and sometimes compared them to mules.
Augustus, who has headed Christian Psychiatrist Services for 17 years, was found to have used a riding crop – a thin whip normally used to strike horses – on the buttocks of a patient in 2015, according to Tennessee medical discipline documents that were made public on Friday. CPS boasts of using “cutting-edge medical technology.”
The patient, who had a history of physical abuse, was suffering from depression and struggling with suicidal thoughts, documents state.
Her website says:

We are committed to providing compassionate, patient-centered, high-quality care to patients from adolescence through adulthood. Through efficient use of office staff and cutting-edge medical technology, we are able to offer exceptionally accessible and personal care in a positive atmosphere.

It also says that:

Dr Augustus has a holistic approach to mental health. With a calling to address the emotional, physical, and spiritual needs of people, Dr Augustus emphasizes a healthy diet and regular physical activity, while optionally integrating her spiritual beliefs and principles into each patient’s healing process.

An investigation by state authorities also found that Augustus had:

Made contact with other mental health patients with a riding crop, whip or other object.

The documents also state that Augustus kept both a riding crop and a whip “displayed in her office” and “compared her patients to mules” and that that Augustus kept both a riding crop and a whip displayed in her office.
Augustus’s licence was suspended for no fewer than 60 days, starting in June, after the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners said there was “no evidence” in psychiatrist literature for using whips or riding crops as an effective part of treatment.
To get her licence back, Augustus will be required to take a two-day class on “medical ethics, boundaries and professionalism” and be cleared by the Vanderbilt Comprehensive Assessment Program, which examines professionals who are having emotional or behavioral issues in the workplace.
If the program clears Augustus, she can then petition the board to get her licence back. If it is restored, she will start a probationary term of three years.
Augustus was also fined $10,000 – $1,000 for each patient she struck.
Augustus could not immediately be reached for comment. Calls to her clinic were unanswered, and a voicemail said Augustus was unavailable and clinic would be closed for June and July. The clinic’s website said Augustus was on “personal leave.”
Augustus’ discipline was revealed through a monthly announcement by the Tennessee Department of Health, which maintains public records on licenses for doctors, nurses, chiropractors, massage therapists and other health care professionals throughout the state. More than 100 disciplinary actions were included in the latest monthly report.

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  • Vanity Unfair

    Augustus…was found to have used a riding crop – a thin whip… – on the buttocks of a patient…CPS boasts of using “cutting-edge medical technology.”
    Depends how hard you use it, I suppose but isn’t this only supposed to be for private patients.
    It is heartening that “medical ethics, boundaries and professionalism” can be learned in two days.

  • Hetmut

    Lots of people pay good money for a good whipping. Methinks she could give up her current job and make far more applying the lash to those who crave it. Win Win.

  • Broga

    I suppose she qualified at the Trump Medical Academy.

  • tonye

    I suppose she was just trying to get her patients to “snap” out of it.
    I’ll get my coat…………………..!

  • AgentCormac

    ‘CPS boasts of using “cutting-edge medical technology.”’
    ‘Cutting’ being the operative word if you’re getting your ass whipped by a riding crop, I guess.

  • AgentCormac

    @ Broga
    If so, the good Dr Augustus will no doubt be suing him in a year or two – just like those who successfully sued Trump for $25 million after they were found to have been defrauded by the ‘Trump University’ (which I reckon is an oxymoron something along the lines of the ‘ISIS Humanist Society’).
    And just as an addendum to the story of that particular class action lawsuit, Trump claimed at the time that he settled because he wouldn’t get a fair trial as the judge, Gonzalo Curiel, ‘could not be impartial in the case due to his Mexican heritage’.
    Kind of beggars belief, doesn’t it.

  • Broga

    AgentCormac : The criminals are now running the prison. Why is the Pope silent, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the rest of them, any of the royals etc?
    I read somewhere that Putin has built an upgraded nuclear weapon to encourage a reality check on what is rather optimistically known as Trump’s brain.

  • 1859

    Did she treat people by whipping them for shady ‘medical’ or religious reasons? Or both?

  • barriejohn

    I was always taught that Christians didn’t need psychiatrists: all they needed was more prayer and devotion, and a “closer walk with Jesus”. I also heard many speakers blame mental illness and depression on “sin” – in particular “self-abuse”, which is a great bugbear of theirs (and one has to wonder about the reason for that!).

  • AgentCormac

    You might want to read the following article about Trump and his administration’s use of religion to justify their actions. It really is scary stuff.

  • ray metcalfe

    @ barry john when I was a jw we where told that we should be very careful of psychiatrists as they would blame the religion for any ills. But when talking about demons and hearing voices from demons after a long diatribe about praying and those who escaped demons by shouting Jehovah the article would end with a warning that it might be a good idea to consult a mental health professional just in case you where mentally ill and not hearing demons

  • Brian Jordan

    clinic would be closed for June and July.
    While she was at the races.

  • barriejohn

    Ray Metcalfe: I found similar confusion, as one would expect. Plenty of the Brethren were taking tranquillisers and antidepressants, unbeknownst to me. I only found out when I announced, somewhat shamefacedly, that my GP had put me on Valium! It mainly involved women in those days, and the Christians only talked about “being on tablets”, often “for my nerves”. As for demon possession, witchcraft, and so on, there was lots of talk about it, as it is clearly referred to in the Bible (and by fraudsters like Doreen Irvine, who was very popular at the time), but I suspected that they knew that it was a load of baloney, and there was never talk of the exorcisms, etc, that you might have expected if you took those teachings seriously. All very strange really.

  • Broga

    AgentCormac: Thanks. Will do. This site is a haven of reliable sanity.

  • andym

    @AC. As the writer says , the most mind-bending thing is the predictability.I just can’t work out , between Trump and the Evangelicals , who’s using who.
    As undesirable as Clinton is, I can’t see how things would have got this worrying.

  • Broga

    andym: Let me speculate. Trump is a fool, a fantasist and a narcissist. USA psychologists have assessed him as mentally unstable and not very intelligent. Trump replies saying he has a very high IQ and he can demonstrate this.
    He also claims to be the healthiest, fittest president ever. He is the greatest deal maker ever, the most successful businessman etc, etc. All of which is an indication of his deep insecurities and a need for endless flattery.
    Over in North Korea Kimmy is getting a bit worried in case Trump nukes him and his country is suffering from the blocks on his trade. Especially since China and Russia are getting edgy about supporting Kimmy. So Kimmy is smart enough to get advice from people who know far more than him. His psychologists and psychiatrists, with their job half done in the USA, get to work on the star in the White House. They analyse his psychology and identify his weak spots. Sorry, all his spots are weak but they go for the best buttons to press.
    Kimmy now knows exactly how to play Trump’s vulnerabilities to perfection: place in history; hero of the USA population who are becoming worried; skilful flattery, the warmth of an ego massage which contrasts with what he gets from elected leaders, praise for his political genius etc. etc.
    So Trump is now best mates with a vicious dictator, refuses to work with elected leaders and – I’m not making this up though I wish I were – an invitation to the USA is being considered. Kimmy, smarter than Trump and briefed daily by his experts has Trump by the balls. Also, if Trump has a few doubts he also knows how to bring him back to where he wants him.
    Perhaps Kimmy thinks Trump should also be comforted by the young, beautiful Korean women with IQs twice that of the USA star. All speculation, of course.

  • andym

    I think I see what you’re saying. That the situation with Trump and Kim is analogous to that with Trump and the Fundies? He’s thinks he’s got them by the balls, but, like Adams’ dolphins, the religious right are really the ones in charge?

  • ray metcalfe

    @ barry john there are lots of stories among jw about demon possession . Smurf wall paper coming alive smurf dolls getting up and running about. second hand furniture bringing demons into the house. I knew some one who destoyed almost everything she owned as she was convinced a run of things going wrong was caused by a demon

  • Broga

    andym: I think you are right. The religious right, Big Pharma and the rest are loving having Trump. We don’t know how much stuff they have on him and the opportunities have been legion. As for Vladimir he must have so much he can use that he can manipulate Trump any way he wants.
    Putin, ex Stasi, is not only clever but ruthless and he gets results. Russia’s bomb sites (i.e. football stadia) are now being praised as meticulously planned and admired by the travelling Brits. The terror police have become friendly and helpful. So far, unlike in England, there have been no riots. Putin should be giving Trump nightmares if he had the brains to know what he has got into.

  • AgentCormac

    Sadly, I think Trump and his evangelist base are feeding off each other. They know that their destinies are intertwined and that the more they support and promote each other the more likely they are to see their collective vision for the future made real. If we aren’t careful it will be a white, christian future where anyone who doesn’t fall into both categories is viewed with suspicion and contempt. A future where families can be literally torn apart; where the free press is vilified and ultimately silenced as ‘enemies of the people’; where lies will be presented endlessly as the truth until no one can actually tell the difference between the two anymore; and where what was previously unthinkable becomes the norm.
    I honestly believe that this is where the Trump/evangelical alliance is taking us. And it scares me to death.

  • Broga

    AgentCormac: The fundamentalists are all going to heaven; we are all going to hell. That removes any hope of restraint or reason.

  • andym

    @Broga/AC. You’re right to be worried. There are though , some reasons for hope. i/ Trump always falls out with his allies sooner or later. Republican neo-cons and the alt-right thought they had him where they wanted .Now they’re marginalised and not really part of the junta. ii/most people in the US with religious affiliation are not evangelists-most oppose LBGT discrimination.iii/the courts and constitution will act if policy becomes unconstitutional. Even conservative Republican judges have dismissed creationist claims for equal billing with teaching of evolution in the past.iv/if Trump tries to ignore court rulings , he and his muckers would need the cooperation of the military to enforce their unconstitutional rabidities. I can’t see that happening.
    It’s grim and it’s worrying. A few years ago the writer Francis Wheen made the ingenuous argument that, in the Communist Manifesto, Marx mistook the birth pangs of capitalism for its death throes. I’m still hopeful that the opposite is now happening with populism. People are seeing a new movement in what could be the desperate thrashes of a dying ideology.