DR. JAMES TYHURST, CIA PSYCHIATRIST (B.C.), CIVIL SUIT SEX
November 21, 2000
British Columbia: Patient whipped,
treated as slave by psychiatrist, court told
VANCOUVER - A 42-year-old woman testified during a civil suit yesterday she
had a master-slave relationship with her psychiatrist, who would whip her
partially naked body up to two dozen times each therapy session. Dr. James
Tyhurst, head of psychiatry at the University of British Columbia from 1959
to 1970, made her stand against the wall while he struck her back with a
leather-braided whip, said Jill Gorman. If she moved, she would receive
more blows as punishment, she said. Mr. Tyhurst, now 78 and retired,
sometimes made her kneel and say: "I am your humble, obedient slave."
He was tried in 1991 on four counts of indecent assault and one of sexual
assault after four women complained of being assaulted between 1966 and the
mid-1980s. He was convicted and sentenced to four years in prison but won a
new trial in 1992 when the B.C. Court of Appeal ruled the original trial
judge misdirected the jury on the question of reasonable doubt. In 1996,
the Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear the Crown appeal.
(Allen Memorial; Cornell; UBC)
Topless woman whipped by doctor, court told
The Vancouver Province 22 November 2000
A suicidal woman who went to psychiatrist James Tyhurst for help with
depression and an eating disorder testified yesterday she wound up in a
master-slave relationship that included whippings to her partly clad body.
Jill Gorman, 42, is suing Tyhurst, 78, for damages she allegedly suffered
during the nine years she saw the University of B.C. dean of psychiatry from
1979 to 1988. "The most common comment was, 'Slave, strip to the waist and
assume the position,' " Gorman testified, describing the punishment Tyhurst
meted out for failing to live up to unrealistic expectations she said he
placed on her.
Topless, she would place both arms on the door to Tyhurst's secretary's
office and receive the lashings, which left welts on her body for up to
three days or more. Gorman said all of the sessions at Tyhurst's UBC office
were late in the afternoon or early evening, after his secretary had left
for the day. Later on, the sessions were scheduled for Tyhurst's office in
his home on Angus Drive in Shaughnessy. She said he ordered her to join
Weight Watchers. "I wasn't slim, but I wasn't obese," she said.
She now says it was merely a device for Tyhurst to humiliate and abuse her.
"It was never good enough," Gorman told B.C. Supreme Court Justice David
Vickers. "If it wasn't acceptable, I got lashed by Dr. Tyhurst." Gorman
said Tyhurst made her sign about two dozen master-slave contracts, which
became increasingly onerous. "After years of him giving me the lash with
his whips, the appointments were very strict," she told her lawyer, Laird
Cruickshank. "I was expected, without orders from him, to strip to the
waist. If I didn't do it properly, he'd just start whipping me."
Gorman said the event that triggered her breaking away from Tyhurst was his
suggestion that she begin doing housework for a friend who could keep tabs
on her progression as a slave while Tyhurst was at work. "He wanted someone
he knew to watch his slave so he would know how I was doing during the day."
Tyhurst in his statement of defence denied "each and every allegation of
fact." He was acquitted in 1993 on charges of indecent assault and sexual
assault, involving Gorman and another woman. That was a retrial of a trial
in which a different jury found him guilty of indecently assaulting four
women. His lawyer, Chris Hinkson, said yesterday he expects Tyhurst will
testify in his own defence during the trial, scheduled for five weeks.