Satanic Abuse Rumbles On?

MrRING

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#91
Another ritual abuse case that seems preposterous that anybody ever believed it happened.... WARNING for grotesque detail:

"KELLY MICHAELS" RITUAL ABUSE CASES IN MAPLEWOOD, NJ

"The interviews with the children in the Michaels case are some of the worst I have ever heard. The children were undoubtedly abused, but probably not until they met the investigators." S.J. Ceci

Margaret Kelly Michaels, 25, an employee of the Wee Care Day Nursery of Maplewood NJ, was charged with 235 counts of sexual assault against 20 of her students. The charges were laid in 1985 and were related to incidences which were supposed to have occurred three years earlier. The children accused Ms. Michaels of:

licking peanut butter off of their genitals.
playing a piano while naked.
forced the children to drink urine and eat feces. (None of the parents noticed odors of urine or feces on their children when they picked them up from school)
assaulting them with silverware, a sword and Lego blocks.
forcing them to play the "cat game" where they all got naked and licked each other.
amputating children's penises. "Joey" said: "We chopped our penises off." (Not one penis was found to be missing).
sucking one child's penis.
scraping a boy's nipples with a fork.
putting a real car and tree on top of one of them.
inserted forks, knives and spoons in a boy's private parts.
changing one child into a mouse.
etc.

The investigation:
A young child was having his temperature checked with an anal thermometer. He commented to the doctor that that procedure is exactly what his nursery school teacher, Kelly Michaels used. Michaels was picked up by police, interviewed and given a polygraph ("lie detector") test. She was found to be innocent. Such tests are typically accurate about 85% of the time. She was arrested anyway.

"Peg Foster of the Child Abuse Diagnostic and Treatment Center at Children's Hospital of New Jersey, in Newark, met with the parents the week after Kelly was first questioned. She provided the parents with a list of symptoms that children might be displaying if, in fact, they had been sexually abused. The list included tummy aches, fear of being separated from parents, and bedwetting. In addition Foster included a warning to be on the lookout for any sexual behavior or remarks, such as inappropriate sex play or touching." 7

As is common in such cases, some parents reported that they had noticed changes in their 3 to 5 year old children's behavior three years earlier, while they were enrolled in Ms. Michaels' class: nightmares, fear of the dark, an aversion to peanut butter and an increase interest in sex play.

Investigators interviewed the children, asking them direct questions, repeatedly. This was the standard interview technique at the time. Social workers, child psychiatrists, police officers, etc had been trained to conduct interviews in this way. They were taught that children will always initially deny that any abuse happened. It is only after lengthy, repeated and direct questioning that they will finally disclose the truth. After Kelly's trial, basic research revealed that many children who had never been abused would disclose sexual molestation if interviewed in this way. Investigators used anatomically correct dolls with the children. Again, this was common practice in the U.S. at the time. The use of such dolls was subsequently found to increase the number of false accusations by children. At least one investigator threatened to keep the child "all day -- till you tell me." 7 According to various sources, the interviewers repeatedly told the children that Ms. Michaels was in jail because she had done bad things. They needed the kid's help in keeping her there. Sometimes the investigators implied that their teacher had supernatural powers. The interviewers rewarded children who gave the "right" answers with police badges and other gifts. Those who gave the wrong answers were denied food or humiliated. Drs. Ceci and Bruck document some of the unbelievably manipulative questioning. 1 In our opinion, this constituted child sexual abuse by the authorities.

Author Lona Manning comments: "Sneaking off with her entire class to the choir room and playing "Jingle Bells" in the nude? Peeing on them? Engaging in group orgies with 3-and-4 year-olds? What child molester would take chances like that when footsteps in the hall meant being caught red-handed, with no time to clean up and dress the children. Feeding children a cake made of excrement? Most of them didn’t want to eat their vegetables! A child forced to drink urine and eat excrement would probably throw up. How was that even sexual?" 7

The trial:
There was no medical or physical evidence to confirm the abuse - evidence that would have had to be present if the abuse actually occurred. For example, some of the children disclosed that Kelly had forced them to urinate on a piano bench. The bench was sent to the FBI labs where no urine residue was found. The girls who disclosed that they had been vaginally raped with a knife had normal, intact hymens. None of her fellow teachers recalled any of this strange behavior, which allegedly went on daily for 7 months.

Kelly's defense lawyers might have been able to cast serious doubt on the charges by interviewing some of the children who maintained that no abuse had taken place. However, they were prevented from doing so by the judge. "Kelly and her lawyers could not show that, taken as a whole, the investigation was seriously flawed, and that if some of the allegations were obviously [physically] impossible, then all of the allegations were suspect." 7

Two entire days of the trial were devoted to examining a single homosexual experience that Ms. Michaels had during her freshman year at college, and the fact that she had enrolled in a drama class. The prosecution was obviously hoping that the homophobia of some jurors would increase their chances of getting a conviction. Nobody seem to realize that if Kelly had a homosexual experience with another adult, it was much less likely that she was an abusive pedophile.

The state's main expert witness, Eileen Treacy, testified for eight days. Yet, she had no real academic qualifications. She was eight years away from obtaining her PhD in psychology. She was not licensed as a therapist in New York where she worked at a clinic for sexually abused children, nor in New Jersey, where she testified. In a gross conflict of interest, Treacy both helped to choose which of the children would testify, and also functioned as the "independent" expert vouching for their credibility. Meanwhile, Kelly's defense attorneys were not permitted to bring in their own expert witnesses who would have testified that their client did not exhibit the normal signs for a child molester.

A second interesting twist to this case involved an instance of what has been termed "kiddy-porn". Police found a roll of film in which each picture showed young girls in what are known in the trade as "spread shots". On the photo developer's bag used by the customer to send in the roll was the same name as one of the families with a girl in the Wee Care nursery. The customer became a state witness in the case; she testified that Ms. Michaels had said to her that she was going to the doctor with a rectal bleeding problem. Michaels denied having said this. There was no evidence that she had sought medical attention for such a problem. Debbie Nathan et al. states: "Michaels's [sic] attorneys were gagged from cross-examining her about her involvement in a child-pornography case - which would have discredited her and suggested the obvious: that Schocken's testimony was part of a deal to escape her own criminal indictment." 2 This testimony had a major effect on the jury, because it gave support to some of the children's testimony that Kelly had forced them to insert objects into her anus.

After a nine month trial and 13 days jury deliberation Michaels was convicted on all 115 counts and given a 47 year sentence.

The appeal:
Two investigative reporters came to Kelly's aid: Dorothy Rabinowitz 3 and Debbie Nathan. Their articles persuaded attorney Morton J. Stavis to take her case in 1990. She was released in 1993 on appeal by the Appeals Court of New Jersey after serving 5 years -- 18 months of it spent in solitary confinement for her own safety.

45 leading cognitive, developmental and clinical psychology researchers filed an amicus curia ("friend of the court") brief stating that: "...if there were incidents of sexual abuse, the faulty interviewing procedures make it impossible to ever know who the perpetrators were and how the abuse occurred....we are deeply concerned about the long-lasting harmful effects of persuading children that they have been horribly sexually and physically abused, when in fact there may have been no abuse until the interviews began...Parents, especially mothers, spent hours on the phone comparing symptoms and worries....After reading a number of these interviews, it is difficult to believe that adults charged with the care and protection of young children would be allowed to use the vocabulary that they used in these interviews, that they would be allowed to interact with the children in such sexually explicit ways, or that they would be allowed to bully and frighten their child witnesses in such a shocking manner. No amount of evidence that sexual abuse had actually occurred could ever justify the use of these techniques especially with three- and four-year-old children. Above and beyond the great stress, intimidation, and embarrassment that many of the children so obviously suffered during the interviews, we are deeply concerned about the long-lasting harmful effects of persuading children that they have been horribly sexually and physically abused, when in fact there may have been no abuse until the interviews began."

in 1992-DEC, attorney Stavis died in a freak accident a matter of hours after he signed the final appeal papers for submission to the court. Lawyer William Kunstler agreed to take charge of the oral arguments. The judges ruled that Kelly's trial was unfair. They were particularly critical of the child interviews and of Eileen Treacy's testimony. The court decided that before Kelly was retried, a "taint hearing" would have to be held to determine if any of the children's testimony could be used in a new trial. Essex County appealed that ruling to the state Supreme Court. They lost. In 1994-DEC, the County dropped the indictment. They had no reliable evidence at all that any of the events actually happened.

Kelley asked the courts for the right to sue the investigators and prosecutors in the case. She claimed that they had violated her constitutional rights by using unreliable evidence that resulted from improper interviews of the alleged victims. The New Jersey Supreme Court called the investigation "inept," saying that evidence from investigators' interrogations likely was unreliable. On 2001-JAN-16, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected her request. 6

"The Wee Care children are now young adults. Many have been in therapy for years...Some of the families have received financial settlements from the day care’s insurance company." 7

Lisa Manshel wrote a documentary book called: "Nap Time: The True Story of Sexual Abuse at a Suburban Day Care Center." She wrote the book with the assumption that Kelly Michaels was guilty of the charges. The reviews of this book on the Amazon.com web site are well worth reading. 9

Author's comments:
It is fairly obvious that the Kelley Michaels case is basically a replica of many other similar multi-victim, multi-offender ritual sexual abuse cases. There was no physical evidence that confirmed that any abuse had actually happened. Yet if the children's stories were correct, there certainly would have been hard evidence available. Kelley is innocent of all abuse charges; nothing criminal happened at Wee Care. But dozens of the children, now adults, will suffer from false memories for the rest of their lives.
http://www.religioustolerance.org/ra_micha.htm
 

wembley8

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#92
"changing one child into a mouse"

:shock:

I'm glag they're clamping down on this sort of thing...
 

Leaferne

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#94
Found a rather sad article here describing the problems faced by a man weighing 800 lbs--a condition he blames, in part, on abuse he faced as a child:

While his brothers confirm the physical abuse from their mother, they dispute the rest of what Patrick believes is at the heart of his eating disorder.

He says his mother molested him, and that his father, as a member of the Freemasons, subjected him to ritual abuse - repeated beatings and molestation by chanting figures dressed in robes.

As an adult, he turned to food to "stuff the anger down."

"I believe as a fact the only cause of my eating disorder is the incest and
ritual abuse I experienced as a child."

... ... ...

A psychiatrist treating Patrick referred him to clinical psychologist Everett Jacobson in 1991. The ritual abuse memories did not surface until three or four years later, Jacobson says.

"He knew that he suffered abuse as a child, but it took a long time to uncover the depth and extent of it."

Jacobson says he is extremely cautious in dealing with the controversial area of recovered memories, wary that images can be planted. He is certain Patrick suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of physical and sexual abuse, and that his flashbacks and nightmares are substantially true - not something Patrick read about and internalized.

"He has specific images of specific people wearing specific articles of clothing and doing specific things to his body," Jacobson says.

Patrick's brothers Ken and Doug, who both live in Massachusetts, do not believe the stories of ritual abuse. Their father was not that kind of man, they say.

"I look at how Dad was involved with the church, bringing Bibles to prison," Doug Dropp says. "I just think someone that had a lot of evil intent or was dysfunctional and screwed up, I find that hard to believe in my father."

Ken Dropp blames Patrick's therapist for his brother's drastic weight gain since the early `90s.

"He stuck weird things in his mind that weren't there in the first place and I lost my brother."

His brothers say Patrick is consumed by conspiracies and cults. Ken Dropp was shocked by Patrick's condition when he visited here last summer.

"He's still my brother and I love him. When he gets into the weirdness, I just kind of back out and go, `OK.' What else are you going to do?"

To Jacobson, it doesn't matter whether or not Patrick's memories are provable.

"It's his reality."

Patrick has nearly tripled in size from the time he began seeing Jacobson 14 years ago.
Seems to me the therapist has done more harm than good, if he's been planting the ritual abuse idea in the guy's head, thus upsetting him more and causing him to eat more to deal with his emotions. (Perhaps he was abused; that's all too common, but chanting Freemasons?)
 

OneWingedBird

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#95
"I look at how Dad was involved with the church, bringing Bibles to prison," Doug Dropp says. "I just think someone that had a lot of evil intent or was dysfunctional and screwed up, I find that hard to believe in my father."
Since we're talking about the kind of man who marries the kind of woman who physically abuses children, and apparently allows such to take place, at least as a complicit if not a participant, I think dysfunctional and screwed up is probably without doubt.
 
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#96
Isles case children 'were abused'

Isles case children 'were abused'



Reaction to the report
Three girls at the centre of the collapsed Western Isles child abuse case had been sexually assaulted, an inquiry has revealed.
Social work inspectors said those dealing with the case lacked expertise and that the children should have been removed from their home much earlier.

Nine people were charged following a series of dawn raids in 2003 but the accusations were dropped last year.

The Crown Office decision followed examination of the available evidence.

Western Isles Council (Comhairle nan Eilean Siar) asked the Social Work Inspection Agency (SWIA) to look at the way the case was handled following its collapse in 2004.


This report writes yet another horrifying chapter in the continuing exposure of child abuse in Scotland

Peter Peacock
Minister for Education and Young People


Key recommendations of report
Key quotes as report is published

Publishing its findings on Friday, the agency said the three girls - who have been given the names Alice, Barbara and Caitlin in the 170-page report - were neglected and abused over many years.

The children's mother had been abused by her own father, according to the report. She married a man who had a previous conviction for indecently assaulting his child.

When the allegations by the three girls first emerged, they and their mother were interviewed by social workers and the police.

Full story

The girls, who now live with foster parents, asked for the report to be published in full so that their story could be told.

Nine people, including a 75-year-old woman, were arrested in a co-ordinated series of raids on Lewis and in England in 2003. They were charged with offences including rape.

In July 2004, the Crown Office announced that all charges had been dropped.

We found evidence of physical abuse, emotional abuse and neglect

Alexis Jay
SWIA chief inspector

The agency report said social workers and managers should have acted sooner to protect the children.

More than 220 indicators of sexual, physical and emotional abuse and neglect were found. The latter involved one child having to eat cat food and another slept in a cupboard.

Health professionals failed to respond appropriately and the isles' NHS board did not have systems in place to help protect the children.

A social worker decided to reclassify the main suspect as "low risk" because records were not passed on by social services in England.

Repeated abuse

Alexis Jay, the agency's chief inspector, said her team found the girls' parents had "consistently failed" to care for or protect them.

She told a news conference: "We found evidence of physical abuse, emotional abuse and neglect as well as symptoms and behaviour which strongly suggested sexual abuse.

"We believe that all these three children were repeatedly sexually abused."


Alexis Jay reads from a statement at the news conference

"Our conclusions are based on a range of evidence from records going back to 1989, witness statements from professionals who knew the children at different periods in their lives and also from the children's own statements."

She said the agency also concluded that the children were physically abused throughout their lives "by a number of adults".

The report does not explain why the case was dropped. Ms Jay said that was not its remit.

It makes 31 recommendations, 10 of which relate to the Scottish Executive.

Education Minister Peter Peacock has issued an ultimatum to agencies involved with child care in the Western Isles, giving them until 30 November to "sort out weaknesses in inter-agency practice".

'Inter-agency weaknesses'

He said: "This report writes yet another horrifying chapter in the continuing exposure of child abuse in Scotland.

"In this case the professional agencies involved knew of, and recorded, extensive concerns about the girls' welfare and well-being over a number of years but inspectors found they didn't intervene early enough."

Mr Peacock said he had asked the inspectors to work closely with the agencies involved and ensure that lessons were learned "throughout Scotland".

I am confident that the police investigation was of a high standard

Chief Constable Ian Latimer
Northern Constabulary

Bill Howat, chief executive of Western Isles Council (Comhairle nan Eilean Siar) said:" We accept that there were serious shortcomings in our performance in the case and that is a matter of regret."

Northern Constabulary welcomed the findings and stressed that the force had correctly followed all available guidance.

Chief Constable Ian Latimer said: "We had a sufficiency of evidence to charge a number of people and we did.

"As in all serious cases, the decision as to whether a criminal prosecution should be undertaken is a matter for Crown Counsel alone.

"Despite the fact that the accused persons did not face a criminal trial, I am confident that the police investigation was of a high standard."


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/4317636.stm
 

FelixAntonius

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#97
Collapse of child sex case shakes French courts
By Colin Randall in Paris


The French judicial system was shaken last night by the collapse of a case in which 13 innocent people were accused of belonging to a paedophile ring.

Six people, including a priest, were cleared by a Paris appeals court after it became clear that a simple abuse case implicating two couples, who admitted raping or molesting children, had escalated into a witchhunt against neighbours and relations.

A further seven people were acquitted at the original trial in St Omer, northern France, last year. Several of those wrongly accused were held in jail for up to 30 months during the inquiry. One committed suicide and some had their children put into care.

In an extraordinary step, the prosecutor, Yves Bot, had called at an appeal hearing in Paris for all the remaining accused to be cleared and described the affair as a "disaster" for French justice.

Mr Bot also apologised to the defendants. "We must make sure this never happens again," he said.

The case, known as the Outreau affair after the town where all involved lived, centered on allegations of rape and other attacks on children between 1995 and 2000.

One couple, Thierry and Myriam Delay, admitted abusing their four children and were jailed for 20 and 15 years respectively. Their neighbours, David Delplanque and his girlfriend, Aurelie Grenon, received sentences of six and four years for lesser offences.

Among those cleared yesterday was Fr Dominque Wiel, a Roman Catholic priest who had received a seven-year sentence.

During the appeal, psychologists and social workers admitted that their original findings were flawed. Two children also said they had made up their stories.

Source:- link

edited by TheQuixote- created hyperlink to stop page break
 

Mighty_Emperor

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#98
Police seek info in alleged satanic sex abuse case

Friday, January 06, 2006
By Theresa D. Mcclellan
The Grand Rapids Press

CHARLEVOIX COUNTY -- A memory of terror has sheriff's investigators seeking help finding participants in an alleged satanic, ritualistic child sex abuse case in northern Michigan that occurred sometime during the 1970s or 1980s.

Authorities declined to release details of the "difficult" investigation, but are asking for the public's assistance in locating anyone who may have been involved in the case, or has knowledge of it, Charlevoix County Prosecutor John Jarema said.

"That's why we're putting it out there," he said. "It's a tough one to develop."

What got the investigation rolling was "someone came forward and remembered," Jarema said.

These kind of charges are "not an everyday case. Satanic rituals. I don't know how prevalent it is, (but) we haven't had a case like this," he said.

Detective Lt. Michael Wheat of the sheriff's department said, "We're hoping we'll receive some leads from people who either knew what was going on or participated. There is a purpose for what we're doing."

The alleged participants appear to be mainly from the Boyne City area, although some may be from other parts of Charlevoix or Emmett counties.

Some of those involved may be immune from prosecution if they remained in Michigan, authorities said.

Authorities see this as an opportunity for those involved "to clear their conscience."

"We hear incredible stuff all the time, and this is a pretty incredible situation," said Jarema, declining to say how many alleged suspects or victims there are.

The prosecutor in neighboring Emmett County vaguely recalls the allegations.

"I remember hearing about some of this thing back when it allegedly occurred," Prosecutor James Lindeman said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Charlevoix County Sheriff's Department at (231) 547-4461.
www.mlive.com/news/grpress/index.ssf?/b ... xml&coll=6
 

Mighty_Emperor

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#99
Saturday, 7th January 2006

Satanic abuse scandal kids take action

by neal snowdon

A DOZEN of the children who were snatched from their parents by Rochdale social workers in the so-called "Satanic abuse" scandal in 1990 are seeking compensation.

The youngsters, who are now all adults, were among 20 seized from their homes on Middleton's Langley estate in dawn raids over allegations that youngsters had been involved in Satanic rituals.

They were eventually allowed back to their parents after a High Court judge condemned the judgment of Rochdale council's social services department, which was also heavily criticised in a report by the Social Services Inspectorate.

The council's social services director Gordon Littlemore resigned over the controversy. No evidence of any ritual or Satanic abuse was ever found.

Now 12 of the 20 children at the centre of the scandal have started a legal action against Rochdale council, demanding a formal apology for what happened and compensation for what they were put through. They are now aged between 18 and 29. Their case is being handled by specialist child welfare lawyer Richard Scorer, a partner at Manchester-based solicitors Pannone and Partners.

He expects the case to go to court in about a year's time - unless Rochdale council agrees a settlement before then.

He said: "When these events happened in 1990 these people were children who had no idea what was happening to them as they were being taken away from their families. Now they have all reached adulthood they are coming forward to speak about what they went through and they want the record put straight, which has led to this legal action.

"When they were eventually returned home, they had to put up with bullying and taunts from other children, massive family upheaval and, in some cases, parents splitting up.

"It has caused them enormous damage. This legal action is being brought because they want a proper apology from Rochdale council, and because they deserve compensation for the psychological damage, disruption to family life and long-term suffering caused by events which they did not understand and were never explained to them."

Their legal action will feature in a BBC1 documentary, When Satan Came to Town, next Wednesday at 9pm. The programme features interviews with six of the children at the centre of the controversy, with some of them allowing themselves to be identified - the first time any of them have been allowed to be named by the media.

The programme will also name and blame two social workers it believes were responsible for the scandal. Neither still works for Rochdale council although one is still believed to work in child protection in Greater Manchester.

All 12 of Mr Scorer's clients still live in Greater Manchester. The 20 who were seized came from six families.

In a statement released for the programme, Rochdale council said: "Following the judgement, the local authority took immediate steps to ensure the mistakes made in this case would not be repeated. The practice of interviewing children is now conducted in accordance with carefully researched and reviewed national guidelines."
Source
 
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BBC1:

Real Story

Wed 11 Jan, 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm 60mins

When Satan Came to Town

In 1990, on an estate in North Manchester, families woke up to every parent's worst nightmare. With no warning police and social workers came to take their children away claiming they had been used in devil worshipping rituals. Speaking for the first time, the children reveal the real story of what happened and how they were kept away from their innocent parents for upto a decade. Contains some strong language.


Website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/realstory


They showed some of the footage on North West Tonight and interviewed an expert witness from the trials and it is frightening stuff.

When Satan came to town

In 1990 the Devil came to Rochdale.

Families woke up to every parent's worst nightmare when, with no warning, police and social services came to take their children away.

Social services believed that they had uncovered evidence that the children were being forced to take part in ritual devil worship.

It was the most notorious of a series of similar claims made against families across the country.

Catalogue of mistakes

Allegations ranged from the sacrifice of human babies and robed devil worship to locking the children in cages and caves. None of the claims were ever proved.

It was Britain's Salem Witch Hunt.

This programme reveals the real story of how, at the end of the 20th Century, hysteria swept through our social services.

This was a total failure of "due process" and common sense with horrific results.

Sixteen children were kept in care without any contact with their parents for months and it took 10 years before the last child was released from care back to his family.

Because the children at the heart of the story were made wards of court it has not been legally possible to identify them. Only now that they are adults can the story be told - and they are telling the BBC exclusively.


The corporation has challenged Rochdale Council through the family courts and has obtained video evidence of the interviews with the children taken at the time, as social workers desperately tried to prove their unfounded theory that the families had been worshiping the devil and abusing their children.

They show the catalogue of mistakes and manipulations of the truth by social workers that resulted in the enormous personal cost to the families caught up in this satanic panic.

This year, the children take Rochdale council to court in an attempt to get an apology for one of the biggest mistakes ever made in social work. When Satan Came To Town: The Real Story - BBC ONE on Wednesday 11 January at 2100 GMT.

---------------
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/p ... 595158.stm

Published: 2006/01/09 13:07:10 GMT

© BBC MMVI
 
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Well that was ll very scary - it just left you wondering what people thought they were doing??

It can only be some kind of mass hysteria although they were also hinting that some of their actions may have been malicious - it certianly seemed like they were intent on punishing that one family and their friends.
 

liveinabin

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I can't believe that the two social workers involved are still working. The interviews with the children were shocking. Ok the parents of the main children involved were not the sharpest but they did not shouldn't have had their children taken from them. And in a dawn raid! Can you imagine that, it' every childs nightmare, not to mention parents.
Shocking, and the worst thing is that no one I spoke to had ever heard about it! This is something we should not forget.
 
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I can't believe they weren't sacked - they were either maliciously hounding the central family or had allowed them to get carried away by a complete fantasy. Either of which means they shouldn' be allowed to continue woring in that field.

------------------
The Times January 12, 2006

Innocent but presumed guilty

Camilla Cavendish

How many homes are broken by the closed and secretive family courts? Frighteningly, we don't know

THE 1990 ROCHDALE abuse scandal, brilliantly documented last night in Real Story on BBC One, is one of the most extreme in the lexicon of social service disasters. One minute a little boy is telling ghost stories, the next he finds himself in care amid rumours of satanic abuse. Even when a judge throws out the case, he is kept in care for ten more years, because the social workers change their story and claim that his parents are unfit.

We all hope that things have changed since then. But the almost complete censorship of what goes on in the world of “child protection” makes it impossible to know even how many cases go through the family courts. And 15 years on, the BBC’s court battle to identify the Rochdale social workers shows that the professionals still close ranks just as they always did.

The full Rochdale story is only being told because the children are now over 16 and are free to cry out against the social workers who refused to tell them why they were in care, or why they could see their parents for only an hour a month. Rochdale Council claimed that the social workers could not be named because to do so would hurt the children. The mantra of “child privacy” was used to protect the professionals. Now that the children have gone public, the council argues that the BBC is wrong to broadcast something that might put people off social work. Right.

To acknowledge that decent people make mistakes, as the Rochdale judge did in 1991, is not to “demonise” social workers. It is to lessen the likelihood of miscarriages of justice that tear innocent families apart. Family courts, which operate in camera, generally have a lower standard of proof than criminal courts, because they cannot send people to jail. But to lose your children, and for them to lose you, is a life sentence of another kind.

In the past year I have been approached by several parents who have had children taken away. Even those who managed to get them back are still too frightened to talk publicly. They describe what it is like to find yourself on the other side of a one-way mirror, innocent but presumed guilty, by professionals who are almost completely unaccountable. Your instinct is to cry for help, but you are told that talking to anyone could jeopardise your case. It is impossible for me to judge the merit of these cases, since I am not permitted to read the legal papers. Even if I could, I suspect that not all would be clear-cut.

The courts struggle daily to weave solid judgments from the strands of frayed, imperfect relationships. But what is unbearable is the bewilderment and helplessness of parents who can be plunged overnight into a world of acronyms, key workers, guardians, counsellors, summonses, complex reports and, for many, an ever-changing cast of legal aid solicitors who are always rushing to the next case.

A mother (I shall call her Sarah) entered this world voluntarily, when she began to suspect that her daughter was being abused by her former parter, father of the girl. She approached social services for help. But they ended up taking her daughter away from her, and placing her with the very man she had accused. I have heard only her side of the extraordinary story. The expert psychiatrist appointed by the court decided that Sarah had coached her daughter to make false allegations — something that is not unknown. But he did so without ever having met Sarah, her daughter or the boyfriend her daughter accused. He never appeared in court to be cross-examined. He merely watched the police video of her daughter’s interview and posted his report. Yet the judge apparently considered this a sufficient basis on which to take Sarah’s daughter away.

The business of interviewing young children about abuse allegations is an extremely delicate one. It has become more sophisticated since Daniel dreamt about ghosts in Rochdale in 1990. Children are rarely put through more than two interviews at most, to spare them the trauma and to lessen the likelihood of embellishment. The language they use is analysed to see, for example, whether the words they use are too mature for their age and likely to have been suggested to them. But in the end professionals have to make notoriously tricky judgments. And they are not always right.

Sarah is now desperate. She believes her daughter is living with an abuser. Sarah has been offered no counselling, though that would surely be a logical outcome of the court’s conclusion. She communicates with her daughter only by postcards, some of which have been returned by social workers as unsuitable. In a situation that would make me physically sick with fury and fear, she still does not look like the unstable liar she is accused of being.

It is not surprising that a judge would rely upon an expert that they knew. But insulating child protection professionals so completely does increase the likelihood that they will sometimes reinforce in one another a mistaken view. The veil of secrecy also spawns a host of rumours. I know mothers who have not taken their child to A&E after a minor accident, for fear of some spurious allegation being made against them. I know mothers who have stopped themselves admitting the extent of their post-natal depression, when they saw a certain look in the doctor's eye.

The media has been kept out of the family justice system to stop prying eyes making delicate situations even messier. But the secrecy is too complete. In 2004 Mr Justice Munby said: “We cannot afford to proceed on the blinkered assumption that there have been no miscarriages of justice in the family justice system. This is something that has to be addressed with honesty and candour if the family justice system is not to suffer further loss of public confidence.”

Allowing journalists into family courts, even on a restricted reporting basis, could make both sides more honest. It could give the innocent a chance to cry for help and be heard. The media must keep its mouth shut much of the time but we should let it keep its eyes open, not only to what happened 15 years ago, but also to what may be happening today.
www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,23729-1981051,00.html
 

Ravenstone

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The social workers clearly considered the parents unsuitable simply because of their, erm, shall we say - backgrounds? They were poor people, not terribly bright perhaps, but that's no grounds to take the kids away.

They just didn't want to be shown as having made a mistake. So they simply piled story on top of story to cover themselves. Where they got the initial idea of Satanic abuse was a point I missed. I did miss the first 10 minutes. But to say they were suspicious because a child is frightened of ghosts strikes me as particularly stupid. I mean - what child isn't?

It was just a catalogue of disasters. Families who trusted people in authority to make good decisions, suddenly find out that what people in authority are really good at is assuming they know what's best for everyone.

The social workers involved did not help their case by refusing to take part. And they certainly should not be still working with children. For one thing, what they put those families and children through was abuse. The examinations performed on the children were abuse. The interrogations were mental abuse.

The social workers are therefore accused of child abuse. So they should therefore be excluded from working with children.

The whole false memory/SRA stuff makes incredibly scary reading.
 
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And it may about to make a comeback!!

From the current Private Eye [Eye1150]:

SATANIC PANIC

THE appalling damage done to 20 children separated from their families - for up to ten years - in Rochdale in 1990 by social workers with an "obsessional" belief in satanic abuse was revealed in a powerful BBC1 Real Story documentary last Wednesday.

The social workers Jill France and Susan Hammersley and their bosses were caught up in a professional panic that children were being sexually abused by devil worshippers in bizarre black magic rituals, including drinking blood and sacrificing animals and children.

The notion spread in the US and the UK in the late 1980s and early 1990s through satanic abuse survivor stories in the born-again Evangelical Christian movement and into mainstream child protection circles through literature and the conference circuit. The scare led to around 80 satanic abuse investigations in the UK, including the notorious Nottingham and Orkney cases (see Eyes passim). Police found no corroborating forensic evidence and a government inquiry in 1994 concluded it was a myth.

In October 2003, on the Scottish island of Lewis, nine adults including a 75-year-old grandmother were accused of sexually abusing three children in satanic rituals. In July 2004 the charges were dropped for lack of evidence. The accused are still fighting to clear their names.

How could it happen again? The Eye has established that there is still a network of believers across the UK among professionals and assorted therapists who work with children and adult "survivors" who reinforce each other's convictions that what they now term "ritual abuse" exists, through literature, websites, conferences and training courses.

Dundee is a hotbed of activity. It is where Laurie Matthew, who was indecently assaulted by an uncle as a child, runs several organisations for ritual abuse survivors and plays a key role. She is the author of books (including Where Angels Fear: Ritual Abuse in Scotland) and a key speaker at conferences on ritual abuse. In Connecticut USA in August 2004 she spoke on "The Fight against Ritual Abuse in Scotland".

Groups run by Matthew, all based at 1 Victoria Road, Dundee, include Ritual Abuse Network Scotland (RANS), which has a website offering "support for survivors" and a resource for counsellors, parents and concerned friends, packed with ghoulish detail about "the reality" of ritual abuse, including allegations of babies being bred for sacrifice and children being sexually abused and mutilated and a checklist of signs and symptoms to look for; Dundee Young Women's Centre, which organised conferences on ritual abuse in Dundee in April 2002 and Edinburgh in August 2003; TRASH, Tayside Ritual Abuse and Abuse Help, a service run by volunteers for survivors of ritual abuse, which ran a "survivors only" day in May 2003; and 18 and Under which ran two "training days" on ritual abuse in February 2005 for professionals working with young survivors.

Matthew is now helping to influence policy-making in Scotland via her presence on the Scottish parliament's cross-party group on Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse, which produced a national strategy for adult survivors in September 2005. Her group 18 and Under is a member of the group.

Last month, celebrating the cross-party group's work, the Scottish Executive launched a new booklet, A Can of Worms — Working with Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse, funded by the Scottish Health Department as part of a £2m national strategy to improve services for adult survivors. The booklet is aimed at "healthcare, social work professionals and other frontline workers".

Useful contacts include 18 and Under and TRASH, which it describes as giving "support for people who have experienced ritual abuse."

The booklet was co-written by Dr Sarah Nelson, a member of the all party group and a research fellow in the sociology department at Edinburgh University, who describes her main research activity as "childhood sexual abuse and related issues of child protection". Her publications include chapters in books including Ritual Abuse: The Challenge for Feminists and an account of the Orkney case in a forthcoming book Ritual Abuse in the 21st Century: Clinical, Forensic and Social Implications to be published by Southern Methodist Press. How long before there is another Satanic Panic?
Ponder that.
 

OneWingedBird

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How could it happen again? The Eye has established that there is still a network of believers across the UK among professionals and assorted therapists who work with children and adult "survivors" who reinforce each other's convictions that what they now term "ritual abuse" exists, through literature, websites, conferences and training courses.
It's rather pernicious that the term 'ritual abuse' has for some become synonomous with 'satanic ritual abuse'.

It's perfectly possible and feasible to have ritual abuse in the secular sense, in that it's abuse that follows a near identical and repeated pattern each time, rather than it having any links to occultism or alleged organised networks of abusers. Unfortunately the (deliberate?) confusion of terminologies there discredits this by association...
 

Ravenstone

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The terms used in the article, particularly 'survivors', suggests somewhere that that pernicious book The Courage to Heal lies behind it all, yet again.

I find it perfectly ludicrous that anything that takes functioning adults and turns them into drug-reliant nervous wrecks can also claim to be anything to do with 'feminist issues'.
 

OneWingedBird

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I haven't read the book, but 'survivor' is a pretty standard terminology in abuse circles, don't think it's at all specific to that title.
 

Ravenstone

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It was one of the first books to advocate the use of the word 'survivor' as in ' a survivor of abuse' instead of victim. Nevertheless, the emphasis on reliving and recounting the abuse (whether always remembered or 'repressed') doesn't aid the healing process at all.

I've read excerpts from the book. I gave it a leisurely flick through in Waterstones once. It's one of those very,very rare books I've ever handled that make me want to wash my hands afterwards. There's something very...voyeuristic...about it all. Most distasteful.

Consequently, I'm very wary of any usage of similar language. It tends to show antecedents anyway.

Also, it's 'checklist of abuse' is familiar in SRA believers' circles.
 
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BlackRiverFalls said:
How could it happen again? The Eye has established that there is still a network of believers across the UK among professionals and assorted therapists who work with children and adult "survivors" who reinforce each other's convictions that what they now term "ritual abuse" exists, through literature, websites, conferences and training courses.
It's rather pernicious that the term 'ritual abuse' has for some become synonomous with 'satanic ritual abuse'.

It's perfectly possible and feasible to have ritual abuse in the secular sense, in that it's abuse that follows a near identical and repeated pattern each time, rather than it having any links to occultism or alleged organised networks of abusers. Unfortunately the (deliberate?) confusion of terminologies there discredits this by association...
Personally I'd associate ritual abuse with abusing using rituals - occult/Satanic rituals being one of a number.
 

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Nevertheless, the emphasis on reliving and recounting the abuse (whether always remembered or 'repressed') doesn't aid the healing process at all.
I'd have to disagree with that. It seems like there comes a point where the only way to go forward is to face the past, however unsavoury it may be. It does, unfortunately though, tend to destabilise things quite a bit, assuming they weren't destabilised to begin with.


Personally I'd associate ritual abuse with abusing using rituals - occult/Satanic rituals being one of a number.
The term 'ritual' does have a literal meaning thought that can be applied, and i think it's a fair distinction to make between ritual abuse in a very literal sense, which is a very damaging thing, and so called 'satanic ritual abuse', which is discredited, and seems to me to be a thing that some people latch onto to avoid addressing real issues.
 

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BlackRiverFalls said:
I'd have to disagree with that. It seems like there comes a point where the only way to go forward is to face the past, however unsavoury it may be. It does, unfortunately though, tend to destabilise things quite a bit, assuming they weren't destabilised to begin with.
Obviously. However, books like The Courage to Heal and the therapies used by repressed memory therapists tend to focus solely on the abuse, and not allow for any way forward. Victims are therefore not only encouraged to constantly recount their abuse, but in some cases to 'out-do' one another.

Bear in mind I'm not talking about responsible therapists here.
 
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BlackRiverFalls said:
Nevertheless, the emphasis on reliving and recounting the abuse (whether always remembered or 'repressed') doesn't aid the healing process at all.
I'd have to disagree with that. It seems like there comes a point where the only way to go forward is to face the past, however unsavoury it may be. It does, unfortunately though, tend to destabilise things quite a bit, assuming they weren't destabilised to begin with.
But we have to careful that recovered repressed memories are reliable - hypnotism, guided imagery, etc. are notorious for creating false memories.

BlackRiverFalls said:
Personally I'd associate ritual abuse with abusing using rituals - occult/Satanic rituals being one of a number.
The term 'ritual' does have a literal meaning thought that can be applied, and i think it's a fair distinction to make between ritual abuse in a very literal sense, which is a very damaging thing, and so called 'satanic ritual abuse', which is discredited, and seems to me to be a thing that some people latch onto to avoid addressing real issues.
I'd iamgien there must be a number of techncial terms for this kind of systematic and organised abuse other than ritual abuse.
 

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I grew up in a Christian family during the 1980s, and we had quite a few books in the house by American evangelists such as Nicky Cruz and David Wilkinson. These books usually included a chapter on "protecting your family against the international satanic conspiracy" (because of course, in those days, everyone knew that such a conspiracy existed), and included warning signs to look out for. These included things such as:

* Your child keeps candles in their room (excuse me, but what slightly drippy, hippy teenage girl didn't have candles in her room?).
* Your child has velvet or tie-died clothing (see above point about drippy hippy teenage girls).
*Your child reads books about magic, witches or wizards. (That's funny. My church elders keep encouraging me to read the Chronicles of Narnia, and there's an awful lot of magic, wizards and witches, both good and evil, in there.)

But the absolute best bit was:

* Science fiction, including films such as Howard the Duck, is Satanic. :lol:

The logic, as I understood it, was that the Bible doesn't mention God creating life on other planets. Therefore, aliens do not exist. Therefore, any "Close Encounters" are not aliens, but demons masquerading as aliens. Therefore, Howard the Duck is demonic.

In a way, I'm quite grateful to books like this, as they allowed me to see this sort of nonsense for what it is. I'm still a Christian, but one who (I hope) thinks about things. I'm generally unpopular at my parents' evangelical church these days anyway, as I tend to correct the preachers, point out what's wrong with Intelligent Design, and turn up wearing a T-shirt that says "nobody knows I'm a lesbian". :oops:

I'm not sure what the point of this long waffling post was, other than to say that if I, aged eleven, could see that there was something silly about the idea of a global satanic conspiracy, then it surely can't get much of a hold in modern society, can it?

<looks around at the spread of the teaching of ID, and Christian fundies getting into power in the US>

Oh dear... :(
 

Ravenstone

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Interesting post, Kathy. Not long and waffling at all!

Rather like the kids in the BBC programme knew that what they were being told happened to them wasn't true, you saw the ridiculousness of the literature around you. There's lots of cases such behaviour causes 'false' memories, and false accusations.

It really is quite scary how delicate memory is.
 

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Bear in mind I'm not talking about responsible therapists here.
Fair enough.


But we have to careful that recovered repressed memories are reliable - hypnotism, guided imagery, etc. are notorious for creating false memories.
I'm not sure that these are things that are used by responsible therapists, who are aware of the risks involved. There isn't really any way to know for sure how accurate recovered memories are, think that even when hypnotism/guided imagery isn't involved some pretty strange things can still come up. The real problem is the professional believers, who believe everything without critical analysis.


I'd iamgien there must be a number of techncial terms for this kind of systematic and organised abuse other than ritual abuse.
There might be, but i'd have to confess to never having come across them.

Wikipedia's closest entry is Sadistic Ritual Abuse, which IMO only confuses things even more...
 

Ravenstone

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'Sadistic Ritual Abuse' does sound like they're either avoiding the term 'Satanic' for some reason, or they've got a bit mixed up.
 
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I saw the "Real Story" last week and it scared the hell out of me. WHY are these social workers still in post??? It was so blatantly obvious that they planted ideas in the kids' minds, terrified them and used whatever garbled "knowledge" they had of paganism to set up poor, inarticulate families. IMO, these people should be in prison for their actions. They were not just grossly unprofessional but manipulative, self-serving liars with their own agenda. They did NOT act in ignorance but "in the best interests of the child" - what they did was deliberate and with awareness, which makes this whole fiasco so much worse than if it had arisen from simple stupidity.
 
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