Guardian: ‘Satanic child abuse claims are almost certainly based on false memories’

Thanks to MAFCWA for sending us this link. Interesting reading; and it’ll give Charlotte “Jacqui Farmer” Ward something to do today, on the day she’s vowed to close down her hate site Hampstead Research for good and retire from trolling:


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In fact, there is a consensus among scientists studying memory that traumatic events are more likely to be remembered than forgotten, often leading to posttraumatic stress disorder. So despite widespread acceptance among the general public, legal professionals, and those working in mental health, the very notion of repression as described by Short is doubted by the majority of memory researchers.

The sad truth is that we have been here before. On 13 March 1990, the headline of the Daily Mirror read, “Kids forced into satan orgies”. The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children had reported that satanic abuse was widespread in the UK.

The details of the allegations made in the Mirror were remarkably similar to those now being made. It was alleged that at these satanic orgies, children were made to eat human body parts and to drink blood and urine. Animals and babies were said to be sacrificed. Most of the media at the time uncritically accepted the NSPCC’s claims and a satanic panic ensued.

A few reporters, notably Debbie Nathan in the US and Rosie Waterhouse in the UK, examined the claims critically and found them to be entirely without foundation. In the oft-quoted words of Rosie Waterhouse, in her article “The making of a satanic myth”, published in the Independent on 12 August 1990, “Investigations have produced no evidence. No bodies, no bones … no blood stains. Nothing.”

This negative conclusion was echoed four years later by Jean La Fontaine, emeritus professor of anthropology at the London School of Economics. Her official inquiry into claims of satanic abuse had investigated 84 alleged cases in the UK between 1987 and 1992, including the notorious cases in Rochdale and the Orkneys that involved social workers and police forcibly removing children from their homes in dawn raids. In no case was any convincing corroborative evidence found.

If the situation is different this time and there exists forensic evidence to support the claims being made, it is vital that such evidence is passed to the police as soon as possible. But this looks unlikely. As Lumbasi says in the Scottish Express, “In most cases, we can’t blame the police for not taking action. If they have no actual evidence such as names, times or places to go with, what can they do?”

Obviously, if it is claimed that snuff movies are a regular feature of the alleged abuse, a single copy of such a movie would provide strong supporting evidence. But, as the article in the Scottish Express acknowledges, “There has never been a proven example of a snuff film – where a person is murdered on camera – being made in Britain, although there have been an isolated number of cases where perverts have been caught with such footage made abroad.”

It is noteworthy that on Friday the BBC reported similarly unsubstantiated claims, albeit not of a satanic nature, of the sexual abuse of children. These came from a man in his 40s referred to as “Nick”. The man, who had been undergoing counselling for 20 years, claims that he and other children were the victims of a sex-ring that included prominent MPs and powerful others. Exaro News has gone even further, reporting Nick’s claims that two children were murdered by the group.

As the barrister Matthew Scott notes on his blog, such reporting carries serious risks. If the claims are true, the detailed descriptions aired publicly by the BBC and Exaro will serve to undermine Nick’s claims, as it could now always be argued by defence lawyers in a future case that any other witnesses who came forward were simply repeating what had already been made public. If the claims are untrue, broadcasting them is simply feeding the growing public hysteria about paedophilia.

In other words, this does not help anyone, least of all genuine victims of abuse.

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