As many of our readers know, one of our regular commenters, Justin Sanity, is a veteran of the late-20th century Satanic panic which began in North America and spread to the UK. In a previous post, he gave us a unique and fascinating look at the book that brought “Satanic ritual abuse” into the mainstream: Michelle Remembers. If you haven’t read that post, by all means do: it helps put the Hampstead SRA hoax into much clearer perspective.
Today, though, we’d like to share Justin’s take on how a confluence of events and the interests of a number of people, each of whom had a particular agenda, led to the emergence of a culture of false child sexual abuse allegations. This is a bit of a longer read than we usually publish here, so grab yourself a coffee or tea; we think you’ll find it’s well worth the time.
The original “Believe The Children” wasn’t really about believing children at all, of course. It was about believing satanic-panic promoting adults. Here’s a related narrative which will reveal some previously unspoken truths. It will be long, so long that I’ve broken it into parts.
My example will be the Franklin Cover-up aka the Franklin Scandal aka the Nebraska-Franklin child prostitution ring allegations. You may have heard about this, it is wildly popular among SRA conspiranoids, truthers and even some serious CSA researchers / campaigners. But if you believe you already “know the story”…I guarantee that I’ll be giving you info and a perspective that you’ve never seen before. I’ll zip through a narrative, but litter it with notations [#] and provide details & references at the bottom of the page.
It started with exploitation of children in care…
We all know about the current UK obsession with allegations about and evidence of widespread historic abuse of “children in care”. During the early- to mid 1970s, US law enforcement uncovered and took down a child prostitution and pornography conspiracy, involving privately owned/run housing and services for ‘unwanted’/unadoptable/homeless children, (many of whom were homosexually oriented), juvenile prostitutes, and juvenile sex offenders, operating in several states.
So blatant and arrogant was this criminal network, the “Better Life” conspiracy, they actually had a “how to set up your own government-funded, ‘boy-lover’ run, fraudulent non-profit charity service for disadvantaged children” business plan for new members.
Dr. Judianne Densen-Gerber, a lawyer and psychiatrist who founded the drug treatment program Odyssey House communities, was also a dedicated and powerful social-political campaigner in the 1970’s–80’s. One of her campaigns, circa 1976–79, involved a national tour lecturing to local legislators, social service professionals and grass-roots child welfare organizations about criminal infiltration of housing and services for “children under government care”/ foster children, resulting in their exploitation for prostitution and pornography.
Inspired by Dr Judianne’s horror stories, grass-roots child welfare organizations in Nebraska determined to take control of the management and oversight of that state’s foster child services, and formulated legislation designed to transfer that power out of the hands of Social Services bureaucrats and into their own “Foster Care Review Board”. An early and long-term champion of this legislation, and of the Foster Care Review Board itself, was State Senator and lawyer John DeCamp. 
DeCamp versus Kerrey
Early and determined opponents of this legislation and of the Foster Care Review Board itself, included Nebraska Governor Bob Kerrey, the Department of Social Services management, and prominent local academics in related fields. Multiple legislative attempts, sponsored by Governor Kerrey, were made to return control to Social Services bureaucracy between 1983 and 1985. All were defeated, thanks to the protective efforts of Senator John DeCamp and his partisans: Speaker Bill Nichol, Senator Dave Landis, Senator Jerome Warner and Senator Loran Schmit 
There were two major financial institution failures in Nebraska during the first few years of Governor Kerrey’s term of 1983–85 (NOT The Franklin Credit Union, that came later). John DeCamp chaired a State Senate investigation into these failures in 1986, during which Gov. Kerrey himself was unceremoniously and frankly grilled about his governance failures and associations to/with the management of these failed institutions.
In 1984, John DeCamp announced his intention to run for United States Senator  on the Republican ticket. He was warned by party officials that they preferred to give the nomination to a woman for the next election campaign. He ignored that and continued his own nomination campaign.
The false allegation that started it all
Not long after, a young female boarder in the DeCamp household falsely accused DeCamp and his wife of sexually abusing their little girl, based on photos of the toddler in the bathtub. Subsequent investigations—by the Department of Social Services, and then by Lincoln Police—reported finding no evidence of abuse.
But a Republican party functionary filed a civil petition to remove their daughter from their custody, citing “abusive” child-rearing practices. Many months later, during which some Omaha news media ran accusatory “exposé”-style stories about the case and the DeCamps, a Judge declared them unequivocally not guilty. Ultimately, however, DeCamp lost the Republican nomination for USS and lost his next re-election campaign for State Senator as well. 
John DeCamp was apparently “taken out”, politically, by a false CSA accusation.
If that really was intentional, it may be impossible to exaggerate how stupid a mistake that was, by whoever was involved in engineering it. DeCamp was not just a lawyer, he was also a Vietnam era war hero in some people’s eyes, having co-ordinated the CIA-sponsored Phoenix Program of targeted assassinations under future CIA director William Colby, and having participated in the “Operation Babylift” of over 1,500 “orphans” from Saigon , just before it fell to the communists.
In the 1980’s, now-former director William Colby was still DeCamp’s bestest buddy, he was a revered leader in the “retired military intelligence” community of his state, and he was one of the most highly skilled and accomplished “political warfare” veterans in the nation. 
The list of enemies
Following his election defeat, DeCamp abandoned party politics and embraced radical populism. Initially, DeCamp cozied up with the Lyndon Larouche movement (or cult), “a political and cultural network promoting Lyndon LaRouche and his ideas”, which controls many companies, organizations, and political-cultural groups, and advocates quasi-populist policies such as reform of the world financial system.
DeCamp became very friendly with the Larouche “intelligence analyst” and author Anton Chaitkin—who also ran/ controlled a number of private-internal and “for hire” intelligence networks.
Later, DeCamp embraced the “individual sovereignty” and “constitutionalist” populism of the Christian Patriot movement, and volunteered to be consigliere to the Montana Freeman militia—effectively gaining the fanatical support of a private army of mercenaries capable of “blending into” the rest of the population to carry out…who knows what?…activities anywhere in the US. 
Surely, woe betide anyone who might be on JohnDeCamp’s list of enemies—such as all those persons that he blamed for a conspiracy to cause his political “assassination”, by false accusations of child sexual abuse:
- Governor Kerrey, presumed to have carried grudges against DeCamp for protecting the Foster Care Review Board and publicly humiliating Kerrey through the earlier banking scandal hearings;
- Both state and federal Republican Party organizers and functionaries, who might have been involved in campaigning and lobbying against DeCamp for the USS nomination;
- State and federal Republican Party leadership, who would have made the decisions about when and how to take DeCamp down, and issued the orders to organizers and functionaries;
- The ownership of, and journalists working for, the news media that slandered and defamed him and his wife during the investigation;
- Local and Federal law enforcement, who failed to detect, investigate and expose a conspiracy which caused his public esteem to fall from “hero” to “suspected child abuser”.
The Franklin Credit Union
In November of 1988, FBI and IRS investigators seized control of the Franklin Credit Union’s physical assets and closed it down. As a result of the investigation, Republican Party organizer and functionary Lawrence (Larry) King was found to have stolen nearly $40million from the credit union which he ran. He was indicted on 40 criminal counts including conspiracy, fraud, and embezzlement. In 1991, King was convicted and the Franklin Credit Union collapsed.
There was an investigation into all this by the Nebraska legislature’s Unicameral Banking Committee, of course, but we will only be concerned with a parallel investigation into allegations about a Franklin-related pedophile ring, undertaken by a subcommittee—a subcommittee chaired by…John DeCamp’s most stalwart old political ally and champion of the Foster Care Review Board—Senator Loran Schmit.
About six months before the “subcommittee to investigate allegations of sexual abuse and prostitution of minors by a pedophile ring linked to Larry King and Franklin Credit Union” was formed, and three months before the Credit Union was closed by federal investigators, a Carol Stitt—director of the Foster Care Review Board—sent a letter to the Nebraska Attorney General, alleging a child exploitation ring linked to Larry King.
This would be Carol Stitt, the director of a Foster Care Review Board that owes its continued existence to ex-Senator John DeCamp, a citizen-led Review Board that would have been permanently shut down and dismantled years before if not for its champion John DeCamp—accusing a federal Republican Party organizer of masterminding the sexual abuse and prostitution of children.
Oh yes! And it gets better…
Allegations about Larry King
In 1985, a 16-year-old Nebraska girl named Eulice Washington and her younger sister disclosed to their biological grandmother that their adopted parents—the Webbs—had been physically abusing them for many years. These accusations are supported by documentation that the Webbs had physically abused other children in their care.
The Webbs retaliated by legally ‘disowning’ the girls, and they were placed in the home of foster parent Kathleen Sorensen, who claimed to specialize in the care of abused, traumatized and subsequently hard to place children. In 1986, while in Sorensen’s care, Eulice is alleged to have made many more accusatory disclosures to Sorensen herself.
Among these, Eulice is alleged to have claimed that the Webbs’ relative—Larry King of the Franklin Credit Union—flew her and other teens to upscale parties in other states, where Eulice was forced to pose naked on display for the guests and endure their sexual molestations. She is said to have claimed that “very important people”, whose exact identities she never learned, including Republican Party officials and politicians, attended these parties, and that she observed some of them sexually abusing boys from the Boystown children’s village.
There was no reciprocal validation by former Boystown residents, however; none claimed to have been on these trips with Eulice. At one point, Eulice is supposed to have claimed that she saw and recognized then Vice-President George Bush at one of these parties. Some of Eulice’s disclosures were supposedly witnessed by Sorensen’s friend Kristen Hallberg.
Early ‘Satanic cult’ allegations
Kristen Hallberg was a “resident advisor” at the Ute Halle residential psychiatric facility for teenage girls in Omaha in 1986. While “advising” a 12-year-old resident named Shawneta Moore, Hallberg claimed the girl spontaneously disclosed having been abused by a local prostitution and pornography ring through local children’s recreational charities. Hallberg claimed that over time this girl made more detailed disclosures, culminating in a horrific tale of witnessing child rape, torture and sacrifice by a Satanic cult that her abusers were the leaders of. 
The McMartin Preschool connection
Far away in California, Jackie McGauley was one of the McMartin Preschool case parents. She claimed that her daughter had been abused by the owner’s adult son, Ray Bucky. McGauley also happened to be best friends with Judy Johnson, the McMartin mother whose claims about her young son Mathew being sodomized—and she suspected, by Bucky—are often cited as the origin of that case.
There has been a lot of analysis and speculation about Johnson’s mental health, possible addiction problems and parental competence over the years. Sometimes she is depicted as a delusional hysteric, whose fantasies of child abuse supposedly fuelled the original Satanic ritual abuse panic.
This is not the objective truth of the matter, however. The truth is that Johnson’s friend Jackie McGauley was, by her own words, the real “SRA typhoid Mary” of the preschool/ daycare/ foster care SRA panic. 
In fact, the most likely perpetrator of whatever abuse Johnson’s son and McGauley’s daughter might have suffered would not be Ray Bucky; it would be the boyfriend Jackie McGauley had at that time. McGauley and Johnson’s children were frequently play-date visitors at each others’ homes, and sometimes unaccompanied by their own parent.
It is very plausible that both McGauley’s child and Johnson’s son were occasionally looked after, in McGauley’s home, solely by this boyfriend when McGauley was out of the house. And unlike Ray Bucky, for whom no objective evidence documenting a sexual interest in little children was ever presented, McGauley’s boyfriend left behind a copy of the infamous “Lollitots” CSA images magazine amongst other possessions in her house after they broke up.
That’s objective evidence. McGauley did accuse this boyfriend of molesting her daughter, prior to when she believed that Bucky must have done so, but she never mentioned that this boyfriend would have had unsupervised access to Mathew Johnson as well.
McMartin parent meets ‘Michelle Remembers’ shrink
Jackie McGauley met with Dr Lawrence Pazder [author of Michelle Remembers], early in the investigation, and states:
It is true about Pazder introducing the idea of SRA to us. Some read his book later, I never read it through. It was Michele’s case and I don’t particularly like to read stuff about other people’s cases. Larry was introduced to a small group of parents in early 80s by 20/20 producer Ken Wooden who did the series on our case. Ken did a whole show focusing on satanism (some words I refuse to capitalize.. like satanism and ted just out of principle.) Larry went back to Canada but Ken talked extensively to parents about the idea of satanism.
Jackie McGauley organized the first “SRA child victim’s parents group”, which she called “Affirming Children’s Truth”, and held the first lay-led for-profit conference on the subject. By 1987, McGauley was living with clinically paranoid “satanic abuse and murder cults are everywhere, and they run our society” retired FBI agent Ted Gunderson.
John DeCamp and Ted Gunderson were buddies, they worked together on the Larouche cult publication, “EIR Special publication on Satanism”, in 1990.
According to Jackie McGauley, the Nebraska ladies—Kathleen Sorenson and Kristen Hallberg—“were at my place in 1985 or perhaps 1984. McMartin broke in 1983”, and “The Nebraska ladies heard of our conference and flew to L.A. to attend. They happened to stay with me at my apartment. The details of their case was just another case to me. I didn’t even understand their entire story”.
But that, of course, was because they didn’t have their own story to tell at that time. Kathleen Sorenson & Kristen Hallberg didn’t have their own “child’s SRA or elite pedophile ring allegation stories” to tell until 1986.
Learning to guide children’s allegations
So what were they doing in McGauley’s apartment, attending “Affirming Children’s Truth” meetings, in 1984 or ’85? They were there, learning how to manipulate children into telling you what you want to hear from them, how to guide and shape the child’s fantasy stories so it appears they are making exactly the allegation that you want/need them to make.
And they were doing this “research” on behalf of the very same Foster Care Review Board championed by Senator John DeCamp, not long after DeCamp himself had been investigated over a false SRA allegation. Planning for the eventual, vengeful, reversal of false CSA accusations was already under way, it seems. 
The George H.W. Bush connection
But why have Vice-president George Bush (senior) written into a fantasy scenario about pedophile parties? What would be the point of that?
The point would be that George Bush replaced DeCamp’s best buddy William Colby as Director of the CIA, on January 30, 1976. Colby’s term as DCI were rough years for the CIA. The CIA’s “Family Jewels,” a list compiled for previous DCI James Schlesinger detailing controversial and, in some cases, illegal activities undertaken by the agency, had leaked to investigative journalist Seymour Hersh in 1974.
In 1975, the Congressional Church committee was aggressively grilling DCI Colby about these, in public hearings, and suggesting it might be time to dismantle and retire the agency altogether. Colby kept his cool, however, and answered their questions as fully and honestly as he could. He wanted to demonstrate that “those days are over”, by admitting the agency’s mistakes rather than trying to hide them.
The rank and file field agents, like DeCamp had been, already respected Colby because he had done his time “as one of them”, and because he had led them on operations “in the field”, rather than issuing blind orders from behind a comfy desk in Washington. They respected him even more for his courageously forthright testimony.
But the Ford administration was scared: they thought Colby disclosed too much, too easily. So they effectively fired him, by replacing him with Bush—a whiny, spoiled “rich kid” suspected of forcing Colby out by nagging Ford: “Can I have a turn at DCI, can I, can I? I want something important to do…”.
Bush was a bureaucratic manager, never a real-life operative, but he could be trusted to keep his mouth shut if ordered to do so. Many of the rank and file despised him, and an opportunity to frame him up as a homosexual pedophile, however late in life it might come, must have seemed too delicious to let pass for certain former field officers…
And it gets even better!
You have to love this. The first order of business for the Schmit-led subcommittee was to appoint a chief legal counsel. Schmit suggested former DCI Colby—DeCamp’s buddy!—now running a law practice in Washington, and the committee voted to invite him to apply. You probably could have heard DeCamp’s voice coming out of Schmit’s mouth, if you’d listened closely enough. Unbelievable!
Colby accepted, what a surprise, and flew out to Nebraska to apply. “Schmit lobbied intensely for Colby…” no doubt, eh? But in the end he was defeated 4 to 3, because Colby wanted too much for his service. He was too expensive. The masterstroke was blown, because Colby was too proud to accept less than his full-scale wage.
By February 1989, the subcommittee to investigate allegations of child rape and sex trafficking had a chief counsel, and hired their first investigator. More allegations were piling up, through further FCRB reports. Note that—FCRB reports—not Department of Social Services reports, not police investigator reports.
More alleged victims were uncovered, more alleged perpetrators identified. Hearings were scheduled, and testimony commenced.
And then, the wheels came off.
On June 22, 1989, Attorney General Spire testified that investigative reports from the FBI, the Omaha Police and the State Patrol all independently concluded that the FCRB reports did not have substance.
 = Various testimony, particularly that of Gerald Richards, cited in “HEARINGS BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE JUVENILE DILENQUENCY OF THE COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY UNITED STATES SENATE”. NINETY-FIFTH CONGRESS. FIRST SESSION CHICAGO, IL–MAY 27, 1977
WASHINGTON, DC–JUNE 16 1977
 = “History of the Foster Care Review Board 1983-2007” pdf http://www.fcro.nebraska.gov/
 = “The Franklin Cover-up” by John DeCamp, self-published
 = Various interviews with John DeCamp, in print or audio, on the WWW circa. 1995-2005
 = “The Franklin Scandal” by Nick Bryant, Trine Day, 2009
 = Jackie McGauley’s own words, in articles that appeared on the Rigorous Intuition blog and comments to “The X-spot blog”, between 2005 and 2012