Things that make us go ‘hmm…’

Every now and again we happen upon a blog post by a Hampstead mobster that makes us lift an eyebrow, but yesterday brought a trio of conspiranoid blog posts that had our eyebrows practically shooting off the tops of our heads. If we lived in a television cartoon, there would have been gigantic question marks spinning in the air around us, and the sounds of tiny birds chirping.

Here’s the front page of one of Sabine McNeill’s blogs yesterday:

It’s not at all unusual for Sabine to re-blog material from Cathy Fox’s blog; indeed, she did it last week, with an article on Peter Hofschroer’s extradition appeal.

What is unusual is that Cathy, and now Sabine (and Malcolm Konrad Ogilvy, on his Hollie Greig blog) are quoting a Manchester solicitor named Richard Scorer. In addition to being Head of Abuse Law at Slater and Gordon in Manchester, Mr Scorer is the author of two extremely interesting articles—one on historic “satanic ritual abuse” and another on belief in “possession by devils” and “witchcraft” as factors in physical and emotional abuse of children.

Robbed of their childhood

The first article, titled “Local authority negligence: claims for damages arising from the Rochdale ‘satanic abuse’ cases”, details one of the high-profile SRA cases that took place during the satanic panic of the 1980s–1990s.

In 1990, children from a total of six families on a council estate near Rochdale had their children removed into local authority care. This came about because the parent of one seven-year-old, whose child was exhibiting disturbed behaviour, was seen by two social workers who attributed the boy’s behaviour to involvement in ritual abuse; eventually all four children in that family were taken into care. Interviews with those children appeared to implicate children from the other families in “horrifying organised ritual abuse of some kind”, and allegations were made that the children had also received “drugs of some sort”. Mr Scorer wrote:

The local authority contended that the children have been given hallucinogenic drugs and had been involved in ritual or satanic abuse, but without any element of sexual abuse.

Mr Justice Douglas Brown rejected these allegations, and was highly critical of the interviewing techniques used, which he noted had been conducted with little regard for the Cleveland recommendations. Virtually all the information the children gave came in response to leading or suggestive questions, and the social workers failed to differentiate the children’s descriptions of fact from fantasy.

In the early 2000s, 12 of the 20 children, now young adults, launched lawsuits against the local council for negligence in its duty of care toward them. Some of the now-grown children spoke to the BBC about the psychological harm they had suffered, during a programme in 2006. Julie, who spent five years in care between the ages of 11 and 16, said:

No one told us why we were taken away. We thought me or my brother Daniel had done something wrong – or something had happened to Mum and Dad – and that was why we couldn’t go home.

They just kept saying: ‘Your Mum and Dad can’t look after you, that’s why you’re here.’ That wasn’t an explanation really, was it?

We didn’t think we were going to be there very long. It was hard to take it in when we were told we couldn’t go back – like it was not happening to us.

It was like the family had been ripped apart. My brothers James and Matthew were at home, Mum and Dad were at home and me and Daniel were there.

I think we missed out on a lot not being at home – the first day at high school, I didn’t have Mum there to take me. And when I started growing up I didn’t have Mum to take me to the shop to get me my first bra. I missed out on all my cousins growing up, we were pretty close. We missed out on birthdays, on normal family life.

We’ll never get that back, will we?

A few years back, I felt really depressed, down. I couldn’t go to work. But I didn’t feel as though I could talk to anyone or ask anybody for help, because I didn’t want people to think I was different or not normal. I just kept things inside, kept it to myself. I think the more I did that I got worse.

So I decided I’ve got to change. I can’t keep feeling like this, I’ve got to do something.

Julie’s brother Daniel, who was six years old when he was taken into care, spent 10 years separated from his family:

I was taken out of school and put in a car with a woman. I didn’t know where we were going.

It was getting late, and we were going from one place to another, and ended up in this hospital. I got taken into a room and asked a load of questions. I didn’t understand them, really. I just wanted to get out. And then we were put in another car – I felt tired.

Me and my sister Julie ended up in the children’s home. We had a late night supper and washed. And then we got scrubbed by one of the nuns – with one of those small nailbrushes – and were put in bed.

They took us to the market that day, shopping for new clothes.

I didn’t know what was happening at all. Julie said they asked us a lot about dreams.

I remember Mum and Dad’s first visit. I was very happy seeing them. We had the social worker watching us all the time with a note pad.

When Julie went home I thought that I’d be able to go, too. I asked the social worker, and she said ‘You’re not allowed, it’s still too dangerous for you.’

I do feel different to other people, less confident. I don’t know how to start a conversation up or talk to people. It’s just like a feeling that I should be doing something, but I don’t know what it is.

I reckon it’s affected our parents as much as it’s affected us. Maybe a bit more.

Rochdale Council ultimately settled out of court.

Beating the devil out of them

Mr Scorer’s second article, titled “Child Abuse Linked to Accusations of Possession and Witchcraft”, examines the painful subject of children who are physically and/or emotionally abused by adults who believe the children might be “possessed” by the devil, evil spirits, and the like. This area of child protection is particularly fraught with ethical and practical dilemmas.

Referring to a study commissioned by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES), Mr Scorer notes that child abuse linked to accusations of possession and witchcraft are relatively rare—only 18 cases were substantiated in the UK in 2005. The study used the terms “possession by evil spirit” or “witchcraft”. The first refers to the belief, usually religious in origin, that the child’s body has been inhabited and taken over by a malignant spirit, which makes the child act in unusual ways. “Witchcraft”, by contrast, means that the child is using evil forces to inflict harm on others. Families that hold such beliefs are often afraid of the child, fearing that he or she will hurt them in some way. Accordingly, they abuse the child, hitting, beating, or burning him or her, or inflicting emotional abuse such as ostracisation and neglect.

Childish traits which may lead adults to believe a child is possessed or a witch include disability, illness, challenging behaviour, sleepwalking, bedwetting, or having bad dreams.

Because belief in possession and witchcraft seem to be linked to the family’s country of origin, as well as to religious background—strains of evangelical Christianity are implicated—early intervention strategies involving the family’s church and non-governmental organisations, working within the family’s community, seem to achieve best outcomes.

Mr Scorer contrasts the issue of accusations of possession and witchcraft with the issue of allegations of satanic ritual abuse. He notes that following the study of allegations of SRA by Professor Jean de la Fontaine, and in the wake of lawsuits launched by children who were taken into care on suspicion of SRA, the topic seemed (as of 2006) to have died down. By contrast,

concerns about child abuse relating to ‘possession’ and ‘witchcraft’ have been empirically verified by individual case studies. Unlike with the ‘satanic panic’ of the 1990s, there is currently no campaigning movement within child protection seeking out such cases. If anything the opposite is true and the risk is perhaps that cultural sensitivities of the social workers in such cases may deter them from acting on justified suspicions, as in the (Victoria) Climbié tragedy.

Mr Scorer urges a separation between the completely unverified issue of SRA and the very real issue of accusations of possessions and witchcraft, noting that although the two may share superficial similarities, in fact they are quite different.

Sabine? Is that you?

In her summary of Mr Scorer’s articles, Cathy Fox continues to cling to the discredited idea that SRA exists and is widespread, but acknowledges that “some alleged cases prove not to be so”. For an SRA campaigner, this is quite an admission, though in our estimation it doesn’t go nearly far enough.

Given how desperately Sabine has clung to the SRA mythos since she first began to blog about it in 2014, though, we can only conclude that a) she failed to read Cathy Fox’s article all the way through, and thought she was just reblogging a standard “SRA is real and they are stealing your children” article, or that b) she fell on her head and has suffered complete memory loss. It’s said that only 41% of people actually read articles before they share them online, so we suppose that might explain it. Perhaps Sabine is too wrapped up in reinventing her magical bitmapping software to pay much attention to what she posts. Small mercies and all that.

As for Malcolm Konrad Ogilvy, frankly his blog is such a dog’s breakfast, we were hard-pressed to even find the article there, let alone draw any conclusions about his motivations for re-blogging it.


For those who’d like to read the original articles by Mr Scorer, we’re printing them below.

 

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34 thoughts on “Things that make us go ‘hmm…’

  1. Double hmmmmm

    Well I remember the Rochdale fiasco….all the social workers believing like mad in SRA and thinking they were doing the ‘right thing’ by removing children. There were more than a few evangelical Christians posing as educators and speaking at social work conferences. I remember one rather prim Welsh lady on TV who even thought homoeopathy was Satanic! I was gobsmacked a few years later to find out she’d been speaking to social workers at training sessions. It was people like this that handed out the leaflets with the list of SRA ‘indicators’ that led loads of social worker astray. They’ll all be retired now and I bet they feel like a right load of wallys!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Very interesting – thanks!
    I agree with you…progress, but not progressive yet.

    I read the study. I dunno. I always find the apparent desire to apply epidemiological models to analysis and recommendations, to child abuse issues, disturbing. The impulse to concoct some means of preventive “diagnosis” still persists, and that can be so easily & dangerously misused. Children do get abused, sometimes horrifically or even fatally, by adults using “possessed by evil” or “child witch” as a rationalization though – so better to at least identify and study the phenomenon than just ignoring it I suppose. Very sad.

    And of course it is obligatory to include one of the 50,000 totally subjective definitions for “ritual abuse”, all of which are far-flung derivatives from Pazder’s own definition. They aren’t talking about, what Pazder was imagining, but they refuse to let go of that misleading phrase:
    “Ritual Abuse:
    Organised sexual, physical, and psychological abuse, which can be systematic and sustained over a long period of time. It involves the use of rituals, with or without a belief system. […the use of rituals…no definition for “ritual” of course, so I guess an exorcism ceremony can be ritual abuse? “abuse that takes place while abusers are holding some type of ceremony is ritual abuse” is a meaningless construct. but that’s not what they mean anyway, as the following paragraphs demonstrate, they mean the trauma-based mind control programming by cults fantasy] It usually involves more than one perpetrator. Ritual abuse usually starts in early childhood and involves using patterns of learning and development to sustain the abuse and silence the abused”

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Let’s not forget a lady called Norma Howes from Reading, born in Scotland, was Norma Jean Mcphee, went on about it in the late 1980’s hundreds of children were removed on her say so alone.

    She was apparently unregistered as a social worker and post the SRA panic she became a talk person for false memory syndrome and worked in the family courts making false assessments on families still removing kids by false evidence.

    I have to say this is all from a blog I found and the person managed to ruin her career but paid an hefty price for it because she trained the police and such like.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Or how about loons like Dianne Core, founder of Child Watch, and her Scorpio cult fantasies?
      http://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/hull-s-satanic-panic-sinister-fear-gripped-city/story-28086307-detail/story.html

      “In the 1980s and 1990s, a sinister fear gripped the people of Hull. Faye Preston speaks to local historian Mike Covell about the city’s ‘satanic panic’.
      Children being swallowed up by satanic cults, a coven leader called Scorpio and vicars urging youngsters to stay away from evil forces.
      It might sound like the plot of a horror film, but in the late 1980s and 1990s, it was feared a dark force held the city in its clutches.
      Historian Mike Covell said: “It was believed a satanic coven was operating in Hull. Some believed Hull teenagers were dabbling in matters, usually involving ouija boards and tarot cards”.

      OMFG – the teens are dabbling with Ouija boards & tarot cards! Before you know it, Scorpio will surely be leading them on Manson-esque massacres of innocent families in YOUR neighborhood. OOO-EEE-OOO!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Love the way that newspaper writes about this lunacy (scary to think it happened so recently) and ignores it’s original role in promoting this sensational rubbish.
        Also glosses over and does not mention it was opportunist nutter Geoffrey Dickens MP who brought this up in Parliament and regularly waved ‘dossiers’ at his fellow MPs, one who once peeked inside one and found it was a bundle of blank pages.

        I get the feeling that once Hampstead well and truly fades from the public mind, those who promote this stuff who tend to be far right-wing “Christian” evangelicals will have another try (aided by a similar group of fanatical “Christian” coppers)

        The ghastly Fiona Barnett is one such promoter who is also a member of a right wing “Christian” fundamentalist cult and who gained some extraordinary traction with her lies in the media.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I agree on all counts, GoS. The evangelical/fundamentalist crowd have a great deal to answer for when it comes to promoting this bilge.

          And yes! Had to laugh at the old headlines. Where did they come from? Oh, right. The local papers, which were eagerly lapping up the satanic panic nonsense and regurgitating it as though it were fact.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Things that make us go ‘hmm…’ | ShevaBurton. Cross of Change Blog

  5. A quick Google search shows Norma Howes was involved in Hull as well she and others were involved in creating something named R.A.I.N.S.

    I can not find may details has it seems to have dropped off the map but her Beatrix Campbell and some others

    Beatrix (now know as Bea) stood for the green party as a MEP in 2010 for the same place that them 2 kids claimed that SRA was taking place, if you don’t believe me have a look.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Following on from the previous post where we watched the BBC interview with RD and some of us commented upon the absence of any emotion from Ella, another factor struck me.

    It was RD describing the 2 times he was driven to distraction by Ella’s actions which drove him to commit the most minor non harmful abuse. Basically she was exhibiting classic wind-up merchant tactics common with those who lack all empathy.

    I think Ella shows all the signs of being a sociopath in her dealings with her ex. Sociopaths are extremely clever at mimicking emotions and can fool the cleverest of people whereas RD seems to have the full range of human emotions.
    But eventually they show their hand and it’s why all psychiatrists will say once you identify the person you are dealing with is a psychopath / sociopath, just run for the hills and don’t look back.

    Invariably sociopaths will find a kindred soul and Ella has found this in Abe and also in the numerous Hoaxers and supporters who have promoted this hoax and who screech about “saving the children” but in reality, who are reveling in the outlandish claims. Some are closet & repressed pedophiles who download and and re-upload the videos and are obsessed with them examining each one in minute detail, basically living and breathing the sex talk from kids. Others are clearly mentally ill but there is huge proportion of sociopaths.

    Ella can never achieve what she & her supporters aim to : return of the children to her. She and Abe are wanted in the UK on child abuse charges and time is against them . Soon the children will be teenagers and taking a entirely different path in life and leaving the entire Hampstead hoax behind.

    I predict at some stage Ella & Abe must have an almighty falling out with each other as they are supporting each other in a fool’s errand that can only end in grief. I think that day is coming soon.

    Liked by 3 people

    • When the day finally arrives that Ella falls out with Abe she will very quickly find out the level of damage she has committed. Her old friends will probably want nothing to do with her after reading about how she let Abe treat her children and how Ella doesn’t really care for them. Her children i hope will want nothing to do with her as i hope that as they mature they will be able to see just what a useless mother Ella is and how quickly she was prepared to abandon them for her new boyfriend.
      She may be able to find herself a new friend in prison but even criminals take a very dim view of child abusers. Ella is going to be one very sad and lonely old lady.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I think i saw one of Angie’s friends at the start of the video. It was the guy called David that Angie and Nina interviewed on Youtube although he didn’t speak in the Vice video. Very interesting video

      Liked by 1 person

    • Related?
      Imagine being the poor person charged with obtaining the deposition of Paul/ Alexandrew/ Westley/ Billybob/ Carlito/ Ichabod/ Emperor Leon/ James Bond/ Sherlock / St. Martyr The Crucified /etc., – for HIS OWN lawsuit:

      https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=W1qnZwgQCB0

      So focused on attempting to make his LARP game appear convincing to the other people in the room, that the actual purpose in being there gets driven right out of his awareness. It seems.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Interesting video and I suppose I should feel sorry for these people but my one question is- why would anyone target the most uninteresting, uninspiring and dull bunch of people with very little to offer?

      Liked by 1 person

      • @GOS – hee-hee!
        I had similar thoughts, but I also caught several “delusions of grandeur” statements, which suggests an internal dialectic to me: “my life is shit, i’m a loser, i’m trapped in pain & suffering, BUT this is happening because I possess special knowledge and/or life experience that makes me so important that I have my own secret intelligence agency dedicated to persecuting moi!” The SRA-RA-MC-DID support communities have always struck me as a similar phenomenon.

        Liked by 1 person

        • In the pre-internet days, these people would have remained relatively isolated from one another, but these days it’s easy for them to latch onto one another and reinforce their delusions and apparent auditory hallucinations. I’m beginning to wonder about this whole internet shenanigans.

          Like


    • A growing tribe of troubled minds

      “Mental health professionals say the narrative has taken hold among a group of people experiencing psychotic symptoms that have troubled the human mind since time immemorial. Except now victims are connecting on the internet, organizing and defying medical explanations for what’s happening to them.”

      An ‘echo chamber’ of paranoia

      Dr. Lorraine Sheridan, who is co-author of perhaps the only study of gang-stalking, said the community poses a danger that sets it apart from other groups promoting troubling ideas, such as anorexia or suicide. On those topics, the internet abounds with medical information and treatment options.

      An internet search for “gang-stalking,” however, turns up page after page of results that regard it as fact. “What’s scary for me is that there are no counter sites that try and convince targeted individuals that they are delusional,” Dr. Sheridan said.

      “They end up in a closed ideology echo chamber,” she said.

      Health Professtionals fear websites that support ideas on Mind Control

      “Identified by some psychologists and psychiatrists as part of an “extreme community” on the Internet that appears to encourage delusional thinking, a growing number of such Web sites are filled with stories from people who say they are victims of mind control and stalking by gangs of government agents. The sites are drawing the concern of mental health professionals and the interest of researchers in psychology and psychiatry.

      Although many Internet groups that offer peer support are considered helpful to the mentally ill, some experts say Web sites that amplify reports of mind control and group stalking represent a dark side of social networking. They may reinforce the troubled thinking of the mentally ill and impede treatment.

      Dr. Ralph Hoffman, a psychiatry professor at Yale who studies delusions, said a growing number of his research subjects have told him of visiting mind-control sites, and finding in them confirmation of their own experiences.

      “The views of these belief systems are like a shark that has to be constantly fed,” Dr. Hoffman said. “If you don’t feed the delusion, sooner or later it will die out or diminish on its own accord. The key thing is that it needs to be repetitively reinforced.”

      That is what the Web sites do, he said. Similar concerns have arisen about a proliferation of sites that describe how to commit suicide, or others that promote anorexia and bulimia, providing detailed instructions on restricting food and photographs of skeletal women meant to be “thinspiration.”

      For people who regularly visit and write on message boards on the mind-control sites, the idea that others would describe the sites as promoting delusional and psychotic thinking is simply evidence of a cover-up of the truth.”

      Liked by 2 people

      • GREAT video! Great articles too 🙂

        Oh! Oh! Is that what happens when I press this button? It does THAT to THEM? Oh dear…
        Well, now that I know that…I’l press it 100 times an hour instead of 50 times. ‘Cause I’m a dick 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you my friend. I tried to get through to one of these people and was told by another so called “TI” to kill myself. I looked that persons Youtube account up and they had a massive amount of videos on the subject, all their own phone numbers, home address, patreon accounts to buy them a house, many social media account links, and of course a link to their site where Targeted individuals could buy their useless overpriced products.
          Essentially, in trying to get a person help, you are taking away a potential customer of these scammers.
          Anyone posting every personal contact detail imaginable, certainly does not believe they themselves are a targeted individual. More likley they are inviting attention so they can make more videos to fund their business and fill a void in their empty life.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Belinda thinks her child is possessed. Does that make her a child abuser, then? Jackie Farmer’s (Charlotte Ward) book ‘Illuminati Party’ reveals details.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I am unsure why this is found to be so surprising or puzzling. Despite her pretense, former Data Entry Clerk McNeill is not an intelligent nor particularly well educated woman.

    You should also reference her advocacy of cannabis; a material that dulls even the sharpest tool in the box. In her disturbed mind she will be cherry picking from the quoted article as was the person who authored what she reblogged . Of course, she seems like a genius when compared to Ogilvy. The entire purpose of his blog is to regurgitate a mass of material to bolster the fantasy he promotes of being a researcher/campaigner. This is a smokescreen of course.

    If and when the authorities in Schotland catch up with him we fully expect to hear him to utilise the ‘Townsend defence’. I do not think that Ogilvy will be capable or reading the article in question let alone assimilating what it says! He is a classic domkop or ‘NED’ as the Schots call them locally.

    Is all this not stating the obvious?

    Like

    • True D.I. True……… The projector is whirring away in full Fregoli mode this weather I see, but everybody knows what he is and what he did and TBH the sooner you lot bang him up the better before he either goes postal or hurts another kid. I do get the “give him enough rope” thing and understand that its much bigger than one wee ned but this is all taking far too long and putting innocent people in real danger. I’m beginning to suspect he’s yet another teflon coated plant myself TBH. Losing faith fast!

      Like

      • Unfortunately Alfred I am not based in UK and cannot take responsibility for the lack of action. However I do now note what appears to be a fresh threat of arson/violence on Ogilvy’s blog, directed at a person he seems to be completely obsessed with. I have therefore telephoned colleagues in Scotland to alert them to this and asked that my call be made a matter of formal record.

        Your frustration is quite understandable, but what exactly is the point in taking action against someone on some trivial charge? We are on the receiving end of these problems over here as much of the material they trade in is originated on the European Mainland. It is no trivial matter.

        Like

  9. David Rose, who ii a master wordsmith, left a comment on my blog today which you may find useful. he said: ‘ In the bipolar furnace which social media has become,” – I think it sums up the situation perfectly. The truly deranged have found a meeting place which reinforces their beliefs, heats them up and then sends them forth with their paranoia renewed. I just love the notion of a ‘bi-polar furnace’.

    Liked by 1 person

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