Saturday, December 29, 2012

Twitter shuts down string of accounts containing child abuse images after hackers expose indecent content, Piero Corsi, Italian Priest, Says 'Provocative' Women To Blame For Spate Of Domestic Violence (VIDEO), Belgium To Prosecute Scientology As Criminal Organization; Church Faces Charges Of Extortion, Fraud

Twitter shuts down string of accounts containing child abuse images after hackers expose indecent content

NSPCC says hacking groups exposed the files last night
The charity says it has received a 'flurry' of reports
Unclear whether images came from British users or those abroad
Cases will now be investigated in the US where the site is based
Another child protection group received 30 reports of such images
By James Black
24 December 2012

A string of Twitter accounts have been closed after they were revealed to contain disturbing images of child abuse.
The graphic pictures were apparently made public late last night after hacking groups claimed to have broken into the private accounts to expose their indecent content, the NSPCC said.
The charity said it received a 'flurry' of reports overnight relating to at least half a dozen Twitter accounts which were later disabled.

They will now be investigated in the US, where the micro-blogging site is based.
An NSPCC spokesman said: 'Apparently these were pretty disturbing images of child abuse.
"We understand the authorities in the US are now looking at the accounts.'
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (Ceop) said it had also received around 30 reports, relating to at least four accounts.

Piero Corsi, Italian Priest, Says 'Provocative' Women To Blame For Spate Of Domestic Violence (VIDEO)
The Huffington Post  |  By Meredith Bennett-Smith 12/28/2012
An Italian priest found himself embroiled in a national controversy this week after a Christmas bulletin he posted in his church went viral.

Perio Corsi's flier, entitled “Women and femicide – healthy self-criticism. How often do they provoke?” claimed that women in Italy may be to blame for a spate of domestic violence attacks, Raw Story notes. Members of the priest's congregation then posted the text on the Internet:
How often do we see girls and mature women going around scantily dressed and in provocative clothes?
They provoke the worst instincts, which end in violence or sexual abuse. They should search their consciences and ask: did we bring this on ourselves?

The flier went on to decry "increasingly provocative," "arrogant" and "self-sufficient" women who abandon their children, don't clean their houses and serve cold meals.
Corsi is the leader of a church in the small parish of San Terenzo in northwest Italy, according to The Journal.
The Daily Beast's Barbie Latza Nadeau notes that this year 120 women have been killed in domestic disputes in the European nation, "a third more than last year." In fact, the problem has even caught the attention of the United Nations Human Rights Council, which urged the country to take action last June.
As calls for the priest to resign intensified, Euronews reported that Corsi issued an apology, only to quickly take it back. He also used an anti-gay slur when debating a reporter from Rai Radio, L'Huffington Post reports.
Meanwhile, local officials have been quick to distance themselves from the church leader's comments....

Belgium To Prosecute Scientology As Criminal Organization; Church Faces Charges Of Extortion, Fraud

The Huffington Post  |  By Andres Jauregui 12/28/2012

Federal public prosecutors in Belgium will institute legal proceedings against the church of Scientology in that country and seek to recognize it as a criminal organization.
The church of Scientology -- which is not recognized as a faith in Belgium -- and several of its top-ranking members face charges including extortion, fraud, illegal practice of medicine and violation of privacy laws, according to Flanders News.
The complaint stems from an investigation of fraudulent labor contracts issued by the church of Scientology in an effort to recruit new volunteers and members. A judge ordered raids on Scientology offices in 2008 that allegedly uncovered a "wealth of evidence" that the organization had spied on and extorted money from its members, according to De Standaard.

An estimated 500 people belong to the church of Scientology in Belgium. The organization's European headquarters are located in Brussels.
Belgium is not the only European country in which Scientology has faced criticism and legal action.
Scientology came under fire in France in 2009 when it was convicted of fraud for "[pressuring] members into paying large sums for questionable remedies," according to the Associated Press. That conviction was upheld in a French appeals court in February 2012.

Psychobiological DID/MPD evidence, Pediatric dentist facing child porn possession charges, Victims of child pornography seek restitution from men who downloaded and traded horrific images, Paedophiles behind a face of respectability

- Prosecutor: Pediatric dentist facing child porn possession charges
- Victims of child pornography seek restitution from men who downloaded and traded horrific images
- Dissociative Identity States "DID does not have a sociocultural (e.g., iatrogenic) origin"
-  Psychobiological characteristics of dissociative identity disorder: a symptom provocation study.
- One Brain, Two Selves.
- Paedophiles behind a face of respectability

Prosecutor: Pediatric dentist facing child porn possession charges

By Laura Ly and Rande Iaboni, CNN
Thu December 27, 2012

(CNN) -- A pediatric dentist charged with possession and distribution of child pornography can still treat children at his Framingham, Massachusetts, dental office under a judge's ruling, according to a news release from the Middlesex district attorney's office.

Melvin A. Ehrlich, 52, was arraigned Thursday in Framingham District Court on three counts of possession of child pornography and two counts of distribution of child pornography, according to the release.

Ehrlich, who was arrested Wednesday, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment, according to Stephanie Chelf Guyotte, spokeswoman for the district attorney's office.

"While the case remains under development and investigation, there is currently no evidence that presently leads law enforcement to believe that Ehrlich physically abused any children or manufactured any images of child pornography," the news release said....

Authorities immediately launched an investigation that they say revealed Ehrlich had used the laptop "under various user names to download and distribute commercially traded child pornography images," the release said....

Victims of child pornography seek restitution from men who downloaded and traded horrific images
By Jenifer B. McKim Globe Staff December 27, 2012 
The woman, now in her twenties, lives in relative anonymity on the West Coast, but to child pornography collectors worldwide she will always be known as “Vicky,” a little girl raped by her father in a series of videos illegally disseminated online thousands of times during more than a decade.

Now the woman and a small but growing number of other child pornography victims are seeking restitution from those who collected or traded pictures and videos depicting their abuse, filing claims for damages against convicted child pornographers in Massachusetts and around the country. In court papers, victims describe living with the knowledge that their images can never be cleansed from the Internet.

“Many people somewhere are watching the most terrifying moments of my life and taking grotesque pleasure in them,” the woman said in court statement provided by her Seattle attorney, Carol Hepburn. “They are being entertained by my shame and pain.”

Since 2008, six federal child pornography cases in Massachusetts have resulted in defendants being ordered to pay restitution, according to the US attorney’s office in Boston.

The amounts range between $2,000 and $2.5 million, and more than a dozen local cases are pending as courts across the country grapple with questions about whether victims deserve restitution and, if so, how much.

The recent restitution efforts come as the scourge of child pornography has accelerated during the last decade, aided by improved technology and the Web’s promise of anonymity.

While most sexually exploited children go unidentified, nearly 5,000 nationwide have been located during the last 10 years by law enforcement officials and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

The Virginia nonprofit manages a database to aid prosecutors and help identify exploited children.... 

Dissociative Identity States. Reinders AATS, Willemsen ATM, Vos HPJ, den Boer JA, Nijenhuis ERS (2012) PLoS ONE 7(6): e39279. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.003927

Methodology/Principal Findings

DID patients, high fantasy prone and low fantasy prone controls were studied in two different types of identity states (neutral and trauma-related) in an autobiographical memory script-driven (neutral or trauma-related) imagery paradigm. The controls were instructed to enact the two DID identity states. Twenty-nine subjects participated in the study: 11 patients with DID, 10 high fantasy prone DID simulating controls, and 8 low fantasy prone DID simulating controls. Autonomic and subjective reactions were obtained. Differences in psychophysiological and neural activation patterns were found between the DID patients and both high and low fantasy prone controls. That is, the identity states in DID were not convincingly enacted by DID simulating controls. Thus, important differences regarding regional cerebral bloodflow and psychophysiological responses for different types of identity states in patients with DID were upheld after controlling for DID simulation.


The findings are at odds with the idea that differences among different types of dissociative identity states in DID can be explained by high fantasy proneness, motivated role-enactment, and suggestion. They indicate that DID does not have a sociocultural (e.g., iatrogenic) origin

Psychobiological characteristics of dissociative identity disorder: a symptom provocation study. Reinders AA, Nijenhuis ER, Quak J, Korf J, Haaksma J, Paans AM, Willemsen AT, den Boer JA. Biol Psychiatry. 2006 Oct 1;60(7):730-40.

Dissociative identity disorder (DID) patients function as two or more identities or dissociative identity states (DIS), categorized as 'neutral identity states' (NIS) and 'traumatic identity states' (TIS). NIS inhibit access to traumatic memories thereby enabling daily life functioning. TIS have access and responses to these memories. We tested whether these DIS show different psychobiological reactions to trauma-related memory.

A symptom provocation paradigm with 11 DID patients was used in a two-by-two factorial design setting. Both NIS and TIS were exposed to a neutral and a trauma-related memory script. Three psychobiological parameters were tested: subjective ratings (emotional and sensori-motor), cardiovascular responses (heart rate, blood pressure, heart rate variability) and regional cerebral blood flow as determined with H(2)(15)O positron emission tomography.

Psychobiological differences were found for the different DIS. Subjective and cardiovascular reactions revealed significant main and interactions effects. Regional cerebral blood flow data revealed different neural networks to be associated with different processing of the neutral and trauma-related memory script by NIS and TIS.

Patients with DID encompass at least two different DIS. These identities involve different subjective reactions, cardiovascular responses and cerebral activation patterns to a trauma-related memory script.

One Brain, Two Selves.  Reinders AA, Nijenhuis ER, Paans AM, Korf J, Willemsen AT, den Boer JA. Neuroimage. 2003 Dec;20(4):2119-25.

ABSTRACT:  Having a sense of self is an explicit and high-level functional specialization of the human brain. The anatomical localization of self-awareness and the brain mechanisms involved in consciousness were investigated by functional neuroimaging different emotional mental states of core consciousness in patients with Multiple Personality Disorder (i.e., Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)). We demonstrate specific changes in localized brain activity consistent with their ability to generate at least two distinct mental states of self-awareness, each with its own access to autobiographical trauma-related memory. Our findings reveal the existence of different regional cerebral blood flow patterns for different senses of self. We present evidence for the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) and the posterior associative cortices to have an integral role in conscious experience.

Paedophiles behind a face of respectability
By Tracey Spicer The Daily Telegraph September 21, 2009
A PAEDOPHILE lives in Sydney's East Ryde. He doesn't have a facial tic or a stutter. He doesn't look like the sex offender from central casting. And his name is not Dennis Ferguson.

He is one of tens of thousands of paedophiles, living in the suburbs, who don't walk around with big signs on their foreheads.

In about 90 per cent of child sex abuse cases, the perpetrator is a family member or friend, not some rock spider who abducts kids in the street.

"Offenders look like everybody else," Carol Ronken from Bravehearts, a support group for child sex victims, said....

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Indian teen kills self after pressed to drop rape case

Indian teen kills self after pressed to drop rape case
AFP December 28, 2012

AMRITSAR, India (AFP) - A 17-year-old Indian girl who was gang-raped committed suicide after police pressured her to drop the case and marry one of her attackers, police and a relative said on Thursday.

Amid the ongoing uproar over the gang-rape of a student on a bus in New Delhi earlier this month, the latest case has again shone the spotlight on the police's handling of sex crimes.

One police officer has been sacked and another suspended over their conduct after the assault during the festival of Diwali on November 13 in the Patiala region in the Punjab, according to officials....

The victim's sister told Indian television that the teenager had been urged to either accept a cash settlement or marry one of her attackers.

"The police started pressuring her to either reach a financial settlement with her attackers or marry one of them," her sister told the NDTV network.

Meanwhile, the Press Trust of India reported that a police officer has been suspended for allegedly refusing to register a rape complaint in the northern state of Chhattisgar....

Official figures show that 228,650 of the total 256,329 violent crimes recorded last year in India were against women.

The real figure is thought to be much higher as so many women are reluctant to report attacks to the police.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Inside the 'perversion files' Tracking decades of allegations in the Boy Scouts

Boy Scout files on suspected abuse published by The Times

Viewable online: about 1,200 previously unpublished files kept by the Boy Scouts of America on volunteers and employees expelled for suspected sexual abuse.

By Jessica Naziri and Nell Gram, Los Angeles Times
December 25, 2012

The Times on Tuesday released about 1,200 previously unpublished files kept by the Boy Scouts of America on volunteers and employees expelled for suspected sexual abuse.

The files, which have been redacted of victims' names and other identifying information, were opened from 1985 through 1991. They can be found in a database along with two decades of files released by order of the Oregon Supreme Court in October. The database also contains summary information on about 3,200 additional files opened from 1947 to 2005 that have not been released publicly.

Together, the material in the database represents the most complete accounting of suspected sexual abuse in the Scouts that has been made public. All of the material was obtained as a result of lawsuits against the Scouts by alleged abuse victims or by media organizations. The Boy Scouts kept the files for nearly a century for internal use only, to keep suspected abusers from rejoining.,0,6477648.story

Inside the 'perversion files'
Tracking decades of allegations in the Boy Scouts

This database contains information on about 5,000 men and a handful of women who were expelled from the Boy Scouts of America between 1947 and January 2005 on suspicion of sexual abuse. The dots on the map indicate the location of troops connected in some way to the accused. The timeline below shows the volume of cases opened by year; however, an unknown number of files were purged by the Scouts prior to the early 1990s. Last up­date: Dec. 26, 2012

Monday, December 24, 2012

BBC cleared of coverup in Savile case, But a report faults the British broadcaster's decision to drop a news investigation

BBC cleared of coverup in Jimmy Savile case
But a report faults the British broadcaster's decision to drop a news investigation of pedophilia allegations against the late TV host, as well as ensuing ineptitude.
December 19, 2012 By Henry Chu, Los Angeles Times

LONDON — The BBC did not deliberately cover up sex abuse allegations against one of its most famous hosts in order to go ahead with tribute shows to him after his death, but its decision to drop a news investigation into the accusations was "seriously flawed," a highly anticipated report released Wednesday says....

Pollard, a prominent former television news executive, was commissioned by the BBC to conduct an independent inquiry into why the corporation chose to kill an investigation of Savile by its program "Newsnight" that was on track to be aired in late 2011.

Savile, an eccentric figure who wore tracksuits and long hair, had died a few months earlier after many years as a children's television host at the BBC. Other divisions of the broadcasting corporation were planning lavish holiday tributes to him.

Those tributes went ahead, and the "Newsnight" program was shelved. But this year, a rival network broadcast its own investigation of Savile, who is now suspected by police of having been a predatory pedophile responsible for molesting or raping dozens of young girls, some of them on BBC premises.

Pollard's report, based on interviews and a review of more than 10,000 emails and other documents, concludes that there had not been any undue pressure from senior management to pull the "Newsnight" investigation in order to protect the BBC's reputation or to continue with the tribute shows. "Newsnight" editor Peter Rippon made an honest but wrong assessment that the evidence in the investigation was not strong enough, the report says.

"The 'Newsnight' investigators got the story right," Pollard said. "The decision by their editor to drop the investigation was clearly flawed and the way it was taken was wrong, but I believe it was done in good faith. It was not done to protect the Savile tribute programs."

However, once the accusations surfaced on rival network ITV and questions began to be raised about the aborted "Newsnight" program, the BBC responded with breathtaking incompetence, the report says in a particularly damning finding.

The Jimmy Savile child abuse scandal breaks
28 September: the scandal of Jimmy Savile's child abuse allegations goes public – and the BBC investigates itself
    Shelley Jofre, Panorama reporter
    The Observer, Saturday 22 December 2012

When the story broke that Exposure was going to be doing a story on Jimmy Savile, and that Newsnight had somehow suppressed it, I suggested to my editor, Tom Giles, that we should do something about it. Like any journalist I just wanted to know what on earth had gone on.

The story was moving so quickly we made the film in a week – it normally takes a month. We were unravelling the whole thing on the hoof and managed to gather a huge amount of information about what happened with Savile at the BBC over four decades. From the testimonies, some of the stories seem jawdropping. Our archive producer did an amazing job of unearthing powerful footage of Savile so we saw how overtly sexual he was, groping and leering at women on the programmes we all watched as children.

The most poignant was the group of cub scouts who appeared on Jim'll Fix It. The archive producer located footage of the boy I interviewed anonymously as a grown man. You could see the joy and happiness on his face as a nine-year-old during what should have been one of the biggest moments of his childhood, then he was molested shortly afterwards in Savile's dressing room. He was so ashamed he didn't tell anyone for 40 years....

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Survivorship Webinar - An introduction to Nonviolent Communication (NVC) January 26

Saturday, January 26, 2013
12:00 noon Pacific Time
Presenter: Meganwind Eoyang
"An introduction to Nonviolent Communication (NVC)"
60 minute webinar

Meganwind Eoyang will provide an introduction to Nonviolent Communication (NVC). Nonviolent Communication, developed by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, guides us to reframe how we express ourselves, how we hear others and resolve conflicts. NVC is an empowering self awareness practice that leads us toward a quality of connection among people where everyone’s needs are valued and get met through compassionate giving­out of the joy of contributing to another human being.  

Meganwind Eoyang came to the study of Nonviolent Communication from a very different world. She grew up fighting in gang wars on the south side of Chicago, and then studied and taught martial arts to increase her sense of safety in a dangerous world. Her longing for sweet, deep connection with fellow humans arose after first finding safety and meaning in nature. Taoism, paganism, and later the Native American good red road gathered her Chinese, European, and North American spiritual roots. She was excited to discover that Nonviolent Communication offered clear steps for practicing the compassion, self love, and love for others which these (and other spiritual traditions) invite us to live. She is a collaborative trainer with Bay Area Nonviolent Communication (BayNVC) and heads BayNVC's Safer Communities Project.
For information on joining Survivorship, go to 

Complete details on all our webinars are at

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact

Friday, December 21, 2012

Amicus Support Victim Restitution - Brief Filed in Supreme Court

Amicus Support Victim Restitution - Brief Filed in Supreme Court
By James R. Marsh on December 21, 2012

Today, the National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) moved for leave to file, as amicus curiae, this brief in support of the Marsh Law Firm's recent Petition for a Writ of Certiorari concerning whether the Mandatory Restitution for Sexual Exploitation of Children Statute, 18 U.S.C. § 2259, excuses a defendant from paying restitution for the itemized loss categories unless there is proof that the victim’s losses were the proximate result of an individual defendant’s child pornography crime.

NCVLI is a nonprofit educational and advocacy organization located at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. NCVLI’s mission is to promote balance and fairness in the criminal justice system through crime-victim centered legal advocacy, education, and resource sharing.

NCVLI actively participates as amicus curiae in cases involving victims’ rights nationwide. In particular, NCVLI seeks to highlight the difficulties that children who have been sexually exploited and filmed face in procuring restitution under federal law, and to explain the remedies that Congress crafted to help them over-come these hurdles.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

School abuse victim $23m damages, Savile 450 alleged victims, Epigenetics and Stress

School abuse victim wins $23 million in damages
By Melissa Pamer,

LOS ANGELES -- A former student in Los Angeles was awarded $23 million in damages Tuesday for sexual abuse he endured at the hands of his elementary school teacher.
A Los Angeles Superior Court jury deliberated for less than five hours before finding in favor of the teen. The lawsuit, filed on his behalf in October 2009, concerned abuse by Forrest Stobbe, the boy's fifth-grade teacher at Queen Anne Elementary School in the Mid-Wilshire area.

Stobbe was sentenced to 16 years in prison after pleading no contest to criminal charges in the case in 2011. He had been arrested in 2010, when he was 39....  

Stobbe abused the boy 10 to 15 times in the classroom during the 2008-9 school years, and another five times during the summer of 2009, according to Estey.

Jimmy Savile abuse: Number of alleged victims reaches 450  12 December 2012
Police have confirmed that the number of alleged sex abuse victims of the late Jimmy Savile has reached 450. The Operation Yewtree team said 589 alleged victims have come forward during their investigation of offences committed by Savile and others.
Of the alleged victims, 82% were female and 80% were children or young people.

Meanwhile, police have set up Operation Fairbank to investigate allegations by Labour MP Tom Watson of a paedophile ring in high places. Mr Watson said in October that police should investigate claims of a "powerful paedophile ring" linked to a previous prime minister's "senior adviser" and Parliament.

'Exploited his position'

Savile, who died last year aged 84, was a Radio 1 DJ and the presenter of the Jim'll Fix It show on BBC One.  Operation Yewtree, which launched 10 weeks ago, has a team of 30 officers and has so far cost about £2m.

Police said on Wednesday they have recorded 199 alleged crimes in 17 police force areas against Savile.  They said they had recorded 31 allegations of rape against Savile in seven force areas.

Met Police Commander Peter Spindler, head of Operation Yewtree, said: "Savile's offending peaked in the 70s and what we can show, or will be showing in the New Year, is how he used his position in society across the country - the crimes relate to 17 different police force areas - how he exploited this position to get his sexual gratification."

BBC home affairs correspondent Matt Prodger says the level of allegations against Savile - 450 in total - is unprecedented - never before have police received that number of allegations against a single person. Our correspondent says he believes the police have a total of 20 suspects whom they wish to interview. They have interviewed seven people in total - six of whom were arrested.

Police are looking at three strands within their inquiry - claims against Savile, those against Savile and others, and those against others only....

'I'm staying put': Esther Rantzen claims she will remain child abuse charity patron after claims she ignored warnings over Jimmy Savile
    Rantzen is a patron of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood
    Child abuse campaigner Shy Keenan says she warned Rantzen about paedophile rumours but Rantzen strenuously denies this
    Television presenter faces accusations that she failed to act on information
    ChildLine founder says she cannot remember the incident and denies that Jimmy Savile's name was ever mentioned
    Department of Health launches inquiry about why Savile was appointed to 'taskforce' overseeing management of Broadmoor hospital
    Rantzen said today she would remain as patron of child abuse charity, despite founder claiming trustees would discuss if she was still appropriate

By Anna Edwards, Alex Ward and Larisa Brown
15 October 2012
Esther Rantzen has strenuously denied rumours she is facing the sack as patron of a child abuse charity after she failed to act on allegations that Jimmy Savile molested youngsters....

Jimmy Savile abuse allegations: Timeline
2 November 2012 Allegations of sexual abuse by Sir Jimmy Savile continue to emerge after ITV broadcasts an investigation on 3 October. This timeline charts the presenter's rise to fame, the claims against him and subsequent action by police and broadcasters.

Genes and Immune System Shaped by Childhood Poverty, Stress
Oct. 18, 2012 — A University of British Columbia and Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics (CMMT) study has revealed that childhood poverty, stress as an adult, and demographics such as age, sex and ethnicity, all leave an imprint on a person's genes. And, that this imprint could play a role in our immune response.

The study was published last week in a special volume of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that looks at how experiences beginning before birth and in the years after can affect the course of a person's life.

Known as epigenetics, or the study of changes in gene expression, this research examined a process called DNA methylation where a chemical molecule is added to DNA and acts like a dimmer on a light bulb switch, turning genes on or off or setting them somewhere in between. Research has shown that a person's life experiences play a role in shaping DNA methylation patterns.

The research team discovered that childhood poverty, but not socioeconomic status as an adult, was correlated with the marks or methylation patterns left on genes.

"We found biological residue of early life poverty," said Michael Kobor, an associate professor of medical genetics at UBC, whose CMMT lab at the Child & Family Research Institute (CFRI) led the research. "This was based on clear evidence that environmental influences correlate with epigenetic patterns."....

L. L. Lam, E. Emberly, H. B. Fraser, S. M. Neumann, E. Chen, G. E. Miller, M. S. Kobor. Factors underlying variable DNA methylation in a human community cohort. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2012; 109 (Supplement_2): 17253 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1121249109

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Bullying by Childhood Peers Leaves a Trace That Can Change the Expression of a Gene Linked to Mood, Officials: 31 people fired in Army daycare scandal

Bullying by Childhood Peers Leaves a Trace That Can Change the Expression of a Gene Linked to Mood

Dec. 18, 2012 — A recent study by a researcher at the Centre for Studies on Human Stress (CSHS) at the Hôpital Louis-H. Lafontaine and professor at the Université de Montréal suggests that bullying by peers changes the structure surrounding a gene involved in regulating mood, making victims more vulnerable to mental health problems as they age.

The study published in the journal Psychological Medicine seeks to better understand the mechanisms that explain how difficult experiences disrupt our response to stressful situations. "Many people think that our genes are immutable; however this study suggests that environment, even the social environment, can affect their functioning. This is particularly the case for victimization experiences in childhood, which change not only our stress response but also the functioning of genes involved in mood regulation," says Isabelle Ouellet-Morin, lead author of the study.

A previous study by Ouellet-Morin, conducted at the Institute of Psychiatry in London (UK), showed that bullied children secrete less cortisol -- the stress hormone -- but had more problems with social interaction and aggressive behaviour. The present study indicates that the reduction of cortisol, which occurs around the age of 12, is preceded two years earlier by a change in the structure surrounding a gene (SERT) that regulates serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in mood regulation and depression....

Increased serotonin transporter gene (SERT) DNA methylation is associated with bullying victimization and blunted cortisol response to stress in childhood: a longitudinal study of discordant monozygotic twins. Ouellet-Morin, C. C. Y. Wong, A. Danese, C. M. Pariante, A. S. Papadopoulos, J. Mill, L. Arseneault.  Psychological Medicine, 2012; DOI: 10.1017/S0033291712002784

Increased serotonin transporter gene (SERT) DNA methylation is associated with bullying victimization and blunted cortisol response to stress in childhood: a longitudinal study of discordant monozygotic twins

Childhood adverse experiences are known to induce persistent changes in the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis reactivity to stress. However, the mechanisms by which these experiences shape the neuroendocrine response to stress remain unclear.

We tested whether bullying victimization influenced serotonin transporter gene (SERT) DNA methylation using a discordant monozygotic (MZ) twin design. A subsample of 28 MZ twin pairs discordant for bullying victimization, with data on cortisol and DNA methylation, were identified in the Environmental Risk (E-Risk) Longitudinal Twin Study, a nationally representative 1994–1995 cohort of families with twins....

Our study extends findings drawn from animal models, supports the hypothesis that early-life stress modifies DNA methylation at a specific cytosine–phosphate–guanine (CpG) site in the SERT promoter and HPA functioning and suggests that these two systems may be functionally associated. 

Officials: 31 people fired in Army daycare scandal                               
By LOLITA C. BALDOR | Associated Press  12/19/12

WASHINGTON (AP) — At least 31 people were fired from two Army day care centers at Fort Myer, Va., last week after officials scrutinized their backgrounds and found criminal convictions ranging from fourth-degree sexual assault and drug use to other assaults, a defense official said Wednesday....

According to officials, one person was charged with four counts of assault on children and the other was charged with five counts of assault. The alleged actions included hitting, grabbing or pushing the children. In the days after the arrests, the two administrators were dismissed, others were brought in and town hall meetings took place with parents.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Bleach Attack on Advocate for Jewish Victims of Sexual Abuse, Common Forms of Misinformation and Tactics of Disinformation about Psychotherapy for Trauma Originating in Ritual Abuse and Mind Control

Bleach Attack on Advocate for Jewish Victims of Sexual Abuse
A fishmonger hurled bleach at an advocate for victims of sexual abuse. Both are members of Brooklyn's Orthodox Jewish community. By Chana Ya'ar 12/14/2012 

A Williamsburg fishmonger hurled a cup of bleach Tuesday at a rabbi who advocates for victims of sexual abuse. Both are members of Brooklyn's Orthodox Jewish community.

Police have charged 36-year-old Williamsburg resident Meilech Schnitzler, for allegedly throwing the chemical at Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg as he walked near Schnitzler's fish store on Tuesday. For years, Rosenberg has been blogging about sexual abuse in the hareidi-religious Jewish community.

The rabbi's face and eyes were burned by the bleach, and his clothes were ruined as well, according to a police report....

Rosenberg, 62, has told media that in the past, efforts to intimidate him have not been taken seriously by the office of Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes. He also accused Hynes of turning a blind eye to crime in the Brooklyn hareidi-religious community for financial and political gain. The position of district attorney in New York is an elective office.

Tensions are high this week, due to the conviction on Monday of Rabbi Nehemia Weberman, a prominent self-styled “counselor” in New York's hareidi-religious Jewish community. Weberman was convicted on 59 counts of sexual abuse.

However, police said there appeared to be no connection between the attack on Rosenberg and the conviction of Weberman, who had the backing of the community's rabbinical leaders as well as much of the Jewish community both in the United States and abroad.

Common Forms of Misinformation and Tactics of Disinformation about Psychotherapy for Trauma Originating in Ritual Abuse and Mind Control
By Ellen Lacter, Ph.D., December 18, 2012.

This page on my website seeks to expose a number of common forms of misinformation and tactics of disinformation about psychotherapy for trauma originating in ritual abuse and mind control. Disinformation is distinguished from misinformation in that it is intentionally fraudulent.

Misinformation and disinformation about ritual abuse and mind control trauma and psychotherapy to treat such trauma appear in both paper and electronic media, but are particularly abundant on the Internet on websites of individuals and organizations, bookseller reviews, blogs, newsletters, online encyclopedias, social networking sites, and e-group listservs....

Therefore, the Internet serves as something of an unregulated court of public opinion, where, to a large degree, allegedly falsely accused perpetrators of child abuse and their advocates and alleged victims of child abuse and their therapists and advocates, argue about:

(a) whether child abuse is in itself traumatic
(b) the existence of ritual abuse and mind control
(c) the validity of recovered memories of abuse
(d) the validity of dissociative disorders, especially DID
(e) the practice of psychotherapy in relation to all of the above

All of this occurs with no rules of order, no penalties for perjury, and an uneven playing field that causes psychotherapists and psychology researchers to have to pull their punches.

I believe that this fight is being waged, in great part, to prevent child abuse survivors, especially survivors of ritual abuse and mind control, from receiving the help and support that they need to heal from their abuse, from receiving any sense of validation about their abuse, from recalling any dissociated parts of their abuse, from reporting their abusers to the authorities, from suing their abusers, from activism against child abuse, ritual abuse, and mind control, and in some cases, from even breaking away from their abusers.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Report of ’80s Sexual Abuse Rattles Yeshiva Campus

Report of ’80s Sexual Abuse Rattles Yeshiva Campus

December 13, 2012

A tall, imposing rabbi with a black goatee who served as assistant principal and principal during his 27 years at Yeshiva University High School for Boys, George B. Finkelstein was the face of authority to Mordechai Twersky, who graduated in 1981.

So when Rabbi Finkelstein asked Mr. Twersky to “hit him hard” during a meeting in his office in 1980, Mr. Twersky said in an interview on Thursday, he was mortified. When Mr. Twersky refused, the rabbi knocked him to the ground and sat on him, goading him to wrestle. He could feel the rabbi’s erection, Mr. Twersky, now 48, said.

Mr. Twersky’s account was published Thursday on the Web site of The Jewish Daily Forward, which also reported that another former student said that in the same year, when he was 16, the Talmud teacher, Rabbi Macy Gordon, visited him in his dormitory room. Rabbi Gordon inspected his genitalia, the student told The Forward. Then he sodomized him with a toothbrush.

Both rabbis have denied engaging in any inappropriate sexual behavior.

Rabbi Gordon’s accuser said his parents had complained to administrators, who promised action but did nothing. Several years later, Mr. Twersky, who said he wrestled with Rabbi Finkelstein twice more, also raised concerns with administrators, and several other students also complained about the rabbi’s wrestling. Yet administrators of Yeshiva University, the prestigious Modern Orthodox institution in Washington Heights that runs the high school, allowed each man to simply leave.

The university president from 1976 to 2003, Norman Lamm, who is now its chancellor, told The Forward that he never notified the police....

On Thursday, as the news spread across the campus shared by the university and the high school, Rabbi Hershel Schachter, 71, said he knew of another staff member who was dismissed for inappropriate behavior with students around the same time. He also said he once knew a university student who said Rabbi Finkelstein had touched him inappropriately, but was afraid to speak out.

Mr. Twersky, now a journalist in Jerusalem, says he threatened to sue in 2000 unless Dr. Lamm publicly apologized or offered compensation, but was rebuffed. A Yeshiva official had said Rabbi Finkelstein’s “condition” would be treated, but nobody at Yeshiva reached out to victims, Mr. Twersky said.

“It dawned upon me that I had not merely been wrestled with and violated, but knowingly abandoned by the high school leadership,” he said Thursday.

That approach was not unusual for the time; an article in The New York Times Magazine in June described how teachers of the prestigious Horace Mann School in the Riverdale section of the Bronx had behaved inappropriately with students around the same era. By the late 1980s, several high-profile cases involving schools and youth organizations had begun to raise awareness of sexual abuse, said David Finkelhor, director of the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Pair jailed over witches' coven 'ritualistic' sex abuse, Abuse in 'devil church'

Pair jailed over witches' coven 'ritualistic' sex abuse
Ryan Hooper  Friday 14 December 2012

Two men accused of being part of a paedophile ring involving murdered “witch” Peter Solheim have been given lengthy jail sentences for their part in “ritualistic, sickening” sex abuse of young girls.

Jack Kemp and Peter Petrauske spent years tormenting their female victims, one said to be as young as three. Both men had denied any involvement in the abuse, claiming they were victims of a witch hunt or conspiracy.

But a jury at Truro Crown Court dismissed their protestations, convicting the pair of a string of offences dating back to the 1970s, as well as finding Kemp guilty of several more recent sexual assaults unconnected to Petrauske.

Jailing Kemp for 14 years and Petrauske for 18, Judge Graham Cottle told them: "The offences range from the extremely serious to the truly horrifying.

"You are two of the surviving members of a paedophile ring, together with others whose names have repeated frequently in this trial who were members of a ring that operated in Falmouth (Cornwall) in the 1970s and 1980s....

"It (the trial) has featured ritualistic, sickening abuse of young, young children. The scars left on (two victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons) are so obvious that it would seem extremely unlikely that either of them have any real prospect of recovery....

Petrauske was convicted of rape, aiding and abetting an attempted rape, and indecent assault. Judge Cottle sentenced him to 18 years in prison.

Kemp was guilty of 10 sexual offences including indecent assault and indecency with a child, and was handed a 14-year term.

Both men were given a discount because of their age, the judge telling Petrauske he was likely to die in prison.

Petrauske was said to be the "high priest" of a witches' coven in St Ives, Cornwall, and ordered the girls to carry out his sick fantasies. The court heard Kemp videoed the abuse, but also took part in the assaults, along with friends Solheim and Stan Pirie - a notorious paedophile who died in jail following his conviction for sex abuse in the mid-2000s.

The duo's victims gave harrowing evidence from behind a screen during the three-week trial. They said they were then abused by their tormentors, before being given money and sweets to buy their silence.

The abuse was only investigated further by police last year when Kemp was arrested in connection with another incident, causing rumours to spread around his home town of Falmouth and prompting the alleged victims of the historic offences to contact detectives.

Speaking after the case, Detective Constable Rick Milburn praised the bravery of the pair's victims, adding: "It was truly horrific abuse, the worst my officers and myself have ever seen. It was truly distressing for everyone involved....

"I have no doubt Kemp and Petrauske were key players (in child sex abuse in Cornwall)."

Prosecutor Jason Beal said some of the assaults took the form of rituals with the young girls' wrists tied.

Mr Beal said: "(One victim) was taken to a house where pagans were present, Jack Kemp was present and 'German Pete' (Petrauske) was also there....

When Petrauske was arrested last year, detectives discovered daggers, sheets, candles and a mask, the court heard. He immediately mentioned the names Kemp and - in a dramatic twist in the case - Solheim.

The latter was a 56-year-old parish councillor whose body was found five miles off the Lizard Peninsula, Cornwall, by fishermen on June 18, 2004. He had been drugged and mutilated by a machete or an axe....

But counsel for the defendants told the jury that Petrauske and Kemp played no part in the abuse....

Girl 'was abused in churchyard' STEPHEN WARD
Tuesday 08 June 1993

A COURT at the Old Bailey was told yesterday that a young girl was taken to a churchyard each Hallowe'en by three men, then sexually abused in front of a group of adults who wore black cloaks and balaclavas, writes Stephen Ward.

The girl, now 11, is one of seven children who were allegedly victims of sexual and physical abuse by a man aged 67, his daughter, 29, and his two sons- in-law, aged 41 and 31. The offences span 1978 to 1989. The defendants deny 28 specimen charges.

The court was told that all the defendants and all the victims are related. None can be identified to protect the children.
The rector of St Mary's church, Northolt, west London, is to testify that over 10 years witchcraft has taken place in the church at Hallowe'en.

Girl, 10, tells of sexual abuse in 'devil church': Child accuses relatives in video shown to jury
Wednesday 09 June 1993
A VIDEO in which a 10-year-old girl wept as she told of being sexually abused in a church by her father and grandfather was shown to a court at the Old Bailey yesterday.

The one-and-a-half hour interview was conducted by a policewoman in the presence of the girl's foster mother and a social worker last autumn. The girl also described a catalogue of abuse at the hands of her uncle and other adults.

The father, 41, grandfather, 61, another uncle, 31, and an aunt, 29, variously deny 28 specimen charges against seven children, including rape, buggery, indecent assault and cruelty.

The girl, now 11, described her father as 'horrible' and said he frequently beat her. She said he started sexually abusing her when she was three and having full sex with her when she was five.

She described being taken late at night by her father and others to a 'devil church' where she was stripped, tied up, had knives held in front of her face and was abused by adults in black cloaks and balaclavas....

Linda Stern QC, for the prosecution, has told the jurors they will hear from the rector of St Mary's Church, Northolt, west London, who had noticed 'unpleasant practices connected with witchcraft' had taken place at Hallowe'en 'in various parts of the church'.

Once the taped interview was over, the girl was cross-examined through a live video link running between the court and a private room in the Old Bailey. She said other children were at the church - four or five, along with 20 adults. She denied that she had made up details of the church from watching horror videos.

Mrs Stern has alleged that the defendants made the children watch obscene tapes. Several of the children described seeing 'rude' videos.

She said that as well as being sexually abused, the children were physically neglected and were kept silent through fear and threats.

They were cowed into submission, and 'sexual abuse and neglect of their other needs was the only way of life they knew'.

Four people in one family are jailed for child sex
DAVID TAYLOR Wednesday 30 June 1993
FOUR MEMBERS of the same family were jailed at the Old Bailey yesterday for sexually abusing seven children over an 11-year period, writes David Taylor.
A father, aged 41, who was found guilty of 16 charges of rape, indecent assault, buggery, cruelty and indecency, was jailed for life with an order that he serve a minimum of 12 years. He was said to have 'behaved like a monster'.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Cornish 'white witches' guilty of ritual sex abuse on girls, Prosecutor: Man raped, abused 13 infants, children and videotaped attacks, Boy Scout Child Sex Abuse Files Must Be Surrendered, Court Says

Cornish 'white witches' guilty of ritual sex abuse on girls
Police say children as young as three may have been involved in coven's ceremonies
   Steven Morris, Friday 14 December 2012 
Two members of a Cornish white witch coven have been convicted of carrying out ritualistic sex abuse on young girls.

Peter Petrauske, 72, who claimed to be a high priest, and Jack Kemp, 69, donned robes and carried pagan artefacts when they attended ceremonies during which children were forced to strip and then abused. Police believe children as young as three may have been involved.

The abuse only emerged after Kemp was arrested on an unrelated charge, prompting victims of past offences to come forward.

The pair showed little emotion as they were led from the dock at Truro crown court on Friday. Petrauske, who described himself as the high priest of a white witches' coven in St Ives, was convicted of one count of rape, one count of aiding and abetting an attempt to rape and one count of indecent assault.

Kemp was found guilty of indecent assault and indecency with a child. He was cleared of four other sexual offences. The jury is still considering verdicts on several other sexual offences.

Police launched an investigation last year when Kemp's arrest caused rumours to spread around their home town of Falmouth.

Alleged victims claimed that Kemp, an ex-soldier and tin miner, and Petrauske, a former member of the merchant navy, had taken part in rituals during which children as young as three were plied with alcohol, forced to strip in front of men wearing white robes and abused. They were given money and sweets to buy their silence and were too frightened to report what had happened, it was claimed.

Prosecutor Jason Beal said children's wrists were tied and some reported having hot wax poured over their bodies; one said a dagger had been drawn over her body.

Beal said the duo "used the cloak of paganism" to commit the offences against children, arguing they were not pagans but child abusers.

One woman told how, at the age of five, she and other children attended a ritual at a stone circle with a fire in the centre. Petrauske and Kemp were among the men there, wearing "gown things" and necklaces, she said....

The woman, who cannot be named, also said she was raped by another man, a former parish councillor called Peter Solheim who was associated with witchcraft in Cornwall.

Solheim's body was found by fishermen five miles off the Lizard Peninsula in 2004. He had been drugged and mutilated with a machete or an axe.

The woman told the Truro jury that she was bound and raped by Solheim when she was nine on a bed fitted with chains and a black whip with "star things on the ends".

In the witness box Petrauske – also known as German Pete – said he had been a pagan for 55 years and had an altar in his bedroom. He accepted he had a dagger and whip but insisted they were all for ceremonial purposes only. He said he had no doubt the victims who gave evidence had been abused by men in robes but said he was not involved....

The pair had denied all the offences, which date back to the 1970s. 

Prosecutor: Man raped, abused 13 infants, children and videotaped attacks

John Burbine, 49, of Wakefield, Mass., is accused of sexually abusing more than a dozen young children.
By NBC News staff 6 Dec 2012

A Massachusetts man raped and sexually abused more than a dozen young children in their homes and videotaped the assaults, a prosecutor said Thursday.

The purported victims were as young as 8 days old, Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone said....

John Burbine, 49, of Wakefield, was indicted Thursday by a Middlesex grand jury on more than 100 counts of child sex offenses. He gained access to many of the children through a child care service operated by his wife, Leone said at a news conference Thursday.

According to authorities, Burbine and his wife advertised child care and tutoring services on various websites including parenting websites and coupon service websites. They also transported children to another family’s home for day care and ran a summer activities program in which they took children to various places, prosecutors said.

Burbine raped and sexually assaulted at least 13 infants and young boys and girls who were in his care from August 2010 through August 2012, according to the indictment. Many of the children were abused multiple times over several months or years, the charges allege.

The victims ranged in age from 8 days to 3½ years old and are from Stoneham, Medford, Newton, Reading, Melrose, Woburn and Waltham, prosecutors said.

Investigators said they found images and videos on Burbine’s home computer of the victims “posed in various states of nudity and engaged in sexual acts” “It is alleged the defendant videotape recorded the assaults on the victims,” the prosecutor’s office said.

“He committed these unspeakable crimes in the victims’ homes and communities. Further, the defendant filmed the repeated, unthinkable abuse,” Leone said. “The defendant gained access and opportunity to abuse young children through advertising child care services with his wife, who operated a tutoring and child care business, which was not licensed. Children are our most vulnerable victims and we will continue to prosecute to the fullest extent those who harm or exploit them.”

Burbine’s wife, Marian Burbine, 46, of Wakefield, has been indicted on charges of reckless endangerment of a child and operating an unlicensed day care business. Prosecutors said she was not present during the alleged rapes and did not know about them....

Boy Scout Child Sex Abuse Files Must Be Surrendered, Court Says
12/13/12 AP

LOS ANGELES -- A California appellate court has upheld a Santa Barbara judge's order saying the Boy Scouts of America must surrender decades of confidential files detailing alleged child sex abuse.

A lawsuit alleges that a local Scouts official tried to keep a boy's mother from reporting his 2007 abuse by a volunteer leader to police.

The youth group denies the allegations.

"The BSA believes confidentiality of the files helps to encourage prompt reporting," spokesman Deron Smith told the Times.

Lawyers for the former Scout who was sexually abused by a volunteer leader in 2007 say the files they seek will expose a culture of hidden sexual abuse....

In January, a Santa Barbara judge ordered all files since 1991 be turned over to the boy's lawyers, but not the public. The Boy Scouts filed an appeal in April.

The order involves different files than the more than 1,200 made public in October by order of the Oregon Supreme Court. Those files ranged from 1965 to 1985.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

25 celebs probed by Savile cops, Child Abuse Drops Fifth Straight Year

25 celebs probed by Savile cops
At least six more high profile figures 'to be arrested in coming weeks' 10th December 2012

SAVILE cops are investigating claims of alleged sex offences against a staggering 25 celebrities.

The high-profile names are said to be mostly television and radio entertainers, with at least six expected to be arrested in the coming weeks.

They are named in a list of tip-offs to Operation Yewtree – the police inquiry set up in the wake of the Jimmy Savile sex abuse revelations.A source said: “They all tend to be white men of the Savile generation”.

The 25 celebrities are understood to have been named in phone calls to the police or to charities.Some victims will not be identified or press charges, making it difficult for the police to proceed. But cops believe there is enough evidence for at least a dozen celebrities to be detained....

About 450 potential victims have come forward since inquiry began two months ago, Scotland Yard said....

Child Abuse Drops for Fifth Straight Year
By DAVID CRARY AP National Writer
NEW YORK December 12, 2012 (AP)

Reports of child abuse and neglect have dropped nationwide for the fifth consecutive year, and abuse-related child fatalities also are at a five-year low, according to new federal statistics.

The latest annual report from the Department of Health and Human Services, released Wednesday, estimates that there were 681,000 cases of child abuse or neglect across the nation in the 2011 fiscal year. That's down from 695,000 in 2010 and from 723,000 in 2007.

"We have made excellent progress over the past five years," said George Sheldon, HHS acting assistant secretary for children and families. "But what this report tells me is that we still have 681,000 children out there who need our help."

The number of abuse-related fatalities was estimated at 1,570 — down from 1,580 in 2010 and from 1,720 in 2007. About fourfifths of those killed were younger than 4, and parents were deemed responsible for nearly four-fifths of the deaths....

Fewer Child Abuse and Neglect Incidents for Fifth Straight Year
December 12, 2012 | ACF Public Affairs
Picture of child hiding behind door with text: Child Abuse and Neglect in DeclineThe number of reported child abuse and neglect incidents has dropped nationwide for the fifth consecutive year, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families (ACF)....

53.6 percent of the abusers were women.
48.4 percent were Caucasian, 20.2 percent were African-American, and 19.2 percent were Hispanic.
80.8 percent of the abusers were the victim’s parent.
Of the children who were reported as maltreatment victims, 11.2 percent were physically or mentally disabled....

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Elmo actor faces sex abuse claim from fourth accuser, Abuses at infamous Florida boys reform school even more widespread, report says, Merzbacher victim: Archdiocese has much to answer for

Elmo actor faces sex abuse claim from fourth accuser
By Courtney Hazlett, TODAY  12/10/12

A fourth man is accusing Kevin Clash, the puppeteer and actor who for many years portrayed "Sesame Street" character Elmo, of sexual abuse.

In a lawsuit filed Monday in Miami, the accuser -- using the name John Doe -- claims that Clash befriended him in late 1995 or early 1996, when Doe was 16 or 17. In 1996, he says, Clash flew him from Miami to New York at Clash's expense. It was during Doe's stay in New York that the abuse allegedly happened.

In a statement, the victim's attorney Jeff Herman said, “According to our lawsuit, Kevin Clash knowingly paid to transport a minor across state lines for the purpose of satisfying his sexual interests."

Herman also represents two other men who've accused Clash of sexual abuse: second accuser Cecil Singleton and the third accuser, who is also using the name John Doe.

Abuses at infamous Florida boys reform school even more widespread, report says
By M. Alex Johnson, NBC News 12/10/12

Scientists have found 19 previously unknown grave shafts on the grounds of a notorious Florida reform school, suggesting that many more boys died there amid brutal conditions than had previously been known, the researchers said Monday.

The Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, which was also known as the Florida State Reform School, closed in June 2011 after state investigators and the U.S. Justice Department's Civil Rights Division confirmed widespread abuse over many decades.

The state attributed its decision to close the school to budgetary reasons. Yet long before then, the institution had been the target of investigations and lawsuits alleging not only physical and mental abuse but also forced labor, rape and even murder of the young charges sent to its care since it opened in 1900.

The prominent writer Roger Dean Kiser, author of "The White House Boys — An American Tragedy," about the horrors he experienced while incarcerated there in the 1950s as a child, has called the school a "concentration camp for little boys."....

They're called the White House Boys because much of the abuse occurred in an 11-room building on the school grounds known as the White House, where former students say they were beaten with leather straps. A group of the former students sued the state in 2010, but the case was dismissed because the statute of limitations had expired....

Documentation of the Boot Hill Cemetary (8JA1860), at the former Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys, Marianna, Florida

Merzbacher victim: Archdiocese has much to answer for

December 6, 2012

Regarding Baltimore Archdiocese Vice-Chancellor Sean Caine's recent letter justifying the church's response to allegations of child sexual abuse, I am glad that in 1993 Maryland's attorney general made it clear that all abuse cases should be reported ("Archdiocese acted responsibly," Dec. 2). So much for the Catholic Church being a moral leader.

When I returned to the archdiocese in 1993 to again report the abuse I had suffered, it was through Fr. William Mannion. At that point I had been in touch with 17 other victims of John Merzbacher.

I was never contacted directly by the diocese. Instead I was sent a message from the diocese through Fr. Mannion: "The diocese is going to contact the police and give them your name only." Eventually I and the other victims reached out to an attorney, who contacted the Baltimore City police. They reported the crimes to the state's attorney's office.

The archdiocese knew full well of my fear of contacting the police on my own after the death threats I had received at gunpoint from Mr. Merzbacher. Nor did the diocese contact any other former Catholic Community Middle School students during this time.

For seven years after the trial of Mr. Merzbacher I wrote repeatedly to Cardinal William Keeler and the superintendent of Catholic Schools asking that Eileen Weisman be removed from her position as principal of the Cathedral School. It was only after I contacted the head of the lay board that action was finally taken to remove Ms. Weisman from her position. It wasn't until seven years after the Merzbacher trial that she was forced to resign, and not only did the diocese allow her to retire but stood by while the parents at the school collected money to dedicate a playground in her name....,0,7429725.story

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Abuse During Childhood Linked to Adult-Onset Asthma in African-American Women

Abuse During Childhood Linked to Adult-Onset Asthma in African-American Women

Dec. 7, 2012 - According to a new study from the Slone Epidemiology Center (SEC) at Boston University, African-American women who reported suffering abuse before age 11 had a greater likelihood of adult-onset asthma compared to women whose childhood and adolescence were free of abuse.

The study, which is published online in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, was led by Patricia Coogan, DSc, senior epidemiologist at SEC and associate professor of epidemiology at the Boston University School of Public Health.

This study followed 28,456 African-American women, all of whom are participants in the Black Women's Health Study, between 1995-2011. They completed health questionnaires and provided information on physical and sexual abuse during childhood up to age 11 and adolescence, ages 12-18.

The results indicate that the incidence of adult-onset asthma was increased by more than 20 percent among women who had been abused during childhood. The evidence was stronger for physical abuse than for sexual abuse. There was little indication, however, that abuse during adolescence was associated with the risk of adult-onset asthma.... 

Abuse during childhood and adolescence and risk of adult-onset asthma in African American women
Patricia F. Coogan, ScD, Lauren A. Wise, ScD, George T. O’Connor, MD, Timothy A. Brown, PsyD. Julie R. Palmer, ScD, Lynn Rosenberg, ScD

....In this large cohort of African American women, there was a positive association between adult-onset asthma and childhood physical abuse and weaker associations for childhood sexual abuse and any abuse during adolescence.

Friday, December 7, 2012

'White witch coven' took part ritualistic sex abuse of young girls, court told

'White witch coven' took part ritualistic sex abuse of young girls, court told

Two men deny string of attacks in Cornwall on children as young as three from late 1970s to 2009

Steven Morris and agency, Wednesday 28 November 2012

Members of a "white witch coven" in Cornwall donned ceremonial robes and used daggers in ritualistic sex abuse of young girls, a court has heard.

Peter Petrauske, 72, who allegedly told police he was high priest of the coven, and Jack Kemp, 69, were said to have been involved in criminal "pagan ceremonies" over a 30-year period.

Children were plied with alcohol before being made to undress in front of a crowd of men wearing robes, it was claimed.

The alleged victims, the youngest of whom aged three to five, were then abused by their tormentors before being given money and sweets to buy their silence, Truro crown court was told.

When Petrauske was arrested last year, detectives discovered daggers, candles, incense and lavender at his home, the court heard.

The men, both from Falmouth, deny a string of charges relating to the abuse of children from the late 1970s to 2009. Petrauske also denies one charge of rape....

Jason Beal, prosecuting, said some of the assaults took the form of rituals with the young girls' wrists tied. He said a dagger had been involved and wax poured onto the bodies, according to testimony from some of the victims.

One witness had told police that Petrauske claimed to be involved in a coven of white witches. Beal said: "She was taken to a house where pagans were present. Jack Kemp was present and 'German Pete' [Petrauske] was also there. She was given alcohol, told to dance and take her clothes off.".... 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

CIA Accused of Coverup in Military Scientist’s 1953 Fatal Fall, Bipartisan Legislation to Help Train Child Protection Professionals to Detect and Prevent Child Abuse

CIA Accused of Coverup in Military Scientist’s 1953 Fatal Fall
By Tom Schoenberg Bloomberg News
Thursday, November 29, 2012

CIA employees murdered military scientist Frank Olson in 1953 after he raised concerns about testing chemical and biological weapons on human subjects without their consent, according to a lawsuit brought by his two sons.

Eric and Nils Olson, in a complaint filed Wednesday against the United States in Washington, said the agency has covered up the cause of their father’s death for 59 years. Frank Olson, who the CIA admitted was given LSD a few days before his death, didn’t jump from a 13th-floor window of the Statler Hotel in New York City, but rather was pushed, they claim.

Assassination manual

“The circumstances surrounding the death mirrored those detailed in an assassination manual that, upon information and belief, the CIA had drafted that same year,” Scott Gilbert, a lawyer for the Olsons, wrote in the complaint.

Olson’s family has tried to piece together how Frank Olson died and the circumstances surrounding his death ever since a 1975 government report on CIA activities in the U.S. said that he committed suicide after being given LSD without his knowledge.

The family’s lawsuit includes one claim of negligent supervision by the agency and requests that damages be decided at trial.

CIA spokesman Preston Golson said in an emailed statement that the agency doesn’t comment on pending court cases. He said that the agency’s covert behavioral research program known as MK-ULTRA was investigated in 1975 by the Rockefeller Commission and the Church Committee, and in 1977 by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Senate Subcommittee on Health and Scientific Research.

“Without commenting on this specific legal matter, CIA activities related to MK-ULTRA have been thoroughly investigated over the years, and the agency cooperated with each of those investigations,” Golson said. “In addition, tens of thousands of pages related to the program have been declassified and released to the public.”

Olson’s sons said in the suit they have asked repeatedly “to be told the truth” about their father’s death and “each time, the government has responded with falsehoods.”....

Klobuchar, Franken, Walz, McCollum Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Help Train Child Protection Professionals to Detect and Prevent Child Abuse

An estimated 695,000 children were victims of child abuse in 2010, and yet studies indicate that many child protection professionals such as teachers, doctors, and prosecutors are not adequately trained to identify and respond to abuse
Tuesday, December 4, 2012

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken and Representatives Tim Walz and Betty McCollum today introduced bipartisan legislation to help train child protection professionals to detect and prevent child abuse. The bill would create regional training centers - including the National Child Protection Training Center in Winona, MN - that would create new curricula for undergraduates and graduates in fields where they will most likely be involved in identifying and reporting cases of abuse. The legislation also increases coordination between federal, state and local officials in creating best practices for the training of child protection professionals. Senator Klobuchar authored the legislation in the Senate and Representative Walz introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives....

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, an estimated 695,000 children were victims of child abuse in 2010. Yet studies indicate that those in the best position to identify and respond to child abuse - such as teachers, doctors, and prosecutors - are often not adequately trained to do so. For example, a 2001 survey of teachers found that 74% received minimal training on child abuse while earning their degrees and 58% had minimal training on the job....

Monday, December 3, 2012

Richmond homemaker was innocent victim of CIA brainwashing experiments, Boy Scouts' opposition to background checks let pedophiles in

Richmond homemaker was innocent victim of CIA brainwashing experiments

By Kent Spencer, The Province December 2, 2012

Fifty years ago Richmond homemaker Gina Blasbalg was a victim of physical and psychological torture and unethical experiments. As a teen she was part of a CIA-sponsored program into mind control at the Allan Psychiatric Institute in Montreal. Today, times are happier, but Ralph and Gina Blasbalg still have a favourite bench to sit on at Garry Point Park in Richmond. Gina was an unsuspecting patient in the CIA-sponsored brainwashing program in Montreal, a young Ralph Blasbalg rescued Gina from daily rounds of pills she was being coerced to take. While she was withdrawing from the medication, they had a place they would walk to at night in Montreal. They called it their "crying bench."....

Gina Blasbalg was brainwashed by the CIA. The Richmond homemaker was a victim of physical and psychological torture and unethical experiments.

The “medical misadventure” took place in Canada more than 50 years ago at the Allan Institute in Montreal.

Although traumatized by the experience, her story is one of triumph, and today her life is about giving back to young people....

The Allan Psychiatric Institute has been called a “House of Horrors” for good reason.

The so-called treatment of the teenaged Gina consisted of ingesting twice daily doses of 16 pills, under a nurse’s strict supervision.

The drug types varied widely and often had opposing effects.

In no particular classification, they included uppers and downers, depressants and anti-depressants, tranquillizers, barbiturates and truth serum.

The capsules came in a rainbow of colours: blue and brown, turquoise, yellow and red, azure, salmon, pink and white.

“We had to take our medication. If I didn’t I was told I would be put in the insane asylum,” she says.

The effects left her very weak.

“I was a zombie. I wanted to sleep.”

In additon to the pills there was physical and psychological torture.

She says one the worst things done to her was drug-induced contortions which twisted her muscles into unnatural forms.

“It was extremely painful and traumatizing. They wanted to measure the effect of the contortions so they could add it to their research,” she says.

The nitrous oxide given to her, called laughing gas, was anything but funny.

“I felt like I was spinning forever. I didn’t know if I’d ever come out of it. I dreaded it. I remember thinking, is this what it’s like to die?”

She was also given mind-altering LSD.

“I had a dream that I was flying continuously into a massive sticky spider’s web. I was screaming and somebody held me down.”

After long periods of artificially-prolonged sleep, doctors posed questions while she was hypnotized under a truth serum.

“They were able to penetrate my thoughts.,” says Gina.

She was one of hundreds of unsuspecting patients who never gave their informed consent to be used as guinea pigs.

And there was no way to dispute medical orders. “Welfare patients could not sue doctors,” she says.

She feels fortunate not to have received massive doses of electric shocks to the brain which many received at the Allan.

The CIA and Dr. Strangelove

At the top of the Allan’s chain of command was an enigmatic man called Dr. Ewen Cameron.

He was an imposing, Scottish-born figure who was later dubbed “Dr. Strangelove.”

“The chief,” as he was known, had made his mark as a member of a select team which studied Nazi leader Rudolph Hess in Germany after the Second World War.

He was a giant of international medicine who was the first president of the World Psychiatric Association.

Cameron wanted to delve into the inner depths of the human psyche and receive international acclaim — perhaps a Nobel Prize — for his work.

He thought the mind could be deprogrammed through extra-large doses of electric shock, sensory deprivation, drug concoctions and long periods of induced sleep.

Once the mental slate was wiped clean, he believed that minds could be reprogrammed by playing reassuring taped comments through pillows as patients slept.

The messages — things such as ‘You are a good wife and people appreciate you’ — were played over and over each day for hours at a time, and repeated for weeks on end.

“He wasn’t liked by the patients,” says Gina. “They were terrified of him. They tried to run away. I heard people begging for no more treatments.”

During a climate of fear engendered by the Cold War, the CIA gave him money to find out how to control the human mind.

It took two decades for it to be made public that the CIA and the Canadian government secretly contributed more than $500,000 to the now discredited program.

Cameron’s actions have been widely criticized since news of his work surfaced during the 1980s.

A 1986 Department of Justice report concluded that his therapeutic techniques were a “medical misadventure.”

The report’s author said it was an unjustifiable form of assault on the human brain.

He recommended the government award victims $100,000; 77 people have collected.

Montreal lawyer Alan Stein, who has successfully sued on victims’ behalf, says many patients didn’t qualify for the compensation, Gina among them.

Their records were lost (Gina was told her records couldn’t be found) or they didn’t meet the standard of mistreatment that was set.

Victims had to prove that they had been “put in a childlike state.”

Boy Scouts' opposition to background checks let pedophiles in
Boy Scouts of America fought the trend of adopting criminal background checks for volunteers and staff, unknowingly allowing convicted child sex offenders to join.

By Jason Felch and Kim Christensen, Los Angeles Times

December 2, 2012

Amid reports of widespread sexual abuse of children in the late 1980s, several leading youth organizations began conducting criminal background checks of volunteers and staff members.

Big Brothers Big Sisters ordered the checks for all volunteers starting in 1986. Boys and Girls Clubs of America recommended their use the same year.

One of the nation's oldest and largest youth groups, however, was opposed — the Boy Scouts of America....

Scouting officials argued that background checks would cost too much, scare away volunteers and provide a false sense of security. They successfully lobbied to kill state legislation that would have mandated FBI fingerprint screening.

While touting their efforts to protect children, the Scouts for years resisted one of the most basic tools for preventing abuse. The result: The organization let in hundreds of men with criminal histories of child molestation, many of whom went on to abuse more children, according to a Times analysis of the Scouts' confidential abuse files.

Scouting did not require criminal background checks for all volunteers until 2008 — despite calls from parents and staff who said its vetting system didn't work.

In 1989, a Scout committee chairman in St. Paul, Minn., decried the organization's "half-hearted" screening in a letter to headquarters.

"BSA is only creating an illusion of performing what they claim," K. Russell Sias wrote to Scout Chief Executive Ben Love. "It becomes quite clear that BSA is more concerned in 'passing the buck' than in accepting responsibility for those who are its adult leaders."

That same year, a Las Vegas scoutmaster with a criminal history of exposing himself to boys was arrested for sexually abusing a 12-year-old Scout. One parent said casinos did a better job of screening workers.

"The black eye which scouting has suffered in this … could easily have been avoided if the council had taken the simple expedient of doing a background investigation," the parent wrote to Scouting officials.

From the time national background checks became widely available in 1985 until 1991 — when the detailed files obtained by The Times end — the Boy Scouts admitted more than 230 men with previous arrests or convictions for sex crimes against children, the analysis found.

The men were accused of molesting nearly 400 boys while in Scouting. They accounted for one in six of those expelled for alleged abuse during those years.

Scouting officials declined to be interviewed but said in a prepared statement that they have enhanced their policies over the years and tried "to ensure we are in line with and, where possible, ahead of society's knowledge of abuse and best practices for prevention.",0,3619516.story

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Evaluation of the Evidence for the Trauma and Fantasy Models of Dissociation

Evaluation of the Evidence for the Trauma and Fantasy Models of Dissociation

"there is strong empirical support for the hypothesis that trauma causes dissociation, and that dissociation remains related to trauma history when fantasy proneness is controlled. We find little support for the hypothesis that the dissociation–trauma relationship is due to fantasy proneness or confabulated memories of trauma."

Constance J. Dalenberg, Bethany L. Brand, David H. Gleaves, Martin J. Dorahy, Richard J. Loewenstein, Etzel Cardeña, Paul A. Frewen, Eve B. Carlson, and David Spiegel Psychological Bulletin Online First Publication, March 12, 2012. doi: 10.1037/a0027447

The relationship between a reported history of trauma and dissociative symptoms has been explained in 2 conflicting ways. Pathological dissociation has been conceptualized as a response to antecedent traumatic stress and/or severe psychological adversity. Others have proposed that dissociation makes individuals prone to fantasy, thereby engendering confabulated memories of trauma. We examine data related to a series of 8 contrasting predictions based on the trauma model and the fantasy model of dissociation. In keeping with the trauma model, the relationship between trauma and dissociation was consistent and moderate in strength, and remained significant when objective measures of trauma were used. Dissociation was temporally related to trauma and trauma treatment, and was predictive of trauma history when fantasy proneness was controlled. Dissociation was not reliably associated with suggestibility, nor was there evidence for the fantasy model prediction of greater inaccuracy of recovered memory. Instead, dissociation was positively related to a history of trauma memory recovery and negatively related to the more general measures of narrative cohesion. Research also supports the trauma theory of dissociation as a regulatory response to fear or other extreme emotion with measurable biological correlates. We conclude, on the basis of evidence related to these 8 predictions, that there is strong empirical support for the hypothesis that trauma causes dissociation, and that dissociation remains related to trauma history when fantasy proneness is controlled. We find little support for the hypothesis that the dissociation–trauma relationship is due to fantasy proneness or confabulated memories of trauma.

Survivorship Ritual Abuse and Child Abuse 2013 Conference - Survivors Moving Forward

Survivorship Ritual Abuse and Child Abuse 2013 Conference - Survivors Moving Forward

Two days of survivor and professional workshops, a safe room, great price, good food, safe environment, a chance to mingle with others who share your experience, join together in this unique opportunity to bring the movement forward...

On May 4 - 5, 2013
Survivorship will hold a conference at
Executive Inn & Suite
1755 Embarcadero
Oakland, CA 94606


Survivorship is one of the oldest and most respected organizations supporting survivors of extreme child abuse, including sadistic sexual abuse, ritualistic abuse, mind control, and torture.

Survivorship provides resources, healing, and Survivorship community for survivors; training and education for professionals who may serve survivors; and support for survivors' partners and other allies. The organization functions as a lifeline for survivors who may be isolated emotionally or geographically. Through community outreach and training, Survivorship also raises awareness about these difficult issues.

The purpose of the conference will be to help survivors of ritual abuse and their allies. The conference will be for survivors, cosurvivors, helping professionals and others interested in this topic.

This year our keynote speaker is Steve Frankel.

Steve Frankel is a Board Certified Clinical and Forensic Psychologist and an Attorney at Law, who practices both professions in San Francisco's East Bay.  A Clinical Prof. of Psychology at USC, he began recognizing childhood trauma in his adult patient case-load in 1980 and has specialized in working with that population ever since.  He joined the Int'l. Society for the Study of Trauma & Dissociation in the 1990s and was the consultant to the Trauma Program at Del Amo Hospital from 1993 until 2001.  He was President of the ISSTD in 2002 and has been active in developing and teaching courses in trauma treatment as well as publishing chapters in books and professional journals in the trauma field.

His presentation is:
"Validation: science is (finally!) catching up to what survivors and clinicians have known for years."

Survivorship 2013 conference application for attendees:

To receive the application form please contact us either by e-mail:
or postal mail:

    Family Justice Center
    470 27th Street
    Oakland, CA 94612 USA

Please wait for acknowledgment from Survivorship before submitting your payment.
Survivorship reserves the right to limit attendance to protect the safety and security of the conference participants.

Cost of conference:

We really want you there, so if you register before January 1, 2013, we will give you a $10 a day discount.
Low income: $100 for both days/$50 for one day
Regular participant: $175 for both days/$100 for one day
Professional participant: $225 for both days/$125 for one day.

Executive Inn & Suite
Hotel rates are $109-$129 a night. Here is how you get the Survivorship rates and rooms:
go to:
go to: book now
enter: arrival and departure date
enter: GR296ZA
click on: check availability
click on: continue
click on: book reservation.

To cosponsor this conference email:

To link directly to this page:

In order to protect the health of conference attendees with environmental illness, please do not wear fragranced products (including "natural" fragrances) or clothes laundered in fragranced products to the Survivorship conference. Thank you.

Our Conference Co-sponsors include deJoly LaBrier, The North American Truth & Reconciliation Coalition (NATRC) and S.M.A.R.T.