- When evil visited Orkney: Untold story of ritual child abuse allegations on the island
- Orkney, Ayrshire, Cleveland ... will the authorities ever learn about child sexual abuse cases?
- At the 88th Academy Awards, "Spotlight," the film about the Boston Globe's investigation into priest abuse, won for best picture.
- 'Spotlight' how the Boston Globe covered church sex scandal
- Traumatic memory: memory disturbances and dissociative amnesia
- 110 Corroborated Cases of Recovered Memory
When evil visited Orkney: Untold story of ritual child abuse allegations on the island
February 27th, 2016 Jean Rafferty
TWENTY-FIVE years ago today, on February 27, 1991, a fleet of cars set off in convoy from Kirkwall on the Orkney mainland. It was barely light as they drove across the Churchill Barriers to the island of South Ronaldsay – they wanted to be sure that the children they were going to collect were still at home. From the outcry they incurred later, you’d have thought they were kidnappers holding families to ransom, not police and social workers trying to protect children from one of the most vicious forms of child abuse humans have yet devised – satanic ritual abuse (SRA).
Many people reading this will snort in derision – hasn’t SRA long been discredited? It’s just daft social workers without the wit to know when kids are being over-imaginative? Isn’t it?
A cardinal has fallen, the Catholic Church’s schools and institutions have been revealed as riddled with cruelty and perversion, and family entertainers have been exposed as paedophiles and rapists – and yet we doubt that this form of sexual abuse, which has existed for thousands of years, is still with us.
I first got involved in investigating SRA more than 20 years ago. Before Orkney there was a group of travelling families in Ayrshire whose children started talking about family abuse. One said he and his brothers had been filmed touching adults’ “wuggies and bums”. They were taken into care and there were endless court processes examining the evidence.
A few years earlier there was a kind of consensus among social workers that children didn’t lie about stuff like that. And at first no-one doubted the Ayrshire children. Forensic evidence backed up many of the things they said. One described his aunt crawling up his body and extracting two of his back teeth with a pair of big long scissors. A doctor from Glasgow Children’s Dental Hospital confirmed that the outer enamel of his teeth had come out in a neat, clean break that was “highly unusual” and could have been caused by using an instrument.
But five years after the initial charges had been made the parents were granted leave to petition for nobile officium, the ultimate appeal in Scots law. Evidence which had been accepted for five years was suddenly thrown into question. A new sheriff said the child who’d started the whole process off was a devious, manipulative little boy and should be sent back home – despite admitting that “it is possible that this has been a case of child abuse”....
Such strange behaviour proves nothing, of course, though the fact there was so much of it in children from different accused families might surely have given the authorities pause for thought. Instead, Sheriff David Kelbie sent the children home without testing the evidence in court. This decision was criticised by the Law Society of Scotland and by Lord Clyde in his inquiry into the case, but that fact has been ignored for 25 years, to the extent that even as respected a news outlet as the BBC can report that the parents in Orkney were innocent. Innocent till proven guilty? Yes, but innocent beyond the shadow of a doubt? That, the Orkney parents can never claim....
EVEN those who deny the existence of international satanist networks can hardly pretend that satanist abuse never happens – in 2002 Manuela and Daniel Ruda were convicted by a German court of killing Frank Haagen, carving a pentagram into his stomach and drinking his blood. In 2011 Colin Batley was convicted of leading a satanist cult in the west Wales town of Kidwelly. Among other things he committed 11 separate rapes, three indecent assaults, six counts of buggery and four counts of possessing indecent images of a child.
Over and over again satanist abuse has been proved to exist, so why does so much energy go into denying it?....
I say no too. No to pretending that families always provide ideal homes. No to abusing victims twice, the second time by refusing to believe them. I say no to depriving children of support, to making professionals unable to protect children properly. No to covering up the darker aspects of human nature till we’re absolutely forced to acknowledge them. Do we always have to wait till people are dead before we’re brave enough to expose them?....
Orkney, Ayrshire, Cleveland ... will the authorities ever learn about child sexual abuse cases?
March 1st, 2016 Sarah Nelson
WHY do notorious child sexual abuse cases from decades ago remain important? And why should establishing the truth about them still matter?
Those questions were brought into sharp focus by Jean Rafferty’s powerful, outspoken piece in The National on the Orkney and Ayrshire sexual abuse cases, and on the censorship of open discussion about them (When evil visited Orkney, February 27). It was published on the 25th anniversary of the day nine children, from four middle-class families, were taken into care on South Ronaldsay, Orkney, in 1991. This happened after children from a large, disadvantaged family spoke of an organised sex abuse ring there.
Just like the eight Ayrshire children removed into care in 1990, they were returned home: in Ayrshire, after a judge reversed an earlier judge’s decision, and in Orkney by a sheriff before the evidence was even tested. It never has been tested. In both cases, allegations included sadistic ritual and occult practices against children, allegations much-ridiculed ever since.
The cases remain important, and I believe the evidence now needs to be reassessed, for at least three reasons. First, a stream of shocking failures to protect children from sexual abuse, in the Churches, in care homes, in private home cellars, through sexual exploitation gangs, by media celebrities and the powerful, has recently been exposed and continues to be. This has increased Government and public concern for abused children and commitment to protect them; and has made society less inclined to dismiss forms of abuse they previously found unbelievable.
Secondly, like Rafferty I and others have over 25 years tried to publicise suggestive evidence that children were indeed in danger. Particularly over the Orkney case, we have tried to correct untruths – in print, on the BBC, in documentaries and online – and point up the flaws in the endlessly recycled and invented theories by supporters of accused adults, who allege it was just “satanic panic”. We were repeatedly unsuccessful.
The time is surely overdue to end a silencing and misrepresentation which sees, for example, not a single neutral, factual report of either case anywhere publicly available on the internet. By publishing Rafferty’s article, The National has stood out for its courage and independence.
Thirdly – and I believe most important – the verdicts and the myth-making after these cases have for decades negatively influenced public attitudes, professional child protection behaviour, and child protection law....
Was there suggestive, alarming evidence of organised sexual abuse? Yes, in both Orkney and Ayrshire. And if the assumed outcomes of the Orkney or Ayrshire cases are incorrect, then the future lessons drawn from them – like caution and timidity against sexual abuse, deference and apology to articulate adults – need revising too....
Oscars 2016 updates: All the backstage madness you didn't see and inside the Vanity Fair after party
At the 88th Academy Awards, "Spotlight," the film about the Boston Globe's investigation into priest abuse, won for best picture. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/la-et-oscars-2016-live-updates-88th-academy-awards-20160228-htmlstory.html
Radiant 'Spotlight' illuminates how the Boston Globe covered church sex scandal
This is the saga of how the Boston Globe won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for uncovering not only decades of sexual abuse by Catholic priests but also systematic maneuvers by the church's Boston archdiocese to shield the more than 70 perpetrators. "Spotlight" is mightily impressive not only because of the importance of the story it tells but also because of how much effort and skill went into bringing it to the screen in the best possible way.
Traumatic memory: memory disturbances and dissociative amnesia
The following articles provide compelling scientific evidence in support of the phenomena of dissociation and recovered memory. Included are cases involving survivors of childhood abuse, survivors of the Holocaust, and war veterans.
110 Corroborated Cases of Recovered Memory
Corroborated Cases of Recovered Memory
Child and Ritual Abuse Research https://ritualabuse.us