Child Abuse - or occult rituals? ROSIE WATERHOUSE traces the events leading to trauma for

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Child Abuse - or occult rituals? ROSIE WATERHOUSE traces the events leading to trauma for Rochdale families Satanic cults: how the hysteria swept Britain FROM: The Independent On Sunday 16-09-90, Page 3 TWO WEEKS before satanic child abuse was "diagnosed" on a Rochdale council housing estate, social workers and a police officer from the area attended a seminar on the subject. At the course in London in March, they and the council director of social services were warned of a nationwide increase in satanic sexual abuse and given literature on the signs and symptoms to watch for. They soon thought they had found them. An investigation by the Independent on Sunday has revealed that the subsequent chain of events is becoming frighteningly familiar in other towns and cities. A pattern has emerged which suggests the Rochdale case will not be the last. Some children undoubtedly suffer sexual abuse. But the suggestion that covens of witches and satanists are luring children in bizarre black-magic rituals, sacrificing babies, drinking their blood and eating them has become a dangerous new phenomenon. Sine the lurid stories first appeared in Britain in 1988, it is possible to trace the spread of what has become an outbreak of hysteria through a network of contacts. Police in Rochdale and other forces which have found themselves dragged into similar investigations are convinced that after being propounded and perpetuated by a core of believers, the satanic child-abuse myth has taken a life of its own, and is out of control. In Rochdale it led, over six months, to 20 children being taken from their families, made wards of court and put into council care. Five have been returned, but remain wards of court. When the council applied to the court for care orders, the allegations included "satanic" sexual abuse. But, last Tuesday, Gordon Little more, Rochdale's director of social services, said: "We are dealing with allegations of emotional abuse, degredation, humiliation and exposure to acts of violence which would not necessarily result in physical injuries." On Thursday, Greater Manchester police said that the case of the last three children, taken into care on 7 September, was still being investigated. But in the case of 17 children, no evidence of satanism or sexual abuse had been found, and there would be no criminal charges. Yet the parents of the 12 children who remain in council care and foster homes have no prospect of getting their children back until January, when the case is expected to be heard. As the Independent on Sunday revealed last month, the satanic child-abuse myth originated in the US in the early 1980s after the publication of a book by a "survivor". Stories spread, largely in Fundamentalist Christian circles, and satanic abuse is accepted as fact by many psychotherapists and police officers. The first British story of satanic abuse appeared in the Colchester Evening Gazette in January 1988 in the form of an interview with "Satan's Cop": Sandi Gallant from San Francisco police department was in England on a conference circuit to issue warnings that in the US satanic cults were sacrificing animals and killing children, and it was likely to happen here. During 1988 a group of loosely connected people began telling newspapers increasingly ghoulish stories about how satanic cults were luring children into the occult and how animals were being sacrificed. Teenage girls, they said, were being used as "brood mares"; they were deliberately impregnated and the foetus was aborted for sacrifice and, in come cases, eaten. The Evangelical Alliance, which represents one million Christians in Britain, set up a committee to investigate. It included those spreading the stories.- Maureen Davies, director of the Reachout Trust based in Rhyl, North Wales, a charity to help people who have been involved with the occult; the Reverend Kevin Logan, a vicar from St Johns Church, Great HArwood, near Blackburn who had written a book, Paganism and the Occult; Doreen Irvine and Audrey HArper, who confessed to being former witches who had survived satanic abuse; Diane Core, founder of a charity called Childwatch, who compiled a dossier of cases. The first suspected cases investigated by social workers and police appeared like a rash late in 1988, in Kent, Nottingham, and Congleton, Cheshire. In Kent, a two year old boy was showing signs of disturbed behaviour. He kept wanting to take his clothes off, would laugh hysterically, and told about strange drinks that made him feel funny. Norma Howes, an independent social worker from Reading, was brought in. She consulted an American expert on child abuse, Pamela Klein, who diagnosed a classic case of satanic abuse. A list of "satanic indicators" was sent by Ms Klein to help social workers. Classic signs and symptoms are said to include an unusual preoccupation with urine and faeces, fear of ghosts and monsters, aggressive play, and the child being "clingy", reciting nursery rhymes with indecent overtones, suffering from nightmares and bed wetting, preoccupation with "passing gas", using mouth to make "gas sounds" and wild laughter when the child or someone else "passes gas". Copies of these satanic indicators were given to social workers in Kent, whose team leader is chairman of the Social Workers' Christian Fellowship. Police found no evidence of satanism. Copies of the satanic indicators were also given to Ray Wyre, who trained to become a baptist minister and who now runs a clinic for sex offenders. He passed a copy to social workers in Nottingham who were investigating an incest case. In November 1988 they concluded that the case involved a satanic ring. Nine adults were later jailed for sex offenses against children and 21 children are still in care. Police found no evidence of satanism. The satanic indicators were passed to social workers in Congleton, Cheshire, who were also dealing with a case of incest. One social worker associated with the Congleton case is the secretary of the Social Workers Christian Fellowship. The Congleton social workers sought advice from their counterparts from Nottingham, Christine Johnson and Judith Dawson, who are widely consulted on satanic abuse. Three key conferences on satanic abuse for social workers, police officers, psychotherapists and other child-care groups, followed in April and September 1989. The first was organised by the Association of Christian Psychiatrists. Norma Howes and Pamela Klein the organised two more conferences, in Reading and at Dundee University. Main speakers included Ms Klein and a Chicago police officer who told how four babies were cooked in a microwave oven (a week later a rumour surfaced that this had happened in Derbyshire, and the NSPCC later reported it had been encountered by a child protection team). At the Reading conference the Nottingham social workers first went public with their claims that their child-abuse case involved a satanic ring. Maureen Davis of Reachout said she knew of 35 cases of satanic abuse. A series of investigations followed: in November 1989 in Trafford, Greater Manchester, where social workers had the list of satanic indicators; also late in 1989 in Manchester, where social workers had attended the Reading conference and received advice from the Reachout Trust and the Mr [Rev] Logan, police were also advised by Judy parry from MAnchester, who was trained by Maureen Davies; in December 1989, in Knottingley near Pontefract in west Yorkshire, where Childwatch campaigner Diane Core passed on literature; in March 1990 in Rochdale, after social workers and a police officer attended a London seminar and received satanic indicators originally circulated by the Reachout Trust. Judy Parry was also consulted by some parents; in June 1990 in Liverpool, where social workers sought advice from the Congleton social workers and police were advised by Maureen Davies the Mr [Rev] Logan and Diane Core; at the end of July 1990 in Strathclyde where social workers attended the Dundee conference and took advice from the Nottingham social workers. In these cases a total of 52 children have been made wards of court, most remain in care, three men face charges including child abuse, but police have found no evidence of satanic abuse. Virtually every British police force has received the satanic indicators. And although they might regard them as absurd, the social services inspectorate has sent similar "memoranda" to every social services department in Britain. One Rochdale policeman involved in the case has a theory: "What I think is happening is there are some cranks among social workers. They are getting wind of these documents and they are trying to tie it up with routine abuse cases. If social workers came to us with allegations of this nature we have to investigate. I don't see how it can be stopped from happening again." * Additional reporting by Adam Sage and Sarah Strickland. *** Uploaded By MagickNet-UK *** +44-223-324997 24Hrs 1200/2400 8N1

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