Analysing Aaronovitch: has the scourge of ‘conspiracists’ become one himself?, The Rochdale and Nottingham cases have revealed widespread sexual abuse of children based on satanic practices. Yet the children are still not believed.

June 18, 2015 Comments Off on Analysing Aaronovitch: has the scourge of ‘conspiracists’ become one himself?, The Rochdale and Nottingham cases have revealed widespread sexual abuse of children based on satanic practices. Yet the children are still not believed.

– Seen But Not Heard
The Rochdale and Nottingham cases have revealed widespread sexual abuse of children based on satanic practices.  Yet the children are still not believed.

– Analysing Aaronovitch: has the scourge of ‘conspiracists’ become one himself?
“There was indeed a cultural revolution during the 1980s: it was not triggered by trans-Atlantic folly but the bodies of children. For a dozen years, Britain had been scalded by about 30 deaths of children due to abuse, and by the evidence of official inquiries. Unnoticed in life, in death they became household names. The pivotal cases for social work in the 1980s were Tyra Henry, Kimberley Carlisle and Jasmine Beckford. These children’s fate alerted health and welfare professionals to what became known as ‘child abuse’. ”

“The mid-80s, then, was the time when British institutions were forced to pay attention to the oppression of children in a new way.  Priests and pagans, teachers, pop stars politicians and parents were sexually abusing children then as now, and weren’t properly investigated.”

– Analysing Aaronovitch: a sceptical narrative
“I made a documentary about the Nottingham case in 1990. This is the Nottingham timeline: in 1987 children were received into care from an extended family with a long history of inter-generational sexual abuse, including criminal convictions.”

Analysing Aaronovitch: a sceptical narrative
Beatrix Campbell 17 June 2015

Prosecution and conviction rates for sexual crime are lamentably low in the UK. If David Aaronovitch cares about ‘genuine abuse’, why isn’t this what worries him more? Part Two.

The first tests of the new era were in the northern county of Cleveland, (my book on this case, Unofficial Secrets, is being updated for electronic publication this year), and in Nottingham.  They combusted over medical signs in Cleveland, and children’s stories of abuse in Nottingham. Actually, these crises were triggered by police resistance to the medical signs and stories, and their reluctance to investigate them….

I made a documentary about the Nottingham case in 1990. This is the Nottingham timeline: in 1987 children were received into care from an extended family with a long history of inter-generational sexual abuse, including criminal convictions. Once safe, these children began talking to their new foster carers about their lives, their parents’ sexual abuse, witch parties and their worries about other children. Their evidence, and the testimony of foster parents and social workers was heard in wardship court proceedings in 1988.

Mrs Justice Booth, in her judgement, described the culture of the abuse as ‘satanic’ – her word. In July 1988 three Appeal Court judges endorsed that conclusion and Sir Stephen Brown, in an unusual public judgement, reported in the press on 19 July 1988, said that children ‘had been subjected to gross sexual abuse at the hands of adults, sometimes at parties, where full intercourse had taken place in the presence of a number of adults and other children’….

In 1989 ten adults were convicted on the basis of evidence that children were being ‘sadistically abused and tortured and being forced to watch other children suffering in a similar way.’ They were forced to eat excrement and drink urine, watch other children forced into sexual intercourse ‘over a prolonged period and in an organised manner’. These words are taken from the Director of Social Services report on the case – and the controversy – to Nottinghamshire County Council  on 7 November 1990.

It wasn’t social workers or foster carers who decided that there was ‘satanic’ abuse, it was the judges in 1988….

The Director’s report followed my Channel 4 Dispatches documentary on the Nottingham case in October 1990; it scrutinised the JET report and interviewed the academic John Newson who gave JET its line on fantasy, confabulation, and staff brainwashing children. However, when I asked whether he had actually talked to the foster carers or social workers, he admitted that he had not. Unlike Aaronovitch, Waterhouse or Nathan, my documentary interviewed social workers, and foster carers. I also interviewed adults in the family who had been convicted and who corroborated the children’s evidence.

The 7 November 1990  report by the Director of Social Services was the last official word: it rejected the JET report and explained the social workers view of the abuse the children had endured: ’we cannot say’ whether ritual events were ‘true’ or whether children ‘were deliberately misled into believing they had happened’. The Director agreed with the workers directly involved  that ‘the significance of ritual overtones is not necessarily linked to a belief system but that it provided a mechanism for manipulating vulnerable children.’ His report accepted the social workers’ definition of ritual abuse as activities and symbols ‘used to frighten, intimidate and confuse the children.’….

There are corroborated cases. More recently clinicians, most famously Bessel van der Kolk in the US, have studied the neurology of trauma and amnesia among survivors of sexual abuse. The eminent Harvard therapist Judith Lewis Herman writes, ‘On the one hand, traumatised people remember too much; on the other hand, they remember too little.’  For Herman, ‘The conflict between knowing and not knowing, speech and silence, remembering and forgetting, is the central dialectic of psychological trauma’….
https://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/beatrix-campbell/analysing-aaronovitch

Analysing Aaronovitch: has the scourge of ‘conspiracists’ become one himself?
Beatrix Campbell 17 June 2015

David Aaronovitch claims ‘unbelievable’ notions about child abuse that ‘bewitched’ professionals decades ago are echoed in the VIP historic abuse cases. Where is his evidence? Part One.

….So let’s consider his argument:

Ritual abuse

At the end of the 1980s ‘unbelievable’ theories that had been accorded respectability within professional and clinical circles wafted across the Atlantic, ‘the occult flame was kept alight beyond the shores of America,’ he told listeners; then professionals (doing what they do) read books and went to conferences. Ideas were planted in ‘surprisingly fertile soil,’ in that ‘hothouse for new intellectual plants’ none other than ‘the professional conference.’

They were possessed. They saw the movie Sybil, they read ‘Michelle Remembers’. Who knows, like millions of others, they might have seen Rosemary’s Baby or The Exorcist.

We don’t know which, if any professionals were possessed by these texts: Nor does Aaronovitch. But that doesn’t matter. I know many practitioners, from police officers to foster carers, doctors and social workers  involved in many of the celebrated and contested child abuse cases of the past quarter century, including those singled out by Aaronovitch, and I’m not aware that any had any of this stuff in their heads. I’ve consulted other journalists, and they’re not either.

Isn’t reading books and going to conferences part of what professionals and experts do? Learn? Share ideas? Aaronovitch traduces normal and necessary activities as sinister. One of Aaronovitch’s witnesses, the journalist Rosie Waterhouse, mapped ‘the progress of an idea’: UK and US professionals, especially Californians, were  crossing the Atlantic and conferring; her nugget: ’the conference circuit.’

After a conference at Reading in 1989, she said, the witch hunt broke out in Britain. Waterhouse is wrong.

There was indeed a cultural revolution during the 1980s: it was not triggered by trans-Atlantic folly but the bodies of children. For a dozen years, Britain had been scalded by about 30 deaths of children due to abuse, and by the evidence of official inquiries. Unnoticed in life, in death they became household names. The pivotal cases for social work in the 1980s were Tyra Henry, Kimberley Carlisle and Jasmine Beckford. These children’s fate alerted health and welfare professionals to what became known as ‘child abuse’.  There was public and professional outrage, workers were castigated for a perceived failure to intervene and – most specifically with Jasmine Beckford in 1985 – to heed the child and what she might have to say about her family life. In the mid-80s sexual abuse emerged as a category of concern.

In the second half of the decade, local authority staff had an unequivocal statutory duty  to investigate when they had ‘reasonable suspicion’ that a child was being abused. The law states – then and now – not that they ‘may’ but that they ‘shall’ intervene. It was and is their statutory duty.

That, not Californian phantoms, was the context in which professionals were mandated to act….

The mid-80s, then, was the time when British institutions were forced to pay attention to the oppression of children in a new way.  Priests and pagans, teachers, pop stars politicians and parents were sexually abusing children then as now, and weren’t properly investigated.

However, what provoked controversy and crisis then was not only what we were learning about childhood adversity, but whether the professions, particularly the police, and our political culture could stand it, respond appropriately, and withstand the inevitable reaction.

There was no great wave of state piracy, social workers kidnapping kids; and despite the new knowledge and the legal duties of professionals, there was resistance to evidence that became entrenched. The implications were woeful. According to Susan Creighton, an expert on recorded abuse, statistics on the numbers of children registered as being at risk of harm (including sexual abuse) rose most significantly between 1985 and 1986, reaching a peak of 0.65 children per 1000 in 1987, and declining thereafter.

Though changes in registration criteria after 1990 make direct comparisons difficult, sexual abuse registrations fell dramatically up to 2002, and settled at a relatively low level between 2002 and 2014. There was no panic or hysteria, no wave of children being removed either rightly or wrongly from their parents.
https://opendemocracy.net/5050/beatrix-campbell/analysing-aaronovitch-has-scourge-of-%E2%80%98conspiracists%E2%80%99-become-one-himself

Seen But Not Heard
The Rochdale and Nottingham cases have revealed widespread sexual abuse of children based on satanic practices.  Yet the children are still not believed. Beatrix Campbell, presenter of  the recent Dispatches programme on the Nottingham case, explains why
http://www.amielandmelburn.org.uk/collections/mt/pdf/90_11_20.pdf

30% rise in first-time callers to Rape Crisis Centre
Wednesday 17 June 2015

There was a 30% increase in the number of first time callers to the Rape Crisis Centre’s National 24-Hour Helpline last year.

The Centre’s annual report for 2014 also shows an increase of 14% in calls relating to adult rape.

Almost half of all calls related to childhood sexual abuse, including ritual abuse and suspected abuse….
http://www.rte.ie/news/2015/0617/708675-rape-crisis-centre/

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