The witch-hunt narrative challenged, McMartin Preschool trial, Child abuse/ritual abuse podcasts

March 12, 2014 Comments Off on The witch-hunt narrative challenged, McMartin Preschool trial, Child abuse/ritual abuse podcasts

Oxford University Press to Publish Book
by Professor Ross Cheit
February 5, 2014

Longtime Taubman professor Ross Cheit will discuss his new book and the contributions of his many undergraduate research assistants….

What is your book about? The witch-hunt narrative claims that there was a series of child sexual abuse cases in the 1980s and 1990s that were hoaxes and that children are highly suggestible when questioned about possible sexual abuse. The idea that children are highly suggestible is still with us, and the people who believe that use these cases as the evidence….

In the book you reference your own experience with sexual abuse at a camp for the San Francisco Boys’ Chorus. How do you avoid bias? The way I’ve designed my research, it forces me to confront the best arguments that support the witch-hunt narrative.  The McMartin Preschool case….I knew that case was going to be the most flawed. After spending weeks reviewing the original transcript of the case, I concluded that there were plenty of reasons for jurors to conclude that the original defendant, Ray Buckey, was guilty. The rest of the case was deeply flawed, and I lay that out in my book. The book is documented to the max. I don’t make any claims that aren’t documented….

What are the policy implications of the book? What’s most worrisome to me is that the witch-hunt narrative unfairly impugns children. The ongoing challenge in this field is, if you ask children a series of open-ended questions about the alleged abuse and don’t get anywhere, then what do you do? I think there are people who are too worried about being criticized for asking leading questions or interviewing a child a second time.

What that leads to are abused kids who don’t disclose. I’ve seen almost no concern or acknowledgement of that issue in the psychology literature, but a lot of people are worried about false convictions. There is also a claim that there are economic motives to find abuse and that federal programs create the incentive to find abuse. I think this is completely wrong-headed. I worry that there are political forces that want to weaken the Child Abuse Prevention and Training Act, get rid of mandatory reporting, and undermine the credibility of front-line professionals, from pediatricians to forensic interviewers, who serve and protect children….
http://www.brown.edu/academics/taubman-center/news/2014/02/oxford-university-press-publish-book-professor-ross-cheit

Smart-Talks Podcast Blog
This is a collection of talks given at the annual SMART conference in Connecticut. Speakers present to tell their stories of their experiences with ritual abuse and/or mind control, their experiences treating patients with such backgrounds, or to raise awareness of the various issues surrounding recovery from ritual abuse/mind control of efforts made to raise awareness with the general public of this issue.
http://smart-talkspodcastblog.blogspot.com/

Witch-hunt narrative of child sexual abuse – many cases had substantial evidence of abuse, Footballer arrested for ritual murder attempt

February 28, 2014 Comments Off on Witch-hunt narrative of child sexual abuse – many cases had substantial evidence of abuse, Footballer arrested for ritual murder attempt

“The witch-hunt narrative is a really popular story that goes like this: Lots of people were falsely convicted of child sexual abuse in the 1980s and early 1990s. And they were all victims of a witch-hunt. It just doesn’t happen to line up with the facts when you actually look at the cases themselves in detail….many of those cases had substantial evidence of abuse. The witch-hunt narrative is that these were all gross injustices to the defendant. In fact, what it looks like in retrospect is the injustices were much more often to children.”

Undergrad work integral to prof’s new book
Ross Cheit will talk Thursday on ‘love letter’ to student researchers who helped with book  By Gabrielle Dee Senior Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 26, 2014  UNIVERSITY NEWS

Ross Cheit, professor of public policy and political science, will discuss the 15-year process of compiling his new book, “The Witch-Hunt Narrative: Politics, Psychology and the Sexual Abuse of Children” in a talk Thursday at the Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions. Cheit sat down with The Herald to discuss the release of his book, the methods and challenges of trial court research and how the collective efforts of Brown undergraduates helped him compile his publication….

The title of the talk is “The Amazing True Story of How 81 Brown Undergraduates Helped Give ‘Extreme Research’ Its Name.” What exactly do you mean by extreme research?

What my book involves is original court trial research. So we are trying to go to trial courts and get documents, often transcripts, but a whole range of documents connected to criminal trials that were in the 1980s and early 1990s. And the cases are all highly contested child sexual abuse cases. So it turns out that because these are not in the computer era, and because they are child sexual abuse cases, in many cases protective orders and statutory protections on identity make these cases sealed. The cases were also enormous. It turns out the ability to just go find and copy the record in these cases takes enormous effort. In some instances, it’s almost heroic, what it takes to put together, this many years later, all the materials. And so at some point, we started calling it extreme research, when a student would work for six months to get a document that becomes one footnote in the book….

What do you mean by “Witch-Hunt” in the title of your book?

The witch-hunt narrative is a really popular story that goes like this: Lots of people were falsely convicted of child sexual abuse in the 1980s and early 1990s. And they were all victims of a witch-hunt. It just doesn’t happen to line up with the facts when you actually look at the cases themselves in detail. But it’s a really popular narrative — I think it’s absolutely fair to say that’s the conventional wisdom. It’s what most people now think is the uncontested truth, and those cases had no basis in fact. And what 15 years of painstaking trial court research (says) is that that’s not a very fair description of those cases, and in fact many of those cases had substantial evidence of abuse. The witch-hunt narrative is that these were all gross injustices to the defendant. In fact, what it looks like in retrospect is the injustices were much more often to children….
http://newsle.com/article/0/126585716/

Footballer in police grips for ritual murder attempt
By Daily Guide Ghana  Thu, Feb 27th, 2014

A 22-year-old division two footballer who plays for Rex Football Club, Dansoman, has been arrested by the police for attempting to murder his biological mother for a money-making ritual.

The suspect, Enoch Adjei, currently in police custody, allegedly lured his 50-year-old sick mother from Jasikan in the Volta Region to Kasoa in the Central Region for the supposed sacrifice when the police accosted him.

He also had in his hand, a bag meant for the money, a pot to collect the mother’s blood and a sharp knife, which was to be used for the killing for the sacrifice. He was heading towards the shrine of the supposed spiritualist with the mother, when the police arrested them at Tetteh Quarshie roundabout, yesterday….

The suspect had confessed to the act and added that life had been difficult for the family, which was why he wanted to sacrifice the mother who is currently sick to save the rest of the family from a biting poverty.

The suspect is currently in police custody awaiting trial.
http://www.spyghana.com/footballer-in-police-grips-for-ritual-murder-attempt/

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