August 18, 2010 Comments Off on Fighting the Spin The Truth about Child Abuse Cases
copied with permission
Transcript of Conference Presentation
Neil Brick is a survivor of Masonic based Ritual Abuse. He is the editor of S.M.A.R.T. – A Ritual Abuse Newsletter. His topic is: Fighting the Spin : The Truth about Child Abuse Cases
The address for S.M.A.R.T. is P O Box 1295, Easthampton, MA 01027 USA, E-mail: email@example.com
In the last 20 years, many child abuse and ritual abuse cases have been made public. Almost all of these have been subjected to media campaigns and spin by organizations and researchers skeptical of the existence of ritual abuse. These groups have done whatever they can to make sure that only their view on the topic is heard and that ours is not allowed to be made public.
We discuss this at our website on a page called “False memory syndrome proponents tactics” http://ritualabuse.us/research/memory-fms/false-memory-syndrome-proponents-tactics/
This presentation will briefly review some of the more famous child abuse cases and present the perspective of the victims of these crimes, not the perspectives of the alleged or convicted perpetrators or those defending them. Information for this presentation is taken from the following websites.
Day Care and Child Abuse Cases
This page has information on the McMartin Preschool Case, Michelle Remembers, the Fells Acres – Amirault Case, the Wenatchee, Washington Case, the Dale Akiki Case, the Glendale Montessori – Toward case, the Little Rascals Day Care Center case, Fran’s Day Care case, the Baran case, the Halsey case and the West Memphis 3 case. http://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/articles/day-care-and-child-abuse-cases/
McMartin Preschool Case – What Really Happened and the Coverup http://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/articles/mcmartin-preschool-case-what-really-happened-and-the-coverup/
Another interesting case that won’t be discussed today is at:
Fran’s Day Care http://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/articles/frans-day-care/
The presentation will close with a discussion of the blacklisting of several ritual abuse pages at Wikipedia and the deletion of information at Wikipedia from the victims perspectives of these crimes. http://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/articles/ritualabuse-us-blacklisted-by-wikipedia/
As many here know, Wikipedia and other Internet pages are controlled by those skeptical to many of the well proven ritual abuse and child crimes and those posting information at Wikipedia from the victim’s perspectives have been harassed by editors at Wikipedia or even banned from Wikipedia.
SMART has been advocating that survivors and co-survivors do not use Wikipedia as a resource until these articles are made more balanced and fair.
The book “Michelle Remembers“ by Michelle Smith and Lawrence Pazder, MD was one of the first account of ritual abuse crimes. Because of its influence, it has been one of the most attacked accounts, even being called “fiction” by some. Those defending the book have been attacked online.
In “A NOTE FROM THE PUBLISHER” pages xi – xiii” in the book, the publisher Thomas B. Congdon, Jr clearly shows how the accounts of the book were scrutinized and how experienced interviewers talked to several people involved in her childhood. Dr. Pazder’s strong credentials were also discussed in detail.
And I quote “Two experienced interviewers journeyed to Victoria and talked to Dr. Pazder’s colleagues, to the priests and the bishop who became involved in the case, to doctors who treated Michelle Smith when she was a child, to relatives and friends. From local newspaper, clergy, and police sources they learned that reports of Satanism in Victoria are not infrequent and that Satanism has apparently existed there for many years. Satanism in Western Canada flourished in many areas with activities far more ominous than some of the innocuous groups now found in parts of the United States who claim some connection with Satanism. The source material was scrutinized. The many thousands of pages of transcript of the tape recordings that Dr. Pazder and Michelle Smith made of their psychiatric sessions were read and digested; they became the basis of this book. The tapes themselves were listened to in good measure, and the videotapes made of some of his sessions were viewed. Both the audio and video are powerfully convincing. It is nearly unthinkable that the protracted agony they record could have been fabricated.”
Yet, this is ignored by skeptics and attempts to get this information onto certain Internet pages has been blocked. Skeptical accounts from a Pagan website and an article from a tabloid instead are considered fact by skeptics attacking the article. One article skeptical of Michelle’s stories states her father’s opinion that her abuse didn’t happen apparently backs the fact her story was false. Of course, perpetrators and other family members often do deny that there is abuse in their families.
In a research study called “Sexual Abuse in Day Care: A National Study – Executive Summary – March 1988? – Finklehor, Williams, Burns, Kalinowski “The study identified 270 “cases” of sexual abuse in day care meaning 270 facilities where substantiated abuse had occurred involving a total of 1639 victimized children….This yielded an estimate of 500 to 550 reported and substantiated cases and 2500 victims for the three-year period. Although this is a large number, it must be put in the context of 229,000 day care facilities nationwide service seven million children….allegations of ritual abuse (“the invocation of religious, magical or supernatural symbols of activities”) occurred in 13% of the cases.” The authors divided these cases into “true cult-based ritual,” pseudo-ritualism” with a primary goal of sexual gratification and ritual being used to intimidate the children from disclosing and “psychopathological ritualism” the activities being “primarily the expression of an individuals obsessional or delusional system.” http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED292552.pdf
The most famous child abuse and ritual abuse case in the United States is the McMartin preschool case.
This case has had books and even a movie written about it. Unfortunately, almost all of these were all from a skeptical perspective and the victims’ perspectives of the case have been hidden from the public for years. The case is written off by many skeptics as a case of false accusations, often using the propaganda term “witch hunt” to describe the case. Skeptics paint the case as being started by a mentally ill women and then they attempt to build a case of false memory implantation.
Yet, there is much more to the case than this. For one of the initial parents that brought the case to the police, Judy Johnson, there is no evidence she suffered from any form of mental illness when she brought the claims to the police after a doctor stated her son was sodomized and later her son named one of the workers at the pre-school as his perpetrator. There were allegations that she was later harassed after these allegations were made and that these and her drinking alcohol may have caused her later psychological problems.
The case went on for many years and was very complex, with hung juries and mistrials. yet it is written off by skeptics as simply being a case of false accusations.
At the press conference following the trial, 9 of the 11 jurors who agreed to be interviewed indicated that they believed the children had been molested, but they felt that the evidence presented did not enable them to state beyond a reasonable doubt who had perpetrated the abuse.” (Behind the Playground Walls – Sexual Abuse in Preschools from an L A Times article)
One of the major skeptical books about the case was written by the Eberle’s. The Eberle’s are alleged to be former child pornographers. Our website has a lot of information on this case.
Fells Acres – Amirault Case
Another famous case, that occurred in the Eastern United States is the Fells Acres – Amirault Case. This is another case written off by skeptics as a miscarriage of justice. It was even used recently against a Democratic politician running for Senate in a recent election in Massachusetts. Yet, members of both the Republican and Democratic parties have backed the conviction of Gerald Amirault. Even his victims as adults have gone public in the last decade to verify that they were abused. And Amirault lost every appeal he had. This case has been spun by a variety of media outlets.
The prosecutor of the case, Hardoon, stated “in Amirault, the majority of the female children who testified had some relevant physical findings, as did several female children involved in the investigation who did not participate in the trial. The findings included labial adhesions and hymenal scarring of the sort present in avery small percentage of non-sexually abused children.”
One of the trial transcripts states “All nine children testified in a broadly consistent way…The children testified to numerous instances of sexual abuse. Some of the children testified that they were photographed during this abuse, describing a big camera with wires, a red button, and pictures which came out of the camera. The children testified that the defendant threatened them and told them that their families would be harmed if they told anyone about the abuse….The Commonwealth also presented a pediatric gynecologist and pediatrician who examined five of the girls who testified…She made findings consistent with abuse in four of the girls.”
The victims stated in “Mass. Victims Fight Commutation Plea” By Leslie Miller, Associated Press Writer “During counseling meetings as a child, I would speak of a tall man touching me and taking pictures of me,” Phaedra Hopkins, 20, said at an emotional news conference. “So many times, Mr. Amirault hovered over me, touched me and hurt me and committed many disgusting acts of abuse.” ….“This family raped me, molested me and totally ruined my life,”said Jennifer Bennett, who was 3 1/2 years old when she started at Fells Acres. “We weren’t coaxed. We weren’t lying. We’re telling the truth and we always will,” said Bennett, 22. “I was there. None of you were there. We weren’t coaxed, nor were we ever ever ever brainwashed.”Brian Martinello, 21, said he was sexually abused by Amirault. His mother, Barbara Standke, claims her son came home from the day care with sores on his genitals and other people’s underwear. “I think it’s an absolute disgrace to let anyone out of prison for such a disgusting crime,” Martinello said.
A Republican governor decided against the commutation of Amirault’s conviction: Governor explains Amirault decision Says she needed to ‘live with myself’ By Douglas Belkin and Frank Phillips, Globe Staff, 2/21/2002 Swift said. ”I concluded after that review that the jury and the Supreme [Court] decisions should be upheld and that under the commutation guidelines commutation was not warranted,” Swift said…Swift said her staff conducted ”a more exhaustive review of all of the legal aspects” than the (parole) board did.
West Memphis 3
The last case I will discuss is the West Memphis 3 case. This case has been in the media for many years. Some skeptics paint the case as three innocent boys that were caught up in the hysteria of a small town and convicted simply for the reason that they were different than others in their town. But is this really the case? The trial transcripts and other accounts show something different. The case included a confession of one of three boys. Some state the confession was coerced, others that it was not. One of the boys, Echols, bragged to others that he had killed the three young boys. Echols had a history of mental illness with allegations of violent acts toward others. Yet, none of the skeptical accounts I have read discuss these. A second boy, Baldwin, supposedly told another boy he had committed the murders also. Yet, this is written off by skeptics in apart because the other boy was an alleged drug addict and was not seen with Baldwin. Of course, none of this proves that Baldwin’s discussion with the boy did not occur. There was also evidence that the crime was committed as an occult crime. The case is very complex and ongoing and I recommend that people visit our website for more information.
Wikipedia is one place where skeptics of most child abuse and ritual abuse crimes control the content of the related pages.
In July, 2009, Wikipedia blacklisted the following important websites on ritual abuse: http://abusearticles.wordpress.com http://extreme-abuse-survey.net http://ritualabuse.us http://endritualabuse.org
People had been trying to get balancing information into Wikipedia articles on ritual abuse and child abuse topics without success. The first web page listed above had copies of trial transcripts of several cases. Once these web pages were blacklisted, almost all of this information was deleted from Wikipedia.
People had also been trying to get information about the Extreme Abuse Surveys into Wikipedia and other websites, also without success. The Extreme Abuse Surveys have even been attacked by members of supposedly sympathetic organizations. Those unfamiliar with this excellent preliminary study may want to visit their website. Over one thousand survivors replied to this survey to discuss extreme abuse and ritual abuse crimes.
There are allegations that Wikipedia got its financial start from an organization called Bomis, which it is believed got much of its money from X-rated pornography.
There are also allegations that Wikimedia (Wikipedia’s parent company) contained child pornography. https://eassurvey.wordpress.com/2010/06/26/pedophiles-find-a-home-on-wikipedia/
Articles on this can be found at foxnews.com and childlaw.us online.
Other problems with Wikipedia include anonymous editors (meaning that anyone with any bias may be editing Wikipedia) and articles that are not always fact checked. Even their general disclaimer states:
WIKIPEDIA MAKES NO GUARANTEE OF VALIDITY http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:General_disclaimer
“Please be advised that nothing found here has necessarily been reviewed by people with the expertise required to provide you with complete, accurate or reliable information.”
“However, Wikipedia cannot guarantee the validity of the information found here. The content of any given article may recently have been changed, vandalized or altered by someone whose opinion does not correspond with the state of knowledge in the relevant fields.”
“Wikipedia is not uniformly peer reviewed; while readers may correct errors or engage in casual peer review, they have no legal duty to do so and thus all information read here is without any implied warranty of fitness for any purpose or use whatsoever.”
Yet, Wikipedia ranks very high in search engines, even with all of these serious problems with its information. I recommend that survivors find more accurate sources of information and not use Wikipedia.
The real question is why these and other cases are simply painted as miscarriages of justice when at times there is overwhelming evidence these crimes were committed, even when those convicted lost all of their appeals. This is obviously part of the backlash against child abuse survivors. Some people in the world do not want to believe that these type of things happen in the world. Yet they do.
The important thing is to make sure that the victim’s sides of the story are heard. To get their versions of the story out to as many people as possible, so that those responsible for these crimes will continue to be held accountable and so that when children are raped in day care and other settings they will be believed. Make sure you read all of the above websites, familiarize yourself with all of these cases and tell everyone you know about these crimes.
We need to be our own advocates. If enough of us speak up, we will be heard.
January 18, 2010 § Leave a comment
More evidence of guilt in this case where the conviction was upheld after several appeals.
COMMONWEALTH vs. GERALD AMIRAULT. 404 Mass. 221 December 6, 1988 – March 6, 1989 “The parents of the child witnesses testified about their children’s behavior while, or shortly after, attending Fells Acres. The children complained and cried about the school; they complained of stomachaches, headaches, pain in their genital areas, and bowel problems. They began bedwetting, lost their appetites, had nightmares, used baby talk, became fearful of lights, of men, and of being left alone. The children also displayed sexually explicit behavior; some began masturbating. Two of the boys tried to stick their tongues into their mothers’ mouths.”
COMMONWEALTH vs. VIOLET AMIRAULT (and eleven companion cases [Note 1]). COMMONWEALTH vs. GERALD AMIRAULT. 424 Mass. 618 October 9, 1996 – March 24, 1997 “All nine children testified in a broadly consistent way. [Note 6] The children testified to numerous instances of sexual abuse. Some of the children testified that they were photographed during this abuse, describing a big camera with wires, a red button, and pictures which came out of the camera. The children testified that the defendant threatened them and told them that their families would be harmed if they told anyone about the abuse. Parents and relatives of the children testified and related the circumstances in which the children’s disclosures of abuse took place. These parents also testified to instances of extremely sexualized behavior on the part of the children including masturbation, sexualized play with dolls, boys sticking their tongues in the mouths of their mothers, and the simulation of sexual acts. Many of the children also developed generalized symptoms indicative of trauma such as bedwetting, baby talk, pain in their genital areas, headaches and stomach aches, and fearfulness. The Commonwealth presented a child psychiatrist who testified as to three major points. First, she testified that children who are abused often delay revealing the abuse out of fear, guilt, or lack of trust. Second, she described the sorts of sexualized behaviors abused children can show, acknowledging that although these behaviors can be prompted by circumstances other than abuse, they do occur most frequently in abused children. Third, she related nonspecific symptoms of trauma such as bedwetting, fearfulness. and babytalk which she claimed were common in abused children. The Commonwealth also presented a pediatric gynecologist and pediatrician who examined five of the girls who testified against Gerald. She made findings consistent with abuse in four of the girls….The parents of several children testified that their children developed pronounced sexual behavior and regressed to infantile behaviors such as bedwetting and baby talk. The same child psychiatrist who appeared at Gerald’s trial testified that these behaviors were commonly indicative of sexual abuse. “
January 10, 2010 § Leave a comment
for information on more cases, see http://ritualabuse.us/ritualabuse/articles/day-care-and-child-abuse-cases/
Letters to the Editor: The Real Darkness Is Child Abuse WALL STREET JOURNAL (J) 02/24/95 Hardoon
The three Amiraults — Gerald, Violet and Cheryl – were convicted after two trials before different judges and juries almost one year apart. They were represented by able and well-known defense counsel. The convictions were upheld after review by state and federal appellate courts….in Amirault, the majority of the female children who testified had some relevant physical findings, as did several female children involved in the investigation who did not participate in the trial. The findings included labial adhesions and hymenal scarring of the sort present in avery small percentage of non-sexually abused children….The victims and their families in these cases have been irrevocably harmed by what was done to them by the Amiraults. Every argument raised by Ms. Rabinowitz was ably presented by the defense at the trials. The juries, by their verdicts, rejected these arguments. Justice was done.
see for actual case evidence http://abusearticles.wordpress.com/category/commonwealth-vs-amirault/
“All nine children testified in a broadly consistent way…The children testified to numerous instances of sexual abuse. Some of the children testified that they were photographed during this abuse, describing a big camera with wires, a red button, and pictures which came out of the camera. The children testified that the defendant threatened them and told them that their families would be harmed if they told anyone about the abuse….The Commonwealth also presented a pediatric gynecologist and pediatrician who examined five of the girls who testified…She made findings consistent with abuse in four of the girls.”
Mass. Victims Fight Commutation Plea By Leslie Miller, Associated Press Writer
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) – Victims in the Fells Acres child abuse case broke down Thursday as they described their pain publicly for the first time in hopes of keeping the last person convicted in the case behind bars. Victims urged her to keep Amirault in prison. “During counseling meetings as a child, I would speak of a tall man touching me and taking pictures of me,” Phaedra Hopkins, 20, said at an emotional news conference. “So many times, Mr. Amirault hovered over me, touched me and hurt me and committed many disgusting acts of abuse.” Those children, now adults, stood by their testimony Thursday.
“This family raped me, molested me and totally ruined my life,’’said Jennifer Bennett, who was 3 1/2 years old when she started at Fells Acres. “We weren’t coaxed. We weren’t lying. We’re telling the truth and we always will,” said Bennett, 22. “I was there. None of you were there. We weren’t coaxed, nor were we ever ever ever brainwashed.”Brian Martinello, 21, said he was sexually abused by Amirault. His mother, Barbara Standke, claims her son came home from the day care with sores on his genitals and other people’s underwear. “I think it’s an absolute disgrace to let anyone out of prison for such a disgusting crime,” Martinello said.
Governor explains Amirault decision Says she needed to ‘live with myself’ By Douglas Belkin and Frank Phillips, Globe Staff, 2/21/2002
In her announcement, Swift said her first consideration was whether there was ”overwhelming evidence” to contradict the jury conviction and two decisions by the Supreme Judicial Court upholding the verdict.
”I concluded there was not,” she said. Swift said that she also considered the two guidelines for a commutation: that the sentence is too severe and that the person had made ”exceptional strides in self-development.” ”Again, my answer was no,” Swift said. ”I concluded after that review that the jury and the Supreme [Court] decisions should be upheld and that under the commutation guidelines commutation was not warranted,” Swift said….But ultimately, she said, she concluded that the sentence was appropriate and consistent with other cases. Pressed on how she could come up with a far different judgment than the five members of the Parole Board, Swift said her staff conducted ”a more exhaustive review of all of the legal aspects” than the board did. http://web.archive.org/web/20020221235441/http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/052/metro/Governor_explains_Amirault_decision+.shtml
Witness praises Amirault decision By John Ellement, Globe Staff, 2/23/2002 CAMBRIDGE – Jen Bennett wants to give Acting Governor Jane Swift a bear hug in appreciation, and she wants Gerald Amirault to admit he sexually abused her when she attended the Fells Acres Day Care Center in Malden in the 1980s. Bennett was one of nine children who testified against Amirault during his three-month trial in 1986, which ended with his conviction on multiple rape and molestation charges. He was sentenced to 30 to 40 years in prison….As for Amirault, ”I want to say to Mr. Amirault: Admit your guilt, you did this. He is where he is supposed to be. I will fight against you to the end. He destroyed my childhood.” Harriett Dell’Anno, whose daughter was one of the victims, echoed Bennett’s insistence that children were sexually violated and also thanked Swift for keeping Amirault in prison….Hardoon also said the quality of the investigation and the actions of prosecutors, police, and social workers working with the children were all scrutinized intensely during Gerald Amirault’s trial – and still the jury convicted.
He said Amirault supporters are focusing on 2 percent of the children’s claims that ‘’seem inexplicable and they are conveniently ignoring the 98 percent of the case that was overwhelming” against Amirault.…Middlesex District Attorney Martha Coakley, who inherited the case from former district attorneys Scott Harshbarger and Thomas F. Reilly, said Amirault’s insistence that he is innocent does not make it true. She drew a parallel between John Geoghan, the former Catholic priest sentenced to 9 to 10 years in prison Thursday for molesting a child. Like Amirault, Geoghan insisted that he, too, was innocent, she said. ”Admitting to child abuse is a very difficult and often, a never-seen thing,” she said. Coakley said it was time for Amirault and his supporters to end their pursuit of an early release from prison so that the victims can finally begin to fully heal from the trauma he caused them as children. http://web.archive.org/web/20020224045327/http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/054/metro/Witness_praises_Amirault_decision+.shtml
Swift won’t free Tooky by David R. Guarino and Elisabeth J. Beardsley Wednesday, February 20, 2002 Convicted child molester Gerald “Tooky” Amirault lost his best shot at freedom yesterday, denied commutation of his sentence by acting Gov. Jane M. Swift in another stunning turn to the roller coaster abuse case. Swift rejected the unanimous July Parole Board recommendation that there was “real and substantial doubt” of Amirault’s guilt. Taking sides in a highly charged case as she drops in election-year polls, Swift said Amirault should be jailed at least until he’s up for parole in 2004 on his 30- to 40-year sentence. “She carefully analyzed every bit of information generated through the investigation and came to her decision that the verdict was just and the sentence was appropriate,” said Swift spokesman James Borghesani….victims rejoiced last night, praising the acting governor for standing up to the Parole Board and claiming vindication after years of doubts about the case. “All along, they’ve always told the truth,” said Harriet Dell’Anno of Lynn, whose daughter, Jamie, remains in therapy over the incidents. Barbara Standke of Tewksbury, whose son, Brian Martinello, was molested when he was 4, said, “He may be doing 20 years, but my son’s doing life.” Amirault, his sister, Cheryl LeFave, and their mother, Violet, were convicted after a parade of children told horror stories about being fondled, raped.