Largest dark web child porn marketplace closed, Royal Canadian Mounted Police – sex abuse/harassment, California sex abuse law -thousands of claims, Little to no oversight – 1,700 accused priests
October 18, 2019 § Leave a comment
– Feds take down the world’s ‘largest dark web child porn marketplace’
” 200,000 unique videos or almost 8 terabytes of data showing sex acts involving children, toddlers and infants”
– The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, a beloved national icon, rocked by sexual abuse and harassment “more than 500 potential class members”
– Diocese pays $4.4M in abuse compensation to 57 victims
– Without oversight, scores of accused priests commit crimes
“Nearly 1,700 priests and other clergy members that the Roman Catholic Church considers credibly accused of child sexual abuse are living under the radar with little to no oversight from religious authorities or law enforcement”
“These priests, deacons, monks and lay people now teach middle-school math. They counsel survivors of sexual assault. They work as nurses and volunteer at nonprofits aimed at helping at-risk kids. They live next to playgrounds and day care centers. They foster and care for children.”
– California sex abuse law likely to spur thousands of claims
“He predicted 5,000 to 10,000 lawsuits under the new state law….
He said the church paid more than $1.2 billion to hundreds of victims in 2003″
Feds take down the world’s ‘largest dark web child porn marketplace’
Prosecutors say the vast online store was run by Jong Woo Son, currently serving a prison sentence in South Korea on charges related to child pornography.
The dark web, a section of the internet that can only be accessed via a Tor browser, is designed to protect users’ tracks online and obscure digital footprints
Oct. 16, 2019 By Cyrus Farivar and Andrew Blankstein
WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors have filed multiple charges against a 23-year-old South Korean man accused of running what they call the world’s “largest dark web child porn marketplace.”
The now-shuttered English-language site, called “Welcome to Video,” contained more than 200,000 unique videos or almost 8 terabytes of data showing sex acts involving children, toddlers and infants, according to the 18-page criminal indictment unsealed here Wednesday, and processed 7,300 Bitcoin transactions worth more than $730,000.
According to prosecutors, the vast online store was run by Jong Woo Son, a South Korean citizen currently serving an 18-month prison sentence in his home country after his conviction on charges related to child pornography. The site operated from June 2015 until it was seized and shut down by U.S. authorities in March 2018.
At a press conference Wednesday morning, U.S. officials said 337 suspected users of the site had been arrested worldwide to date….
In addition to Son, more than 300 other suspects have been arrested in South Korea as of Wednesday, while still more suspects were identified in other countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States, including a Washington, D.C., man who was caught with the equivalent of 50 years worth of video footage he had downloaded.
The website ran solely on the dark web, a section of the internet that can only be accessed via a Tor browser, which is designed to protect users’ tracks online and obscure digital footprints. Users could purchase videos using cryptocurrency and an annual membership was priced at 0.03 bitcoins (at current exchange rates, around $300).
Members earned points by uploading new and popular videos to the site or by inviting new members. The site sought only child sexual abuse imagery, according to prosecutors — its landing page stated in red bold type: “Do not upload adult porn.” Prosecutors have also filed a related civil forfeiture case, seeking to seize Bitcoin assets held across 24 different accounts….
Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
South Korean National and Hundreds of Others Charged Worldwide in the Takedown of the Largest Darknet Child Pornography Website, Which was Funded by Bitcoin
Dozens of Minor Victims Who Were Being Actively Abused by the Users of the Site Rescued
Jong Woo Son, 23, a South Korean national, was indicted by a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia for his operation of Welcome To Video, the largest child sexual exploitation market by volume of content. The nine-count indictment was unsealed today along with a parallel civil forfeiture action. Son has also been charged and convicted in South Korea and is currently in custody serving his sentence in South Korea. An additional 337 site users residing in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington State and Washington, D.C. as well as the United Kingdom, South Korea, Germany, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the Czech Republic, Canada, Ireland, Spain, Brazil and Australia have been arrested and charged….
According to the indictment, on March 5, 2018, agents from the IRS-CI, HSI, National Crime Agency in the United Kingdom, and Korean National Police in South Korea arrested Son and seized the server that he used to operate a Darknet market that exclusively advertised child sexual exploitation videos available for download by members of the site. The operation resulted in the seizure of approximately eight terabytes of child sexual exploitation videos, which is one of the largest seizures of its kind. The images, which are currently being analyzed by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), contained over 250,000 unique videos, and 45 percent of the videos currently analyzed contain new images that have not been previously known to exist.
Welcome To Video offered these videos for sale using the cryptocurrency bitcoin. Typically, sites of this kind give users a forum to trade in these depictions. This Darknet website is among the first of its kind to monetize child exploitation videos using bitcoin. In fact, the site itself boasted over one million downloads of child exploitation videos by users. Each user received a unique bitcoin address when the user created an account on the website. An analysis of the server revealed that the website had more than one million bitcoin addresses, signifying that the website had capacity for at least one million users.
The agencies have shared data from the seized server with law enforcement around the world to assist in identifying and prosecuting customers of the site. This has resulted in leads sent to 38 countries and yielded arrests of 337 subjects around the world. The operation has resulted in searches of residences and businesses of approximately 92 individuals in the United States. Notably, the operation is responsible for the rescue of at least 23 minor victims residing in the United States, Spain and the United Kingdom, who were being actively abused by the users of the site….
Jong Woo Son indictment
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AUG – 9 2013
Clerk. U.S. District Bankruptcy
Holding a Criminal Term Courts for the District of Columbia
Grand Jury Sworn in May 3, 2018
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
JONG WOO SON, Defendant.
Assigned TO Judge McFadden, Trevor N.
Assign. Date 8/9/2018….
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, a beloved national icon, rocked by sexual abuse and harassment
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Commissioner Bob Paulson — at a 2016 news conference with Janet Merlo, center, and Linda Davidson, right — apologized to women subject to sexual harassment and abuse. “You came to the RCMP wanting to personally contribute to your community and we failed you,” he said. “We hurt you. For that, I am truly sorry.”
By Amanda Coletta
Oct. 17, 2019
Silina Sargis showed up at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police academy in 2010 to start what she hoped would be her dream career. But soon, she says, a sergeant major began harassing and bullying her….
Like the maple leaf and the moose, the Mountie with the scarlet tunic and the wide-brimmed Stetson is one of the most widely recognized and beloved symbols of Canada. But now sexual misconduct allegations are rocking the institution.
Hundreds of women have come forward to describe the national police force as an old boys’ club, where men boorishly commented on women’s bodies and made unwanted advances. Women report finding sex toys left on their desks and pornographic images in their files. They say men exposed themselves, groped and raped them.
The RCMP has set aside $150 million to settle two class-action lawsuits over sexual misconduct — the first in 2016 with female officers, and now, with women who worked or volunteered for the agency in non-policing roles. Federal Judge Michael Phelan held a hearing on the settlement Thursday in Vancouver. He is expected to rule on whether to approve it within the next month.
Women who experienced sexual harassment within the RCMP say they were frightened into silence. When they did complain, they say, they were ostracized or suffered retaliation….
The settlements cover claims dating to 1974, when women were first permitted to join the RCMP. More than 3,100 applied for the 2016 class-action fund — three times the number expected. But that might represent just a fraction of the complaints. The true number might never be known publicly, because some are settled out of court and subject to nondisclosure agreements.
Attorney Angela Bespflug, who represents two of the three lead plaintiffs in the current action, says she has been contacted by more than 500 potential class members. If the court approves the settlement, she says, she expects the number of class members to double….
Diocese pays $4.4M in abuse compensation to 57 victims October 17, 2019
GREENSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania diocese has announced a nearly $4.4 million payout to 57 victims of sexual abuse by its clergy and seminarians.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Greensburg made the announcement Thursday about the payment through the out-of-court compensation program.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that most dioceses in the state set up similar compensation funds in the wake of a 2018 grand jury report that detailed a seven-decade history of allegations of sexual abuse by members of the clergy and subsequent cover-ups by bishops.
The Greensburg diocese says it paid $4,350,000, averaging out to about $75,000 for each claimant….
Without oversight, scores of accused priests commit crimes
By CLAUDIA LAUER and MEGHAN HOYER October 5, 2019
Nearly 1,700 priests and other clergy members that the Roman Catholic Church considers credibly accused of child sexual abuse are living under the radar with little to no oversight from religious authorities or law enforcement, decades after the first wave of the church abuse scandal roiled U.S. dioceses, an Associated Press investigation has found.
These priests, deacons, monks and lay people now teach middle-school math. They counsel survivors of sexual assault. They work as nurses and volunteer at nonprofits aimed at helping at-risk kids. They live next to playgrounds and day care centers. They foster and care for children.
And in their time since leaving the church, dozens have committed crimes, including sexual assault and possessing child pornography, the AP’s analysis found.
A recent push by Roman Catholic dioceses across the U.S. to publish the names of those it considers to be credibly accused has opened a window into the daunting problem of how to monitor and track priests who often were never criminally charged and, in many cases, were removed from or left the church to live as private citizens….
The review found hundreds of priests held positions of trust, many with access to children. More than 160 continued working or volunteering in churches, including dozens in Catholic dioceses overseas and some in other denominations. Roughly 190 obtained professional licenses to work in education, medicine, social work and counseling — including 76 who, as of August, still had valid credentials in those fields…..
California sex abuse law likely to spur thousands of claims
By DON THOMPSON October 14, 2019
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Thousands of lawsuits will be filed against alleged child molesters as well as the institutions that employed them under a new California law taking effect next year, attorneys predicted Monday.
The California School Boards Association called the new law an “existential threat” to smaller school districts. Attorneys said the Roman Catholic Church, Boy Scouts of America and other institutions will also face a flood of lawsuits that could force bankruptcies.
They are newly possible because the law that Gov. Gavin Newsom approved on Sunday gives victims of childhood sexual abuse until age 40, up from age 26, to file lawsuits. It also gives victims of all ages three years to sue, starting Jan. 1.
More than 400 lawsuits were filed in New York state in August on just the first day that state opened a one-year window for victims to sue. New York and New Jersey this year both raised their statutes of limitations to age 55, with New Jersey’s law taking effect in December.
About 1,000 lawsuits, the vast majority against the Catholic church, were filed when California lifted the statute of limitations for one year in 2003, recalled John Manly, who represents Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman and other survivors of USA Gymnastics sexual abuse, as well as alleged victims of former University of Southern California gynecologist George Tyndall.
But victims are much more willing to speak up than they were 16 years ago, he said. And the new law allows for triple damages if victims can prove that employers tried to cover up the abuse.
“I think you’re going to see organizations that have been essentially engaging in systemic criminality by protecting pedophiles are about to be exposed. It’s not just the Catholic hierarchy, it’s private schools, it’s public schools, it’s physicians,” Manly said. “This could cause some organizations to go bankrupt. It probably will.”
He predicted 5,000 to 10,000 lawsuits under the new state law….
He said the church paid more than $1.2 billion to hundreds of victims in 2003, and hundreds of millions of dollars since then for therapy and other services to survivors. Six California dioceses last month began a new private independent compensation program for child victims….
Report details decades of sex abuse at all-girls boarding school, Decades of sex abuse at top prep school
April 21, 2017 Comments Off on Report details decades of sex abuse at all-girls boarding school, Decades of sex abuse at top prep school
Report details decades of sex abuse at all-girls boarding school
By Joshua Rhett Miller April 19, 2017
An elite all-girls boarding school in New York has released a report detailing nearly seven decades of sexual abuse and misconduct, with both male and female educators accused of engaging in improper relationships with students.
The 127-page report released Tuesday spans misconduct at the Emma Willard School in Troy from the late 1950s through the 2015-16 academic year, including instances of rape, sexual assault and harassment, as well as the “grooming” of young women for affairs.
In all, more than 75 people from the Emma Willard community participated in what the authors of the report called a candid and “sobering account of alumnae experiences.”….
The report comes just days after the results of a similar investigation was released by officials at Choate Rosemary Hall, a boarding school in Connecticut.
The report is a response, in part, to allegations made last year by former student Kat Sullivan, who said she had been raped by a male teacher, Scott Sargent, in 1998. Sargent, according to the Boston Globe, was fired after the incident but later found a job at a private school in Connecticut and did not face charges in the alleged rape.
“As a community, we collectively offer our compassion and support,” school officials said in a letter accompanying the report….
Investigation uncovers decades of sex abuse at top prep school
By Associated Press April 14, 2017
WALLINGFORD, Conn. — A new report names 12 former faculty and staff members at an elite Connecticut boarding school who allegedly engaged in sexual misconduct with students that went on for decades.
An investigator hired by Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford released the report Thursday that graphically recounts the alleged experiences of 24 former students.
The report says the alleged sexual misconduct took place between 1963 and 2010 and included “intimate kissing,” ”sexual intercourse” and “forced or coerced intercourse.”….
The Survivorship Ritual Abuse and Mind Control Conference – May 19 – 21 Annual conference on May 19 – 21, 2017 – Oakland, CA https://survivorship.org/the-survivorship-ritual-abuse-and-child-abuse-2017-conference/
Child and Ritual Abuse Research https://ritualabuse.us
Articles by Neil Brick http://neilbrick.com
Sexual abuse allegations shut down football season at New Jersey school, Hidden Marks: A study of women students’ experiences of harassment, stalking, violence and sexual assault
October 13, 2014 Comments Off on Sexual abuse allegations shut down football season at New Jersey school, Hidden Marks: A study of women students’ experiences of harassment, stalking, violence and sexual assault
– Sexual abuse allegations shut down football season at New Jersey school
– Seven Sayreville football players suspended amid abuse scandal at New Jersey school
– Campus nightmare: female students on the rise of sexual harassment
– Hidden Marks
A study of women students’ experiences of harassment, stalking, violence and sexual assault
– NUS research reveals one in four students suffer unwelcome sexual advances
Sexual abuse allegations shut down football season at New Jersey school
October 10, 2014, by CNN Wire
SAYREVILLE, N.J. — The crunching sound of football cleats on hallway floors became the drone of dread for freshman at a New Jersey high school. As they marched into the locker room, an ugly hazing ritual allegedly awaited them.
Upperclassmen howled as they flipped off the lights then sexually abused their younger classmates at Sayreville High School, parents and players say.
Authorities are investigating, and the school’s superintendent has canceled the successful team’s football season.
The coach and officials won’t comment on details of the abuse, but it may have gone on for a year. A Sports Illustrated article indicated that it likely did not involve intercourse.
“There were incidents of harassment, intimidation that took place on a pervasive level, in which the players knew, tolerated and in general accepted,” says Superintendent Richard Labbe….
Seven Sayreville football players suspended amid abuse scandal at New Jersey school
The announcement came an hour before a vigil was to be held in town for the victims of the alleged hazing ritual. BY Bill Price NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Sunday, October 12, 2014
The seven Sayreville football players arrested over the weekend have been suspended from school, Jonathan Busch, the lawyer for the school board said in a statement, according to The Home News Tribune.
“While we are legally restricted from speaking about individual students, it would be fair to say that any student arrested in connection with the matter involving the football program is suspended from Sayreville War Memorial High School, and we are in the process of arranging for an alternative education pending further investigation,” Busch said in the statement.
The announcement came an hour before a vigil was to be held in town for the victims of the alleged hazing ritual….
A joint statement from county prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and Sayreville Police Chief John Zebrowski on Saturday said “seven juveniles have been charged with juvenile delinquency arising from the attacks upon four victims in four separate incidents at Sayreville War Memorial High School.”
The statement said “three of the juveniles were charged with aggravated sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact, conspiracy to commit aggravated criminal sexual contact, criminal restraint and hazing for engaging in an act of sexual penetration upon one of the juvenile victims.”….
Campus nightmare: female students on the rise of sexual harassment
Photographed in their beds, shamed on social media – and, for some female students, that’s just the beginning. So what are British universities doing about sexual harassment and assaults?
Sally Williams The Guardian, Friday 10 October 2014
….The extent of sexual assaults on British campuses emerged four years ago when the NUS published Hidden Marks: A Study Of Women Students’ Experiences Of Harassment, Stalking, Violence And Sexual Assault. One in seven respondents had experienced some form of serious physical or sexual assault, the report stated, and more than two-thirds had experienced some kind of verbal or nonverbal harassment in or around university. (The latest NUS survey revealed that 37% of women and 12% of men who responded said they had faced unwelcome sexual advances.) Being groped, having someone put their hand up your skirt at a club and sexual comments were so ubiquitous, the NUS concluded, they were almost a fact of life.
A report last year, by the Ministry of Justice, the Home Office and the Office for National Statistics, stated that female students in full-time education are at higher risk of sexual violence than the general female population. A particularly hazardous time, experts believe, is freshers’ week, when newcomers are invited to a raft of social events. “They are extremely vulnerable,” says Dr Alison Phipps, director of gender studies at Sussex University and coauthor of That’s What She Said, a 2013 report on women students’ experience in higher education. “Some of them are away from home for the first time, are trying to make friends and don’t know the campus, don’t know the city.”….
A study of women students’ experiences of harassment, stalking, violence and sexual assault
Welcome to Hidden Marks, the first ever nationwide report into women students’ experience of harassment, stalking, violence and sexual assault. We decided to undertake this research because women aged 16–24 have a higher risk of experiencing domestic violence, but there appeared to be little awareness of this amongst students. We wanted to find out from women students themselves about their experiences. We wanted to understand what was happening on campus, in halls of residences, and in
students’ unions, and we wanted to hear how women students felt about it.
In this report we provide a snapshot of the harassment and violence that a national sample of women students have faced whilst they have been at their current institution. The picture that we have revealed is disturbing. 14 per cent have experienced serious physical or sexual assault. 68 per cent have been subject to verbal or physical sexual harassment. Nearly one in four has experienced unwanted sexual contact.
NUS research reveals one in four students suffer unwelcome sexual advances
Monday 15 September 2014
NUS President, Toni Pearce today called on UK universities to join NUS in its work on tackling lad culture on UK campuses. The call comes as new research reveals that one in four students (26 per cent) have suffered unwelcome sexual advances, defined as inappropriate touching and groping.
More than a third of women students (37 per cent) said they had faced unwelcome sexual advances.
In the survey of over 2,000 men and women students almost one third of respondents said they endure unwanted sexual comments about their body (12 per cent of men, 37 per cent of women).
Two thirds of respondents said they have seen students put up with unwanted sexual comments, with just under one third bearing witness to verbal harassment based on a student’s gender.
75 per cent of students are aware of online communities such as ‘Unilad’ and ‘Lad Bible’ with almost two thirds of women students (63 per cent) agreeing that these contribute to an unfair representation of women…. http://www.nus.org.uk/en/news/nus-research-reveals-one-in-four-students-suffer-unwelcome-sexual-advances/
March 23, 2012 Comments Off on Church’s Lawyers Have SNAP in Their Sights, global online pedophile network
Church’s Lawyers Have SNAP in Their Sights – Victims’ advocacy group’s national director speaks to RD about a flurry of subpoenas, and fears of ongoing harassment
By Kathryn Joyce March 16, 2012
In October, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), the oldest, largest, and most visible peer counseling group for victims of clergy sex abuse in any denomination, received a subpoena from a Kansas City, Missouri, priest being prosecuted for sexually abusing an older male victim SNAP has never met. The subpoena demanded a sweeping range of documents and correspondence concerning thousands of the estimated 100,000-plus people SNAP has counseled over two decades.
In December, the group received a second subpoena from the other side of the state, from the Archdiocese of St. Louis, facing its own charges concerning the alleged abuse of a 19-year-old woman. SNAP has fought the requests, citing Missouri laws protecting the privacy of rape survivors, and describing the records-request as a coordinated Church effort to bully sex abuse victims into silence and harass a longtime opponent into bankruptcy.
While the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has denied that there is a national strategy for the Church to fight sex abuse cases more aggressively, even the Church’s staunchest defenders see the pattern. As William Donohue, the pugilistic president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, told the New York Times this week, bishops are going after SNAP because “SNAP is a menace to the Catholic Church.”….
Why do you think they are doing this?
What they’re trying to do is to discredit, derail, bankrupt, and silence SNAP. And to scare anyone—police, prosecutors, victims, concerned Catholics—from contacting us and reporting crimes and exposing corruption.
What they have said in court filings is we’re trying to get to the truth of this case. But if you think about it, the easiest way to get to the truth of John Doe BP v. Fr. Michael Tierney and the Kansas City Diocese and Jane Doe v. Fr. Joseph D. Ross and the St. Louis Archdiocese is to depose the parties, the people involved, John Doe and Jane Doe. And they haven’t even tried. In both cases, they haven’t even sought the records. In essence they’re using these two court cases as a ruse and a weapon.
Italy police break up global online pedophile network
By Catherine Hornby, Reuters March 8, 2012
ROME – Italian police have broken up a pedophile network spanning at least 28 countries that used social media websites to swap pornographic images and videos of child abuse.
Ten people have been arrested in Italy, the United States, France and Portugal, and another 112 are being investigated on suspicion of child pornography, Italy’s computer crime police bureau NIT said in a statement….
The data revealed an Italian-founded criminal group with more than 700 followers around the world, exchanging thousands of images and videos, NIT said. http://www.timescolonist.com/news/Italy+police+break+global+online+pedophile+network/6270037/story.html
October 18, 2010 Comments Off on Survivors of Extreme Abuse, Ritual Abuse, Student Sexual Harassment, Congo Rapes
Survivors of Extreme Abuse: The Awful Rowing Toward Social Emancipation S.M.A.R.T. PRESENTATION August 2010 “Survivors of extreme abuse have intimate knowledge of unspeakable treachery going on behind closed doors, including the deliberate, trauma-based dissociation of children, child, drug and arms trafficking, child pornography and murder. We can also identify the criminals committing these crimes, some of which are perpetrated by vast organized crime syndicates. In spite of great efforts by those in power in the last few years to normalize torture and state-sanctioned murder, the public would not abide these horrors if they had this information, if they knew what was going on.” http://www.scribd.com/doc/39485949/The-Awful-Rowing-Speech
Craighead, W. E.; Corsini, R.J.; Nemeroff, C. B. (2002) The Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology and Behavioral Science Published by John Wiley and Sons ISBN 0471270830 – Sadistic Ritual Abuse (p.1435 – 1438) http://books.google.com/books?id=JQMRmyOfpJ8C&pg=PA1435&vq=ritual+abuse&output=html&source=gbs_search_r&cad=1
1 in 3 schoolgirls ‘has been molested’ and many more face harassment By Daily Mail Reporter 15th October 2010
Almost a third of girls say they have been subjected to unwanted sexual contact at school, a poll found yesterday. Many more face harassment such as name calling on a regular basis, the poll revealed. The survey of almost 800 16 to 18-year-olds found that 29 per cent of girls questioned had been the victim of groping, kissing or touching while at school. Around one in seven (14 per cent) of the boys questioned said the same.
UN envoy says over 15,000 raped in eastern Congo By Edith M. Lederer, Associated Press Writer – Oct 15, 2010
UNITED NATIONS – More than 15,000 people were raped in the volatile eastern region of Congo last year, according to the best data available, the top U.N. envoy in the African nation said Friday. Roger Meece, who heads the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo, said the scale of the security problems in the east, including sexual attacks, is “enormous.” Meece told the U.N. Security Council that the “horrific” mass rapes in late July and early August by rebel militias in eastern Congo’s mineral-rich Walikale region underscored the importance of protecting civilians….Somewhat different but equally troubling figures were provided by the U.N. Population Fund, which determined there were 17,507 sexual violence attacks throughout Congo in 2009 — including more than 9,000 in North and South Kivu which have been at the center of the conflict in the east.
January 29, 2009 § Leave a comment
“The argument between the field of child sexual abuse and the backlash against survivors is not an academic debate between two well meaning groups equally invested in ascertaining truth. It is not an academic debate at all; it is a political fight.” P. 121 “What wins political fights is organization and stamina and a refusal to be intimidated.” P. 122 – Anna Salter (Confessions of a Whistle-Blower: Lessons Learned)
Calof, D.L. (1998). Notes from a practice under siege: Harassment, defamation, and intimidation in the name of science, Ethics and Behavior, 8(2) pp. 161-187. Abstract: I have practiced psychotherapy, family therapy, and hypnotherapy for over 25 years without a single board complaint or law suit by a client. For over three years, however, a group of proponents of the false memory syndrome (FMS) hypothesis, including members, officials, and supporters of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation, Inc., have waged a multi-modal campaign of harassment and defamation directed against me, my clinical clients, my staff, my family, and others connected to me. I have neither treated these harassers or their families, nor had any professional or personal dealings with any of them; I am not related in any way to the disclosures of memories of sexual abuse in these families. Nonetheless, this group disrupts my professional and personal life and threatens to drive me out of business. In this article, I describe practicing psychotherapy under a state of siege and places the campaign against me in the context of a much broader effort in the FMS movement to denigrate, defame, and harass clinicians, lecturers, writers, and researchers identified with the abuse and trauma treatment communities. http://ritualabuse.us/research/memory-fms/notes-from-a-practice-under-siege/
Confessions of a Whistle-Blower: Lessons Learned Author: Anna C. Salter DOI: 10.1207/s15327019eb0802_2 Published in: Ethics & Behavior, Volume 8, Issue 2 June 1998 , pages 115 – 124 Abstract – In 1988 I began a report on the accuracy of expert testimony in child sexual abuse cases utilizing Ralph Underwager and Hollida Wakefield as a case study (Wakefield & Underwager, 1988). In response, Underwager and Wakefield began a campaign of harassment and intimidation, which included multiple lawsuits; an ethics charge; phony (and secretly taped) phone calls; and ad hominem attacks, including one that I was laundering federal grant monies. The harassment and intimidation failed as the author refused demands to retract. In addition, the lawsuits and ethics charges were dismissed. Lessons learned from the experience are discussed.
U-Turn on Memory Lane by Mike Stanton – Columbia Journalism Review – July/August 1997
The FMSF builds much of its case against recovered memory by attacking a generally discredited Freudian concept of repression that proponents of recovered memory don’t buy, either. In so doing, the foundation ignores the fifty-year-old literature on traumatic, or psychogenic amnesia, which is an accepted diagnosis by the American Psychiatric Association. In his 1996 book “Searching for Memory,” the Harvard psychologist and brain researcher Daniel L. Schachter — who believes that both true and false memories exist — says there is no conclusive scientific evidence that false memories can be created….The foundation and its backers “remind me of a high school debate team,” says the Stanford psychiatrist David Spiegel, an authority on traumatic amnesia. “They go to the library, surgically extract the information convenient to them and throw out the rest.”….Many therapists, like their patients, hesitate to speak out.Recently, though, they have begun to make a more concerted effort to mobilize a response. One of the most outspoken critics of the false-memory movement is a Seattle therapist, David Calof, editor until last year of Treating Abuse Today, a newsletter for therapists. He has identified what he calls the movement’s political agenda — lobbying for more restrictive laws governing therapy and promoting the harassment of therapists through lawsuits and even picketing of their offices and homes. Calof himself has been the target of picketing so fierce that he has been in and out of Seattle courtrooms over the last two years, obtaining restraining orders. He was spending so much time and money fighting the FMSF supporters’ campaign against him, he says, that he was forced to stop publishing the newsletter last year. He recently donated the publication to a victims’ rights group in Pennsylvania, which has resurrected it as Trauma. The new publisher says that views part of its mission as reporting on FMSF, since the mainstream media don’t.
Among journalists, perhaps the most relentless critic of the foundation is Michele Landsberg, a Toronto Star columnist. In 1993, she says, an Ontario couple, claiming to have been falsely accused, contacted her and asked her to write about their case. Unconvinced, she declined, and eventually started writing instead about the foundation.She attacked its scientific claims and criticized the sensational media coverage. She described how a foundation scientific adviser, Harold Merskey, had testified that a woman accusing a doctor of sexual abuse in a civil case might in fact have been suffering from false memory syndrome. But the accused doctor himself had previously confessed to criminal charges of abusing her. Landsberg also challenged the credentials of other foundation advisers. She noted that one founding adviser, Ralph Underwager, was forced to resign from the foundation’s board after he and his wife, Hollida Wakefield, who remains an adviser, gave an interview to a Dutch pedophilia magazine in which he was quoted as describing pedophilia as”an acceptable expression of God’s will for love.” Landsberg also wrote that another adviser, James Randi, a magician known as “The Amazing Randi,” had been involved in a lawsuit in which his opponent introduced a tape of sexually explicit telephone conversations Randi had with teenage boys. (Randi has claimed at various times, she said, that the tape was a hoax and that the police asked him to make it.) “Why haven’t reporters investigated the False Memory Syndrome Foundation?” she asks. “It’s legitimate to examine their backgrounds –here are people who really do have powerful motivation to deny the truth.” http://backissues.cjrarchives.org/year/97/4/memory.asp
Battle Tactics of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation – Noel Packard – New School for Social Research, N.Y. History Matters Conference April 23-24, 2004 Censorship is also a tactic that FMS Foundation adherents use to silence voices they don’t agree with. Katy Butler, published a critical review of Ofshe’s and Watter’s book, Making Monsters (1994) in the Los Angeles Times. Later the newspaper’s book review editor received a vague threat of a lawsuit from Ofshe’s representative (K. Butler personal communication with Lynn Crook January 28, 2000). Later Butler was asked to write a story for Newsweek examining the uncritical acceptance of Foundation claims and to provide documented cases of recovered memory and traumatic amnesia. Upon learning of this assignment Foundation Advisory Board members Richard Ofshe and Fredrick Crews, as well as Peter and Pamela Freyd, wrote strongly worded letters of complaint to Newsweek which effectively canceled Butler’s assignment (Stanton 1997). Although these censorship activities were reported in Mike Stanton’s article “U-Turn on Memory Lane” (1997) Nevertheless, Newsweek editors confirmed that the FMS Foundation letters helped kill Butler’s article. Butler said at a national conference of investigative reporters and editors in Rhode Island in 1996: “I’ve worked hard very hard to tell both sides of the story. What’s interesting to me about all of this that telling both sides has started to seem like a risky act.” (Stanton 1997: 49)….In 1994 the editor of the Journal of Psychohistory Lloyd DeMause wrote to many professional subscribers to inform them that he feared a lawsuit by the FMS Foundation for publishing a special issue of his journal on cult abuse. Dr. Jean Goodwin a psychiatrist at University of Texas Medical Branch responded with a letter that conveys the overall feeling among the mental health community in the early 1990s. Goodwin: From a Psychohistorical viewpoint it is fascinating to watch this organization systematically limit freedom of speech in this area. Their suits of publishers have driven many books out of print. Board members have prevented publication of many articles. As far as I know you are the first journal editor they have targeted. The slander suit stopped the audio-tapping of many presentations in this area. The licensing attacks and the malpractice suits threaten freedom of speech in the psychotherapy consulting room, which is where it is supposed to be most free. Silence still is the priority for the perpetrator (Goodwin 1994) Goodwin’s letter captures the effect that Foundations’ tactics had on the therapy community in the early 1990s. Today the overall effect of the Foundation’s court cases and tactics is more muted. One newly graduated MFT told me that as far as she knows the Foundation has had no impact on the practices of MFTs at all. A social worker who teaches a certification class on mandated reporting includes the Foundation topic in her lectures, saying that the Foundation “made us clean up our act.” I’ve also heard a seasoned MFT who teaches a class titled, “Counseling as a Career Option” lament that practicing psychotherapy is becoming a profession only for the rich (both as practitioners and clients). Perhaps this is due to recent constrictions and costs associated with lawsuits, training programs, licensing and insurance policies? It appears that the Foundations’ efforts to drive non-cognitive therapy beyond the grasp of un-wealthy clients are having some success. Kondora’s and Beckett’s studies indicate that the Foundation has been successful in many of its efforts to manage public perception of child abuse victims, therapists and the people accused of child abuse. Kondora and Beckett show that not only has public perception of victimized children become skeptical, but in fact, the press often goes beyond the Victorian custom of neutrality on all fronts of the issue, to out-right sympathy for accused molesters. What began in the 1960s and 1970s as a child welfare movement has arrived today as an accused sex-offender welfare movement (Goldsmith 2003); and right in time for an era when people are having more babies, less birth control and have easier ways to create home based child pornography than ever before….The Foundation’s efforts in and out of the court room have provided reasons for health insurance companies to reduce insurance payments for mental health care and have tied those payments generally to mental health diagnoses. Training programs for clinical therapists have become more like the clinical training programs of the cold-war years, more science oriented, more stringent, more biologically and drug oriented, and less theory and talked based. Many of the support groups, networks, newsletters, journals, and even significant names in the child welfare movement of the 1980’s and 1990’s have faded, vanished or been displaced by on-line and other services of the FMS Foundation. Kondora, Lori L. 1997. A Textual Analysis of the Construction of the False Memory Syndrome: Representations in Popular Magazines; 1990-1995. Ph.D. diss. University of Wisconsin, Madison. – Beckett, Katherine. 1996. Culture and the Politics of Signification: The Case of Child Sexual Abuse. SOCIAL PROBLEMS, Vol. 43, No. 1, February: 57-76. http://www.newschool.edu/nssr/historymatters/papers/NoelPackard.pdf