Horrific truths of treatment emerge from Catholic mother and baby homes, Norwich child abuse inquiry police charge woman with rapes, The Witch-Hunt Narrative By Ross E. Cheit
June 15, 2014 Comments Off on Horrific truths of treatment emerge from Catholic mother and baby homes, Norwich child abuse inquiry police charge woman with rapes, The Witch-Hunt Narrative By Ross E. Cheit
Horrific truths of treatment emerge from Catholic mother and baby homes
Niall O’Dowd June 14,2014
There are some undeniable facts about the unmarried mother’s homes in Ireland from the time they were established in the 1920s until they were closed sometime in the 1960s.
Children died needlessly by the thousands in them. Many, possibly 800 in Galway, were buried without coffins, thrown in the earth, some in a septic tank….
Here is what happened there. A conscientious health official, Dr .James Deeny, visited, and here are his exact words written in 1951:
“Shortly afterwards, when in Cork, I went to Bessborough. It was a beautiful institution, built on to a lovely old house just before the war, and seemed to be well-run and spotlessly clean. I marched up and down and around about and could not make out what was wrong; at last I took a notion and stripped all the babies and, unusually for a Chief Medical Adviser, examined them.
“Every baby had some purulent infection of the skin and all had green diarrhea, carefully covered up. There was obviously a staphylococcus infection about.
“Without any legal authority I closed the place down and sacked the matron, a nun, and also got rid of the medical officer.
“The deaths had been going on for years. They had done nothing.”
One year later under a new regime, less than one percent of babies perished from a high of over 60 percent….
It was all a part of the punishment ritual for the poor unloved unmarried mothers who suffered horrifically. Even if their children survived they were ripped away from them and sent abroad for adoption.
They were made to cut grass with scissors, forced to endure child birth without any painkilling drugs, denied stitches when wounds were opened – all testified to by local nurses and doctors who seemed helpless to stop the horrific suffering….
Norwich child abuse inquiry police charge woman with rapes 14 June 2014
A woman has appeared in court accused of raping and abusing children.
Marie Black, 33, of Atkinson Close in Norwich, was charged with 24 offences on Friday night and appeared before the city’s magistrates.
The charges relate to five victims under the age of 13 and are alleged to have happened between 2004 and 2010.
She faces five counts of child cruelty, four rapes and related offences. She was released on bail and is due before Norwich Crown Court on 27 June.
Ms Black is the ninth person to be charged in connection with the child abuse investigation.
Eight men and women were charged in connection with the case in February 2014. They are all on conditional bail to appear at Norwich Crown Court at a future date….
The Witch-Hunt Narrative By Ross E. Cheit
Based on a comprehensive examination of primary sources, The Witch-Hunt Narrative challenges the conventional wisdom about these cases. Ross Cheit uses trial transcripts and related court documents to demonstrate that many of the cases at the core of the witch-hunt narrative involved compelling evidence of abuse. He focuses on three major cases while also surveying dozens more, including some that involved injustice to the defendants. He finds that in many cases the conventional wisdom is significantly overdrawn.
Cheit’s years of research also revealed a history of minimizing and denying abuse, and a surprisingly lenient response to many child molesters. Those trends continue into the present, where there are pockets of overreaction to sexual abuse in a sea of under-reaction….
This powerful book shows how a narrative based on empirically thin evidence became a theory with real social force, and how that theory stood at odds with the grim reality of sexual abuse. The Witch-Hunt Narrative is a magisterial account of the social dynamics that led to the denial of widespread human tragedy.
‘The Witch-Hunt Narrative’: Are We Dismissing Real Victims?, Suspected devil worshipper accused of killing woman, Survivorship Movie
June 11, 2014 Comments Off on ‘The Witch-Hunt Narrative’: Are We Dismissing Real Victims?, Suspected devil worshipper accused of killing woman, Survivorship Movie
– ‘The Witch-Hunt Narrative’: Are We Dismissing Real Victims?
“the continued treatment of these cases as a modern-day episode of mass hysteria does disservice to children and even puts them in danger”
– Survivorship Movie (the Survivorship edit)
– Suspected devil worshipper accused of killing woman
“owner caught him using animal parts to perform a satanic ritual”
Abuse Cases, and a Legacy of Skepticism
‘The Witch-Hunt Narrative’: Are We Dismissing Real Victims?
JUNE 9, 2014
….McMartin was the first of a series of prosecutions in the 1980s that have come to be seen as a collective witch hunt, in which panicked parents and incompetent investigators led children to make up stories of abuse by adults at day care centers and preschools.
At first, the news media ran with the lurid accounts of abuse, but then some skeptical reporters questioned the prevailing narrative and discredited the snowballing allegations. The pendulum swung from credulity to doubt.
But what if the skeptics went too far? What if some of the children were really abused? And what if the legacy of these cases is a disturbing tendency to disbelieve children who say they are being molested?
Those are the questions that frame this new book by Ross E. Cheit, a political scientist at Brown University who spent nearly 15 years on research, poring over old trial transcripts and interview tapes.
His conclusion about the McMartin case is that the outcome was “doubly unjust.” While he acknowledges that some defendants were falsely accused, he argues that Mr. Buckey was probably guilty, meaning that some of the children were not only sexually abused but “have been demeaned by the witch-hunt narrative’s assertion that the entire case was a ‘hoax.’ ”
It’s a provocative notion, that the debunkers deserve a debunking. Professor Cheit, who himself suffered sexual abuse as a child, criticizes the skepticism that helped bring down the prosecutions of McMartin and other day-care providers, calling it a “crusade to promote the witch-hunt narrative.”
He thinks the continued treatment of these cases as a modern-day episode of mass hysteria does disservice to children and even puts them in danger….
Most children who are sexually abused do not tell anyone. “Perpetrators often choose children on the basis of the likelihood that they will comply and keep the secret,” Dr. Lyon writes.
It’s a pattern that played out in the years of hidden sexual abuse by Catholic priests, and at Penn State by the coach Jerry Sandusky.
Professor Cheit is rightly haunted by the cover-up at Penn State. “We often minimize and deny so as to allow us to avoid seeing things we would rather not see,” he writes….
Survivorship Movie (the Survivorship edit) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BONGdkCuSiw
Survivorship – For survivors of ritual abuse, mind control and torture and pro-survivors https://www.survivorship.org
Suspected devil worshipper accused of killing woman and eating part of her corpse
Jun 10, 2014 By Christopher Bucktin
Gregory Hale, has been arrested at his home in Coffee County, Tennessee, and is charged with premeditated first-degree murder and abuse of a corpse
A suspected devil worshipper has been accused of killing a woman, dismembering her body and eating part of her corpse, authorities said.
Gregory Hale, has been arrested at his home in Coffee County, Tennessee, and is charged with premeditated first-degree murder and abuse of a corpse….
He is reported to have admitted killing Hyder and then disposing of the body by chopping it up.
Hale buried the victim’s body but ate part of the corpse, court documentation stated.
A friend of Hale’s said he a self-described devil worshipper who was fired from a slaughterhouse after the owner caught him performing a satanic ritual with animal parts….
Tennessee man kills woman, eats corpse: US officials
Wednesday Jun 11, 2014
A man in Tennessee has been arrested after local police discovered a woman’s partially-eaten corpse in his rural home.
37-year-old Gregory Scott Hale is charged with first-degree murder and abuse of a corpse in connection with the death of Lisa Marie Hyder….
Local NBC affiliate WSMV reports that neighbors say Dale described himself as a devil worshipper, and he was fired from his job at a slaughterhouse when the owner caught him using animal parts to perform a satanic ritual.
His is being held on $1.5 million bond and will next appear in court June 23.UPI
‘Witchhunt Narrative Retells ’80s Day Care Abuse, 299,933 indecent images with 478 of the worst kind in category five, including ritual and satanic abuse, Second UN panel criticizes Vatican on sex abuse, more than three million reports of child abuse
May 26, 2014 Comments Off on ‘Witchhunt Narrative Retells ’80s Day Care Abuse, 299,933 indecent images with 478 of the worst kind in category five, including ritual and satanic abuse, Second UN panel criticizes Vatican on sex abuse, more than three million reports of child abuse
– ‘Witchhunt Narrative’ Retells ’80s Day Care Abuse
” an awful lot of abused children deserve an apology”
– Former company director from Dewsbury had more than 300,000 indecent images of children
“Analysis revealed he had 299,933 indecent images with 478 of the worst kind in category five, including ritual and satanic abuse.”
– Second UN panel criticizes Vatican on sex abuse
– Child abuse numbers aren’t pretty
“more than three million reports of child abuse are made in the United States each year and the U.S. has one of the worst records in the world”
‘Witchhunt Narrative’ Retells ’80s Day Care Abuse
By Wendy Murphy
WeNews contributing editor
Friday, May 23, 2014
For readers who learned about these cases from conventional media, this book will be a shocking revelation of how reporters skewed criminal cases to the disadvantage of victims. Now it seems an awful lot of abused children deserve an apology.
(WOMENSENEWS)–In his explosive new book, “The Witchhunt Narrative,” Brown University Professor Ross Cheit challenges everything you think you know about the “day care center” hysteria of the 1980s.
The infamous California McMartin case, for example, was widely perceived as a terrible injustice where innocent adults were persecuted based on statements from hysterical parents, bad cops, fascist prosecutors and incompetent children. But as it turns out in this book, it wasn’t such an injustice after all.
Several of the teachers charged were innocent, but the underlying claims about many children being sexually abused by Ray Buckey (aided by his mother) were quite credible….
Cheit, a lawyer with a doctorate in public policy, meticulously documents the evidence from many of the high-profile cases and proves time and time again that nearly all the day care center cases were based on credible and compelling evidence. The children in many of the stories he discusses made statements independent from one another, free from the influence of parents, police or anyone else. Contrary to the theme of much media coverage, there was no reason to suspect the children were being made to lie by vindictive parents….
Former company director from Dewsbury had more than 300,000 indecent images of children May 24, 2014
A former company director from Dewsbury has been exposed as a child porn pervert collecting more than 300,000 of the worst images of girls on his computer.
Stephen Kay, 58, downloaded and distributed child porn from the internet to fuel his unnatural lust. He did it behind the backs of his wife and daughter while working for the IPS Group as a project engineer.
Kay was made redundant from his job and asked to leave the family home after a police raid seized his computers, USB sticks and a hard drive from his home in Carlton Road.
Analysis revealed he had 299,933 indecent images with 478 of the worst kind in category five, including ritual and satanic abuse. In addition he had 7,795 images of category seven of extreme pornography.
Kay appeared at Hull Crown Court for sentence on Monday after pleading guilty to six charges of possession of indecent images of children and one charge of distributing images….
Kay was given a two-year suspended prison sentence, given a Sexual Offences Prevention order and must undergo a sex offenders treatment programme. He was also banned from working with children and must sign on the National Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years.
Second UN panel criticizes Vatican on sex abuse
By John L. Allen Jr. Globe Staff May 23, 2014
ROME — For the second time, a United Nations panel has criticized the Vatican for its response to the child sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church, charging it with failing to mandate that abuse charges be reported to police, moving clergy to evade discipline, and failing to see that victims obtain adequate compensation.
“Clergy . . . were transferred to other dioceses and institutions where they remained in contact with minors and others who are vulnerable,” the United Nations Committee against Torture charged in a new report, “and in some cases committed abuse in their subsequent placements.”
The report follows a similar indictment from the Committee on the Rights of the Child that appeared in February, which asserted that the Vatican had fostered “impunity” for abusers….
Unlike the earlier UN assessment, the new report mixes criticism with praise for steps taken by the Catholic Church over the last decade to combat child abuse, including tougher legal sanctions for clergy and the creation of a new papal commission in December 2013 to press for reform. That commission includes Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston…..
At the same time, the committee suggested that pledges of zero tolerance by church officials aren’t always effectively translated into action….
In its report, the panel said it was “concerned by reports’’ that Catholic officials “resist the principle of mandatory reporting’’ of abuse allegations….
Child abuse numbers aren’t pretty
By Patsy Kelly Friday, May 23, 2014
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Local children are suffering every day. It’s a hidden epidemic of child abuse and neglect.
Nationally, more than three million reports of child abuse are made in the United States each year and the U.S. has one of the worst records in the world.
More than four children die every day as a result of child abuse. And it can have long-term effects throughout the next generations….
The Witch-Hunt Narrative, LAUSD Admits To Destroying Over Two Decades Of Child Abuse Records, The findings indicate that DID does not have a sociocultural (e.g. iatrogenic) origin
May 3, 2014 Comments Off on The Witch-Hunt Narrative, LAUSD Admits To Destroying Over Two Decades Of Child Abuse Records, The findings indicate that DID does not have a sociocultural (e.g. iatrogenic) origin
– Book review: A scholarly, engaging look at ‘witch-hunt’ narratives
– LAUSD Admits To Destroying Over Two Decades Of Child Abuse Records
– Court dismisses case against former Miramonte teacher
– Dissociative Identity Disorder and Fantasy Proneness: A Positron Emission Tomography Study of Authentic and Enacted Dissociative Identity States (findings indicate that DID does not have a sociocultural (e.g. iatrogenic) origin)
Book review: A scholarly, engaging look at ‘witch-hunt’ narratives April 27, 2014 By Anne Grant Special to the Journal
“THE WITCH-HUNT NARRATIVE: Politics, Psychology, and the Sexual Abuse of Children,” by Ross E. Cheit. Oxford University Press. 508 pages. $49.95.
Ross E. Cheit’s book begins with the 1983 charges against staff at the McMartin Preschool. The case stretched over seven years, but produced no convictions — only a widespread consensus that it had been a “witch-hunt” and had unfairly targeted the accused. That narrative prevailed until now.
In 1992, Cheit recovered his own memory of sexual abuse in adolescence, more than two decades earlier, at a summer camp. By then, he held a law degree and a professor’s chair at Brown University. He eventually won civil suits against the individual and the institution that had betrayed him.
Cheit found that a single storyline clung tenaciously even when medical evidence showed children had been harmed. In academia, courts and the media, those who should have looked further failed to challenge the popular myth that considers children suggestible, unreliable witnesses to their own abuse.
Recognizing that his personal experience could bias him, Cheit closely examined the original evidence and court records in three large childcare sex-abuse cases and dozens of smaller ones — identifying some instances of people falsely accused and many where guilt went unpunished. He recounts evidence with scholarly precision that is emotionally engaging and eminently readable….
LAUSD Admits To Destroying Over Two Decades Of Child Abuse Records
The L.A. Unified School District (LAUSD) has admitted that it destroyed decades of alleged child abuse records.
This is linked to the investigation into former Miramonte Elementary School teacher Mark Berndt’s sexual abuse of children. John Manly, one of the victims’ eight lawyers, accused the District of destroying documents earlier this month in court.
L.A. Unified spokesman Sean Rossall told KPCC that the District did indeed destroy the records of sexual abuse cases at L.A. public schools in 2008, with files going back to 1988. There may be no way of knowing whether other reports of allegations against Berndt exist.
The question that Manly, and frankly, everyone, is asking is why LAUSD would destroy these records. Rossall said it was because the District felt like they should not have the reports. In 2008, the school district lawyers determined, based on a section of the penal code, that they shouldn’t have the documents, resulting in the destruction of all reports. However, the section they referenced is saying that they merely shouldn’t disclose the reports, not that they shouldn’t keep the reports.
….Berndt pleaded no contest to his charges and was sentenced to 25 years in prison in November 2013….
Court dismisses case against former Miramonte teacher
Rina Palta with KPCC staff February 5th, 2014
he criminal case against a former teacher at Miramonte Elementary School in Los Angeles who was charged with inappropriately touching a female student has been dismissed by the court after the prosecution’s key witness said she would not testify.
The case against Martin Springer involved only one alleged victim, who was 9 or 10 at the time the abuse occurred. Prosecutors considered testimony from the girl, now 12, to be essential to the case, and without it they decided they could not proceed, said Alison Meyers, an L.A. County deputy district attorney in the sex crimes division.
“She felt very traumatized by the process and as the days approached to the trial she had expressed to us that she felt coming to court would cause her further trauma,” Meyers said….
Case Dropped Against Second Miramonte Teacher Accused Of Sexual Abuse
….The trial for former third-grad teacher Martin Springer, 51, began this week, but was dismissed today when prosecutors were told by the victim’s family that the 12-year-old girl was too traumatized to testify in court, according to the Los Angeles Times and KTTV.
….The L.A. Unified District fired Springer (who had taught at the school for 26 years) from his job and took away his state teaching credential, the Times reported. They had paid a $470,000 settlement to six other children who claimed they were molested by Springer.
Dissociative Identity Disorder and Fantasy Proneness: A Positron Emission Tomography Study of Authentic and Enacted Dissociative Identity States
A. A. T. Simone Reinders PhD, Antoon T. M. Willemsen PhD
PET and SPECT in Psychiatry 2014, pp 411-431
Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is a disputed psychiatric disorder. Research findings and clinical observations suggest that DID involves an authentic mental disorder related to factors such as traumatisation and disrupted attachment. A competing view indicates that DID is due to fantasy proneness, suggestibility, suggestion and role-playing. Here, we investigate whether dissociative identity state-dependent psychobiological features in DID can be induced in high- or low-fantasy-prone individuals by instructed and motivated role-playing and suggestion. Differences in neural activation patterns were found between the DID patients and both high- and low-fantasy-prone controls. That is, the identity states in DID were not convincingly enacted by DID simulating controls. The findings indicate that DID does not have a sociocultural (e.g. iatrogenic) origin.
Mexico finds 370 abandoned immigrant children, The Witch-Hunt Narrative: Politics, Psychology and the Sexual Abuse of Children
March 30, 2014 Comments Off on Mexico finds 370 abandoned immigrant children, The Witch-Hunt Narrative: Politics, Psychology and the Sexual Abuse of Children
Mexico finds 370 abandoned immigrant children
MEXICO CITY Sat Mar 29, 2014
(Reuters) – In one week, 370 immigrant children, most of them from Central America, were found abandoned in Mexico, after traffickers promised to take them to the United States but left them to their own devices after being paid thousands of dollars, authorities said.
Almost half of them, 163 children under the age of 18, were found traveling alone, Mexico’s National Migration Institute (INM) said in a statement.
Each month, thousands of immigrants, mostly from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, attempt to emigrate to the United States, crossing several borders in the process, despite the threat from drug gangs that kidnap, murder and rape women.
The children told federal migration agents that their ‘guides’ abandoned them after accepting $3,000 to $5,000 in payments, INM said….
In the week the children were found, a total of 1,895 immigrants from various countries were detected in Mexico from countries as far away as Somalia, Japan and Syria, among others.
Panel Discussion: The Witch-Hunt Narrative: Politics, Psychology and the Sexual Abuse of Children
Tuesday, April 1, 2014 – 4:00pm – 5:30pm Discussion: The Witch-Hunt Narrative: Politics, Psychology and the Sexual Abuse of Children
A discussion with Brown professor Ross Cheit, author of The Witch Hunt Narrative: Politics, Psychology, and the Sexual Abuse of Children. Cheit’s book, released this month by Oxford University Press, examines a series of high-profile child sex abuse cases in the 1980s empirically challenges the view that these cases were hoaxes. The book shows how a narrative based on empirically thin evidence became a theory with real social force, and how that theory stood at odds with the reality of child sexual abuse
Unlearned lessons from the McMartin Preschool case, The Witch-Hunt Narrative Politics, Psychology, and the Sexual Abuse of Children, 4,900 youth death records, Collapsed economy linked to abuse of women and children
March 28, 2014 Comments Off on Unlearned lessons from the McMartin Preschool case, The Witch-Hunt Narrative Politics, Psychology, and the Sexual Abuse of Children, 4,900 youth death records, Collapsed economy linked to abuse of women and children
– Unlearned lessons from the McMartin Preschool case
– The Witch-Hunt Narrative
Politics, Psychology, and the Sexual Abuse of Children
– B.C. to hand over 4,900 youth death records to TRC
– Collapsed economy linked to abuse of women and children
Unlearned lessons from the McMartin Preschool case
Thursday, March 27th, 2014 By Ross E. Cheit
….Judy Johnson did not bring her suspicions to the police; she brought them to her family doctor who, after examining the boy, referred him to an Emergency Room. That doctor recommended that the boy be examined by a child-abuse specialist. The pediatric specialist is the one who reported to the Manhattan Beach Police Department that “the victim’s anus was forcibly entered several days ago.”
Although Judy Johnson died of alcohol poisoning in 1986, making her an easy target for those promoting the witch-hunt narrative, there is no evidence that she was “psychotic” three years earlier. A profile in the now-defunct Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, published after Johnson died, made it clear that she was “strong and healthy” in 1983 and that she “jogged constantly and ate health food.” The case did not begin with a mythical crazy woman.
….But defense lawyer Danny Davis allowed that the genital injuries on one girl were “serious and convincing.” (His primary argument to the jury was that much of the time that this girl attended McMartin was outside the statute of limitations.) The vaginal injuries on another girl, one of the three involved in both McMartin trials, were described by a pediatrician as proving sexual abuse “to a medical certainty.”
….As it turns out, there are credible reasons that jurors in both trials voted in favor of a guilty verdict on some counts. Those facts do not fit the witch-hunt narrative. Instead, they portray the reality of a complicated case….
The Witch-Hunt Narrative
Politics, Psychology, and the Sexual Abuse of Children
Ross E. Cheit Oxford University Press
Empirically challenges the view that a series of high-profile cases in the 1980s and early 1990s were hoaxes
Shows how a narrative based on empirically thin evidence became a theory with real social force, and how that theory stood at odds with the reality of child sexual abuse
….But did the new witch hunt narrative accurately represent reality? As Ross Cheit demonstrates in his exhaustive account of child sex abuse cases in the past two and a half decades, purveyors of the witch hunt narrative never did the hard work of examining court records in the many cases that reached the courts throughout the nation. Instead, they treated a couple of cases as representative and concluded that the issue was blown far out of proportion. Drawing on years of research into cases in a number of states, Cheit shows that the issue had not been blown out of proportion at all. In fact, child sex abuse convictions were regular occurrences, and the crime occurred far more frequently than conventional wisdom would have us believe. Cheit’s aim is not to simply prove the narrative wrong, however. He also shows how a narrative based on empirically thin evidence became a theory with real social force, and how that theory stood at odds with a far more grim reality. The belief that the charge of child sex abuse was typically a hoax also left us unprepared to deal with the far greater scandal of child sex abuse in the Catholic Church, which, incidentally, has served to substantiate Cheit’s thesis about the pervasiveness of the problem. In sum, The Witch-Hunt Narrative is a magisterial and empirically powerful account of the social dynamics that led to the denial of widespread human tragedy.
B.C. to hand over 4,900 youth death records to TRC
27. Mar, 2014 by APTN National News
EDMONTON–The British Columbia government is expected Friday to give the Truth and Reconciliation Commission 4,900 death certificates of First Nations youth aged from four to 19 who died between 1870 and 1984.
The data, held in a portable digital storage device, will be handed over during a ceremony in Edmonton where the TRC is holding its final national event. Peter Cunningham, B.C.’s assistant deputy minister of partnership and community renewal, will be giving the data to the TRC
The TRC is currently trying to tally the exact number of First Nation children who died in residential schools. So far the TRC has identified 4,100 children as part of its Missing Children Project.
The TRC will sift through B.C.’s data to determine which of the deaths happened in a residential school….
Collapsed economy linked to abuse of women and children
By Nomalanga Moyo SW Radio Africa 27 March 2014
The deteriorating economic situation in Zimbabwe is exacerbating violence against women and children, leading historian Pathisa Nyathi has said.
In recent months there have been several reported cases across the country, highlighting the brutalisation of women and children through rape or ritualistic killings.
Last week three men from Gwanda appeared in court charged with murdering four women and cutting off some of their body parts for ritual purposes.
ZANU PF activist Lillian Kandemiri was recently jailed for offering her 15-year-old grand-daughter as payment for a $40,000 debt.
This week Tuesday, the Supreme Court ordered the State to compensate Mildred Mapingure who was denied an abortion after she was gang-raped in her home eight years ago.
On Wednesday President Robert Mugabe said he receives “disturbing child sexual abuse statistics” and went on to call for a campaign against the rape “epidemic” saying stiffer penalties alone will not help….
Nyathi said…that ritual murderers carry out their crimes in the misinformed hope that body parts that are associated with fertility will help improve their financial status….
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….
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.
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….
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.