May 10, 2016 Comments Off on Editorial Ethical standards, truths, and lies
Editorial Ethical standards, truths, and lies
Bethany L. Brand Ph & Linda McEwen MA
Journal of Trauma & Dissociation Volume 17, Issue 3, 2016 pages 259-266
This is an editorial about recent social and professional ethical developments that may signal attempts to arrive at truth about critical aspects of trauma after decades of lies and cover-ups. The first development came with the release of the Hoffman Report (Hoffman et al., 2015a), an investigation of the American Psychological Association’s (APA) complicity in abusive, traumatizing interrogations of political detainees, with one particular reference of note to this discussion. Another development was the publication of The Witch-Hunt Narrative by Ross Cheit (2014), which challenges widely held misconceptions about victims of child abuse and their credibility perpetuated since the preschool child abuse trials of the 1980s.
The ethical standards for International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD) members are derived from the ethical guidelines of national and professional groups (ISSTD, 2015). For psychologists who are members of the ISSTD, the APA provides ethical principles (APA, 2010), including general principles and ethical standards. Not only did some powerful people within the APA fail to follow its principles and standards, but, as noted in the Hoffman Report, it was the APA ethics director who was among those complicit in this failure.
We Believe the Children – What Beck Left Out, Pakistan child abuse video case – 400 videos of 280 minors – 20 to 25 people abused the children
August 12, 2015 Comments Off on We Believe the Children – What Beck Left Out, Pakistan child abuse video case – 400 videos of 280 minors – 20 to 25 people abused the children
Richard Beck admits that his work is not investigative journalism. He describes it as history. But historians do not rely on secondary sources for major arguments and historians do not omit evidence for the sake of telling a simplified story.
a gang of 20 to 25 people had abused the children between 2009 and 2014
around 400 videos were made of 280 minors
What Beck Left Out
August 8, 2015
By Ross E. Cheit
The witch-hunt narrative, as described in my book, has deep roots in American culture. It ranges from Salem Massachusetts to the McCarthy hearings of the 1950s. The power of those cautionary tales, however, causes many people to drop their skeptical guard when told that something is a modern day witch-hunt. So it is with the conventional wisdom about the highly publicized day-care sexual abuse cases from the 1980s.
Richard Beck, a comparative literature major from Harvard who works at a literary magazine, is the latest one spreading the witch-hunt narrative about those cases. His book, We Believe the Children, based largely on secondary sources, reaches the same conclusions that Debbie Nathan and defense lawyer Michael Snedeker offered twenty years ago. In both instances, the authors repeatedly omitted significant evidence that contradicts the witch-hunt narrative. Consider some examples of what Beck left out:
Beck reduces all of the medical evidence in the McMartin case to a single paragraph and insinuates that there was no credible medical evidence substantiating sexual abuse (pp. 155-56). But Beck does not tell his readers that even defense lawyer Danny Davis allowed that the genital injuries on one girl were “serious and convincing.” Beck also did not mention that the vaginal injuries on another girl, one of the three involved in both McMartin trials, were considered as proving sexual abuse “to a medical certainty.” Beck also fails to mention that the case began when Judy Johnson saw a drop of blood. Beck allows that the boy was examined twice and, as he put it, both doctors reported suspected child abuse (p. 34). But Beck did not disclose the basis for those reports: the Emergency Room doctor observed the “red and roughened” area around the boy’s anus, concluding that there “appeared to be some friction like trauma to the rectal area.” The pediatric expert who subsequently examined the boy described discolored bruising patterns and said that his anal injury “was within the last week” (Cheit, p. 25). That is why Ray Buckey was arrested….
Beck discusses the Kniffen and McCuan case from Bakersfield, California, presenting them as victims of a witch-hunt (pp. 70-72). But Beck never mentions considerable medical evidence against the McCuans, including vaginal scarring and trauma to the lining of the anus, that occurred between 1980 and 1982 (when Rod Phelps was away). Debbie Nathan once wrote that this evidence “seriously weakened Alvin and Debbie’s protestations of innocence.” But Beck ignored this evidence entirely, also neglecting to mention that the McCuan daughters, unlike the Kniffen sons, have never recanted their claims against their parents. Finally, Beck notes that the convictions of the Kniffens and McCuans were set aside, but he does not reveal that the judge opined that “it may be that all of the acts reported actually occurred” (Cheit, pp. 119-123)….
Beck claims that “no pornography” was ever found in any of these cases (p. xvi). But he neglects to mention that Isabel’s Day Care, not far from the McMartin Preschool, had exactly that kind of evidence. So did the Rainbow Day Care Center case in Fort Lauderdale. So did Robert Shell’s case in Massachusetts. Also, two defendants in the Bakersfield cases were convicted partly because there was photographic evidence of their sexual abuse of children: Charles Bishop and Grant Self (Cheit, pp. 163-165).
Beck also claims that Jesse Friedman, who pleaded guilty to child sex abuse charges, was falsely convicted (pp. 173-181). But he does not mention that Friedman failed two lie detectors, both arranged by his own lawyer, and that the psychological evaluation, also arranged by his own lawyer, concluded that Friedman was a “psychopathic deviant” who was “capable of committing the crimes with which he was charged.” Beck also does not mention that he has never spoken to a single one of the fourteen men who formed the basis for the case. This is significant since Andrew Jarecki, who directed the film, never spoke to the vast majority of actual complainants in the case, either. Nor does Beck acknowledge that two of those men wrote a letter in 2004, objecting to the movie, and attesting to sexual abuse by Jesse Friedman (Cheit, pp. 130-133)….
Beck acknowledges Frank Fuster’s 1982 conviction for lewd and lascivious assault on a minor, but he quickly adds, without any apparent skepticism, that “Frank had always maintained his innocence.” (p. 142). But Beck does not tell his readers that Fuster actually admitted the actions charged in that case, and then tried to minimize them, while testifying at his Parole Violation Hearing three years later (Cheit, p. 337). Here is how Fuster explained what he did to a 9-year-old while driving her home one night:
This is how I touch her chest area. I don’t see any sexual movement here. I also touch her in the vaginal area. That’s it. That’s the whole case.
Nor does Beck acknowledge Frank Fuster’s long record of documented lies about his manslaughter conviction. As I said in The Witch-Hunt Narrative: “one wonders how anyone could cite his denials with utter credulity and without any acknowledgment of the considerable evidence to the contrary” (Cheit, p. 338)….
Richard Beck admits that his work is not investigative journalism (p. xxv). He describes it as history. But historians do not rely on secondary sources for major arguments and historians do not omit evidence for the sake of telling a simplified story. A comprehensive examination of the actual transcripts—something that Beck did not do in a single case beyond McMartin—reveals a different picture. As I wrote last summer:
In many of the cases proclaimed to be witch hunts, looking closely at the record revealed substantial evidence of abuse and compelling reasons that jurors voted to convict. It’s true that I also found cases where people were charged who shouldn’t have been. Yet even in some of those cases, there was strong evidence of abuse. A crime was committed and a child was assaulted by someone who was never apprehended, but only the false accusation story lives on.
And so it is with Richard Beck’s history of these cases.
7 charged in Pakistan child abuse video case
By Sophia Saifi, Ralph Ellis and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
Tue August 11, 2015
Kasur, Pakistan (CNN) Seven people accused of blackmailing scores of children into making sex videos and then blackmailing them again by threatening to sell the recordings have been arrested in Pakistan’s Punjab province.
Police Officer Rai Babar Saeed said a gang of 20 to 25 people had abused the children between 2009 and 2014 in the village of Hussain Khan Wala in the Kasur district.
Chaudhary Hamid, a villager, said the gang blackmailed the children into engaging in sexual activity again and again to stop the videos from being leaked. Parents were also blackmailed, he said.
At least one CD shop in Kasur had been selling the videos, Saeed said. In most of the videos, the faces of criminals are not shown, but the child’s face can be seen clearly, the officer said.
Latif Sara, a lawyer representing parents of the abused children and the head of a nongovernmental organization called Children Abuse Protection, said 274 videos had been circulated.
According to a survey by the group last week, one in three of the 500 households questioned in the district of Kasur had a child who had been sexually abused, Sara said.
CNN affiliate Geo TV reported higher numbers, saying around 400 videos were made of 280 minors…. http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/10/asia/pakistan-child-abuse/
Number of arrests in child abuse scandal rises to 14 August 10, 2015
KASUR: The number of accused arrested in the child abuse scandal has risen to 14 after police made two more arrests on Monday.
The arrests came after the interim bail extension of five accused was denied by a local court. Police said seven accused are on judicial remand.
Main accused confesses
Haseeb Amir, the main accused of Kasur child abuse scandal, has confessed to subjecting children to abuse and making their videos.
SP Investigation Kasur said that in a statement given to the police the main accused of the child abuse scandal admitted to committing the crime of sexually abusing children and capturing the same in videos.
On Saturday, the nation was shocked by reports of gang of criminals producing and selling illicit videos of child sexual abuse in Ganda Singh Wala area of Kasur in Punjab province for the last 10 years.
Investigations into the massive child sexual abuse scandal – termed the biggest in the country’s history – revealed that around 400 videos were made of 280 minor victims of sexual abuse by the organised gang of over 25 criminals.
Several parents of victims were consistently blackmailed and coerced into paying hundreds of thousands of rupees with threats of releasing the videos in public. Reports said families in the locality were helpless as officials all along remained apathetic to the incident….
The Witch-Hunt Narrative: “most of the charges brought against child molesters were grounded in some truth”
September 13, 2014 Comments Off on The Witch-Hunt Narrative: “most of the charges brought against child molesters were grounded in some truth”
Research By the Dozens
By Lawrence Goodman September/October 2014
….More than fifteen years in the making, The Witch-Hunt Narrative examines dozens of child sexual abuse cases from the 1980s. Over time, these cases ensnared dozens of defendants, some of whom were eventually cleared of any wrongdoing. Many experts believed these prosecutions came about when interrogators asked young children leading questions, resulting in a witch-hunt in which wrongful accusations were made against thousands of people.
Thanks in part to the work of Brown students, Cheit reviewed all the so-called witch-hunt cases and concluded that most of the charges brought against child molesters were grounded in some truth. At the very least, he says, there was enough credible evidence to begin police investigations.
Cheit, who holds a law degree and is also a professor of public policy, believes we are far too quick to dismiss the accounts of young children. “We have, over the last twenty years,” he writes in The Witch-Hunt Narrative, “discounted the word of children who might testify against sexual abuse. We have become more worried about overreacting to child sexual abuse than we are about underreacting to it.”….
‘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
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.
Man claims he witnessed Dana Bradley murder, Disturbing Study Finds Women Actually Think Sexual Violence is Normal, Describing Abusive Behavior as “Young Love”
April 16, 2014 Comments Off on Man claims he witnessed Dana Bradley murder, Disturbing Study Finds Women Actually Think Sexual Violence is Normal, Describing Abusive Behavior as “Young Love”
– Man claims he witnessed Dana Bradley murder
RCMP investigate, inform him no new evidence found
– ‘The guy is the real thing’
Doctor says man’s story of Dana Bradley murder shouldn’t be written off as false memory syndrome
– ‘There’s nothing left I can do,’ says man convinced he witnessed murder
– Disturbing Study Finds Women Actually Think Sexual Violence is Normal
– Normalizing Sexual Violence – Young Women Account for
Harassment and Abuse
– Describing Abusive Behavior as “Young Love”
Man claims he witnessed Dana Bradley murder
Tara Bradbury and Glen Whiffen
Published on March 15, 2014
RCMP investigate, inform him no new evidence found
Dana Bradley’s body was arranged in burial fashion by her killer in an area of alder bushes and trees off an old dirt road, away from the eyes of the city on a cold and quiet December evening many years ago.
One of the killer’s last acts at the scene was to tuck her school books carefully under her arm, as in some bizarre act of kindness when, sometime earlier, the monster in him had raged and he had brutally beat her about the head and robbed her of her life….
He said he saw the savageness in the killer that evening, claims he witnessed the horrific murder and the events following it that night.
As a child, he had known the man well. Suffering from his own type of hell with him, Robert says his memories from that day and night were long repressed, along with many other terrible memories from those years.
More than two-and-a-half years ago, after he decided to part ways with booze and take his chances without it, he says his mind healed and the memories surfaced — first of being sexually abused at the hands of the man, then of the murder….
Robert says the RCMP first met with him on Dec. 14, 2011 — the 30th anniversary of Dana’s murder.
According to an RCMP document, the investigation into Robert’s tip continued for 16 months.
The RCMP subsequently informed Robert that none of the avenues related to his tip provided any new evidence to support criminal charges.
In March 2013, the RCMP asked Robert to meet with Dr. Peter Collins, an expert in the field of forensic psychiatry.
“Subsequent to that meeting, you were advised by Dr. Collins that you were not suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and recovered memories, but rather that you were experiencing false memory syndrome,” the document notes.
Robert complained to the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP about the way investigators handled his information. He alleged the RCMP relied on false memory syndrome to make the decision to dismiss his complaint. He also pointed out that false memory syndrome is not recognized in the medical community….
At the same time, the RCMP informed Robert the investigation into his complaint about being sexually abused by the man in the early 1980s had concluded without corroborating evidence to support charges….
Looking back, Robert said the man probably wanted him to go along as a cover, in case he was seen, so that he could say he was taking him to his mother and father.
This time, Robert noted, the man didn’t attempt to drive up the dirt road but stopped on the side of Maddox Cove Road and walked up to where the body was.
“He was looking for his jacket — he didn’t have his jacket on — and he had gotten the booster cables,” Robert said. “So while I was left in the car, there was a car that drove by. He told me that if anyone stops, (to say) he left his new chainsaw up in the woods.”
As outlined in previous media reports, a Shea Heights couple driving north on Maddox Cove Road that night — between midnight and 1 a.m. — noticed a car matching the suspect vehicle parked on the side of the road. They said a passenger side door of the car was open and the dome light was illuminated. They also saw a man standing near the woods. They reported he had no jacket, despite the cold….
They then drove back to the man’s house, where Robert held a work light while the man washed the trunk of the car using cleaning supplies.
“He cleaned out the trunk and then he got me in the backseat of the car and had another go (sexual assault) at me,” Robert said. “And then he brought me home.”….
The man Robert describes had been a close friend of his parents in the early 1980s.
In the 1990s, he was convicted of sexually abusing children and served time in prison.
The time period of those offences is the same time frame Robert alleges he was abused by the man and Dana’s murder occurred…. http://www.thetelegram.com/News/Local/2014-03-15/article-3650234/Man-claims-he-witnessed-Dana-Bradley-murder/1 http://www.thetelegram.com/News/Local/2014-03-15/article-3650234/Man-claims-he-witnessed-Dana-Bradley-murder/2
‘The guy is the real thing’
Tara Bradbury and Glen Whiffen
Published on March 17, 2014
Doctor says man’s story of Dana Bradley murder shouldn’t be written off as false memory syndrome
Part 2 in a three-part series
Good memories from childhood are often recalled fondly. Bad memories, not so much. But what if the memories are so terrible, so horrible, it’s unbearable to live with them?….
He says he saw her murderer sexually assault and kill her by hitting her in the head with a tire iron and that he was there, crying, when the killer laid her out in burial fashion among the trees off an old dirt road just outside the city.
Robert’s relates these memories in spine-tingling detail — how he screamed and begged the man, a close friend of his family, not to leave the body in the winter cold overnight, and of being forced to hold a lamp in the dark as the killer later cleaned out the car trunk.
His throat closes and his chest hurts at times when he recalls his own abuse at the hands of the same man — a man who was convicted in the 1990s of sexually abusing other children, and served time in prison.
Robert would have gone to the police long ago if he had remembered any of what he had seen and experienced.
Now a successful businessman, husband and father, Robert describes always looking back on his childhood fondly, though he admits he had always had a hole, a big blank spot, in his memory.
He drank from the time he was 13 until he was 35, when, he says, the booze caught up with him.
After quitting drinking, he was driving home one day in 2011 when he suddenly began drowning in a wave of memories, which rushed in, bubbling and swirling, to fill the hole.
“I was all alone, and the first memory of the sexual abuse came back, and it came back like a punch in the stomach,” Robert said….
The RCMP investigated Robert’s information for 16 months, then informed him none of the avenues related to his tip had turned up any new evidence. As part of their investigation, police had asked Robert to meet with Dr. Peter Collins, an expert in forensic psychiatry.
According to a police document, Collins advised Robert he was not suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but was experiencing false memory syndrome.
Not a recognized psychiatric disorder, false memory syndrome is used to describe a condition in which a person is affected by memories which aren’t true, but which they strongly believe. The term was developed in the United States by Peter and Pamela Freyd, who also founded the False Memory Syndrome Foundation in 1992….
Dr. Hugh Mirolo is the province’s only neuropsychiatrist and has been declared an expert witness in the courts in the area of neuropsychiatry. The Telegram asked him to meet with Robert, and the doctor believes he is telling the truth, especially since Robert experienced a panic attack and flashback while telling him his story.
“It would be pretty damn difficult for a guy to make that up, and for me to buy it,” said Mirolo, who had Robert’s permission to share his opinions with The Telegram.
“If he is an actor, he is a very, very good actor. He deserves an Oscar.”
Robert’s reaction was consistent with experiences Mirolo has witnessed in the past as a doctor in the United States, working with war veterans. Post-traumatic stress disorder can cause flashbacks that bring them right back to the time and place of a memory so they are reliving it instead of simply recalling it, Mirolo said….
There is a tendency for the brain to repress things that are traumatic, the doctor explained, and it’s as basic as the pleasure principle: we go towards things that are pleasurable and avoid things that aren’t.
“When you have PTSD or (have witnessed) gory events, things like that, those things can be blocked,” Mirolo explained.
“The blockage is not foolproof; things can trigger it. The same goes for regular childhood memories. When I go to my office in the summer and they’re mowing the lawn outside, I remember the house in the country where my dad used to mow the lawn. That smell brings me back in time. This is the same sort of thing.”….
Mirolo doesn’t mince words when asked if he feels Robert was dismissed unfairly by the police, when it comes to false memory syndrome.
“Yes. Unfairly and too fast,” he said. “This guy is the real thing. He has been a victim more than once…. http://www.northernpen.ca/News/Local/2014-03-17/article-3651754/%26lsquo%3BThe-guy-is-the-real-thing%26rsquo%3B/1
‘There’s nothing left I can do,’ says man convinced he witnessed murder
Tara Bradbury and Glen Whiffen
Published on March 18, 2014
….Commission interim chair Ian McPhail wrote in the final report that the forensic psychiatrist’s diagnosis of false memory syndrome didn’t play a role in the attention given to the investigation, and wasn’t the basis for the investigators’ dismissal of the tip.
“I emphasize that, given its place in the investigation, the psychiatric assessment was not conducted to determine whether (Robert) was lying about his memories, which would have impacted the investigation, but rather to determine what the appropriate degree of reliance on those memories would and could be. There is no suggestion in the available material that (Robert) was deceitful.”
Robert told The Telegram Monday he is surprised by what he said is a “sudden and unexpected de-emphasizing” by the police of forensic psychiatrist Peter Collins’ diagnosis.
“Dr. Collins applied for a temporary licence to practice in Newfoundland so he could deliver his false memory syndrome message, and the RCMP could close my tip that very same day,” Robert said. “He appeared to be very important to investigators at the time.
“Things could be much further along if only they had given me the benefit of the doubt.”
When asked how he feels about the lack of evidence turned up by the police in their investigation into his memories, Robert is quick to respond.
“I don’t think they looked hard enough,” he said. “I think there were a lot of investigational techniques not used. I think they focused on trying to discredit me, rather than try to find evidence. It was a shallow investigation.”….
According to a police document Collins, an expert in forensic psychiatry, advised Robert he was not suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but was experiencing false memory syndrome, a term used to describe a condition in which a person is affected by memories that aren’t true, but which they strongly believe.
The Telegram asked local neuropsychiatrist Dr. Hugh Mirolo, an accredited expert in the courts in the area of neuropsychiatry, to meet with Robert and share his opinions. Mirolo believes Robert is genuine, and told The Telegram he believes the RCMP dismissed him too quickly and unfairly…. http://www.northernpen.ca/News/Regional/2014-03-18/article-3653169/%26lsquoThere%26rsquos-nothing-left-I-can-do%2C%26rsquo-says-man-convinced-he-witnessed-murder/1
Disturbing Study Finds Women Actually Think Sexual Violence is Normal
By Viola Knowles , RYOT News April 15, 2014
Apparently women thinking sexual abuse is normal is the new normal.
A study to be published in Gender & Society finds that young women assume being harassed, assaulted and abused is simply something everyone experiences.
Sadly, statistics show us that they’re not exactly wrong.
Love Is Respect reports that one in three teens in the U.S. will experience some form of abuse from a dating partner, and one quarter of high school girls will be victims of sexual abuse.
One in four college girls will be the victims of rape or attempted rape.
This doesn’t include the one in three grown women who will be raped or beaten in her lifetime.
The fact that these are no longer just stats, but a way of thinking for women, shows that the time to take action is now.
Women in leadership are working hard to bring attention to these atrocities, like Angelina Jolie speaking out about sexual violence against women and children in conflict. http://www.ryot.org/women-think-sexual-violence-normal/642849
Normalizing Sexual Violence
Young Women Account for Harassment and Abuse
Heather R. Hlavka
Marquette University, USA
Despite high rates of gendered violence among youth, very few young women report these incidents to authority figures. This study moves the discussion from the question of why young women do not report them toward how violence is produced, maintained, and normalized among youth…. http://gas.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/02/28/0891243214526468.full http://goo.gl/o8TSCP
Describing Abusive Behavior as “Young Love”
Proponents of the witch-hunt narrative have a particular kind of blindness to real abuse. That is, they don’t see sexual abuse in places where it is obvious to others. The book (The Witch-Hunt Narrative) is full of examples where real abuse is described as a false accusation or false conviction by proponents of the narrative. https://blogs.brown.edu/rcheit/2014/04/09/describing-abusive-behavior-as-young-love/#more
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….
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.
Four arrested for ritual killing, The Witch-Hunt Narrative Untrue, Loftus Misrepresents Important Case
October 27, 2013 Comments Off on Four arrested for ritual killing, The Witch-Hunt Narrative Untrue, Loftus Misrepresents Important Case
Four arrested for ritual killing of five-year-old in Nigeria Africa Saturday 26 October 2013
KANO – Four people were arrested in south-eastern Nigeria in the ritual killing of a five-year-old boy whose body was mutilated before being dumped in a water tank, police said Saturday….
Kidnappings for ritual killings are rampant in Nigeria, particularly during election campaigns….
The Witch-Hunt Narrative: Politics, Psychology, and the Sexual Abuse of Children Hardcover – February 13, 2014
by Ross E. Cheit
In the 1980s, a series of child sex abuse cases rocked the United States….In the early 1990s, a new narrative with remarkable staying power emerged: the child sex abuse cases were symptomatic of a ‘moral panic’ that had produced a witch hunt. A central claim in this new witch hunt narrative was that the children who testified were not reliable and easily swayed by prosecutorial suggestion. In time, the notion that child sex abuse was a product of sensationalized over-reporting and far less endemic than originally thought became the new common sense.
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….
Loftus Misrepresents Important Case
September 26th, 2013
In a recent TED talk about memory, psychology professor Elizabeth Loftus misrepresented the basic facts of a case study that led her to hire a private investigator and write an article that caused the subject of the case study to sue her for invasion of privacy. Loftus has mentioned the civil suit frequently in recent appearances and told audiences how terribly unfair it was that she was sued. Given the importance of these events to Professor Loftus, one wonders why she misrepresented the basic facts of the underlying case.
Loftus said the case was about a women who “accused her mother of sexual abuse based on a repressed memory” (See the 13-minute mark of this talk). That is not true. The accusation against her mother came in an evaluation when the child was 6 years old! What makes the underlying case so important is that the girl forgot the details, which had been videotaped at the time, and recalled them spontaneously at age 17….