Reproduced from Private Eye Magazine No.1240 July 2009


FOLLOWERS of the career of Marxist feminist Green party candidate and republican journalist Beatrix Campbell were astonished when she was awarded an OBE for services to equal opportunities in the Queen's birthday honours last month (Eye 1239). Campbell was one.ofthe first proponents of a belief in the Satanic ritual abuse myth in the early 1990s and remained resolutely vocal in support, together with a network of believers, long after government commissioned research by Professor Jean La Fontaine, concluded in 1994 there was no evidence to support the claims. Before and even since that report, dozens of families were devastated by false allegations that they were devil worshipping paedophiles sexually abusing children in Satanic rituals that included drinking blood and urine and sacrificing animals and babies.

In the 1990s Camppell also wrote in defence of the now discredited 'recovered memory" therapy after which adult patients alleged they had been sexually abused in childhood. Professional regulatory bodies have since warned practitioners such recovered memory techniques could implant false memories.

Campbell and her partner Judith Jones (formerly Dawson), a social worker involved in the notorious Nottingham case in which social workers came to believe a genuine and vile case of incest was "Satanic", wrote a book, Stolen Voices: An exposure of the Campaign to Discredit Childhood Testimony, due to be published in November 1999. In fact it was a diatribe against anyone who dared question the existence of ritual abuse and whether some allegations of abuse might be false and it had to be withdrawn on the eve of publication following extensive complaints of inaccuracies and threats of legal action for libel.

Two pre-publication reviews give a flavour. The Independent described it as "a polemic, salted with emotive language and sarcastic commentary". It concluded: "Its authors are so blinded by ideology that they do a disservice to the people they claim to represent." And in a scathing review in the Evening Standard, La Fontaine, who had debunked ritual abuse, wrote: "The authors use personal attack to advance their view. .. The use of innuendo is distasteful and, where I can judge them, the 'facts' are.not true."

Earlier, at the height of the Satanic panic, ih October 1990, Campbell had also produced a much panned documentary for Channel4's Dispatches programme, in which she claimed to reveal evidence of Satanic child abuse in Nottingham. . The Nottinghamshire chief constable, Dan Compton, whose officers had exhaustively investigated the allegations of ritual abuse and murder made by social workers (including Campbell's partnerJudith DawsonlJones), sent a dossier to the home secretary "to kill off once and for all" the claims of ritual abuse. He accused Campbell's film of "sensationalising unsubstantiated stories". At least the OBE will look better on the Campbell CV than the pulped book and derided documentary.

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A Small Selection of The Claims Made by Beatrix Campbell and Her Satan Hunter Associates Including Criticisms of The SAFF


 This thirteen page article by Beatrix Campbell in Radical America Vol 21:4 (1988) concerns mostly the Cleveland Mass Lift case.   Beatrix begins by insisting that the paediatricians and social workers were 'right' despite the findings of the Butler Sloss enquiry and then moves on to posit what appears to be a convoluted political ideology of endemic sexual abuse linked to male-dominated, right-wing family structures which are protected by the police and the judiciary at the expense of the victims, the children.    In a very strange postscript which indicates that Beatrix is clearly of the 'glass half full' persuasion the article continues.

'on the contrary, the doctors' diagnoses were vindicated. The judge and her panel failed, however, to critique the behaviour of judges during the life of the Inquiry, who threw out Cleveland cases on the grounds that the diagnosis was suspect. The judicial panel found no reason to doubt the pediatrician's clinical findings - an astonishing affirmation of the signs seen on the bodies of 165 children.'

Anyone who can turn abject official condemnation of the Cleveland farago and it's report into a supportive document for those who were admonished, must not be reading the newspapers the rest of us read.


 New Statesman October 1990.  Beatrix Campbell writes of  'Ritual Sacrifice', a conspiracy involving high-ranking members of the police and  people in powerful places,  'allegations of sexual and ritual abuse', 'witch parties' and of obtaining 'expert advice on Satanism'. She complained that Social Services Team leader Christine Johnstone was detained  by the police 'until she agreed that there was no witchcraft in Nottingham ' . What Beatrix did not  mention was that Christine Johnstone is a Christian Fundamentalist who, a short time later, appeared on a fundamentalist video giving 'witness' about the supposed satanic abuse of children in this case and praying to Jesus to save their souls.  This video - sold through Christian fundamentalist bookshops throughout the country - also included sections equating the use of Ouija Boards and Tarot Cards with the Devil.   


Social Work Today October 1990:    Beatrix Campbell's 'Dispatches 'documentary'  on the Nottingham case, (aired on Channel 4 on October 3rd) is given a positive review by the influential journal of the British Association of Social Workers.  They accept as fact that persistent ritual abuse occurred in a satanic framework (later completely discredited by the JET enquiry report) and that a tunnel had been discovered where the children in the case claimed they had been abused, that one witness had claimed that she had seen children being killed for sacrifice and bodies being dumped in other people's graves.  An 'expert' on SRA believed that 'the country is riddled with Satanic Abusers'.  This 'expert' was Diane Core from Childwatch, who at one time was reported as claiming that over 4,000 children a year were being sacrificed to the devil in the U.K. Unfortunately for Beatrix it soon became clear via the Independent on Sunday that it is well known to all who live in the area that Nottingham is built on a Sandstone outcrop and is riddled with caves and tunnels which are used for a variety of perfectly legal purposes (i.e. storage).


November 1990:  Beatrix Campbell writes for  Marxism Today, about :  'the latest horror story, ritualised sexual abuse, a culture of sexual terrorism, power and sacrifice.'  that people who 'respect  children's accounts of 'satanic' or ritualised abuse aren't taken seriously'.    She maintains that there is 'an inability to imagine that 'satanic' practices actually happen, that  'organising rituals to penetrate any orifice available in troops of little children; to cut open rabbits or cats or people and drink their blood; to shit on silver trays and make the children eat it' are too horrific to be accepted.     The problem is, of course, that the definitive government report on the scare concluded that such horrible tales have been tortuously confabulated from children's impressionable minds via constant and repetitive questioning by Inquisitorial social workers seeking to produce evidence to corroborate their preconceptions and in every case there has been no actual forensic evidence to prove any of it.    We do not see nightmares imposed upon delicate minds by insistent social workers as helpful either to the children or to the innocent adult victims of this scare.

Beatrix then employs the  failed arguments of the Christian Evangelical circuit (The Chapter on The Bloody Sacrifice in Aleister Crowley's MAGICK - see boykiller.htm ) to contradict the police's claim that they have studied hundreds of other books on occultism and satanism which do not promote human sacrifice or harm.  She then goes on to describe Team 4 as a 'largely secular network of skilled women' completely bypassing the fundamentalist beliefs of  Christine Johnstone and the completely unacceptable world-view of the then director of social services, Andrew Croal, who after denouncing abortion publicly as 'a form of ritual abuse' resigned and took up a job as a leading member of a Christian Evangelical Mission, travelling the country holding seminars on satanic abuse!


A day seminar held on March 17, 1993 is heralded in Community Care magazine.  Hosted by Beatrix Campbell the advert says:  'Do we feel judicial hearings from Cleveland onwards have helped or hindered good practice?'   Beatrix Campbell will trace recent issues discussing her thoughts and ideas to date.  this promises to be an important and stimulating day for anyone involved in child sexual abuse. There will also be an opportunity for open discussion.  Tickets are £18.50 per head and 'demand for places will be high'. (cheques made payable to the B Campbell Seminar)

WHERE SATAN GOES UNSEEN :   An attack on the S.A.F.F.?

Beatrix Campbell is given a column in the Independent to reply to Bryan Appleyard's coverage of  the definitive government report on Satanic Ritual Abuse which the Indy published a week previously.  The government. report concluded that SRA was a myth created by Christian Fundamentalists and promoted by extremists within social work.   Campbell maintains, to the contrary, that this view was a result of a campaign by satanists to conspire to undermine the 'advocates of children'. Her inference appears to be that the campaign by 'satanists' confused the issues and lead to invalid conclusions.   The basis of her argument is that  

'Within two weeks of the first published report of the first discovery of alleged satanic abuse in Britain, an organisation of satanists circulated chief constables, directors, of social services and the Home Office with reports that tried to undermine the credibility of the care workers involved in the case . And they have responded similarly to subsequent controversies.'  
Presumably Beatrix is here referring to the SAFF because we are to our knowledge the only 'organisation' which distributed background information to such people at such an early date.  Indeed, we were the first and only organisation to see the dangers in this myth and had been tracking it for months prior to it going public in a blaze of publicity.  Beatrix indulges herself in claims about ambiguous, un-named sources.  If  we are not that group then let Campbell state exactly which 'satanic organistion' she was writing about.     We are NOT of course Satanists.  However the point is even if we were Satanists how would that devalue the presentation of genuine facts?    Watch out Beatrix, your prejudices are showing.      Secondly information from the SAFF has always been absolutely accurate and turned out with the passage of time to be the only rational response of any independent organisation to this issue.  No other group had the vision to realise how dangerous and long-running this scare would  turn out to be.   Thirdly,  it is our democratic right, nay responsibility, to correspond with policy makers and contribute information on the issue as we see it to avoid injustices and the victimisation of those non-mainstream beliefs.   Lastly Campbell says that this 'satanic organisation' tried to 'undermine the credibility' of care workers.   We succeeded in undermining only those people in the ranks of the satan hunters who were pursuing an unjust ideology based on prejudice and deceit.    We have of course always only ever conveyed the TRUTH about this issue.   Campbell's inference appears to be that contributions from Witches, Satanists, and those who hold New Age beliefs will be by qualification counterfeit whereas we believe that only people versed in these subcultures can provide a proper insight.  Time has shown how right our view has been.     In Campbell's opinion we must all accept whatever falls from the mouth of children, foster parents, social workers and Marxist Feminists without question however improbable their statements and if we do question we are likely to become 'Satanists' for doing so.  Yet the truth is that if the SAFF had done anything else other than portray the truth about their activities those care workers would have quite rightly sued us . They didn't because they couldn't - SAFF research has allways been truthful and accurate.     


 7 June 1994.    Continuing her vituperative attack on the author of the government's definitive report  (which concluded that Satanic Ritual Abuse did not exist), Campbell uses her column in the Independent to question the research.  Again she relies on the 'we are not all Christian fundamentalists' take.   It must have slipped Campbell's mind that she sat next to Andy Croall, the former director of Social Services at Nottingham on the TV programme After Dark, which discussed the 'prevalence' of Satanic Ritual Abuse and during which  Croall made his infamous statement about Abortion being a form of ritual abuse.  Croall made his Christian fundamentalist world-view clear to all viewers.

There is plenty of first hand evidence of the fact that the Christian Fundamentalist world view influenced and promoted this scare either directly, or through the indoctrination of third parties.    In this piece Campbell says that 'U.S. self-styled experts in SRA were not involved in the cases,  failing to mention that many of the  British specialists and 'experts';  used in the Nottinghamshire case used research and training methods provided by 'U.S.experts'  to delineate SRA cases!   Furthermore Beatrix seems completely unaware that one of the 'specialists' who contributed to the Social Services' knowledge about Satanic Ritual Abuse , Maureen Davies,  had also re-exported details of the Broxtowe case to her fundamentalist buddies in the U.S. as 'proof' to critics there that Satanic Ritual Abuse existed in the U.K.!  The logic went thus:.  Fundies and Therapists on the make in the U.S.A. couldn't convince the authorities there that Satanic Abuse existed because they were using the same 'believe the children' techniques which didn't pan out.   In order to add weight to the evidence the US satan hunters exported their half-baked cases as though real and proven  into the U.K. via fundamentalist agitators and British fringe therapists who were ready to portray them as definite proof that a satanic consipracy to abuse children had been uncovered in the U.S.   After these witch-hunters created the first SRA case in the U.K. (the Broxtowe case) the fundie agitators sent back information on the Broxtowe case as 'proof' that the USA satan hunters had been right in the first place!  Indeed Maureen Davies, a fundamentalist agitator  who attended many satan seminars as an 'expert' and who lectured to British social workers and police about Satanic Ritual Abuse contributed an article to a Christian fundamentalist journal in the U.S.A. which the editor heralded as proof  of the 'fact' that SRA existed in the U.K. and that this validated all the earlier U.S. cases.   Even though no such proof was extant and eventually the Satanic abuse aspects of the Broxtowe case were officially discredited.  There is therefore AMPLE proof of  the contamination of the British cases of claimed SRA by American fundamentalists and American self-styled 'experts' in SRA, some of whom , like Maureen Davies herself, were later publicly discredited.  It is balderdash of the highest order for Beatrix Campbell to claim that the fundamentalist circuit had no influence upon British social workers' beliefs about Satanic Ritual Abuse.


The Guardian  Weekend  10th September 1994:   This five page Guardian special by Catherine Bennett gives an up-to-date overview of the Satan Scare and includes input from both sides in a balanced way.  The failures of  the Rochdale and Orkney  SRA cases and the conclusions of the recently published government report which repudiate the idea, are discussed with protagonists from both sides.   Completely reversing their original public claims the NSPCC backtracks.  Kevin Barratt their Policy Director says ' We are not saying it doesn't exist, we;re saying we don't have evidence of it from our workers and the families we've worked with.'     The NSPCC's July 1989 Press Report (which was released in conjunction with that appalling Cook Report's now thoroughly discredited programme, The Devil's Work)  actually stated the reverse, that they had firm evidence from their branches and workers that satanic ritual abuse DID exist.   During 1988/89 the SAFF attempted to build up communications with Barratt personally offering lots of background data and information, help and assistance. Though we wrote to him many times, and presented many papers and pieces of research  Barratt demonstrably failed to engage with us.  In fact we also wrote many times to the then director of the NSPCC and most of its executives without getting a valid response either.  After getting this run-around over nearly a year we lost patience with the NSPCC  and told them that we were going to publish all the research we had sent them to shame them into action. The NSPCC's response was to set their blue-chip London Barristers onto us, threatening a writ in order to silence us!   Why was the NSPCC now switching tack?   A different climate was manifesting and many of those who previously believed in SRA had realised it was bunkum.    According to the author of this Guardian article, Beatrix Campbell, refused to be quoted when Bennett wanted to question her about the Despatches Documentary she had produced on the Nottingham Case.  


Sight and Sound Magazine, September 1994.   Beatrix Campbell and Judith Dawson/Jones commence a critique on the research of Elizabeth Newson into whether what is seen in videos and on TV can affect the minds of children.  Following the collapse of the Rochdale so-called Satanic Abuse Case believers in SRA like Dawson/Jones and Campbell are attempting to validate the accounts of children on which, it has become clear, virtually every piece of 'evidence' to suggest the existence of Satanic Ritual Abuse depends.   Basically Newson holds that the repository of images in a child's mind is affected by what he/she sees and that it is not always possible for them distinguish between reality and fiction when those situations are recalled.   This was the explanation the Judge in the Rochdale Case accepted.  That the children had been  allowed to watch horror videos and under 'disclosure' by social workers, replayed mixed images from reality and the videos which confirmed the expectancies of the Satan Hunters in the Rochdale Social Services.   Jones/Campbell repudiate this,by interviewing other 'experts' who believe the contrary and by insinuating that because Newson has joined forces with the British False Memory Society ( who have historically contested the Satan-Hunters' views, her conclusions are somehow devalued.


Community Care 24-30th August 1995.  Beatrix Campbell  sets out her ideology which seems to be saying everyone who does not accept her avowedly marxist ideological view of society is somehow out of step with genuine child care.  After inferring that the police and the courts are more interested in their own function than in protecting children she goes on to question the Butler Sloss Inquiry report on the Cleveland Scandal.   Those with long memories will remember that the mass lifts of children in Cleveland were prompted by over-enthusiastic child care workers fuelled by the anal dilation syndrome method used by two consultant paediatricians , Higgs and Richardson,  to identify cases of  'child abuse'.   The completely unreliable ADS caused a massive increase in the 'detection' of  so-called child abuse, the vast majority of which were totally unfounded.  Once in the hands of  the social services mafia, some of the children gave 'evidence' under 'disclosure' and mass child-lifts commenced. The usual clean-up and white-wash operation by the Establishment occurred after the event.  Much wringing of hands and the inevitable public inquiry was held and accepted by all, except, it would seem, for Beatrix and a handful of others who have since fought to repudiate it under the banner of an organisation called C.A.U.S.E.   The campaign was not , now, about whether the size or shape of a child's anus was a reliable guide to whether they had been abused or not, but about the fact that what the children  said in their 'disclosure' questioning, was not believed.  This is of course the KEY fundamental of  all witch-hunts.  Historically the acceptance of Spectral Evidence by courts during the witch crazes of the 15c allowed children to fantasise all manner of obviously ludicrous happenings which were taken as true by the courts and lead to the deaths of thousands of innocent adults. The same mechanic was evident in Salem and is clearly occurring today under the claims of  'ritual abuse'.    It was only when the courts began to reject Spectral Evidence that the 15c witch craze  began to abate.  

 Therein lies the difference between  Beatrix and the SAFF.  She insists that we should believe the children whatever they say in order to help them; We insist that it is not necessary to believe anything before helping children in distress but for forensic /detection  purposes nothing must be believed until it is proven.

John Freedom, Mortlake.


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