The Worst Book in the World on SRA
CHILDREN FOR THE DEVIL: Ritual Abuse and Satanic Crime
What the press thought of Tate's 'The Devil's Work'
"Checkpoint meets The Avengers" wrote Thomas Sutcliffe of the Independent.
"Cook would probably have the edge in idiocy" snarled Anne Billson of The Times.
"Disturbing only because of the shoddy style in which it was carried out." jibed Naomi Porter of the Eastern Evening News.
"If satanists have stuck pins into an effigy of Cook it'll maybe make him jump to it and bring some real action into investigative television" lampooned John Gibson of the Edinburgh Eve.News.
"Mr Cook is a slimeball and if Old Nick is really on the prowl he should cast him into the pit of eternal agonies forthwith!" disparaged Mark Sanderson of Time Out.
Other journalists were equally as scathing.
"The Cook Report had more holes than Keith Floyd's colander" (YEP).
"As scary as a Carry on Hammer film" (Sunday Mail).
"Unintentionally amusing aspects" (Daily Express).
"Too disturbing? Too silly I'd say" (News of World).
"Devil Didn't register" (Evening Telegraph).
"Devil of a letdown"(The Sun).
"Surprised that it was allowed to go ahead at all" (Daily Mail).
"Usual Tabloid TV fodder" (E. Independent);
'The Devil's Work' was becoming a special all right, but not in the way Cook had intended. To cap it all a viewer wrote a complaining letter to the TV times. She was shocked and disgusted, but not by Satanists, but because Cook had allowed Gays to be labelled as 'Devil worshipping child-molesters'.
for the Devil remained in Limbo for the next 30 years. Extracts
were occasionally referred to by hardened SRA hunters but copies were
rare. However in late 2020 a few chapters from the book began to be pirated,
digitised and uploaded to the internet. The fundies just love
intrigue and the new generation of evangelicals were beginning to give
Children for The Devil a credence it did not deserve. Hundreds of
conspiracyloons are now pinning their hopes on a resurgence of the
unfacts in Children For The Devil.
This SAFF webpage has been published to counter the idea that Children for The Devil is a reliable book detailing real cases of SRA which have been proven beyond doubt.
SAFF research shows that since 1987 when Tate helped start the SRA
scare, there has not been one instance of SRA prosecuted through the
courts and every case he submits as 'genuine SRA' in his book actually turned out false. We itemise them for you below.
massaged the myth of Satanic Abuse in newspaper and magazine articles, in
Radio and TV interviews and he spoke at some of the now notorious Satan
Seminars which indoctrinated Christian evangelical social workers and
police into believing in an imaginary threat to children. He promoted the idea of
SRA until it became a divisive force within society and then took a back seat to let
others run with the ball, which is, unfortunately, still bouncing all
these decades later.
Recently, fundamentalist conspiracyloons in the Qanon vein have re-discovered Children For The Devil as though it is some treasure-house of factual information and are using it to boast that they have 'proof' of the existence of Satanic Ritual Child Child Abuse. The book is a crock of unfacts and sectarian malice, but written so partially, prejudicially and selectively and in such a pseudo-academic way that the ignoramuses in the Satan Hunter cliques cannot tell they are being fed a string of artificial pearls.
Tim Tate should forever hang his head
in shame at not correcting his monumental errors from 1991 which are again being
misused, not to protect children from harm, but against the best
interests of a pluralist society.
In this report the SAFF exposes Children For The Devil as the propaganda exercise it really was, and gives the REAL history behind Tate's wicked attacks on innocent people doing their best. Once you've seen it you will know who to trust on this issue.
Tim Tate's book runs to over 370 pages of unmitigated tripe. We have no intention of wasting our time rewriting the whole thing to expose the dozens of mistakes and untruths in every chapter. The SAFF had already completely discredited Tate's claims of having found historic cases of SRA when his book was first published, which you can read here, so we have concentrated on two salient chapters, Chapter 4 and Chapter 8 in detail and the rest of the book by referrals within that. These two chapters concern the background to the 1990 Satanic Panic and the resultant abortive Cases of the 1987-1991 period.
Failures in the Broxtowe, Epping, Ayrshire, Orkney and in particular the Rochdale SRA case all dealt the idea of Satanic Abuse a death-blow from which it has never recovered. They all failed miserably and often at the expense of ruining childrens' lives. This is the nub of Tate's SRA claims. The completely unneccessary death of Caroline Marchant is a case in point. It is interesting to read again, with the hindsight of what we now know, of the corruption of social services and the creation of false-cases by bigoted Social Workers and fundamentalist Christians which caused untold suffering to hundreds of small children and their families, and watch how Tate presents these obsessives as 'professional' people who have childrens' best interests at heart. It is salutary to see him use the 'authority' of discredited informers to back up the SRA myth and illuminating to watch how he vindictively attacks the motives of anyone who challenges or questions the idea of Satanic Ritual Child Abuse.
Please note that the notations 'pp325' denote page-breaks in the original book and are included for reference.
All SAFF information is appended in blue type.
All images on this page can be seen full-size, in easy to read format, simply by clicking on them. (Right click, choose view image, use magnifying glass to enlarge the graphic, or if using a tablet/phone, double press on it the image.)
Children for The Devil: Chapter 4 - The organisation of Evil (1) Published 1991
Traditional Satanist groups have - and still do - conduct human sacrifice'.
Anton Long, Practising Satanist, July 1987.
May 1989 Britain's foremost occult businessman, Christopher Bray,*
published the results of a unique survey. Bray, owner of the
Sorcerer's Apprentice bookshop, retailer of ritual equipment and
regalia and self-appointed spokesman for the British pagan movement,
had polled more than 1,000 of his established customers. The idea was
to provide the first reliable guide to the beliefs, interests,
affiliations and motivations of occultism in this country. Bray also
hoped to find evidence to 'disprove' the existence of satanic ritual
'The Occult Census' , as he called the poll, was a thorough and impressive piece of collation. What it revealed, amongst many other facts was that of the sampled 1,000-plus pagans, 41 were practising Satanists and more than 200 others registered some interest in the religion. Who are these modern Satanists; how do they become Devil-worshippers and what, precisely, do they do in pursuit of their worship'?
Satanists, at the end of the twentieth century, are often divided into three categories: dabblers, religious Satanists, and members of what police sometimes describe as 'satanic cults'. Because little academic research has ever taken place into the incidence and nature of Devil-worship it is unclear whether there is much...
* Christopher Bray is not himself a Satanist and has no personal involvement in any of the practices described in this book.
[SAFF edit: Just to make sure you got that. Here, at the start of his chapter on Modern Satanism, Tate is unequivocally stating that Mr Bray is NOT a Satanist and has no personal involvement in any of the alleged abuses or perversions mentioned in Tate's book. Now you may be asking yourself why, if Tate, who has spent years amassing 'evidence' of SRA, cannot find any evidence linking it with Mr Bray, is he mentioning Mr Bray at all?pp104
Children for The Devil: Chapter 8: Perpetual Holy War : Published 1991
Perpetual Holy War.
'Witch-hunt is launched over books and TV ..
Satan's Care Bears banned.' -
Headlines in Independent on Sunday, October 28, 1990.
In September 1990 Christopher Bray, occultist, entrepreneur and self-appointed saviour of the pagan world, railed to his customers a new call to arms, an invitation to embark upon a New Age 'jihad' in defence of their rights of worship. Occult belief and practice, he thundered, were under attack from accounts of satanic ritual abuse.
This is The Greatest Confidence Trick of Modern Times. Religious extremists have deluded millions of Britons by massaging their bigotries and prejudices. How were a handful of warped people able to create a nationwide terror which bound up government, police and the social services in utterly futile investigations without a shred of evidence to support their allegations And why are the authorities still, even now, giving credence to their discredited allegations' ?The answer, according to Bray, was that there was an international conspiracy to persecute perfectly peaceful and law-abiding pagans: a conspiracy that took in all levels of government agencies, press, television and therapists. Behind it were a shadowy collection of fundamentalist Christians determined to manipulate unsuspecting children for their own sinister purposes.
This is, of course, paranoid gibberish.
[SAFFedit: Paranoid Gibberish? Really? Tate tells you it is gibberish and demands you believe him, the SAFF however provides detailed facts alongside to show that what Mr Bray wrote is fact.
'Next month 50,000 evangelicals will march through London', and,
'The Evangelical Alliance claims to represent a million active Christians'.
These quotes, from the article alongside, 'Evangelicals Marching as to War' was published in the Independent in April 1988. Tate first got involved in investigating SRA in August 1987 after a Christian psychiatrist Stuart Checkley convinced him that he had a patient who claimed he had been Satanically Abused (pp xi).
There is no doubt about the Evangelical/Fundie push in the lead up to the Millennium. It was incessant.
Tate ignores and repudiates it because it doesn't fit his narrative.
The truth is that In 1988 (two years before Tate's comment about 'Paranoid Gibberish') Chris Bray published a printed pamphlet called The Decade of Evangelism (see panel below for text) which alerted the public to the societal dangers of a world-wide fundamentalist campaign to convert 20 million people to Christianity by the year 2000. How would they manage this I wonder? Hmnn, let me see... by creating hysteria over a non-existent threat to children perhaps?
The Decade of Evangelism campaign, started by the obscenely wealthy TV Ministries which put Reagan into power, came from the US. Just as false allegations of SRA did. Three years later, when ample evidence of an up-tick in evangelistic agitation had occurred right across the nation, Tate baldly tries to confuse his readers by claiming in Children For The Devil that Mr Bray is talking paranoid gibberish! What he doesn't say is that Tate himself publicly confirmed the existence of fundamentalist attacks on Mr Bray and his shop in July 1989 when, in a head-to-head interview on Radio Leeds, Tate said: '
By mis-portraying Mr Bray as a paranoid religious fanatic Tate undermines his unparalleled knowledge of comparative religions and besmirches a valid point of view.
Nowhere is this more evident than when Tate states that Mr Bray is paranoid about Christian fundamentalist extremists seeing as how Tate was writing this two years after they had firebombed Mr Bray's bookshop!
Yes dear reader, there is no mention of the firebombing of The Sorcerer's Apprentice by manic fundies anywhere in Children For The Devil. The arson attack occurred the week after Tate's despicable Cook Report 'The Devil's Work' was broadcast. Mr Bray is adamant that the Cook Report incited that criminal act. For the record SAFF have tracked Chris Bray's pronouncements and predictions about the fundie menace for three decades and, unlike Tate, he has rarely, if ever, been wrong. ]
But then so is the opposite view, shared by many evangelical Christians, that there is an international conspiracy of Satanists who are busy taking over the planet. The truth is that the rival paranoias of pagans and priests have created their own war - a war in which children's quite genuine disclosures of satanic ritual abuse are either abused or discarded as battle rages on. And as with all wars, truth - in the pages of the newspapers or in television reporting - is one of the first casualties.
The aim of this chapter is to untangle the history of the conflict and show how the ill-considered evangelical battle-cry led to a misinformed pagan backlash, which in turn helped create a canon of entirely inaccurate reporting. The final result was an apparently insoluble public confusion.
[SAFF edit: Tate's choice of headline for the title of Chapter 8 is interesting. Perpetual Holy War. He nicked it from an article in Mr Bray's own magazine, The Lamp of Thoth, issue 22 (summer 1988) - see the illustration of it to the right. Tate, relied on cherry-picking controversies from The Lamp of Thoth, which, being an occult magazine, is replete with hard-hitting articles and debates, though, importantly contains nothing promoting criminality. Mr Bray's article on Perpetual Holy War in LOT22 discussed the then burgeoning campaign by fundamentalist activists to attack and discredit all mystical and occult methods using false claims of sexual abuse related to Witchcraft and Satanism. A campaign which the SAFF has incontrovertibly proved existed beyond any shadow of doubt in subsequent years, regardless of the dismissive way Tate tries to brush it away in his appalling book.
Christians and the occultMaureen Davies is tall, Welsh and approaching middle-age. Desperately sincere in her Christianity, she has claimed to have been involved on the outer fringes of a Anglican coven and to have been abused as a child. She brought both alleged experiences to bear on the vocation she adopted in 1987 - director and full-time case-worker for the Evangelical Alliance's new mission to the occult: Reachout.
[SAFFedit: Tate is misleading the reader. Reachout Trust was inaugurated by Doug Harris as an outreach to provide 'safe houses' for escapees from the Jehovah's Witness Christian sect. He ran it like that for several years without mentioning SRA; until Maureen Davies, a dental assistant, who had a long history of fundie activism joined him. Davies was in touch with extreme fundie groups in the U.S. in 1987 where the SRA myth first started. She imported those false accusations of SRA into the UK. She started her own Reachout branch (which specialised in accusations of SRA) in her home town of Rhyl, in the spring of 1988 and did impromptu exorcisms on the day! (see illustration right).
The Evangelical Alliance's move into campaigning against SRA occurred after Maureen Davies and Kevin Logan (both Reachout Directors) went to the EA with their false allegations of SRA in 1989. The Evangelical Alliance then created it's 'Coalition against SRA', in response to a conglomerate of fundie activist groups like Reachout Trust, Christian Response to the Occult, and The Christian Medical Fellowship, all of whom were heavily involved in pushing the lies about Satanic Ritual Child Abuse from 1987 onwards. The reason we outline this in detail is that Tate appears to be portraying mainstream evangelical Christianity as originating the SRA allegations when it all came through Reachout and associated OTT fundie groups. The EA were drawn into the SRA controversy by Reachout which made the running, not the other way around. Note also that Stuart Checkley, the psychiatrist who first turned Tate on to SRA in 1987 was a key leader of the Christian Association of Psychiatrists. What we have here is a fifth column of fundies taking over the mainstream Evangelical Alliance and radicalising it. The full history of Reachout's strategy can be seen in our expose of it here: http://saff.nfshost.com/reachout.htm: ]
'Reachout Trust is a Christian organisation. Part of its work is to help those people who are trapped in the occult, and we cooperate with other agencies in this. I head up the occult side of the work on a national level, and this work can be divided into three parts:In this privately circulated 1989 pamphlet., Maureen Davies set out the evangelical case against, the occult. It was, she concluded a broad church - everything from Neo-pagans to cannibalistic Satanists - and the one quite frequently led to the other.
[SAFFedit: It was not a privately circulated 1989 pamphlet, it is an 'official' Reachout overview of SRA first published in 1988 and sent out to journalists, media, social workers, campaigners and particularly other fundamentalist agitators. It was titled 'Satanic Ritual Abuse' and was given as a lecture at most of the notorious Satan Seminars during the 1990 Satanic Panic and handed out to delegates afterwards. The unpalatable bits which Tate does not mention are when Davies says :
You get the idea? Davies spent years complaining about silly things like Astrology and Transcendental Meditation, then suddenly jumped into high-gear to promote Satanic Ritual Child Abuse. Reachout's primary intention was to save souls, not protect kids from sadistic abuse. Anyone who believes this religious fanatic needs their heads examining.
The problem with this argument is that it is simply not sustainable: nor indeed was Davies' research anything more reliable than unchecked (and indeed uncheckable) rumour and accusation. None the less, the Evangelical Alliance, Reachout's parent organisation set about pursuing a new crusade against all things occult; all non-Christian religions or superstitions are linked in this analysis. Witchraft was an umbrella term - a sinister blot on the world, in whose shadows lurked everything from clairvoyance to child abuse in the name of Satan.
Unfortunately, the EA appeared unable to determine what precisely that religion was: its pamphlets and educational packs lumped horoscopes, Halloween, Spiritualism and tarot cards under the one banner of witchcraft. There was no mention of the existence of the definable and historic religion of Wicca - the real base of modern Witchcraft as opposed to Satanism - much less a realisation that only Halloween and some aspects of the Tarot have any faint relationship to it. Instead, the EA's concept of witchcraft was of an all-embracing non-Christian distraction into the path of evil:
A neighbourhood seance. An astrologer's telephone help-line. Teenagers' fun with ouija boards. These seemingly innocent entertainments could be entrances to a sinister world of evil and destruction. Involvement with the supernatural through tarot cards, ouija boards and Spiritism is inflicting mental, spiritual and physical damage on growing numbers of people, many of them still at school. And seemingly trivial activities such as horoscopes and Halloween parties can be part of the process.... While there is no evidence of anyone having been hurt through checking their stars in the entertainment media, there is a danger that for some this will create an interest in seeking to know their future through more direct occult involvement. As the Rev. Tom Walker says in his book, 'The Occult Web': 'A strong fascination with astrology can bring anyone into bondage and fear,...' Witches are real: There are real witches in this country today. They don't wear pointed hats and ride broomsticks, but they have been tricked into following Satan. At Halloween they pray to Satan and enjoy evil.'
The message of this highly inaccurate leaflet - boldly entitled 'Doorways to Danger' was clear. Any form of occultism was the top of a slippery slope into the madness of witchcraft, And to be sure that its audience understood the nature of that religion, the EA subsequently issued a press release, with an explicit warning from its general director, Rev. Clive Calver:
'Witchcraft and spells may be fun as long as they remain fiction. But when reality rears its ugly head and children are abused on the altars of pagan gods then the Church and society must respond.'
SAFF edit: The sectarian lies against Neo-Paganism in Doorways To Danger caused massive controversy at the time it was published in late 1987. Amongst the people giving 'witness' in the now infamous screed were Kevin Logan and Audrey Harper, both directors of Reachout Trust. Later in the video version Judith Dawson of Broxtowe's Team 4 also appeared hyping the threat of SRA. Doorways to Danger was thoroughly discredited in this forensic analysis here:
The EA was not alone in spreading its message. Maureen Davies worked closely with American evangelical groups - regularly exchanging 'intelligence' with Larry Jones' Cult Crime Impact Network Inc. - and the growing number of ad-hoc and amateur 'support groups' for ritual-abuse victims in Britain. Among the best organised of these - and, to be fair, least amateurish - was Dianne Core's Childwatch organisation.
Throughout 1988 and 1989 Core regularly turned up in the press, on television and at public meetings to push the witchcraft- satanic international conspiracy line. She, like Davies, seemed to make little attempt to distinguish between the religions.
Core's motivation was not primarily spiritual. She was - and remains - a passionate and caring advocate for children who have suffered. Her concern is genuine; her efforts tireless and unstinting. Yet she shared with Maureen Davies one fatal trait: ritual-abuse 'fact' to both women was established when one apparent survivor gave them a new detail, incident or allegation. No matter that these were generally impossible to verify, the mere voicing of a word or phrase was enough to establish that as a solid pillar of their 'research'. Just such an example was the so-called 'Scorpio' and 'Devil-fish' satanic child-abuse rings.
Core first heard the names of the groups in Hull and Newcastle respectively. 'Scorpio' was the name Matthew - the teenage rent boy whose case brought Childwatch and Humberside social workers into conflict in 1988 - had put to the group of his abusers. Anxious to find supporting evidence, Core routinely asked those who sought her help if they had heard of it. Occasionally one or two children would say they had, and the therapist would typically 'share' her existing information about Scorpio with them. From such contaminated and uncertain evidence did Childwatch build a conspiracy theory. 'Devil-fish' originated in information supplied by a Tyneside church-worker. He rang Core to tell her about two teenage girls who had come to him several years previously with a strange story of sex-rites and drug-taking in the name of Satanism. The girls said the group involved was known as 'Devil-fish'. But by the time Core took his call both girls had disappeared.
Undeterred, Dianne Core pressed every survivor or parent she met for information. By suggesting the names to those contacts she had effectively made any confirmations evidentially worthless. One of those she spoke to was Janie, the South London mother whose family Childwatch re-located in Hull. Janie put the names to Laura and Bobby. Some vague confirmation emerged, and the information was passed back to Core.
[SAFFedit: Here Tate refers to the supposed SRA case of Janie (mother) and three children , Laura (3 yrs) and Bobby (2yrs) and a babe in arms, who lived in Lambeth, South London, which Tate covers on pp28 and pp189. The Lambeth SRA case began in August 1988, shortly after the first claims of SRA were made on 15th April 1988 when Geoffrey Dickens MP, ( Childwatch's parliamentary representative) , made a statement about Satanic Abuse in Parliament which caught headlines across the country.
The mother Janie, took her children to the social service department to be tested for abuse, ostensibly due to her abusive and violent husband. Both parents were dysfunctional and had drug and mental problems. The family was breaking up. The test proved inconclusive in one instance but possible in another. Under disclosure questioning the two year old boy said to one social worker that he had been tied upside down and a crucifix had been inserted into his anus. How a 2 year old boy would be able to convey this or even know what a crucifix was, is problematic. Clearly the social worker (quite possibly one of those then taking a keen interest in the latest new social work fad of SRA) had prompted the 2 year old.
This set off a train of events. The mother Janie, repetitively questioned the two children. By February 1989 Tate says 'Laura and Bobby were disclosing more and more detail about rituals' including a 'Leopard Man' . One must keep in mind that the Satanic Abuse hysteria in the British Press was running parallel with this case and allegations and narratives were appearing consistently to 'guide' any evangelical Christian social worker who sought confirmation of SRA.
One such article appeared in April 1988 'Evil Rites Threat To Our Children.' from Dianne Core's Child-watch group. During 1988 Core had managed to generate over eighty (80) scaremongering articles about SRA in the press, so the public were being tutored in the 'dangers' on a weekly basis. Tate was already working on his 'Devil's Work' TV documentary and production was at an advanced stage. Although the public were only just becoming aware of SRA behind the scenes in social-work circles it had been the leading-edge buzz since Autumn 1987.
On 16 April 1988 Mr Bray had telephoned Dianne Core to complain about a radio interview she gave in which she had complained of children getting hold of goods he sold. He explained to her that he had a hard and fast rule not to sell any items to under 18s and she should be careful of defaming him. During that telephone conversation Core 'threatened' Chris Bray with the Cook Report; sort of 'I'm working with the Cook Report on SRA and they're looking into businesses like yours' . Chris said to tell them to get in touch, he had nothing to hide and would be glad to assist with his expertise, whereupon she rang off.
During March 1988 Tate first interviewed US 'SRA expert' Pamela Klein, whose expertise was later dismissed by a USA judge as 'not a legitimate therapist' but, according to the JET report, before that happened Tate and Wyre obtained from her the bogus 'Satanic Indicators' which were at the root of at least 10 sensational cases of abuse which believers designated as Satanic Abuse during that period; all of which turned out to be completely false. In one shocking case, the Epping SRA case, Klein designated it as a full-blown case of SRA over the phone!
The JET (Joint Enquiry Team report) into Broxtowe said that until Wyre introduced the Satanic Indicators to the social workers there the children had not mentioned anything remotely satanic but were afterwards interrogated on that issue until a tissue of fantasies was generated. Broxtowe was pivotal to the creation of the Satanic Ritual Abuse Myth in the UK and Tate's involvement with it was seminal. Tate is not just an observer he is a prime-mover of the SRA scare. The full story about Broxtowe and it's pivotal effect on the SRA myth is contained in this SAFF expose here:
Laura and Bobby were the small children whom the Cook Report team exploited by being filmed undergoing an 'exorcism ceremony' in Tate's 'The Devil's Work' (see here at 4mins57secs in ) in Rev. Kevin Logan's Blackburn church. Logan is a director of the Reachout Trust. In the 'congregation' is Maureen Davies, another director of the Reachout Trust and the woman in the blue twin-piece is Audrey Harper, another director of the Reachout Trust. Davies controlled the 'helplines' after the programme. This exorcism scene was utterly unnecessary and fabricated for the cameras. Laura and Bobby are lead to the altar by their mother who is holding their baby brother. In a voice-over she says:
They've had ritualistic things done to them with Snakes, with crucifixes, they've been taught to pray to the Devil; they were in fact brainwashed'
As the children are being 'spiritually healed' Roger Cook's voiceover says ;
'most of these people are too frightened to be identified,....amongst the victims is the 12 year old son of Jean Bolonovski' .
Jean Bolonovski is the mother of the boy Tate calls 'Matthew' in Children For The Devil (pp208). He was the unruly glue-sniffing boy who later admitting lying to the police and making up stories of satanic rituals in Core's Longhill SRA case. He is therefore not allowed to speak for himself - his mother speaks for him and outlines a catalogue of Satanic Horrors. Horrors which the boy had already admitted were fantasies but which the Cook Report included anyway.
The Lambeth case and the Longhill case were both from Dianne Core's stable of SRA 'survivors' and both turned out to be made-up cases - another two fails from Tate's list of 'proven' SRA cases! Don't believe us? Then hear Laura's own words:
This is what Laura (not her real name of course but we will use the one Tate invented to ensure continuity) told us:
Now I don't know what this says to you dear reader but what it says to me is that Laura was abused and traumatised by the very people who were accusing imagined Satanists of abusing children.
Why did none of them see that Laura's mother needed help and that the children were at risk from her? Why did social workers allow these amateur SRA vigilantes to control the lives of these needy children instead of giving them the help they really needed?
Why? Well, as the SAFF has said many times before, the primary purpose of Satan Hunters is not to protect children but to establish the idea of the existence of SRA which is actually a figment of fears from their own minds. How Tate can now present that period as entirely the fault of Dianne Core without admitting his key part in the scandal, is an utter disgrace.
Throughout 1988 and the first half of 1989 'Scorpio' and 'Devil-fish" became unshakeable fixtures in the apparent firmament of satanic groups preying on children in Britain. By the time Core met up with Natalie and Kitty they had assumed a disproportionate status in her eyes. Inevitably, given the feverish paranoia under which she worked, Core somehow assumed that Natalie's abusers were part of the same organisation.
In March 1989, she travelled to America on a lecture tour sponsored by Lyndon LaRouche's New Federalist magazine. Core had already established firm links with his German-based publication, Executive Intelligence Review, and absorbed something of both its obsession with the OTO and its own escalated paranoia. When she spoke in Europe under its auspices she travelled with an armed bodyguard.
The speech Dianne Core gave in Atlanta, Georgia, that March was the epitome of the evangelical-inspired conspiracy theory. It also recklessly identified Natalie, by using her real name and discussing the forthcoming Old Bailey trial.
The group Natalie [this pseudonym did not appear in the speech] was in - Devil-fish - was a subsidiary of a group called OTO (Ordo Templi Orientis) which was started by Aleister Crowley. He initiated a lot of very high-ranking people into this organisation and it became very powerful and still is very powerful. It is a very dangerous organisation.... Let's go through the facts [of Natalie's case] . The first fact is that human remains were found in a house where Natalie lived with her grandmother. The second fact is that she is so badly mutilated inside that she won't ever be able to have children.'
It is an indication of Core's regard for the 'facts' that none of those statements concerning Natalie are true: the girl had never heard of 'Devil-fish' - much less confided its name to Core; no human remains were ever found, anywhere, at any time during the investigation into her case; and - happily - Natalie has every prospect of successfully having as many children as she wants.
Core's speech was dutifully recorded on videotape and transcribed by her enthusiastic hosts. Both were made available via mail order by the end of March. The details she gave not only put in jeopardy the forthcoming trial but, more seriously, made Natalie vulnerable by disclosing her identity. It was a stunningly irresponsible act.
[SAFFedit: Misdirection, Tate's book was published in 1991, Natalie's trial was over and done with by May 1989 and therefore Tate already knew what had affected the trial outcome - SRA fantasies dreamed up by Natalie.
This section on Core is typical Tate humbug. For sure, it was wrong of Core to reveal 'Natalie's' real identity in fact she could have been prosecuted for it. Apart from the upcoming trial of Natalie's alleged abusers at the Old Bailey (which was sub-judice at the time) , children in cases like this are always legally anonymised to avoid further suffering of themselves and their family. However, look at the two images above and right.
It is of course entirely possible that such groups as 'Scorpio' and 'Devil-fish' exist. It is theoretically possible that they may indeed be affiliated to the Ordo Templi Orientis. The problem with Core and Davies is not so much that they have no evidence upon which to base their allegations, but that in parading these stories around the world in such a cavalier fashion they contaminate an unknown number of children's disclosures.
[SAFFedit: This section of Children For The Devil, where Tate highlights the grandstanding tactics of Dianne Core reveals just how far off the mark Geoffrey Dickens and Core were, trading on superstition and supposition to self-create facts about SRA which did not exist. They weren't alone of course, almost every single person involved in pushing SRA did the same; but Tate writes from personal experience as he was in close touch with Childwatch and worked with Core throughout the early part of the first Satanic Panic.
So that's another claimed SRA prosecution in Children for The Devil which turned out to be untrue!
The Atlanta speech also found Core spreading the message about the evils of witchcraft:
Now, concerning recruitment into satanic-abuse cults, Teachers infiltrate the schools and start to teach your children history lessons about witches and paganism and the occult. You get after-school recruitment where teachers will take pubescent children at an extra-curricular lesson, and start talking quite casually about ouija boards, Tarot cards, herbalism and other kinds of off-the-wall things. And the children are naturally curious, as you know. The Satanist loves this natural curiosity. He really homes in on it and makes a meal of it.'Part of the satanic technique, according to this analysis, was heavy-metal rock music. Core was about to educate her listeners with the second strand of the evangelical assault on all things occult.
The next thing I have to tell you is quite unusual. You would think it was unusual, but kids are being recruited through rock music. Through Heavy Metal. Have you ever been upstairs in your son's bedroom to read the words on these heavy rock records? It is horrifying... brainwashing and it is stored in the sub-conscious to emerge, if the child becomes hooked on the stuff, in quite catastrophic ways.... So what can we do? I know what we can do.... We must become one loud voice - a choir of Christianity, whose collective voice will drown out the voice of Satan, who will smash his trumpet of victory never to be heard again.(pp325)
That collective voice found expression in 1991 when Childwatch's long-time patron, the Conservative MP Geoffrey Dickens, introduced an amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill as it progressed through Parliament. If accepted - and it is almost certain not to be - the clause would make illegal child participation in witchcraft and paganism in all its forms as well as Satanism itself. Dickens could not distinguish between Satanism and Wicca - let alone between malefic and non-malefic Devil-worship.
'I don't want children getting involved in witchcraft - whether it s paganism or black witchcraft. What I object to is children being ensnared and corrupted and enticed into witchcraft, which I think is totally unhealthy and is leading to many sinister things.'There is - as with all good conspiracy theories - a germ of true fact underlying all this evangelical eye-wash. Without doubt some of those attracted to the occult do progress from Wicca to Satanism. David Austen, the British representative and high priest of The Temple Of Set, was one such:
For me it was basically just a gradual development. I found conventional religion didn't really answer what I was looking for. I wanted a bit of excitement, something slightly different, something that gave me an experience. I started off with witchcraft and then the various branches of ritual magic. Gradually I drifted into what is basically black magic, the left- hand path: Satanism."The key to the reality of the supposed slippery slope to Satanism is contained in what Austen said. He was, in any event, looking for the thrills and spills of satanic worship, having tired of conventional - Christian - religion. There is no empirical cause-and-effect data to prove the slippery-slope hypothesis that Dickens, Core and EA advance.
SAFFedit: Ah, the old fundie 'slippery slope' argument. Tate worked with Austen on his research for The Devil's Work. Part of this was when he wined and dined Aquino at a swish Surrey country-club where the notorious faux 'Satanic Initiation' scene was shot for The Devil's Work using paraphernalia purchased from Mr Bray's shop bought secretly for that purpose and then gifted to Austen afterwards.
In fact there is a worrying consideration. The Devil's Work broadcast statements that Aquino had abused a child AFTER the police inquiry into it in the US had found there was no case to answer! The false allegations were made by a chaplain who had already had personal run-ins with Aquino in the US. They posited Aquino as guilty and broadcast those claims knowing he had been cleared. They could have easily edited/modified their programme to include a voice-over saying that the investigation into Aquino had found no evidence to support the allegations against him, but they did not do this. Probably because it would have completely undermined their entire narrative. So the Cook Report just allowed the frame-up to be broadcast and manipulated the minds of 9 million viewers! The Cook Report framed Aquino just as they had tried to frame Chris Bray.
What, in heaven's name, was all the fuss about Tim?The same truth holds good for the evangelical approach to rock music. We have seen already that performers like Ozzy Osbourne use a smattering of satanic imagery to sell their product, And without doubt some teenagers are badly affected by it. The case of Andrew Newell illustrated that. Equally there are some bands whose music, lyrics and beliefs are evocative of child abuse in quasi-occult circumstances.
The Temple ov (sic) Psychic Youth is a loose-knit London-based organisation formed around a rock band called Psychic TV. Videos of the band's performances - sold with accompanying texts from the Temple - clearly show it to be heavily influenced by Crowley. There is a suggestion of child sex - or at least of children present during adult sex - in rituals which take place during the performances. But however nasty it might be - and the Obscene Publications Branch was, in October 1990, examining ToPY's material for potential violations of the indecency laws - there is no reliable evidence to support the contention that satanic rock music is part of an international recruitment campaign amongst pubescent teenagers.
[SAFFedit: The idea that Psychic TV was involved in Satanic Ritual Abuse was a scaremongering hoax promoted by Andrew Boyd, a rabid fundamentalist agitator who wrote a book called Blasphemous Rumours in 1991 which claimed to contain evidence of and testimony from witnesses who had suffered SRA from Psychic TV. On the strength of the so-called research for his book Boyd fooled Channel 4 TV into broadcasting a Documentary entitled Beyond Belief which caused a national sensation when broadcast on 19th February 1992, purporting to show a video of actual Satanic Ritual Abuse occurring.
The final strand in the evangelical argument linking Satanism and child abuse to less extreme occult religions is a little better grounded. Campaigners like Maureen Davies and Dianne Core point to occult bookshops and mail-order businesses as the major suppliers of satanic texts and paraphernalia. This is unquestionably true: Chris Bray's Sorcerer's Apprentice sells all that the budding Satanist needs to begin a life of Devil-worship. But such is the hysteria surrounding the evangelical campaign that occultists like Bray have closed ranks and denounced even genuine evidence of ritual abuse as part of a Christian witch-hunt.
[SAFFedit|: Wow, four un-facts in two sentences!
Occultists and ritual abuseIn October 1989, a Neo-pagan known variously as Jeremy Tribe and Peter Elliot published the first issue of a new magazine. ORCRO- 'The Occult Response to the Christian Response to the Occult' - set out to de-bunk the evangelical campaign which indiscriminately linked ritual child abuse to any and every occult religion. Unfortunately, it quickly adopted the worst traits of its opponents - shoddy research and unsubstantiated prejudice. 'At the time of writing - April 1989 - not one substantiated account of child abuse relating to what ran legitimately be called occultism has been produced' .
As we saw in Chapter 4, there had been five successfully prosecuted cases of ritual abuse in Britain by the time that editorial appeared. Six months later, far from having discovered its error, ORCRO was pleased to proclaim:
When ORCRO was founded it was clear that many of the Christian experts' comments as regards occultism indicated that they were simply not experts on occultism. That their material was in many cases second hand, inaccurate, misquoted and in general so full of holes that one could drive a bus through it. Court cases cited as examples of occult-related crime turned out to be no such thing. Promised court cases somehow never materialised and continue not to materialise."The explanation for this apparently perverse refusal to believe in the evidence of decided cases was to be found not in ORCRO itself but in the increasingly hysterical ramblings of Christopher Bray, proprietor of the Sorcerer's Apprentice, publisher of The Lamp of Thoth and compiler of occult surveys. Bray's curiously twisted logic had led him to a profound revelation. Whilst it was true that some people committed serious criminal offences in the course of apparently satanic rituals, these merely proved that those responsible were not occultists, since occultists never committed offences. Therefore, the crimes could not have been occult-related or satanic because their perpetrators were not true occultists. QED.
[SAFFedit: It is nice of Tate to tell his readers what he thinks Mr Bray thinks but this is the second time he has tried it and he made a fool out of himself the first time when he tried to tell the tribunal at the Broadcasting Complaints Commission what Mr Bray thought. 'How would you know what I think! ' retorted Mr Bray, and the tribunal waited whilst Tate shuffled through his papers and stuttered about having it in print somewhere. 'No you haven't, for I didn't know that fact until you mentioned it just now.' responded Mr Bray. As usual Tate has it wrong again. Tate appears to be constantly putting words into other peoples' mouths which they have not said. We asked Mr Bray for his comments on this paragraph and he told us: 'Instead, according to Bray, the whole satanic ritual-abuse phenomenon was a sinister fundamentalist Christian conspiracy to stamp out other religions - a campaign that started in America and had been imported unquestioningly into Britain by a gullible press, Behind it all, apparently, was San Francisco Police Intelligence Officer Sandi Gallant (1)
Gallant's interest was both professional and religious. Applying her police 'after-incident' training to the imagined problem of ritual child sexual abuse she found a ready-made professional audience willing to listen to her as spokesperson for the SFPD Gallant's attempts to inflict upon the UK the same extremes of suppression foisted upon the USA succeeded..., Using her material Maureen Davies was able to link together the Christian fundamentalist network in the UK and manipulate the media throughout the whole of 1988 and 1989. Whether or not you believe that this was a planned conspiracy or a subconscious one is irrelevant to the material results, which is that totally untrue allegations were used as a device by bigots to work against another religious belief,' 2
[SAFF edit: Is Tate saying that this is untrue? Because if so then it's another one of his un-facts. The image on the right shows how Sandi Gallant liaised with nutter fundie 'Cult Cops' in 1986, at one of CCIN's first Satan Seminars; and inadvertently helped them whip-up sectarian hatred against Pagans and Satanists. Her 'expertise was then imported into the UK in articles in 1987. Tate has already told his readers that Reachout's Maureen Davies imported SRA allegations from CCIN in 1987. By late 1990 Gallant was distancing herself from the fundie nutters and claims of Satanic Abuse. What exactly did Chris Bray get wrong here Tate?
Perhaps the strident fantasies of Christopher Bray would not matter so much if he had not allowed his magazine to be used in ' 1988 as an unquestioning recruitment platform for two of the international satanic orders we examined in Chapters 4 and 5 - the Temple of Set and the Process Church of the Final Judgement. Bray has subsequently argued that he included their membership drives - and, with them, contact addresses - because he believed in giving his readers access to the full range of occult belief and opinion. Yet this is precisely the charge levelled against him and fellow occult businessmen by the likes of Maureen Davies and Dianne Core.
[SAFFedit: Tate quickly descends into tabloid smear tactics in order to portray Mr Bray in a bad light to readers. Let us inform the reader instead of manipulating him/her.
If Bray and his opposite numbers at ORCRO had genuinely wanted to protect the good name of most occult practitioners they would have offered their help rather than bilious invective. The occult community is - almost by definition - a hidden one: while most of what occurs behind its closely guarded doors is anodyne to the point of bland tedium, a proportion is not. The curious point about such occult. evangelists as Christopher Bray is that he has tried to sweep the reality of ritual abuse further than ever from public view. To do so he needed the help of the media, and in 1990 he got it.
[ SAFFedit: Tate spinning his web of deceit again! Firstly, the purpose of the Sorcerer's Apprentice bookshop, was to publicise the wide range of ideologies and philosophies which were available across the UK so that bigots like Tate could not misrepresent them. Fundies would like to think the occult is 'hidden' because it makes it sound suspect but in reality it is wide open for any and everyone to see. That's the problem! The fundies WANT to suppress it and make it hidden so others cannot get access to pre-Christian Wisdom of the Ages. The entire SRA myth is an attempt at censorship of the Ancient Wisdom.
Ritual abuse and the mediaIt is a truism to say that we get the press we deserve. It is none the less true. Until the latter part of the 1980s, reports of Satanism and bizarre ritual abuse were confined to the screaming headlines of the Sunday tabloids Under such banners as My witchcraft made the rock idol Eric a Daddy - I used magic blood potion' or Sex in a field to make plants grow', self-styled occultists made less than credible claims about smells, spells and bells. Gradually, throughout the decade these became rarer, to be replaced by scarcely better-documented claims from a handful of alleged ex-Satanists. Doreen Irvine and Marion Unsworth were amongst the first in Britain, Jacquie Balodis and Cheryl Horton their counterparts in the United States.
Their stories, announced in 72-point type as 'I saw teenage girl killed in a sacrifice to the Devil' or 'Babies sacrificed to Satan' became standard gutter-press fare. What they lacked in discernible detail - and they lacked a great deal - was made up for in gory colour, A common feature was that most had rejected the occult for one of Christianity's more evangelical sub-divisions,
This early generation of alleged adult survivor stories has been superseded by a small cottage industry devoted to churning out autobiographies of women who claim - on very slender evidence - to have been involved in satanic abuse and sacrifice. Like their forebears, these new survivors' stories are almost without exception cynical and exploitative trash.
[SAFFedit: More unmitigated nonsense from Tate who delights in rewriting history to suit himself, regardless of facts that are staring him in the face.This cheap and nasty journalism ensured one result above all else. When genuine ritual child-abuse stories - stemming not from adults making uncheckable allegations, but from the tortured disclosures of toddlers and pre-school victims - emerged in 1987, the cultural climate was set against them.
'I could never understand why we didn't get more interest from the press and media,' Judith Dawson recalled in 1990. 'When I asked reporters they said their editors found the subject "too tacky", or "too much like the tabloid scare stories". The ritual abuse of children in Nottingham just wasn't going to be on the agenda for the national media.'
What the coverage needed was a new angle. It got one in 1988 and 1989, when previously respectable organisations like Childwatch and the Christian Church - albeit in the guise of the Evangelical Alliance - began issuing press releases, speaking at conferences and doing their best to raise the temperature. But before long journalists began asking to see some genuine evidence of what the campaigners had asked them to take on trust. Maureen Davies was in something of a fix. Her information was, as ORCRO had rightly pointed out, frequently second-hand, and rarely verified. Anyone with an axe to grind against the occult was guaranteed a sympathetic ear at Reachout, provided they had a story to tell of drugs, death or danger.
By the summer of 1989 the honeymoon was over. The satanic ritual-abuse phenomenon had once again been relegated to the bold headlines of the Sunday tabloids. If it was raised in the serious press it was treated to a wry and knowing turn of phrase. Even the NSPCC was widely criticised for having been duped.
SAFFedit: Like the Serpent from Eden Tate's silvery tongue flicks out forked, mixing fact and fiction to bend the reader's mind to his point of view. His theory is that SRA existed but genuine cases of it which were being pursued by respectable and sensible social workers could not be heard for the cacophony of mindless sensationalism and internecine squabbles between Pagans and Christians in the tabloid press. What absolute bunkum!What brought the issue to some kind of life once again - and ensured that the pendulum swung even further against understanding - was a series of so-called dawn raids on a council estate in the Lancashire mill-town of Rochdale during the long hot summer of 1990. The Mail on Sunday - never a paper perceived by social workers as one to support them in the perennial battle against sexual abuse - led the pack:
'They came and they snatched children. They ignored the screams and the yells. They were unmoved by the tears and the lamentations. They had timed their call for 7am. All over a council estate in Rochdale, Lancashire, uniformed and plain-clothed policemen accompanied by social workers went about their work.'The date was June 14 - let not only the people of Rochdale, but the rest of us, too, not forget it easily.
Behind this arch and melodramatic prose are the results of 'an investigation' the paper had undertaken. Sixteen children were removed from four families on the estate in conditions of some secrecy. The cause was suspected satanic ritual abuse. The spur had been disclosures to social workers in the town by a six-year old boy. He told a now familiar story of having been locked in a cage witnessing strange ceremonies in which sheep were sacrificed by adults wearing white robes and hoods, He identified the other children who were present, It was these youngsters who were taken into temporary care.
[SAFFedit: What an unsympathetic hack Tate really is. Those little Rochdale kids were asleep in their beds when police burst in on them at the crack of dawn and strangers from social services dragged them screaming from their beds as parents fought to prevent it all. All Tate has to say about this absolutely disgusting act it is that the Daily Mail should be castigated for using the term 'Dawn Raids' when the sun had probably come up an hour earlier! Then after ameliorating the despicable tactics of Rochdale Social Services department, he tries to say it wasn't so bad because the youngsters were taken into 'temporary care'. TEMPORARY CARE? One of those innocent children from their equally innocent parents was kept from his loving home for SIX YEARS. The parents had to mount extensive and expensive legal challenges to get their other kids back after 18 months. Tate should hang his head in shame at trying to minimise the suffering of these children and the mistakes that the people he supports made in that scandal, for which there is absolutely no excuse whatsoever. To get a flavour of what happened from the mouths of the children themselves, now adults, you should watch When Satan Came To Town: on the SAFFutube channel here:(pp331)
The boy's initial disclosures had been made to a teacher at his school. She had found him one day cowering in a cupboard, clearly and visibly distressed, In addition to the rituals involving sheep, he also described seeing a baby being born and then being killed, and graves being dug up and crosses burning in ceremonies.
The teacher told Rochdale social services and on 28 March the boy was taken into temporary care under a Place of Safety Order. The raid which took away the other children did not happen for another three months - months in which the boy's stories were assessed carefully. Rochdale's mistake was to attempt to keep the case under wraps. Despite having acted perfectly properly at this stage, the social services department believed that it. could avoid the attention of the media. It was wrong.
[SAFFedit: Again Tate rewrites history like some Stalinist agent, recreating a new truth to hide the scandalous actions of Rochdale Social Work Department from the readers' gaze. The RSWD had no real evidence of any form of abuse, let alone Satanic Abuse. They lied, and cheated and corrupted the process which was designed to protect children.
The Mail on Sunday located the parents of the six-year-old whose tearful disclosures started the process. His mother confided in the reporter that it had all been her fault: she had let her son watch video nasties - horror films she named as The Evil and the Dead, Dungeons and Dragons and The Boy Who Could Fly. Gratefully, the Mail on Sunday accepted this excuse and announced that the whole story had been a fantasy based on watching television. There was one problem; none of the films mentioned contained any of the details the six-year-old had given to Rochdale social services, Some of those details did, however, match known indicators of satanic ritual abuse.
[SAFFedit: Dishonourable obfuscation! There were no 'indicators of Satanic Abuse' until people Tate supports invented them in 1987! Tate pulls this trick on every other page. Kids talk about the same Satanic things, he says, so there must be Satanic Abuse. The truth is that kids talk about horrors which are common to their own childish fears and it is Satan Hunters like Tate who define those horrors as Satanic. The fact that the child on which the Rochdale case hinged was frightened through watching 'video nasties' is true and it is also true that it was the Video Nasties which caused the child's nightmare fantasies, not Satanists! Tate is trying to imply that the Daily Mail seized upon the idea of Video Nasties as an easy excuse to cover up Satanic Abuse, but there was no Satanic Abuse and it wasn't just the Mail which accepted horror films as the prime cause of the little boy's fantasies, so did the official inquiry ( which was held after Tate's Children For The Devil went to press). It resulted in Lord David Alton spearheading new laws in parliament to avoid children watching Video Nasties which came into effect in 1994. ]From September onwards the media had what it wanted - a new angle. In truth it was a reprise of the old Cleveland myth - social workers as over-zealous busybodies persecuting innocent families. And, as in Cleveland, the Rochdale social workers would not allow the families even to know where their children were placed. Parents complained about being refused permission to send their offspring birthday presents or cards: the press gleefully reported each new heart-rending story.
What the reporters did not bother to discover, much less report, is that in cases of ritual abuse it can be vital to isolate a child completely from the circumstances of the abuse. There is good evidence - from law enforcement as well as from therapeutic analysis - that offenders in such cases attempt to silence their victims by sending or delivering little reminders of what went on in the rituals. Often these have taken the form of birthday or greetings cards with an animal featured prominently on the front, To the untrained eye they look as innocent as their manufacturers intended: for the ritual-abuse victim they can act as a subliminal trigger to revive past warnings about keeping quiet. [SAFF edit; The idea of Trigger-words or Trigger-symbols was invented by Satan Hunters to condemn parents they had falsely accused on specious grounds and has absolutely no basis in fact. See SAFF trigger-word analysis here: ]
There was one other difference between Rochdale and Cleveland. In the Lancashire town the social workers had not gone to untrained magistrates asking for rubber-stamped care orders; they had placed decisions about the children in the hands of a senior high-court judge. Wardship orders were sought, and most were granted - but only after the judge heard counsel for the families make out their case.
Wardship, as we have seen, effectively stifles debate. With the Rochdale case now largely out of reach, the press began to look anew at the issue of ritual abuse itself. It did not like what it saw.
The reporter most prominent that summer and autumn worked not for a sleazy tabloid but for a supposedly respectable paper of record - the Independent on Sunday. Rosie Waterhouse had joined the paper several months before after a highly publicised dispute with her previous employers at the Sunday Times. There she had been just another young woman reporter: she had not delivered many memorable stories and, although she had been offered details of the early stages of the Broxtowe case, when the children were taken into care and before the disclosures of ritual abuse, she had not managed to get the item published.
Waterhouse began investigating the origin of and evidence for the ritual-abuse phenomenon, by August she had become convinced that it was a fake. On 12 August 1990 she published a lengthy article under the headline 'The Making of a Satanic Myth'. The story alleged that there had never been a proven case of ritual abuse; that the phenomenon was entirely the work of fundamentalist Christians who had imported bad research from the United States, which had undergone a similar witch-hunt; and that the sole starting point of every story was the publication of Michele Remembers in 1980, Waterhouse complained:
There have been police investigations across the United States, in Canada, the Netherlands and now in Britain. They have produced no evidence. No bodies, no bones, no covens, no underground tunnels, no animal carcases, no bloodstains. Nothing.'
Any reporter can be wrong; any writer may make a mistake. Waterhouse was wrong on all counts - as we have seen there have been bodies and bones, there have been tunnels, mutilated dogs, and blood by the bucketful. All have been explicitly and judicially linked to Satanism.
Nor was she finished. Between August and October she published several more 'investigations', each purporting to show that ritual abuse did not exist and was a myth sustained by fervent and fundamentalist Christians. Every single article was grossly misleading. The Independent on Sunday refused to publish retractions. It ignored letters from therapists, psychiatrists, doctors and the association formed to research the issue, RAINS - Ritual Abuse Information Network Support. Waterhouse refused to talk to anyone whose view opposed the paper's line. Instead she made herself available for television chat shows.
Throughout the autumn the Independent on Sunday created a new truth: ritual abuse was a fantasy, a chimera conjured up by hysterical social workers and improperly motivated priests.
The NSPCC was singled out for a smear campaign. Waterhouse alleged that it had been responsible for brainwashing the Rochdale social workers. The NSPCC denied this. [SAFF edit: Another rewriting of history by Tate. As you can see by the cutting shown to the right in which the NSPCC admits fault for priming social workers with false SRA evidence.] the NSPCC was behind Anyone who had attended any seminar on ritual abuse became, de-facto, unreliable, their judgement clouded simply by listening to carefully presented workshops. The Nottingham social workers were not immune.' Judith Dawson was once again under attack, and in an article for the New Statesman in October 1990 said:
contagion is spreading throughout the land, one that is insidious and
dangerous. This contagion takes the comforting form of a sceptical
and rational enquiry, and its message is comforting too: it is
designed to protect 'innocent family life' against a new urban myth
of the satanic abuse of children inspired by evangelic
fundamentalists. Social workers are depicted at once as all-powerful
professional zealots who brainwash children into evil fantasies, and
as credulous dupes who
will believe ridiculous tales of witches, wizards and inquisitorial
tortures. But as long as they are discredited and the public remains
on guard, the children will be safe. Will they 2 In just a few weeks
this contagion has demonstrated a devastating power that has deeply
impressed the Nottingham team in which I work. For three years we
have worked with children who have been grossly abused, sexually and
physically tortured in a context that would be difficult to describe
other than as ritualised. During the past few weeks our personal and
professional reputations have been eroded. It is being said that we
were influenced by our contacts with occult groups - but the
children's disclosures came first. It really is totalitarian nonsense
to imply that additional knowledge produces a closed mind."
Dawson's private life - and those of any other workers prepared to admit that they believed in ritual abuse - became the subject of ill-informed speculation. Ray Wyre was assumed to be a fundamentalist because he had once attended a theological college; one of the Rochdale councillors on the social services committee was condemned because he was (openly) homosexual. Dawson herself was accused of being part of the Christian conspiracy because she gave an interview to the Evangelical Alliance. She was forced to preface conversations with colleagues outside her authority with the declaration that she was not a believing Christian. A new witch-hunt began in 1990 - but this time it was the professionals who were being hunted.
[SAFFedit: Tate self-righteousness is in full swing now giving four inaccuracies in as many sentences. His un-facts are smooth and quick. Firstly Ray Wyre had not just attended a theological college, he was training to be a Baptist pastor at Bible College. Of all the fundies involved in hyping the SRA myth Bible-thumping Baptists are in the lead. Anyone with Baptist training would surely be prejudiced about SRA and so his beliefs were questioned. What's wrong with that Tate, you question esotericists beliefs regularly? You can see Ray Wyre lying about children being killed in Satanic Ritual Abuse ceremonies in this SAFFutube clip here:
Thirdly Tate has not fully declared his own Evangelism:One newspaper alone cannot create such a backlash - let alone the Independent on Sunday, which has the smallest circulation of all the quality Sunday press. But Waterhouse's articles were revealing: the allegations she made, the alleged 'facts' she deployed, and even some of the phrases she used bore a remarkable similarity to those advanced in millions of leaflets mass-mailed by Christopher Bray and other occult campaigners. [SAFFedit: So what?]
National newspapers were a major target. By the end of the summer the campaign seemed to be working. Ritual abuse was deemed to be unreliable in the first place and - more importantly - a distraction from the 'real problem' of incest. The view of Melanie Phillips, social services commentator for the Guardian newspaper, was typical:
The first and most important point to make is this: the controversy over satanic practices Is a monumental and dangerous irrelevance, a distraction from the banal everyday reality of the emotional and physical abuse of children within some families in which cruelty, neglect, rape and buggery take place as part of a distressing perversion of family life.... The second important point is that there has been no evidence of any satanic child abuse practices. It's all rumour and hearsay.... What we do know is that these satanic allegations have only surfaced here in the last couple of years following unsubstantiated claims from the US.The previous decade, with all its effort, all its cases - proven or suppressed - and all its hard-won understanding of the special needs of ritual-abuse victims, might as well never have happened. There was no conspiracy among newspapers to snuff out the flickering flame of understanding in 1990. It happened through lazy reporting and an inability to listen to children' s voices.
[SAFF edit: Tate smears Melanie Phillips for questioning the reliability of claims of SRA. He ignores her wide experience and track-record of decades of working for the best interests of child-protection. He selectively picks out a section of her writings as an example of how things had changed because of something he imagines Rosie Waterhouse and Chris Bray did to change the atmosphere, and in so doing obscures the far more pertinent and detailed article which Phillips penned right at the start of the Myth in 1990 in response to NSPCC claims. Phillips was one of the first to contradict the evidence being offered for SRA, as you can see in the cutting on the right, where she lambasts the NSPCC for originally claiming that Satanists had cooked babies in a micro-wave oven even though there had been no instance of it ever happening!
Therefore Tate is wrong, there had been NO change in journalistic interest. Evidence for SRA had been demanded right from the start and there was no new 'campaign' against courageous social workers by anyone. Simply renewed demands from those people who had been falsely accused of SRA by believers like Tate, to prove their contentions after the 10 first SRA cases all failed. ]
But it had an effect. Social workers all over Britain once again put. away their case files and ceased to talk about Ritual Abuse. Children went unprotected or uncounselled. And in Rochdale -
Whatever the strengths of the original case - and there must have been some strength to have carried it through several interim hearings - Rochdale's social workers threw them away. Instead of taking specialist advice, they insisted on handling the alleged ritual-abuse disclosures themselves. They then failed to record some of these disclosures properly: in a number of cases the sound-track to the videotape was so poor that the children' s words were inaudible. In other cases they breached clear practice rules by failing to keep notes, or only turning on the tape after a disclosure had begun. Leading questions were asked, guidelines flouted.
When the case came before Mr Justice Douglas Brown early in March 1991 the department's case was in tatters. Although three of the seventeen children originally taken into care had been returned to their parents, the council was insistent that the remainder should not be allowed home. But its evidence was fatally flawed, even to the point that sworn affidavits were inaccurate or misleading. The judge ordered all but four of the remaining fourteen children to be released at once and issued a swingeing criticism of the social workers' inadequacies.
Had Mr Justice Brown left it at that all might not have been lost. Although right to order the children home - he had no choice given the department's handling of the case and a complete failure by Greater Manchester police to come up with any corroborating evidence - his subsequent comments suggest that he departed from his own judicial duty to rely on empirical truth.
[SAFF edit: There's a simple reason why the Greater Manchester Police could not find evidence to back up the SRA claims of the Social Service witch-hunters - there wasn't any! As the cutting on the right shows. ]
The judge admitted that there was no way of knowing what the Rochdale children had seen which sparked their disclosures. Yet he allowed himself to be convinced that there was no satanic ritual abuse involved in the case. Similarly, he dismissed the social service department's claims that the children had been administered hallucinogenic drugs on the very weak grounds that no evidence had been found to indicate that their parents were experienced drug-users.
Finally, he chose to accept the notion that all the disclosures of apparent ritual abuse and killing were the product of parents who had allowed their children to watch video nasties. That there was no evidence to support this, other than the parents' own claims, and that none of the tapes contained scenes depicting any of the key indicators of satanic ritual abuse, appeared to go by the wayside.
Mr Justice Douglas Brown should have known better. To criticise a social services department for contaminating and sabotaging its own evidence is one thing. But to come to specific and wide-ranging conclusions because that evidence was missing was very dangerous indeed.
The result was predictable. The issue of satanic ritual abuse became once again derided as the fevered imaginings of social workers over-zealous in their desire to find devils in children' s beds. The Rochdale case - botched as it was - should have taught the lesson that training and research was needed. Instead it relaunched the myth that ritual abuse was a distracting mirage.
Since the middle of 1990 a new orthodoxy has replaced reality. This new 'truth' says that children are never abused in rituals, nor by Satanists; babies are not killed, nor toddlers tortured; drugs are not forcibly injected, nor body waste eaten under threats of death. None of this happens - newspapers tell us such stories are all beyond belief.
(pp337 / pp338)
Chapter 8 ends.
[SAFFedit: In the finality Tate resorts to sarcasm to try to undermine the Truth. After 21 failed cases which he designated as Satanic Ritual Abuse in which these prototype SRA allegations were made, every single one of the prosecutions failed, as we have proven to you in this review.
How well was Tate's book received in 1991 when it was first published? Not very well. In fact within weeks Tate was being sued for defamation by Peter Cole, the policeman in charge of the Broxtowe case. Tate could not substantiate his claims and his publishers admitted guilt and paid a settlement to avoid going to court. Existing copies of Children for The Devil were recalled and pulped. The few extant copies have remained silent for thirty years until a new generation of fundamentalist Satan Hunters rediscovered it and have begun to try to convince those in law-enforcement and child-protection that SRA did exist after all. Perpetual Holy War. It is this which has made it necessary for the SAFF to publish this page, so that twisted minds do not once again get control of and direct child-protection in a way which unnecessarily tortures and abuses small children.
If SAFF were to rewrite Children For The Devil to correct every single one of the many errors and inaccuracies within it then Tate's tragic book would extend to double it's size. This analysis of Chapter 8 should alert all thinking people to the fact that Children for The Devil is nothing other than a disguised Religious polemic, designed to harness the atavistic fears of all parents to marginalise, demonise and suppress all beliefs other than the narrow world-view of Fundamentalist Christianity. Tate makes appeals to the emotions, he propagandises cases, he misrepresents and he discredits, but what he doesn't do is provide any incontrovertible convincing evidence that SRA is a threat.
The simple fact is that Satanic Ritual Child Abuse DOES NOT EXIST but like the hundreds of thousands of conspiracyloons now pushing the Qanon and Pizzagate fantasies on the internet which are all based on the idea of a Pan-Global Satanic Conspiracy to perpetrate evil in the world, Tim Tate will go to his grave insisting he was right. Woe-betide anyone who believes him.
Tony Rhodes & John Freedom,
Mortlake, Imbolc, 2021.
SAFF throws the light of Truth on Tim Tate's Worthless Historic Cases of SRA
Chris Bray and Tim Tate go Head to Head, John Hammond Radio Show July 1989
Tim Tate: the man who Cooked up Satanic Ritual Abuse restarts the Cleveland Scandal.
What a Load of Codswallop! Court Pulp Tate's Devil Book.