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Read How Private Eye Gets It Right As The Rest of the British Media Play Into The Hands Of The Satan Hunters.


Private Eye No. 1166    September 1st -14th 2006: Page29

(emphasis and links added by the SAFF)

When the headless and limbless body of a young African boy was found in the river Thames in September 2001, proponents of a belief in satanic ritual abuse (see Eyes passim) claimed this gruesome discoverywas the first forensic physical evidence that finally proved it existed.(www.saff.ukhq.co.uk/ttorso.htm )

The believers have steadfastly refused to accept the Department of Health-commissioned report which concluded definitively in 1994 - after the debacles of  false allegations in Rochdale, the Orkneys and elsewhere across the UK - that satanic ritual abuse in this country was a myth.

Initially key advocates tried to persuade the Metropolitan police investigating the murder of Adam - the name they gave the unidentified victim - that it was a case of ritual abuse. They hoped the case would vindicate their claims and restore their credibility.

Early in the police investigation into the case of Adam, one of the most active believers in satanic abuse, Valerie Sinason (see Eye 1158), a Harley Street psychotherapist and psychoanalyst, offered her expertise to the police.

Sinason, who claims to have treated 300 survivors of"ritual abuse", has long tried to persuade the police that satanic abuse was a reality. (www.saff.ukhq.co.uk/dohjunk.htm ) In February 2000 the Metropolitan Police seconded Acting Detective Chief  Inspector Clive Driscoll to investigate her claims to have interviewed 76 children and adult victims who, she said, had made allegations of satanic sexual abuseand murder.  Although no forensic evidence was found to substantiate her allegations.

Also present at the seminar was Colonel Kobus Jonker(pictured), a born-again Christian from the South African police,who ran a unit investigating satanism, satanic cults and "occult related crime" manned by officers who, he said, were all devout Christians. (www.saff.ukhq.co.uk/ttorso2.htm) Sinason had worked with him when she was based at the University of Cape Town.

At the RAINS conference Jonker gave presentations from the police perspective on "ritual abuse" investigations in South Africa and  theUK. Jonker then became a high profile consultant to the Metropolitan police investigating the case of Adam.

Officers travelled to South Africa to meet him.

Thereafter the police referred to the Torso in the Thames case, as it became known, as a "ritual" killing and spoke of "black magic rituals"

At least some officers must have been persuaded that satanic ritual abuse existed because in October 2004 the force sent 30 officers from the child abuse investigation command on a one-day course to help them identify the satanic ritual abuse of children. This was organised by a barrister called Lee Moore, the founder and former president of the Association of ChildAbuse  Lawyers (ACAL), who ran a consultancy service and training courses for  professionals who work with "ritualistic crimes".

Then in June last year a report commissioned by the Met was leaked to a reporter  from BBC Radio 4's Today programme which claimed that young African boys  were being trafficked to the UK and murdered as human sacrifices in churches after being labelled by pastors as "witches," possessed by the devil. The sensational story was linked to a previous statement from.the Metropolitan Police leaked to the same BBC reporter, Angus Stickler,saying 300 African boys had gone "missing" from school rolls over a four-month period. The story was picked up by the London Evening Standard which splashed with a front page headline: "Children sacrificed in London churches".

The black communities and churches were outraged, claiming the reports were racist and false.

Days later the police issued a statement saying there was no evidence whatsoever to support the claims of sacrifice. The police report was never published and the claims of child sacrifice were said to have been "anecdotal" and emerged during focus groups in the black communities of London.

The report had been commissioned following the death of Victoria Climbie, an eight-year-old girl from the Ivory coast, who died in London in February 2000. She had been tortured to death by her great aunt, who brought her to England, and her boyfriend who believed Victoria was possessed by Satan.

Two weeks before the Met police report was leaked, two women and a man were found guilty of cruelty to an eight-year-old girl known as Child B, brought to the UK from Angola, who was cut with a knife, beaten with a belt and shoe and had chilli peppers rubbed in her eyes to "beat the devil out of her". The girl's aunt, one of those convicted, attended an African evangelical Christian  church which preached a belief in witchcraft and possession.

The police report was shelved and the Department for Education and Skills commissioned a study to investigate the extent of  child abuse linked to a belief that children were "witches" and possessed, as happened to Victoria Climbie and Child B.

The Eye has learnt that Valerie Sinason contacted the researchers and attempted to contribute her alleged cases of satanic ritual abuse but was rebuffed( www.saff.ukhq.co.uk/sinalt.htm )  The researchers swiftly concluded that the kind of abuse which they were investigating had nothing whatsoever to do with the discredited notion of satanic ritual abuse. It was almost the opposite;  abuse by those who believed the children were satanic.

The DfES report, called "Child Abuse Linked toAccusations of "Possession"and "Witchcraft ", was published in June.The author, freelance researcher Eleanor Stobart, concluded that belief in possession, witchcraft and exorcism was widespread in the UK and around the world, in African churches which had been influenced by evangelical Christianity,in Anglican churches in the UK but also in other religions which involved a belief in good and evil. >She identified 38 cases involving 47 children mainly from Africa but also from South Asia, the Caribbean, Mauritius and also from a white English background. In each case the abuse occurred when an attempt was made to"exorcise" the child.(www.saff.org.uk/everyman1.htm)

The abuse consisted of  "severe beatings and other premeditated cruelties such as starving, burning and isolating the child." None involved sacrifice.

The abusers involved (mainly carers rather than parents) were predominantly evangelical Christians - but they also included Muslims - who all believed in possession by evil spirits and exorcism.

They were categorically not - and in fact were quite the opposite of - satanists sexually abusing and sacrificing children during black magic rituals.The-researchers received no evidence or even anecdotal reports of child sacrifice. They did identify a real and deeply unpleasant problem of child abuse by adults acting in the name of religion.

Meanwhile the case of Adam remains unsolved. Maybe the murder involved some form of horrific ritual. Maybe the child was mutilated to disguise his identity - as has happened in rare cases elsewhere. But the simple answer, despite the attempts to use the case to defend a more general belief in satanic abuse, is that no one knows. "

Ends: Copyright Private Eye, 6 Carlisle Street London W1D 3BN

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