Indy Sells Its Readers Four Year Old News

From The Sub-culture Alternatives Freedom Foundation (S.A.F.F.)Protecting the Right to Freedom of Belief since 1988.

Dear Editor

How disappointing to discover the Indy, the newspaper which did most to expose the 1989 Satan Scare, helping to re-ignite a new one (SATANIC ABUSE NO MYTH, SAY EXPERTS April 30th). Unfortunately this 'new' evidence was actually first announced in 1996 and the Satan Hunters made great play of it then and on numerous occasions since!

It is the same faulty anecdotal testimony gained from disturbed adults under therapy which the satan hunters in social work relied upon last time. Activists who were involved with RAINS (Ritual Abuse Information Network & Support) floated the scare of Satanic Ritual Child Abuse in 1989, so in effect this new report is the same discredited allegations from the same caucus as before.

Supporters claimed that RAINS had 'disbanded' when public sentiment swung against them after the blunders in Rochdale and Orkney. They denied ever having used the term 'satanic' in order to escape censure yet here they are, a decade later, openly flaunting the very same 'satanic' allegations. Supposed Satanic Brood Mares producing unregistered children for Human Sacrifice etc., Like last time, there's not one jot of forensic evidence to prove it and we are thoroughly surprised that you gave these people space.

We were also astonished to find you criticising Professor La Fontaine's 1994 report on this issue without giving her the opportunity of explaining the manifold differences between her definitive research and the cobbled together hearsay in the Sinason-Hale report. That was very unfair. The latter certainly does NOT replace or undermine the conclusions in the former as your reporter would have known had she bothered to read it.

We warned the Department of Health month's ago that giving any credence to this 'new' evidence will simply open the door to further propaganda from the Satan Hunters and ultimately re-create the terrible sufferings which were imposed upon innocent families in Rochdale and Orkney a decade ago. Those responsible for that suffering got away with it last time because the scare was brand new and mistakes were made because, they excused, everyone was learning how to handle it. That get-out cannot be used this time, by the satan hunters nor by your journalists.

I suggest that this report would be a good opportunity for the Labour government to get up to speed and nail this myth once and for all. Readers can make up their own mind by surfing our website which contains some astounding revelations about the background to the Devil-Report and the direct link with Christian fundamentalist activists who conned the public during the first scare.

Sincerely, John Dennis, assistant director, The Sub-culture Alternatives Freedom Foundation [SAFF] (Est1988).

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