Dear Bruce Clark
Thank you for your email explaining the reasons for the DoH funding Valerie Sinasons' report. I am afraid this is just not good enough. Where your letter is not in error, it is illogical and it simply is not acceptable for the DoH to make these mistakes a SECOND time. Your letter and this reply will be placed on our website for the public to peruse. A copy of this email is also being sent to the newspapers who covered the announcement of Sinason's report, and to Tony Blair.
In 1988 the SAFF warned the DoH not to suffer the Satan Hunters in any way shape or form, for their obsession was extremely dangerous and anti-social. This warning was given as right at the commencement of their allegations. The DoH ignored our warnings then and we hold them responsible for allowing the first scare to manifest and all the suffering that followed. The DoH could have called a halt, just as it can call a halt now, but instead it chose to pander to the chattering troublemakers in social work. That the DoH has yet again fallen into the trap set for them by the Satan Hunters and given them yet more leverage to damage children with this pernicious myth is absolutely appalling.
Bruce Clark attempts to pass the Sinason report off as a counterpart review of the same calibre of the La Fontaine study - this is fatuous. Sinason was one of those who gave weight to the FIRST scare in 1988. Not only is Sinason's study biased from the outset but it is thoroughly unscientific in that it seeks to prove her hypothesis not test it. Is there no-one at the DoH with a scientific background? Such a flawed study cannot provide the DoH with proper working data. La Fontaine's report was entirely different. It was professional, impartial and reached a definitive conclusion from the amassed evidence.
In other words the DoH is allowing exactly the same set of conditions to reappear which caused the first scare, as enumerated by Professor La Fontaine in her report! You obviously haven't read it. Be aware that if the DoH continues on its present course innocent children and their families will suffer social work victimisation and mass-lifts as they did before. There is no free-passage via the moral blackmail of child protection on this issue anymore. The public are entitled to demand a greater circumspection, and the DoH has NOT applied that circumspection in connection with the Sinason report.
Is Bruce Clark really saying that the criteria for the DoH dolling out gobs of taxpayers money on fatuous studies like this, (when child care generally is so starved of resources) is dependent upon how vociferous complainees are? Surely the only criteria for spending money on research is the presentation of initial independent research samples which indicate new evidence which requires detailed research to test? Yet Bruce Clark does not make any mention of new evidence. What we have is OLD evidence re-hashed. The same-old same-old. Another mentally distraught woman, another lying fundamentalist, another child brainwashed into a changed reality, another jailed abuser gaining better treatment by admitting to any old fantasy which fills the therapists head. Plenty of jaw, but absolutely no evidence. No bones, no blood, no bodies, no incident sites, no accomplices, no documents, no photographs, no videos, no liturgy, no reason, no motive, nothing. It may come as news to the cloistered civil servants in the DoH but the fact that hundreds of people claim that satanic ritual abuse exists is NOT evidence that it does
The comparison is important because claims of Alien abduction have a direct psychological parallel to claims of satanic abuse and both increase in ratio to the exposure the media gives them. Claims of flying saucers visiting the earth began in 1954 - now they are common-place. Hundreds of thousands of people believe that they occur; thousands of them claim to have been abducted by Aliens. Yet there has never ever been any incontrovertible evidence and the authorities have always ignored their claims. Before 1988 there were no claimed cases of Satanic Ritual Abuse - now thousands of people believe it occurs and hundreds of them claim to have been victims.
We have been this way before. The tit-for-tat arguments about whether people really have been satanically abused (whatever that means) have been rehearsed for the past decade in every claimed case. What matters is that there has not been one jot of hard evidence to support those claims. The SAFF even did free research for the DoH and produced The Satanic Footprint report, which provided a method by which each claimed case of satanic abuse was rated against the aggregate of the motifs in the allegations . When looked at in detail not one of their claimed cases matched up. Instead of wasting 20,000 pounds worth of taxpayers money the DoH could have simply asked Valerie Sinason and Dr Hale to check these 'new cases' against the Satanic Footprint, because we sent the DoH a copy in 1991.
It is less than honourable of the DoH and its new Labour masters to glibly pass La Fontaine's intensive study over as partial or temporary. It was commissioned by Virginia Bottomley, as a DEFINITIVE investigation into the lunatic claims of satanic ritual abuse. The idea was to get a complete overview of ALL of the cases which social workers started and which caused so much distress and suffering to 84 children and their families throughout the U.K. La Fontaine was given special authority to share confidential case notes countrywide.
Professor La Fontaine was in a perfect position to reach the truth of the matter and her two year research is a marvel of professional succinctness which gave the lie to the idea which Sinason still holds, that gangs of satanists were abusing children as part of their liturgy. Fontaine's study was a masterly review of the evidence in ALL the cases. Cases which had been inaugurated by the very same people who have written to you to complain about her conclusions! Surely it would have been a surprise if they had NOT complained? How does that undermine La Fontaine's painstaking work? The Conservative government accepted the LaFontaine report fully and without reservation.
It is not reasonable of the DoH to pander to the very same people who created the scare the last time round, and who were thoroughly and publicly discredited for their ineptitude and gullibility.
We were very surprised to read Bruce Clarke's precis of the situation because it is misleading. We presume that this was an official response incorporated into replies to all enquirers about Sinason's report. To an organisation which is fully informed, as the SAFF is, it can be seen as highly misleading to people who do not have the full story. We shall leave aside the debate as to whether this was caused by DoH ignorance or carelessness, and instead focus on the facts for you certainly need to be aware of them.
(1) Sinason was a mover and shaker in the 1988-1991 Scare. If she couldn't prove anything last time why is the DoH paying her to do it again?
(2) She networked with believers in SRA who created the 84 original bogus cases which were claimed as being examples of satanic ritual abuse. She is still networking in the same way and with the same coterie today. Did the DoH know this when they gave her £20,000.00 to pursue her obssession?
(3) In due course not one of those 84 sensational cases stood up to forensic examination. Those which did not collapse in court were thoroughly discredited by investigative journalists or the police. I shall repeat that for emphasis. The cases which the Satan Hunters claimed were genuine were successively proved ingenuine, completely discrediting the judgement of those who made the allegations. When one case was disproved, they claimed another. When that was disproved, they claimed another. When the third one was disproved, they came up with another one and so on, ad infinitum. Now, ten years later, those same people are making the very same claims again. With the passage of time every one of the allegations they made in the first wave has been proven fictitious. A reasonable person might be prepared to accept new evidence ON THOSE OLD CASES which had been unearthed in the intervening ten years. In fact, out of 84 cases one might have expected at least ONE of them to have come good during that time, but that is not what Messrs Sinason et al are offering us. They are again offering 'new' cases. Cases which will, like the 84 before, be discredited in the course of time. When will someone at the DoH call a halt to this stupidity?
(4) In the four year course of the hysteria (1988 to 1991) it was a recognised tactic of the Satan Hunters in social work to pull 'new' cases out of the hat to support their contentions every time a previous case was discredited. Because the DoH gave these troublemakers an unfair advantage they continued with their horrific allegations until the full impact of this evil scare was made manifest in the tragedies of Rochdale and then Orkney. At that point public outrage intervened and the DoH called a halt to any further allegations by instigating the La Fontaine report.
Professor La Fontaine's report was the definitive work which HALTED the madness of the satanic ritual abuse allegations. Naturally it is imperative that believers in Satanic Ritual Abuse attempt to discredit it. They have dishonourably tried to impugn Prof. La Fontaine's professionalism on a number of occasions during the intervening six years since its publication; but La Fontaine's work is professionally impregnable. So they have reverted to trying to occlude it with 'new' research which from all acounts is of a much lower calibre, but which will satisfy and muster other believers. History appears to be repeating itself, but this time the DoH has the opportunity to inject some sanity and stop the hysteria before it gains momentum.
As before, the SAFF is watching carefully, and will publicly comment on every move the DoH makes. We hope that it is not too late for them to escape the strategy of the Satan Hunters. If Sinason's report does not come up to the standards required then it MUST be rejected as imperfect.
There is doubt in some quarters whether this Devil Report will ever be presented for public comment. Many who have observed the satan-hunters' antics over the past decade believe that this report is simply a subversive strategy to bypass the proper democratic and governmental procedures so that a clique of satan-obsessed people in the DoH and associated care groups can anonymously re-instate their mania about Satanic Ritual Abuse without the tempering factor of public comment. No date has been given for its completion and by all accounts it is long overdue. Is it common for the Department of Health to fork out 22,000.00 on research which never materialises?
Tony Rhodes, Assistant Director, The S.A.F.F