The Friday Night Song
Due to a number of issues with the Church of England, the Kendall House Review will not be making an appearance for 2014, after several months of delays.
It is now neck and neck with the Governments Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) Inquiry that has also been riddled with problems and delays.
They both lack understanding of the affects it has on survivors and their lives. It takes its toll on Campaigners lives too.
January 2015 will see the Kendall House Review make a significant appearance in the media and questions will be asked.
For some background.
A group of former residents of a children’s home, run by the Church of England, in Kent have revealed that the girls were given massive doses of tranquilisers.
Now those girls have gone on to have children of their own; children who were born with a range of birth defects.
Teresa Cooper was one of those girls. She arrived at Kendall House in Kent at the age of 14. Over the 32 months she was there, she was given medication at least 1,248 times – cocktails of 11 different drugs.
You might think that writing about the Harry Potter books or Halloween ‘Trick or Treating’ is a rather odd place to start when discussing ‘Satanist Ritual Abuse’ (SRA) but I think it will help in what is an extremely complex issue and not trivialise it.
Both Harry Potter and Halloween have been described by the Catholic Church, and others, as ‘Satanic’ and ‘occultist’
He [Gerhard Wagner] first attracted international attention in 2001 when he described JK Rowling’s best-selling Harry Potter novels as “satanism” and warned against the magical spells and formulas used in thenovels.
But in an article entitled The Dangerous Messages of Halloween, the Vatican’s official newspaper L’Osservatore Romano quoted liturgical expert Joan Maria Canals as saying: ‘Halloween has an undercurrent of occultism and is absolutely anti-Christian.’
But really, are they ?
I suspect that the overwhelming majority of people would say that it was absurd to suggest that they are but a majority is not necessarily correct just because they have numbers on their side. So, how can we decide whether the Harry Potter books or Trick or Treating are ‘Satanist’ and ‘Occultist’ or not ?
Plainly two groups have differing views based on their own religious, or non-religious, perspective. The only fair test I can see is to form a view based on ‘intention’. Was it J K Rowling’s intention to promote occultism or indoctrinate readers into Satanism ? Very few would argue that and I’m certain the answer is ‘No’. Is it the intention of parents to promote occultism or indoctrinate their children into Satanism when they dress them up as witches and warlocks on Halloween ? Again, I’m sure the answer is ‘No’.
Now, the issue of Satanist Ritual Abuse (SRA) is not as clear cut simply because the general public understand very little about it. The overwhelming majority of people will have no direct experience of it and what little understanding of it they have is based on very occasional media reports, often sensationalised.
Satanist Ritual Abuse is the sexual abuse of mostly children during Satanist rituals. Some people argue that is does exist while others maintain that it does not. So, who is right ?
Religious, or non-religious, perspective will often but not always, inform a persons viewpoint on SRA as much as direct or indirect experience does. What can be said with absolute certainty is that children are sexually abused by adults in rituals and I think the argument about whether this is ‘Satanist’ abuse or not means that that fact is lost. To a degree I think some like to focus on the ‘Satanist’ issue to muddy the water so that the evidenced issue of ritual sexual abuse is never taken seriously and it has a way of undermining all child sexual abuse in the public consciousness.
Ultimately, the two perspectives of the opposing sides on this issue do not inform us about whether the ritual sexual abuse is ‘Satanist’ or not. Those who believe that God, and therefore Satan, exists are more likely to believe that SRA is real while those that have a humanist/atheistic belief system are less likely to believe that SRA is real. The danger is that an issue that the media often like to sensationalise becomes a religious battleground over which the existence of God and Satan is fought and the issue of the ritualised sexual abuse of children is forgotten.
In the end the only fair way of deciding whether ritual abuse is ‘Satanist’ is to try and divine the ‘intentions’ of the abuser/s, whether they believe in Satan and whether the rituals are ‘Satanist’.
By this criteria, in my view, some ritual abuse is ‘Satanist’ while some is not. I believe all ritual abuse, like all child abuse, is evil but for me ‘evil’ is not synonymous with Satan, whereas for the religious it might be. As these are my ‘final thoughts’ on this issue, I’ll just say that the argument on this over the last 30 years has not helped victims of ritual child sexual abuse or child sexual abuse in general.
I’ll leave you with two different news stories regarding ritualistic sexual abuse of children. You’ll notice that in both the ritual nature of the abuse is not in doubt. Whether you believe the abuse is Satanist or not will depend on your religious perspective or whether you believe that the intentions of the abuser/s were Satanist.
A sex cult leader who brainwashed and abused children has been jailed and warned he may never be released.
Colin Batley, 48, was found guilty of 35 offences at Swansea Crown Court on Wednesday. Three women, including his estranged wife, were also imprisoned.
He moved from London to the small town of Kidwelly, Carmarthenshire, where the cult operated in a cul-de-sac.
He was given a public protection sentence with an 11-year minimum recommendation.
“That means, of course, you may never be released,” said Judge Paul Thomas QC.
Jacqueline Marling, 42, described as “Batley’s right-hand woman”, was jailed for 12 years, while Batley’s wife Elaine, 47, was jailed for eight years.
Shelly Millar, 35, described during the trial as Batley’s “sex slave”, was jailed for five years.
Two members of a Cornish white witch coven have been convicted of carrying out ritualistic sex abuse on young girls.
Peter Petrauske, 72, who claimed to be a high priest, and Jack Kemp, 69, donned robes and carried pagan artefacts when they attended ceremonies during which children were forced to strip and then abused. Police believe children as young as three may have been involved.
The abuse only emerged after Kemp was arrested on an unrelated charge, prompting victims of past offences to come forward.
The pair showed little emotion as they were led from the dock at Truro crown court on Friday. Petrauske, who described himself as the high priest of a white witches’ coven in St Ives, was convicted of one count of rape, one count of aiding and abetting an attempt to rape and one count of indecent assault.
As an ex Bryn Estyn resident myself. I as deeply saddened to read about another ex-resident- Ray Burton’s situation. It got me thinking. Discussions with others have led to this plea. Lets get Ray housed for Christmas. He won’t get any cash from this campaign just a bed, warmth, food and hopefully some company. He’ll also discover there’s people out there who actually care enough to donate a couple of pounds. This should raise his confidence. Ray is one of thousands of homeless. We can’t help them all. But we can get this man out of his cave for Christmas. Ideally I’d like to put a few in his place but that’s another story. Go on then, just click and donate. Imagine his face when he finds out because he doesn’t know yet.RayChristmashomeRay Burton grew up in the South Wales Valleys and things started going very wrong in his life when he was put into care at the age of 13. Ray (52) will spend Christmas in a cave – because he has nowhere else to live. He spent a period of time at the now notorious BRYN ESTYN children’s care home in Wrexham, where he says he was abused. “I had a very rough childhood but before I was put in care, I got into nature and even had a pet fox,”
In Part 1 (HERE) I looked at 3 broad categories of child abuser and why ‘professional’ predatory paedophiles might be tempted to infiltrate certain institutions. In Part 2 I’m going to look at the systemic failures within other organisations which were meant to safeguard children and protect them from people.
We’ll start by stating clearly what is often suggested was to blame but certainly was not.
It was not the case that the general public or the media were apathetic or thought that child abuse was in some way acceptable. There are plenty of reports over the last 5 decades to disprove that odd explanation.
In general terms it was the ignorance of the majority and the complicity of a minority that led to a situation where child abuse within institutions appears to have become systemic. These two factors bleed into each other and it is difficult to separate them so that an explanation is simple and clear but I’ll try.
The majority of the public and those involved directly in institutions had no idea of the sheer scale of child sexual abuse, nor did they understand the potential damage it was creating. They had no idea because the institutions themselves often failed to report them, therefore nobody could really see the bigger picture.
We’ll start with Local Authorities.
Today, there are 433 principal authorities in the UK: 27 county councils, 55 unitary authorities, 32 London boroughs, 36 Metropolitan boroughs, 201 districts, 32 Scottish unitary authorities, 22 Welsh unitary authorities, and 26 Northern Ireland districts. This figure has changed over the decades but it gives you an idea. Each authority has varying responsibilities for foster care, education, children’s care homes and similar children’s institutions.
They weren’t really talking to each other and in many cases they weren’t reporting incidences of alleged child abuse to the police.
Today, there are 44 police forces in England and Wales (including the British Transport Police) before 1966 there was 117. There is one police force for Scotland, until very recently there were 8. Northern Ireland has 1 police force.
They weren’t really talking to each other and in many cases weren’t notifying Local Authorities of allegations of child abuse that they might have an interest in.
Now, even just understanding this you should be able to see the potential for a massive systemic child safeguarding failure because predatory paedophiles can and do move around the country and each of these almost 500 regional institutions, if they are not communicating, are not going to see the big picture but it is still more complicated. Let’s look at two examples but please do not think that these are isolated incidences. These examples are representative of the systemic failures which will eventually be exposed.
Michael John Carroll
1) In 1966, he was convicted of indecent assault when he was 18, against a 12-year-old boy in his care at St Edmund’s Orphanage in Bebington, Wirral.
2) In 1978 he took up a post as deputy officer in charge of a children’s home in Lambeth. He took charge in 1980.
(a) Why were Lambeth Council unaware of his previous conviction?
3) Despite the fact that there were allegations of child abuse at Angell Road Lambeth, he was dismissed from Lambeth Council following an investigation into financial irregularities.
(b) So, he left Lambeth Council with no record of his offending with the police. Why ?
4) He then works for another residential care home for boys in Liverpool.
(c) Why wasn’t that Local Authority made aware of both his previous conviction and the Lambeth allegations ?
5) He is eventually convicted in 1999 for child sexual abuse following Operation Care.
Michael John Carroll was convicted of 35 cases (“specimen of a wider range of offending”) 24 indecent assaults, five cases of attempted buggery and five of buggery, and one act of gross indecency against 12 boys, some as young as eight. He was originally charged with 76 offences. How many children were abused because of the failure of authorities to communicate ? How many young lives harmed ?
The case of Michael John Carroll is further complicated by the fact that Police Officers traced 200 victims between 1998 to 2003. A total of 19 suspects were identified including a current member of The House of Lords, a former Labour Minister.
Bearing that in mind some will argue that the answer to question (b) above was that was some kind of political cover-up and I think they’d be right but probably not the kind that most would assume. The political conspiracy theory is still the best explanation for why Clive Driscoll was removed from this investigation after identify the MP in the late 1990s but there is another explanation which goes hand in hand with that for the earlier failure to let Michael John Carroll leave Lambeth without a stain on his character. It is an explanation which helps us to understand the more widespread failure across the country of Local Authorities to report child sexual abuse.
The Jillings Report
In 1994 Clwyd County Council commissioned an inquiry undertaken by a panel headed by John Jillings. The Jillings Report by no means exposes everything that was going on in North Wales care homes, it is the reason why it was not published at the time which is illuminating. It was the Council’s insurance company which made it clear that if the Jillings Report were published, Clwyd County Council would be admitting liability and that the Council would no longer be covered by their insurance policy as a result.
The fact is that insurance companies do not want cases of child sexual abuse to be exposed. Institutions, not just Councils, are dependent on insurance companies to cover the compensation costs that might arise. A situation where systemic child sexual abuse is exposed is not just a political headache for Councils, it is a financial nightmare.
So, in too many cases paedophiles were allowed to just walk away without a stain on their character only to abuse elsewhere. Short term financial prerogatives were put before child safeguarding and considerable long term financial costs to the UK.
This did not just happen in North Wales, it happened right across the country and the financial costs have not diminished with time. This insidious and conflicted relationship between Insurers, who only want to make money,and Institutions, who have responsibility to protect children, will be exposed as soon as the CSA Inquiry is able to compel those institutions to supply evidence.
That will have to do for now. It’s not a complete explanation. I’ll see what else I can add later.
Isn’t it time that paedophiles face manslaughter charges in cases where their victims commit suicide as a consequence of the abuse they suffered ?
The boys Harris targeted were subjected to horrific ordeals for hours on end in his luxury Kenyan home. One of his alleged victims – who bravely gave evidence from Kenya via Skype – was so traumatised by his ordeal that he killed himself during the proceedings, a fact that was revealed to the jury only yesterday.
Charities last night demanded to know why Harris – described as a manipulative, predatory and dangerous abuser – was able to travel freely to Kenya. There were also questions over why, despite signing the sex offenders’ register in the 1980s, he was unmonitored there and able to gain access to dozens of vulnerable children.
I’ve recently been notified that a journalist has tried to contact a person who had left a comment here. We know the name of the journalist and the MSM outlet. We’re not going to name them but we’ll say it was a new name to us.
We would respectfully ask that journalists do not attempt to contact people who leave comments on this blog. It is extremely rare that even we contact people who’ve left comments, and then mostly just to explain why we’ve edited a comment.
We would also ask those that leave comments to be very careful about posting personal details on here and elsewhere online.
We really understand why those who were resident in a care home might wish to make contact with other residents with similar experiences but we ask you to be careful. It can put us in an almost impossible position where, on the one hand we don’t want to be seen to stop you having your say but on the other we don’t want you to be exposed to intrusion.
We will continue to delete contact email addresses and telephone numbers that get posted but we need to trust you to take precautions to protect your own privacy.
Many thanks for all your help in this.