Satanist Ritual Abuse And The Problem Of Credibility

It’s very interesting to talk to professionals and discover that not all agree with the report by Professor Jean la Fontaine, an anthropologist, who was appointed by Virginia Bottomley, the then Health Secretary,  to research ‘Ritual Abuse’ in 1991. Some ask what the consequences of La Fontaine’s report have been over the last 20 years.

Satanist Ritual Abuse and the Problem of Credibility by Dr Joan Coleman

Do some satanists really commit crimes and abuse children?  Many people believe not.  My own hard-earned professional experience tells me otherwise.

This chapter is an account of my own journey: a journey from relative ignorance prior to 1980, through growing awareness of the extent of child sexual abuse, through my bizarre, frightening introduction to satanist ritual abuse, to my eventual belief that satanist crime does, indeed, occur.  And I would like to think that mine is a reflective, rather than reflexive, belief (van der Hart & Nijenhuis, 1999) – that is, belief that stems from reflecting on the evidence, rather that blind acceptance of what initially seems highly improbable.

Ritual abuse evoked considerable interest in Britain between 1987 and 1994.  The subject was taken up by many professionals, mainly psychologists, counsellors, and social workers; numerous children thought to be at risk were taken into care.  In 1989, some of us who had encountered it formed an organisation called RAINS (Ritual Abuse Information Network & Support), with the aim of sharing information and supporting each other.

Ritual abuse can be found in a wide range of social and religious backgrounds.  In this chapter, I focus on abuse within satanist groups, as that is the type that I myself and most RAINS members have largely encountered.

In 1990, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) issued a press release regarding the large number of such cases they were working with.  There were numerous press articles and several television programmes.  In 1991, Health Secretary Virginia Bottomley appointed an anthropologist, Professor Jean la Fontaine, to research the subjects of organised and ritual abuse.  La Fontaine had already written an acclaimed book on child sexual abuse.

In the summary of her report, La Fontaine concluded that there was no evidence of satanist abuse and that the alleged disclosures of the children were largely suggested by adults.  In those cases in which the police had found ‘satanic’ paraphernalia, she maintained that these were simply used by paedophiles to intimidate the children (Great Britain, Dept. of Health, 1994).

Largely as a result of this report, both the media and professionals became cautious about the subject of ritual abuse, and many shied away from it.  Social workers were instructed not to mention the words ‘ritual’ or ‘satanic’ in any reports regarding child abuse.

Meanwhile, an increasing number of adults were seeking help with what they were convinced were genuine memories of severe and sadistic abuse that they had undergone as children.  The recognition of the reality of child sexual abuse and its resulting psychological effects enabled adult survivors of satanist ritual abuse to feel some hope they would be believed.  However, this was not always the case because when ceremonies and sacrifices were mentioned, these were dismissed by some psychiatrists as delusions and many survivors were given inappropriate treatment with antipsychotic drugs.  The False Memory Syndrome Foundation (set up in 1992) and the British False Memory Society (set up in 1993) also contributed to the general attitude of scepticism among professionals, and the whole subject of ritual crime became ‘suspect’.

Incidentally, the reader may notice that I have been using the term ‘satanist’ rather than the more commonly used ‘satanic’.  In my view, it is important to make this distinction because, although the alleged abuse may be done in the name of Satan, whom the abusers profess to worship, it is nonetheless people, not Satan, who are the abusers.

From ignorance, through uncertainty, to reflective belief

When I was working towards membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the early 1970s, only a few days of the course were dedicated to the subject of sexual disorders, which included perversions and fetishisms, incest, and paedophilia.  The latter was considered rare and usually referred to strange men preying on children singly, rather than in groups.  When the existence of the Paedophile Information Exchange network was exposed less than a decade later, it was an eye-opener for many that a large number of professional people appeared to be abusing on an organised scale.  Furthermore, most of us were still unaware of the extent of child sexual abuse by family members.

Satanist Ritual Abuse and the Problem of Credibility by Dr Joan Coleman


Filed under Abuse, News, Politics

28 responses to “Satanist Ritual Abuse And The Problem Of Credibility

  1. Pingback: FROM THE HORSE’s mouth: survivor of ritual satanic abuse and informant of paedo network | We Who Oppose Deception

  2. dpack

    indeed a child is the most valuable sexual/blood sacrifice in many dark cultures.the “black” adherents of magical traditions have been proved to have sacrificed children,many others have been suspected with good reason and historical hindsight. the value of child sacrifice is described in the historical, archaeological and ethnographic disciplines.

    indeed words on documents are important especially if those words can be proven true.
    evidence of somebody writing words is also informative.

    i have no dought “satanic”ritual has been/is conducted for a variety of reasons and that it sometimes includes sexual and blood sacrifice.

    getting behind the smoke and mirrors is complicated.

  3. Claire

    Thank you for highlighting this. I have long thought instances of satanic ritual abuse have been deliberately smeared as Fundamentalist claptrap, like the Cleveland scandal. I have a strong feeling Bottomley and La Fontaine have set back the cause in exposing, treating and stemming satanic ritual abuse by many, many years, what an injustice to all those survivors – and non – survivors. And what a strange assignation and feat for an anthropologist!

  4. dpack

    robin bryans lists a few alleged participants.
    a very powerful tool of control in a variety of ways.
    probably not most abusers cup of blood but a factor to consider with some.
    in some cases there may be deliberate false/misleading allegations and ugly rumours to hide other things or discredit enemies.
    the various versions of an extreme historical example might demonstrate some of the problems of such matters.,d.d2k

    • @dpack its when ritual abuse shows up on official documents is when you have to pay attention…also children have symbolic value in ritual abuse crimes…

  5. Dave

    I learned from a MI6 source some years ago that Greville Janner was known to practice black magic back in the 1970s. The source was still a security officer back then and I consider the information from him to be reliable.

  6. Ritual abuse convictions are actually increasingly common now, despite the lack of media reporting on them –
    Find out who is anonymously and knowling claiming a lack of convictions via Private Eye magazine:

    Private Eye magazine – Dr Joan Coleman’s letter is edited before printing, thanks to abuse survivor Kim Noble for exposing this

    Another satanic abuse conviction, ignored by mainstream press

    Survivors of ritualized abuse campaign against international child trafficking

    UK state/government organized ritual abuse –

    Current satanic killing ritual in South Africa and ritual killings in Africa

    Ritual abuse coverups

    Years of harassment leads to survivors of ritual abuse take legal action…oddly several survivors take against the same person

    Ritual abuse survivor exposing harassment of himself, author Judy Byington and founder of

    Harasssment via

    Harassment via Amazon and book review websites

    There is no lack of evidence, there is no lack of convictions, where there is here is a TOTAL DISREGARD FOR VICTIMS OF ABUSE and a TOTAL DISREGARD FOR THE LAW

  7. Principle5000

    Certainly is Sinister this Satanic Ritual Abuse matter
    I do Not expect the ” Mainstream Media ” to take it Seriously
    which of course does Not detract from the Seriousness of it

    • As i stated before…in the excellent past on trial an interview with the council lady who collected stacks of documents you can see the words ‘BLACK MAGIC’ under type of offence…

    • i’m still trying to find the BLK MAGIC on docs i will keep looking for it, however i came across the past on trial C4 vids
      “”The past on trial: Waterhouse Tribunal and the missing names ”

      and at 2:08 where it shows documents in right hand column you can see list with CHE printed many times …now i know who CHE was ie the Campaign for Homosexual Equality and CHE is mentioned in P.A.N magazine but to see CHE as part of claims of CSA in North Wales is quite revealing….and i gather that CHE was infiltrated by paedos….

      • stop the video at 2:17 and look at left hand side at bottom you will see..”Blk Magic”… comes under physical ans types of offence…btw along with CHE you get “CHE/Crest ” so i am guessing thats the crest hotel….

      • The CHE Chester branch link has been known since this all kicked off.

  8. Principle5000

    Virginia Bottomley was Not a Very Good Secretary of State for Health

  9. @bishop not off topic but..its been hinted that ;our ingrid’ maybe connected to spooks…just saying….anyway the CSA investigations went off page didnt they when the woolwich stuff kicked off…

  10. Bishop Brightly

    The state of play is simple Bob, and I will quote you another film title to answer your question:

    Defence of the Realm.

    • @bishop brightly this must be the first time where three blogs i am commenting on which are about different issues are now saying the same blog is proof of dire poverty where that ingrid ‘hero’ in woolwich comes up saying that cameron is doing a good job and she mentions ‘hard work’….then another blog about MI5 playing games and now this one…this is spooky……of course defence of the realm comes blackmail…so maggie had to know wtf was going on at elm guest house mi5 bods were there….

  11. so the state of play is what? there is/isnt systemic CSA and that VIPs are/are not involved and that victims are telling / not telling the truth…and all this is/isnt a dream …

  12. When Virginia Bottonley first hit the political stage I saw her picture in one of the daily news papers, and the first thing that came into my mind was the word Witch. I’ve tried to find some information on Ms Bottomley but I have had no luck. It’s like she just appeared out of nowhere. I would like to find some info on her background just to see if my first instinct on her being a witch or sorceress is true in anyway. There is in my opinion something evil about this woman! Maybe it’s just me I don’t know?

    • @mickdeburgh i saw her in person once a few years ago..i didnt notice a pointy hat or broomstick..and no cackle either..but yeah theres something wrong there with her after all being a patron of anything to do with peter righton cannot be considerd ok….

    • it was pointed out many years ago that ..

      “Virginia Bottomley” “I’m an evil tory bigot”


    • gw

      Seeming as you previously described homosexuals as “shit packers” I am not suprised you thought someone was a “witch”…

      This article was an interesting read however I remained unconvinced that SRA is a real thing.

      • Nathaniel J. Harris

        So you think it is credible that Satanism is the only religion in the whole world that harbours no peadophiles? What about Colin Batley, Elain & Jeannete Batley, Peter Petrauske, Jack Kemp, and Peter Solheim? All these people were known to my family, and like it or SRA exists.

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