A Response To BBC Radio 4’s Analysis Programme By Tim Tate.

Tim Tate is a multi- award-winning film maker, journalist, and best-selling author. He was also a contributor to the BBC Radio 4 Analysis programme about Ritualised Sexual Abuse. Part 1 of which can be listened to HERE, and Part 2 HERE


You cannot hope
to bribe or twist,
thank God! the
British journalist.
But, seeing what
the man will do
unbribed, there’s
no occasion to.
Humbert Wolfe: 1855-1940

In 2009, David Aaronovich, columnist and broadcaster, published a book examining and ridiculing conspiracy theories. Voodoo Histories was a thoroughly enjoyable romp through the wilder shores of suspicion and paranoia; but its introduction included a paragraph which its author would have done well to remember six years later.

Documentaries are increasingly partisan and liable to include material that suggests conspiracy on the part of someone or other … And such works are given the same treatment as major exercises in historical analysis or substantial pieces of investigative journalism. In fact, they are often given a better billing. Uncountered, their arguments enter popular culture.

Over the past fortnight, David Aaronovich has presented a two-part BBC radio documentary programme entitled: Ritual Sexual Abuse: The Anatomy of A Panic. The programmes formed part of Radio 4’s long-standing and well-respected Analysis strand. The series bills its purpose as “to go beyond the bien-pensant agenda”.

Aaronovich’s two programmes were billed as:

“… an examination of “the role played by unproven psychoanalytic theories which, from the 1980s, spread from the world of therapists in Canada and the USA to social work, medicine and then to law enforcement in Britain.

“From the NSPCC to academia it was believed that children were being sexually abused in group Satanic rituals which involved murder and animal sacrifice. The programme will explore how these bizarre ideas took hold, how they were related to mistaken psychotherapeutic practices, and how they resonate still.”

What actually happened was that Aaronovich – without troubling to present any evidence – put forward his own conspiracy theory: one in which satanic ritual abuse is a no more than a fantasy created by social workers taken in by the claims of improperly-motivated North American psychiatrists and psychotherapists. In doing so he deliberately ignored solid and unequivocal evidence which counters his thesis. And the BBC allowed him to broadcast two high profile programmes which were at best misleading and sometimes deeply deceitful.

The aim of this piece is threefold: to present the proven facts about ritual abuse; to analyse Aaronovich’s claims; and to show how the BBC acted dishonestly. In contrast to Aaronovich’s approach it will provide evidence at each and every stage.

But first, a disclaimer and a declaration of interest are needed. Aaronovich argued that his examination of ritual abuse came about because he is deeply sceptical of many of the current allegations of VIP paedophilia. I share some of this concern – at least in so far as it relates to the way some newspapers and websites (not this one) have presented unsubstantiated allegations as fact, without bothering to undertake any independent investigation.

My interest in ritual abuse stems from the work I did first for a (not very good) Cook Report on it in 1989 and thereafter for a book on the subject. That book – Children For The Devil: Ritual Abuse and Satanic Crime – investigated some of the cases Aaronovich referred to in his programmes. It did so by obtaining documentary evidence and by conducting first-hand interviews with the key participants. Additionally, it detailed six English court cases in which adults had been convicted for the sexual abuse of children in what were explicitly described as satanic rituals.

It is a fact that my publisher and I were sued for libel and that my publishers settled out of court. The complainant was a police detective in the 1988/89 Broxtowe case, who alleged that in a book of approximately 100,000 words, four paragraphs could lead readers to infer that he had acted corruptly. He had not, and I had not intended any such inference to be drawn.

Aaronovich’s producer, Hannah Barnes, asked me to be interviewed for the programme. Here is what she claimed the programmes wanted to do:

We are planning to explore the ideas and beliefs that have shaped how British society views allegations of child sexual abuse over the last 30 years or so, and look at how these views have changed. I have come across your name in relation to reports of satanic ritual abuse in the late 1980s and early 1990s and wondered whether you might be willing to spare me some time to talk.

The reports to which she referred alleged that I had been responsible for bringing the “Satanic panic” to Britain by providing to social workers in the Broxtowe case a list of “satanic indicators”. These were – allegedly – the reason why children in the case described abuse within rituals. As we shall see, this is simply factually wrong – and both Barnes and Aaronovich were provided with the facts.

Aaronovich’s thesis for the programmes was that all satanic ritual abuse allegations trace back to a 1980 book called Michelle Remembers by a Canadian psychiatrist called Lawrence Pazder with his patient (and later wife), Michelle Smith. These claims then spread out through the North American psychiatric and therapeutic community and were accepted as evidence of the factual existence of satanic cults ritually abusing children. Aaronovich provided no actual evidence for his assertion, relying instead (as he would throughout the programmes) on a post hoc, proper hoc argument that simply because the book was widely publicised it therefore must have been the root for all subsequent allegations.

This is factually wrong. Long before the 20th century there were written accounts of children being abused in so-called Black Masses. The empirical basis of these must be questionable since most – though not all – were the result of confessions obtained under torture by religiously motivated inquisitors. But in 1974 – six years before Michelle Remembers – a Hungarian-British journalist called Paul Tabori published what he claimed was his own first-hand eyewitness account of the abuse of children in a satanic ritual at Big Sur in California.

Inside the house overlooking the Pacific, three altars were set up: two of them had young, nude boys tied to them with wide leather belts, being whipped by two bearded men who were dressed in nun’s habits …

For whips they were using heavy black rosaries – and there was no make-believe about the flogging, or both boys were screaming and weeping.

The middle altar held a girl, barely in her teens, with her arms and legs spread-eagled. A tall man, wearing a goat’s head was crushing a live frog on her sex, and he then started to carve a small cross on her bare stomach – just a shallow, superficial cut which, however, drew blood …

Despite this, Aaronovich alleged that the sources of all British cases of ritual abuse were firstly Michelle Remembers and thereafter a 1988 self-help book called “The Courage To Heal”.

The cases he referred to were firstly the Broxtowe case, then Rochdale and the Orkneys. I cannot comment on the latter two, since I have never investigated them. But I spent more than a year working on the Broxtowe case, interviewing some of the (adult) complainants, the police and the social workers. I also obtained copies of many of the children’s verbatim disclosures. In other words, I did what every journalist is supposed to do: I sought evidence before publishing.

The case involved three generations of an extended family, living on the rough Broxtowe council estate in Nottingham. The family had been known to social service (and police) for years for repeated sexual abuse, physical abuse and neglect. Finally in 1986, 23 children from the third generation were taken into care. Each child was given to a different foster-family and had little or no contact with any of the others. The foster-parents were asked either to tape record or write down verbatim what the children said.

As well as sexual abuse, starting in January 1987 several of the children also described to their foster parents bizarre events. They spoke about “witch parties” at which adults – some from outside the extended family – beat and sexually assaulted them and other unnamed children. They also said that animals were killed, while adults danced round in robes; they described (accurately) the taste of drinking blood, as well as being buried in the ground in boxes and being penetrated with snakes or spiders.

But they also described incidents which were improbable – the murder of babies – and some which were physically impossible – people flying through the air, for example.
Nottinghamshire Police investigated but could find no evidence to support the allegations of abusers from outside the family, or of the killing of animals or babies. By contrast, Nottinghamshire social services were convinced that the children’s stories needed further investigation: the joint police-social services investigation broke down in an atmosphere of mutual mistrust.

Despite this, in 1989 10 adults were jailed for a total of 150 years for abusing these children. The evidence which convicted them was both physical and the testimony of the victims from both the second and third generations.

Strangely, David Aaronovich failed to mention these convictions when dealing extensively with the case in his second programme. Listeners who did not know the facts would never had realised that the case resulted in successful prosecutions. Instead Aaronovich focussed on allegations made by a former Sunday newspaper journalist, Rosie Waterhouse, that the children’s ritual allegations had arisen only after the foster-parents were given the list of “satanic indicators”. They had then asked leading questions of the children.

Unfortunately this is nonsense. Firstly, the dates simply don’t match up. Since I was the source of these so-called “indicators” (in reality no more than a few photocopied sheets of paper put together by a perfectly sensible psychiatric social worker in California) I can be absolutely certain of exactly when I received these papers, to whom I gave them and when.

I did so in 1988 – and only to the social workers. This was many, many months after the Broxtowe children began making allegations of abuse within parties or rituals. Nor, to my certain knowledge, were these papers passed on to the foster-parents.

What about leading questions ? In researching both the television programme and my book I obtained copies of the verbatim records and tapes of they key child witnesses. When we filmed the senior investigating police officer we showed him the transcripts and challenged him to find a single leading question. He could not – because there wasn’t one.
The Waterhouse allegations, put forward by Aaronovich as proof that ritual abuse was the product of contamination by exposure to extraneous information are simply factually wrong.

Aaronovich knows this. I specifically gave him precise details of the dates during the recorded interview he asked for. He chose to ignore this. Nor did he or Hannah Barnes bother to get hold of a copy of my book. Had they done so they would have found the transcripts and seen that there were no leading questions. When challenged about this, the editor of Analysis e-mailed me to say that:

Hannah understood that the book had been withdrawn from publication following a libel action and therefore assumed that it was therefore not available.

One of the fundamental rules of journalism is not to “assume”. Even the most cursory of checks would have found the book for sale on Amazon. And as every journalist knows, the British library holds a copy of every book published.

The truth is that neither Aaronovich nor Barnes made any effort to find evidence which ran contrary to Aaronovich’s belief in a conspiracy of gullible social workers who created a “panic” about a non-existent phenomenon – ritual abuse.

How do I know this ? Because I asked them. Last week I sent both Aaronovich and Barnes a list of specific questions relating to the research for the programmes. For each of the cases to which they were referring I asked what independent research they had undertaken; whether they had sought case papers; whether they had spoken with witnesses, police officers, social workers or victims.

This week I received a reply not from Aaronovich or Barnes, but from a BBC “publicist”. It read:

“Analysis is a programme about ideas that shape public policy and opinion. David Aaronovitch is known for his scepticism about some of the allegations currently being made about historic child sexual abuse – and in this two-part series he advanced a challenging viewpoint outlining the risks arising from excessive credulity.

It was never intended to be a re-investigation of cases from 25 years ago, although the production team put considerable effort into tracking down key documents from the time and individuals involved. The programmes have in no way downplayed the horrific nature of child sexual abuse but they have argued that it can only be tackled effectively if its extent and nature is properly understood.”

This response failed to answer a single question put to Aaronovich or Barnes. It was shabbily evasive. More disturbingly still, it was not just the controversial cases like Broxtowe which Aaronovich and Barnes chose not to re-investigate before pronouncing ritual abuse to be a fantasy. They were also given details of a number of successful British prosecutions in which adults were variously convicted or admitted the sexual abuse of children in what the courts were explicitly told were satanic rituals.

The first of these took place in Telford in November 1982. Malcolm John Smith was given three 14-year prison sentences for the buggery, wounding and rape of four children between 12 months and 15 years old. His wife, Susan and her sister Carole Hickman, were jailed for two and five years respectively for aiding and abetting. Hickman’s husband, Albert, was sent down for 10 years for specimen charges of buggery and assault.

All four had pleaded guilty, ensuring that the prosecution only presented an outline case. But that case was explicit in its descriptions of the satanic rituals in which the children had been abused.
These victims were raped on an alar dedicated to Satan, sodomised with altar candles and, in the specimen testimony of the oldest victim, Malcolm Smith used an altar knife to carve an inverted cross on her chest and abdomen before heating it and branding her on the genitals. The court heard – and the judge accepted – that the victim was convinced that Smith was (as he claimed to be) Lucifer and that she had no power to resist him.

This case is documented. The offenders pleaded guilty and did not challenge the evidence presented to the court of abuse during satanic rituals. They went to prison.

Four years later, Stafford Crown Court sentenced Shaun Wilding to three and a half years in prison for the sexual abuse of boys during his satanic rituals. Once again, Wilding pleaded guilty: he did not challenge the explicit evidence presented by the prosecution that he had held elaborate rituals involving robes, chanting and an altar, nor that his victims had been terrified and believed in the rituals. In fact his only challenge was to reject the allegation that the ceremonies had been no more than a trick to ensure his victims’ silence: his defence counsel told the judge that Wilding wanted to stress his “genuine and longstanding interest in the occult”.

July, 1987; the Old Bailey. Brian Williams received an 11 year sentence for sexually abusing 15 girls and boys on an what the court was told was an altar dedicated to Satan, within an inverted pentagram drawn in the blood of Williams and his victims.

I supplied all these details – and those of three further named and identified successful prosecutions – to Aaronovich, Barnes and the editor of Analysis. Each one was a clear case in which adult men and women had been sent to prison for sexually abusing children in what the court heard – without challenge or complaint – were satanic rituals. I also detailed them during the recorded interview I gave to Aaronovich. As a result, he knows that there is unequivocal proof that ritual abuse does – occasionally – happen.

Barnes and Innes Bowen, the editor of Analysis, gave an undertaking that the cases would be clearly referred to in the programmes. They were not. Bowen’s subsequent explanation read:

Having read the material you sent me, I thought that there was one case – the Smith/Hickman case – in which the judge appeared to accept that abuse had taken place in the context of a ring of Satanists. But even that case was only heard in outline as the defendants all pleaded guilty …

Furthermore I think it was also reasonable to give a great deal of weight to the official government report produced by Jean La Fontaine, a senior academic who had the advantage of gaining access to the relevant case files. Her report found no evidence that the sexual and physical abuse of children was part of rites directed to a magical or religious objective.

Quite why a case should be dismissed as evidence because the defendants pleaded guilty is a mystery. And as for Prof. la Fontaine, however contentious some parts of her report might be, the truth is that she did accept that there had been cases in which individual adults had abused children during rituals. Her conclusion was simply that she found no evidence of an organised conspiracy of Satanists. Rather, where abuse within rituals occurred:-

“the aim is sexual and the ritual is incidental to it. Self-proclaimed mystical/magical powers were used to entrap children and impress them with a reason for the sexual abuse, keeping the victims compliant and ensuring their silence.”

This goes to the heart of why ritual abuse matters. Children who make disclosures of being abused within rituals experience very real terror as a result – much greater than the trauma and fear associated with non-ritual or “garden-variety” ritual abuse.
How do I know ? Because I have worked with, met or interviewed several such children; my experiences also match those of social workers and therapists who have done so much more frequently than I.

This fear – coupled with the claims of physically impossible incidents – are what make ritual abuse cases uniquely difficult. The first problem is practical: what does a prosecution do when a child makes impossible claims amid otherwise credible allegations of sexual abuse ? If they are – as they should be – turned over to the defence, the alleged perpetrator’s barrister will use them to cast doubt on the child’s credibility. But if they are withheld, they become grounds for a mistrial.

The second problem follows on from this. However fantastic or impossible the allegation, if a child believes it then there is an urgent therapeutic need. But any such therapy is likely to be seized on as ‘evidence’ that the claims have been planted or induced by the therapist.

These conundrums have never been solved. There is no protocol for dealing with allegations of ritual abuse. There is a reason for that. It is the rabid and loudly-trumpeted claims of self-proclaimed great thinkers like David Aaronovich that ritual abuse is a myth.

He is entitled, of course, to his opinions. He is entitled to ignore evidence which undermines or even shatters his prejudices. He is entitled to think what he likes – in private.

What he is not entitled to do is to lie in public. He is not entitled to withhold that evidence just because he doesn’t like it. That is dishonest.

Nor is the BBC entitled to shrug its well-funded shoulders and say that it was simply giving Aaronovich a platform to express his views. It has a duty to perform diligent research to establish the facts and ensure accurate reporting. It did neither.

Aaronovich’s Analysis programmes set out to demolish what he sees as the conspiracy of gullible child protection workers underpinning the “satanic panic”. The facts are that there was no such conspiracy – just as there is no evidence of a conspiracy of international Satanists.

But nor was there ever any “satanic panic” – at least not as he means it. Since the 1980s there have been a total of four cases of alleged multiple-perpetrator, multiple-victim abuse in which satanic rituals were alleged: Nottingham, Rochdale, Orkney and (recently) Hampstead. Four cases in almost 30 years do not a panic make: it exists only in the imagination of those, like Aaronovich, who can’t be bothered to do research before rushing to broadcast their prejudices.

(If any readers of this blog would like details of the cases mentioned above, feel free to e-mail me: tim@interestingfilms.co.uk )


Filed under Abuse, News

67 responses to “A Response To BBC Radio 4’s Analysis Programme By Tim Tate.

  1. Timothy Taylor

    You fail to mention that Judith Dawson the team leader in the Broxtowe case went on to make further allegations that were proven to be false, which landed Newcastle council with a very hefty bill for defamation of character And also you fail to mention that she has actually ruined the lives of three generations of a family, due to the fact that she was involved in the training of social workers regarding how to put into practice the ACPC`s and the joined up working procedures, during which time she was implicit in and fully aware that a Father was being falsely accused of sexually abusing his daughter. Ironically the mother went on to physically abuse the daughter on more than one occasion, which the police and social services were fully aware of yet chose to do nothing. This does not end though when the daughter leaves home, the abuse to the daughter does end but a number of years after she has a son who through the actions of the original accuser, the mother is now in the custody of the accuser come abuser and social services will not let him see his mother and guess what. The accuser come abuser who becomes an accuser again, yep you`ve got it she`s now abusing him ie biting him, she has admitted this to social services and guess what, you`ve got it they are doing nothing about it. All I can say is that she must have some thing on them.Every child matters my backside.

    • Ian clowrey

      In reply to above i can supply evidence that Judith Dawson Jones of said Jet report lecturer in social work for Nottingham County Council , Was in fact a person called Maggie Cowan. social worker in a section 47 enquiry in 1994. which cast my self has abusing my daughter, There fore How can the County council for Nottingham be a party to both people being the same person.
      Without any court proceedings being taken against me , yet 8 years later the same Social services allowed the mother of my daughter to be a part of another section 47 which states my daughter was infact beaten and her mother drew blood and was not allowed back in to the family home, Which left my 14 year old daughter on the streets of Nottingham for 3 months.
      Which left my daughter open to any form of abuse by any sexual predators yet Nottingham social services or the police did nothing to protect my daughter even though both these organisations had a duty of care to my daughter which was not carried out.
      I have pointed this out to them time and time again which i find really incrediable is that now after being admitted to my grandsons section 47 report and case conference that ex wife and mother of my daughter has admitted to biting my grandson to which the recommendations of NSSD is that my ex wife is to under go restraining techniques and a course , My grandson is 7 years old, which allows her to be responsible and sole carer of my grandson.
      While the same social department in the case are suggesting that my daughter can not see her son either now or in the near future. which surely denies my daughter and my grandson a right to a family life under European laws section 8,And also refuses me the right to be involved in my grandsons case has it is stated Grand parents have no rights what so ever,
      There fore firstly in 1994 my ex wife vindictaly accuses my self of abusing my daughter backed by Social services section 47 recomendations then physically abuses my daughter in 2002 and now is physically abusing my grandson. To which social services are quite happy to alow her to be responsible for caring for my grandson.
      I thre fore ask any one who is reading this can help in any way to stop the crcle which social services have created I am asking you for help or is threre no one out there with the decency to help me . I have been fighting this alone for over 20 years and just want people wrongly accused to have rights and to be listened to not judged on ex partners words . Nottingham social services have already given me 20 thousand pounds in defermation case which i made against them but still Nottingham social services will not allow me to make repretensation for my family , Is there any proffesional person out there who can hep my 7 year old grandson to end a never ending circle of abuse by my ex wife and credited for over 25 years by social services

  2. Am I ‘banned’ ?

    [Edited by gojam]

  3. The BBC did to Tim Tate there and then what they did to me last year: not present honest facts, intentions, let alone the name of the programme they were going to broadcast. They claimed they would NOT mis-present me, but they most certainly did!

    After I withdrew my consent, they overran it ‘in the public interest’…

    Cover-over of cover-ups of original crimes… Who will stand up for the CHILDREN who’re being abused???

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  9. Sabre

    I appreciate the sub editorship, thanks.

  10. Sabre

    I’m certain that Gojam is able to look after his own interests, I ask the following on my own behalf only.

    You seem to produce some good material, why the personal animosity?
    You allege errors and faults, assuming that the allegations are well founded should this not lead to debate and clarification?

  11. @Sabre – not a humorous topic at all, but I did have to laugh when I saw your latest, because earlier in the day a visitor looking over this thread said: “He thinks you are arguing against the existence of children who never disclose, and you think you are arguing that the only evidence for “ritual abuse” being a special cause of not disclosing comes from disclosures – which would be a logical contradiction. You two aren’t arguing the same point at all!” I accept responsibility for our misunderstanding. I know the importance of being crystal clear, online, and I know I sometimes fail to be. I offer my own apology, for that.

    I was really trying to set up for an explanation of where the Finklehor definition for “ritual abuse” came from and why it is as bankrupt as Lawrence Pazder’s definition. My intention is to fill in gaps in people’s understanding about this subject, from my own experience as a witness to events of the time. It is not my intention to cast aspersions on anyone in the UK who has professed to be, or believes themselves to be, an expert on the subject of ritual abuse.

    Pazder’s definition was based on his personal fantasy – his fantasy of an international satanic cult conspiracy lurking within the daycare and other child care industries, dedicated to capturing children’s mind’s, bodies and souls for satan. For Pazder, CSA wasn’t about sexual gratification at all, sexual abuse was just a tool – one of many tools employed in a ritualistic setting that would cause victimized children to “become evil”.

    Evangelicals were NOT the only persons who came to believe in this Pazderian model of ritual abuse. A broad swath of persons involved in, or concerned about, child protection issues in North America believed in it during the 1980’s – including non-religious parents, social workers, child protection workers, lay therapists, members of law enforcement, academics, psychologists & psychiatrists, even secular feminist luminaries like Gloria Steinem.

    An important reason for this, was that Pazder’s model appeared to be supported by the testimony of others. There was the evangelical testimonialist Mike Warnke, who had been claiming to be an ex-satanic cult leader since the early 1970’s, and therefore an expert on satanic cults. There were SRA survivor claimants like J.C. in California, who acted as consultants on “cult & occult crime” not only for Det. Sandi Gallant but also for police intelligence units throughout that area, as well as for child therapists and other child protection professionals. All of these people’s stories appeared to support each other. The problem was, ALL of them were fantasists drawing on each other’s stories to embellish their own.

    I encourage everyone to really spend some time contemplating what effect this collusion of liars would have had on these professional’s ability to comprehend and confront CSA. It was disasterous, of course! Imagine if some file clerk in Milwauke, who just happened to be a Sicilian immigrant, had approached the FBI claiming to be a mafia whistleblower, but all of his understanding of “the mob” was really based on old Edgar G Robinson films, and the FBI had believed him! Imagine how that would have hampered their ability to understand and investigate the reality of La Cosa Nostra.

    Unfortunately, many people involved in child protection DID believe these falsehoods, and professed themselves to be expert resources on “ritual abuse” on the basis of these lies, to other people in their professions or even publicly. And then people like J.C. began to recant their claim to being SRA survivors, Mike Warnke was exposed as a lying fraud who never was a satanist, and the FBI declared that no evidence of Pazder’s international satanic abuse cult could be found. All these people who had professed to be experts on Pazderian ritual abuse were now experts on nothing but a fantasy. It was, again, a disaster. It was such a disaster that people working in these professions – including friends of mine – feared that the whole field of child protection would be discredited and all their years of work establishing the reality of CSA would be wiped away. Something had to be done to salvage these very sincere persons who had been suckered by con-artists and fantasists.

    The salvage operation had two parts. The first was denial & bluster. Defenders of these disgraced child protection experts just baldly denied that Pazder, Warnke, J.C., etc were fantasists, and accused skeptics of belonging to a conspiracy of child abusers. The second part was apologetics. Finklehor spearheaded the apologist effort, and one of the results of this effort was “the Finklehor definition”, which effectively REVERSED the Pazderian model. The Finklehor definition of ritual abuse sais that sexual gratification was the goal and ritualistic aspects were just tools to acheive that goal. This allowed self-professed ritual abuse experts to still be experts in something provably real, and continue working in the child protection field.

    • Sabre

      I did offer my own apology too in a previous post.
      The psychological and sociological backgrounds to this subject are not my field, I will endeavour to gain some level of understanding as a layman.

  12. Bandini

    If you ever (just once) bothered to do any research you both find the answers to your questions and would (assuming you were honest) not make utterly false accusations.

    I don’t really see why I should devote any more time and effort playing whack-a-mole with each new (wrong) allegation you make. (Funny, isn’t it, that once you’ve had one shot down you never mention it again ? Or apologise ?)

    So, for the very final time, here are the answers to your latest nonsense. After this there won’t be any more.

    1. The JET Report
    Nottinghamshire County Council, which ordered this jointly with Nottinghamshire Police, refused to publish it and for many, many years injuncted those who sought to do so. The reason the council gave was that the report was grossly defamatory.

    2. JET Reverses my evidence
    Had you bothered to read my book before jumping in to display your ignorance you would have known the answer to this. The Report managed to state that I no longer believed in the existence of ritual abuse. This was completely the opposite of my evidence to the enquiry – not least because I was then writing a book about ritual abuse.

    3. Credentials
    Again, a little basic research might not have gone amiss. I am not – and never have been – a tabloid journalist. My work has won a string of awards from – amongst others – Amnesty International, UNESCO and the Royal Television Society. None are known for handing out accolades to “yarnalists”. Additionally, my work has resulted in the arrest and conviction of a number of paedophiles and to a much overdue change in the law which made it illegal to possess child pornography.

    4. My book
    No need to visit a recycling centre (as you would have known if you’d actually read the blog, above). It’s available on Amazon.

    5. Rochdale
    I did not investigate Rochdale. Ever. Full stop. If you have any evidence to the contrary you should produce it. You won’t – you can’t – because I didn’t and therefore there is none. Your accusation that I am “playing games” – presumably with the truth – is of course libellous.

    • Sabre

      There is no need to make veiled threats re libel. You seem to be making a fair job of defending yourself. Gojam to his credit appears to allow the right to reply, I suspect that Bandini and Gojam are not best buddies, I could be wrong of course yet Bandini appears to be allowed his voice. I have had only one post refused ever as far as I recall. If Bandini does produce evidence re Rochdale he would have met your challenge, if he doesn’t you prevail.

    • I’m unsure what wrong allegation of mine you claim to have “shot down” & which I never returned to mention again. But I’ll have a guess & return to something I thought of picking you up on earlier, but decided it was too petty to be worthwhile. You’ve changed my mind:

      You state that the report – which was not written by myself – is “simply wrong” and cite two examples. The second I did indeed return to mention, so it must be the first? If so, I have to point out that while you claim the following is a capital-letter fact…

      “FACT: Nottingham social workers didn’t found RAINS.”

      … the quote which I originally included did NOT say that they had!

      “It was staff of the Department who helped to found RAINS (Ritual Abuse Information and Network and Support).”

      “Helping to found” & “founding” are not necessarily the same things at all. It is in fact quite possible that BOTH statements are true (for all I know or care). So if this is your modus operandi for rebutting claims – first altering their meaning completely to something you ARE able to rebut, well, I’m not impressed! And I certainly see nothing to apologise about here, for which I of course apologise – ho ho ho!

      But let’s crack on… I’ll go through your points one by one.

      1. The Jet Report

      If your statement is correct then the joint Council/Police report was considered “grossly defamatory” [i.e. libellous] by the Council (not the Police).
      I’m unsure how something being libellous could later be deemed NOT libellous – the injunction was lifted – unless the allegedly defamatory passages were, with the passage of time, found to be anything but.
      But not knowing WHO was being allegedly libelled makes it fairly pointless chasing my tail anyway.

      I suggest that my point about the dead-hand of Council insurers preventing publication – a common thread when inquiries are launched by Councils and one on which I have commented previously – may have had a part to play, along, no doubt, with the union-reps of the social-workers who were going to have their working methods criticised. They do all seem to rally around to protect their own, don’t they?

      2. Jet reverses your evidence.

      This is a serious claim which you are laying at the door of the named individuals responsible for the report. However, I have to once again point out that while you state that…

      “The Report managed to state that I no longer believed in the existence of ritual abuse.”

      … the truth is somewhat difference:

      “The Researcher for the Cook Programme from whom Mr. W. obtained the Satanic indicators told us that after three years research he had found no tangible evidence of Satanic abuse and doubted its existence.”

      To ‘doubt’ is not the same as to ‘not believe’ – ask a Christian, for God’s sake! So, no, they did NOT state what you claim they did. And if you had found ‘tangible evidence’ I’m sure you could have brought it to the world’s attention by now!

      3. Credentials

      I don’t set much store by awards. Nor titles, for that matter. For example, Don ‘D-Notice’ Hale – mentioned on this site before – has a CBE yet invented interviews with people he’d never met, claimed to have had multiple attempts made on his life (but forgot to mention a single one of them to the police!) & went so far as to conduct an interview about bogeyman-Savile with a man who had been dead in the grave for a couple of years! [I’ll return to the D-Man later.]

      I’m not familiar with your particular awards but have seen nothing to suggest that your work on OTHER areas wasn’t worthy. (And congratulations on your work re possession of child pornography.) However, one swallow does not a summer make. Sometimes, several swallows don’t either. To be right over one matter does not necessarily mean that you’ll be equally right about another. Far too many are dazzled by the medals on a chest…

      My reference to tabloid journalism was a refernce to your work on The Cook Report. However, why don’t we throw this in for good measure?


      A story that started life HERE on this site, no less, in the pages of the tabloid newspaper, The Express. That, Tim Tate, is “tabloid journalism”.

      (The story is now over a year old. No follow up?)

      Please see point 4 for more on your credentials.

      4. Your book

      I won’t be buying it but did have a good search online for a copy.
      (Why not make it freely available for all to read?)
      I’d certainly read it cover to cover, assuming it isn’t a giant yawnathon, but I couldn’t track it down as I had previously tracked down others such as the penny-dreadful ‘Courage To Heal’, etc..
      However, I did come across the following:

      [I won’t add a download-link but it is easily obtainable for nowt.]

      You are mentioned favourably several times for your work on child-pornography. One example:

      “As Tim Tate has justly remarked, “The greatest single obstacle to the fight against child pornography is that too few people ever see it.” [21] This remark is all the more notable because Tate himself is a fanatical opponent of child exploitation in all its forms, and his hatred of all pornography, including adult material, goes far beyond mine.”

      Broadly favourable. But let’s follow that little [21] into the footnotes & see what the author has to say:

      “I feel uneasy quoting Tate with approval, since in the early 1990s he emerged as a leading advocate of the reality for a “Satanic ritual abuse” menace in the United Kingdom, a view on which I feel he was wrong in every particular… Nevertheless, Tate’s Child Pornography is one of the most comprehensive accounts of its kind.”

      Strong words, which do NOT take away from the GOOD work you have done. Jenkins believes that you were “wrong in every particular” regarding the matters we are now discussing here. Is Jenkins a “moron”… or “something worse”? Perhaps he just genuinely believes that you have fallen down a rabbit-hole – as do I.

      5. Rochdale

      The notion that my not believing you is “libellous” is comical! Good luck persuading a lawyer that your idiosyncratic interpretation of the law should be persued through the courts!

      Have you never heard of the defence that “the statement was a view that a reasonable person could have held”?!? And why might a ‘reasonable person’ hold my view? For precisely what you highlight in point 3 – your illustrious multi-award winning journalism!

      The notion that someone involved from the beginning in “all things Satanic” couldn’t find a spare moment to cast a glance (“…looked into it…”) over the Rochdale case is beyond belief, in the opinion of this reasonable man!
      Was your interest not piqued by the video evidence clearly showing the misleading questioning of the interviewers? (In Nottingham – as evidenced in the report up above – the Council were able to prevent the report-writers from accessing similar material, but thanks to the BBC we could see for ourselves what happened in Rochdale).

      Here is an idea, though! Perhaps your heavily over-laden awards’ shelf gave way under its own weight & came crashing down on your nut, wiping the memory from your mind? Or perhaps the trauma of watching innocent people – the dawn-raids to remove children from their innocent families to be whisked away to an intimate probing by white-gowned strangers with no family-member present [state-sponsored Establishment abuse] – was too much for you, given that the whole reason this abomination took place was down to those who had whipped-up hysteria over Satanic abuse? Do they give out awards for ruining lives? Or maybe I’m just wrong in my genuinely held belief – but what reasonable person would think so, bearing in mind that you in turn are asking us to believe that the named-writers of the JET-report all colluded to stitch you up as part of a massive cover-up?

      Finally, I note that you have an upcoming book on The Ripper on its way, and that it is co-authored with Don Hale’s ex-copper pal. Great stuff!

      • @Bandini – according to Sandra Buck, in an article titled “The RAINS Network in the UK”, which is chapter 10 from “Ritual Abuse In The Twenty-First Century”:

        “RAINS began in September 1989. Two social workers, a psychiatrist, a psychiatric nurse and a lecturer in social work met to discuss how to respond to the needs of people like themselves, who were coming across ‘ritual abuse’ for the first time. The social workers were Judith Dawson (Child Abuse Consultant for Nottingham Social Services) and Chris Johnston (Leader of Team 4…). Dr Joan Coleman was the psychiatrist and Eileen Reeves was the psychiatric nurse…”

        The lecturer was Jeff Hopkins.

      • Thank you very much for this, Justin.

        I really don’t have time to pursue it but a name you mention rang a bell from an article read yesterday:

        It purports to be an article from The Daily Mail but given that it comes from Tate’s “enemies” SAFF I’ll add that I haven’t been able to confirm its provenence (although personally I don’t think they’d be so stupid as to fabricate it).

        It deals with the ‘Newcastle Nursery Case’ – more information freely available – which resulted in massive libel payouts to the accused (who were found not guilty):

        “For nine years they had fought to eradicate a smear that they were sexual perverts abusing children in care at the council-run Shieldfield nursery…
        Incredibly, none of this was true. Indeed, according to the judge Mr Justice Eady, summing up at the end of the £6 million Action, the council report was ‘malicious in a way which cannot be explained on the basis of incompetence or mere carelessness’.”

        What may interest us is the name of one of the report’s authors: Judith Jones. Or, as she was previously known, Judith Dawson (of Nottingham infamy):

        “They would not have known that Judith Jones, one of the inquiry team of four in Newcastle, led a similar enquiry some 13 years ago in Nottingham under her married name, Judith Dawson.
        That report was later condemned after a detailed investigation involving senior social workers and police as inflammatory rubbish, as we shall see.”

        The article goes on to highlight the relationship between Dawson/Jones & the “feminist Marxist author Bea Campbell”:

        “The two women share a passionate – some would say obsessive – belief that there is widespread satanic or ritual child abuse in this country.
        They have continued to proclaim this belief over many years, despite a curious lack of evidence.”

        What ought to concern us perhaps is how on earth Dawson/Jones managed to survive the fall-out from Nottingham & continue with her mischief; one of the author’s of the JET Report (who I first quoted from above) had an idea:

        “John Gwatkin believes her career was saved because his inquiry report was never published by Nottingham council. Judith Dawson is understood to have complained that it was sexist, because her team of four were all women.”

        Say what?!? I’m only thinking out-load here – and maybe Tim Tate will break his sabbatical & tell me what a ‘moron or something worse’ I am – but is it possible that the alleged ‘defamatory’ nature of the JET Report was more a case of four righteous members of the sisterhood (Millie Tant x 4!) playing the patriarchy-card to suppress their appalling failures?

        Who knows? But it might be worth bearing in mind the names of this curious group of determined people. In fact, if we were feeling devilish we might go so far as to label them a ‘ring’!

        How does the article end? Like this:

        “This week, as the two nursery nurses stepped outside the shadow that has dimmed their lives for NINE years Judith Jones and Bea Campbell were away on holiday apparently soaking up the sun.”

        Which all puts me in mind of a song, so how about a Sunday Night Sermon from Ol’ Nick himself:

      • Beatrix Campbell prises open the coffin-lid here:
        As I have commented there –
        “Regarding Nottingham, why does the author not point out her relationship with the social worker Judith Dawson (now Jones)?”

        Must have slipped her mind!

        • That’s a bit personal Bandini.

          You normally at least attempt to dispute the facts. Or is that too hard in this case ?

      • Eh?!? A bit personal? I genuinely don’t understand your point, Gojam.
        Are you suggesting that her relationship with Dawson/Jones has no bearing on her opinion, expressed in her two-part article? She writes:

        “The 7 November 1990 report by the Director of Social Services was the last official word: it rejected the JET report and explained the social workers view of the abuse the children had endured: ’we cannot say’ whether ritual events were ‘true’ or whether children ‘were deliberately misled into believing they had happened’. The Director agreed with the workers directly involved…”

        And the principal social “worker” mentioned above – good choice of word! – is involved with the writer of the above! It’s pretty basic journalistic good practice to declare your interests. Campbell did not – and I pointed it out.

        Regarding “disputing the facts”, many have already been disputed, here on this page. I can’t be bothered rehashing them!

      • My comment on the ‘OpenDemocracy’ (ho!) site has now been removed.

        Despite Campbell having entered into a Twitter-spat with Aaronovitch yesterday (he also challenged her failure to ‘declare an interest’ in the story being peddled) in which she made the ludicrous suggestion that her intimate connection to one of the chief protagonists of the tale is well known, it would seem that someone has objected to it being pointed out beneath the article which “forgot” to mention it & had it removed. ¡Viva la revolución!

        But never mind, eh? I offer some fairly-random thoughts about the articles:

        1) the article starts with the following:

        “David Aaronovitch claims ‘unbelievable’ notions about child abuse that ‘bewitched’ professionals decades ago are echoed in the VIP historic abuse cases. Where is his evidence?”

        Beneath lies a photograph of tabloid headlines relating to “the VIP historic abuse cases”, including, for example, “Rolf & Savile stalked Broadmoor together” from The Sun. It would seem the picture editor has provided the evidence asked for, as it would be hard to top for ‘unbelievability’ the notion expounded here & “echoed” through a totally “bewitched” press.

        (I say ‘hard to top’, but they could maybe have opted for the story flowing from that other member of the true-believers, Valerie Sinason:

        “Jimmy Savile was part of satanic ring”
        It’s a real humdinger, this one. The eagle-eyed will spot that journalistic mark of quality: the name of our old pal, James Fielding.
        (In the case of the competing “naughty ex-minister video shocker tales” Fielding is the ying to Tate’s yang.)

        Savile, we are reliably informed, “chanted “Hail Satan” in Latin as other paedophile devil worshippers joined in” whilst wearing “a hooded robe and mask”. Crikey! A week later & Fielding is back for more – another ‘victim’ has come forward with a tale of a black mass:

        “Recalling her torment, Paula described how Savile was sitting on a throne wearing a mask and robes, clutching a trademark cigar.
        As he raped her, she described smelling stale smoke on his breath. During her horrific ordeal, one of the devil worshippers sneered: “You definitely fixed this one, Jim!””

        At this point the robotic dog from Dr Who, K9, whizzed across the blood-soaked floor to present the poor thing with a medal fashioned from the gold teeth Savile extracted from corpses down in the crypt, possibly. Then again…)

        2) Campbell proudly links to one of her articles, “Seen But Not Heard”, from ‘Marxism Today’. This is how it commences:

        “The Rochdale and Nottingham cases have revealed widespread sexual abuse of children based on satanic practices.”

        Oh dear. Oh deary deary me. Talk about getting off to a bad start!
        But let’s push common sense & plain old facts to one side for a minute, and give her the benefit of the doubt. The article was written in 1990. It would, therefore, suggest that the (non-existant) mountain of evidence upon which she could base such a claim would now, a full quarter of a century later, have assumed, er, even more mountainous proportions.

        Why? Well, how about 25-years of evidence gathering, enough to dispel the doubts in the most stubborn of minds? Or how about the now-adult victims of the widespread Satanic practices – where are their voices? In a Fielding article in The Express?!?

        Or how about the incredible advances in forensic science? It’s hard to avoid C.I.S.-this-or-that on the telly, but none of these breakthroughs have led to a breakthrough in backing-up the evidence-less claims made by the nutters.

        Or how about the technological marvels at everyone’s easy disposal? Did no wavering coven-member sneak a camera in to record an ‘insurance policy’, should something go awry? No Go-Pro popped into the bubbling cauldron, no tiny recording device hidden behind the black eyes of the plastic bat bouncing up & down on a length of elastic? Why has NONE of this appeared?
        Simply, for the same reason that such advances have singularly failed to provide the expected exponential increase in evidence related to, for example, UFOs straffing us from another galaxy.

        3) Ah, that’s enough! No, hang on! A special mention to the Nottingham report she includes a photo of:

        “Given the process that I had agreed with the Social Workers involved [including Campbell’s pal Dawson/Jones] I was extremely disappointed that they agreed to be interviewed and that the film was shown [Campbell’s ‘Dispatches’] before I had an opportunity to come to a considered view on this subject following an analysis on the vast amount of material arising from the Nottingham case.”

        [See my previous comments for suggestions as to the techniques involved in preventing criticism, shutting down debate & avoiding blame being justly apportioned.]

      • Just a quick pop-in as I realised earlier today that I’d made a mistake – Don ‘D-Notice’ Hale has an OBE, not a CBE as I had stated above. I’m a stickler for both facts & the tidying up of loose ends, so…

        (It was reading Hale’s typically misleadingly-titled article in that trashy tabloid, The Mirror – “Rolf Harris juror was officer in Operation Yewtree police force” – that sparked my memory for some unknown reason.)

        But while I’m here, I may as well pop this in as well, which links in rather well with the above – spooky, eh! Hale’s ex-copper pal (as mentioned above) has written a book with Tim Tate that is described as being ‘explosive’. And the two of them have written a couple of articles for the tabloid newspaper, The Daily Mail:


        Now, all this talk of thundercracking journalistic dynamite has reminded me, once again, that the publicly announced (and rather grandiloquently-trailered – the results of a “2 year investigation” that would “inevitably” cause even the police to have questions to answer, no less! – is now over a month late in making its appearance.

        I’m sure I’m not the only one to have been drooling with anticipation, totally agog. (Particularly so in my case as I’d been hoping the Richter-scale-registering yarn would make mention of the infamously uncorroborated claim that Gojam/’Gojam’ ever made anything clear to me about DHG (or anything else, ever).

        As I’m sure we can all agree – and as Mr Sawyer stated – “The Truth Matters!”. Bearing this in mind, could the literally millions of Needleblog obsessives be put out out of their misery (those that are not already out of their minds, of course!) by being appraised of the revised date for publication of what, I’m sure, will be a cracking read?

      • David Aaronovitch has now produced his promised response to Campbell, Nelson & Tate here:

        Of particular interest to myself, given the heated discussion held here on this page, is the disparity seen here:

        Tim Tate writes above: “I did not investigate Rochdale. Ever. Full stop. If you have any evidence to the contrary you should produce it. You won’t – you can’t – because I didn’t and therefore there is none.”

        David Aaronovitch writes: “And in fact in his book (pp 331-338) Tate does indeed comment on the 1991 Rochdale case and makes it clear that he thinks the Rochdale social workers were the victims of an ignorant press backlash.”

        Unless Tate produces his work without investigating that of which he writes it would seem that the ‘evidence’ he asked for laid buried in his own book!

        Perhaps Mr Tate would care to respond?

  13. Bandini

    You are either a moron or something worse.

    Try checking out the facts – starting of the JET Report (suppressed by its own originators because it was so wrong). It even managed to reverse my evidence completely.

    I did in fact challenge this travesty of a document in my book. Perhaps you should try reading it ?

    As to Rochdale. I didn’t investigate it so can’t comment. Perhaps you think that’s convenient. But then again perhaps you are so deeply prejudiced that you can’t be bothered to do what I did: original research.

    • Well, I’m certainly not a moron! Your deluded mind is free to conjure up whatever will-o’-the-wisps it wants, Mr Tim-o’-tate… and whatever it comes up with with will say far more about you than about me.

      You’ll just have to swallow hard & accept that – when push comes to shove – the non-mad are going to take the word of respectable named professionals over that of a sensationalist tabloid ‘yarnalist’ (© Moor Larkin).

      I’m not sure if you’ve been imbibing, it being Friday and all, but I can’t even understand what it is you struggle so angrily to say: what on earth does ‘It even managed to reverse my evidence completely’ even mean? Specifically? And why are you troubling ME with your complaint anyway (a quarter of a century after the fact)?!? I didn’t write the bloody thing!

      But I’ll certainly look out for your book – do you have the address of the recycling-plant to aid me in locating a copy (and a bottle of PVA to glue it all back together again)?

      Again, I find myself asking what in the name of Satan’s sweet portion you are whining about writing that the report was “suppressed by its own originators because it was so wrong”? Be specific, man! Who? Don’t be vague! (Pressure brought to bear by worried Council insurers, perhaps?).

      Rochdale? No, I don’t think it’s “convenient”, I simply don’t believe you. Of course you looked into it – stop playing games! You know full well that it was bullshit & for that reason you retrospectively decided that you hadn’t “investigated” it – hope that’s clear!

      “Original research”? Oh, my giddy aunt! Give that man a PhD – ho ho ho!

  14. Bandini

    The problem with just quoting internet reports is that you don’t necessarily know their origin – or how accurate they are.

    In this case, the report you cite is simply wrong.

    FACT: Nottingham social workers didn’t found RAINS. That was dr. Joan Coleman and others. I know because I was there at the beginning.

    FACT. They didn’t import the concept of ritual abuse from the US or anywhere else. The first successful prosecution for abuse in satanic rituals was in 1982 – six years before Nottingham – and in Telford. The social workers had nothing to do with it.

    Opinions are one thing. Facts are quite another

    • Tim Tate

      The problem with claiming that an “internet report” has its facts in a muddle 18 to 25-years after the fact is that you are going to come across as a wee bit tardy. Surely you haven’t just recovered your memory?!?

      You should direct your ‘corrections’ to the named individual who wrote those words, the second in the list of authors of the JET Report, which I would advise all to read from cover to cover. Seeing as you feature in the report itself I’m sure that you have had ample opportunity to prove the authors wrong during the last, er, quarter of a century:

      W. Thorpe, Detective Sergeant
      J. B. Gwatkin B.A. Hons (Social Science) Dip App Social Studies, Area Director
      W. P. Glenn, Detective Policewoman
      M. F. Gregory RMN CQSW PhD Candidate, Senior Social Worker

      The report is damning.

      Similarly, the Rochdale case – which you rather conveniently claim not to have investigated – was ‘exposed’ in a similar way, this time by the BBC who, as in the Broxtowe example, had to fight a legal battle to have the failures of the social-workers ‘cover-up’ exposed:

      “The corporation has challenged Rochdale Council through the family courts and has obtained video evidence of the interviews with the children taken at the time, as social workers desperately tried to prove their unfounded theory that the families had been worshiping the devil and abusing their children.
      They show the catalogue of mistakes and manipulations of the truth by social workers that resulted in the enormous personal cost to the families caught up in this satanic panic.”

      Sound familiar? Well it ought to, as here we are in 2015 with a current criminal case in progress, and it all has a familiar ring to it – baby blood, bad evidence taking techniques, tampered reports, and a social-worker playing at Columbo:


      1982? Would that be where “Desmond Fennell, prosecuting, said the black magic and devil worship were ‘largely a subterfuge’ to enable Smith to ‘have his way with all these children’.”?

    • Indeed, Sabre.

      But don’t kid yourself that Sarah Nelson, for example, was merely referring to twisted sickos using spooky rubbish to scare children into silence when she said (in 2nd part of ‘Analysis’):

      “This has gone on for centuries…”

      The true-believers are as reluctant to reveal their true beliefs as the members of the international, multi-generational Satanic-rings they BELIEVE exist (without having so far been able to back it up with facts).

      • True believers ?

        Excuse me but I have a little difficulty accepting that kind of statement from someone so able to make such a leap and infer so much from one line.

        I wonder who is kidding themselves most that they are objective ?


      • Save yourself the trouble, Gojam – you’ve already shown all the world what a ‘don’ you have for getting everything so unaccountably wrong, over & over & over again: you’d struggle convincing even as a fairground palm-reader…

        Here’s a hell of an idea, though: ask the blessed doctor. That’s right – just ask her!

        By the way, I infer nothing from ‘one line’. Obviously I can’t hope to reach the dizzying heights of Tim ‘Mortar Board’ Tate, but I do do my own ‘original research’.

        P.S. Can’t wait for the juicy fruits of your ‘two year investigation’!

  15. Pingback: A Response To BBC Radio 4’s Analysis Programme By Dr Sarah Nelson | theneedleblog

  16. ben

    Just on a point of logic it is clearly impossible to “prove” the existence of somebody who has been silenced.

    • Sabre

      Justin knows that, hence my accusation that he’s engineering the problem away.
      Apparently rape is under reported, I don’t know if Justin thinks that means the ‘other’ cases don’t exist.
      I suspect, Justin will complain and challenge if I’m being unfair, that Justin perceives negative reaction to homosexuals and is seeking to mitigate fallout.
      Aaronovitch admitted that his interest in ‘ritual abuse’ arises out of concerns regarding VIP abuse, Aaronovitch has a ‘dog in the fight’ too and is seeking to mitigate fallout for his ‘community’ too.
      I, as a white heterosexual British male, would never mitigate the fallout for my ‘community’ on this issue especially.
      We have all got to tackle this issue come what may.

      • @Sabre – please have a look in the comments to “Naysayers at bay” article on David Hencke’s blog. See my comments there? Please note the dates – May 24-25, prior to this discussion of ours here. I chided Hencke for expressing surprise at the large numbers in recent revelations about historic abuse cases under investigation, considering that the estimates-projections for the percentage of the population experiencing pedophilic attractions suggests there could be MANY MORE potential perpetrators, and estimate-projections for the percentage of the population who were victimized as children suggests there could be MANY MORE victims. I’m not in denial about these issues.

        The under-reporting of rape cases refers to the apparent discrepancy between the number of complaints filed with police (reports to police), and the percentage of respondents claiming a rape experience in anonymous surveys. The opposite was true of ritual abuse reports circa 1980-1995, the number of reports by parents/guardians, investigators, social workers and therapists, that a child had been “ritually abused” far outstripped the number of adult persons claiming to be “survivors of ritual abuse”, AND there have been several cases where persons who had been counted as “a case of ritual abuse” while they were children publicly disclaiming that report about them, as adults. The convictions you mentioned are not problematic for me – convictions for abuse of a child are always a good thing IF they are valid. You do understand, however, that none of these are convictions FOR RITUAL ABUSE – that they are primarily convictions for a sexual offense against the child, in a case where someone had made allegations of “ritual” aspects to the abuse?

        The principle problem with the concept of ritual abuse isn’t the reality of abuse, the problem is the enormous DISTRACTION from that abuse which results from the focus on the alleged RITUAL aspect.

      • Sabre

        Just noticed this it would appear that we have been arguing about ‘the number of angels able to dance on the head of a pin’.

        I got the distinct impression that you were using the ‘dubious satanic’ reports to nullify reports of what is often underlying abuse, which should of course be properly investigated and not ‘merely accepted’.

        I agree that the convictions arising from ‘ritual abuse’ complaints are actually convictions for ‘sexual abuse’

        I have no ‘dog in the fight’ regarding ‘satanic’ abuse. I don’t patrol the city streets bible and crucifix at the ready in pursuit of satan and his works.

        We do seem to have generated more heat than light, I unreservedly apologise for ascribing motives to your position.

    • BINGO! Thank you, Ben – you win the prize.

      And since it is impossible to prove the existence of silenced children, how would someone like Sabre – who is NOT a credulous person – come to believe that large numbers of child sex abusers have used occult/ satanic paraphernalia, ceremonial rituals, staged acts of human sacrifice or cannibalism, and threats of supernatural harm as a deliberate strategy to frighten children into never revealing their abuse experiences, and that they have done this because AS A GENERAL RULE this strategy has successfully silenced child victims?

      Such beliefs may result from exposure to the reversed logic that has always characterized ritual abuse dogma – repeated claims that evidence which contradicts their dogma is actually evidence in support of their dogma. Every claim that a child has revealed suffering “ritual abuse”, is evidence that – if their abuser WAS employing such a strategy, that strategy failed. But ritual abuse dogmatists will claim that children revealing ritual abuse is somehow evidence that children who suffer ritual abuse are effectively silenced by their experience. They will claim that children who have revealed ritual abuse somehow prove the existence of children who were effectively silenced by ritual abuse.

      Mr Tate uses a similar reversed logic in his argument, above. He cites various cases where abusers, who were alleged to have engaged children in “satanic rituals”, were successfully prosecuted for sexually and/or physically abusing those children, as support for these concerns:

      “The first problem is practical: what does a prosecution do when a child makes impossible claims amid otherwise credible allegations of sexual abuse ? If they are – as they should be – turned over to the defence, the alleged perpetrator’s barrister will use them to cast doubt on the child’s credibility. But if they are withheld, they become grounds for a mistrial.

      The second problem follows on from this. However fantastic or impossible the allegation, if a child believes it then there is an urgent therapeutic need. But any such therapy is likely to be seized on as ‘evidence’ that the claims have been planted or induced by the therapist”.

      But these successful prosecutions are not evidence that his expressed concerns are valid, if anything they are evidence that his concerns MAY NOT be valid. It is particularly perplexing that he would cite the Broxtowe case, wherein as he describes it most of his concerns were present:

      “As well as sexual abuse, starting in January 1987 several of the children also described to their foster parents bizarre events. They spoke about “witch parties” at which adults – some from outside the extended family – beat and sexually assaulted them and other unnamed children. They also said that animals were killed, while adults danced round in robes; they described (accurately) the taste of drinking blood, as well as being buried in the ground in boxes and being penetrated with snakes or spiders.
      But they also described incidents which were improbable – the murder of babies – and some which were physically impossible – people flying through the air, for example”.

      And then apparently demonstrates that none of these matters prevented the successful prosecution of the abusers anyway!
      “Despite this, in 1989 10 adults were jailed for a total of 150 years for abusing these children”.

      • Justin

        You’e missing two key facts in all the above.

        1. In The Broxtowe case none of the ritual allegations were presented in court. The jury therefore didn’t hear them.

        2. In many of the successfully prosecuted cases I detailed, the defendants pleaded guilty. Therefore, there was no jury.

      • Bandini

        The BroXtowe Files: http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~dlheb/Default.htm

        “It was Nottinghamshire Social Services Department which imported the concept of satanic ritual abuse from the USA in the UK. It was staff of the Department who helped to found RAINS (Ritual Abuse Information and Network and Support). The same staff ignored the Report’s findings and continued to promulgate the idea of ritual abuse by means of conferences, articles in the social work professional journals, TV appearances and an advisory telephone service. It was the Nottingham experience that became the foundation stone for a widespread belief by professionals in ritual satanic abuse and to this day Nottingham is still quoted as a proven case – which it most definitely was not.”

      • Sabre

        Justin one of the things you have managed to get right is that I am not a credulous person.
        I skimmed the document that you cited and posted a link to it.
        You haven’t as yet seen fit to correct my view of it.
        25 % of the cases covered by the survey resulted in conviction before a court.
        I ‘believe’ in virtually nothing until I satisfy myself that something is believable. I will change my mind in light of new evidence.
        I believe in neither God or satan, I suspect that some people of the type that sexually and physically abuse children or vulnerable adults for that matter would use religious and superstitious nonsense in order to intimidate credulous innocents, you seem to see the fact that criminals and perverts (sometimes/ often/ always if you like) fail in the attempt proves that the attempt couldn’t possibly have happened.
        If someone abuses a child and threatens that disclosure will lead to ” daddy going to jail and you being put into a horrible kid’s home” and the child subsequently discloses, is it your argument that
        a) the child wasn’t abused
        b) the child wasn’t threatened
        c) all of the above
        d) none of the above
        e) (fill in as appropriate ) …………………………..

  17. Just to hammer the point home…
    Sabre said “In general, should such things happen, the victim would be mortified and frightened into silence…”
    I have over 1400 instances where that was apparently not true.
    Please tell me how many child victims were “mortified and frightened into silence” through “ritual abuse” during the same period – Jan. 1/1980 to Jan.1/1990 – ?
    As I’ve said before, the fact that someone can imagine something doesn’t make that something a reality. The fact that people can imagine “ritual abuse victims” who were “mortified and frightened into silence” doesn’t make that a reality. PROVE that these silenced children existed, please.

    • Sabre

      If the children are truly silenced, we don’t they exist, therefore no discernible cause for concern.

      If the children complain it ‘proves’ that the children complained but the cause of the complaint is fallacious.

      It appears that you are trying to engineer the problem away !

      I haven’t consulted the study you cited Justin, is it your argument that the 1400 cases are bogus because they were reported?

      If reported cases are bogus because they are reported and non reported cases are assumed not to exist then by definition the problem is not going to go away because it has been defined as non existent.

      I’m going to have to review your posts I must be misunderstanding you.

    • Sabre

      I scanned this document https://www.uic.edu/labs/pll/Bottoms-Shaver-Goodman-1996-lhb.pdf and I admit that social sciences is not my field.

      The only truly objective content is the statistical analysis and the data tables. Lots of conjecture and opinion, it is a world away from sciences like Mathematics and Physics, my admittedly brief scanning didn’t leave me with the impression that “It doesn’t exist”, they covered the possible influences of charlatans ( recovered memories and MPD).

      .Table VI Proportion of Cases Involving Various Types of Investigation and Case Outcomes on page 19.

      Child Victims/Ritual abuse

      28% led to arrests
      5% dismissed in court
      9% plea bargain
      19% trial
      16% conviction
      2% reversed on appeal

      Huge cause for concern with false reporting, exaggerated reporting, possible collusion by charlatans.

      That is not the same as proved Non Existence Justin.

    • Sabre

      16% Conviction and 9% Plea bargain is 25% of the cases succeeded in court.

    • Sabre

      I haven’t proven that the silenced children exist, the document that YOU cited proves that 25% of the non silenced children in the sample led to convictions in court.

  18. “Backlash” – eh?
    Funny how that word always pops up whenever frauds & con artists are exposed…”Oh, it’s a backlash against the victims!”
    You can be certain that will become the mantra of Ella, Abe, Sabine, Belinda and the rest of the Hampstead SRA Hoaxters. This video is for them:

  19. Pingback: A Response To BBC Radio 4’s Analysis Programme By Tim Tate. | Armor Of God Foundation

  20. One last observation on this subject.
    The time has come to debunk this idea – that child sex abusers have successfully used occult/ satanic paraphernalia, ceremonial rituals, extreme sadistic abuse and threats of supernatural harm to frighten children into never revealing their abuse experiences.

    In their study: “An Analysis of Ritualistic and Religion-Related
    Child Abuse Allegations” published in 1996, Bottoms, Shaver & Goodman conducted extensive surveys of members of the American Psychological Association. “The study consisted of two phases: a postcard survey to identify clinicians who had encountered relevant cases in their clinical practice, and a detailed survey to obtain more complete information about the cases”, “We randomly selected 3,278 clinical psychologists from those
    whose primary specialties, according to AF’A membership records, were clinical, counseling, school, or child psychology and 2,720 from all other clinical specialties”,
    These clinicians were asked to indicate how many cases, between January 1 1980 and January 1 1990, they had personally encountered in which they believed one or more children had experienced things like:
    “Abuse related to any practice or behavior repeated in a prescribed manner (including prayers, chants, incantations, wearing of special costumes)
    Abuse related to symbols (for example, 666, inverted pentagrams, inverted or broken crosses), invocations, costumes, beliefs, etc. associated with the devil
    Abuse related to belief in supernatural, paranormal, occult, or special powers (for example, magical surgery, calling on spirits, magical flying)
    Abuse associated with threats or activities involving graveyards, crypts, bones, the dead, ghosts, etc.
    Abuse involving rituals using human or animal excrement or blood
    Abuse involving rituals that include special knives, candles, altars, etc.
    Abuse involving actual or staged sacrifice or killing of humans
    Abuse involving actual or staged torture of humans
    Abuse involving actual or staged cannibalism (eating human flesh)’
    Abuse involving actual or staged sacrifice, killing, or torture of animals
    Ritualistic abuse involving forced participation in or observation of sexual practices*
    Ritualistic abuse involving child pornography”

    “There were 2,722 valid respondents (a 46% return rate), of whom 803 had
    encountered one or more ritual or religion-related cases.6 Four kinds of cases were defined on the basis of two binary distinctions: child cases (in which the victim was under 18 years of age when seen by the respondent) versus adult survivor cases (in which the victim was 18 years of age or older at the time of report, but was under age 18 when the abuse allegedly occurred), and ritual cases versus religion-related cases”
    “Of the 802 psychologists with cases, 43% saw at least one child-ritual case (13% of all 2,722 respondents)…”, “In all, 6,821 cases were reported, of which 22% were child-ritual cases…”

    IF the claims of these clinicians were all valid and genuinely a result of children’s spontaneous disclosures, rather than a result of “diagnostic” “interpretations” made by parents or other guardians, investigators or therapists, that would mean this allegedly successful strategy for keeping children silent about their abuse FAILED OVER 1400 TIMES in one decade.
    In fact, it would mean that this supposedly successful strategy to silence abused children was actually less of a factor in preventing children’s disclosures than the normal & natural embarrassment that children experience when contemplating disclosure of CSA to others – the #1 obstacle to disclosure documented in the “Why Didn’t They Tell Us” study.

    But you needn’t go to such a scale to disprove the idea that alleged “ritual abuse” successfully frightens children into silence. This idea is self-evidently false. If it was really true, there would be no transcripts or recordings of such disclosures, and no trial testimony, for Mr Tate or anyone else to cite.

    • Sabre

      But you needn’t go to such a scale to disprove the idea that alleged “ritual abuse” successfully frightens children into silence. This idea is self-evidently false. If it was really true, there would be no transcripts or recordings of such disclosures, and no trial testimony, for Mr Tate or anyone else to cite.

      With respect you do come out with total bollocks sometimes.
      In general, should such things happen, the victim would be mortified and frightened into silence, the fact that some people eventually speak out does not negate the general rule does it ?

      Gangsters, drug dealers and terrorists intimidate people into silence, the fact that some people give evidence against them doesn’t negate the general rule does it?

      There are an infinite number of prime numbers, in general they are odd numbers, however, the very first prime number is 2 it is the only even number in the infinite set of prime numbers.

      Generally speaking prime numbers are odd, your ‘logic’ would leap upon the number 2 and cast the general rule aside for a special case of 1 member of an infinite set.

      • @Sabre – well, that was the point of using the Bottoms, Shaver & Goodman study’s numbers. 1400 instances hardly count as a “special case”. Your numerical analogy fails on another level, however. “The number 2” is discernible and verifiable. Your hypothetical “silenced child” is neither. If they were truly silenced, you’d never know they existed!

      • Terry B

        I claim no expertise here but from my simple view point this analogy makes sense.

        Gangsters, drug dealers and terrorists intimidate people into silence, the fact that some people give evidence against them doesn’t negate the general rule does it?

        Some people, no matter how terrified and how much intimidation has been exerted on them, will stand up.

        ““ritual abuse” successfully frightens children into silence”, I can believe that it does but not in absolute terms as everybody is different.

  21. Sue Richardson

    Agree excellent summary by Tim Tate of the appallingly low standard of journalism in these 2 programmes. I think that alone merits a formal complaint to the BBC. But what is the agenda here? How interesting that in both programmes a comparison was drawn between the risk of false allegations resulting from so -called ‘moral panic’ over SRA and current allegations of ‘VIP abuse’. Who is running scared & attempting a backlash against survivors who are speaking out?

  22. Thank you to those who have left responses (and to GoJam for granting me the space)

    To answer the questions from StarDog and Justin Sanity:-

    StarDog – wrong on two counts. Firstly my book was severely critical of the Evangelical Alliance. Secondly, whatever mischief it caused in other cases, it had absolutely no involvement in any of the successful prosecutions; nor did it have any input into the Broxtowe case.

    JustinSanity – Paul Tabori died in 1974, so I was not able to follow up his account.

    Pazder may have been the first person to coin the term ritual abuse, but his definition is NOt the most widely used or accepted. The best and most commonly used definition was made by Finkelhor, Meyer and Burns, three childcare specialists at the University of New Hampshire. It states:

    “[Ritual abuse is] abuse that occurs in a context linked to some symbols or group activity that have a religious, magical or supernatural connotation, and where the invocation of these symbols or activities, repeated over time, is used to frighten and intimidate the children”.

    Strangely, David Aaronovich never found the time within his two 30-minute radio programmes to offer a definition of ritual abuse. Even stranger still, I know he had the above definition because he asked me to read it out to him during our recorded interview.

    • This would be the Broxtowe case.where, apart from one single incident taking place, if memory serves me correctly on a canal boat, not one member of the family was ever formally interviewed about “Satanic practices” and only the social workers insisted that the family held “Witchcraft Parties” despite not one local person agreeing with this? The diary descriptions of witches are as hackneyed as they come, sharp dirty nails, riding on broomsticks etc etc.. Plus, a whole list of places they claimed to exist have been proven conclusively to be total fantasy. What you have here is a classic case of a working class family running riot and a law unto themselves where the fears of “middle class” and totally out of touch social workers were transferred to the family en masse.

      What we had there was a case where kids and adults were ritually abused generation after generation by an extended family rather than, “ritual abuse”.I am frankly amazed and saddened that anyone calling themselves remotely savvy thinks that the Broxtowe case. has anything to do with Satanism and ritual abuse past that, of some casual and flippant ignorant use of mumbo jumbo picked up from cod horror films. Meanwhile, at the same time this was happening hundreds of kids were being ritually abused by Christian priests and vicars and often told that. “Should they speak of it they would be condemned to eternal damnation at the hands of the devil”. Now that is “Ritual Satanic abuse!”.

  23. Fantastic piece, Mr Tate!
    A few brief (I promise) comments. You cited Tabori and his alleged eye-witness account from “Crime and the Occult: A Forensic Study” published in 1974, but you didn’t mention the subtitle: “How ESP and Parapsychology helped detection”. You described Tabori as a journalist but failed to mention that he was first and foremost a writer of BAD fiction, a that he was a “psychical researcher”, baldly credulous with regard to “psychic phenomenon” and, frankly, a liar.[Refer “A Skeptic’s Handbook of Parapsychology” ] Also, you didn’t mention anything about having personally researched Tabori’s allegations before reproducing them here. Did you track down and interview the principles? Did you talk to the alleged child victims or the perpetrators from this alleged case?

    There have been, of course, many other alleged eyewitness accounts of satanic crimes, predating Pazder’s “Michelle Remembers”. There’s the account of a satanic torture and sacrifice of alleged victim “Pussycat” in Ed Sander’s “The Family” book about Manson. Sander’s source was an underground press “journalist” named Blaine, aka Blaine Blaine, Purple Blaine, Zakatorious the Pantheist, etc, Blaine, however, is a notorious fantacist who has been trying to frame his underground press boss for every major crime against persons since 1969. He surfaced most recently trying to frame the man (who is deceased) as having been The Zodiac serial killer, calling himself Blaine “The Goldcatcher”.

    Nevertheless, the phrase “ritual abuse” WAS coined by Lawrence Pazder in 1980, as you know. Please do cite a prior occurrence of the term if you have proof of any. (That’s disingenuous of me, as I know that computerized searches have already been conducted which have proven there was no prior occurrence).

  24. joekano76

    Reblogged this on TheFlippinTruth.

  25. joekano76

    Anyone who watched Aaronovitch running from one TV newsroom to another in the run up to the Iraq invasion , promoting war on Israel’s enemies would know he’s just a propagandist and a gatekeeper.

  26. mog

    For my part, I will not buy for one second that this was sloppy journalism or that Aaronovitch was ‘lazy’. He knows how to research, he knows what is the baseline for substantiating your case. He deliberately omitted reference to materials that were at his disposal, for purposes that we can speculate about but not know.
    This, to anyone who has followed his career is not in the least surprising. Voodoo Histories demonstrates Aaro’s capacity for research, but also his skill at deceptive omission. From memory, he wrote an extensive chapter about the JFK controversies, but somehow neglected to make mention of the House Select Committee on Assassinations – which for anyone familiar with the issue is telling in the extreme.
    Aaronovitch is full of shit, that is all there is to it.
    BBC ? Well what do you expect there?

  27. sponge_mike

    Excellent response, Tim. @wendy – not particularly worrying – just disgraceful.

  28. Wendy Horler

    Thank you for enlightening us in this instance. Sadly it is one of many bad pieces of BBC journalism in recent years. But that the a respected journalist should be allowed to exert so much influence to project an incorrect view on child abuse is particularly worrying.

  29. One thing you have left totally out of the picture is the role of the Evangelical Alliance in the promotion of stories and scares surrounding child abuse, particularly those relating to some form of “ritual abuse”. https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=jSTlAAAAQBAJ&pg=PA93&lpg=PA93&dq=the+evangelical+alliance+and+its%27+role+in+child+abuse&source=bl&ots=q3W8wMNEBD&sig=UaZ1Ftev_5oY-qQH3DfGQ_e7UTI&hl=en&sa=X&ei=vwVuVfHPE4mXsAGlyJfoAg&ved=0CF8Q6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q&f=false

    The whole “Project Blue Beam” conspiracy was also cooked up from some North American member of the Evangelical Alliance and still today, people “believe” in it even though it has been shown time and time again there isn’t a single shred of evidence to back its’ claims. It’s interesting to note that, one of those supposedly responsible for “Blue Beam” was also accused of ritual abuse. One assumes that, as this person was most definitely working for the CIA and a self confessed Satanist, though now part of the Set movement, that’s where almost all the evidence about a “Government Level cover up” stem from.

    This all coincided with Reagan’s tenure in the White House and a seismic shift in policy which saw ultra right wing christians being inserted into dozens of position s of authority and anything remotely resembling the “paranormal” having its’ funding either cut or ended. Anyone who seen the film “The Men who Stare at Goats”, that was based on the real life exploits and experiments carried out under the aegis of the CIA.

    I have said it before I will say it again, in the wake of Savile’s exposure I pretty much stated what to expect from the media and and the sorts of personalities and campaigns that would suddenly appear. I did this having had three decades of experience with exactly the same sort of methods in my own field. And yes, we have had to deal with the Evangelical Alliance trying to stick their oar in and hijack whole fields of study for their own ends and propaganda. Thankfully, most in my field are free of any deeply held association to religious beliefs”, so are able to effectively counteract these attempts in public and to expose them for what they are to most of those with an interest.

    It is to the Evangelical Alliance’s eternal shame that, there probably have been cases of “ritual abuse” that have gone unnoticed and unreported simply because of their own selfish, infantile and frankly, outrageous behaviour.