M.V.M.O. SATANIC RITUAL ABUSE (SRA) HOAX
ISLAND OF LEWIS, SCOTLAND
Were the children abused?
On 2004-JUL-1, the charges against all of the adults were dropped. The Crown Office stated: ''Following
a thorough investigation by the procurator fiscal and careful consideration of
all the available evidence, Crown counsel instructed no proceedings be taken in
this case. The procurator fiscal has been in contact with the local social work
department and the children's reporter to ensure all relevant information is
provided to those authorities responsible for ongoing care of the children."
No apology was given to those falsely accused.
Penny Campbell, wife of one of the accused viewed the Crown's action as the
worst possible scenario. She said: "It should have gone to court because now
our names will never be cleared." Peter Nelson and Penny Campbell stated to
reporters that they were interrogated about alleged animal sacrifice and
ritualistic ceremonies. Penny said: "They did ask me about animal sacrifices
and I think that was the one point when I actually started to laugh. I couldn't
help it. It just sounded so ridiculous.'' She objected to the statement
issued by the Western Isles Council, which thanked the community for the
''dignified way'' in which it had responded to the case. Referring to the
harassment by some in the community, she said: "They
seem to have completely dismissed what we have suffered."
The Lewis case appears to be
an almost exact repeat of previously discredited SRA hoaxes in
Rochdale, Orkey and
Pembroke. No evidence of Satanic
ritual abuse was found in those cases. All but two of the children involved
in these cases were returned home. Those scandals prompted the UK government to
commission a study of childhood ritual abuse in 1991.
Professor Jean La Fontaine headed a team at Manchester University which
evaluated all known recent British ritual abuse cases. She issued her report in 1994,
which concluded that:
||No evidence exists for Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) in England.
||Three cases involving child molesters were found in which the
perpetrators pretended to be Satanists in order to better control their
||Unfounded rumors of SRA had been spread on the basis of dubious
||Some Evangelical Christians, psychologists, childcare workers, and
health-care professionals were held responsible for the myth.
||The SRA myth deflected care and concern away form the real plight of
many abused children.
Forensic criminologist Bill Thompson sees many points of similarities to an earlier
case that he worked on in the Orkneys. He attributes the Lewis hoax to obsolete
and unreliable methods of interrogating young children.
||He is reported as saying: ''I can say without fear of
contradiction that they used the same methods
and same techniques [in the Lewis case] as they used on Orkney.
The methodology is invariably the same....Whatever we think about rape
and the failure to convict rapists, the idea of accusing somebody without
thorough investigation has to be seriously questioned.''
||During another interview he is reported as saying: "This is not the
first case since the Orkney scandal [when similar accusations of satanic
child abuse were made and later dropped] in which the allegations were
constructed on the basis of interview techniques that have long been
discredited and fly in the face of all the rules that are supposed to define
how children and adults are questioned."
||Referring to disclosure therapy that was used on the accusing children
in this case by the National Children's Home and the social service,
he said: ''What has to be asked is whether the guidelines for the
interview techniques have been broken?" He suggests that this case is a
duplicate of a ritual abuse scare in Orkney which turned out to be a hoax.
He said: ''It will be the same methodology. It always is. What it boils
down to is a social worker or police officer starts asking leading questions
and this then sets off a whole series of speculations.'' 1
||He said that the accusations against the
adults, which involved animal sacrifices, snuff
movies, devil worship and child rape, were ''classic textbook Satanic
allegations which have been disproved everywhere.'' 2
||He suggested that the police release
recordings of the interviews made with the children. He suggests that this
is the only way to determine whether the investigators had asked leading
questions. Only the release of this information is liable to clear the names
of those falsely accused. He said: ''People want to kill them. They will
suffer stigma forever. They need a chance to clear their names. Let's
suppose it can be proved that the children have been sexually abused, how
does that prove the existence of a satanic cult?....Social workers and
police have one-track minds in these cases. They were convinced this case
was true and were blind to evidence to the contrary. The belief system that
led to Orkney is alive and well in Lewis more than 10 years later....[Police
and social workers] should have asked themselves if they were leading the
children and this should have prompted a review.'' 2
The News.Telegraph reported that: "A spokesman for Northern Constabulary
said that the investigation was conducted properly. 'In the investigation of
such emotive and complex cases, the interests and safety of children is always
paramount and as such all avenues of inquiry were rigorously investigated and
Vicky Allan, a reporter for the Sunday Herald, wrote: "Certainly, even
talking to the Nelsons and the Campbells it seems as if there were many holes in
the physical proof that should have been caught prior to arrest. Both families
claim not to have been on the island for the entire period between 1995 and 2001
when the abuse was believed to have taken place. The Nelsons, for instance, only
moved there in 1997. With the case now dropped, both victims and accused are
perpetually suspended in limbo, the accused followed by a cloud of possible
guilt which perhaps will never evaporate."
Stornoway Social Services told the formerly accused that they were
also abandoning a separate, civil case.
News.Telegraph reported that: "Peter Nelson, 59, one of the men who
was arrested and charged, said...[on 2004-JUL03] that he was seeking legal
advice to sue the Northern Constabulary for wrongful arrest and Stornoway Social
Services department for wrongful imprisonment." He claims that he was
charged with offences that were supposed to have taken place in 1995 before he
came to the island.
Penny Campbell has founded an organization called False Allegations Action
Scotland She said that" ''Many families are being destroyed by
false allegations of abuse made by malicious accusers....[Investigators were]
obsessed with an erroneous belief in widespread organized ritual and satanic
abuse rings''. This leads to prosecutors repeating ''the same mistakes
over and over again.'' 2 Their website has published media accounts from the Lewis Island case from 2004
to 2006. 3
Were the children abused?
Three young children, all siblings, disclosed that they had
been sexually abused. Physical evidence seemed to support this determination.
There are suggestions that, as a result of improper interview techniques, they
disclosed that the perpetrators were abusive Satanists engaging in animal sacrifice,
drinking of blood, and
Satanic ritual abuse. As noted above, there are suggestions that the police and
child protective personnel may have used direct and repeated questioning of the
children. These are dangerous and outmoded interview techniques that have long
been abandoned in North America because they so often lead to children
disclosing details of abuse which are unrelated to real events.
The Sunday Herald reports that: "according to the transcripts of his
police interrogation -- which have been passed to the Sunday Herald -- there is
medical evidence that proves that the children in what we must, for legal
reasons, call family X, were sexually abused. Those children are still in the
care of Western Isles Council social workers and are considered 'vulnerable.'
Nobody - at the moment - is facing any charges relating to their sexual abuse."
Our hunch is that the children were
sexually abused by an adult or group of adults. As a result of incompetent
questioning, the children revealed details of Satanic Ritual
Abuse which never actually happened. Unfortunately, the children's entire
testimony at this point is essentially worthless. Any competent lawyer would
make mincemeat out of the government's case, even if the police were actually
able to find the true perpetrators. It is probable that those responsible for
the child abuse will go free.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- Vicky Allan, "We were accused of raping
little girls, having orgies, killing cats and chickens and drinking their
blood ... it was all lies but they wouldn't believe us," Sunday Herald,
- Neil Mackay & Vicky Allan, "Orkney expert
slams Lewis 'sex abuse' mistakes," Sunday Herald, 2004-JUL-11.
"False Allegations Action Scotland," (FAAS) has a web site at:
- Neil MacKay, "I've never done anything, I
swear," the Sunday Herald, 2004-JUL-11.
Copyright © 2004 to 2006 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2004-JUL-9
Latest update: 2006-APR-28
Author: B.A. Robinson