US GOVERNMENT STUDY OF CHILDHOOD RITUAL ABUSE
Makeup of the Study
A massive study of ritualistic child abuse was completed in the fall of 1994.
(1) It was funded by the US Federal Government's National Centre on Child
Abuse and Neglect.
They obtained responses from over 6900 clinicians (psychiatrists,
clinical psychologists, and social workers); and from over 4600 agencies
(county District Attorneys, Departments of Social Services and municipal
Law Enforcement agencies).
They uncovered over 12,000 cases of suspected ritual abuse. But when they
looked for cases that they could say with some confidence actually exhibited
evidence of abuse, they found only one.
Dr. Gail Goodman, a psychologist at the University of California at
Davis led the study. She said "After scouring the country, we found no
evidence for large-scale cults that sexually abuse children". She
continued: "While you would not expect to find corroborating
evidence in many sexual abuse cases, you would expect it when people
claim the rituals involved murders, and the reported cases come from
district attorneys or police...If there is anyone out there with solid
evidence of satanic cult abuse of children, we would like to know about it."
David Lloyd, the director of the National Center on Child Abuse and
Neglect (the funding agency) said "Since the McMartin preschool case there have been claims of
ritualistic and sadistic child abuse in cases all over the country, and we've
been concerned. The survey was to see just how well-founded these concerns
are - if these are just based on mistaken perceptions or there is some
Results of the Study
Some of their findings include:
|12,264 cases of suspected SRA were found. |
|69% of clinicians reported no cases; most of the rest reported 1 or 2;
1.4% of the clinicians reported over 100 cases each. |
|the vast majority of clinicians believe their clients to be telling the
truth about real events. |
|77% of the agencies reported no cases; most of the rest reported 1 or 2;
2.2% of the agencies reported over 100 cases each |
|The vast majority of agencies believe their clients to be telling the
truth about real events |
|Only 1 of the 12,264 suspected cases could confidently be accepted as
real abuse This involved a 16 year old male whose parents were Satanists.
He took part in rituals which sometimes involved sexual activity. He was an
observer, victim and perpetrator. None of the usual factors associated
with the public's perception of Satanic Ritual Abuse was present in this
case; no infant killing, animal torturing, blood drinking, flesh eating, etc.
|child victims' stories do not agree with adult survivor memories: child
victims report scary activities (e.g. being put in a coffin and lowered
into a grave); adult survivors talk of child memories of horrendous
activities (e.g. including the killing of infants, cannibalism, drinking
blood, the most extreme torture and mutilation, etc). |
|Little or no physical evidence found; usually scars that could have
been self inflicted. |
|No child pornography involving Satanic themes has ever been discovered
in US. |
|No evidence of Generational Satanists exists. |
|No evidence exists of bizarre and horrible Satanic ritual abuse
scenarios which regularly occurred in many repressed memory cases
among adults. |
|No unequivocal evidence of large scale, well organized Satanic cults
|A major problem was uncovered of Christian based child abuse:
|Beating the devil out of the child during exorcisms, |
|Excessive child discipline ("sparing the rod spoils the child")
|Depriving children of medical help in favour of prayer. |
This Problem appears to be concentrated among a very few members of
conservative Christian churches.
|Young children were found to have little precise knowledge of Satanic
symbols and rituals. |
|A very small percentage of the therapists and a very small
percentage of the agencies reported essentially all of the cases of
non-Christian ritual abuse. The study organizers speculate that these
therapists and agencies may be creating memories of childhood abuse due
to their therapy and interview techniques. |
Clearing House on Child Abuse & Neglect Information, Characteristics
& Sources of Allegations of Ritual Child Abuse, Suite 350, 3998 Fair
Ridge Dr., Fairfax VA, 22033, $20 US. Issued 1994-Fall. Free summary
available by calling (703) 385-7565.
Return to the OCRT home page, or the
"Not So Spiritual" page, or the
"Ritual Abuse Studies" page.