About this site
About us
Our beliefs
Your first visit?
Contact us
External links
Good books
Visitor essays
Our forum
New essays
Other site features
Buy a CD
Vital notes

World religions
Who is a Christian?
Shared beliefs
Handle change
Bible topics
Bible inerrancy
Bible harmony
Interpret Bible
Beliefs, creeds
Da Vinci code
Revelation, 666
Other religions
Other spirituality
Cults and NRMs
Comparing religions

About all religions
Important topics
Basic information
Gods & Goddesses
Handle change
Confusing terms
World's end
One true religion?
Seasonal topics
Science v. Religion
More info.

Absolute truth

Attaining peace
Religious tolerance
Religious hatred
Religious conflict
Religious violence

"Hot" topics
Very hot topics
Ten commandm'ts
Assisted suicide
Death penalty
Equal rights - gays & bi's
Gay marriage
Origins of the species
Sex & gender
Spanking kids
Stem cells
Other topics

Laws and news
Religious laws
Religious news


Religious Tolerance logo


horizontal rule

Sponsored link.

horizontal rule

Dale Akiki was a 36-year-old man in 1991 who was employed as a naval supply worker. He also volunteered at Faith Chapel in Spring Valley CA as a Sunday school baby-sitter and helper. He was accused by children at the church of abuse. The first Deputy District Attorney assigned to the case decided that there was not sufficient evidence to prosecute the case. There are allegations that the grandfather of some of the alleged victims is a prominent citizen of San Diego who had financially supported the District Attorney, Ed. Miller. After a alleged personal meeting with Miller, the case was reassigned to Deputy District Attorney Mary Avery who brought charges against Akiki.

During an extensive series of therapy sessions, the children began to tell stories of Akiki mutilating and/or killing a baby, an elephant, [!] a giraffe and rabbits in their presence. They also said that he had kidnapped them, taken them in his car, raped them, dunked them in feces-filled toilets, sodomized them with curling irons and toy firetruck ladders, forced them to play naked sex games, hung them upside down, threatened them with guns and knives, urinated on them, and assaulted them with blood torture rituals. All of this abuse allegedly occurred during a series of 90 minute Sunday school classes. Actually, the available time to transport and abuse the children would have been less than 90 minutes, because considerable time would have been needed to clean up the children and to calm them down so that they would not have been hysterical when their parents returned. None of their parents or the Sunday school supervisor observed any abuse. Sodomizing young children would have had to have left massive telltale evidence of abuse. But no physical evidence was ever introduced at trial.

Due to a genetic defects, Dale is developmentally handicapped, his chest is concave, and his head is unusually large. He is unable to drive. He does not own a car and has no license. 43 counts of child abuse were laid. Other adult co-conspirators were accused but not indicted.

Akiki spent 30 months behind bars waiting for a trial. After a 7 month trial, the jury deliberated for 7 hours and acquitted him of 35 charges involving dozens of children. The jury lashed out at the prosecutors for bringing the case to trial in spite of the complete lack of physical evidence. It was the longest and most expensive trial in San Diego history. Six months later, District Attorney Ed Miller was turned out of office after receiving only 11% of the popular vote. Public backlash over ritual abuse cases has been blamed for his defeat. With 23 years of service, he was the longest serving District Attorney in the history of California.

Like so many other cases alleging ritual abuse of multiple children, the Akiki case was fueled by a public panic. One additional likely factor was Dale's appearance, which might have triggered the parents at the Sunday school into believing that he had abused their children.

The 1993-1994 San Diego Grand Jury report included an analysis of the Akiki case. They observed:
bullet[Child] "therapists were not only trying to treat the children but they were also attempting to be criminal investigators." The prosecutor had asked the therapists to "provide more disclosures of abuse." A consensus exists among experts in child interview techniques that the therapy and investigative functions must be kept separate.
bulletAt least one therapist coached the children's parents to use an "empty chair" routine at home so that the "child could accuse Dale Akiki and act out her anger toward him in effigy...The pressures on the children were enormous."
bulletThe San Diego County Ritual Abuse Task Force actively promoted their belief that the ritual abuse of children was widespread in the area. They contributed greatly to the public hysteria over this issue. Many members of this group played major roles in the Akiki case: they included the head of the Child Abuse Unit who originally assigned the case, the deputy district attorney who prosecuted the case and several of the therapists. "Selection of the therapists was directed by the prosecutor who provided the list of [publicly funded] CAPF therapists from which parents chose. The list contained people who had compatible beliefs. In addition, these therapists were asked by the prosecutor to attend a ritual abuse seminar in Orange County in order to become more knowledgeable about the occult.
bulletThere was "blatant disregard" by of therapists to follow sound interviewing procedures when working with children.

No ritual abuse was ever found in the San Diego area. In fact the Grand Jury concluded: "There is no justification for the further pursuit of the theory of satanic ritual child molestation in the investigation and prosecution of child sexual abuse cases." They recommended:
bulletto discontinue the use of the Interagency Investigative Team Protocol developed by the MV/MP [Multi-Victim, Multi-Perpetrator] Ritualistic Abuse Task Force in 1990-DEC.
bulletrefraining from the use of the theoretical concept of Satanic ritual child molestation as the basis of criminal prosecutions.

Of course, all of these recommendations came too late to prevent Dale Akiki's two and a half years of imprisonment for crimes that never happened. And they came too late for the many dozens of children who are now suffering from false, implanted memories of the most horrendous forms of sexual abuse.

horizontal rule

Sponsored link:

horizontal rule

Civil Lawsuit

Dale and Sharon Akiki's brought a civil lawsuit against San Diego County, Faith Chapel Church, 9 therapists, Children's Hospital, businessman Jack Goodall, and his wife Mary Goodall. The action was settled out of court in 1995-JAN. The county's share of the settlement, which is believed to be less that 40% of the total award, was $768,750. Dianne Jacobs, the Board of Supervisors chairperson for the County commented: "This good faith, out-of-court settlement is a sensible alternative to protracted litigations. It is in the best interest of the Akiki family and all parties involved, and avoids what surely would have been a lengthy and costly court fight."

horizontal rule

Reappearance of the hoax:

After eight years of relative peace, allegations of ritual abuse and Satanic Ritual Abuse have once more surfaced in the San Diego area. The International Conference on Family Violence is an international meeting which was expected to draw 1,500 social workers, therapists, prosecutors, defense attorneys, doctors, nurses and police. It was held in San Diego during the week of 2002-SEP-29. Three agencies are organizing the conference, including Children's Institute International (CII), the group that diagnosed 360 children as having been ritually abused in the McMartin Preschool case. There are dozens of "conference collaborating organizations" involved in the conference, including: the California Attorney General's Office; the American Bar Association; the American Academy of Pediatrics; the American Psychological Association; the SDSU School of Social Work; and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Two sessions at the conference will focus on promoting the concept of ritual abuse.

Local District Attorney Paul Pfingst has expressed concerns that this widely attended and influential conference would feature workshops on ritual abuse. He has seen no evidence that such cases exist. He said: "This theory was completely debunked in the early '90s. It created so much harm in San Diego and across the country, and to see it even start to emerge again is very disturbing....If someone wants to go back to teaching that Satanic ritual abuse claptrap, we're going to have a serious discussion about whether law enforcement in San Diego should respond and expose it for what it is."

The conference program states that "Ritual abuse cases are coming into the system through the accounts of adult survivors, in child-custody disputes, day care and isolated neighborhood cases." Robert Geffner, conference director, said that ritual abuse is recognized as valid by "most people in the field." He defended the inclusion of the workshops. He said: "Our goal is to address certain controversial topics instead of suppressing them under the rug."

One workshop, "Psychotherapy and Ritual Abuse Survivors," was led by psychologist Ellen Lachter, marriage-and-family therapist Mary Battles, and a ritual abuse "survivor." They consider  "ritual abuse as a prevalent problem in Western and other cultures."

Another workshop, "Childhood Ritual Abuse," was be led by Jeanne Adams of Ogden, Utah, a ritual abuse "survivor," Dawn Mattox of the Special Victim's Bureau, Butte County, CA, District Attorney's office; and Anne Hart of the agency, "Mothers of Lost Children." The conference program states that Adams will discuss "the cult experience and the governmental mind control experimentation used on children."

Jeffrey Younggren, a Los Angeles clinical psychologist had warned state officials in the early 1990s that ritual-abuse allegations constituted a hoax. He said that the two workshops appear appear to "tarnish what otherwise looks like an excellent conference....It's amazing to me that this ritual-abuse stuff never seems to go away."

horizontal rule


bulletLaura Mecoy, McClatchy News Service, "Backlash Builds Over Abuse Claims; The Public is no Longer Buying Ritual Cases", San Jose Mercury News, 1994-JUN-13. See: http://www.outright.com:80/~horses/940613SJ.HTM
bulletCarol Hopkins, Apple Boycott 2nd Press Release", Posting to the Witchhnt mailing list, 1995-NOV-28. See: http://user.aol.com/doughskept/witchhunt/apple_boycott.txt
bullet"San Diego's Local Scene", San Diego Daily Transcript, 1995-JAN-31. See: http://sddt.com/files/library/95headlines/DN95_01_31/
bulletMark Sauer, "Abuse or unfounded fear? Either way, talks to delve into ritual child
" The San Diego Union-Tribune. 2001-SEP-21, Page E-1.

horizontal rule

Copyright © 1996, 1997, and 2000 to 2002 incl., by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2002-OCT-1
Author: B.A. Robinson

line.gif (538 bytes)

horizontal rule

Go to the previous page, or return to the "Ritual Abuse Cases" menu, or choose:

Web ReligiousTolerance.org

Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Purchase a CD of this web site

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?

Twitter link

Facebook icon

Google Page Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.