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Getting things into perspective

Filed under: Sex Abuse / CYF — Barbara Faithfull @ 3:33 pm Wed 29th September 2010

An analysis of the New Zealand sex abuse industry’s witch-hunt against Professor Felicity Goodyear-Smith

In June 2010 I wrote an article entitled Rape activism and the undermining of culture, which was published on the MENZ Issues website on 8th September last. I sought to demonstrate there, by documented examples, “where radical rape activism is at today in New Zealand, with all its intimidating tactics and general news media posturing”.

I concluded by suggesting that the NZ police “should be ever on guard against too-readily kowtowing to the raucous demands of such crafty, manipulative activists and their equally manipulative news media sympathisers, as more and more social problems become politicized for the revolutionary cause”.

I was led to write the article following the release of a report from the Commission of Enquiry into police conduct regarding the handling of the Louise Nicholas rape case and other matters, and the ensuing highly contentious media coverage.

As I asserted in that article, political rape activism indeed has much to answer for. Take the current highly controversial case of Auckland University Medical and Health Sciences Professor Felicity Goodyear-Smith who for many years now has been the target of what I can only conclude to be a malicious and orchestrated witch-hunt to discredit her and her academic reputation.

Perverse beliefs of rape politics

Her sins? Among other things, what I would regard as the rightful questioning of the various perverse beliefs of rape politics, including the weird and irrational theory that a woman/child never lies about rape/sex abuse. Also the dubious notion that a rape/sex abuse victim is necessarily harmed for life. There was also her forming of COSA (Casualties of Sexual Allegations) to counter the growing social strife resulting from such perverse thinking, such as a developing epidemic of cases of false allegations of child sex abuse.

A further ‘sin’ was the writing of her 1993 book First Do No Harm – the Sexual Abuse Industry (Benton-Guy Publishing) The back cover notes must have sent shock waves through the community of less principled sex abuse counsellors and their fellow travellers of that time, such as : “A movement to protect women and children from sexual harm has become grossly perverted. This book examines and challenges the assumptions that underpin the sexual abuse industry,” etc.

At the time of its publication, and despite a quite wide check of book stores, I found copies curiously hard to locate, and reached the troubling conclusion that in all probability this was not just coincidental. Reviews of the book also were hard to find, but I did locate one, in high praise of the book, by Michael Brown in the Christchurch Press of 11th December 1993 entitled “Growing unease about an alarming industry”, which read in part:-

“If only for its timeliness, First Do No Harm is likely to be one of the important books of the decade. It shows that the sexual abuse industry is pushing NZ towards national neurosis. It’s the first book of its kind to reflect NZ’s rapidly growing unease with the sexual abuse industry”

Dr. Goodyear-Smith was both an expert within, and a victim of, the industry. She helped set up medical procedures for sexual abuse victims, and she was a founding member and chairperson of the HELP Foundation Trust. But later her husband and parents-in-law were imprisoned for sexual abuse.

“It takes only a few chapters to realise that what she’s describing is an industry honed by sexual politics into one of the most cruel, remorseless and destructive forces our society has seen. The first instinct is to resist the idea. It can’t be right. Surely not in Godzone?…She reveals a disturbing spectre over NZ and other Western countries and gives it substance. First Do No Harm is compelling reading.”

It certainly is, even after nearly 17 years. A few excerpts from the book :-

“I first became involved in sexual abuse work in 1982 – the following year I accepted an invitation to serve as a Trustee of the HELP Foundation and was appointed the Chair of the Trust. (p.6)

“The organisation began to attract women with strong political beliefs. Rape and sexual abuse were increasingly thought of among staff as abuse of male power in a patriarchal society. The only real way of preventing abuse was seen to be by changing society. For some of the women associated with HELP, redressing political concerns was seen as more important than working with individual clients.

“I saw some cases where allegations were clearly false. I witnessed some terrible situations, where children were pawns in custody battles. I became aware of how easily children’s stories can be distorted or created by the interview process. I found it very difficult to talk about these matters with my colleagues, some of whom tended to label any dissension as the ‘backlash’.(p.7)

“Eventually I resigned from the HELP Trust in 1986. By this time I was worried about the whole public outcry around sexual abuse. I did not believe that children were lying about sexual abuse, but saw that the actual interrogation techniques might be distorting the truth. I was also getting increasingly concerned that what actually constituted sexual abuse was not being clearly defined, and that the interpretation was getting broader and broader. (p8)


So it was for ‘sins’ such as these – her stand against the warped feminist rape/sex abuse ideology, plus the writing of her book, which so well clarifies this – that Professor Goodyear-Smith has incurred the wrath of an array of leftist ideologues who uphold such perverted thinking. For instance, take the vicious treatment dealt to her by Doctors for Sexual Abuse Care (DSAC). She was expelled from that organization in 1997 for questioning its teachings, having been an honorary foundation member in recognition of her pioneering work in the sex abuse field.

From an article of hers in the January 1998 COSA Newsletter she explained :-

“DSAC’s support for the ideology of always believing women and children who make [sexual] allegations; their denial in regard to the rising number of false allegations, and their sponsoring of visiting speakers to NZ who are proponents of recovered memories represents clear divergence from my perspective.

“My attempts to carry out a professional debate with them have been unsuccessful. Over the past few years DSAC have conducted a very active campaign to prevent me debating the issues, to have my speaking engagements cancelled and to stop editors from publishing my work.

“They made written objection to the Post Graduate Medical Foundation when I was awarded the Glaxo Foundation Fellowship. A DSAC member has even attempted to have my medical registration revoked.”

After much more in similar vein she concluded :-

“What I find particularly alarming is their denial of my right to be heard and to make a reply. I wonder why the Executive Committee felt they had to take the extraordinary step of changing their constitution, so that they could avoid discussing their concerns with me in person at their meeting?

“I believe in freedom of speech and the right to open debate. DSAC’s covert acts of censorship are not actions I expect from a democratic professional body.”

Many other detractors also

Many others also, to a greater or lesser extent, contribute to this infamous attack on Professor Goodyear-Smith’s reputation, with modern-day technology permitting the inflicting of the most cowardly and defamatory of verbal abuse while securely anonymous.. People with pseudonyms such as ‘scarpetta’, ‘joybells’, ‘tamzyn’, ‘red-fmb’ regularly feature with malicious and ignorant bluster.

Then there is the equally ignorant and malicious ‘ludditejourno‘ who is actually Sandra Dickson, a Wellington radical feminist former journalism student, and member of the recently-formed Roundtable on Violence Against Women. She is also Co-ordinator of a Wellington Sexual Abuse Network pilot course on ‘Sex and Ethics’, funded by no less than the Ministry of Justice to the tune of $164,000.00. (NZ Herald, 12th Dec. 2009: Teen sex lessons change the rules) Moreover the homosexual website has revealed that she, a ‘Sexual Violence Prevention Co-ordinator’, was working at Victoria and Massey Universities on a sexual violence prevention programme for homosexuals.

A more open critic, however, is Kyle MacDonald, sensitive claims spokesman for the NZ Association of Psychotherapists. Yet, on his 11th August 2010 blogsite, and in a lengthy discussion, even he resorted to the predictable mantra of referring to surely, in the circumstances the utterly irrelevant links of Professor Goodyear-Smith to the long-disbanded Centrepoint commune. Not only this cheap straining at gnats, however, to taint her good name. For good measure he stooped to the unprofessional ad hominem tactic of personal attack; of inferring that she and her supporters were ‘abuse deniers’ – a bogus and deeply dishonest label if ever there was one.

Then there is Dr. Kim McGregor, director of Rape Prevention Education, aka Rape Crisis, a Marxist front group, as documented in my aforementioned article. I also recounted there a scandalous 1988 episode where she, on (then) 1ZB radio talkback, insisted in defending the long-discredited bogus ‘1 in 3 / 4’ sex abuse figures and, in the process, I was vilified for daring to ring in and challenge her on this.

While I know of no evidence of her personally attacking Professor Goodyear-Smith, Dr. McGregor also ardently defends women or girls making false rape or sex abuse allegations, as in the Rotorua Daily Post of 8th January 2009.

As well as attempting to minimize the incidence of this pernicious practice, she also pleaded for ‘help’ for such offenders, rather than prosecution. As a radical feminist ideologue she clearly has no concern for the resultant injustice done to the masses of male victims of such offending.

Echoes of Centrepoint

However for me one of the most intriguing and vitriolic of Professor Goodyear-Smith’s critics is an Auckland woman sex abuse counsellor named Barri Leslie. Some quotes:

“Counsellor Barri Leslie, a founding member of Centrepoint, who clashed with the G.P. [i.e. Goodyear-Smith] at the time of the Centrepoint scandal, alleges Goodyear-Smith provides an academic veneer for attitudes similar to Bert Potter’s” etc.

Also, a highly subjective and conjecture-riddled paragraph, where Leslie:

“felt Goodyear-Smith ‘may’ have had an agenda..It ‘appeared’ to Leslie (when Goodyear-Smith was examining medical evidence from Centrepoint complainants) that she ‘would (ignore) any kind of analysis of difficulties for children’. (Leslie) ‘felt’ [Goodyear-Smith] ‘was only looking for things to justify Bert’s position”.

(Both in Conflicting Interests? by Tim Hume, Sunday Star-Times 29 August 2010)

So who really is Barri Leslie? As stated there she was a founding member of Centrepoint, which was in 1978. She was editor of the commune magazine, ran writing workshops. and by 1990 was also doing family counselling. In the commune’s therapy brochures at the time she was described as “a workshop leader, 48 years of age”.

There’s more. Since those days Barri Leslie has had quite a change of name, because back then she was known as Barrie (sic) Sweden, and it would be fairly safe to presume that back then she was the wife of fellow Centrepointian John Sweden, printer of their magazine and provider of massage workshops. Oh yes, there’s more: he was eventually gaoled for eleven and a half months for indecently assaulting two girls, according to the NZ Herald of 23rd September 1992.

Surely, then, the person now known as Barri Leslie is being devious and hypocritical in her criticism of Professor Goodyear-Smith and her links to Bert Potter? After all it would seem that she was an integral part of all that sordid social experiment throughout the earlier Centrepoint years.

Similarly with other critics of Professor Goodyear-Smith. Those among them who would have been old enough to do so, did any of them protest back then about Bert Potter and his culturally subversive regime? Not one that I ever heard of, other than myself. From the early 1980’s, on behalf of Credo Society Incorporated (now defunct) I frequently expressed concern about Centrepoint over (then) Radio Pacific talkback (which many times featured Bert Potter and other commune leaders) and I was vilified for doing so. In 1981 I also wrote an article (unpublished) based on information from those programmes entitled Surveying Centrepoint.

One notable person who was around back then who did not protest about Centrepoint was psychologist and lesbian political activist Miriam Saphira. Moreover, this notwithstanding the fact that in 1993 DSAC President Dr. Robyn Fancourt was on record lauding Saphira as “a valued colleague” of theirs, according to Fancourt’s letter to the editor of the June 1993 issue of Metro magazine.

On the other hand, however, perhaps Saphira’s failure to express concern back then should not be surprising, since she was involved with Bert Potter’s earliest 1970’s encounter groups. Incidentally, she has also been responsible for the 1970’s-1980’s pseudo research which yielded the bogus “1 in 3 /4” sex abuse figures, In addition, with numerous NZ Woman’s Weekly pseudo-scientific surveys, back then Saphira was prominent in the politicizing of the domestic violence issue in NZ, another political issue now being embraced by DSAC. In 1986 she was also appointed Joint General Secretary of the International Lesbian and Gay Association. (NZ Herald 27th August 1986)

Talk about a Pandora’s Box! On the one hand DSAC strains at gnats to discredit Professor Goodyear-Smith for her past links to Centrepoint, while lauding as “a valued colleague” one of Potter’s earliest followers, and one who, even much later, raised nary a whisper of protest against the whole sordid affair. All this, moreover, quite aside from Saphira’s virulent and far-reaching culturally subversive influences on NZ society in general.


No reasonably fair minded person surely could deny the injustice of the viciously orchestrated witch-hunt which has long been unleashed against Professor Goodyear-Smith. I suggest that the evidence here overwhelmingly points in her favour with respect to credibility, and very much against the credibility of her critics.

More, that the evidence I have presented here reveals her detractors as a hypocritical, dishonest, holier-than-thou pseudo-moralistic bunch. Why? Because they mask their true, narrow, self-interested concerns behind a sham, puritanical veneer of horror and disgust about her past links with Centrepoint. Also an artful facade of do-gooder caring for the past child victims of Centrepoint and for sexual abuse victims in general.

So it seems that this long-fought and scandalous battle to discredit Professor Goodyear-Smith being fought by the sex abuse industry has been one of allowing almost any means to be employed in order to justify their nefarious ends : the maintaining of the lucrative ACC-funded sex abuse gravy train, and in spite of her expert professional opinions to the contrary.

I give the last word to the earlier-quoted Michael Brown in reviewing her 1993 book:

“What (Goodyear-Smith) is describing is an industry honed by sexual politics into one of the most cruel, remorseless and destructive forces our society has seen.”

Ironically, he just as easily could have been describing there the scandalous witch-hunt which has now long been inflicted upon her.

Barbara Faithfull


  1. Hi Barbara
    Good to hear that you are still keeping things in perspective.


    Comment by John Brett — Wed 29th September 2010 @ 4:45 pm

  2. Barbara Faithful in NZ, try to meet Barbara Kay in Canada. What a team you would make.


    Comment by amfortas — Fri 1st October 2010 @ 3:38 am

  3. You have done a wonderful job, Barbara.

    The sex abuse industry is indeed the biggest and most destructive scam ever to hit New Zealand (and other countries). Its practitioners and advocates are charlatans. Their industry is built on myth, assumption and ideology and I have accused them of intellectual arrogance and cowardice. They eschew science, fact and reality, and lack the simplest form of common sense.

    Their attacks on FGS are scurrilous and about as dirty and vicious as they are stupid. This Barri Leslie creature has a much inflated view of her own importance, and needs to realise she is not the centre of the universe.

    FGS has a superb analytical mind, and while she has already made a tremendous global contribution to our understanding of sexual abuse, she has yet more to offer. She has my full support.

    By comparison, Barri Leslie and her fellow travellers are set on a destructive course and have made no positive, useful contribution at all to mankind’s corporate body of knowledge.


    Comment by Gordon Waugh — Fri 1st October 2010 @ 9:10 am

  4. Thank God for the Goodyear-Smith, and Barbara Faithfulls of this world. For your total commitment.

    Comment by S. Hounsome — Sun 3rd October 2010 @ 4:21 pm

  5. Well researched, well presented and acutely perceptive, as always Barbara. Well done!

    Comment by Neville W. — Fri 8th October 2010 @ 7:17 am

  6. Yes, I can only add my commendation and thanks for your careful, sensible writing Barbara. It’s particularly noteworthy that you can reason so objectively despite the historical associations in this matter with the Centrepoint Community whose sexual philosophies you may have disagreed with.

    I wrote a review of Felicity’s book “First Do No Harm” soon after it was published. I noted that the book took a responsible, caring and scientific approach to dealing with victims of true sexual trauma whilst promoting a sensible awareness of the very real and serious dangers of false accusation, superstitious assessment methods and treatment approaches that increased people’s sense of victimization, hatred and social mistrust rather than helping them to get things into perpective and to move on in life. I recall writing that the book should be required reading for all practitioners in the sexual abuse industry and in all related training courses, but I sadly predicted that would not happen. Indeed, the industry has shunned and vilified “First Do No Harm”, though most who did so showed little evidence of having read, let alone fairly considered, the book. In this and such reactions as the expulsion and blacklisting of Felicity the apostate infidel, the industry showed itself up as a extremist religious cult, a cult that we continue to fund and strengthen through exhorbitant ACC tax (meant for accidents) and other taxes.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Fri 8th October 2010 @ 11:21 am

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