COSA Casualties of Sexual Allegations Newsletter December 1995 Volume 2 No 10
Contents of this page:
Editorial: Advocacy organisation for paedophiles banned from using Wellington Council Internet service Gerald Moonen argues that not all paedophiles sexually offend against children. He claims that AMBLA acts as "consciousness raising groups" and provides them with support to help stop them having abusive relationships with children. The second consideration relates to freedom of speech. Moonen maintains that his organisation seeks to change but not break existing laws. He believes that the Australian threat to outlaw their association contravenes the democratic right to "freedom of assembly, free speech and freedom of conscience".
Ritual Abuse Tragedy (UK).
Literature: Ongoing problem of assault on partners
Media: False complaint to Crimewatch Recently, one of the segments in the monthly TV1 show had to be thrown out because it was discovered that the teenage daughter of a policeman had made up the story.
Therapist found not accountable in satanic ritual case The New Zealand Psychologists’ Board has rejected a complaint against Dr Lynne Haye, the psychologist who treated a young woman, Simone Doublett for three years for satanic ritual abuse which had never happened.
Newsletters received by COSA: Building Bridges; life after FMS American newsletter for "recovered memory" retractors. Features Dr Paul Simpson, a "retracting therapist".
DSAC (Doctors for Sexual Abuse Care) Newsletter includes a review of John Briere’s NZ workshop on working with trauma survivors. Briere is one of the main American proponents of the validity of recovered memories.
MENZ (Masculist Evolution New Zealand) Issues Note of first edition edited by Martin Lewis
Men’s Centre North Shore Public Forum violence in relationships, sexual abuse allegations, personal responsibility.
Advocacy organisation for paedophiles banned from using Wellington Council Internet service
Earlier this month Gerald Moonen, a 57 year old Dutch immigrant to New Zealand, sent a 15 page posting about adult-child sex to an Internet bulletin board called Witchhnt. This bulletin board is an international forum for academics and others to debate sexual abuse issues. Moonen’s posting drew outrage and complaints from a number of Witchhnt members. Criticisms were twofold – first he broke Internet etiquette by "using up bandwidth" with such a long posting; secondly Witchhnt members do not condone adult-child sexual contact, which Moonen was interpreted to be advocating.
The controversy also involved the Wellington City Council whose free Internet service CityNet Moonen had used to contact Witchhnt, and the Council have since stopped his access to the system.
Moonen is the chairman of the Australiasian Man/Boy Love Association (AMBLA), an advocacy organisation for paedophiles. Clearly COSA (along with other professionals and organisations concerned about false allegations) in no way endorses any sexual contact between children and adults, and if this is what Moonen is advocating, we in no way support him.
As well as his personal comments, Moonen’s posting included a number of articles and documents such as AMBLA’s submission to the Australian Parliamentary Joint Committee on the National Crime Authority, regarding their report on "organised criminal paedophile activity". He also included an article of mine about false sexual allegations which appeared in the Dominion, 18 Aug 1995.
Whilst COSA in no way supports any moves to legalise adult-child sexual relationships, his posting does raise some important issues which need to be addressed.
Firstly, Moonen argues that not all paedophiles sexually offend against children. He defines a paedophile as an adult (usually a man) who has a sexual attraction towards pre-pubertal children (usually boys). According to this definition, being a paedophile per se is not necessarily either immoral or illegal. It is only if such a person acts on his sexual attractions and actually engages in sexual contact with a child that he is acting wrongfully and against the law. He may not be able to help his nature, but he is responsible for his behaviour. Moonen contends that many paedophiles feel isolated and persecuted by society. He claims that an organisation such as AMBLA acts as "consciousness raising groups" and provides them with support to help stop them having abusive relationships with children.
The second consideration relates to freedom of speech. Moonen maintains that his organisation seeks to change but not break existing laws. He believes that the Australian threat to outlaw their association contravenes the democratic right to "freedom of assembly, free speech and freedom of conscience". Certainly the move to ban such an organisation would serve to force it underground and further marginalise its members, a move unlikely to encourage them to remain law-abiding.
Most importantly, the issue often raised by paedophilic organisations is that boys might not be harmed by sexual contact with adults. There are certainly a number of studies which indicate that not all children who have sexual contact with adults appear to be harmed by the experience. This finding should in no way condone or advocate any such sexual contact, because I believe harm is likely, even if not inevitable to occur.
However it does raise the issue that when sexually abused children show no signs of ill-effect, it may be dangerous and counter-productive to tell them that they have been hurt and damaged, and subject them to (often long-term) sexual abuse counselling programmes. In other words, "if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it". Professionals should take care to avoid the harmful (iatrogenic) effects of secondary victimisation from inappropriate interventions.
Justice will never flourish until those who are not hurt by injustice are as indignant as those who are. Solon (Greek lawgiver, 5th Century BC)
First successful civil case for damages from historical sexual abuse claims
Justice Hammond has ordered an 88 year old rest-home resident to pay $45,000 ($20,000 in exemplary damages, $25,000 costs) to a man whom he sodomised when he was a young boy more than 20 years ago. There was corroborative evidence of the abuse and a letter written by the offender acknowledging guilt.
The complainant has previously received $10,000 from ACC. This award may well open the floodgates for plaintiffs to sue for exemplary damages from alleged abuse in past decades.
Another extortion case
28 year old Warren Patterson has pleaded guilty in the Wellington District Court of intending to extort $2000 from a man by threatening to accuse him of sexually violating one of his children.
The complainant was told in a note to leave his two children in a park with the money. They would be returned home 2 hours later. When these demands were not met, Patterson went to the police and accused the complainant of sexually abusing one of the children.
Charge of raping wife dropped
A 31 year old Taranaki farmer was charged with raping his wife in late 1990. A couple of years later the couple had separated and there was considerable hostility and bitterness between them. The defendant told the court that his ex-wife had threatened him with many things since they had been separated.
Judge Abbott said there was insufficient evidence to support a guilty verdict on the charge of rape and discharged the man.
Man acquitted on charges of raping his daughter
A New Plymouth High Court jury found a 41 year old man not guilty of rape, indecent assault and sexual violation of his daughter. Now aged 18, she claimed he had been sexually abusing her since she was 5 and had had full intercourse with her from age 7 until she was 13. She testified behind a screen so that she did not have to face her father. There was no physical evidence of the sexual abuse and some grave inconsistencies in her testimony.
The girl’s mother had committed suicide when she was 13 and she had left home after that. She said she believed her father had killed her mother by "forcing 100 pills down her mother’s throat". A possible motive suggested for her accusations was to seek revenge for her mother’s death.
The investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Paul Carlsson, was criticised by the defence counsel for immediately assuming the defendant was guilty before he had even spoken with him. The videotape interview was said to show Carlsson constantly badgering the defendant and challenging him to confess.
Man acquitted of abusing twin nieces
Another New Plymouth High Court jury acquitted a 26 year old man of sexually abusing his twin nieces 8 to 9 years ago when he was a teenager and they were 6 or 7 years old. The girls are now in their teens.
The girls stories were contradictory and one of the twins had grave inconsistencies in her allegations.
The defence counsel said the girls had lied about the incidents and once caught up in the lie, could not back away from it.
Man found not guilty of date-rape
A 21 year old man was acquitted of raping a 20 year old woman by a New Plymouth district Court jury. Neither party had denied the events leading up to intercourse, but she said she had not intended to have intercourse and hence the issue was one of consent.
The woman had met him at a pub, and they had talked, drunk and danced together. He had then walked her home, she had invited him in for coffee and then invited him to share her bed, had undressed in front of him, allowed him to touch her breast and kissed him.
The jury clearly agreed with the defence counsel’s statement that these actions were precursors to sexual intercourse.
Senior public servant cleared of sex abuse charges
A senior public servant was acquitted by the Christchurch High Court of charges of indecently assaulting a young woman (now aged 22) in 1991.
She first met the defendant when she was at high school, and in her testimony said she came to regard him as a "father substitute". Initially she approached him for help with a school project, but then began to contact him frequently. Witnesses told the court that she would telephone his office 2 or 3 times a day and frequently call in person, to the extent that staff members were instructed to intercept her calls and not allow her beyond the foyer of the building.
The girl’s mother said she had warned the accused about the way her daughter had previously latched on to a teacher at school.
The girl’s statement became more and more complex and the officer interviewed her 7 times to obtain over 50 pages of statement. Some of her allegations were described as "fantastic, unbelievable and not credible" and contained many inconsistencies.
Satanic ritual abuse allegations dismissed
A judge has dismissed 45 child-abuse indictments against 9 members or acquaintances of the Kerr family of Gilmer, Texas.
Child psychiatrist Bruce Perry told the court that the child complainants had been coerced by child-protection workers, foster parents and self-described satanic investigators into describing satanic rituals and slayings. The children admitted they had made up stories of satanic murders and other horrors after being subjected to a technique called "therapeutic holding". One foster mother would hold them and rub their ribs with her knuckles hard enough to produce bruises if they did not confess to having been ritually abused.
There is no corroborative evidence that any of the alleged ritual abuse or murders ever took place and the removal of the children from their homes on this basis was described as "state-sponsored kidnapping".
Dallas Morning News, 7 Nov 1995
Therapist guilty of professional negligence
Jane Brennan used to run a successful day care centre caring for 50 children. However she sought help for post-natal depression and after a year of therapy she was profoundly depressed, could barely get out of bed and was unable to care for her own 3 children.
Using memory recovery techniques, her therapist Beverley Nussbaumer encouraged Brennan to explore the issue of incest. Eventually Brennan had glimmers of memories which developed into detailed recollections of weekly sexual assault by her father and being sold into prostitution by parents as a young child.
Brennan came to believe he memories were true and cut of all contact with her family. Heavily medicated, she became suicidal and was hospitalised. She stopped her therapy with Nussbaumer and began to realise her memories were false.
Last month a jury awarded Brennan $120,000 in damages after finding Nussbaumer guilty of professional negligence. Her supervising psychiatrist, Henry Bible, was cleared of negligence.
Investigation of The Family reveals no abuse
After a 3 year battle in the High Court, a young British woman was awarded custody of her child and permission to continue to raise him in accordance with her religious convictions. It had been alleged that her child had been sexually abused, or was at risk of being so, because she was a member of the controversial sect The Family (formerly known as The Children of God).
The Family world-wide has suffered unsubstantiated accusations of abuse. Paramilitary police raids against Family communities in Spain, Australia, France and Argentina in recent years made international headlines. However after intensive investigations, charges were dropped because of lack of evidence, the children returned to their parents, and the authorities responsible censored. It is reported that over 600 children of members of The Family have been examined by court-appointed experts and health professionals, and not one case of abuse has been found.
Ritual Abuse Tragedy
Over 5 years ago 8 children from 3 families in Ayrshire were taken into care by welfare workers who believed that they had been ritually abused by their parents.
In October this year the last of these children was returned home after 3 judges at a Court of Session ruled that there was no evidence to conclude that any abuse had occurred.
Lord Hope of the Court of Session described the removal of the children from their families as "a tragedy of immense proportions".
The Herald (Glasgow), 18 Oct 1995
Ongoing problem of assault on partners
New Zealand Doctor 24 Nov 1995.
The results of a Recent Dunedin Health and Development Study was reported. This research was based on interviews with almost 90% of these born in Dunedin maternity hospital between 1 Apr 1995 and 31 Mar 1973 (ie aged about 22 at time of study).
Nearly a quarter of the 462 women reported involvement in one or more incidents of assault in the previous 12 months. Men were involved in nearly twice as many assault events as women, although women were reported as more likely to need medical attention than men.
The researchers concluded that this study is likely to underreport the extent of injury to women, because they are often too embarrassed after an assault to seek medical help. The high incidence of male assaults and the possibility that men might also underreport was not addressed.
False complaint to Crimewatch
One of the segments in the monthly TV1 Crimewatch programme due to go to air (Sep 1995) had to be thrown out, because it was discovered that the teenage complainant had made up the story.
The girl, who was the daughter of a policeman, was said to have made up the story to gain attention. The nature of her false complaint was not revealed.
Therapist found not accountable in satanic ritual case
The New Zealand Psychologists’ Board has rejected a complaint against Dr Lynne Haye, the psychologist who treated a young woman, Simone Doublett for three years for satanic ritual abuse which had never happened.
Haye received $4000 from ACC for her therapy with Doublett, who has since realised that her memories of abuse were false. Doublett notified ACC when she recognised that her family had not satanically abused her and began to pay them back the $10,000 awarded to her in compensation. However they decided to prosecute, and Doublett was found guilty of fraud by the Christchurch District Court last year and ordered to pay back $1000 of the counselling fees as well. Then a 22 year old clinical psychology student at Christchurch University, she had to resign from her studies as the Psychologists’ Board would not register her.
Timaru psychologist Ian Geary lodged a complaint with the Psychologists’ Board against Lynne Haye, saying that she should have recognised that Doublett’s emotional state may have been caused by factors other than sexual abuse. The Board have rejected the complaint.
It appears that Haye accepted Doublett’s progressive "memories" of satanic ritual abuse by her family uncritically and without challenge. Given that a case of satanic ritual abuse has never been substantiated with corroborative evidence, the likelihood of such events occurring should have at least struck Haye as remote. Whenever a client gives such a history, a clinician should consider the following options:
- The recollections are true memories of real events;
- The client is lying;
- The client is sincerely mistaken, either because they have created pseudomemories (often with the use of hypnotic-like memory recovery techniques) or they are suffering from a frank psychotic illness and are deluded.
Whilst she may not have actively sought and contributed to Doublett’s recovered memories, Haye certainly supported and encouraged her in them. Were there to be professional accountability, she would be required to take at least partial responsibility for the consequences of these false memories.
Motorist held responsible for woman’s recovered memories
A 50 year old woman was involved in a MVA in 1992, when she was hit from behind by another car. She suffered minor injuries resulting in headache, contusions and pain in her leg, neck and back. In the weeks following the accident she began to develop migraine headaches making it difficult for her to sleep and leading to her being off work for several months. Her sleep disturbance lead to depression, chronic fatigue and irritability.
In the weeks following the accident, the woman began to experience flashbacks to previously repressed childhood trauma. She sought psychiatric treatment and was still receiving psychotherapy for her childhood abuse 3 years later.
The woman then sued the driver of the car which had hit her for the adverse affects (ie the triggering of alleged abuse memories) she had suffered from the flashbacks. An arbitrator found in her favour, awarding her $107,500.
Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, 30 Oct 1995
Judith Herman guilty in drug lawsuit
Psychiatrist Judith Herman has agreed to pay $30,000 in settlement of the US government’s charges that she failed to comply with the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act.
An audit by the Drug Enforcement Administration had revealed that Herman could not account for about 4,000 pills of codeine, barbiturates, halcion and valium. It was alleged that she had supplied these drugs without a prescription to people not under her medical care.
Herman is one of the main recovered memory "gurus" – the book Courage To Heal carries her endorsement – and is one of the trainers DSAC brought to New Zealand this year to teach about sexual abuse treatment.
Newsletters received by COSA
Building Bridges; life after FMS, Fall 1995, 1 (1)
American newsletter for "recovered memory" retractors.
Editorial by Diana Anderson
The "recovery movement" and all it encompasses, good and evil, is thriving. There are hundreds of thousands of desperate people who have stopped thinking for themselves and are turning to others to find a way out of their pain… This movement which was intended to help people attain freedom from dependence, is now often doing the opposite… People are dying – committing suicide, or going insane because this is a nightmare that never ends. Families are being torn apart, parents falsely accused or imprisoned, heartbroken and alone. People are living in bondage to this deception and it is their reality. The unwitting victims of FMS can never heal from something that never happened."
Dr Paul Simpson, "retracting therapist":
After practising age regression therapy with his clients, he came to realise that he "had abandoned my training as a psychologist and jumped on the fad bandwagon". He then "began the painful process of contacting former clients to let them know I had serious doubts about the reality of the traumatic images they had recovered under hypnosis. Some were relieved, some angered. Colleagues let me know I was a traitor. Being a retracting therapist was anything but pleasant". Dr Simpson now mediates between individuals and families caught up in the false memory crisis, and he speaks at conferences, schools, churches and hospitals to educate professionals about the danger of regression techniques.
DSAC (Doctors for Sexual Abuse Care) Newsletter 27 Nov 95
Dr Ros Gellatly from Blenheim has replaced Dr Juliet Broadmore as DSAC President.
This newsletter includes a review of John Briere’s NZ workshop on working with trauma survivors. He apparently identified the 3 components of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) as intrusion (eg flashbacks and nightmares), avoidance (eg through dissociation or amnesia of the abuse) and hyperarousal (increased alertness or suspicion of possible abuse). Briere is one of the main American proponents of the validity of recovered memories. There is no mention in this lengthy review of his addressing the possibilities of false sexual abuse memories.
DSAC also plans to make a submission to the NZMA National Policy Council on guidelines for doctors dealing with memories of past sexual abuse. Their intention is to consult with "all interested medical personnel and organisations of doctors who want to be involved in developing this report". Any doctors who are COSA members are who have not been approached by DSAC should contact them (c/o Marion Davis Library, Building 43 Auckland Hospital PB 92 024 Auckland) before 10 Feb 1996 to have input into their submission.
Balance: the inclusive vision of gender equality.
The weapon of accusation 1 (3) Spring 1995
Balance is a quarterly Canadian publication published with the purpose of promoting the vision of full equality and understanding between the sexes.
This issue is devoted to the subject of wrongful accusations and the harm this can do to individuals and society as a whole.
There are articles dealing with false allegations of child molestation; the tyranny of political correct codes in the work place; and domestic violence issues.
MENZ (Masculist Evolution New Zealand) Issues, 1 (1), Nov 95.
The first issue of Men’s Centre North Shore newsletter. Co-ordinator Martin Lewis identifies the aim of his organisation is to "recognise men’s worth and value to society and support men in being all the positive things they can be without being anti-woman. He addresses the difference between gender feminists (who blame men for their pain and inequality) and equity feminist (who promote a celebration of individual strengths and differences) and warns men not to fall into the same trap. (here it is)
FMS Foundation Newsletter 4 (10) Nov/Dec 1995.
Contains reviews and summaries of a number of articles, books and recent legal judgements on issues relating to false memories, as well as letters from family members and professionals.
Please notify COSA if you know of any recent or coming workshops, seminars and other relevant events.
Men’s Centre North Shore Public Forum
7.30 pm 25 Jan 1996
- violence in relationships
- sexual abuse allegations
- personal responsibility
Northcote Senior Citizens Centre
College Road Northcote
Request to members: write letters
Since receiving $5000 from the Lottery Grants Board last month, COSA has also been granted $5000 from the JR McKenzie Trust Board. This has meant that we can now have funds to disseminate information and offer our services more widely. We have just completed a mail-out of our brochures to libraries and Citizen Advice Bureaux (CABs) nation-wide.
Although we now have funding, our finances do not run to frequent paid advertisements in newspapers and periodicals. Letters to the Editors on relevant topics are a good way to raise and maintain public awareness on false allegation issues and we urge our members to write to your local or regional newspapers regularly.
Whilst you must write on your on behalf and not as a spokesperson for COSA, we would ask that where- ever possible you include the following two sentences in your letters:
"COSA (Casualties of Sexual Allegations Inc) is a national organisation offering information and support for anyone concerned or affected by false sexual allegations. COSA can be contacted at [dated details removed]"
Below is a list of names and phone numbers of members who have offered their services as "contact people". Please feel free to give the one in your region a call and make yourself known to them. Confidentiality is assured.
It might be possible for them to organise a small support group in your region. As well as our Auckland support group, which has been operating monthly for the last 2 years, groups are now starting to get organised in Christchurch and Wellington.
If there is no contact person in your region, you might like to offer your services. If so, please contact COSA secretary, Colleen.
We like to hear from our members, so please write, phone or fax with any information (eg newspaper clippings) from your region, or if there is any help you or others need.
COSA Auckland support group
Support group for anyone falsely accused of sexual abuse, their family and friends. Contact Felicity Goodyear-Smith for further details.
Elderly Men in Prison
A recent 60 Minutes TV documentary gave the following figures of the number of men over the age of 50 in New Zealand prisons:
Whilst no breakdown was provided as to the crimes of which they were convicted, anecdotal evidence suggests that many of these are for sexual offences against children, often historical in nature (of alleged events occurring decades in the past). Certainly a number of elderly men currently in prison have contacted COSA with claims they have been wrongfully convicted of distant sexual molestations on the basis of recovered memories of the complainants.
Our jails are ill-equipped for such an influx of elderly men, who are sometimes frail or suffering from serious chronic conditions requiring medical care and support not available within the prison environment.