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Article Specs

VxAcct: 230739

Article ID: 5016

Section: whs

Age Group: Adult

Posted: January 13th. 2003

Views: 10556

Strange Therapy [7]

by Kerr Cuhulain

In a one page handout prepared by Gould for a seminar entitled "Police Investigation of Complaints of Abuse in Preschools" Gould makes the following comments:

  • "Police will often discount the allegations of the child if, when they interview the child (s)he does not disclose to them directly. Police do not understand that the child's life and family have been threatened if (s)he tells. The police also tend not to understand that a standard part of Satanic ritual abuse involves perpetrators dressing in police costumes. Many small children will not talk to even a plainclothes officer because, in the words of one child, 'she is a teacher.'"
  • "...In all cases that I have been involved in, no serious efforts at investigation were ever made. Cases are usually dropped after a few months..."

I wonder if, in fact, the investigators that Gould is critical of are dropping the investigations due to finding clear indications that they are unfounded or due to a lack of evidence. Police don't simply close a case because they get bored with it. If there is any possibility of developing a case further it is normally pursued. Also, Gould's claim that Satanic offenders regularly dress up as police officers is ridiculous. I have yet to see a single case where such an allegation was proven to have occurred. It sounds as if Gould is trying to offer explanations as to why she is getting disclosures when the police are not.

Gould appears in the Cavalcade Productions video "Identification of the Ritually Abused Child." I discussed Cavalcade Productions elsewhere in this series. This film advocates the use of a sand tray, which is a sand box filled with toys and articles which the child victim can use to demonstrate a story which the child may have difficulty verbalizing. This sand tray method has its merits, but it appeared to me when I saw this film that Gould's sand box contained a large number of demons, monsters, and devils in amongst the children's toys. It seemed to me that this selection of articles in the box lent itself to Satanic interpretations but little else.

Dr Catherine Gould is one of the main characters of this film. Indeed, it is merely a video version of her ubiquitous lists of "Symptoms Characterizing Satanic Abuse." At one point Gould shows the viewer two drawings made by children who were her patients. The first depicts two black clouds over a crying girl with the inscription: "Take your clothes off with a witch." The second depicts two persons standing by a child, one with a pointy hat. Gould points at the persons and states: "These are drawings of witches... see the pointed teeth." They may be drawings of stereotypical Inquisitional images of Witches, but they certainly do not represent Wiccans. Gould and her associates obviously have no knowledge of Wiccan religion and consider Witchcraft to by synonymous with Satanism.

Gould appeared on Geraldo Rivera's talk show #44 of November 19, 1987, entitled "Satanic Cults and Children." On this show Gould said that she had "seen 20 ritually abused children in the past three years."(88) Gould made the following statements on this show:

  • "Well, I can tell you about the first child who walked into my office three years ago, which I thought... was a routine sexual molest case. She had talked about a man on the preschool campus molesting her, and I assumed that he was a lone paedophile wandering about molesting children. But as the therapy went along, she described, first, that there were pornographic pictures taken at the school by all the people who were school personnel... This child went on to talk about people dressing up in devil costumes and abusing her, actually dressing her up in devil costumes, forcing her to abuse younger children at the school. So I came to recognize that this child felt that she was one of the bad people, as she called them, that she was a participating Satanist in the abuse."(89)
  • "...Now, the first case I had I muddled along with just total confusion about why people would dress in devil costumes, why they would smear excrement all over this child's body, why they would make this child abuse infants, and why they would kill babies in this child's presence and with this child's participation. I had absolutely now understanding of what this was. And it was only by the time I had had three or four of these kids and started to make contact with law enforcement people who knew about these kinds of cases that I began to understand that this was a very common pattern, and that in fact the 20 children I had seen in three years tell almost identical stories."(90)
  • "The first drawing is more or less a rendition of the child's own self. You can see the devilish horns, the gun in the hand... This child, I believe was seven. And the big smile on the face indicates the degree to which this child was- I hope it's in the past- was very identified with the cult, enjoyed the destructive power and really felt at some level that he was a Satanist."(91)
  • "This is another child's rendition of the witches who abused her... This little girl was not quite five. And you can see the fangs coming out of the mouth."(92)
  • "The next picture is a picture of one of the classic threats that's made to children who are abused by Satanic cults, which is the threat that the child's house will be burned down. And you see the little figure's having the dream, and the dream is that the house is being bombed and it's burning up, and you can see the sort of satanic figures dancing in the sky above the burning house."(93)

Gould clearly wants to believe that there is a international network of Satanists out there abusing children and just as clearly thinks that Witches are a part of it. Like many others of her ilk, Gould is willing to accept dubious and uncorroborated disclosures of children as her prime evidence of this. Despite the endorsement of many other like minded, self appointed "experts", Gould's information cannot stand up to the facts and the evidence found by serious investigators. It takes more than wishful thinking to make a criminal case.

Another therapist who has come up with a long list of "symptoms" of abuse similar to Gould's is Pamela S. Hudson, L.C.S.W., based in Mendocino, California. Hudson was one of the therapists who appeared in the Cavalcade films that I mentioned earlier, as well as the film "Significant Others." Hudson is the author of two essays: "Assessment and Treatment of Young Children Ritualistically Abused in an Out of Home Setting" and "Ritual Child Abuse: A Survey of Symptoms and Allegations." The following is an excerpt from the latter report:

"...Judging by the data there is a profile of both symptoms and allegations of those children who are ritual abuse survivors... all the children presented a post-traumatic stress syndrome as evidenced by severe separation anxiety, fear of starting school, avoidance of their own bed, refusal to sleep alone, and fear of the dark... night terrors, night sweats, extreme fear of the bathroom, bathing, rain, hyper-aggressiveness, and an eating disorder. Vomiting and somatic symptoms occurred in eight of the eleven cases. With regard to the allegations, all the cases spoke of being sexually molested by adult strangers or day care workers, being threatened with murder if they revealed the abuse, being photographed during the abuse, abusers wearing robes and sometimes masks, and all had medical findings commensurate with sexual assault. The cage torture, guns, knives, injections, being both defecated and urinated upon, observation of animals killed, other children tortured, being taken off daycare grounds for abuse occurred in ten out of eleven cases. Group sex and small children killed was described in nine of the eleven cases. Over half of the eleven described being buried alive or confined in boxes, being held underwater, being hung on a cross or spread over a pentagram, participated in mock marriage, and given fake operations...No other child abuse case will demand as much from a clinician than that of a ritual abuse case..."(94)

Sounds like Michelle Remembers all over again, doesn't it?

A number of these therapists founded the Los Angeles County Commission For Women's "Ritual Abuse Task Force, which was formed in February of 1988. This organization is one of those supporting the Satanic Conspiracy myth. The members are political appointees of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. Besides Catherine Gould, the membership of this Task Force at this time included:

  • Chairperson: Myra B Riddell, LCSW. Riddell was also the Vice President of the LA County Commission for Women. Riddell appears in Christian evangelist Bob Larson's video, "In the Name of Satan" and was a speaker at Larson's "Save Our Kids" conference. She was a clinical social worker who claims to be treating survivors of multi-generational Satanic abuse.
  • Lyn Laboriel: Laboriel is Lauren Stratford's therapist. I pointed out earlier in this series that Stratford's story is entirely fictitious. Laboriel continues to believe Stratford despite the overwhelming evidence against her and apparently uses her position on the Task Force to persuade the other members to discount the mounting evidence against her patient.

In September 1989 the Ritual Abuse Task Force published a report entitled "Ritual Abuse: Definitions, Glossary, The Use Of Mind Control." The principal author was Riddell. As you might expect, this report fully endorses the allegations of supposed survivors of Satanic abuse. The report includes a list of recommended books and authors. Some of the selections on this list include:

  • "Signs and Symptoms of Ritualistic Child Abuse" by Catherine Gould.
  • "Childhood Antecedents of Multiple Personality" by Richard P. Kluft, MD, another supporter of the Satanic Conspiracy myth and a resource for CCIN Inc, Cavalcade Productions, and Geraldo Rivera's 2 hour special "Exposing Satan's Underground".
  • Like Lambs to the Slaughter by Johanna Michaelsen, who was Christian radio evangelist Hal Lindsey's talk show co-host and alleges to have survived Satanic abuse.
  • Michelle Remembers by Dr Lawrence Pazder, which I proved to be a fictional account earlier.
  • Satan's Underground by Lauren Stratford, another fraud who I have already mentioned.
  • "The Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome" by Dr Roland Summit, who we have already seen to be an avid supporter of the Satanic Conspiracy myth and a CCIN Inc supporter who has appeared in Cavalcade Films and in Geraldo's "Exposing Satan's Underground."

  • The Ultimate Evil by Maury Terry, an extremely inaccurate and sensational book which I will be examining in greater detail later. Terry was successfully sued by the O.T.O. for calling them Satanists in this book.

The Ritual Abuse Task Force lists the following Satanic Conspiracy theory supporters as resources: Childhelp USA, Believe the Children (CA, IL & NB chapters), Commission on Cults and Missionaries, Jewish Community Relations Committee, Cult Clinic- Jewish Family Services, and Marshall Resource Center (the organization that brought Michelle Pazder in as a consultant, resulting in the expensive McMartin Daycare trial).

One can quickly see what this group's position is from the following statements from their report on SRA:

  • "The horror and fear experienced by a child who is ritually abused is processed by the child with varying degrees of dissociation as a defence mechanism against the overwhelming pain. Most children who were ritually abused during their preschool years will have completely dissociated the events within two years of the cessation of the abuse and will be unable to consciously recall and report what occurred. A skilled child therapist can help the dissociated ritual abuse victim to recall his/her abuse and to work through the severe trauma, which if left untreated, is likely to cause serious emotional problems for the child throughout his/her life..."(95)
  • "Unfortunately, the parents of many young victims are unable to believe that their children have been ritually abused, and refuse to acknowledge that they have a problem or to seek help. Their children often have been made to believe that their parents were willing co-conspirators with the abusers, leaving the children very confuse, with feelings of dread and distrust toward their own parents. The extreme severity of the abuse and the systematic attempts to indoctrinate the child into the cult's belief system, make the recovery quite difficult and protracted even with the help of skilled therapists. Children who are not treated are likely to face very poor outcomes."(96)

In the glossary of this "Ritual Abuse" report the definition of Satanism includes the following quotation from Anton LeVay's Satanic Bible: "Anyone who claims to be interested in magic or the occult for reasons other than gaining personal power is the worst kind of hypocrite."(97) In their definition of "Satanic Calendar" they state that Beltane is a holiday celebrated "by most satanic groups"(98), and that "Common Halloween celebrations, for example, regarded by most people as innocent make believe and child's play, are extremely traumatic for ritual abuse victims who think of them as satanic holidays, and as the occasion of ritual celebrations often including human sacrifice."(99)

Immediately following this definition is a list of "Groups Identified With Satanism." This list correctly lists the Church of Satan, the Temple of Set, and the Worldwide Church of Satanic Liberation as Satanic groups, but, in typical fashion, incorrectly lists the Ordo Templi Orientis and the Church of the Final Judgement (Process Church) as Satanic.

To compound this, on page 27 the LACCW lists "Religious Beliefs imparted by ritual abuse and mind control seen in both adult and child survivors" as follows:

(1) Satan is stronger than God.
{2) God does not love me.
(3) God wants to punish me.
(4) My life is controlled by Satan.
(5) My life is dedicated to Satan."(100)

Thus they imply that all ritual abuse and mind control is Satanic in nature.

Paul Suliin, a member of MENSA Pagan Or Wiccan Special Interest Group (POW/SIG), attended an LACCW Ritual Task Force Meeting.(101) Besides Riddell, Laboriel and Gould the spectators included:

  • A Catholic priest, name unknown;
  • A young woman named "Stephanie" who claimed to have once been abused by a coven of Witches. According to Suliin she became "quite adversarial"(102) when she learned that he was Wiccan. She was later seen at another function with Ted Gunderson, a well known supporter of the Satanic Conspiracy theory that I will discuss elsewhere in this series.
  • Barbara McDermott, who claimed to be "a psychologist currently investigating what she called "the Qlippoth" in connection with one or more alleged ritual killings"(103). This is the same sort of Cabalistic connection that Hammond was hinting at in his "Greenbaum" presentation.
  • Richard Post, who identified himself as a private investigator. I shall have more to say about Post in a moment.

Suliin told me that "The purpose of this meeting was to discuss plans to distribute the Ritual Abuse Pamphlet through Christian ministers in Los Angeles County. The pamphlet is already distributed via rape crisis centers and similar outlets."(104)

Suliin suggested that the LACCW task force contact Deputy Gerald Biehn of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's office, a recognized expert in Ritualistic and Occult crime. They informed Suliin that they "had spoken with Biehn and had not found his information useful."(105) Suliin later spoke with Biehn and confirmed that, in fact, Biehn had been snubbed by the Task Force because he had not told them what they wanted to hear about Satanists. Suliin observed that their "principal attitude toward the [Committee for the Scientific Evaluation of Religion] report [Satanism in America: How the Devil Got Much More Than His Due ]seems to be amusement carried as a cover for irritation."(106) Laboriel would especially have cause to dislike it, since this CSER report specifically debunks her patient Stratford.

Suliin made the following observations regarding Mr. Post following this meeting:

"Post made a number of claims that I found hard to accept, including a claim that he had a videotape of a human sacrifice. I asked him if the perpetrators on that tape had been convicted. He seemed not to understand the question. I suggested that surely he had gone to the police with his evidence, and that with something as convincing as a video they must have gotten a conviction. Mr Post said that I clearly didn't understand the nuts and bolts of ritual crime investigation if I thought that it was that simple. He claimed that the police in San Diego worked actively to protect the Satanic cults.

"Later in our conversation he referred to several of the ancient Canaanite Gods, including Moloch, as 'demons.' When I pointed out that these were actually ancient deities he responded, 'Well, you can call them that if you want to.' He tried to insist several times that since I had to acknowledge that Wicca was a diverse religion, I could not say with certainty that Witches never practised human sacrifice. He claimed to be quite familiar with the teachings of Aleister Crowley (whose [name] he pronounced to rhyme with 'foully' rather than 'wholly'). Yet he had never heard the second half of Crowley's 'Do as thou wilt' epigram, and he was not familiar with Crowley's definition of True Will.

"I reached Mr Post by phone a few days later. We discussed a number of things, including his claims to have taped a human sacrifice. Post claimed then that because the tape was made in the dark, from a distance, using amateur video equipment, it was not good enough to go to court. I suggested that he could have called the police if he was watching a murder take place. He claimed to have done so on several occasions while staking out these rituals. Yet he said that rather than rush to the scene of the killing, the police had come to his observation post to interview him first. By the time the police got around to actually going to the house where the killings took place, the Satanist's portable crematoria had already disposed of the evidence. One Satanist, Post claimed, had trained his dogs to consume the bodies, allowing him to sell the bones. Once, Post said, he had watched this man dispose of his latest victim in this way, then take the skull down to the local fast-food restaurant and sell it to a biker gang. Only then, apparently, did Post think to call the police. When they arrived, Post claimed, the Satanist used his position as a university professor to justify his possession of human body parts, and the police accepted this. I pointed out to Post that the skull must have had blood and tissue still attached to it even after being gnawed upon by dogs, and that presumably the brain was still inside it. Mr Post claimed to know nothing of these details, but that nevertheless the scene had gone down as he described.

"Post next claimed to have gotten so disgusted with the inaction of the police that the next time he staked out a ritual he and his friends had swooped in just as the knife was being raised and rescued the victim. I congratulated him, and expressed my hope that with the victim's eyewitness testimony all of those involved had been convicted of attempted murder. Post said that the victim had been drugged, and so her testimony was inadmissible. Therefore he and his friends had simply set up a false identity for the girl and hustled her out of state to a safe home. I pointed out that with the testimony of him and his friends to corroborate the victim's, a conviction seemed certain. Post claimed not to have considered that possibility."(107)

Post obviously hasn't thought out his stories too well and thus his stories are full of inconsistencies and inaccuracies. Yet the LACCW Ritual Abuse Task Force seems to have accepted Post's allegations without question.

Therapists who believe in SRA may go to extraordinary lengths, even with patients who seriously object to the reality of the "Satanic" memories which they have recovered. In 1990, Dr George Ganaway treated a young woman who had been hospitalized by her therapist, who had overruled her objections that the cult memories did not seem to be real. This pregnant patient was placed under 24 hour surveillance while she was in labour because her therapist believed that the patient's memories of childhood sexual abuse were really memories of Satanic Ritual Abuse. The therapist had used hypnosis to contact the alleged "Satanic alters" programmed in the patient's mind and believed that the Satanists intended to sacrifice the patient's baby. In addition, the mother was allowed to see the baby for only brief supervised visits: The therapist believed that one of the programmed "Satanic alters" in the mother might come out and sacrifice the baby.(108)

Gould wrote an article for The Journal of Psychohistory in 1995: "Denying Ritual Abuse of Children." In it Gould rejects her skeptics:

"Given the accumulation of data illustrating not only that children reporting ritual abuse are profoundly negatively impacted by those experiences, but that they are even more severely impacted than are child victims of sexual abuse, how can we give any weight at all to the sceptical position that ritual abuse memories are no more than screen memories for Incest experiences that are actually worse, suppressed from awareness and replaced by accounts of impossibly bizarre rituals? If children claiming to be ritually abused were in fact sexually abused only, then clearly their symptomatology should be similar to and no more serious than that of sexually abused children."(109)

Gould continues to present disclosures of patients in clinical settings as evidence:

"The evidence is rapidly accumulating that the problem of ritual abuse is considerable in scope and extremely grave in its consequences Among 2,709 members of the American Psychological Association who responded to a poll, 2,292 cases of ritual abuse were reported (Bottoms, Shaver, & Goodman, 1993). In 1992 alone, Childhelp USA logged 1,741 calls pertaining to ritual abuse, Monarch Resources of Los Angeles logged approximately 5,000, Real Active Survivors tallied near-ly 3,600, Justus Unlimited of Colorado received almost 7,000, and Looking Up of Maine handled around 6,000. Even allowing for some of these calls to have been made by people who assist survivors but arc not themselves survivors, and for some survivors to have called more that one helpline or made multiple calls to the same helpline, these numbers suggest that at a minimum there must be tens of thousands of survivors of ritual abuse in the United States.

"Evidence also continues to accumulate that the ritual abuse of children constitutes a child abuse problem of significant scope. In 1988, Finkeihor, Williams and Burns published the results of a nationwide study of substantiated reports of sexual abuse in day care involving 1,639 young child victims. Thirteen percent of these cases were found to involve ritual abuse. Other studies of ritually abused children have been relatively small. Kelly (1988; 1989; 1992a; 1992b; 1993) report-ed on 35 day care victims of ritual abuse, Waterman et al. (1993) reported on 82 children complaining of ritual abuse in preschool, Faller (1988; 1990) studied 18 children who had disclosed ritual abuse in their preschool, and Bybee and Mowbray (1993) from the Michigan State Department of Mental Health identified 62 children alleging ritual abuse in their preschool and 53 children who reported seeing others be ritually abused. Snow and Sorenson (1990) studied 39 children reporting ritual abuse in five neighborhoods in Utah, and Jonker and Jonker-Bakker (1991) reported on a total group of 98 children, at least 48 of whom were believed to be victims of ritual abuse. The latter case is the only one cited here which was conducted outside of the United States."(110)

Notice how Gould's evidence continues to be disclosures and reports to organizations supporting "survivors."

In this article, Gould, like many of the others that I have written about in this series, attacks Ken Lanning of the FBI. Gould blames an "elaborate national dance of deception and denial"(111) for government agencies ignoring the problem she perceives. Gould claims that "survivors" often discover that they have been prostitutes or employees of criminal syndicates controlled by Satanic cults. Gould states that such "employees" work for free and are unaware of this activity because it is done by another "alter." Gould claims that such "survivors" have worked as "bookkeepers and money launderers, as drug dealers and couriers, as pornography subjects, as programmers/torturers of children, as computer programmers, as investment specialists, as legal advisers, and even as government agents, always outside the conscious awareness of their core personalities,"(112) mimicking the sorts of claims we saw Hammond making earlier. Gould claims that she knows of "scores of adult survivors" who have had their accounts "met with absolute indifference and inaction on the part of local law enforcement agencies, as well as the FBI."(113) No doubt, and with good reason.

(Continued... Click HERE for page 4)


Kerr Cuhulain

Location: Surrey, British Columbia


Bio: Kerr Cuhulain the author of this article, is known to the mundane world as Detective Constable Charles Ennis. Ennis, a former child abuse investigator, is the author of several articles on child abuse investigation that appeared in Law & Order Magazine. Better known to the Pagan community by his Wiccan name, Kerr Cuhulain, Ennis was the first Wiccan police officer to go public about his beliefs 28 years ago. Kerr is now the Preceptor General of Officers of Avalon. Kerr went on to write four books: The Law Enforcement Guide to Wicca (Horned Owl Publishing), Wiccan Warrior and Full Contact Magick: A Book of Shadows for the Wiccan Warrior. (Llewellyn Publications), as well as a book based on this series: Witch Hunts: Out of the Broom Closet (Spiral Publishing).

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