Satanic Ritual Abuse Scare in Hampstead

Last week I posted a link to this disturbing video which appeared on YouTube and was quickly doing the rounds on such sites as David Icke’s site and The Atlantean Conspiracy. In it, two children (8 and 9) from Hampstead, a well-to-do area of London, allege that they have been abused in “satanic” ceremonies led by their father, and involving local teachers and priests and up to 100 others. The acts alleged rape, the sacrifice and consumption of babies, and that the members wore shoes made of baby skin, echoing the wildest claims of the McMartin Preschool Trial and the Satanic Ritual Abuse Scare of the 1990s:

According to the Daily Mail, the video was watched some 4 million times, the local church was searched for evidence, and local police were stationed at the school in question. On the 19th of March, however, Mrs Justice Pauffley ruled in the Family Court that the only abuse suffered by the children had been at the hands of their mother, Ella Draper, and her partner Abraham Christie, who had coached the children and forced them to make the allegations in order to deny their father, Draper’s former partner, access. Draper and Christie were not present, and are believed to have gone into hiding in order to avoid prosecution. The judge stated that (the full ruling can be read here):

I am able to state with complete conviction that none of the allegations are true. I am entirely certain that everything Ms Draper, her partner Abraham Christie and the children said about those matters was fabricated. The claims are baseless. Those who have sought to perpetuate them are evil and / or foolish.

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The Bantam Menace

DSCF0580Another week, another trip to London, this time for the BASR committee meeting, and a raw food lunch at Camden’s Spiral Café. While I was there, I managed to squeeze in an interview for the Religious Studies Project with Titus Hjelm on ‘Social Constructionism’, to be broadcast soon.

Other than that, it was another week of crushing ants, as I try to get all my small commitments out of the way to be able to focus on my monograph. I’m teaching on “New and Alternative” religions to the 1st years at Edinburgh for three weeks starting next monday, so the next month or so will largely be taken up with that and finishing up writing introductions and final editing for After World Religions and my edited edition of Nova Religio.

And I got tickets to see King Crimson play. Which means I will achieve 2 out of 3 remaining ambitions this year – all I need now is a Victorian villa with its own forest.

The Week in MIllennial Conspiracism:

An interview with Nexus editor Duncan Roads on his new venture, the Alternative News Project, and his assessment of “mankind’s true history”.

Conspiracies, UFOs and “disclosure” – Oh my! Joseph, P. Farrell, “THE BLACK KNIGHT SATELLITE STAGES A COMEBACK, BUT WHY NOW?”

Two British children allege abuse by a Satanic ritual ring. The allegations are remarkably similar to the Satanic Ritual Abuse scare of the 1990s. In the wake of the Savile case, are we witnessing a revival of this conspiratorial moral panic?

Citizenfour – Channel 4’s inside scoop on the Edward Snowden affair.

The Flat Earth Conspiracy – full-length documentary.