COSA New Zealand Inc.

Casualties of false Sexual Allegations New Zealand Incorporated
Chairperson: John Lindsay Ph/Fax 03 312 9212
Secretary: 364 Harewood Road, Christchurch 8005, New Zealand

Newsletter, May 2001, Issue 9

This Newsletter was issued under the society's previous name, COSA South Inc

Kids ARE curious

Local COSA news

Ellis Inquiry report (April 2001) disastrously perpetuates false stories

Visit by COSA committee members to Nelson area

'False sex-attack claims are more prevalent than the public realise, police say' ...

And what should we make of the following report? - 'Crime Watch: "Police Resources Stretched" '

COSA members guest speakers to Psychiatric Emergency Service staff

Re Ellis's innocence

~ It's Good to Be a YAVIS ~

Reports out of North American Internet sources:

The False Memory Syndrome Foundation

The Leadership Council for Mental Health, Justice & the Media

Witchhunt: an 'Internet discussion group devoted to free and open discussion' on allegations of child abuse

'False Allegations' mailing list

An Alphabet on the State of play including Washington Protocol

Other New Zealand news

ACC has accepted 47,000 claims for sexual abuse ... in NZ in the last 7 years

Disputed cases in the courts around New Zealand



Kids ARE curious

Most parents know through experience and observation that children, sometimes very young, display behaviours and gestures that if replicated by an adult would be an expression of their sexuality. Sadly, however, these same behaviours are sometimes interpreted as indicators of sexual abuse where there has been none.

The American Academy of Pediatrics in 1998 published an examination of 1114 boys and girls. It concluded "a broad range of sexual behaviors are exhibited by children who there is no reason to believe have been sexually abused. Their relative frequency is similar to two earlier studies, and this reinforces the validity of these results." The 560 boys and 554 girls in the sample comprised (rounded to the nearest 5): 80 aged 2, 190 aged 3, 175 aged 4, 130 aged 5, 120 aged 6, 70 aged 7, 85 aged 8, 90 aged 9, 70 aged 10, 63 aged 11, and 45 aged 12. The frequency, and what they call the 'sexual behaviours,' can be summarised as follows (based on their Table 5):


Stands too close to people

Touches sex (private) parts when in public places

Touches or tries to touch their mother's or other women's breasts


Touches sex (private) parts when at home

Tries to look at people when they are nude or undressing


2-5 yrs Boys 29.3 Girls 25.8 Boys 26.5 Girls - Boys 42.4 Girls 43.7 Boys 60.2 Girls 43.8 Boys 26.8 Girls 26.9
6-9 yrs       Boys 39.8 Girls 20.7 Boys 20.2 Girls 20.5
Is very interested in the opposite sex
10-12 yrs
Boys 24.1
Girls 28.7

Sexual behaviours appearing most frequent are self-stimulating behaviours, exhibitionism, and behaviours related to personal boundaries, and less frequent are the more intrusive behaviours. On the relatively larger number of behaviours for the 2- to 5-year-old group, the paper said: "one could consider these to be developmentally related and within normal limits" "Simply because a 5-year-old boy touches his genitals occasionally, even after a weekend custodial visit with his non-custodial parent, it does not mean he has been sexually abused" the report said in conclusion.

See: "Normative Sexual Behavior in Children" (1998) at

Contributions to the Newsletter are needed and appreciated. Thanks to those who help us. Please send items for the Newsletter to: The Newsletter Editors, C/- COSA South Secretary, 364 Harewood Rd, Christchurch 8005, by 31 July 2001.



Since our last Newsletter (Feb 2001), COSA has held an open meeting, where we learned that memory researcher Dr Elizabeth Loftus, and New Zealand QC Peter Williams, each had agreed to be on our panel of Advisory Consultants. We are grateful to them for accepting these posts.

During general business we heard of a number of new and ongoing cases. Our last Newsletter, which was sent to newspaper editors around the country, and our Library worker, both received acknowledgement and appreciation from the floor. The meeting also voted to adopt the committee's resolution to change the society's name to COSA New Zealand. We await its registration.

We then heard Wallace's story, which clearly showed how little it can take for a false allegation to arise in a teaching situation. Even though the allegations were thrown out of court, they were very damaging. Wallace has gradually lessened their effects and has started new ventures. He explained the sequence of his story and used a small role-play too, giving those gathered quite a clear understanding of some different aspects of what happened.

We finished the meeting in the usual sociable manner with tea and supper and talked to new members and some visitors. We remind readers that our organization is for those falsely accused in sexual allegations.

At a committee meeting in early April, we made plans for our AGM - see this page (and separate notice) for details. We also considered content etc for our planned web site. Two committee members later met with an agency that we will evaluate as a host for the site.

This was our first committee meeting since the release on Tuesday 13 March 2001 of the report on the Christchurch cr�che investigation. Some committee members have been examining the report and its disappointing result. We decided not to make a public statement and await developments including Lynley Hood's forthcoming book, "A City Possessed", now to be published by Dunedin's Longacre Press.

COSA Annual General Meeting: 29 May 2001

If you are in or near Christchurch, we hope you will attend this year's AGM!

Date and time: 29 May 2001 at 7.30pm

Place: Papanui Methodist Church Lounge,

68 Harewood Rd, Christchurch

Members of the Society are advised of further details by postal mail


Doesn't time fly? We are now thoroughly into the 21st century! ... Annual subscription fees - $20 per individual or family - Are now due! This sub runs for the financial year, ie, from 1/4/2001 to 31/3/2002

To remain a financial member, please send a cheque for $20 and name, and address (and phone and other contact details - fax, email - as applies) to:

The Treasurer,COSA South Inc.,364 Harewood Rd Christchurch 8005

The support of members keeps COSA going, so thank you for your continued support!


Thoughts from a member presently facing charges based on false allegations by family members

~~When we take a path, one should always take the hardest path.

For if we take the easy path we will miss the way.

By taking the hardest we will look even harder to find the way. ~~

Result of the Inquiry into the investigation and interviews in the cr�che case:

Ellis Inquiry report (April 2001) disastrously perpetuates false stories

The result of the inquiry into the Christchurch Civic Childcare Centre case of 1991-92-93 by Sir Thomas Eichelbaum seemed really to rely mainly on one of the experts used by the Inquiry, Dr Louise Sas. She said that the children's evidence was reliable.

Their assertions contained the sexual and other allegations against Peter Ellis, for which he was convicted and served 7 years. The report astoundingly encompasses the idea that a group of people abused the children with overtones of ritual abuse.

Those COSA members and associates who are in a position to know many of the facts of the case, and who have studied some or most aspects of it, some exhaustively, cannot take this belief about those people, or the inquiry's result, seriously. The report includes material that it treats as real, when it would be easy to show it is not. In doing this it perpetuates, disastrously, false stories.

Sir Thomas consulted another expert, Professor Graeme Davies of Leicester University, too. Davies asked:

  • whether there was crosstalk early in the investigation (c. Nov 91-Jan 92),
  • which parents and which children were involved in any such crosstalk, and
  • whether what any parents and children may have cross-talked about relates to what the children alleged in early interviews.

Sir Thomas did not see to it that the inquiry pursued these matters. And despite the results of the inquiry being voluminous, there is no clarifying timeline. Interviews were finely examined, but not the investigation.

See, Washington Protocol (below in this Newsletter), for better ideas.

Visit by COSA committee members to Nelson area

At the end of March, the Chairman and three COSA committee members took a long-intended trip to the rural Nelson area, to see members.

We arrived on Friday night for the meeting on Saturday afternoon.

One of the regional contacts for the area, and her family, welcomed us into their home, and we spent a few hours there learning their story. Two other people who attended, with their partners, told their stories too.

One of the cases was a recovered memory case. It is now being played out across the Pacific Ocean, as the man's accusing daughter is in California.

In another case a man was accused in a fantastical scenario by his ex-wife and one daughter. Fortunately, police seem to have understood the fantasy involved.

In the third case a woman denied her consenting participation in consensual sex and said it was forced. In this case too, it seems the police have reached an understanding that the story as told by the complainant is not the truth. The woman could pose a threat however.

The Christchurch committee members explained our activities, and briefly described our own cases.

We were warmed by the responses we met and thank Sally and her family, and other COSA members who we met, for the warm hospitality and openness extended to us.

We hope the contact will have positive results.

Some members could take the plunge and make COSA more known locally, perhaps introducing COSA by leaving pamphlets at suitable places.

More people need to know that COSA exists, and what we stand for.

'False sex-attack claims are more prevalent than the public realise, police say' ...

... said 'The Press". Det Paul Merrett of New Brighton, reporting on a recent case, said "It's disappointing because false complaints are more prevalent than you think and it does take a lot of time to investigate them." Det Sgt Roy Mitchell of Papanui police in Christchurch cited a December case of a false rape claim, and said at the time false complaints were a difficult issue to talk about. He said most fabricated rape complaints, however, were "invariably a cry for help". Det Inspector Rob Pope, who oversees violent crime in Canterbury, said "People make false complaints of rape for many reasons - vengeance, they were upset with how things happened" (Press, 3/3/01, p3).

And what should we make of the following report?

'Crime Watch: "Police Resources Stretched" '

North Canterbury News, 5 April 2001, p 5

"Police are struggling to keep up with the "horrendous" workload of child sex abuse cases in Canterbury as complaints pour in and staffing shortages take hold" the article says.

Head of the Canterbury police child abuse unit Det Sergeant Mark Bouvet did not want to discuss how many cases were being dealt with, but described the current work-rate as ''pretty horrendous''.

"We seem to have struck a really bad patch in the last few months. We've had a lot of complex cases that have required a lot of man hours."

The child abuse unit is meant to be staffed by eight officers, plus Det Bouvet, but other priorities meant the unit was rarely at that level.

"I talk to a lot of other unit managers around the country and we don't have it anywhere as bad as many of them. We deal only with acute sexual abuse, whereas many of the North Island units deal with all forms of child abuse."

The New Zealand Herald revealed recently that one Upper Hutt detective was facing a workload of 57 child abuse cases, many of which were not being fully investigated because of a lack of staff.

Det Bouvet said Canterbury's workload fluctuated, and was more noticeable if they were short-staffed.

The mental strain of this kind of policing could take its toll on officers in the unit. "And that is one of my main roles - to keep check on the officers in the unit and to make sure everyone is coping." Despite the mental strain of the work, the child abuse unit was one of the most popular places to be, Det Bouvet said. ''Its because we are regularly dealing with serious crime, and that can be quite fulfilling.''

Det Bouvet also did not want to discuss the resolution rates of the unit, the article said, as the kind of complaints dealt with by the unit could lead to many avenues other than court. ''Its never a black and white area like burglary, we have to respect the wishes of the complainants as well '' said Det. Bouvet.

COSA members guest speakers to Psychiatric Emergency Service staff

Arising out of a request to COSA from the Psychiatric Emergency Service in Christchurch to help a person in trouble, COSA was invited to address a lunch-time meeting at the unit. Two committee members took up this offer and attended a meeting on April 18, to talk about COSA's work and the effects of false sex allegations.

The audience of 13 at Avon House, Christchurch Hospital, became more attentive as they listened to aspects of false sex allegations, including several that they had not recognised or identified. An example is Legal Aid making claims, against the property of a teacher who was falsely accused of sexual misconduct by young children. They mean to recoup the cost of the legal assistance that she accessed from them at the time when she needed help to respond to the false allegations.

The meeting also heard about health and welfare issues caused by false sex allegations.


After the Eichelbaum report, which supposedly looked into the investigation into the Christchurch Childcare Centre case (the Ellis case), was released in March, some media sources acquiesced with the Inquiry decision. For example, "Children can be trusted to tell the truth" said a Nelson Mail editorial (16/3/01).

Other sources used material consistent with doubts or outright opposition. "Secret report: Ellis guilt doubt" said one heading (Dominion 16/3/01). The author, journalist David McLouglin, has consistently asked questions about whether what was alleged in the case accorded with reality. McLouglin referred to a report by Sir Thomas Thorp prepared for the secretary of justice in March 1999, which canvassed the views of experts on mass-allegation cases, including that of the Civic Creche. They expressed 'serious doubts' about Peter Ellis's convictions. Justice Thorp said if those views proved to have substantial support, it would be difficult to argue against the existence of a serious doubt about the safety of Ellis's convictions.

The Minister of Justice on the same day as McLouglin's article, however, riposted that the Thorp report was not secret: it had been available to Mr Ellis's legal advisors since before the second court of appeal hearing, and to the Court of Appeal, the Crown Law Office and former Chief Justice Sir Thomas Eichelbaum in the context of his inquiry:

"It was based on untested expert reports commissioned by Mrs Ablett Kerr QC, � the experts had only been given selective materials on which to base their opinions. � Sir Thomas Thorp recognised the limitations of the reports, but nevertheless considered they gave rise to serious concerns which warranted further investigation. The Court of Appeal considered itself unable to embark on that kind of investigation because of limits on its jurisdiction and the way in which evidence had been presented. It was for that reason that I established the Eichelbaum inquiry. The Eichelbaum inquiry was exactly the kind of inquiry contemplated in the Thorp report.

This is largely spin. Mr Goff clearly has conceded power over who to rely upon.

Two days later the weekly Sunday Star Times ran the item "Open plan toilets show Ellis is innocent" by Frank Haden (18/3/01 p C6). The next week they published a Christchurch letter supporting Haden's clear exposition.

Then the Southland Times gave Dunedin author Lynley Hood's views, attention ("Ellis a victim: author", 22/3/01 p 12). The item was partly on Hood's essay in the recently published "Touchy Subject," edited by Alison Jones. The book, except for Hood's essay, is based on papers given at an Auckland conference on the touchy problems male teachers face. Hood's essay - and her own book due in October - analyses how the strands of feminism, religious conservatism and the child protection movement, in their development in the 1970s, converged and produced a new cause: sexual abuse.

Other sources printed similar material on Hood, some with more detail (Sunday Star Times 25/3/01 pC3-4 (a laudatory letter from Gordon Waugh followed); The Listener ("The innocence of Peter Ellis" by Denis Welch 21/4/01 p58-9), and Christchurch's Star (16/3/01 pA3), and Press (21/3/01 p4)).

Concurrently with the above items, there has of course been coverage of opposing views. These opponents should consider these words of Hood's from her essay. "In 1994 Graeme Pankhurst QC demonstrated, through his careful analysis of the children's evidence in the Ellis case, that the alleged experts who had over the previous decade staked their reputations on their ability to distinguish between true and false allegations of child sexual abuse, could do nothing of the sort."


It's Good to Be a YAVIS

YAVIS is a term psychotherapists use to describe the profession's favored type of patient. YAVISes are the patients who most benefit, in the eyes of therapists, from seeing the therapists. Here is a quick primer on the subject.

The letters in YAVIS stand for "Young, Attractive Verbal, Intelligent, and Successful." This charming acronym is little known to the public. Within the professional psychotherapeutic community, it is discussed guardedly. Initially it was used as something of a wry criticism:

In 1966 it was already a cliche that the patients who did best in psychotherapy were those who did not need it. The YAVIS criterion was an inside joke. Young, attractive, vital, intelligent, successful individuals benefit best from psychotherapy. In other words, the patients we work best with are the ones who need us least.

Later, though, many came to take it as less of a criticism, and more of a common sense guideline for professional success.

Psychotherapy is a difficult undertaking, in which success is hard to define, and nearly impossible to predict.

Even now, the most reliable predictor of psychotherapeutic outcome -- some say the ONLY reliable predictor -- is whether or not the patient is a YAVIS.

The Varieties of YAVIS

The components of the phrase YAVIS are slightly fungible. Some common variants are:

Young, Attractive, Verbal, Intelligent, and Successful

Young, Attractive, Verbal, Insightful, and Successful

Young, Attractive, Vital, Intelligent, and Successful

Young, Affluent, Verbal, Insured, and Single (or, in "German: Jung, Wohlhabend, Sprachgewandt, Versichert, und Alleinstehend")

There is, by the way, an opposite for the term YAVIS. It is HOUND, the explanation of which is perhaps best given on page 202 of Winfried Huber's classic work, "Les Psychoth�rapies: Quelle Th�rapie Pour Quel Patient?" (1993, Paris, Nathan). The flavor is most piquant in the original French:

HOUND (c'est � dire casanier, vieux, sans succ�s, verbalement et intellectuellement peu dou�) vous donnerait moins de chance d'�tre accept� par un psychanalyste et m�me tout simplement d'�tre pris en psychoth�rapie.

- To read more, go to the Internet site Arts and Letters Daily and the item that starts "Psychotherapy. Studies shows it works best ...". Then click on the word "more".


Reports out of North American Internet sources, including some players in false sex allegations scenarios

The False Memory Syndrome Foundation

The False Memory Syndrome Foundation of the US and Canada explains their identity as follows (see for this and other details):

The False Memory Syndrome Foundation was formed by a group of accused families and several professionals at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and Johns Hopkins Medical Institution in Baltimore [in 1992]. This nuclear group had come together with other families to try to figure out what had happened to cause the dramatic change of behavior in their now-adult children, to try to cope with the pain from the loss of their children and to address the legal nightmare of being accused of abuse.

The web page goes on to say what the families who grouped around these academics from Philadelphia and Baltimore - they are in the neighbouring states of Pennsylvania and Maryland - were interested in, and what they were not interested in:

The families were not interested in forming a support organization, however. Professionals in their own right, they wanted to address the issues of memory that their children claimed supported their accusations. All of the families had been told by their children that they had "recovered repressed memories." What was the scientific basis of these claims?

A recent statement of the FMSF position

Consensus on False (Recovered) Memories (from Knapp & VandeCreek, Table 1, p 366) CHILD ABUSE

Child abuse is harmful and prevalent.

Satanic or ritualistic abuse is rare.


Adults with continuous memories of being abused are likely to have accurate memories. Some memories of past traumas can be lost and later recovered.

Memories from infancy are highly unreliable.

False memories can be created.

Magnification and minimization are better ways to conceptualize memories than the dichotomy of "true" or "false."

It is difficult to ascertain the accuracy of memories recovered by suggestive "memory recovery" techniques.


Child abuse, in and of itself, is not a diagnosis.

Child abuse cannot be inferred from a set of current symptoms.

Mental illness and mental disorders have many causes.

Psychotherapists should ask patients about past childhood abuse if it is clinically indicated.

Memory recall of abuse is not necessary for effective therapy to occur.

The focus of treatment should be on the current functioning of the patient.

Treatments should be tailored to the individual needs of each patient.

At times, patients may need to learn to live with ambiguity about the veracity of memory or memory fragments.


Psychotherapists need to respect and promote patient autonomy.

Psychotherapists need to scrupulously maintain professional boundaries.

Psychotherapists need to maintain therapeutic neutrality on the issues of litigation and confrontation.

Even though psychotherapists have no primary legal duty to third parties, they should not be oblivious to the impact of their actions on those third parties.

- From the FMSF Newsletter of Jan-Feb 2001:

The FMSF Board as at 11/03/2000

The Executive Director of the FMSF is Pamela Freyd, Ph.D. and the board has about 50 individuals, including David A. Halperin, Elizabeth Loftus, Harold Merskey, Richard Ofshe, James Randi, and Hollida Wakefield (to name some of the recognisable ones). See for the entire list. The qualifications and positions of the 50 can be summarised as:

30 PhDs, 14 medical qualifications, and 2 other high-level degrees. About 4 with no, or lesser, academic qualifications. Most work at Universities (about 32), and in addition 10 are at medical centres, schools or other medical institutes. There are one or more individuals from London, UK, South Africa, and Canada. Individuals' positions in professional groups are not mentioned on the FMS site.

Here is some history of the board, and information about its unity and diversity:

� we made contact with the outstanding scholars and clinicians who became the FMSF Scientific and Professional Advisory Board. As word of the fledgling organization spread, interested professionals began to contact us. As it formed, it became clear that one of the strengths of the Advisory Board was the diversity of opinion on some of the topics, including hypnosis and repression. At the same time, the Advisory Board has been unified by an adherence to the fundamental notion that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. They are in agreement that external corroboration is necessary in order to know the truth or falsity of a memory. They are all concerned about possible harm to patients and families through the use of techniques that increase the risk of suggestion.


The Leadership Council for Mental Health, Justice & the Media

The 'Leadership Council' is, to some extent at least, in a kind of oppositional role to the False Memory Syndrome Foundation. To illustrate, here is what a writer said of the people in it (Herman Ohme in the newsgroup Witchhunt):

The � "specialists" and "experts" [of the Leadership Council] � are still opposing the families of those hurt by false accusations of incest and child sexual abuse as a result of misguided Recovered Memory and Multiple Personality therapies.

The personnel of the Leadership Council number about 56. They have many qualifications and positions that seem erudite. The Council's members include more in the fields of medicine-psychiatry, and apparently more psychologists or psychotherapists in private or public practice, compared with the FMSF. A significant few are in law. The set can be characterised as follows (as a minimum):

18 have a medical degree, 15 have a PhD, 8 have law degrees, 2 have an MA, 2 have nursing qualifications, 1 each have an M.Ed. or social work qualification. 21 work in a university, 19 in a medical institution/hospital/therapeutic group, and 12 in private practice (dominant group is psychiatrists), 2 in a law practice. One person works as a training/educational consultant and another works in an abuse awareness coalition. There is one member outside of the US: he works in the Netherlands.

12 have (or had) high positions in Associations - 5 being posts in the American Psychiatric Association. Others mentioned the ISSD (International Society for Study of Dissociation), and groups on subjects like Family Violence, Children & Youth, Patients Rights, Mental Health, and Sexual Assault.

Extracts from the Leadership Council's 'Home' and 'About Us' pages

We are a non-profit professional organization dedicated to safeguarding the rights of children and adult survivors of childhood maltreatment.

The purpose of the Leadership Council is to help vulnerable populations through ensuring that clinicians, courts and policymakers rely on accurate scientific information when making decisions that affect their well-being.

"Our lives begin to end the day we are silent about things that matter." --Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

Mission Statement

The Leadership Council is a nonprofit independent scientific organization composed of respected scientists, clinicians, educators, legal scholars, journalists, and public policy analysts.

Our mission is to promote the ethical application of psychological science to human welfare. We are committed to providing professionals and laypersons with accurate, research-based information about a variety of mental health issues and to preserving society's commitment to protect its most vulnerable members.


1. To develop a coalition among professionals within the scientific community, the legal system, the political system and the media to provide professionals and laypersons with accurate information about mental health practice and research which helps insure access to the highest quality of care.

2. To promote healing for trauma victims and their families.

3. To promote and disseminate high quality scientific and medical research concerning the prevalence and consequences of child abuse and other forms of interpersonal violence in the general population.

4. To promote public awareness of effective treatment for the psychological and physiological after-effects of interpersonal violence and other traumatic experiences in children and adults.

5. To provide officers of the court, the media, and public policy-makers with the latest scientific information on issues which may affect the public health and the safety of society's most vulnerable members, including children and those suffering from mental disorders.

6. To correct misinformation on psychological science used to serve vested interests or used as evidence in important cases affecting legal rights related to mental health issues.

7. To improve coordination among professionals, develop guidelines, encourage research, further interdisciplinary professional education, and provide guidance, support, and encouragement for professionals in the field of traumatic studies.

- From

"Our lives begin to end the day we are silent about things that matter," says the site, quoting Dr Martin Luther King. With this the Council tries to attach itself to some kind of nobility. If it is trying to insinuate that anyone who questions a particular sex allegation is wrong, trying to silence the truth, and ignoble, they are wrong. People such as us simply assert certain sexual allegations that are false, are indeed false. This may seem at first to have no particular nobility, being simply logical. However, as anyone can notice, this stance protects the innocent, and so it too is a noble cause.

Elsewhere the Council refers to its research on Interpersonal Violence, False Memory, and Holocaust Denial, among others. In later issues of this Newsletter we are likely to respond somehow to some of this material.

Dr Peter Barach is a member of the Leadership Council. In a long email discussion in Witchhunt, debaters argued with Dr Barach about whether dissociative states - this often is taken to mean Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD), now Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) - can be caused by the kind of therapy he practises. The way he denied it was called dancing around the question. He left the debate saying:

I regret that due to time constraints (I'm a full-time private practitioner, I have a private life, and I have a writing deadline to meet), I can't reply in detail to [the] questions, all of which are important.

He said forensic standards of evidence were separate from anything that could be the basis for developing clinical practice guidelines in mental health: he asserted they were different realms, then left the debate.

The discussion had arisen after a psychologist who specialised in dissociation lost her licence (see 'Alphabet': Terry of Tennessee, below).

In Little Rock (Arkansas), Dr Bessel van der Kolk, who is a member of the Leadership Council, testified in a civil law suit against American airlines. The complainant, former airline worker Ms Chu, claims a sexual relationship she had with an airline employee sent to Arkansas as part of an emergency response team after an airline accident she was in, worsened her mental trauma. The airline claims the 8-month relationship was consensual. Kolk testified to frontal lobe injury and a loss of some complex mental functions in Ms. Chu - although these could only be detected by neurological tests, he said - and she would spend the rest of her life in mental and physical pain. The Airline's attorney questioned the psychiatrist's expertise, asking whether he had ever heard himself called 'the eye-waggle doctor' for his theories about eye movement therapy (EMDR - see below in the 'Alphabet') in victims of post-traumatic stress disorder. He said he had not. (Associated Press 5/4/01 by Melissa Nelson).

The excellent academic qualifications of those in the Leadership Council, such as these people, seem not always to correspond with an expression of expertise, realism or efficient professionalism. Also, dissociation is associated with bizarre practices/practitioners - see the 'Alphabet' later this issue.


Witchhunt: an 'Internet discussion group devoted to free and open discussion' on allegations of child abuse

A few paragraphs of information was posted recently to the newsgroup Witchhunt, to remind participants of its founding assumptions; this is reprinted below.

Foundation and purpose of the witchhunt mailing list

This announces a discussion group/mailing list called "witchhunt". The purpose of this mailing list is a free an open discussion of he question "Have the efforts to prevent child sexual abuse created a witchhunt?" Although the title of the mailing list indicates my personal view (bias) on a portion of this issue, all viewpoints are welcome.

Issues related to this question include:

  • Mass abuse in nursery schools
  • How accurate are repressed memories?
  • Are defendants in these cases treated fairly?
  • Are the allegations themselves true or false?
  • Is there a 'reverse witchhunt' out to destroy legitimate efforts of child abuse prevention and treatment?
  • What is the scientific basis for verifying/falsifying an allegation?
  • What has happened in a given case. Most cases aren't well followed in the national press. Thus contributions to the list can fill in the blanks.
  • What legislation is being considered or court rulings being handed down and what are the implications?

- From [email protected]

Writers to witchhunt - people affected by false sex allegations, and lawyers and other people who realise the problem - post chatty messages and useful information, every day (see 'Alphabet', later in this Newsletter).


'False Allegations' mailing list

Another mailing group relevant to COSA is the 'false allegations' list. Their email address is [email protected] . Although the material is dominated by input from the US, parallel situations exist, and I am sure the material could be mined for useful ideas applicable to New Zealand.

People discuss many topics including, recently, the problem of the Department of Human Services (in some states in the US) sending out letters to advise people their names were on a certain list as if they were a child abuser. One recipient of such a letter contacted the 'local major university's law professor' to draft a form letter, as below.

'Form' letter (for United States)

In a letter I received from the Department of Human Services dated xx/xx/xx, my name has been recorded in written notice that all allegations are found "inconclusive and not proven to be true" and thus found to be not guilty.

However, you have stated that my name is being forwarded to the Department of Justice, Child Abuse Index as a "suspected child abuser". This, my letter, denies any such allegations and is a written request as of this date to have my name expunged from that record in as much as all allegations are now clearly found to be as unsubstantiated as I have contended all along.

I would appreciate receiving a copy of the state statute authorizing the listing of my name on such list especially in the light of a frivolous and unfounded statement that is clearly defamatory.

I would also appreciate your prompt assistance in this matter as it involves a clear element of justice.


An Alphabet on the State of play

The 'Alphabet' is about people whose behaviour is out of control and its effects, and responses or outcomes, in the context of false sex allegations

A is for � Arizona: An Arizona lawsuit contends that psychiatrist Donald Garland and others misdiagnosed a woman as having multiple personality disorder and falsely led her to believe she had been the victim of satanic or ritual abuse (Arizona Business Gazette, 3/8/00 Law p 3).

B is for � Bennett Braun and the patient he was sued by, Patty Burgus. "He [came] under investigation by Illinois licensing authorities largely because of revelations about his treatment of � patient � Patty Burgus. According to a lawsuit filed by Burgus, Braun had used hypnosis and drug therapy to convince her that she had 300 personalities, ate meat loaf made of human flesh, and was the high priestess of a satanic cult. In a 1999 settlement with Illinois officials, Braun's license to practice medicine was suspended for two years and he agreed to five additional years of probation."

� and Body of Christ in Canada: Therapy in healing circles, run by mainline Churches, to actively restore long lost memories of child abuse in residential schools, has resulted in a string of first nation suits in Canada. The reaction of the Canadian Archbishop of the Anglican Church to the impending bankruptcy that this points to, reportedly was: "We really are called to be the body of Christ. Dead. Absolutely dead. And just as absolutely destined to rise." Writer Mark Steyn criticised him and the other Anglican, Catholic and United Church 'fainthearts' for taking the matter lying down.

There seems to be a risk of falsity to the recovered stories, and religious people in residential institutions that they could implicate, are a vulnerable group. There is a question as to whether church leaders who would wish to be compassionate will be able to be challenging enough, and soon enough, so that false stories gain no traction.

C is for � Canada, where there is ample evidence that, in the personal world and in the political, and from the east to the west, the phenomenon of false sex allegations and resistance to it is alive and kicking.

  • Tana Dineen, PhD, R.Psych, C. Psych writes that her book "Manufacturing Victims", is in its 3rd edition (2001).
  • Ilana Mercer in the Calgary Herald argues that "Sloppy science justifies post-traumatic stress disorder": 'toxic' events in western democracies are very high and cause debilitating 'PTSD', but really toxic events are almost universal in 3rd World countries, paradoxically not causing it there, she says.
  • In Edmonton (Alberta) a woman was led away in handcuffs after refusing to honour a court order for visitation rights to her ex-husband with their daughter. She had accused her ex of sexually abusing the daughter.
  • Winnipeg's Child and Family Services (Manitoba), which came under review in March 2000 after untrue allegations of sexual molestation were facilitated by a social worker, has resulted in wholesale changes in the way child-abuse cases are investigated, due to a scathing report by Judge Laurie Allen. Her analysis only came to light this year after she wrote to a father.
  • Adriaan Mak (London, Ontario) wrote in a Canadian nationwide paper that his son returned home after retracting his false sex allegations against his dad, late last year. He thanked the paper for its coverage in 1992 by Bill Taylor of the phenomenon of false memory syndrome.
  • Adriaan said he once ran a newsletter for the close to 2000 Canadian families of falsely accused families. He noted possibly 40 wrongful convictions.
  • "Raising Cain: Protecting the emotional life of boys" is a book by an American, and was the subject of a day-long seminar for 600 educators from Ontario in April, according to a newspaper writer, Sean Fine. He said it was "a sign of a sea change in education circles" in relation to trends.

� and Candace's Law. Candace Elmore was born in North Carolina about 1990, and was adopted sometime after she turned 5, by a nurse-practitioner Jean Newmaker, who lived in the same state. Reporting the child was rebellious, Newmaker tried various treatments, and she eventually took her for therapy to the state of Colorado, to treat what she thought was attachment disorder: Then, in April last year, 2 therapists with Newmaker and another adult performed an extreme version of a therapy called rebirthing, with Candace. For this Candace was wrapped tightly in a blanket, and had pillows placed around her and on her. Then four grown women sat on top of the pillows on her or pushed on her with them. She was meant to push against them as if pushing against birth contractions, and break out and be 'born'. It was all videotaped, and on the tape, Candace is heard screaming, begging for air, crying out she's about to die. She was told if she wanted to die, go ahead and do it. After an hour, they unwrapped her. She was blue and unconscious. She died the next day. The jury, who saw the videotape, after hearing all the evidence, convicted the two therapists of reckless child abuse. At the end of April, Colorado Governor Bill Owens signed Candace's Law, banning rebirthing therapy.

� and Colorado State in contempt. Denver District Court Judge Morris Hoffman levied $1.4 million in fines against the Department of Human Services, and as much as $7,500 to $50,000 in daily fines until the system is corrected. The issue is the department's spending on mentally ill people. The State was obliged not only to appropriate funds to meet agreements it had made, but it was also obliged to use those funds to provide the specific level of services required by the (agreement)" said a report (see , and then search for State in contempt ).

cultist Caryn 'Stardancer'. She is founder of "Survivorship" a 'non-profit organization' that focuses on the 'recovery needs of survivors of sadistic sexual abuse and ritualistic abuse'. A page on her 'survivorship' web site notes the closure of Charter Behavioral Health Systems, which filed for bankruptcy although it was 'once the nation's largest chain of private psychiatric facilities, including the few hospitals with dissociative disabilities treatment programs'. Yet Caryn carries on: she publishes a map of where her next mind control/ritual abuse conference is, in August this year (in California). She says she has given talks abroad and around the US, and has future events in Los Angeles, Connecticut, and Massachusetts! She seems to have neither of her feet on Earth, self-depicting as a driver on a zonked, suffering, but perhaps knowing, elephant. Although it is currently nearly up to its eyeballs in water, it looks as if it will survive its subjugation and its driver's enthralment.

D is for � Dorothy Rabinowitz, who won a Pulitzer prize in April this year, for her articles including on false sex allegations, including a doctor falsely accused, and on the Amirault case, in the Wall Street Journal. We have not seen any coverage of the Pulitzers in Christchurch's main paper (The Press).

E is for � EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing. The therapy is debunked in a psychological journal article (Clin Psych Rev 2000, 20: 945-971). EMDR doesn't do anything on its own, but other things, done with it, do help, such as "exposing patients gradually to the thing that they're afraid of, and the reprocessing or cognitive restructuring" said Dr James D Herbert, of MCP Hahnemann University in Philadelphia, and associates. But of that reprocessing etc. he said "It's the same stuff psychologists have been doing for 20, 30 years."

"Take the eye movement away, and there's nothing left in the package that's unique."

In an article, Martha A Churchill, in Detroit News of May 2, 2001, says EMDR is popular junk therapy in the Ann Arbor (Michigan) area, supposedly as a cure for traumatic stress disorder. She went on:

This therapy has a nasty side effect, in that it is hypnotic. So the subject may absorb whatever is suggested during the eye movement session and come away with mistaken memories of childhood abuse."

Dr Peter Barach, back again, riposted to this, asking the writer where the research is that shows EMDR is hypnotic.

F is for �FMS - in France: The problems that led to the formation of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation have also afflicted France. You may contact FMS-France, in English, c/- Jean Claude Larue, [email protected] by email. A Witchhunt item on 9/4/01 cites a case where a 33-year-old daughter alleged family sexual abuse, including pregnancy by incest and an abortion performed by the mother. The mother's roughly translated letter said: "In the beginning, we thought of a cult, which led us to contact the ADFI, who then told us of the existence of the phenomenon of false memories. These false charges appear deeply unjust to us, but we try all the same to maintain contact with our daughter, so that we will not lose her forever."

� and FBI - Federal Bureau of Investigation. Kenneth Lanning, FBI Super-visory Special Agent, is the author of a Jan 1992 report (old now!) on investigating child abuse. He notes society's attitude about child sexual abuse and exploitation can be summed up in the word "denial". He goes on:

Since 1981 I have been assigned to the Behavioral Science Unit at the FBI Academy in � Virginia, and have specialized in studying all aspects of the sexual victimization of children.

( has the full text).

In speaking about "a recent flood of law enforcement seminars and conferences [which] have dealt with satanic and ritualistic crime", he notes:

The typical conference runs from one to three days � [M]any of them include the same presenters and instructors.

He discusses "Multidimensional child sex rings", not only with topics such as

  • Dynamics of cases,
  • Characteristics of sex rings, and
  • Scenarios,

but also with this telling topic:

  • Why are victims alleging things that do not seem to be true?

Under this heading he says:

It is technically possible that these allegations of an organized conspiracy involving taking over day care centers, abduction, cannibalism, murder, and human sacrifice might be true. But if they are true, they constitute one of the greatest crime conspiracies in history.

He suggests Alternative Explanations in 6:

  • Pathological Distortion
  • Traumatic Memory
  • Normal Childhood Fears and Fantasy
  • Misperception, Confusion, and Trickery
  • Overzealous Intervenors, and
  • Urban Legends.

He obviously recognises that some sex allegations are not real. And in "Investigating Multidimensional Child Sex Rings" (section 9), Lanning cautions:

  • Minimize Satanic/Occult Aspect
  • Keep Investigation and Religious Beliefs Separate
  • Listen to the Victims
  • Assess and Evaluate Victim Statements
  • Evaluate Contagion
  • Establish Communication with Parents
  • Develop a Contingency Plan
  • Multidisciplinary Task Forces

G is for �Ted Gunderson, who retired from the FBI in 1979 - rather a long time ago now. Last year, in 2000, he told 'Newtimes', a California TV program, that in 1970 "500 satanic cults were operating in the New York area alone", but "now there were 2500" and "4 million Americans are active participants of devil-worshiping cults that carry out ritual murders". In the past he made unsubstantiated claims that a radio host, Art Bell, was a child molester, and these claims led to Art Bell's resignation from the programme from stress although the claims were untrue. Gunderson is linked with Susan Ford/Brice Taylor, and Pamela Monday (see their alphabetical entries). See for an article on the TV programme.

I is for � Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. On 2 April 2001 federal Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer ordered the DCFS to revamp how it investigates allegations of child abuse and neglect, saying the system is unconstitutional and has too often led to false accusations of wrongdoing against child caretakers. She gave the department 60 days to come up with a workable solution with attorneys who brought a class-action lawsuit over the practices. In 11/12ths of cases abuse was not proved, leaving only 1/12th of cases where 'abuse' was confirmed - charges stuck.

Iowa's Department of Human Services, the DHS. Several dozen parents who said they had been wrongly accused of child abuse rallied at the Iowa Capitol on 3 January 2001 according to a report. "DHS is out of control", said a mother, whose three children were wrongly taken by the department, and who have since been returned. "No parent should have their children removed without evidence against them". A speaker told parents state law should:

  • Get rid of anonymous reporting of alleged abuse.
  • Make it easier to prosecute people making a false accusation of child abuse, by allowing accused access to records identifying the accusers.
  • Take away the immunity of state child-protection workers who act with malice.

J is for � Jury orientations - a kind of grooming - which are being challenged by a group of defense attorneys in Oregon. Secret sex-abuse (and drug) orientations were held for grand juries. The sex abuse ones included, in some counties, coaching jurors about listening to child victims, and handouts on delayed reporting.

K is for � Mike Kelly, right on! artist, of Iowa. Mike is a sculptor. In 1995 he made a work Educational Complex, a model of a school, leaving out the parts he couldn't remember. In 1998, taking the ideas further, he made Sublevel, using only the "underground" or basement part of the previous work. He lined the parts he couldn't remember with pink crystal. In 2000 he went even further, and made Extracurricular Activity Projective Reconstruction. He said the idea was to come up with a number of scenarios of trauma to fill in these blank areas and "explain my selective amnesia."

Very creative, and yet true as well!

M is for � Manhattan Tunnel Project that investigated whether or not underground tunnels that were supposed to exist in the McMartin Preschool case (Manhattan Beach, California), did exist. They did not: the idea probably originated from real, out-in-the-open play-tunnels, erected for kids' play.

P is for � Pamela Monday, an Austin, Texas, psychologist who says she is "treating 60 other women telling the exact same story as Brice " (Brice is Brice Taylor of "I was a CIA sex slave" fame; aka Susan Ford, see below). The 60 that Ms Monday treats are nearly all middle-aged white women, and it may take '8 or 9 years' for this 'psychologist' to 'straighten them out', she said. Monday seems to be as wacky as Ford.

R is for � Rights of Englishmen: The death penalty was politicised during the US elections, according to Paul Craig Roberts (Hoover Institute, Stanford University, California, in "From Blackstone to Bentham: Why wrongful conviction is on the rise" see ), and the man who became the President of the United States, George Bush, as candidate defended it saying that those found guilty "had full access to the courts [and] access to a fair trial".

Roberts argues that the legal principles that guarantee a fair trial have been eroded by both good and bad intentions. These principles were what William Blackstone in the mid 1700s called "the Rights of Englishmen". They ensured that law is a shield for the innocent and not a weapon in the hands of prosecutors. Roberts writes "Liberals and conservatives alike, in chasing after their favorite devils drug dealers, environmental polluters, white-collar criminals, and child abusers, have reduced these protective principles to shadows of their former selves."

-"The Tyranny of Good Intentions" by Paul Craig Roberts & Lawrence M Stratton

S is for � Susan Ford aka Brice Taylor, who says she was a programmed CIA sex slave. She has memories of much more. Asked in a KCOP-TV Channel 13 (Los Angeles, California) program on 2 November 2000 "Have you ever considered the possibility that you're just crazy?" she did not admit it although she once thought she was. Her stories seem sadly to have started following her 1985 car accident. Her daughter Kelly once believed her mother's stories but now rejects them, and either because of it or for other reasons, suffered a complete mental breakdown. She is schizophrenic. Susan Ford/Brice Taylor is linked to Ted Gunderson (see above). See, by Tony Ortega.

T is for �Terry of Tennessee: This is Terry B Davis, 54, a psychologist in Memphis, who had her licence revoked by the Tennessee State Board of Examiners in Psychology this year. She could face US$33,000 in fines, and the federal government is investigating her for alleged Medicare billing irregularities.

Davis specialised in treating patients with dissociative identity disorder, or multiple personality disorder. One client, who was said to be suffering from DID, suffered a seizure after giving evidence and facing questions. Testimony heard included that Ms Davis:

  • told a client her father had been involved in satanic ritual, and that demons were in control of her. Davis did a procedure over the client, asking the demon to leave;
  • had given her patients unrecognisable treatment at her centre, the Guardian Foundation;
  • intimidated patients and alienated them from their families;
  • let an unlicensed subordinate conduct therapy sessions; and
  • misrepresented her success in treating patients.

U is for � US divided on spanking. Social workers and even some courts in the US may treat spanking as abuse but there are no clear guidelines in the law on what is physical abuse (item written by Ed Myers).

An assistant attorney general in that state said the law does not define abuse in terms of parental conduct but rather on the degree of harm to the child, because what may be not harmful for one child may be harmful for another.

Dean Tong, forensic consultant on abuse cases in Tampa (Florida, and author of "Ashes to ashes, Families to dust") says: "When the laws are very vague, it's open season for victimisation."

W is for � Washington Protocol for investigating child sex abuse allegations (Washington State, 1999). The protocol is available at

The Protocol seems a reasonable approach to the issue, and recognises not only the rights of those making allegations, but also the rights of those against whom allegations are made. It says

  • Investigations are to be conducted in a fair and objective manner and information should be obtained from all reasonably available sources, including suspects, when possible.
  • Investigations should be conducted with an open mind and explore alternative hypotheses.
  • Investigators must strive to avoid interview techniques that risk eliciting confessions from innocent people.

Why didn't the Eichelbaum Inquiry use something like this when looking for best practice statements? The Inquiry did not adequately include in its ambit the general investigation: it acted as if child interviews were the be-all and end-all of investigation.

The Protocol has a good section for complex cases like the cr�che case.

~ The above is a selection of Internet-sourced news items seen in the last few months. These and other items are on file. Please ask a committee member if you're interested ~


Other New Zealand news

ACC has accepted 47,000 claims for sexual abuse, mostly adults who claim they were sexually abused as children, and paid $94 million for counselling over the claims, in the last 7 years. Auckland psychologist Kim McGregor has written new therapy guidelines for this counselling.

Felicity Goodyear Smith, now a senior lecturer at Auckland University, said she was concerned that ACC's counselling approach was not scientifically proven. (The Press 15/3/01 p 4; and ODT 21/3/01).

Disputed cases in the courts around New Zealand

Man, 77, jailed over sex allegations that 'split family'

The Press, 27/2/01, p 19

In New Plymouth a retired farmer married 53 years and with 6 children was jailed after a case that split the family. The charges related to matters alleged to have happened between 26 and 56 years ago, and the man is to pay $25,000 to each of the two women.

In the two trials held last year, juries had returned guilty verdicts on assault and rape of a 12-year-old girl in 1975, and on identical charges relating to another girl starting when she was aged 8, for a period between 1945 and 1955.

The earlier offences were described as the oldest taken to court in this country, where there is no statute of limitations.

The man appeared before Justice Randerson in the High Court for sentencing. The judge said he had to consider sentencing levels that were in force at that time in history.

Supporters applauded as Judge freed 38-year-old man

The Press, 28/2/01, p 19

A 38-year-old man, a manager, denied six representative charges of sexually abusing his two young sons in a Christchurch District Court jury trial. They were four charges of unlawful sexual connection, and two charges of indecent assault, alleged to have taken place between 1998 and 2000.

Defence was Mark Callaghan, Craig Ruane was prosecutor. The jury retired for about 2 � hours. Family and supporters burst into applause as the man was told by Judge Colin Doherty that he was free to go.

Credibility the issue: but father convicted

Otago Daily Times, 6-7-8/3/01

A 36-year-old man was found guilty on nine charges of sexually molesting his two young daughters, after the jury was out for almost 10 hours. It returned twice with questions, reaching its verdict around 10.30 pm.

The allegations had related to between 1993 and 1998 when both girls were under 12. The man's counsel said the man admitted having a pornographic video. Why would the man admit this? The man said he had never shown the video to his older daughter as she claimed, and he denied that he had ever had sex with either daughter. Inconsistencies between the girls' accounts, said Crown counsel Marie Grills, tended to suggest the girls were telling the truth, as it showed that there had been no adult input [to rationalise their stories].

"200 rapes"

Otago Daily Times 8/3/01

Between December 1977 and July 1982, a man now aged 57, a beneficiary living in South Canterbury, was supposed to have raped a young girl, once a week, a conservative estimate of 200 episodes, while her brother slept less than 1.5 m away.

In summing up in the case, at the High Court at Timaru, the Crown prosecutor Tim Gresson said the matter came down to whether the girl was making up the allegations. He said there was no motive to do so. The defence counsel said the historical nature of the allegations - over 20 years interval - deprived the accused the opportunity to defend himself.

After nearly 6 hours considering the evidence, a jury found the man guilty on a representative charge of rape, and not guilty on 3 charges of indecent assault and 2 other rape charges and he was remanded in custody in Christchurch.

21-year-old complainant says accused indecently touched her when she was 9 or 10

Otago Daily Times 8, 9/3/01

It happened in her friend's kitchen: her friend's father sexually molested her, when she was about 9 or 10, she thought. She was sitting on his knee at the time. She wanted to scream and told him to stop and tried to get off. The accused threatened to kill her, she said. A neighbour arrived with her son and the incident stopped. Afterwards, she went home and had a bath as she felt 'really dirty and disgusting' she said.

The case was heard at the Dunedin court. The accused, a 57-year old beneficiary, faced alternative charges of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection and indecent assaults against a girl over the age of 12 but under 16 OR under the age of 12.

The offending was alleged to have occurred between October 1988 and October 1994.

A neighbour said she saw the girl on his knee in the kitchen, and she saw him with his hand moving towards the groin area. She said she had had disagreements with the accused, but would not perjure herself.

In a police interview the man described the girl's allegations as all lies and said she had never sat on his knee. His counsel wondered why the man's friend who was with him in the kitchen had not been called as a witness.

The jury found the man not guilty of the most serious allegation, that he sexually violated the girl by putting his finger in her vagina. The jurors then considered the 2 alternative charges of indecent assault. After deliberating 4� hours they returned a guilty verdict on the 3rd count.

Dover Samuels, MP, shuts case

The Press 5/4/01 p 9

The former Minister of Maori Affairs, Dover Samuels, said he had put behind him the allegations that had embroiled him last year. The family of a young woman with whom he once had an intimate relationship made the allegations, and he had been cleared of them. Although he had laid a charge of making a malicious complaint against the family, he had not been following its progress. It has since been closed. Mr Samuels was accepted back into the executive this year as an under-secretary.

  "By the time many sexual offenders reach the middle years of their 'careers' they will have harmed over 150 separate victims" said 'Britain's foremost criminal profiler' (in a two-page spread, Sunday Star Times 11/3/01 p C4-5). This is a brash statement in a fear-mongering article. A member, who cut the article for a committee member's attention, thought some could use the above statement, incorrectly, as if it applied to a person who has 1 conviction, when the conviction was unjust and had no basis. We agree. We should not let innuendo, used to intimidate, stop us from pointing out false arguments.  

~ This Newsletter reflects the interests and views of the Editors, members of COSA South ~


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