Saturday, February 15, 2014

Satanic abuse prosecutions; A moving mea culpa from Allen Francis M.D. a chair of the DSM-IV Task force who now wishes he had done more to expose the sudden epidemic of prosecutions of day care center workers for alleged sexual and satanic ritual abuse of the children under their care. (This reflective commentary shows much courage, compassion and strength of character - and should make us wonder why the Edenton Seven have not yet been exonerated - and what has been learned after this disastrous period when reason took second place to panic and fear. HL):

COMMENTARY: "Sex and satanic abuse: A fad revisited," by Allen Francis MD," published by Saving Normal on January 28,  2014; (Allen Frances, M.D., was chair of the DSM-IV Task Force and of the department of psychiatry at Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC. He is currently professor emeritus at Duke.)

GIST: "The time was between 20-25 years ago. The outrage that needed exposing was the sudden epidemic of prosecutions of day center workers for the alleged sexual and satanic ritual abuse of the children under their care. The place was all over the US: This was a nationwide craze that focused suspicion on more than 100 centers. The victims were the completely innocent day care workers who were indicted and often convicted of ridiculous charges that could not possibly have any foundation in reality. Many were pressured, threatened, and/or tortured into false confessions and some, under great duress, were forced into making false charges implicating co-workers. Dozens have served prison sentences and some are still in jail—an injustice of shocking proportions......... The charges were farce, but the impact on those involved was tragedy. Never was there a single shred of physical evidence that any of the crimes had ever occurred. It was a modern witch-hunt, no better than the Salem trials occurring 300 years before or the Spanish Inquisition 400 years ago. In the interim, modern man has acquired remarkable knowledge, but is still capable of remarkably primitive thinking and cruel action. I stayed silent on the sidelines—observing all this foolishness, but displaying a cowardly distaste for controversy. As Chair of the DSM IV Task Force, I had a bully pulpit to point out the utter craziness of the fad. Instead, I justified my passivity on the grounds that it was not really my fight and that getting involved might compromise my neutrality as DSM IV Chair. These were lousy excuses, considering that innocent people were going to jail and kids were being traumatised by fake therapists who professed to be experts in childhood trauma. My priorities were all screwed up.........If we don't recall this disaster and learn from its lessons, we are likely to repeat it—possibly in the near future."

The entire commentary can be found at:


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