K2K2 - NOW MINT-FLAVORED!!!
An Open Letter to the San Diego Union-Tribune
By Alex Constantine
The stalkers have arrived with bells on. "Armed with a telephoto lens and a laptop computer with a hidden camera," San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Mark Sauer informs us, "Michelle Devereaux headed south from San Francisco on a mission to find Curio."1 Ms. Devereaux, a vociferous member of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation (FMSF), and Barry, a friend, "camped out for hours at the computer lab in San Diego State University's Love Library," patiently waiting for Curio to arrive and log on at the library's computer lab. Devereaux, 43, has, according to Sauer, "a plethora of tattoos and body piercings and an extraordinary knowledge of cyberspace after 20 years in the computer business." She and her fellow "cyber-sleuth" hoped to catch "Curio" in the act - not of a crime, mind, not even a misdemeanor, but of posting documentation on organized child molestation and expressing opinions on the same in the Internet's Usenet newsgroups, a public forum.
What's up with that? "In her zeal to protect 'young victims,'" Sauer explains, "Curio has posted extensive information about notable individuals who worked hard over the years to debunk the notion of satanic-ritual abuse."
Among the "notables" targeted by Curio, count ...
DR. RALPH C. UNDERWAGER - Former director of the FMSF, forced to resign in 1993 after it was widely reported that he'd opined in Paidika ("Darling," in Greek), a journal published by and for pedophiles, that they should proclaim it "God's will" that adults engage in sex acts with children. Nevertheless, he is often quoted in the media and has appeared as an "expert" in over 100 child abuse trials. In 1988, a New York State court decision held that Underwager was "not qualified to render any opinion as to whether or not [a child] was sexually molested." This was painfully clear on December 19, 1993, when the London Times reported his reference to unspecified "scientific evidence" that demonstrated "60% of women sexually abused as children reported that the experience had been GOOD for them. He contended the same should be true for boys involved with pedophiles." Underwager blames feminists for the current climate of rancor toward pedophiles because they are "jealous" of "men's ability to love other men or children and have stirred up hysteria over pedophilia."2
MICHAEL AQUINO - A former military intelligence officer with top-security clearance at the Pentagon and the disgraced high priest of the Temple of Set in San Francisco, a quasi-Satanic sect that dabbles in Nazi occultism and "invisibility," among other quack pursuits.
In 1984-85, Curio wrote in one of her Internet postings, "there were reports of sexual-ritual abuse at Jubilation Daycare, operated by Barbara and Sharon Orr in Fort Bragg, Northern California. This case was investigated by Mendocino County Sheriff deputies. Eventually some 400 pages of reports were submitted, but the DA declined to prosecute, resulting in no criminal charges filed against the Orrs. Due to the fact they had a history of complaints against their daycare center, some of which were upheld and one cited a child experiencing unusual punishment, the Orrs ultimately surrendered their childcare license in 1984." (The case is detailed in Treating Survivors of Satanist Abuse, by Pamela Hudson, a therapist who provided counseling to children allegedly abused at the daycare center.) Aquino was implicated in a related scandal at the Presidio Army base, but the SFPD abandoned the probe in August 1988. Michael Aquino insists there was no substance to the charges, and the Pentagon dropped them. However, says Curio, the Army's public position "is in stark contrast to their actual stated position as described in a transcript of the hearing on the motion to dismiss dated May 31, 1991. He sued the Army in part because they refused to remove his name from the titling block or amend their report stating he was the subject of an investigation for sexual abuse and related crimes. The court document notes that several members of the Army thought there was probable cause to 'Title' Aquino with offenses of indecent acts with a child, sodomy, conspiracy, kidnapping, and false swearing."3 Aquino has twice attempted to sue ElectriCiti, Curio's ISP server, and twice the case was tossed out of court, "with prejudice."
ELIZABETH LOFTUS - Another board member of the FMSF. Loftus's academic interests have long fueled suspicions that the organization, which defends accused child abusers and pedophiles in the courtroom and the press, is more concerned with supporting the accused than ferreting out the facts. Before she joined the FMSF, Loftus testified in 150 criminal cases, always on behalf of defendants. Critics, she concedes, find her "research" to be "highly prejudicial." (Mark Sauer, however, claims that Loftus is "an internationally known expert on the workings of memory. [She] has written numerous articles and books decrying the idea that trauma associated with child sexual abuse acts to repress the memory of such horrible events.") Ethics and Behavior, a peer-review journal, considers the "study" of "false memories" for which Loftus is best known, the famed "Lost in a Shopping Mall" experiment, to be a "breach of professional ethics." The Mall study results "have been entered into sworn testimony and reported by the media to support a claim that therapists can implant false memories of childhood trauma. Although we acknowledge that inaccurate and mistaken memories may occur, we must conclude that Loftus and Pickrell's mall study does not support in any manner the notion that false autobiographical memories of abuse in childhood can be implanted by therapists. Finally, we suggest that any legal decisions that have been based on claims that the mall study provides such evidence should be carefully reexamined. Appellate courts should be especially wary of relying on or citing the study as authoritative support for the proposition that false memories of sexual abuse can be implanted, because once a study is so cited in an appellate decision, it takes on value that it may not deserve and may unduly influence other judicial decisions."4
... Among others who bona fides as "experts" on ritual abuse are equally inflated by the public print, including FBI agent Ken Lanning. The famed Lanning report on ritual abuse is widely quoted in the "mainstream" media. It is falsely claimed to be "the FBI's official position on ritual abuse." Actually, the report is one agent's publicly-stated viewpoint. It also misrepresents the facts concerning ritual child abuse (RA).
"I have spoken to Ken Lanning," Curio stated in a 1996 posting. "I know others who have spoken to him and we all take issue with Ken's 'opinion' and how this report is being used." Curio argues that Lanning "did NOT do a research project for the FBI. This report is his ADVICE to law enforcement to aid in the investigation of ritual abuse in order to obtain CONVICTIONS. He is upset that many people have either escaped prosecution, or now, some people are having court decisions overturned because of RA claims even though they are guilty." Furthermore, Lanning is "an armchair analyst" who has "not personally investigated many cases of RA. Law enforcement and others sometimes CONSULT with him about cases and how to proceed. He is not aware of all RA cases." The FBI, says Curio, "has been implicated in at least 'botching' some RA case investigations and in some instances covering up the evidence. The CIA has been implicated in far worse fashion. Do a search on the Finders Case on the Internet.
Mark Sauer, however, in his San Diego Union-Tribune article on Curio, accepts with psychic certainty that all claims of ritual abuse are unfounded. "A 10-year investigation of satanic-ritual-abuse allegations by FBI Special Agent Ken Lanning," Sauer observes, "turned up virtually nothing. Yet certain people persist in their belief in 'these heinous crimes against children.'"5 To be completely direct about it, Mark Sauer, like many of the FMSF "victims" of Curio's postings, is a cog in a propaganda machine constructed to discredit RA victims and their advocates. Curio perceives that there are "mechanisms" in place "to make the RA claims 'uncredible.' Of course, not everything anyone says is true, but there are too many people around the world who are victims of this horror and if there are any reponsible people here, it would behoove you to Pay Attention. The FMSF is a major proponent of the debunking strategy."
Many observers on the sidelines of the battle and the FMSF "backlash" to RA allegations consider the Foundation to be a clearinghouse of disinformation. The "Toward Freedom Online" site, an Internet enclave of human rights activism, shares Curio's viewpoint:"A quiet but brutal war is being waged on the victims of child abuse, including sexual and even ritual abuse. The battlefields include academia, the courts, professional groups, and society in general. In some cases, the aggressors are the same people accused of perpetuating the violence. They've banded together, forming networks and support groups, most notably the False Memory Syndrome Foundation (FMSF), which discounts recollections of abuse recovered in later years, making survivors look like complainers and trauma therapists sound like quacks. "Unfortunately, the Foundation has many psychotherapists on the run. Several lawsuits have already ended with judgments in favor of alleged perpetrators, and the resulting chilling effect has dampened the willingness of some mental health professionals to treat victims, especially those claiming ritual abuse.
"If you browse the Internet these days, you're apt to find regional or local groups started by survivors of childhood torture and/or abuse. The list includes the International Council on Cultism and Ritual Trauma, based in Dallas, Texas; Mothers Against Sexual Abuse in Monrovia, California; Survivors and Victims Empowered in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and the San Francisco-based Survivorship.... Despite such scrutiny and the seriousness of the problem, however, advocates for false memory syndrome dominate cyberspace and have received far more favorable coverage in the mainstream media."6
The FMSF ridicules and selectively distorts child abuse data contradicting their own. Judith Herman, author of Trauma and Recovery, reports in the Harvard Mental Health Letter that false child abuse allegations by children are "rare, in the range of 2-8 percent of reported cases. False retractions of true complaints are far more common, especially when the victim is not sufficiently protected after disclosure and therefore succumbs to intimidation."7
British researchers also deny the prevalence of False Memory Syndrome, and question the notion that recovered memories are frequently "false," induced by therapists. The propaganda has risen to the level of urban legend. But ... "researchers at University College London," Reuters reported in March, "claim their study of data from 236 adults with recovered memories shows many are of true past events." As a result of the study, there is now, the British Psychological Society notes in a public statement, "consistent evidence that 'False Memory Syndrome' cannot explain all, or even most, examples of recovered memories of trauma." Dr Bernice Andrews directed the UK study and contends: "There is increasing evidence that many recovered memories cannot be explained by so-called False Memory Syndrome. To date there is no convincing evidence for a specific False Memory Syndrome.... Therapists in the majority of cases do not use aggressive, suggestive techniques to get their clients to remember things. They (memories) come up just as a matter of course during therapy and are often accompanied by a lot of emotion as though the person is reliving the event in the present."8
Where does this leave Sauer's "notables," the poor mental health professionals who have labored for ten years to discredit RA victims? Curio and her allies are opposed to the revisionist tactics of the FMSF and will, in all likelihood, have their day. Curio, from the Foundation's corrupt perspeÿctive, is a "cyber-stalker" - whose posts have, in fact, exposed the hidden agendas of some of the country's most "credible" child abuse "experts" to the light of objectivity. "Now," writes Sauer, "they were being challenged - libeled, in their words - by someone who operated at a distinct advantage. Curio (who often went by the full pseudonym Karen Curio Jones, just as many newsgroup subscribers use aliases, though it is unclear how this gives her an "advantage") said her anonymity was necessary 'for safety reasons' and she protected it fiercely."
Who is the cyber-stalker here? Curio, at her university terminal, posting documents on the lies and ulterior motives of the demonstrably culpable? Or the operatives of the FMSF, with their sleuths and surveiÞllance gear and hyperbolic accusations? It ain't "Curio," obviously, but the San Diego Union-Tribune wants you to believe in the fabricated studies and scurrilous rhetoric of the FMSF and heap scorn on a courageous activist. What's up with that?
1. Mark Sauer, "The search for Curio leads cybersleauths down a twisted path," San Diego Union-Tribune, September 24, 2000.
2. Liz Lightfoot, "Paedophiles urged to claim 'God's Will' Abuse expert calls for public defence of sex with children," Sunday Times, December 19, 1993, p. 3.
3. From Curio's site, a web site shut down after members of the FMSF threatened to sue the Internet provider.
4. Lynn S. Crook and ßMartha C. Dean, "Lost in a Shopping Mall" - A Breach of Professional Ethics," Ethics & Behavior, vol. 9, no. 1 (1999), pp. 39-50.
5. Curio Usenet posting, "Re: FBI/Ritual Abuse," March 7, 1996.
6. HUSAYN AL-KURDI, "Messing with Our Minds," Toward Freedom Online, May 1998."The false memory movement, the author concludes, "turns 'blaming the victim' into a science."
7. Alex Constantine, "The False Memory Hoax," Psychic Dictatorship in the U.S.A., Feral House, 1995, p. 62.
8. Patricia Reaney, "Research Casts Doubt on False Memory Syndrome." About.Com mental health archives.
© 2000 Alex Constantine. All rights reserved.
Kirby The Konspiracy Boy Says, "I NEED 2 KONFORM!!!"