“It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.” – Wiliam Kingdon Clifford (Freethinker)
When Elaine Showalter wrote ‘Hystories – Hysterial Epidemics and Modern Media‘ in 1997, I was 27 years old, married with a young child and one on the way. Reality, as I knew it, involved the daily life of a wife and mother, household chores, paying bills and seeing the world through the lenses that my parents and the media had put before me. Showalter, at the time she wrote her book, expressed concern about the increasing influence that technology, communication and the media has on the collective consciousness and the phenomenon of mass hysteria…something I knew nothing about. Specifically she examined the increasing popularity of alien abduction and satanic ritual abuse stories by alleged victims. I use the term ‘alleged’ because these re-tellings are strictly subjective in nature, lacking physical evidence or proof other than statements like “I know what happened to me!”. Now that I’m a little older and the writer of this blog, I’ve been blessed to have a copy of Showalters book to reflect upon. Her chapters on alien abductions and Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) are two separate subject matters that in recent weeks have managed to cross paths in much of the latest developments surrounding Kevin Annett. This article will explore the issue of Satanic Ritual Abuse and the claims made by Kevin Annett.
Kevin Annett with Toos Nijenhuis at an alleged Satanic Ritual site in Holland
You may recall that last year Kevin Annett was introduced to Toos Nijenhuis by Melanie Spencer (aka Mel Ve) when he visited Holland last year. During that visit, Kevin and Mel interviewed Toos and her daughter who detailed (in over two and a half hours of ‘testimony’) sordid details of SRA by various members of Dutch Royalty and other government officials. I watched most of that lengthy video and found too many contradictions in Toos’ testimony despite the emotional impact it seemed to have on her. Specifically, I took Mel and Kevin to task over Toos recollection as a four year-old child of being strapped to a table having various sexual perversions performed on her while being able to look through the floor to the basement beneath her to know that a dog was being tortured and killed. I couldn’t help notice that these are very special powers for a four-year old child to have. Those contradictions of her testimony made me ask who had vetted her prior to making the video for which I got threatened by Kevin and called a mercenary…lol… I was appalled that most people unequivocally accept Toos’ story as absolute truth, despite the numerous holes and inconsistencies. Later, pictures were released of Kevin and Toos standing in some random forest while Toos points at a spot on the ground where a child was allegedly tortured and killed…the echoes of a similar scene where children’s remains were (almost) found in Brantford, Ontario, Canada.
Hoaxes like this are hard to debunk, because most people when they want to believe that the world is evil and corrupt will believe whatever supports their belief system. How do you reason with someone who has gone beyond thinking that conspiracy theories are an interesting talking point to larger issues facing society? How do you tell someone who believes in SRA, that perhaps the goal of the conspiracy is to get people to believe the world is evil and corrupt and that how they do it is to make people believe there are Satanists running pedophile rings and daycare centres and that abusing and sacrificing and eating babies is what Popes and Pedophiles do? How do you tell them that perhaps the goal is to mess with their minds and their grip on reality? What if the purpose is to make people crazy? It does open a door for the psychiatrists and policy makers to walk through.
Kevin recently claimed that an “eye-witness” recently testified (where I’d like to know) that he/she saw Pope Francis eat a baby. Now if that’s true, there is likely no record of said baby, no corroboration by other participants in the eating of said baby, and no physical evidence of said baby being sacrificed and eaten. That’s how Satanic Ritual Abuse rings work…complete secrecy, under cover of darkness and mystery, and without a trace of physical evidence…kind of like alien abductions. Except for the eye-witness of course, who has been allowed to live to see the day when they can blow the lid off the Pope’s appetite for Baby-Flesh. (That’s the gospel truth your honor!!!)
The problem absolutely has to do with the increasing mass hysteria surrounding SRA which is compounded by the lack of physical evidence, and the problematic explanation by ‘true believers’ as to why this evidence does not exist.
Any professional evaluating victims’ allegations of ritualistic abuse cannot ignore the lack of physical evidence (no bodies or physical evidence left by violent murders), the difficulty in successfully committing a large-scale conspiracy crime (the more people involved in any crime conspiracy, the harder it is to get away with it), and human nature (intragroup conflicts resulting in individual self-serving disclosures are likely to occur in any group involved in organized kidnapping, baby breeding, and human sacrifice). – Keith Lanning (FBI Behavioral Sciences Unit)
True Believers such as Judy Byington propagate the conspiracy theory presented by Kevin Annett as a kind of testimonial to her own work, which has failed the litmus test of believability. The lack of evidence of her claims surrounding SRA survivor Jenny Hill mimics the same problem Kevin Annett has with Toos and the mysterious ‘eye-witness’. Although the information put out by Kevin Annett regarding the witnesses testimony of Pope Francis and Pope Benedict participating in Ninth Circle Satanic rituals of sexual abuse and baby-eating, fails to appear on Kevin Annett’s website ITCCS.org, it was nonetheless a press-release by Annett propagated on Byington’s website among others. (A review of Byington’s book is discussed in this blog article here: Replies to ’22Faces’ Claims: Hard Questions for Author Judy Byington)
Doug Mesner, the author of the above blog experiences the identical response from Byington as I have had from Annett and his followers when confronting the claims and asking for hard evidence. It’s a kind of “If you’re not with us, then you’re against us” kind of response that sweeps away any hope of meaningful discussion or critique of the authors claims. If I had a dollar for every time someone accused me of being Catholic, or a paid mercenary, a Jesuit, or ‘black operative’ for some shady organization…well I’d have quite a few dollars more than I’m getting paid to write this blog.
What matters here is that what has survived, and multiplied exponentially (thanks to Byington and Annett), is the hysteria surrounding SRA and not the serious research into SRA. The court cases alleging SRA have always failed to produce hard evidence and has produced a phenomena called False Memory Syndrome, where memories are not made out of real events, but created through the power of suggestion:
What are false memories? Because of the reconstructive nature of memory, some memories may be distorted through influences such as the incorporation of new information. There are also believed-in imaginings that are not based in historical reality; these have been called false memories, pseudo-memories and memory illusions. They can result from the influence of external factors, such as the opinion of an authority figure or information repeated in the culture. An individual with an internal desire to please, to get better or to conform can easily be affected by such influences.
What is the recovered-memory controversy about? The information on this site focuses on the current controversy about the accuracy of adult claims of “repressed” memories of childhood sexual abuse that are often made decades after the alleged events, for which there is no external corroboration. The controversy is not about whether children are abused. Child abuse is a serious social problem that requires our attention. Neither is the controversy about whether people may not remember past abuse. There are many reasons why people may not remember something: childhood amnesia, physical trauma, drugs or the natural decay of stored information. The controversy is about the accuracy of claims of recovered “repressed” memories of abuse. The consequences profoundly affect the law, the way therapy is practiced, families and people’s lives. – False Memory Syndrome Foundation (http://www.fmsfonline.org/)
False Memory Syndrome was born out of a rash of SRA claims that arose after the McMartin case in California where a 79-year-old daycare provider named Virginia McMartin was accused of SRA of the children in her care. The case, which was one of the longest in American history, sparked a rash of similar claims by hysterical parents around the world. The actor, Woody Allen was also a victim of False Memory Syndrome where he was alleged to have abused his daughter (not surprisingly the name Satan appears in connection to Allen in this article on the subject). Most notable in my own memory was the Martensville sex abuse scandal where a mother and son were accused of SRA of children only to be revealed as an out of control hoax.
I remember that case very vividly. It was the longest and most expensive in Canadian history and the most shameful in Saskatchewan history. Martensville is a small community just north of Saskatoon on the number 11 highway. At the time it boasted barely a thousand residents, and in Saskatchewan (like most places), rumors in small towns run rampant. Ron and his mother Linda Sterling’s story was nearly a carbon copy of the McMartin’s – complete with police cover-ups and therapist’s and social workers planting false memories of abuse and Satanic rituals into the minds of impressionable tots. If only authorities had done their due diligence and looked into the McMartin case when they were investigating the Sterlings, perhaps a tragedy of justice might never have happened.
With so much damage done to so many lives, how is it that they mythos of Satanic Ritual Abuse is more popular than ever? Could it be that people like Kevin Annett and Byington fuel that fire with their own zealotry? Or are they more akin to Frann Harris who wrote about, and is accused of financially profitting from the sales of the scandal of the century without revealing the hard truths of what really happened? It seems that truth-seeking in Saskatchewan is as taboo as talking about sex:
“Saskatchewan people lap up innuendo but rarely confront the facts regarding anything to do with sex. Coyness is one medium that runs deep in this province! With our mother’s milk we learn the code. There are many other places where truly frank discussion is discouraged, but in Saskatchewan we quickly learn that the only way to speak about sex is to chastise and ostracise those who do”. – (part of Sheila Steele’s review of: Martensville: Truth or Justice as posted on Injusticebusters.org)
And can we forget Mel Ve’s own testimony about how Toos Nijenjuis rebuked her daughter for not getting the story straight…that Toos yelled at her daughter to memorize what was written and that perhaps part of her traumatic conditioning was the verbal and physical abuse set upon the girl by her own mother?
Can we believe a witness conditioned to lie?
Yes, it seems that Satanism, Satan and ritual abuse claims inspire the right level of hysteria in the general public who seem all to eager to accept that level of evil at play in our society. The damage done to children who accuse and the accused themselves is an abuse in and of itself and yet these kinds of stories continue to find their way into the headlines. It is a phenomenon that requires more attention and study if we are to maintain a grip on our reality and expose legitimate cases of mental and sexual abuse of children.