Dundee Child Sex Abuse Forum Discusses “The Myth of the Satanic Panic”

An article from the Dundee Evening Telegraph in September, and branded with the paper’s “Our Kids Need Justice” campaign logo:

Charities to host forum tackling child sex abuse in Dundee

…The event, at Tayside Deaf Hub, has been organised by Dundee charities Izzy’s Promise, which conducts research into causes of ritual abuse and ways of preventing it, and Eighteen and Under, which supports young victims of sexual abuse.

…The conference will feature talks by a number of experts in the field of abuse issues, including Izzy’s promise founder Laurie Matthew OBE, who is also executive manager for Dundee-based Eighteen And Under.

Sarah Nelson, author of Tackling Child Sexual Abuse: Radical Approaches will also make an appearance, as will abuse survivor Matt Carey, alongside counsellor Sarah Paton Briggs.

Completing the speakers will be Joseph Lumbasi, manager of Izzy’s Promise.

Izzy’s Promise and Eighteen and Under are both projects of the Ritual Abuse Network Scotland, which is not itself mentioned in the article – and RANS in turn is affiliated with the Ritual Abuse Information Network (RAINS) (blogged here).

“Ritual abuse” is defined on the Izzy’s Promise webpage (hosted by RANS) in the context of “abuse survivors who have been trafficked by use of rituals such as voodoo and ju-ju mostly from Africa and the Caribbean”. However, a blurb on the same page about the forum, which took place last week, referred specifically to “The Myth of the Satanic Panic”, and one gets the impression that the physical abuse of children related to African religious practices is here being highlighted in order to downplay an interest in claims of Satanic Ritual Abuse.

This impression is heightened by an article by Paula Murray that appeared in the Scottish Sunday Express in 2014 (1), which quotes Lumbasi:

“There are stories of girls being forced to conceive and then their babies are aborted for sacrifices. Children are born that are never registered. It is not impossible, they never come up. There is pornography, sick films. Horrific things are happening and nobody is getting caught… The leaders are very clever and very powerful….”

Matthew also appears in the same article, described as the author of book which “claimed to identify areas across Dundee, Angus and Perthshire where ritual abuse of children was said to have taken place.”

Nelson, meanwhile, is known for works such as “Satanist Ritual Abuse: Challenges to the Mental Health System”, presented to RAINS in 1996 and available from SAFF here.

The forum blurb is also available on other sites, such as Ticketsource – here, Sara Rowbotham is also listed as a speaker. Rowbotham is known nationally for her involvement in bringing to light “grooming” in Rochdale, and she was depicted in the BBC Three Girls dramatization, portrayed by Maxine Peake.

Attendees (i.e. not speakers) apparently included Thomas Dunn and Russ Dizdar, two American conspiracy theorists. Dunn, as previously blogged here, promotes the Hampstead Ritual Abuse hoax, while Dizdar, as I noted in 2013, is a former police chaplain who warns of the “Black Awakening”; this is when “satanic chosen ones… will be activated to unleash chaos and anarchy into the USA and other countries… to cause collapse and pave the way for a ‘new world order’ and  the rise of the antichrist.” Dizdar’s wide-ranging allegations of Satanic conspiracies have been promoted in the US by “prophecy expert” Paul McGuire.

Hoaxtead Research has the background to the two men’s trip to Dundee here and here, including the detail that “Dunn spent Thursday plastering the town with stickers directing people to his Hampstead material online.” They also apparently met with Wilfred Wong, who was previously blogged here.

UPDATE: Also present at the conference was Rainer Kurz, author of “The Satanist Cult of Ted Heath”. Kurz has helpfully written up an account of the event, including details such as that “Tom Dunn… sported a Hampstead themed T-shirt and… gave me a copy of the movie he produced ‘Detestable’ (concerning Human Sacrifice, Sexual Abuse, and Mind Control Techniques)”.

According to Kurz, Nelson “mentioned that Fred & Rose West were at the centre of a SRA ring”, while Wong “expertly presented on ‘Satanist Ritual Abuse in the UK – Past, Present and Future’ (a title inspired by our jointly authored poster at the European Psychiatry Association Conference 2018 in Nice…)” Further:

The final presentation was by two sympathetic members of Police Scotland who explained the principle of reporting.

Kurz also confirms the presence of Sara Rowbotham:

Next Sara Rowbotham talked about her efforts to educate youngsters and professionals about sexual health and abuse which culminated in a successful trial that inspired the acclaimed ‘Three Girls’ TV program.

There is no reference to this on Rowbotham’s Twitter feed, and it is curious given her national profile that the organisers did not make more of her participation. As such, it seems to me likely that this was merely a routine presentation that she provides wherever she is invited to attend, and that there is currently no reason to assume that she is invested in the SRA conspiricism of the event organisers.


1. A shorter version of the same article was also published by the Express on the same day, presumably for distribution outside Scotland. The byline in this version is “Paul Murray” rather than “Paula”, and the article is illustrated with a photo of Jimmy Savile. According to the caption, “DJ Jimmy Saville [sic] raped a girl of 15 during a satanic ritual”. The Express has a history of making sensational claims about organised sex abuse.