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.

3 Responses

  1. Well done Richard in bringing these disparate connections together.

    The only causal link you omitted is the link twixt Izzy’s Promise, Ritual Abuse, child trafficking and the Satan Myth. This was created through the Thames Torso case in 2002.

    See here: for full background and fundie influence.


    The idea that orphaned children from war-zones were being trafficked by Satanists for ritual sacrifice and their organs illicitly used for transplant stems ENTIRELY from the Thames Torso case (still unsolved) and dovetailed nicely with the recent scares over illegal immigration. A black immigrant woman supposedly connected with the victim ( who was named ‘Adam’, note the biblical meme) lived in Glasgow and was in and out of the Scottish social system for several years until she fled back to her home country.

    Eventually unwarranted fears of child trafficking worked-up by the child-scare industry became high profile enough for the Lottery to begin funding Matthew’s groups to do ‘research’ into the plight of trafficked children and adults with tick-box questionnaires including leading questions about ritual abuse.

    Note that Izzy’s Promise, began as a ‘straight’ child-charity after the death of a young person known by the CEO Laurie Matthews. Her general social work with kids comes under another umbrella organisation, ’18 and Under’ . Her good work for these two organisations to help kids in Scotland gave her the platform to squeeze in unproven accusations about Satanic Ritual Abuse from her other less well-known ‘organisation’ which is RANS (Ritual Abuse Network Scotland) a counterpart to the hated and infamous English RAINS group run by Joan Coleman and Valerie Sinason two key promoters of the now discredited Satanic Ritual Abuse Myth of the 1990s.

    See http://saff.nfshost.com/rans.htm

    for full background on all this.

    The two veins (respectable child care and disreputable SRA allegations) run parallel throughout recent history allowing Matthews a platform of influence within the Scottish Executive. How Matthews has been able to run her SRA claims side-by-side without alerting critical attention in Scotland is a wonder but despite being feted by the nutter US CIA-Mind control conspiracy group S.M.A.R.T. in previous years (whose conferences she attended and spoke at) she was presented to visiting Royalty and was given an OBE into the bargain.

    The rise to prominence of Laurie Matthews is very similar to that of Dianne Core, the ex social worker who set up a local child protection charity in Hull called Childwatch in the 1980s. She was favourably promoted by the fundie editor of the local newspaper Hull Daily Mail for years until she got national status with a YTV programme on ‘ordinary’ child abuse.

    Her work with Geoffrey Dickens MP (Dickens was Childwatch’s parliamentary representative) moved from child-care into manic claims of Satanic Abuse. (‘4,000 children sacrificed by satanists every year’)

    Her’s was one of the main streams of influence, now long forgotten, which started the 1990 scare and her scaremongering was re-vivified ten years ago in modified form in the Westminster VIP abuse scare when modern conspiracyloons attempted to ‘expose’ a supposed clique of child-abusing satanists in government using the very same propaganda and ‘evidence’ which Childwatch had tried to float 20 years earlier. What a good job the SAFF was here to tell everyone the exact truth and give them the facts.

    The Child Scare Industry is a lobby of feminist and fundie activists who promote ‘celebrities’ like Core and Matthews to a position of influence beyond the sum of their parts. People in authority see them as the usual do-gooders and dare not of course ignore them. Even though the negative effects of SRA lies has been apparent to anyone who took an interest for the past 30 years no politicians dare say the nay, in case another politician-on-the make from the other side uses their candour to destroy their career.

    The link between Matthews, a religiously ideological activist, and Sarah Nelson, an academic at Edinburgh univeristy, is more worrying for free-thinkers because Nelson is a long-time core SRA activist whose work in trying to promote a belief in the existence of SRA has been the core of her career for the past 30 years. Look at this:

    “Astonishingly, Nelson has now become something of a child protection celebrity in Edinburgh University and apparently advises the Scottish Executive. Her lecture above was rounded out for Edinburgh University’s School of Social and Political Studies in 1997 (Working Paper No 10) and is presumably being taught to wet-behind-the-ears students there today. Cue another generation of Satan Hunters.

    Sarah Nelson’s Essay on The Orkney SRA scandal insists that satanism was involved. In 2008 Nelson contributed another essay (The Orkney “Satanic Abuse Case:” Who Cared About the Children?) in support of the hopeless and embarrassing-for-the-authorities Orkney SRA blunder ( Pub. Ritual Abuse in the Twenty-First Century: Psychological, Forensic, Social, and Political Considerations). Does Nelson REALLY maintain that the Orkney children (now adults) who recently lambasted the social workers who stole them from their parents and cynically forced them to ‘confess’ to being SRA victims when they weren’t, owe a debt to social work for it’s help? If anything shows that SRA hunters live in a parallel universe this is it. We now have the unedifying scene where victims of Scottish Child Care are suing the government for persecuting them whilst at the same time the Scottish Education dept. is funding cliques of SRA believers who are entrenching the same lies which actually caused the Orkney and Lewis and Ayrshire false SRA cases! ”

    Full story:


    In 2015 Sarah Nelson backed by Tim Tate (the producer of that utterly fallacious Cook Report special ‘The Devil’s Work’) made official complaints about a Radio 4 Analysis programme by David Aaronovitch which tried to alert the UK to the latest upswell in false claims of Satanic Abuse in child care. Their intention was to discredit Aaronovitch’s work and they almost succeeded. Full story here:


    Thus it appears that there is another caucus of believers in non-existent Satanic Ritual Abuse at the heart of child care in Scotland, being given credence, and funding by idiots within the Scottish government, despite the abject failure and global scandal of Ayr, Orkney and the Isle of Lewis false SRA cases which, more than anything else, illustrated how the Scottish authorities have mishandled such claims before.

    That’s Presbyterianism for you!

    John Freedom
    SAFF Area organiser

  2. […] Dundee Child Sex Abuse Forum Discusses “The Myth of the Satanic Panic” […]

  3. Readers of this blog may be interested to hear of a new Satanic Ritual Abuse conference being held on 26 February 2020 at Dundee University (long a repository of SRA nonsense and funding) under the aegis of ‘Izzy’s Promise’, at which the Australian SRAhunter ‘criminologist’ Mike Salter will be speaking his usual nonsense about SRA to further the completely unnecessary but well-paid industry that he and his friends have spawned.

    Salter is on record as saying that he believes if the 1990 failed SRA cases were retried today they would all be found true. SAFF asked him how that played out with the 80 or so child victims, now adults, who have all said that they and their parents were utterly innocent and falsely accused in Orkney, Rochdale, Nottingham, Ayrshire and elsewhere. Does Salter want their compensation payouts for being wrongly kidnapped from their families and split up, some for over a decade, returned?

    Salter is a supporter of Esther Baker’s, the woman who falsely accused ex MP John Hemming whom Barthsnotes has discussed elsewhere in these blogs and has been making himself a front-runner in the SRA stakes of late.

    Unfortunately, although very keen to talk in SRA conferences to the converted, Salter has point blank refused to debate the issue with the SAFF and blocked us on Twitter so he doesn’t have to answer real questions which would reveal his academic ignorance. He adopted similar tactics when picketed by members of a genuine Satanic group in the U.S. who repudiated his defamation of their beliefs. Salter ducked that conflict too.

    Readers who need to get up to speed can do so by reading the SAFF’s earlier expose of ‘Izzy’s Promise’ and the crank who runs it, Laurie Matthews, and her connections with the even loonier S.M.A.R.T. organisation in the U.S. are all outlined here:


    Just one parting bit of information from SAFF files:

    SEPTEMBER 1989: Norma Howes & Pamela Klein organised conference on Satanic Child Abuse at Dundee at which Maureen Davies was invited to help. She arranged for David Woodhouse from Ellel Grange to give a ‘Christian presentation’ of the Satanic Abuse ‘problem’. Davies went on to advise the Cook Report on their monumentally stupid ‘Devil’s Work’ programme on SRA which unveiled the ‘threat’ of SRA to the British Public in 1989. This was the conference at which Jerry Simandl (USA Cult Cop) first floated the meme about Satanists microwaving and eating babies! That lie found its way into the NSPCC’s initial press release on the ‘dangers’ of SRA in 1989 but was subsequently redacted when journalists like Melanie Phillips began to question it.

    Good job the SAFF is here to remind people of these things init?

    John Freedom

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