Why was it hard?
They told me I lied: The first publisher just knew that it is anatomically impossible to penetrate a two old girl child. How did he know? He did not tell me. The marketing director just knew it is impossible to be raped at a children’s brothel at night and win a swimming contest the next day. He, in his spare time, is a swimming trainer of girls. I am certainly not implying he abuses them, but that he did not want to cast a different look on his favourite hobby. And so on.
I researched the woman’s story for four years, ‘accompanied’ her therapy, got to know her background, family, had an enormous amount of official documents, newspaper articles -she won many swimming contests-, the complete school records, private letters, photos, X-rays etc. and thus found a lot of corroborative evidence. The police know about this case and describe the woman as credible. She has not gone to court. She is receiving a victims’ compensation pension, stating that she has a psychological disorder resulting from extreme physical and sexual abuse in early childhood. Getting this stated in an official document is quite something in Germany.
She was a victim and a perpetrator of sadistic ritual abuse. A witness to murder.
Sadistic Ritual Abuse. The word alone causes repulsion. Satanic Ritual Abuse. Even worse.
How to find words for a phenomenon that carries connotations as dark as this one? Words that don’t stop people listening.
That is the question.
„Sadistic ritual abuse is a brutal form of physical, sexual and psychological abuse of children, adolescents and adults, involving the use of rituals. Ritual does not necessarily mean satanic, but most survivors state that they were ritually abused as part of satanic worship for the purpose of indoctrinating them into satanic beliefs and practices. RA usually involves repeated abuse over an extended period of time.“
When you use these words, many people still think you are crazy.
The definition is troublesome like a club foot. It does not even explain the most important things: what is a ritual and why do abuse and torture need special mention when they are executed in ritualised circumstances?
I have decided to speak about the phenomenon in different words. I say: „special strategies used by organised child abusers, e.g. torture and brainwashing“. I found that people can understand this.
Andrew Vachss, New York author and children’s attorney, told me that in court he never speaks about any bizarre, satanic, ritualistic aspects of a crime, which may surpass the imagination of the jury. And that easily happens. He just proves the abuse. Thus certain things are not mentioned in the courtroom. Result: people still believe they don’t exist. They do. Sceptics in this audience may browse in the material I brought along.
Now, what happened when the book finally was published?
Well, it reached survivors, therapists, clinics. But not the public. A colleague of mine fought for months to be allowed to mention it at all in an article.
Slowly, I started moving away from journalism. I found the press of little help in my search for some truth. For some change. I met many victims. I studied research on memory: Can you forget traumatic events which happen early in life and how does it work? How does hypnosis work and why? What is a trauma? Why don’t people believe what children tell? I started watching trials where I suspected connections to organised crime like the one against René Osterwalder in Zürich this April. I asked myself what is the False Memory Syndrome Foundation, who are the people behind it, what’s driving them, what are their strategies? How can one visit of a certain Richard Ofshe turn around the opinions of most of the influential German papers on memory, dissociation, trauma? Why don’t journalists even question Ofshe’s findings? Is solid research, is investigative journalism out of fashion? Nowadays I get most of the important news over the Internet, not from the German press. I started publishing in the Internet, e.g. my article on the influence of the FMSF on the German press - I put that on the net.
I asked myself: How do other countries deal with these crimes? Why is Germany so far behind in traumatology, in uncovering organised crimes against children? Has it to do with German history?
Together with psychotherapist Michaela Huber, author of the first German manual on DID, I collected data from clinics, psychiatrists, doctors, social workers on the situation of abuse victims with dissociative disorders.
We now have detailed information about 299 cases of sadistic ritual abuse in 57 cities in Germany. Quite often experience in destructive cults corresponds with abuse in childpornography circles. It seems we are not dealing with isolated pedophiles, but with organised crime.
Among them are cases like these: A woman who had to undergo reconstructive surgery 20 times because of severe torture. Convicted perpetrators of sexual crimes (heavily dissociative, no memories of the crimes, virtually no childhood memories). Several of the patients described in detail being witness to or having to participate in murdering human beings.
At that point a parliament commission invited us to talk about our research and my book. The initiative came from the enquete-commission „So-called sects and psycho groups“, from social democrats. They cross-linked us with members of parliament who had in-depth knowledge of international abduction and trading in children for prostitution. They recognized details of our reports from their own inquiries. We were able to point out things they had not been aware of before.