An article originally printed in Private Eye 1395, page 40, here published by permission of the author. It appears belief in the fantastical lies of the Satanic Ritual Abuse Conspiracy is still alive – amongst the legal profession, of all things.
SATANIC PANIC Ritual Defence
THE notion of satanic ritual abuse (SRA) was dismissed as “utter nonsense” by Mrs Justice Pauffley in care proceedings in the family court at the Royal Courts of Justice in March. Two children were coerced by their mother and her boyfriend into alleging horrendous sexual abuse and murder of babies by their father and others in a secret satanic cult in north London. “There was no satanic or other cult at which babies were murdered and children sexually abused,” the judge said. The claims were “fabricated” and “baseless”.
But the total lack of physical evidence does not deter the compensation chasers. At a child abuse training day in London last week run by the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, delegates were told that satanic abuse was a reality. Barrister Lee Moore – a self-proclaimed satanic abuse survivor – and solicitor Peter Garsden, who are respectively the past and current president of the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers, “kept going on about satanic ritual abuse”, according to a barrister who was present.
“Lee Moore got quite agitated when one social work expert who was presenting a paper, Dr Bernard Gallagher from Huddersfield University, politely pointed out that these days no one believes in satanic abuse,” the barrister told the Eye.
She went on: “Peter Garsden told the assembled band of lawyers that SRA was prevalent and would be accepted as such, ‘given time’. The point is that at a conference of ‘cutting-edge’ personal injury lawyers specialising in child abuse, only one delegate was prepared to challenge these SRA proponents.”
Garsden was on a panel to debate whether the reporting of suspicions of sexual abuse should be mandatory for people working in institutions such as hospitals, children’s homes and boarding schools. Moore, a non-practising barrister, was in the audience of about 65. Garsden is the senior partner of the Cheshire-based Quality Solicitors Abney Garsden. In a controversial blog in October 2014, he declared his belief in the existence of satanic abuse. “My own belief is that there are several hidden societies in England and Wales which practise ritualistic abuse to the present day, which includes the sacrifice of children… It will be interesting to look back at this blog in years to come, when maybe there have been a glut of satanic abuse prosecutions in this country, and we have uncovered secret societies operating right under our noses… the broadmindedness of the police appears to be limitless, which is gratifying… watch this space.”
Garsden specialises in allegations of historical abuse and is one of the main solicitors involved in the current wave of compensation claims.