The Christchurch Civic Creche Case

News Reports Index

1993 June-Dec



Sunday Times
July 4 1993

Masons weary of allegations
by Alan Samson

The Masonic Lodge says it is tired of being associated with conspiracy theories and ritual abuse allegations such as those made in the Christchurch Civic Childcare Centre case.

At least four allegations of child abuse in the case referred to the lodge and are being held up as examples of the "unreality" surrounding the case.

Masonic Lodge national grand secretary Alan Hart said this week that the lodge had had enough of ridiculous allegations. It was, however, used to them and almost resigned to them.

He said the lodge often cropped up in all sorts of allegations, most recently in the Peter Ellis case, but also as examples in ritual abuse seminars which had been given in New Zealand.

"How can you put 45 or 50 people in a room and have something like that going on? And would someone take children to the lodge to abuse them?" he said.

Lodge members had been able to show that statements by the children that they had looked into the Christchurch lodge had been untrue: it was impossible to look into the building from the street.

The court references were made by four different children in evidence from their parents and a specialist interviewer given at the depositions hearing.

A letter to the Sunday Times from a couple close to the case says that allegations about the lodge reflect the pervasive influence of the mother who initiated complaints and who said her own son had been taken to the lodge.

Another child was recorded as saying she had been taken to the lodge, another that he had broken in and he had seen 10 children there with a treasure chest and gold coins.

Yet another boy had said he recognised the lodge after walking past.

Mr Hart said this week that any lodge member breaking a serious law would be made to resign or be expelled.

"Our whole ethos is to be moral," he said.

* Next week the Sunday Times will carry In full Judge Williamson's address when he sentenced Ellis.