Evening Post
Wellington, New Zealand,
Tuesday, 3 September, 1991.

Satanic sexual torture more than a nightmare
by Linsey Morgan

Some New Zealand children are at a very real risk of sexual torture by satanic cults, counsellors say.  Linsey Morgan investigates.

Children in New Zealand have been sexually tortured in front of others in rituals performed by satanic cults say counsellors who are helping some survivors in Wellington.

Six Wellington women in their 20s and 30s are undergoing counselling for ritual abuse they say they endured through their childhood and adolescence.

Counsellor Jocelyn Frances and re searcher Anne-Mane Stapp say it appears ritual abuse cults still operate throughout the country. A support network growing between counsellors around the country is identifying women and children who say they have suffered in the same way.

The two trained social workers presented a research paper on ritual abuse at the Family Violence Prevention Co-ordinating Committee conference in Christchurch last week.

A Hutt police officer who studied ritual abuse in the United States has confirmed what Ms Frances and Ms Stapp say.

But the problem in prosecuting a case is to get the sort of proof that would stand up in court, community relations co-ordinator Senior Sergeant   Laurie Gabites says.

A common factor in cults is the leaders’ greed for power and money, Ms Frances and Ms Stapp say.

Cults often have a link with organised crime — child pornography, prostitution and drug dealing.

Not all ritual abuse cults are satanic but outwardly respectable people are involved, they say.

“We know from the survivors about groups that have developed from fundamentalist Christian churches, the Freemasons, and a sex ring that operated among businessmen.” They say in their paper.

Most of the women “survivors” Ms Frances counsels say they were abused in satanic cults in the lower North Island. Most belonged to families involved in the cults and were abused by a parent or both parents, she says.

The secrecy of abusive cults from the outside world is guaranteed by the silence of the victims — kept quite threats brainwashing and shame, the two women say.

The cult ensures the children’s silence through guilt methods, such as allowing a child to get attached to a pet then being forced to kill it.

The survivors in the counselling group are experiencing intense emotional trauma as they attempt to come to terms with the abuse, Ms Frances says. They are still vulnerable to the mind control that is an integral part of cultism and which can summon them back to the cult or urge them to hurt themselves.

Victims stay in cults because they become conditioned from childhood and emotionally addicted. Children become sexulised from an early age.

Cults also give a sense of belonging when members feel they do not belong anywwhere else in society

Children abused in horrific ways often manage to block the torture out of their minds. Ms Frances and Ms Stapp say Memories return when they later seek help to overcome the bad feelings they have about themselves.

The self-imposed amnesia helps the children overcome the shame of seeing pornographic photographs of themselves in abusive situations sometimes involving animals.

One woman in the counselling group says she was thrown out by her cultist family when she was in her mid-teens because she could not become the whole hearted sadist they required her to be, Ms Frances says. She was of no use to them any more.

The woman ha" no conscious memories of the abuse she suffered as a child. She drank and drugged her way through several overdoses and spells in psychiatric hospitals until she sought help for the real cause of her emotional problems.

Ms Frances and Ms Stapp first came into contact with ritual abuse survivors a year ago after being informed by a therapist of what her clients were disclosing.

United States counsellor Pamela Klein, who has worked with child survivors for several years helped them understand the worldwide extent of the problem at a Wellington conference on abuse last year.

She described cases from the US and England. In some cases the only way a young child could escape the abuse was to splinter into multiple personalities, Ms Klein said in a report.

“To exist in a cult and still function in society, there is a piece of you that is public and a piece of you practising satanism at night,” she said.

Cults went to great lengths to bond children to them.

Ms Klein told of children buried alive with bugs snakes and body remains. Parents called their child s name but did not respond when the child replied. Eventually the child would be released by the high priest.

That helped break the bond between parent and child and transfer the child s loyalty to the priest.

Defiling the church was one aspect of a satanic sect. One child told Ms Klein of watching a baby killed in a church basement.

Mr Gabites, in a report on his US tour, talked to a woman about the rituals in which she says was forced to participate.

“I was told by her of her of life within a satanic family and what had happened to her during the rituals that had taken place. This included animal sacrifice, human sacrifice and the use of animal parts to abuse children,” he said.

“The stories were horrific and clearly indicated to me that there was a level of abuse to children that we had not even begun to talk about.”

The practise of satanism or any other cult belief is not against the law, he savs. The law only becomes interested when people are subjected to abuse.

“Cults are not new to New Zealand but they are new in terms of people’s awareness,” Mr Gabites says.

But whenever you have a gathering of people with a ritual, there is the like likelihood of abuse.”

Graphic: “The stories were horrific and indicated to me that there was a level of abuse of children that we had not even begun to talk about.” Senior Sergeant Laurie Gabites (above).