The Press
November 23, 1993.

Skeptics predict Satan hunt

The Skeptics predict accusations of "ghoulish satanic sex abuse" will surface in a New Zealand creche within the next two months.

The group's head, Ms Vicki Hyde, said yesterday that after the visit to Christchurch last week of an American satanic abuse expert, Ms Pamela Hudson, social workers and parents would be hunting for "symptoms" of satanic abuse.

Ms Hudson's booklet, "Ritual Child Abuse", claims nightmares, temper tantrums, and separation anxieties are symptoms of sexual abuse.

"If we believe Ms Hudson's list, every healthy kid in New Zealand occasionally shows symptoms of sexual abuse," Ms Hyde said. Besides possibly generating false allegations, Hudson's views have the tendency to throw into disrepute and trivialise authentic sexual abuse. The cause of abuse victims is not helped by preposterous claims of satanic abuse."

Presbyterian Support Services' executive director, the Rev John Elvidge, said it had organised last week's workshop so Ms Hudson's views could be properly debated. He believed some of her claims were exaggerated.