[16days_discussion] Ritual Abuse-Torture Within Family Groups - Gender - Research

Jeanne Bergman wheedle at earthlink.net
Mon Dec 22 13:16:40 EST 2008

I respectfully disagree with your assessment.
Jeanne Bergman

On Dec 21, 2008, at 8:30 AM, KATHLEEN SLOAN wrote:

> An excellent compendium of information on the genesis and  
> culturalization of the torture of females.
> Kathy Sloan
> Global Strategies and Issues
> http://www.wunrn.com
> See Link for Full Text & Figures:
> http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/section?content=a903766904&fulltext=713240928
> Ritual Abuse-Torture Within Families/Groups
> Authors: Jeanne Sarson a; Linda MacDonald b
> Affiliations:  	a Independent Scholar, Nova Scotia
> b Nova Scotia Department of Health, Truvo, Nova Scotia, Canada
> DOI: 10.1080/10926770801926146
> Publication Frequency: 8 issues per year
> Published in:  Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, Volume  
> 16, Issue 4 July 2008 , pages 419 - 438
> Abstract
> Case studies provide insights into identifying 10 violent thematic  
> issues as components of a pattern of family/group ritual abuse- 
> torture (RAT) victimization. Narratives from victimized women  
> suggest that victimization generally begins in infancy or soon  
> thereafter. A visual model of RAT displays the organization of the  
> co-culture. Examples of the family/group  
> gatherings known as “rituals and  
> ceremonies” provide insights into  
> how these gatherings are used to normalize pedophilic violence.  
> Global activism afforded the first effort ever to track RAT and  
> human trafficking. Recognizing RAT as an emerging form of non-state  
> actor torture, discontinuing the use of language that sexualizes  
> adult-child relationships, and promoting human rights education are  
> suggested social solutions.
> Keywords: Torture; ritual; abuse; pedophilia; trafficking
> Insights into the reality of ritual abuse-torture (RAT)  
> victimization began for the authors in 1993 with a phone call from a  
> woman who planned to commit suicide in 4 days. Sara (not her real  
> name) said this was “the last time  
> [I'm] ever going to reach out for  
> help.” Unraveling the chaos of  
> Sara's world to find meaning in her contextualized expressions of  
> life was essential to providing her with effective interventions.  
> Sara reported being born and remaining actively captive in a RAT  
> family/group for over 30 years. Efforts undertaken to develop a  
> framework that organized Sara's victimization led to the  
> identification of 10 violent thematic issues/behaviors constituting  
> relational norms within RAT family/groups (Sarson & MacDonald,  
> 2007): (a) neglect and abuse of many forms (e.g., verbal, emotional,  
> physical, sexual, financial); (b) being terrorized by acts of  
> violence, such as the killing of a pet and being threatened with  
> death if she disclosed the violence and abuse; (c) human-animal  
> violence, including bestiality and/or  
> being “trained” to harm animals;  
> (d) torture (e.g., physical, sexual, and mind-spirit); (e)  
> rampageous pedophilia; (f) necrophilic and pseudonecrophilic acts,  
> such as drugging or choking her into unconsciousness and raping her  
> dead-like body; (g) forced self-harming behaviors; (h) enduring  
> horrifying acts, such as being forced to watch another child  
> tortured and gang raped; (i) human trafficking victimization and  
> exploitation (e.g., pedophilic and adult pornography; being used as  
> a drug carrier); and (j) forced participation in violent organized  
> pedophilic family/group gatherings  
> coded as “rituals and ceremonies.”  
> Using such a framework to comprehend Sara's family/group system was  
> successful in guiding Sara's gradual exit and ongoing healing  
> processes. It also prompted the following questions: (a) Would this  
> framework define the RAT victimization of others? (b) If so, would  
> it be representative of this specific population? (c) If so, could  
> their experiential narratives then be considered a collective  
> perspective of life within RAT families and like-minded groups?
> Responding to outreach into the Nova Scotian community, three women  
> came forth with recollections of RAT victimization. Friends of a  
> fourth woman, with permission from her husband, spoke of her  
> ordeals, as she died before being able to reveal her complete story.  
> No men came forth; thus, the knowledge gathered reflects the  
> perspectives of a small sample of women's childhood and adulthood  
> realities.
> Demographic Characteristics
> Unlike Sara, who had a master's degree and a professional career,  
> the four other Caucasian Canadian women with RAT histories had  
> graduated from high school, pursued college training, or proceeded  
> directly into the work force. Sara was single and childless; the  
> other four women were married or divorced with children. The women's  
> ages, including Sara's, ranged from the early 30s to mid-50s.  
> Financially, all five women had depended or were dependent on  
> government or employee assistance programs because the compounded  
> impact of their victimization overwhelmed their abilities to cope  
> with the demands of everyday life. Sara lived in an apartment  
> complex, whereas the other women occupied mortgaged single dwelling  
> homes. All drove cars. All had pets (cats or dogs). Some used  
> computers as a life-line for connection. All the women had personal  
> or professional support systems.
> Interview Methodology
> Interview meetings took place mainly in the women's homes and lasted  
> between 2 and 5 hours per meeting. Two to four meetings provided  
> sufficient interview time; however, 15 meetings (over the course of  
> 1 years) were required for one woman to cope with telling her story.  
> In total, 119 hours were spent in meetings, 96 hours on e-mail  
> communications, 27 hours on phone conversations, and approximately  
> 10 hours on speaking with spouses, friends, and other concerned  
> persons.
> Few notes and no audio or visual recordings were taken during the  
> meetings. Listening to comprehend the meaning in their voiced  
> realities was the main interview technique. Immediately after  
> leaving the women's homes, time was dedicated to writing condensed  
> notes to ensure recall accuracy. These notes were typed and given to  
> the women at the next meeting. Any miscomprehensions were discussed  
> and corrected. All women were presented with a typed final edition  
> of their narrative using a pseudonym of their choice to protect  
> their privacy.
> Finding meaning in the women's narratives meant de- and  
> reconstructing context in a manner  
> that was “understandable and  
> experientially credible” (Maxwell,  
> 1996, p. 21). This process involved asking challenging, clarifying,  
> and reality-based questions that deconstructed the family/group  
> concepts that normalized and justified RAT within adult-child or  
> captive adult relationships. Reconstructing reality meant exposing  
> victims to the perspective that RAT constitutes relational violence.
> Defining Ritual Abuse-Torture
> One consensus that emerged from the interviews was that the commonly  
> used term “ritual abuse” did not  
> adequately describe the violent acts endured. The women said they  
> had endured more than abuse; they had been tortured and had  
> witnessed other children or adults being tortured. It was essential  
> for their empowerment to have their ordeals named  
> appropriately. “Ritual abuse- 
> torture” was coined, a term the  
> women thought adequately described their victimization; thus, it is  
> the term used in this paper. Briefly described, RAT involves  
> pedophilic parents and transgenerational family members, guardians,  
> and like-minded adults who abuse, torture, and traffic their or  
> other children. They also organize violent group gatherings  
> using “rituals and ceremonies.” If  
> unable to exit, a girl child can become a captive and exploited adult.
> Congruencies
> Closure of the interview process included showing the women, for the  
> first time, the graphic organizational Model of Ritual Abuse-Torture  
> (see Figure 1). All were surprised that their ordeals could be  
> organized in such a nonchaotic manner and stated that the Model not  
> only organized the violent thematic issues but provided a holistic  
> perspective of their lives inside RAT families/groups. They added  
> that it captured their experiences within society generally.
> [Enlarge Image]
> FIGURE 1. Model of Ritual Abuse-Torture.
> Perpetrators in all cases included parents (mother, father, or both)  
> and/or extended intergenerational kin as well as known and unknown  
> adults who were frequently referred to as  
> being part of “the family.” The  
> women spoke of the superiority of the RAT family/group and the  
> concept that perpetrators harm with intentionality. Inflicting  
> violence maintained the perpetrator's goals of totalitarianistic  
> power and control, ensuring silence and secrecy and facilitating  
> ongoing violent pedophilic entertainment and pleasure.
> The term co-culture was used because in all cases the perpetrators  
> functioned “invisibly” within  
> mainstream society. Within their communities, they were  
> professionals, business people, volunteers, local politicians, and/ 
> or active members in church organizations. In other words, the  
> perpetrators manipulated their fit within mainstream society while  
> functioning within the co-culture of the like-minded RAT family/ 
> group locally, nationally, and/or  
> transnationally. Living “within  
> three realities at once” was how one  
> woman described the layering of the family/group's community face,  
> the family face of everyday life, and the insider face that  
> victimized children were compelled to navigate (Sarson & MacDonald,  
> 2005). Besides manipulating a community fit, all the case studies  
> were rife with everyday family life experiences of child neglect and  
> abuse. When describing the secretive insider face, the acts of  
> violence crossed into the realm of organized family/group torture,  
> consisting of the thematic issues also identified in the Model.
> During the process of “getting out”  
> and attempting to heal, the women's narratives included various  
> forms of revictimization. During hospitalization, one woman reported  
> being raped by a psychiatric intern, another  
> spoke of “consensual” sex with the  
> therapist, and Sara spoke of severe forms of violence that included  
> torture and entrapment by professional female counselors, one of  
> whom she considered connected to the family. Such revictimization  
> involves abuses of power and trust as identified in one of the outer  
> rings of the Model. All indicated that healthy caring, and safe and  
> effective support was difficult to obtain, a position that was  
> mirrored in the findings of the Canadian Panel on Violence Against  
> Women (1993).
> Variations
> Within the context of congruency, there was also variation. For  
> instance, Sara and one woman spoke of infant victimization, whereas  
> others believed they were toddlers or preschoolers when their  
> victimization began. Additionally, the age and reasons for exclusion  
> from the violent pedophilic family/group gatherings varied and were  
> multilayered, and included the following: (a) the death of a  
> grandfather, considered to be the leader of the group, was one  
> woman's perception of why her victimization ceased when she was a  
> young adolescent; (b) growth and developmental reasons, such as  
> menstruation and the risk of impregnation; and (c) being replaced by  
> a younger sibling.
> Alternative norms, which Hoebel (1960, p. 172) described as existing  
> patterns of behavior that provide for a leeway of choices within the  
> same situation, were also present. Common to all the women's  
> narratives was the norm of being taken to violent pedophilic family/ 
> group gatherings. However, there was much variation as to how the  
> patterns of violence were enacted during these gatherings. For  
> example, it could begin with voyeurism by watching and laughing as  
> one child was forced to degrade another. One woman described her  
> pedophilic rape as being “presented  
> to the bishop” as a preschooler of 3  
> or 4 years of age. She did not know  
> whether “the bishop” was an actual  
> cleric or a code word for the pedophile's erect penis. Another  
> stated the terrorization of the  
> “formal rituals” began with human- 
> animal cruelty. Seeing a chicken's head cut off and witnessing the  
> headless chicken flapping about was translated to mean that she  
> would have her head cut off if she did not comply with the  
> perpetrators' demands.
> Ongoing Victimization
> Not all women interviewed were of the opinion they had exited.  
> Besides Sara, who was a captive adult, another woman considered  
> herself not to be fully out of the family. Her ongoing state of  
> adult captivity involved the vulnerability  
> she described as “doing what I'm  
> supposed to,” which was secretly  
> giving one half of her salary to the family. Sara also experienced  
> financial abuse control tactics. She disclosed she gave her  
> professional paychecks to her father and that her parents, in turn,  
> supplied her with groceries, which she rationed. At times, she went  
> hungry because groceries were withheld. Keeping Sara financially  
> poor was one tactic her perpetrators used to force her to keep  
> coming back to them, thus maintaining control over her.
> Tactics that promote ongoing contact can also give RAT perpetrators  
> access to the next generation of children, if a woman has children.  
> It was difficult to ascertain whether the children of some of the  
> women interviewed had been harmed when young, as the women stated  
> they only began to understand their victimization later in life,  
> when their children were older or young adults. Several women openly  
> discussed their concerns, realizing they had left their children  
> with family members when they were infants or toddlers.
> Predation was a common tactic used to control the victimized. Sara  
> and another woman reported being stalked, enduring worksite  
> harassment, and experiencing periodic physical and sexual assaults.  
> Stalking, for example, included being followed, receiving harassing  
> telephone messages, and experiencing threats delivered in various  
> ways, such as having intimidating  
> “traitor” notes left on the  
> windshield of her car. These reports are not unusual considering  
> that on average, in Canada, more than 1 in 10 females over the age  
> of 15 reported being stalked in such a manner that they feared for  
> their or another person's life (Statistics Canada, 2005).
> On completion of these case study interviews, answers to the three  
> previously identified questions were gained. The 10 violent themes/ 
> behaviors identified with Sara were generally representative of the  
> victimization of the other four women. All the women's narratives  
> presented a collective pattern of RAT victimization, but on a minute  
> scale. To gain a broader scope, connection with more people who self- 
> identified as having endured RAT was required.
> Global activism efforts concentrated on exposing RAT as a human  
> rights violation and a form of non-state actor torture. Perpetrators  
> of non-state torture include family members and non-kin, such as a  
> neighbor, a trusted person, a stranger, or even an organization  
> acting outside the state (Amnesty International UK, 2000). How could  
> a population be reached who self-reported being victimized,  
> oppressed, marginalized, discriminated against, silenced, terrified,  
> threatened, disbelieved, and whose boundary of community was not  
> local but global? Various opportunities arose, including  
> participating in “The Many Faces of  
> Torture” panel at the Commission on  
> the Status of Women (CSW) United Nation Headquarters in New York  
> City in 2004. Word spread via the Internet of an opportunity for  
> participation and 61 people from six countries (Canada, Costa Rica,  
> England, Germany, Scotland, and the United States) sent over 400  
> pieces of information, including art and written stories, describing  
> their ordeals of RAT victimization. These were displayed in 10  
> portfolio books for people attending the panel to view.
> RAT and Human Trafficking
> To promote further participatory involvement, the first global  
> tracking of transnational occurrence of RAT began in 2003. A website  
> was established that included a RAT Prevalence Guestmap  
> (Bravenet.com), which provided people with an opportunity to place  
> an icon on the map to indicate the site where they first endured RAT  
> victimization. The Guestmap in Figure 2represents 123 persons who  
> placed their icons between April 23, 2003 and May 1, 2004. Today,  
> women, men, and youth continue to participate. Using the Guestmap,  
> they communicate via e-mail or telephone, send written information,  
> contribute written feedback on educational resources and  
> presentations, and provide further information, such as naming the  
> destination countries they remember being trafficked to.
> [Enlarge Image]
> FIGURE 2. Guestmap Representing 123 Persons Who Placed Icons to  
> Indicate the Site Where They First Endured RAT Victimization (Icons  
> Placed Between April 23, 2003 and May 1, 2004).
> Case Studies and Human Trafficking Patterns
> As a captive adult, Sara spoke of local, national, and transnational  
> organizational patterns that reached into Ireland and other parts of  
> Europe, the Middle East, Africa, the United States, and Mexico. Two  
> women also described their experiences as being transnational but  
> limited to Nova Scotia, the United States, and Greece or to RAT- 
> involved family members who lived in the United States and visited  
> Canada. The remaining two women defined their trafficking as being  
> confined to local family/groups. One thought her father's behaviors  
> were influenced by contacts made during his sea voyages. All the  
> women identified being harmed by both male and female perpetrators.
> Forms of Human Trafficking Within RAT Families/Groups
> Because of the transnational connections of some RAT families/ 
> groups, they may be participants in the human trafficking organized  
> crime network. Human trafficking is considered one of the three most  
> profitable illegal businesses worldwide (U.S. Department of State,  
> 2004). Global contacts derived, for example, from over 300 icons  
> presently on the RAT Guestmap have expanded insights into the many  
> forms of human trafficking of children that can occur within RAT  
> families/groups. Transportation, trafficking, and exploitation  
> occurs (a) within the home (e.g., carrying or forcing a child into  
> the basement for planned abuse or torture); (b) when transported to  
> other local settings (e.g., warehouses, private offices, barns,  
> studios); (c) when transported to other RAT family/groups locally,  
> regionally, nationally, or transnationally;  
> (d) when “rented out” to a  
> pedophilic outsider; (e) when forced to work the street because  
> their body has developed, making them unmarketable to pedophiles;  
> (f) when used in child pornography; (g) when forced to sell drugs or  
> be a carrier for money laundering or gun smuggling; and (h) when  
> forced to clean the homes of members of the family/group as part of  
> labor enslavement practices. Enslaved women also report being  
> trafficked and exploited in similar ways.
> Misopais
> Thinking about how attitudes are encultured pushed consideration  
> that there must be one that supports the childhood violence spoken  
> of by persons who have endured RAT victimization.Misopais was the  
> attitudinal word coined. This word comes from the Greek mis (hatred)  
> and pais (children). Just as understanding the attitude of misogyny  
> helps explain the underpinnings of global oppression and violence  
> against women, naming misopais as the destructive attitudinal root  
> that supports violence against children helped comprehension of RAT  
> violence. Proof of the RAT perpetrators' intentionality is in their  
> proverbial utterance “Don't tell,  
> but if you do no one will ever believe you  
> anyway,” a declaration that they know what they do is a crime.
> Ritualism
> Exposing the existence of RAT families/groups requires understanding  
> how they function, including comprehending how they manipulate  
> ritualisms for a complex array of purposes: They follow the  
> ritualisms of their profession; as mothers, fathers, and kin, they  
> present to the community in normative family ways; as volunteers,  
> members of community groups, or mainstream church-goers, they  
> skillfully manipulate community ritualisms to their advantage,  
> hiding behind good people and good causes. Socialized sexual  
> victimization and aggression was frequently spoken of as being  
> central to the enforcement of gender-based roles. The most powerful  
> environment and method of indoctrination and training in which to  
> maximize such enculturation is with the use of group ritualisms.  
> Socializing the girl child into the role of perfect victim,  
> perpetrators tell a little girl she needs to  
> be taught “how to be a woman,”  
> justifying her rape. A boy child is socialized to be an aggressor;  
> forced into sexualized acts with another  
> child, he is taught “how to be a man.”
> Group ritualisms present ordeals that are very destructive to the  
> child's connectedness to herself or himself. Group rituals and  
> ceremonies are where horrification commonly happens. The behaviors  
> of the group present a group momentum, a force so brutally violent  
> that the child victim's terror and horror is overwhelming, shocking  
> her or him into survival and coping responses of disconnection, out- 
> of-body experiences, dissociation, and/or fragmentation. As one  
> woman said, “I was held down. Hands  
> and objects did things to hurt me … . I left my body in that room.”
> Regardless of the sociocultural nationality of the families/groups  
> that have been reported, ritualisms within the co-culture organize  
> their invisible violent community and contain variations of the same  
> thematic issues/behaviors identified by the women. Commonly, these  
> gatherings involve participants in the positions of leader(s),  
> audience of like-minded participants, and chosen victim(s). A case  
> study narrative briefly demonstrates this latter point:
> My father “the devil” had his  
> [specific] place in the ritual circle  
> … at some of the ceremonial ritual  
> gatherings the adults wore masks …  
> sometimes robes … but their voices  
> were always identifiable … forced to  
> drink wine until drunk … tied to a  
> plank … smeared with feces and what  
> I thought was blood … surrounded …  
> the men and women did grotesque sexualized  
> acts … and torturing … Their  
> laughter still haunts me, the feelings of being humiliated returns …
> Within these gatherings, pedophilic perpetrators assert their adult  
> positional power and domination over the child victim, shaping the  
> adult-perpetrator/child-victim relationship. Using and  
> abusing the “specialness” concepts  
> associated with rituals and ceremonies, perpetrators set the stage  
> for indoctrinating the child, normalizing violent relational  
> pedophilia. Narratives from victimized persons demonstrate how  
> perpetrators distort reality by using and dramatizing omnipotent  
> themes, playing roles such as being  
> “the devil.” Ritualized constructed  
> gatherings can be legitimatized using outsider language in a coded  
> manner, for instance, telling the girl child she is in a marriage  
> ceremony—“marriage to Satan”  
> ritual. In some narratives and drawings submitted, it is very clear  
> that “Satan” refers to the  
> perpetrator's erect penis and “the  
> marriage” representative of oral  
> rape and the forced ingestion of semen. For example, as a captive  
> adult Sara still believed that the swallowed semen meant she was  
> forever consumed by and connected to  
> “Satan” as an entity. Awareness of  
> this use of coded language is essential to unravel the perpetrator's  
> tactics of mind-spirit tortures that inflict distortions and hold  
> victimized persons in a captive state.
> Human-animal cruelty in the form of bestiality compounds the  
> reproductive harms of sexualized torture ritualisms. Perpetrators  
> can manipulate and distort beliefs by  
> “teaching” female children to be  
> fearful of their reproductive capacities because they fear producing  
> animal babies. Disclosure of this self-directed hatred and belief  
> was frequently encountered, as were expressions of horrification  
> when forced into group ritualisms of bestiality with large animals,  
> such as horses or donkeys. Being pornographically photographed  
> deepened the wounds.
> There was a time when such narratives would be dismissed as  
> unbelievable or labeled lies. However, police have seized DVDs of  
> children forced into bestiality (Canadian Press, 2004) with parents  
> the alleged perpetrators and pornographers (Blais, 2007). People in  
> industrialized countries such as Canada, the UK, and the United  
> States manufacture 90% of pedophilic pornography, much of it  
> intrafamilial (Lamberti, 2002) and homemade (Gooderham & Laghi,  
> 1996; Sher, 2006). Furthermore, infants in diapers (Canadian Press,  
> 1996; Smith, 2003) with umbilical cords still attached (Dimanno,  
> 2003) can be victims. And 20% of pedophilic pornography viewed by  
> the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Child Exploitation Unit involves  
> torture and bondage (Caswell, Keller, & Murphy, 2006).
> Perpetrators further distort the reality of the victimized child by  
> drugging them to cause disorientation and stupor. Weapons (guns,  
> knives, ropes, whips) inflict terror as well as harm. Victimized  
> persons explain how perpetrators whipped, burned, cut, and hung them  
> by their limbs. Narratives include prolonged group beatings,  
> telephono (beatings to their ears), falanga (beatings to the soles  
> of their feet), and water torture as depicted in Sara's drawing in  
> Figure 3. Sara told of being held under water  
> until “the darkness comes” (i.e.,  
> unconsciousness). Being electric shocked, tied down, caged, denied  
> nourishment or access to a bathroom, smeared with or forced to eat  
> their or perpetrator's body fluids, choked, and hooded gives insight  
> into some of the physical tortures perpetrators inflict to satisfy  
> their need for sadistic pleasure and entertainment.
> [Enlarge Image]
> FIGURE 3. Sara's Drawing of Water Torture.
> Reported sexualized tortures include forced nakedness; continuous  
> prolonged family/group rapes; rapes with knives, hot pokers, and lit  
> candles (cut and burned); rapes with guns, sticks, or other objects;  
> pseudonecrophilic rapes; bestiality; and the taking of pornographic  
> pictures. Case study narratives disclose that as victimized  
> children, the women might be forced to harm other children or  
> animals, to witness them being harmed, or forced to consume tissue  
> such as blood. Emotionally objectified, laughed at, humiliated,  
> degraded, and dehumanized, these mind-spirit tortures were combined  
> with physical and sexualized tortures that forced out-of-body,  
> disconnective, and dissociative survival responses that altered or  
> fragmented the victimized child's relationship to and with herself.
> Intensification rites are rituals that bring a whole group together  
> to sharpen their sense of community solidarity (Goldschmidt, 1971).  
> The frequently held ritualized gatherings of RAT families/groups  
> suggest this purpose. A ritualized gathering re-energizes like- 
> mindedness; reinforces group cohesiveness, bonding, and sense of  
> belonging; and justifies the beliefs, values, perceptions, thoughts,  
> and misopaisic attitudes that normalize torturous pedophilia.  
> Tightening networking processes, ritualized gatherings can  
> strengthen ties with other RAT families or like-minded groups  
> regionally, nationally, or transnationally. This gives rise to human  
> trafficking networks as perpetrators transport victim(s) from group  
> to group or from place to place.
> Figure 4 depicts a violent ritualized pedophilic family/group  
> gathering, drawn by a woman who survived RAT. She shows herself and  
> another girl at ages 8 and 6 surrounded by RAT perpetrators and  
> being serially group molested and  
> “raped and raped and  
> raped” (orally, vaginally, and  
> anally) by male and female members. The scribbled lines in the  
> drawing, she says, are representative of her and the other girl's  
> blood. The circle, candle, and stars are symbolic props used by the  
> family/group. This drawing is generally representative of the  
> narratives attesting to the violent ritualized group enculturation  
> that occurs in childhood within the co-culture of RAT families/ 
> groups. These families/groups use and abuse the power of destructive  
> enculturation embedded in ritualized group processes because such  
> enculturation maintains group membership, provides ongoing child  
> victims, and gathers financial or other benefits when the  
> perpetrators are involved in criminal activities such as human  
> trafficking and pornography.
> [Enlarge Image]
> FIGURE 4. A Drawing Depicting a Violent Ritualized Pedophilic Family/ 
> Group Gathering.
> Destructive enculturation can lead to the belief that there is no  
> way out, so the victimized child may become a captive adult victim,  
> or to the belief that she is both victim and perpetrator, which can  
> further silence her. The belief of being both victim and perpetrator  
> is instilled from an early age when one child is forced to harm  
> another child, animal, or adult victim. Based on what we have been  
> told, some children, because of the ongoing nature of the family/ 
> group, will remain and be involved in family/group activities as  
> adult perpetrators or in some other supplier capacity. For instance,  
> one woman stated her father dropped her off at the group gatherings,  
> then left. He “supplied” her to her  
> grandfather. Intergenerational family involvement in organized crime  
> is a reality repeatedly seen in other family-centered organized  
> crime groups. Whether child or adult, family members face a painful  
> struggle if they try to exit. For example, if they run away from  
> home, they are commonly returned to their parents. As one woman  
> shared:
> I remember being four and packing my little blue suitcase with  
> clothes and walking down the street to a neighbor's house and saying  
> I was going to move in with them because they were a nice family.  
> They took me back home.
> Children often do not have the language or understanding to explain  
> their victimization clearly, a reality especially common for those  
> who have specifically endured sexualized violence (Alaggia, 2004).  
> They are rarely believed. Even victimized adults still struggle to  
> be heard and believed for risk of being labeled mentally ill or  
> crazy, adding more injury to their struggles.
> Just who are ritual abuse-torturers? Babiak and Hare (2006) wrote  
> that psychopathy is found in 1% of the general population and  
> “that about 20 to 25% of men who  
> persistently abuse and batter their partners  
> are psychopaths” (p. 286); maybe the  
> answer lies in this reality. Psychopaths can be parents. Of the four  
> case studies presented, three spoke of their father's violence  
> against their mothers, often compounded by alcoholic rage. Two of  
> these three mothers were considered not to be involved in RAT. Sara  
> stated that alcohol was not present in her household. Although her  
> mother actively participated in inflicting RAT victimization, she  
> was still subjected to misogynistic and physical violence. Could it  
> be that ritual abuse-torturers have remained so invisible that they  
> have yet to be considered a specific psychopathic group within  
> society? When exposed, might they fall into the category of being  
> sadistic human predators?
> Recognizing RAT as an Emerging Form of Non-state Actor Torture
> Those victimized by RAT have endured brutal crimes against their  
> humanity. One socially transformative and empowering solution is to  
> recognize RAT as an emerging form of non-state actor torture. Canada  
> does not have a law that addresses torture by non-state actors or a  
> law that criminalizes RAT. Thus, the civil and legal right of  
> victimized persons to name the crime committed against them remains  
> unattainable, even though the Canadian Panel on Violence Against  
> Women (1993) published a national report  
> stating that “ritual abuse-torture”  
> was occurring in every region of Canada. Presently, the Canadian  
> legal system takes the existing provisions perspective that torture  
> committed by non-state actors, including ritual abuse-torturers, can  
> be addressed under existing sections of the Criminal Code. That is,  
> acts of torture are tried as sexual assault, assault with a weapon,  
> or kidnapping. For a crime involving torture to remain unnamed,  
> misnamed, and prosecuted as sexual assault or kidnapping is an under- 
> acknowledgement of the severity of the crime. The necessity of  
> differentiating acts of torture from abuse was highlighted when  
> Governor Granholm signed legislation that, for the first time, made  
> torture a criminal act in Michigan. This legislation was enacted  
> because prosecutors were unable to hold a husband accused of  
> torturing his blind, diabetic wife accountable because no law  
> against torture existed in Michigan (Watson, 2006). How many  
> children have suffered acts of non-state actor torture, including  
> RAT, without triggering legal and social intervention?
> Accurately naming the crime of RAT is about naming reality. Naming  
> explains the severity of the child or adult's victimization and  
> traumatization responses. Naming reveals the understandable need for  
> specialized care, just as it is recognized that specialized care is  
> required for persons who have survived state actor torture. Also, if  
> the attitude of misopais is to be brought out into the open, it is  
> time to fully name the extensive violence a child can be subjected  
> to within adult-child relationships, including parental and  
> guardianship ones.
> Stopping the Use of Language that Sexualizes Adult-Child Relationships
> A second solution is to stop using language that sexualizes adult- 
> child relationships. Language communicates cultural components and  
> worldview; it carries meaning and delivers concepts, beliefs,  
> values, attitudes, and perceptions. Constructively used, language  
> can help a child to understand her or his relationship with herself  
> or himself, to nurture awareness of her or his emotional feelings,  
> to develop emotional intelligence (Barnet & Barnet, 1998), and to  
> safely situate herself or himself in relationships with others.  
> Language constructs a truthful reality when it names reality  
> correctly. Language used destructively, as within the co-culture of  
> RAT families/groups, is distorting and enculturating by encoding and  
> normalizing violence within adult-child relationships. Distorting  
> language is used by perpetrators to keep a child captive, to keep  
> them from learning that what is being done to them is wrong and  
> criminal. Using distorting language is a protection-from-detection  
> tactic of perpetrators to ensure that if the child tries to speak to  
> outsiders, their conversation will likely be misunderstood. For  
> instance, as a child Sara was taught  
> to “suck a lollipop”—lollipop  
> meaning penis. Her father and others coded their pedophilic oral  
> raping of her by teaching her distorted language that outsiders  
> would most likely misunderstand. As a result of the distorted and  
> destructive use of language, the child's comprehension of reality is  
> severely manipulated, misshaped, and sexualized.
> When mainstream society also uses language that delivers misleading,  
> distorting, and sexualized messages, then the victimized child's  
> distortions are easily reinforced. Consider statements such as the  
> following: Mr. X, a nurse, was arrested for having oral sex with a  
> minor; Ms. V, a teacher of 10 years, was charged for having sex with  
> a 12-year-old student; Mr. C was jailed forsex crimes against his  
> daughters. In each scenario, the language used is deceiving,  
> distorting, and sexualized as it names the pedophilic assaults or  
> rapes as sex. A clearer message would be delivered to victimized  
> children and adults if these messages were stated as the following:  
> Mr. X was arrested for the oral rape; Ms. V was charged for raping a  
> student; or Mr. C was jailed for rape crimes. Dismantling the  
> centuries old misopaisic attitude that reinforces pedophilic  
> violence as sex or sexual will make it more difficult for  
> perpetrators such as ritual abuse-torturers to function with  
> impunity. Thus, the transformative support that society can offer is  
> to use language that names pedophilic violence for the crime that it  
> is; pedophilic violence should never be called sex. Clearly and  
> truthfully naming the behaviors of ritual abuse-torturers is  
> essential as it offers persons who had been victimized the language  
> to name the atrocities they endured. As one  
> women stated, “Abuse is a more  
> benign word than torture, but torture is the correct term for what I  
> experienced.”
> Promoting Human Rights Education
> “I'm a person? Nobody ever told me  
> this before!” These were Sara's  
> comments when informed she was a human being with rights and  
> responsibilities. These concepts were extremely difficult for her to  
> internalize. For over 30 years, all she ever  
> heard was “You're good for nothing;  
> slut, whore; you're nothing but  
> garbage.” Sara and other victimized  
> women spoke of being treated “like  
> animals” by their parents, some of  
> whom were ritual abuse-torturers and some who were not. One woman  
> described how her pedophilic father tortured her, although it was  
> her mother whom she identified as the parent connected to the RAT  
> group. She said:
> My degradation was so profound there were times I didn't even feel  
> human; I felt like an animal, I felt like a  
> pile of shit … . I was down in the  
> basement with my hands tied together, a rope around my neck, in a  
> cage hanging from the ceiling. My father used to put me there  
> … with the rope placed around my  
> neck in such a way that if I caused the cage to swing too much the  
> noose would tighten around my  
> neck… . Sometimes before putting me  
> into the cage, my father threw food onto the basement dirt floor  
> forcing me to eat like an animal, or sometimes he'd put canned dog  
> food in a white china saucer and force me to eat it like a dog. I  
> broke it [the saucer] and I remember my mother got angry at me.  
> There was a bucket of pee that he'd force me to drink… .
> Torturers intentionally attempt to destroy the personality of the  
> person they victimize. This constitutes some of their pleasure. To  
> counter such dehumanization, a third solution is generalized  
> interventions that promote human rights education at all levels of  
> schooling, beginning in the earliest grades. Such interventions  
> would offer insights to the victimized school-aged child, providing  
> them an opportunity to recognize that RAT victimization is a human  
> rights violation, a form of torture, and is not their fault. Human  
> rights education could help expose all forms of violence, expose  
> misopais, educate mainstream society, and contribute toward building  
> a more empathic, responsive, and humane society.
> 1. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/ 
> 17971.php — Alaggia, R. (2004). Non- 
> verbal cues often signal child abuse - University of Toronto study.
> 2. Amnesty International UK (2000) Respect, protect, fulfill women's  
> human rights: State responsibility for abuses by 'non-state actors'  
> Author , London
> 3. Babiak, P. and Hare, R. D. (2006) Snakes in suits HarperCollins ,  
> New York
> 4. Barnet, A. B. and Barnet, R. J. (1998) The youngest minds Simon &  
> Schuster , New York
> 5. Blais, T. (2007) Couple accused of making sex videos involving  
> infant daughter, poodle. Edmonton Sun
> 6. Canadian Panel on Violence Against Women (1993) Changing the  
> landscape: Ending violence∼Achieving  
> equality pp. 45-47. Minister of Supply and Services Canada , Ottawa,  
> ON — Catalogue No. SW45-1/1993E
> 7. Canadian Press (1996) Porn includes kids in diapers. The  
> Chronicle-Herald p. A16.
> 8. Canadian Press (2004) Authorities seize child porn, bestiality  
> DVDs. The Chronicle Herald p. A6.
> 22. Caswell, J.,  Keller, W. and Murphy Producers, S. (2006)  
> Supervisor of RCMP Child Exploitation Unit, Ottawa, Earla-Kim McColl  
> speaking about child pornography [Television broadcast] CTV News ,  
> Atlantic Canada
> 9. Dimanno, R. (2003) A tough child porn law doesn't stem a rising  
> tide. The Star
> 10. Goldschmidt, W. (1971) Exploring the ways of mankind 2nd, Holt,  
> Rinehart and Winston , Toronto, ON
> 11. Gooderham, M. and Laghi, B. (1996) Tracking high-tech  
> pedophiles. The Globe and Mail pp. A1-A10.
> 12. Hoebel, E. A. Shapiro, H. L. (ed) (1960) The nature of culture.  
> Man, culture and society Oxford University Press , New York
> 13. Lamberti, R. (2002) Teen facing kiddie porn charges Toronto cops  
> make use of new law. Toronto Sun p. 7.
> 14. Maxwell, J. A. (1996) Qualitative research design An interactive  
> approach Sage Publications , Thousand Oaks
> 15. Sarson, J. and MacDonald, L. (2005) Ritual abuse/torture.  
> Gazette 67 , pp. 32-33.
> 16. Sarson, J. and MacDonald, L. Jackson, N. A. (ed) (2007) Ritual  
> abuse-torture in families. Encyclopedia of domestic violence pp.  
> 603-611. Routledge , New York
> 17. Sher, J. (2006) Police bust worldwide child-porn ring. The Globe  
> and Mail p. A7.
> 18. Smith, G. (2003) Grim images haunt porn police. The Globe and  
> Mail p. A1.
> 19. Statistics Canada (2005) Family violence in Canada: A  
> statistical profile 2005 Author , Ottawa, ON — (No. 85-224-X1E).
> 20. U.S. Department of State and Office to Monitor and Combat  
> Trafficking in Persons (2004) Trafficking in persons report Office  
> of the Under Secretary for Global Affairs ,  
> Washington, DC — (Publication No. 11150).
> 21. http://www.michigan.gov/gov/0,1607,7-168-23442_21974-133334--,00.html 
>  — Watson, H. (2006). Governor  
> Granholm signs legislation to strengthen penalties for torture.
> List of Figures
> See Link: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/section?content=a903766904&fulltext=713240928
> ================================================================
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