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Some context of CSA investigation

Posted by Former CPS worker on August 04, 2005 at 10:25:47

In Reply to: You know it's a good cult to raise kids in when this is how they think posted by uantudai on August 04, 2005 at 00:55:21:

During late 1980s and early 1990s, there was widespread hysteria in the U.S. (I can't speak for other countries) on the issue of the ritualized child sexual abuse (CSA), particularly in daycare centers. There are some very high-profile cases where the lives of innocent adults were destroyed as a consequence of allegations made by very young children who were coached by incompetent and unscrupulous CSA investigators. For more info, see:

This is the historic/social context in which the raids on Family homes in the early 1990s took place. When I read accounts of how badly the investigations were done--particularly the press material at xfamily about the Australian investigation--I just cringe and shake my head.

I'm particularly sensitive about this because I was trained in the clinical evaluation of CSA between 1996-1999, a time when people entering the field were drilled over and over and over again about the mistakes that were made in the preceding years by overzealous, incompetent investigators. I can still hear the booming voice of one of my supervisors tearing apart the terrible mistakes made in some of the poorly investigated daycare cases.

That said, the author of this wikipedia article uses the black-and-white thinking typical of the cult mentality. The investigation of Family homes by "misguided" authorities egged on by anti-cult activists and former members is not a "proven crime." Any child removed from the home by child protective services (CPS) is traumatized by that experience, and Family children who experienced being taken into CPS custody are not unique.

CPS authorities do not take temporary or permanent custody of children without due process, and I'll guarantee you that a judge looked at the evidence before anyone took these Family children from their parents. The kids would NEVER have been removed in the first place if there weren't substantial evidence that they were at high risk of sexual abuse.

Responsible parents who DON'T put their kids at risk generally DON'T get visits from CPS workers. In the case of the Family raids, the kids were returned to their parents AFTER the adults demonstrated a willingness to protect their children from sexual exploitation. Oh yeah, you can bet that adult behavior in Family homes changed as a consequence of the raids. This is considered a very good outcome where CPS authorities are concerned. No CPS worker worth her salt thinks Family kids are 100% safe from sexual exploitation, but there's little doubt in my mind that the safety of children growing up in Family Homes improved as a consequence of the raids.

Very few CSA investigations end up with a criminal conviction, so I'm not surprised that only one person was convicted as a consequence of the raids on Family homes. I'm always amused at how conviently Family spokespersons forget about the French raid on the Aix-en-Provence homes, because that case DID result in the conviction of an adult male Family member for the corruption of minors.