re: Ray Buckey's Press Corps and the Tunnels of McMartin - part two
- This may be heavy for survivors of abuse.
From: Psychic Dictatorship in the USA, Alex Constantine (Feral House, 1995).
Ray Buckey's Press Corps
and the Tunnels of McMartin
and the Rise of the Child Abuse Backlash
Another "expert" who has dismissed McMartin as a classic witch-hunt is
Dr. Douglas Besherov, once the director of the National Center on child
Abuse and Neglect. He is also a directory of the rabidly right-wing American
Enterprise Institute, a Washington D.C. think tank
To supplement his weighty credentials, Besherov writes for academic
social and political quarterlies with long histories of collaborating with
the CIA for propaganda purposes. He is a coeval of Irving Kristol, a veteran
CIA psychological warfare specialist. In 1976, the Congressional Church
committee hearings revealed that the CIA is deeply entrenched in the
American press. Some 400 journalists, it emerged at the hearings, had
collaborated with the Agency at least once. CIA propagandists like Besherov
and Kristol provide others in the field with a scholastic support base, and
mold opinion on campus. with such CIA-anchored academic journals as
Encounter and The Public Interest, both edited by neo-con Kristol.
In 1986, Public Interest published a monograph by Dr. Besherov entitled
"Unfounded Allegations A New Child Abuse Problem." Besherov opens with the
observation of legal scholar Sanford Katz that "the maltreatment of children
is as old as recorded history. Infanticide, ritual sacrifice, exposure,
mutilation, abandonment, brutal discipline and the near slavery of child
labor have existed in all cultures."
Dr. Besherov, left dry-eyed by such conditions, blamed the media and
mandatory reporting laws for dragging child abuse out of the closet (where
he seems to prefer it) and blowing the severity of the problem out of
Besherov's influential follow-up article, "Doing Something About Child
Abuse: The Need to Narrow the Grounds for State Intervention," was published
in 1985 by Irving Kristol and the American Enterprise Institute. In it,
Besherov argues that most allegations of child abuse are statistically
unfounded. His slipshod use of statistics drove the Child Welfare League of
America (CWLA) to publicly find him responsible for leading the public "to
believe that child abuse is leveling off or that, as reports increase, the
level of substantiation decreases." The CWLA notes that its survey results
indicate a "substantial increase in reports," and "a stable rate of
confirmation," directly contradicting Besherov's statistical red herring.
Turning to the children removed from their homes by social workers,
Besherov states flatly: "According to data collected by the federal
government, it appears that up to half of these children were in no
immediate danger at home and could have been safely left there."
The government "data" cited by Besherov derives from a study conducted
by the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect. The authors of the study
told New York Times reporter David Hechler that "the information is not
there" to support Besherov's assertion that half of all abused children left
n the custody of their parents are in "no immediate danger."
"He has used our statistics in this case to prove a point when (he)
simply can't do it," a Center researcher told Hechler. When asked for his
response, the AEI scholar refused to comment.
By fabricating statistics, Besherov reveals himself to be a
Have unfounded allegations led to a national McCarthyite frenzy, as
Besherov contends? "I'm sure there are false allegations,," concedes David
Finkelhor, a sociologist specializing in child abuse. "I'm sure when people
are caught up in false allegations it's terrible." But in criminal cases of
all kinds, "there's always the possibility of false allegations, and I don't
think they're more severe in the area of child abuse that they are in - I
want to say something innocuous people making false allegations about
having had money stolen from them, or false allegations of embezzlement."
Besherov's work has given rise to such hysteria-producing diatribes as
"False Accusations of Child Abuse: Could it Happen to You." (Women's Day,
July 8, 1986), and "Invasion of the Child Savers: No One is Safe in the War
Against Abuse" (Progressive, September, 1985) both are adventures in
hyperbole, like Besherov's cooked statistics.
"Family abuse," by A.C. Carlson, another protégé of Irving Kristol.
appeared in Reason magazine, a publication that has frequently runs CIA
disinformation. Hechler writes that Carlson has gone "even further than
Besherov, inflating the unfounded rate beyond belief." Erroneously, in fact,
Carlson laments that "the victims pile up," like corpses in a pile, and
commiserates needlessly with "the sky-rocketing number of parents and
teachers falsely accused of child abuse."
Ritual abuse "skeptics" with CIA connections are covering up the latest
phase in Agency-sponsored mind control experimentation. For thirty years
Agency scientists have collaborated with cults (many of them founded by the
government) to conceal the development of mind control technology. Jim Jones
and the People's Temple was one product of the alliance. McMartin was
another. Both episodes have been buried in disinformation. The campaign to
mislead the public about ritual abuse is ambitious, rivaling the campaign to
conceal the facts in the murder of John F. Kennedy.
The smokescreen is also explained in part by reports implicating the CIA
in child prostitution for the purposes of political blackmail a variation
on the age-old sex trap. CIA agents have been directly involved in organized
child sex rings. In Enslaved (1991), an investigation of the worldwide
slavery underground, Gordon Thomas found Agency participation in the kidnap
of Latin American children "flown across the border in light aircraft, and
sold to child sex rings, or sold so their organs could be used in
transplants." Some of the pilots, Thomas discovered, "made two or three
flights a day. The more experienced used Beech 18s because of the aircraft's
capacity and maneuverability. The majority of the fliers were mercenaries
who had flown for the CIA."
Ray Buckey's father, Charles, worked for Hughes Aircraft. There is an
old adage that holds "Hughes is the CIA." Charles Buckey built the McMartin
Preschool. According to carbon dating readings, the tunnels unearthed
beneath the preschool were dug in 1968 the year the school was built.
Buckey Sr. testified on the stand that there were no tunnels. The media
has been completely silent on this score, which brings us to...
The Tunnel Cover-Up
El Paso reporter Debbie Nathan, utterly convinced of the defendants'
innocence, entered the fray in The Village Voice, and has appeared in
newspapers across the country, including The L.A. Weekly, Sacramento Bee,
San Francisco Chronicle, and elsewhere. She has been honored with the Free
Press Association's H. L. Mencken Award, and Northwestern University's
Medill School of Journalism prize.
She is a leading proponent of the "mass hysteria" thesis, the notion
that many child abuse allegations are "unfounded." Her cavalier dismissal is
not supported by objective research. Dr. David Chadwick of San Diego's
childrens' Hospital, in the Journal of the American Medical Association (May
26, 1989), contends that 8 percent of all abuse allegations are unfounded,
at most, and are "rather easily distinguishable in a careful review."
At times it is difficult to tell whether Nathan is a "skeptic" or an
apologist of sexual abuse. "Most pedophilia," she contends, "consists of
caressing and fondling. for most children, these experiences appear to be at
best confusing, at worst traumatic. But others seem to willingly
participate, and some adults recall that while still legally minors they
accepted, even welcomed, sex with grown-ups."
Nathan doesn't condemn the abuser. After all, "compared to the abuses of
a child protection movement gone mad, could incest be any worse?"
Alex Cockburn is a Nathan supporter, and has on occasion gotten caught
up in her pro-pedophilic obfuscations, as in this diatribe from The Nation
for March 8, 1993:
As a Miami-based anthropologist, Rafael Martinez, consultant
to the Dade County Medical Examiner's Office, told Nathan, in
traditional Latin American cultures "kissing and hugging is
common with children up to three or four years old. It is common
for females to kiss children all over the place including on the
The practice of kissing children on the genitals may be traditional in
some cultures, but it is frowned upon by the Manhattan Beach preschool
Alex Cockburn's skepticism toward ritual abuse was summed up in an
editorial appearing in the February 8, 1990 Wall Street Journal, "The
McMartin Case: Indict the Children, Jail the Parents." The son of a British
spy, and a loquacious defender of the Warren Commission, Cockburn has such
strong feelings about the McMartin case that he once publicly maligned an
editor of the L.A. Weekly for refusing to print a recommendation that "the
tots bearing false witness in the McMartin preschool case be jailed for
His primary source on the subject of child abuse, Debbie Nathan, is
herself something of a false witness. In 'What McMartin Started: The Ritual
Abuse Hoax" (Village Voice, June 12, 1990), Ms. Nathan moaned that "children
at McMartin told of being molested in tunnels under the school. None were
ever found, but until recently parents were still digging."
In fact, 30 days before Nathan's article appeared, the tunnels were
discovered beneath the preschool by scientists hired by the parents,
confirming the testimony of the children. The project employed a team of
archeologists from local universities, two geologists, a professional
excavator, a carbon-dating specialist and a professional photographer to
document the dig's progress and findings.
The longest tunnel was six feet beneath the preschool, running eastward
45 feet from the southwest wall, and ten feet along the north wall. The
tunnel walls were held in place by support beams and a roof of plywood and
tarpaper. A branch of the tunnel led to a nine-foot chamber
(the "secret room" described by the children?). Another extended from the
preschool to the triplex next door, surfacing beneath a roll-away bathtub/
Forensic tests on thousands of objects found at the site including two
hundred animal bones were conducted.
Until the tunnels were found, the L.A. Times covered the dig with a
smirk. The parents and scientists involved were portrayed as crack-pots -
until the existence of the tunnels were substantiated by experts, at which
time the newspaper abruptly stopped reporting the story. the public was left
with the false impression that the search had failed.
Critics of the excavation pointed out that District Attorney Ira Reiner
had already searched for tunnels. At best, this is a half-truth. Reiner's
team tore up a bit of floor tile, but did not even bother to remove the glue
that held it in place. The D.A.'s team, as it happens, dug up the lot next
to the preschool, not underneath.
"Actually," McMartin mother Jackie MacGauley, who supervised the
excavation, notes, "we were the first to dig on the property." The search
for the tunnels was undertaken with ground-penetrating radar to probe for
inconsistencies in the soil. A bell-shaped area of disturbed earth was
discovered along the foundation of the west wall.
The tunnels beneath the opposite wall was unearthed (precisely where the
children said it would be found all along) beneath the foundation. A
[passage had been knocked through the concrete. "It was interesting,"
MacGauley told L.A.'s Pacifica Radio, "because a lot of the child
development specialists, psychiatrists and therapists across the country
thought that it was some psychological phenomenon that the kids would talk
about tunnels. Somehow that idea got 'planted,' and they had all these
theories as to why all the kids would talk about something like this. It
obviously couldn't be true. And the district attorney at the time just
flatly did not believe it, and really didn't want to look."
Neither did the press.