re: Ray Buckey's Press Corps and the Tunnels of McMartin - part three
- This may be heavy for survivors.
From: Psychic Dictatorship in the USA, Alex Constantine (Feral House, 1995).
part three :
Ray Buckey's Press Corps and the Tunnels of McMartin
A Cottage Industry of Child Abuse Debunkers
"MODERN WITCH-HUNT CHILD ABUSE CHARGES"
bawled a Wall Street Journal editorial for February 22, 1993. But the tone
of the column was dry and high-toned. Dr. Richard Gardner, professor of
clinical psychiatry at Columbia University, cautioned that "a great wave of
hysteria" had gripped the country.
In the early 90s, the mass hysteria premise was touted by big city
newspapers and magazines of elite stature, all attempting to persuade with
evident bias and inflated "expert" opinion that false child abuse charges
were endemic. This school of disinformation coaxed public opinion with dire
exhortations of a child abuse witch-hunt.
In his Wall Street Journal comments, Dr. Gardner warned that a great
wave of hysteria, "by far the worst" in history, the most devastating "with
regard to the number of lives that have been destroyed and families that
have been disintegrated."
Gardner's basic argument is that allegations of child abuse are often
fabricated by parents embroiled in custody disputes another explanation
not supported by statistics, the ones Gardner ignores. One study found that
a mere two percent of all abuse accusations stem from visitation and custody
disputes. Other researchers have placed the percentage slightly higher.)
As for "mass hysteria," one of the earliest promoters of this thesis was
Ralph Underwager, co-author with his wife, Hollida Wakefield, of Accusations
of Child Sexual Abuse. "Few physicians will wish to invest the time and
money ($70) to own or even read this book," complained a reviewer for the
Journal of the American Medical Association. "It is of little value to those
who work with abused children except as it may be important to be aware of
all points of view. The book will be doubtless be useful to attorneys
defending persons accused of sexual abuse of children. It appears to have
been written particularly for that audience.... The authors cite over 700
references, but they do not really review this body of literature. When a
given reference fails to support their viewpoint, they simply misstate the
Since 1974, Dr. Underwager has been the director of the Institute for
Psychological Therapies in Northfield, Minnesota. He has since been
frequently called upon to provide expert testimony in the late '80s he
spent 60-70 percent of his professional life shuttling between courtrooms.
He is the author of numerous articles debunking the credibility of ritual
abuse victims. Dr. Underwager has frequently been cited by Debbie Nathan as
a leading authority on the subject. Lisa Manshel, author of Nap Time, an
account of the New Jersey ritual abuse case, found that "child sexual abuse
was not his field of knowledge," but "it was his field of courtroom
practice. He proliferated the opinion, 'No one knows how to tell accurately
whether a child's been abused' throughout the nation's courts." He has
testified in most states, and by satellite in foreign countries, before at
least 200 juries."
Dr. Underwager once stated on the stand that he considered it "more
desirable that a thousand children in abuse situations are not discovered
than for one innocent person to be convicted wrongly."
Dr. Underwager, a founder of the False Memory Syndrome foundation, is an
ordained Lutheran minister. He believes, he once said in an interview
appearing in an Amsterdam journal for pedophiles, , that sex with children
is not only acceptable, but "God's will."
Q: Is choosing pedophilia for you a responsible choice for
Underwager: Certainly it is responsible. What I have been
struck by as I have come to know more about and understand
people who choose pedophilia is that they let themselves be
too much defined by other people. That is usually an essential
negative definition. Pedophiles spend a lot of time and energy
defending their choice. I don't think a pedophile needs to do
Underwager insisted that pedophiles "should attack the concept, the
image, the picture of the pedophile as an evil, wicked and reprehensible
exploiter of children." Following the interview, Underwager was forced to
resign as a founding member of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation (which
is largely directed by CIA psychiatrists with backgrounds in mind control
The London Observer for December 12, 1993 reported that Dr. Underwager
denied ever condoning sex with children. He added, however, that "scientific
evidence" had demonstrated that "60 percent of women sexually abused as
children reported that the experience was good for them. He contended the
same could be true for boys involved with pedophiles..
The Descent of Mann
In a five-part series that appeared after the hung jury verdict of Ray
Buckey's first trial, Los Angeles Times reporter David Shaw found that the
newspaper's research files explained little of "the crucial
behind-the-scenes role played by screenwriter Abby Mann." Mann's writing
staff and circle of disinformationists have shaped public opinion on the
Noel Greenwood, an L.A. Times editor, has described the wall of
pro-Buckey PR thrown up by Mann and friends as "a mean, malevolent campaign
conducted by people ... whose motives are highly suspect and who have
behaved in a basically dishonest ... and dishonorable way."
Abby Mann, an Oscar recipient for a film about the Nazi war crimes
trial, Judgment at Nuremburg (an oxymoron, since there was precious little
justice at Nuremburg, a carefully-managed show trial that culminated with
the execution of a small clutch of Nazis, minor prison terms for some and
recruitment of thousands of others by the CIA.)
From the beginning, Mann was a vociferous advocate of the McMartin
defendants. "We like to think we are different from Salem," Mann sniffed at
the resolution of Ray Buckey's first trial. "I don't believe that anything
happened at that school."
Abby Mann has worked diligently, largely back-stage, on behalf of
Buckeys. It was Mann who first interested Sixty Minutes in the McMartin
case. The November 2, 1986 broadcast was decidedly biased in favor of Ray
Buckey. Defense attorney Danny Davis characterized the segment as "wholly
sympathetic to the defense point of view."
Sixty Minutes led off with the camera panning a long couch and five of
the original defendants. Mike Wallace asked: "Do these women look like child
New York Times reporter David Hechler noted "gaping holes in the story.
Why were no police or D.A.'s investigators interviewed or even mentioned?
And if Ira Reiner believed the case was so weak against the five defendants,
why did he wait until the five-month preliminary hearing was completed
before dropping the charges? These questions were never asked." The
innocence of the defendants was assumed by Wallace and crew as a foregone
conclusion, and the charges against them were framed as the aberrations of
Most of the Sixty Minutes segment on McMartin was taped in Abby Mann's
But heavily-biased media coverage was only one of the strategies quietly
enacted by Abby Mann. When Deputy District Attorney Glenn Stevens was caught
leaking information on the prosecution's case to Mann,
he was forced to resign. No charges were brought against him.
From the Los Angeles Times.
Gaining the confidence of the McMartin defendants, the
Manns were ultimately hired as "investigators" for the defense.
That and their earlier alliance with former prosecutor Glenn
Stevens sparked charges from parents of alleged child molestation
victims of a conspiracy to obstruct justice for monetary gain.
After Los Angeles Tmes reporter Bob Williams met Abby Mann, he wrote a
flurry of memos charging the coverage of Lois Timnick, the paper's reporter
on the McMartin beat, with extreme bias favoring the prosecution. The
accusation was investigated by Noel Greenwood, the regional news editor at
the Times. Greenwood concluded that it was Williams who'd acted with extreme
bias, not Timnick. Greenwood's memoes state that Williams' memos were
"reckless and irresponsible." Williams had "undermined a fellow reporter and
seriously harmed the credibility and effectiveness of the Times."
Williams was temporarily suspended without pay. Shortly thereafter, he
went to work for Abby Mann.
Williams surfaced next as a consultant to Mary Fischer, whose "A Case of
Dominoes" in Los Angeles magazine drew upon the argument (first postulated
by the child pornographers Paul and Shirley Eberle), that former District
Attorney Robert Philobosian initiated the McMartin prosecution for political
Fischer once admitted to the late Wayne Satz, the KABC television
reporter who broke the McMartin story, that she wrote the article under the
direction of Abby Mann.
"There was never any case at all," Fischer wrote with absolute
certainty. "At the very least, it is a blueprint for preying on public
fears." Fischer has gone so far as to claim that therapists, parents and
children attending McMartin masterminded a "conspiracy" to harass and
imprison innocent people. When pressed on one occasion by Carol Hemingway, a
Los Angeles talk show host, Fischer was unable to offer supporting evidence
of conspiracy (as McMartin parents did), nor could she explain the motives
of the conspirators.
Fischer did her utmost to dismiss the medical evidence that molestation
took place at the preschool. In October, 1988 the Los Angeles Times reported
that medical examiners of the original 13 children scheduled to testify
found "scars, tears, enlarged body openings or other evidence indicating
blunt force trauma consistent with the repeated sodomy and rape they
One of the children bled from the anus. Some contracted venereal
Yet Fischer found relevant the findings of a Fresno pediatrician who
refused to testify at the first McMartin trial. The 1987 study, summarized
by Fischer, concluded that "any kind of irritation not just sexual abuse
may damage children's genitals." This reader, at least, was left to ponder
forms of "irritation" that might leave the McMartin children with chlamydia,
confirmed by medical examinations and difficult to explain away.
Fischer's follow-up McMartin story in Los Angeles for October, 1993
opined that a "hysterical tone" in press reports on McMartin was established
by Wayne Satz. who died of heart failure in 1992, "causing some to speculate
it was karma," wrote Fischer, an ersatz and mean-spirited elegy.
"I still don't know how anyone could believe all that bull," Virginia
McMartin told her. "Especially with a school as wide open as ours and people
coming and going at all times. Or who could actually believe there were
tunnels.. (The archeological team that led the excavation ignored by
Fischer could have given her a guided tour.) "It shows the power of the
Apparently Abby Mann has a need for Ms. Fischer and the other writers in
his employ. A best-selling Hollywood biographer (speaking on condition of
anonymity) offers this insight into the career of Abby Mann. "He's incapable
of writing scripts himself. It's true," he said, "he can't write. Abby keeps
a fairly large stable of ghost writers to produce scripts in his name."
Who is Abby Mann? Mae Brussell, the late Carmel-based political
researcher, speculated in a November, 1987 radio broadcast that Mann is a
covert operator posing as a Hollywood progressive, plying extensive media
connectioins to influence public opinion. Mann's behind-the-scenes
manipulations, ghosts and an exhaustive supply of funds and press contacts,
support the hypothesis that Abby Mann is a media mole.
Indictment, yet another disninformation effort supposedly written by
Abby and Myra Mann, premiered on May 20, 1985 on HBO. The movie was produced
and directed by Oliver Stone. As a political researcher, I had taken more
than a passing interest in Stone's film JFK, and couldn't help but note that
the media assault on Stone's bore a resemblance to Mann's
campaign to discredit the McMartin children. The day after an announcement
of the "secret" project already underway appeared in Variety, I contacted
Stone's office and spoke with Jean Marie Burke, a researcher for Ixtlan
Productions, Stone's company in Santa Monica. I informed Ms. Burke that much
of the information about McMartin in the corporate media was disingenuous,
beginning with the Eberles.
She brightened up. "Oh, the Eberles I have their books right here!"
She went silent when I told her that Paul and Shirley Eberle were child
pornographers. I sent her a package of accurate information on the case by
certified mail, then contacted her boss with a letter informing him simply
that he had hold of a bad project, which had already been shot and was in
the editing stage Stone wrote back, asking me to clarify. My response
McMartin is poorly understood by most people because a disinformation
gambit is afoot to discredit the children's¹ testimony -- a fusillade, in
fact, similar to the one you were treated to after JFK. You asked me to
clarify my objections.
Consider how difficult it was to sort through and communicate the
multitude of facts relevant to the killing of John Kennedy. And then recall
how a carefully-conceived film on the assassination can be explained away
with a glib "no evidence" from an Edward Epstein or Dan Rather. This is the
problem I¹m up against with McMartin. There is a complex story behind the
abuse -- it involves CIA mind control experiments, and this is largely what
the plants in the establishment press, and fronts like the False Memory
Syndrome Foundation, are concealing. (Nine out of ten psychiatrists in both
the U.S. and Great Britain from large samplings believe ritual abuse to be a
very real social problem. But the media inevitably talks only to the one of
ten who deny, and many of those are experimental scientists on the CIA
payroll.) You now find yourself on the same side (of the McMartin
argument) as Alex Cockburn (you recall the knock-down-drag-out Nation debate
with a leading progressive who rejects key crimes of government ((including
the Kennedy assassination)) for high-toned, but ultimately silly reasons),
Newsweek, etc. That alone should make you uncomfortable in the extreme.
One of your researchers brightened up when I mentioned the only two
books available on McMartin, both written by Paul and Shiirley Eberle. She
knew those books inside out. The problem is, the Eberles published child
pornography in the 1970s -- garishly packaged in an underground rag called
Finger -- featuring adults having sex with children, children with excrement
smeared on them, children in lewd positions and posing provocatively. This
ludicrous pedophile sheet ran stories with such unsavory testimonials as
"She was Only Thirteen," "What Happens when Niggers Adopt White Children,"
"My First Rape," and so on. Don¹t bother to read the McMartin books, if
you haven¹t already. Each page is full of factual errors and conscious
distortions. Your movie will perpetuate the Eberles¹ disinformation. But the
LA Times will love it. (Buffy Chandler told a source of mine, in a moment of
rage at her family, that her parents (the owners of the L.A. Times) funded
weird genetic experiments years ago. This is no more bizarre than some of
the things done in pre-schools around the country, and may explain the
newspaper¹s change of attitude after the initial reporting.)
But Noel Greenwood, a Times editor, knew what he was talking about when
he said there is a "mean-spirited campaign" in play to slant the truth about
Abby Mann is a key proponent. His attorney threatened to sue if I
didn't¹;t retract my comments when an early version of my research appeared
several years ago. I did not retract. In fact, the newspaper, Rando m
Lengths in Long Beach, backed me. Others appearing in the story threatened
me. They did not sue. Why not? The