The Underreported Pervasiveness of Systemic Child Abuse

by lizard

One of the most underreported stories of the past year, at least in the states, has been the uncovering of systemic child abuse, including sex trafficking, in places like Rotherham and Westminster. What is coming to the surface now has been known, by some, for decades. That second link is a Business Insider piece about how this network of influential child rapists kept the lid from blowing off back in the 80’s. From the link:

On Saturday, Aug. 2, 1982, the Daily Express led its front page with a shocking story: Police were investigating a “vice ring” allegedly involving at least 30 prominent individuals, including senior MPs, staff from Buckingham Palace, lawyers, doctors, and City businessmen.

The news prompted feverish speculation in the months following the story’s publication. Attention quickly focused on Elm Guest House, an otherwise nondescript Edwardian house near Barnes, in southwest London.

So what happened? Nothing. Apparently back then (like now) national security was a useful excuse to protect wealthy, powerful people. More from the link:

Seven days after the original story was published, the Daily Mail followed up with one of its own. This time the story explicitly mentioned “an alleged brothel in South London” at which “an address book which lists prominent individuals” was allegedly found. Although four people were charged “in connection with…unlawful activities”, including the guest house owners Haroon Kasir and his wife Carole, none of the prominent individuals were named nor is it reported that they were questioned.

In fact, the police denied that the list mentioned in the Daily Express article and Daily Mail even existed. According to a short news story in The Times, published in early September 1982, Scotland Yard told the paper that “no list of brothel clients had been passed to senior detectives or to the Special Branch” and that “no MPs had been questioned”.

From that point on the story appeared to go quiet, with many assuming that the lack of evidence to substantiate the claims has caused it to run out of steam.

However, two former newspaper editors at the time have now come forward alleging that security services served them with warnings not to publish information relating to the role of powerful individuals in child sex abuse in 1984. The so-called D-notices claimed that the information relating to the abuse might damage national security, according to an article published in The Observer.

One of the editors alleges that he was accosted by police over a dossier passed to him by former Labour cabinet minister Barbara Castle, which reportedly implicated 16 MPs along with senior policemen, headteachers, and clergy. The allegations are in line with those made in July to the Mail by Don Hale, the editor of Castle’s local newspaper the Bury Messenger. Hale claimed that a “heavy mob” of Special Branch officers seized the dossier in a 1984 raid of the paper’s office.

I’ve written a few posts on this topic, like this one and this one. Stuff like Johnny Gosch and the Franklin Union Scandal is usually just relegated to the realm of conspiracy theory. But it’s getting harder to keep it there, especially when a registered sex offender billionaire with connections implicates people like Prince Andrew in the abuse of underage girls. I went with the Washington Post for the link because it opens with such a lovely description of the playground where systemic abuse occurs:

Overlooking the Atlantic’s azure waters along the coast of Palm Beach, Fla., a seemingly endless line of megamansions hide behind tall walls. There, some of the planet’s richest people play host to glamorous balls and parties. But in one of those houses, tucked away on El Brillo Way and once guarded by winged gargoyles, such glamour collided with scandal.

The estate belonged to New York financier Jeffrey Epstein — a sex offender once linked with former president Bill Clinton, Nobel Prize-winning scientists, Kevin Spacey and British royalty. A stream of young girls allegedly flitted in and out of the house in the mid-aughts, attending naked pool parties and, police records showed, dispensing massages to Epstein and other guests.

Prince Andrew was allegedly one of the house’s visitors. On Friday, the Duke of York was named in a federal lawsuit filed against Epstein, whom the FBI once reportedly linked to 40 young women. Filed in 2008 in the Southern District of Florida, the $50 million lawsuit claimed Epstein had a “sexual preference and obsession for underage minor girls … gained access to primarily economically disadvantaged minor girls in his home, sexually assaulted these girls.”

Sexual abuse is a jagged rock thrown into a serene body of water, and the ripples reach across generations. It’s also more pervasive than most of us dare to imagine—because why would we?

To stop it, that’s why.

And the first step is to admit we have a problem.

Locally, there are some small steps that can be made to address our state’s inadequate ability to keep kids safe when it’s clear from reports a child is at risk. There was an AP investigation recently, which spanned 8 months, and Montana did not fare well in the assessment. From the link:

Nowhere was the AP’s challenge steeper than Montana, where the state’s confidentiality law allows the child welfare agency to operate with impunity. The AP discovered the Department of Public Health and Human Services’ involvement in Mattisyn Blaz’s short life, and her death, only by examining hundreds of pages of court files from the criminal trial of her father.

The state makes public only the number of children who died from maltreatment in a given year. Officials said state law prohibits them from releasing details on the number of children who died after having a prior history with child protective services.

Department spokesman Jon Ebelt acknowledged Montana law conflicts with federal disclosure requirements and said officials would seek a change in state law to allow for the disclosure of more information.

Maybe our Montana legislators can take a look at how to improve our state’s ability to protect the kids the state is already aware of. It may not stop billionaires who allegedly received three 12 year old girls from France as a birthday gift, but it may stop other kids in abusive situations from being killed by the adults responsible for raising and nurturing them.

  1. I was just reading about Dresden this morning, a wretched gathering of refugees from eastern provinces as the Russians moved forward, set afire by The Brits and Americans will full knowledge that they were doing nothing more than incinerating human beings to tighten the vice, make Germany scream and stop fighting.

    As a species, we are capable of the most bestial of deeds, and it all resides just under the surface. Are kids abused in this world? Yep. Far more than we admit.

  2. Does “forced” include “having large sums of money deposited to your checking account”? Because in that case, I have been “forced” to work.

  3. Craig Moore

    In the Bakken as well. Sex traffickers operating in North Dakota frequently are engaged in drug trafficking as well, and the extent of that trade is growing, along with the severity of the drugs involved. Amazing isn’t it that drugs are involved with the sex slave business… just like so many other tragic life stories in the news.

    • JC

      Amazing how the sex slave and drug trafficking trades are involved in the money business… just like so many other tragic stories.

      • The 200 girls that Boko Haram captured was about “money business”?

      • John Judge or someone made the point that for all of the heroin that enters the world market from Afghanistan, no one has ever seen a poppy plant leave a field there and go to a lab. This even as American troops guard the fields.

        Drug and prostitution and pedophelia rings need banks, just like churches. There isn’t enough hard cash to service those industries. Do not kid yourself that the money business is not up to its ears in every vice and corrupt enterprise.

        • If parents weren’t sticking needles in their arms instead of feeding the kids maybe we wouldn’t have to guard the poppy fields.

          • steve kelly

            It’s all the addict’s fault. Right, Swede.

            “The CIA also worked with BCCI in arming and financing the Afghan mujahideen during the Afghan War against the Soviet Union, using BCCI to launder proceeds from trafficking heroin grown in the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderlands, boosting the flow of narcotics to European and U.S. markets.” Chossudovsky, Michel (5 April 2004). “The Spoils of War: Afghanistan’s Multibillion Dollar Heroin Trade”. Centre for Research on Globalization. Retrieved 5 August 2013.

            Google CNAS (Center for a New American Security) to see the evolution from Carter/Reagan nascent involvement to today’s record opium production and endless war against Islam.

            • Where does Dick Cheney and the Kock brothers fit in with this?

              • steve kelly

                You remeber Pres. Ford?

                “Ford appointed Rumsfeld his chief of staff when he took office after Nixon’s resignation in 1974. The next year, when he made the 42-year-old Rumsfeld the youngest secretary of defense in the nation’s history, he named 34-year-old Dick Cheney his chief of staff, also the youngest ever.

                Those two Ford appointees worked together ever since. The Bush White House assertion of unchecked presidential power stems from the lessons they drew from their experience of working for the weakest president in recent American history. “For Dick and Don,” Harold Meyerson wrote in The American Prospect last July, “the frustrations of the Ford years have been compensated for by the abuses of the Bush years.”

                Ford also named a new head of the CIA – a former Texas congressman named George H. W. Bush. Thus you could also credit also Ford with launching the Bush dynasty.”


                Jeb might keep the dream alive if Empire collapse can be delayed once again with Fed intervention, or another WW.

              • Not to worry Steve.

                Draftees to WW3 get deferments if their arms have needle tracks.

          • JC

            If the CIA wasn’t in cahoots with the Afghani drug lords, we’d have a lot less supply of heroin. We guard the poppy fields so that the Afghani people have an income and don’t revolt. And so that the drug trade there finances shady characters like Karzai’s brother, who was in the CIA’s pay.

            Doling out another morality play about addicts just shows how ignorant you are about the issue.

          • Steve W

            But then how would the bushes fund their campaigns?

          • Swede, the Taliban had forced a huge reduction in poppy production in Afghanistan, only to be upended by the Americans. After the 2001 Invasion, poppy production returned to normal levels, and then reached news heights.

    • Steve W

      This is a tragic story about the Federal Government smuggling cocaine into the US. What should be done about it, Craig?

  4. steve kelly

    Human dignity is out the window in a time of perpetual global war and gross economic inequality. The 1% will not go quietly, but the many symptoms – and I believe this is one – of G-7 decline are undeniable.

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