The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Nation once again in sexual hysteria


January 3, 2018

Let me stipulate that I believe if someone is found guilty of rape or pedophilia they should spend a substantial amount of time in prison. We are a nation of laws and for the most part we hold to the precept that all men are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

The longest, most expensive criminal trial in U.S. history was the McMartin pre-school case. More than 300 counts of child abuse were alleged against the operators of a child care center in Los Angeles. The timeline from arrest and pretrial investigation through the trial ran for six years and cost $15 million.

This case resulted from a day-care sex abuse hysteria alleging satanic rituals in the 1980s and ’90s. Margaret Talbot, writing in “The Devil in The Nursery.” wrote: “When you once believed something that now strikes you as absurd, even unhinged, it can be almost impossible to summon that feeling of credulity again. Maybe that is why it is easier for most of us to forget, rather than to try and explain, the Satanic-abuse scare that gripped this country in the early ’80s — the myth that devil-worshipers had set up shop in our day-care centers, where their clever adepts were raping and sodomizing children, practicing ritual sacrifice, shedding their clothes, drinking blood and eating feces, all unnoticed by parents, neighbors and the authorities.”

No convictions were obtained and all charges were dropped in 1990. At least they had a trial.

Has some form of sexual hysteria gripped the nation again? The news brings us daily stories about another famous politician, or entertainment personality, or media personage being fired for some form of abuse.

A writer who styles himself “Anonymous Poster” in the “Medium” blog notes, “There are however two big problems with the whole situation.”

1. Accusations alone kill careers and businesses just through the media attention and absence from any investigation or evidence

2. The narrative of the whole debate is that every claim must be believed, regardless how ridiculous the claim itself is and that any questioning of this or that people want an investigation is automatically anti female. (Go back and re-read what the public believed was happening in the McMartin day care center.)

A final caveat on the McMartin case: Six people drove the case: a mentally ill mother; the detective who investigated the complaints; the social worker who interviewed the children; the district attorney who was in a losing battle for re-election; the television reporter who first reported the case, and the prosecutor.

Who is driving the current frenzy?

Rube Render is the Curry County Republican chairman. Contact him at:


Reader Comments


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2017