“To Serve and Protect?” Save me from my police.
(or, way to go Saskatoon PD)
Not only do they drop off an Aboriginal teenager in the freezing cold to freeze to death, but now this:
Except: SASKATOON – Twelve people who were falsely accused of ritualistically abusing three foster children more than a decade ago were themselves the victims of a malicious prosecution , a judge has ruled.
Richard Klassen and 11 others were charged in 1991 with abusing the children in bizarre and demonic ways – forcing them to eat eyeballs, drink blood, participate in orgies and watch newborn babies get skinned and buried.
Saskatoon police called it the “scandal of the century” at the time, but most of the cases never made it to trial. Charges were stayed and the children recanted their accusations. Klassen and the others sued the investigators and, today, Queen’s Bench Justice George Baynton ruled in the plaintiffs’ favour.
“The case was labelled by the media as the ‘scandal of the century’,” Baynton said in his ruling. “The real scandal, however, is the travesty of justice that was visited upon 12 of those individuals, the plaintiffs in the civil action, by branding them as pedophiles, even though each of them was innocent of the horrendous allegations and criminal offences charged against them.”
The ruling applies to three of the four defendants in the civil lawsuit: The lead investigator – Saskatoon police Supt. Brian Dueck, who was a corporal when the case broke; a therapist, Carol Bunko-Ruys; and Crown prosecutor Matthew Miazga.
Baynton cited several reasons why the prosecution was malicious, including a lack of reasonable cause. “In my view, proceeding with charges in such an extraordinary case in the absence of reasonable and probable cause constitutes a strong presumption of malice,” Baynton wrote.
He said evidence suggested Dueck was “blinded by his zeal to turn the wild allegations of the Ross children into a high-profile case that would portray him as a diligent and unrelenting protector of abused children.” “It is almost beyond belief that none of those involved in the prosecution of the plaintiffs stood back, so to speak, and asked themselves if any of this made any sense and whether it could reasonably be true,” Baynton wrote.
Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA) allegations have been around since the 1980′s. Growing up in the Christian church, I can remember hearing stories of these atrocities. I was fed the “real life” information concerning the evils of Satanism, Paganism, anything other than Christianity. I heard testimonies from people who were former Satanists, who told me the fascinating tales of their rituals and other activities they participated in — as well as their conversion story.
One guy I saw in concert, Mike Warnke, turned out to be a complete (and proven) fraud.
Much of the paranoia caused by SRA fears have been proven false. The book that started most of this — Michelle Remembers — is full of lies, yet often accepted as the truth.
I can remember being both fascinated and horrified by stories I heard concerning Satanists, etc. growing up. It was almost addicting, hearing these scary stories — while it also confirmed for me my own Christian faith, at that time.
Now that I’ve chosen a different spiritual path, I get angry when I think about how deceived I was. I’m angry that people still choose to believe these lies, even when evidence points them in a different direction.
I’m sure people in Saskatoon and Canada will remember the “scandal of the century”, along with other people elsewhere who have heard similiar stories of SRA — but will they remember the eventual vindication of the real victims, who were accused falsely? Somehow I don’t think so.
A friend of mine is doing a rhetorical analysis of a book on cults, entitled Cults in our Midst. She made a really good point in her seminar presentation of it, last term. She talked about how the book purports to allievate and educate people about the dangers of cults — yet at the same time, it engenders more of this same fear in its reader.
It all comes down to a process of identification. The more you can fear something and pin evils upon it (whether these evils are deserved or not), the more you can identify with your group — falling into the ultimate “us versus them” mentality.
It’s something that’s applicable to areas other than fundamentalist religions. I think about how so many people here have demonized the Muslim faith, just because of the actions of some extremists. Or how so many belief structures have fallen prey to stereotyping.
It’s something that frustrates me to no end, and fuels my desire to educate people otherwise.
But when I stop to take in the different forms of injustice in our world — I’m overwhelmed and see how futile my weak attempts are.
Happy New Year.