Thursday, 27 December 2012

Breaking Down The Wall of Silence: to join the waiting child


I began to write this blog post some time ago. I had decided that while talking about breaking down the wall of silence for all those adults who are now coming forward and naming their abusers as well-known and trusted people in the media, the time had come to break down my own wall of silence and describe the abuse I suffered as a child. That's when I truly realised how hard it must have been for those people to speak out, to finally break down those walls and name the abuse, name the abusers because this blog post has been sitting here as a draft for weeks, during which I struggled with the decision about leaving my wall in place or talking about it. I shall talk about it later...!

Some years ago, my very dear friend Frances Ommanney gave me a book to read, "Breaking Down The Wall Of Silence: To Join the Waiting Child," by Alice Miller. In this book, Miller explores the suffering of early childhood and writes that the first stage in the healing process is to feel the truth of our experience. The truth of a child's experience of abuse is very often denied and so children learn not to talk about it. Physical abuse is much easier for the child to report and for adults to believe. Here are the bruises. This is what was done to me. Emotional and sexual abuse are much harder for a child to show and adults to believe: what can a child show you to prove emotional abuse? No bruises, but often children whose behaviour is disruptive are victims of emotional and/or sexual abuse. We just need to look for and listen for the clues those children are giving us. It's easy for those children just to be labelled as trouble-makers. Easy because we then don't need to do anything other than impose sanctions: school exclusions rather than patience, time and expensive therapeutic intervention. Or, we can remove them to 'a place of safety,' in the 'care of the local authority,' where they can be reminded constantly that they are there because they have proven difficult for schools and social workers to deal with. They're just bad! Job done! Move on! 

Sexual abuse in particular often hides behind a wall of silence: the child who remains silent, often because threatened by the abusing adult; the adult who chooses to discount the child's experience. And so, within the adult who was an abused child, I believe there is that child waiting for the pain to be acknowledged and for just one person to say, "I believe you and that shouldn't have happened to you." That child is still there, waiting to be heard. 

The waiting child needs to feel the truth of her or his experience. And for that to happen, the child's pain needs to be acknowledged and the abuser(s) named. The wall of silence must be broken down. 

Sexual abuse of children is, of course, not a new phenomenon, but it's only in the past twenty years or so that we have been using the word 'paedophile,' and facing the reality of just how prevalent is the abuse. Does every family have its very own paedophile among its ranks? Our family did! Of course, when I was a child, we didn't use the word 'paedophile.' We had 'kiddie fiddlers,' and 'dirty old men.' My uncle Henry (real name for the b*stard!) was our very own 'kiddie fiddler.' He zoomed in on us female cousins when we began to look pubescent with developing boobs. If we were unlucky enough to have to sit in the back of a car with him, the hand would go over the shoulder and he would try to get under the clothing to the breasts. At a New Year's Eve party, my older sister was told to go with Henry to fetch something from a neighbour's house. She didn't want to go, but didn't want to have to explain why she was reluctant. She came back a few minutes later, crying because Henry had dragged her into an entry and tried to remove her clothing. Nobody believed her. Uncle Henry (the b*stard!) was a respected member of the family and my sister was held to be a liar. It was never spoken of again, but I reckon most of my family knew what Henry was like, but chose to ignore it. Years later, when Henry retired from his job in the Glasgow shipyards, he took up a job as a 'lollipop man.' A bleedin' 'lollipop man,' guiding children safely across busy roads. Nobody said anything: the wall of silence remained intact. 

Maybe our family is unusual. Or maybe not. Speaking some years ago to a woman called Liz, who had interviewed thousands of women about their experience of childhood sexual abuse, I am inclined to believe, based on findings she described to me, that most of us adults either experienced sexual abuse personally or know of someone within the family or close circle of associates who had. 

Paedophiles are in the news big time at the moment. Did we really have to wait until Jimmy Savile was dead for there to be public disclosure about the hundreds of accusations against him? Did people at the BBC really just ignore it because in those days it was just accepted that that was to be expected of people like Savile? For those children and young people who were abused by him, it's tragic. Who would they tell when there were incidents such as the one where a BBC producer walked in on Savile with a young girl on his lap and she closed the door and did nothing?

The time has come to break down those walls of silence and listen to those people who were abused.  

In 1997, the conclusion of the inquiry into allegations of abuse at children's homes in North Wales, chaired by Sir Ronald Waterhouse QC, was that the allegations against named social workers and prominent public figures were fantasy. Children's Commissioner for Wales Keith Towler has said there is a need for a fresh inquiry But he says the Waterhouse Inquiry report, which looked into the allegations and came out in 2000, uncovered just a fraction of the abuse. So, how much more is there? How many children were abused in those homes that were supposed to be 'a place of safety.'? How many children were taken from their families 'for their own good' and thrown into a pit of evil, just captive subjects in what must have been like sweet shops for vile paedophiles? 

And if this happened in children's homes in North Wales, where else did it happen? Surely North Wales cannot be an exception? I know that in one area, which I shouldn't name, several children's homes were closed amid allegations of institutionalised abuse. Perhaps that area will come into focus now that the curtain is being raised on the true extent of the hidden abuse. 

The abuse that I suffered is probably nothing compared to what all those children suffered in so-called 'care,' but who can quantify suffering? Actually, I never saw myself as a victim, probably because, although there were no adults to believe us, all of us kids talked about it and tried to protect each other and we were not trapped within a system of care and protection. We had choices that children in care never had and I would say don't have. But, yes, who can quantify suffering? Well, a prominent Tory can. His suffering, even though he was never named by that BBC programme, is worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. 

What is the value placed on the ruined lives of those adult survivors of childhood abuse while supposedly in 'the care of the local authority.'? Seemingly not a great deal when certain aspects of the media are all too willing to label people like Steve Messham as some kind of fantasist because of a case of mistaken identity of one of his abusers while he was in care. It almost seems like while the media can focus on this one case of mistaken identity and give front page news to a man who was wrongly named as an abuser and the BBC can publicly flog itself, certain people can breathe a sigh of relief now that the attention has shifted from the true extent of sexual abuse. 

Almost daily, there is news of some other high profile person being arrested in connection with 'historic abuse.' And the obvious question is - how deep and how high does this all go into the realms of people in public life? People in the entertainment business? Politicians? Do perverts somehow manage to get themselves into positions of power through their own wiles/skills/talents/influence or does power corrupt in ways the rest of us would never imagine? 

Let's name the abusers. And let's also hear those people who were abused. Let's now, once and for all, help those children within to be heard. Those walls of silence must be broken down and we must join those children who have been waiting for a very long time for someone to say, "That shouldn't have happened to you." 

Monday, 17 December 2012

Two Banking Scandals - Three Tragic Events

Second Amendment

The Aurora Shooting

On Friday, July 20, 2012, a mass shooting occurred in a Century Movie Theatre in Aurora, Colorado, during a midnight screening of the film "The Dark Knight Rises," during which a lone gunman is alleged (alleged because there are witness statements that report more than one shooter) to have killed 12 people and injured 58. The only suspect is James Eagan Holmes, who was arrested outside the cinema shortly after the shooting. 

Of interest here is that James Holmes' father, Robert Holmes was due to testify before a US Senate Panel on the Libor banking scandal.

"Most important to note about James Holmes, however, this report says, is that his father, Robert Holmes, was said to have been scheduled to testify within the next few weeks before a US Senate panel on the largest bank fraud scandal in world history that is currently unfolding and threatens to destabilize and destroy the Western banking system. Robert Holmes, whose “blueblood” family links go back to the Mayflower, is known throughout the global banking community as being the creator of one of the most sophisticated computer algorithms ever developed and is credited with developing predictive models for financial services; credit and fraud risk models, first and third party application fraud models and internet/online banking fraud models."
Godlike Productions

Sandy Hook Elementary School, Connecticut

On the morning of Friday December 4th, a lone gunman, (once again initial witness reports of more than one shooter) alleged to have been a 20 year-old man named Adam Lanza, armed with two pistols and a rifle, shot and killed 20 children and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. The guns belonged to Lanza's mother, whom he is reported to have shot and killed before busting his way into the school and embarking on his deadly rampage in which the children were shot together with teachers who tried to protect them. Adam Lanza then shot himself.

As a mother I recall walking up the road to my children's school and waving to them at the gate. It's what parents all over the world do and we assume that once inside the gate, under the supervision of school staff, our children are safe. We collect our children, safely, at the end of the school day. That's what's supposed to happen: we stand at the gate with other parents, looking out for our own little ones running towards us and we all go home. For 20 families of children at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, an ordinary day when they left their children at the school gate became a day when their children would not be running to meet them, they would not be going home. I can only imagine, as a mother and a grandmother, what that must be like: the individual and collective loss and grief is almost beyond what most of us can imagine. Somewhere in my consciousness as I go about my day, there is a lingering sadness for those children and their families.

Embedded in that sadness is a little voice that says: hang on, Adam Lanza's father is reported to have been due to testify before the US Senate Panel on the Libor banking scandal. What kind of coincidence is that? Two young men go on a shooting rampage, killing lots of innocent people, and both their fathers were due to testify about the Libor banking scandal?

Libor scandal grows as the fathers of two mass murderers were to testify

Both fathers of the shooters were allegedly expected to testify in the Libor scandal that rocked the banking world in June.
The father of Newtown Connecticut school shooter Adam Lanza is Peter Lanza who is a VP and Tax Director at GE Financial. The father of Aurora Colorado movie theater shooter James Holmes is Robert Holmes, the lead scientist for the credit score company FICO. Both men were to testify before the US Sentate in the ongoing LIBOR scandal. The London Interbank Offered Rate, known as Libor, is the average interest rate at which banks can borrow from each other. 16 international banks have been implicated in this ongoing scandal, accused of rigging contracts worth trillions of dollars. HSBC has already been fined $1.9 billion and three of their low level traders arrested.


For similar events on the magnitude of both Aurora and Newtown to hold a connection to one of the greatest financial scandals in the history of finance is astronomically slim in regards to coincidence.
...While the coming days will bring forth more pertinent information on the motives, access, and failures of both community and family to diagnose the events leading up to Adam Lanza's killing spree, one thing is becoming disturbingly clear. The connections between the Aurora massacre, and the one that took place in Newtown on Friday, may have far more ramifications to the people involved in the Libor scandal than anyone could imagine.

The Examiner

So, there we have it. Two mass shootings with an apparent link to the Libor banking scandal, the fathers of the two killers both reported as having been due to testify on the scandal. The chances of this happening, if true, would appear to be rather slim. 

Then we have another tragic murder case that appears to have a link to a banking scandal.

The Krim family

On October 25th, Marina Krim returned to her Upper West Side apartment in New York to find her children, Leo aged 2 and Lucia aged 6, dead in a bathtub. She then found the children's nanny, Yoselyn Ortega stabbing herself in the neck. The nanny has been charged with the murder of the children.

Kevin Krim, the children's father, is a senior vice president for CNBC Digital. The Krim children were murdered one day after CNBC reported on a $43 trillion banker lawsuit.

 October 25, 2012 – CNBC Publishes article from PR Newswire Press Release: Major Banks, Governmental Officials and Their Comrade Capitalists Targets of Spire Law Group, LLP’s Racketeering and Money Laundering Lawsuit Seeking Return of $43 Trillion to the United States Treasury
October 26, 2012 – CNN Reports that the two children of Kevin Krim, a senior vice president for CNBC Digital and former Yahoo executive were murdered.

Krim’s children: Leo, who had recently celebrated his second birthday with “Pinkalicious-inspired cupcakes;” and his 6-year-old sister, Lucia, who had performed “beautifully in her ballet recital” in May.
Both children had been repeatedly stabbed, police said.
October 27, 2012 – CNBC removed article from their website and archives
Godlike Productions

is this another coincidence? Is it just coincidental that CNBC carried a report about a $43 trillion banking fraud and the following day two children of a CNBC Vice President were murdered? And why then did CNBC remove the report from its pages? All just coincidence?

My father had a little song he would sing at times like this: "And the band played believe it if you like. Ting ting!

I'm afraid I don't know what to believe. The thought that planned and co-ordinated evil might exist in my world fills me with horror. I'm sure this is the same for most ordinary people, in ordinary jobs, just living in an ordinary world where these things do not happen. 

Yet, they do happen to ordinary people. Many miles away from my little town, in a small town in the USA, 20 families have lost a child to a gunman. And of course, we now have the expected calls for tightening of gun control in the US. I'm truly grateful that we in the UK do not have this problem. I know a man who has a collection of antique guns (all working) which he keeps in a locked cabinet. He has to re-apply on a regular basis for his licence to hold those guns and the requirements he must meet are very strict. Apart from that, the thought that any of my neighbours might possibly have a handgun in a bedside drawer would horrify me. 

The right to keep and bear arms and form well-regulated citizen militias is enshrined within the Constitution of the United States of America and I cannot see that right being surrendered willingly by a great many of the people of that nation for whom the right to carry is almost God-given. 

I have seen comments today that an attempt to take guns from the citizens of the USA will result in civil war. That may sound extreme, but not beyond the realms of possibility, in my opinion. Since the Sandy Hook massacre, gun sales have been booming. 

I will end here quoting a few 'tweets,' from the American broadcaster, Max Keiser.

Max Keiser ‏@maxkeiser

I don't think these are random shootings as such, I think America just entered a new civil war: the banksters stole it all, now it's payback

Max Keiser ‏@maxkeiser

US can't change pro-massacre gun laws the same way they can't change pro-bankster finance laws.

Max Keiser ‏@maxkeiser

Coroner: Conn. gunman shot mom multiple times in head; shooter killed self with shot to head. The apple pie and American flag were untouched

And finally

Max Keiser ‏@maxkeiser

HSBC's money laundering and terror financing killed more kids than all 7 mass shootings in America this year

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Jenny Murat: Kate McCann Printed Such Awful Things About My Robert In Her Madeleine Book

Jenny Murat

According to James Murray in today's Sunday Express Robert Murat's mother Jenny has hit out at the way her son is portrayed in Kate McCann's book "Madeleine." Kate McCann wrote:

"Two officers talked openly about Robert Murat, who remained an arguido [suspect] and drip-fed us snippets of 'evidence' linking him to Madeleine"

However, later in the book, Kate McCann added:

"Nothing we were told by the police indicated Murat took Madeleine or was in any way involved in her abduction."

There appears to be a contradiction there. How could the police have drip-fed 'evidence,' that linked Murat to Madeleine but none of that 'evidence,' indicated any involvement? Maybe Kate McCann just needed to blame the police for her initial belief that Robert had been involved. 

On July 18th 2007, Kate McCann wrote in her personal journal (for the publication of which by the News of The World she was awarded substantial damages) 

"I had lots of hope that there would be progress in Murat's situation. I'm sure that he is involved and I feel like killing him, but I can't" The McCann Files

A reasonable question to ask is what made Kate McCann sure that Robert Murat had been involved in her daughter's disappearance. Surely not all that 'evidence,' that linked Robert to Murat but did not indicate any involvement in Madeleine's disappearance. 

Well, there were her friends, who stated that they had seen Robert on the evening of May 3rd soon after the alarm was raised that Madeleine had disappeared.

Three of the Tapas group (Russell O'Brien, Rachel Oldfield and Fiona Payne) claim to have seen Murat on the streets of Praia da Luz during the aftermath of Madeleine's disappearance. The McCann Files

That same trio returned to Portugal for a face-to-face confrontation with Robert Murat on July 11th 2007.

Three of the Tapas group (Russell O'Brien, Rachel Oldfield and Fiona Payne) are re-interviewed by police to clarify points in their initial statements. Robert Murat is then brought into the questioning by police to 'confront' the 3 members of the Tapas group. The police apparently allow them to argue over the inconsistencies in their statements. The police later say that this was a valuable exercise.The McCann Files


Rachel Oldfield, Fiona Payne and Russell O'Brien on their return to Portugal
in July 2007

And let's not forget Jane Tanner's crucial evidence in identifying Robert Murat as the man she had seen carrying a child away from the direction of apartment 5A, from where Madeleine had disappeared. On the night of May 13th 2007 the Portuguese police obtained a warrant to search Robert Murat's property where he was living with his mother.

 Before the search, we want to assure ourselves that Jane Tanner recognises him as the individual she saw on the night of the disappearance. She is sitting inside an unmarked car, whose tinted windows allow her to see out without being spotted. The vehicle is parked at the exact spot where she was on the night of May 3rd. Robert Murat, anonymous amongst plain clothes police officers, goes up the road in the same way as the alleged abductor. Jane Tanner is adamant: it certainly is Robert Murat that she saw that night. She definitely recognises his way of walking. But does he resemble the description she painted previously? (Chapter 7 "The Truth of the Lie," by Gonçalo Amaral)

So, it wasn't just the two police officers drip-feeding Kate McCann snippets of evidence about Robert Murat that led to her being convinced or trying to convince others, in my opinion, that Robert was involved in Madeleine's disappearance. Kate McCann was aided by four of her friends in her quest to implicate Robert. Jane Tanner identified him as the man she had seen carrying a child on the evening of May 3rd and another three of the group, known as "The Tapas Nine," stated that they had seen Robert outside the McCann apartment soon after Madeleine was found to have disappeared. 

Oddly enough, there happens to be a strong resemblance between Robert Murat and Dr David Payne, but surely David's own wife wouldn't make such a mistake? 


None of the residents of Praia da Luz who knew Robert Murat identified him as having been there, outside the apartment. So, why did those friends of Kate and Gerry McCann make statements that they had seen him? It is my opinion that Robert was just an easy patsy, someone who turned up on the morning of May 4th, offering to interpret for the English group who spoke no Portuguese. Memories of Ian Huntley and the Soham case were still strong in the minds of the public and Robert Murat was likened by Lori Campbell of Sky News to Huntley as appearing to help, but hanging around in a very suspicious  manner. 

It's not just Kate McCann, as far as I am concerned, who should bear the responsibility for the awful things said about Robert Murat. Kate McCann's four friends, Jane Tanner, Rachel Oldfield, Fiona Payne and Russell O'Brien also carry a load of responsibility in that direction. 

I am still hoping that as part of their review the Scotland Yard team will call for a reconstruction of the events of May 3rd 2007 surrounding the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Do those four people still believe it was Robert Murat they saw? Perhaps the three who were adamant that he was there outside the apartment should indicate where they were and where they "saw," Robert Murat. But since Robert gained substantial damages from several UK news outlets, perhaps their conviction will not be so strong. 

And back to Kate McCann's book and her comments about Robert Murat. Jenny Murat adds this to her statement in today's Sunday Express:

“Surely it would have been wiser not to mention the allegations from the outset if there was ‘nothing relevant’.”

Yes, might have been a good idea. Might also have been a good idea not to refer to the Portuguese Family Liaison Officer as a f*cking t*sser, but that's another story from Kate's bewk!