Gruinard Island aka Anthrax Island


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Gruinard Island is a small, oval-shaped Scottish island approximately 2 kilometres long by 1 kilometre wide, located in Gruinard Bay, about halfway between Gairloch & Ullapool

At its closest point to the mainland it is just over 1.1 kilometres (0.68 mi) offshore. The island was made dangerous for all mammals by experiments with the anthrax bacterium until it was decontaminated in the late 20th century. Gruinard was the site of a biological warfare test by British military scientists from Porton Down in 1942, during the Second World War.[9]At that time there was an investigation by the British government into the feasibility of an attack using anthrax.[10] Given the nature of the weapon which was being developed, it was recognised that tests would cause widespread and long-lasting contamination of the immediate area by anthrax spores. To limit contamination, a remote and uninhabited island was required. Gruinard was surveyed, deemed suitable and requisitioned from its owners by the British Government

Cleaned up with formaldehydeIsn’t that just FANTASTIC NEWS?! see here here












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“Scientists testing the soil as recently as 1979 found Anthrax still thriving” 

“In the early 1990’s the island was cleaned up, sterilised with hundreds of tons of formaldehyde”

Survivors of abuse in care asked to add to compensation consultation #Fife

22nd Sept 2017

Survivors of abuse in care asked to add to compensation consultation

Survivors of abuse in Fife’s care system are being urged to come forward – to help form a report about how those affected should be compensated.

It is part of a Scotland-wide consultation that will make recommendations to the Scottish Government, based on real experiences.

The Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland (CELCIS) is asking survivors to share their views on compensation online.

Joanne McMeeking, Head of Improving Care Experiences at CELCIS, said: 

“CELCIS is pleased to support survivors of abuse in care with this important work and we hope that survivors of abuse can take part in the consultation. This is an opportunity for survivors to contribute their ideas about how a potential redress scheme might work best for them. Completing this consultation questionnaire gives survivors a way to have their ideas about alternative forms of financial redress seen and heard. All of the information gathered in the consultation will be used to present options to the Scottish Government for consideration when it decides whether to establish a financial compensation/redress scheme.”

Opinions heard

Helen Holland, Chair of In Care Abuse Survivors (Incas), said: 

“This consultation gives everyone who has experienced abuse in the Scottish care system the chance to share their views. This allows all of us the opportunity to have our voices and opinions heard as we continue to work forward towards redress and reparation.”

Scotland’s Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

“I would encourage all survivors to take this opportunity to have their voice heard in this consultation. All responses will be considered by CELCIS to prepare an independent report setting out options for what a redress scheme could look like. I am hugely grateful to the survivor representatives who have developed this and can assure all those taking part that the Government will carefully consider the findings.”

The consultation questionnaire can be accessed online at the CELCIS website.

When can I take part?   consultation runs from 4 Sept 2017 to 17 Nov 2017.

How do I take part?    Send us your completed questionnaire as a paper copy or by completing the questionnaire online.

By post    We are happy to send you a paper copy – you can request this by email at or by telephone on 0808 800 0031 (on Monday and Thursday 9.30am – 4.00pm or Tuesday 9.30am – 7.00pm).
We will include a FREEPOST envelope for you to return your paper copy.

Download a copy



Complete the questionnaire online

4th Sept 2017     Consultation on financial redress for abuse survivors

Adult survivors of abuse whilst in care are being encouraged to share their views on a possible financial redress scheme, by taking part in a consultation launching today.

Representatives of survivors have designed the consultation in partnership with CELCIS .

CELCIS will work with partners to consider responses gathered. These responses, alongside further research, will be used to develop options for a potential financial redress scheme that will then be presented to the Scottish Government. The consultation will close on Friday 17 November.

To take part

The consultation questionnaire will be circulated widely to survivor and victim groups, and can also be accessed online at the CELCIS website.

For further details please call: 0808 800 0031 (on Monday and Thursday, 9.30am – 4pm, or Tuesdays, 9.30am – 7pm). Alternatively email:

The consultation will close on Friday 17 November.

Media enquiries:

Mike Findlay, CELCIS Communications Manager
T: 0141 444 8512

CELCIS, based at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, is committed to making positive and lasting improvements in the wellbeing of Scotland’s children living in and on the edges of care. At CELCIS we have over a decade of experience working alongside survivors, service care providers, service providers and Scottish Government.

Financial Redress

Financial compensation should be viewed in context of the Scottish Human Rights Commission (SHRC) Framework for Justice and Remedies for Historic Abuse of Children in Care, as well as the broader package of redress and reparations in Scotland reflected through the progress of the Action Plan Action Plan on Justice for victims of historic abuse of children in care

Scottish Ministers agreed to implement the recommendations of the Framework and requested that the SHRC and CELCIS lead on a dialogue with survivors of in-care abuse and former providers of care. From this dialogue, an Action Plan on Justice for Victims of Historic Abuse of Children in Care was developed and set out themes and commitments towards meeting two expected outcomes: acknowledgement and accountability.

The Interaction Action plan review group, a national stakeholder group includes representation from victims/survivors, victim/survivor support organisations, care providers, the SHRC, Scottish Government, Social Work Scotland and CELCIS. This group helped deliver the interaction dialogue and continues to monitor the progress of the Action Plan on Justice for victims of historic abuse of children in care. This consultation for survivors has been developed in collaboration between CELCIS and that national stakeholder group.

As well as gathering survivors’ views through this consultation, CELCIS will review relevant financial compensation/redress schemes implemented in other countries and seek the views of interested and relevant others in Scotland.



Body found in Fife scrap yard in search for 17-year-old LIBBI TOLEDO

Libbi Toledo: Teenager went missing 10 days before body was found 

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Elizabeth Toledo, also known as Libbi, disappeared on Monday 11th Sept 2017 from an assisted living facility in Kirkcaldy, Fife, following an argument with staff. Libbi, stayed in the facility 4 days a week as she struggled with mental health issues, ADHD and autism. The other 3 days a week, she stayed with her mother in Brechin.   Libby had been in care for several years.

Libbi’s mother, Judi, said Libbi was highly vulnerable and “suggestible”
Libbi is said to have attempted suicide in the past

Body was found within a disused scrapyard at the junction of Denburn Road and Smeaton Road (MAP) at around 2.20pm on Thursday. 


  • 7th 10th         ~ ~ ~ ~    ~     last visited Brechin 
  • Sun 10th    ~      3.50pm    ~     train leaves Montrose 
  •                              5.02pm    ~     train arrives in Kirkcaldy
  • Mon 11th   ~           1pm    ~     Veronica Crescent  last seen
  •                                   2pm    ~      outside Morrison’s on the Esplanade 
  • Tues 12th   ~     1.45pm    ~      reported missing from Smeaton area
  • Wed 13th    ~     12-1pm    ~     Alison Street wi group of 7males & 3females ish
  • Fri  15th      ~     7.45pm    ~     Alison Street 
  • Thurs 21     ~     2.20pm    ~      Body found

FAMILY  in the Forfar, Brechin and Arbroath areas of Angus.   SOURCE

Father     ~   Joe Toledo  lives in the USA
Mother   ~   Judi Toledo lives in Brechin

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22nd Sept 2017


21st Sept 2017


Libbi Toledo vanished from an assisted living facility in Kirkcaldy on Sept 11.

A body has been found at a scrap yard in the search for missing teenager Libbi Toledo.

The 17-year-old walked out of an assisted living facility in Kirkcaldy on Monday, September 11.

Officers discovered the body of a female within a disused scrapyard at the junction of Denburn Road and Smeaton Road (MAP) in the town at around 2.20pm on Thursday. Formal identification is yet to take place.

Several sightings of Libbi were reported following her disappearance and police issued a number of public appeals in a bid to trace her.  A press conference about the missing teenager was cancelled minutes before it was due to start on Thursday after the body was discovered.  Libbi, who has autism, ADHD and has attempted suicide in the past, has been in care for several years.  A spokesman for Police Scotland said: “The death is currently being treated as unexplained pending further enquiries and report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal.”

18th sept 2017



The mother of a teenager who has been missing for a week says she feels “helpless” as police continue to try and track her down.

Elizabeth Toledo, also known as Libbi, disappeared last Monday from an assisted living facility in Kirkcaldy, Fife, following an argument with staff.

The 17-year-old, who has autism, ADHD and has attempted suicide in the past, has been in care for several years. Police have searched homes in Kirkcaldy and interviewed Libbi’s friends in a bid to trace her.

She may have been seen with a group of people in Kirkcaldy on Wednesday and there was another potential sighting of the teenager in the town on Friday night.

A woman wearing a green jacket and blue jeans was seen with a man in his late 20s or early 30s with blonde hair styled in a mohawk and a black bomber jacket on Alison Street at around 7.45pm.

Libbi’s mother, Judi Toledo, called the teenager highly vulnerable and “suggestible” and said she is “worried sick” for her daughter

Speaking to STV News on Monday, she described what it felt like to be the parent of a missing child.

She said: “It just feels like part of your heart is ripped out. You’re helpless, there’s nothing you can do. You’ve got to trust that the police, and everybody putting out appeals, and everybody looking and keeping their eyes open – you’ve got to trust everybody else. You sit and you hope the phone rings but at the same time you hope it doesn’t ring, in case it’s bad news. Any time there’s a knock at the door it’s terrifying.”

Ms Toledo added: “I just miss her. I don’t care what’s happened this week, I don’t care what trouble she thinks she’s in, I just want her home.”

Libbi is described as white, 5ft 6in, with a slim build and auburn hair with blonde ends. She also has hazel eyes and sometimes wears glasses.

She often wears Uggs or black military-style boots and a camouflage jacket or a burgundy hoodie.

Inspector Gordon Anderson said on Sunday: “I’m keen to speak to anyone who may have seen the female we believe may have been Libbi, and the man together in Alison Street or indeed anywhere else on Friday night or at any time over the weekend.”

17th Sept 2017





wp-image-1616164190A beast who raped a teenage babysitter and indecently assaulted a woman the same age as him has been jailed.

Ian Cowan, 65, from Fife pled guilty at the High Court in Livingston to three serious sexual offences.

The widower admitted raping the babysitter in the bathroom of his then home in Linlithgow, West Lothian, on October 2 1992.

He also admitted two charges of indecently assaulting the older woman over a six-year period nearly 25 years ago.

The father-of-two had previously served nine years in prison for attempting to rape two young girls in his care.

Judge Lord Burns sentenced him to six years and three months in prison for the latest crimes.

The Crown accepted not guilty pleas to a further seven historic charges, alleging rape, child sexual abuse, assaults and threatening behaviour with a shotgun.

Passing sentence, Lord Burns said of the older victim: “She continues to suffer from the effects… to this day.

Cowan showed no emotion as he was led away to the cells but one of his victims, who was in court to see him being sentenced, quietly wept and was comforted by her family.

Following Cowan’s fresh admissions yesterday, Advocate depute Margaret Barrow revealed the older woman did not report any of the matters to police until 2007, when there was no prosecution because of a lack of evidence.

She gave another statement to police in 2015.

She stated that she was still “angry and embarrassed” at what she suffered at Cowan’s hands and claimed he had “ruined her life”.

Cowan, who worked as a full time refuse collection HGV driver for Stirling Council until his retirement, gave a ‘no comment’ interview when police spoke to him.

Ms Barrow said the babysitter did not disclose what Cowan had done until around two years later when she told her partner.

She reported the rape to police in December last year.

John Keenan, defending, said Cowan had lived on his own in Dunfermline since the death of his third wife in 2015.

He revealed that the accused had recently undergone surgery to treat three “potentially life-threatening” aneurisms and would remain on medication for the long term.

He said: “My understanding is that these were offences committed usually after nights out and usually when he was under the influence of alcohol, although that is no excuse.

“He has accepted responsibility and he feels ashamed.”

He said Cowan had stopped drinking completely since the death of his wife in 2015 and had committed no further offences.

Outside court, the woman who was the victim of Cowan’s sordid behaviour for more than five years, spoke of her relief that he had been taken off the streets.

Surrounded by her family, she said: “We’re happy with the outcome. It’s a brilliant result and it couldn’t have gone any better. We’ve been in suspense for so long waiting for this day. Now we’re off to start trying to piece our life back together and start living again without this hanging over us.”

“Possessed by the devil” Man who raped woman 900 times finally brought to justice

  A Dundee man who raped a woman more than 900 times has finally been brought to justice.

Brutal Brian McTaggart, 53, even raped his sobbing victim once in front of a young girl.

He also dropped a hair drier into her bath and kicked her down a flight of stairs.

On another occasion he pushed the woman, who is now 53, over a banister.

Another rape victim, now aged 43, was choked and then had her head forced under water.

A third was raped on four occasions as she slept and when she woke up and said no, McTaggart carried on raping her.

McTaggart told his victims: “You belong to me. I can do anything I want.”

McTaggart was convicted at the High Court in Glasgow of a horrific catalogue of sexual and physical abuse against 18 victims.

This included the rape of three women. He also indecently assaulted teenage girls and boys and physically abused women and teenagers.

One of the victims told the court it was “as if he was possessed by the devil”.

All the offences were committed in various addresses in Dundee between 1980 and 2001.

Not proven verdicts were returned for charges of raping a fourth woman and raping a 30-year-old man.

Judge Lord Mulholland told McTaggart: “Your conduct was deplorable treating a succession of woman as chattels and punchbags.

“You repeatedly raped three of these women and you have shown no remorse for your sexual crimes.”

Lord Mulholland placed McTaggart on the sex offenders’ register and told him he was considering imposing an order for life long restriction.

Sentence was deferred until November for a risk assessment and a background report.

He showed no emotion as he was led away to the cells.

“His catalogue of offending is horrific”

Reacting to the verdict, Detective Inspector Muriel Fuller, of Police Scotland’s Domestic Abuse Task Force, said: “McTaggart was a prolific, serial domestic abuser. He abused numerous partners.

“However, his offences are much wider than those commonly associated with domestic abuse and include the non-recent sexual and physical assault of children for which he has also been convicted today.

“His catalogue of offending is horrific. It spanned 34 years and affected the lives of so many.  

“It is only through the bravery of his many victims and witnesses in coming forward and disclosing the many offences he committed that he has been convicted today.

“We hope that this outcome will encourage all victims, whether the abuse is recent or not, to come forward and to report to Police Scotland or one of our partners, support is available, we will listen and we will investigate.”


published 1st Apr 2016 12:41 am   |   last update 20th Sept 2017   11.04pm





W I L D C A T 🐱💋❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤


In no particular order…..



The Last Jacobites

What the politicians don’t say


Democracy Raised from the Dead

Truth Seeking Music Makers






Count Dankula




KA Radio Scotland

A Diary of Injustice in Scotland



Henry Makow

Stop Child Abuse 

Educate Yourself

Forbidden Knowledge






Bits Of Books Mostly Biographies


Free Library




























Un Técnico Preocupado

The Silence Of Our Lambs







GeorgieBC’s Blog












Vigilant Citizen

Kev Baker Show



Yew Choob – Jock Scot



Psychologist Cordelia Fine’s dissection of the myths that sustain assumptions about sexual difference acclaimed by judges as ‘a cracking critique’

 ‘There are no essential male or female characteristics’ … Cordelia Fine

A book that rubbishes the idea of “fundamental” differences between men and women has become the 30th winner of the prestigious Royal Society prize for science book of the year.

Read more  Testosterone Rex by Cordelia Fine review – the question of men’s and women’s brains

Psychologist Cordelia Fine is the third woman in a row to win the £25,000 award, which has been described as the Booker prize for science writing. Her book, Testosterone Rex: Unmaking the Myths of Our Gendered Minds, follows Gaia Vince’s win for Adventures in the Anthropocene in 2015 and Andrea Wulf’s The Invention of Nature in 2016.

Judges of the Royal Society Insight Investment science book prize, which was awarded in London on Tuesday, praised Testosterone Rex for its eye-opening, forensic look at gender stereotypes and its urgent call for change.

Palaeontologist Richard Fortey, who chaired the judging panel, described it as “a cracking critique of the ‘men are from Mars, women are from Venus’ hypothesis.”

It is the third investigation of gender bias in science by Fine, who is professor of the history and philosophy of science at the Melbourne University. In 2008’s A Mind of Its Own she examined the brain’s ability to deceive itself. Her 2011 book Delusions of Gender challenged the idea that differences were hardwired into male and female brains.

In Testosterone Rex, the 42-year-old author concentrates on hormones, writing in the Observer: “There are no essential male or female characteristics – not even when it comes to risk-taking and competitiveness, the traits so often called on to explain why men are more likely to rise to the top.”

“Testosterone affects our brain, body and behaviour. But it is neither the king nor the king maker – the hormonal essence of competitive, risk-taking masculinity – it’s often assumed to be.”

Read more  Why Testosterone Rex is extinct

The book emerged as winner from a six-strong shortlist, which ranged from the frontiers of medical science (Ed Yong’s I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life and Joseph Jebelli’s In Pursuit of Memory: The Fight Against Alzheimer’s), to maths (Eugenia Cheng’s Beyond Infinity: An Expedition to the Outer Limits of the Mathematical Universe), evolution and artificial intelligence (respectively Peter Godfrey-Smith’s Other Minds: The Octopus and the Evolution of Intelligent Life; Mark O’Connell’s To Be a Machine: Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death).

Judge and BBC broadcaster Claudia Hammond said: “Testosterone Rex stood out from the start. In our sifting for the longlist it was one of only three books that all the judges picked.”

She added that the book had made her question some of her own assumptions, particularly about the association of masculinity with risk-taking. “Having a baby in many parts of the world is risky, as is giving up your job to have a baby. It all depends on what you regard as risk.”

“There have been plenty of books about gender and stereotyping and unconscious bias. What’s original in this book is that she takes apart the science so forensically. I was slightly surprised that it ends with this great call to action, but that is what is refreshing about it,” said Hammond. “It’s also very funny. She manages to be witty in a book that could so easily have ended up sounding hectoring.”

Fine joins Stephen Hawking, Jared Diamond, and Stephen Jay Gould on a winners’ list dedicated to identifying the best in popular science writing.

Broadcaster and particle physicist Brian Cox, who hosts the awards, said science books were “more valuable than ever in today’s so-called post-factual world”.

He conceded that Fine’s win might be seen as a provocative choice by some, but added that “the very idea that a book about science as we currently understand it can be considered provocative tells me that there is something amiss in public discourse”.

Aside from the obvious Gender Agenda behind the article, there’s another reason I blogged this.

It reminded me of the gender education “scheme” Gendersaurus Rex!

Which in simple terms is FishFace & ScotGov oh-so-casually funding the mind warping of our children!!  (links below)



Or is it more to do with the word REX? Who knows?!! But i’ll be keeping a wee eye on those damn dinosaurs!!!

  1. Gender lessons from 18 MNTHS funded by FishFace & ScotGov
  2. Sturgeon’s SNP & ScotGov FUNDS SEX ED FOR 2 YEAR OLDS
  3. ESTHER RANCID: LOTS of links to paedo. It’s ok! she’s here to HELP Scots kids!



Child protection chief at one of Scotland’s top boys’ football clubs has resigned

The Child protection chief at one of Scotland’s top boys’ football clubs has resigned amid claims that bullying was ignored by bosses.

Jim Stewart quit Celtic Boys Club after recommending sanctions against a coach, which he claims were ignored.

Jim Stewart says he didn’t resign lightly 

In his resignation letter, he also claims parents were allowed to verbally abuse coaches, forcing two to resign. He added: “There have been too many instances of children being put at risk with no consequences for the perpetrators.”

Stewart, the club’s child protection officer for five years, was asked to write a report on the conduct of one coach, which resulted in a recommendation that he be removed from coaching duties. Stewart said he was furious after it was ignored.

Jim didn’t want anyone to be able to accuse him of doing nothing

The coach was accused of bullying a boy at a Dutch tournament in May, leading 13-year-old Reece McManus’s dad to take him away from the club. It emerged the coach had been accused of a similar outburst two years ago, which resulted in another boy being withdrawn from the club.

The Record has seen resignation emails from two coaches who claimed they were being forced to leave because parents’ aggressive actions went unchallenged.

Stewart also wrote: “I can’t accept the committee’s total failure to deal with child protection issues. As the committee will not allow me to act in any way that allows me to protect the health and wellbeing of the children involved with the Boys Club, I have no option but to resign.”

The club said they “will never tolerate bullying and discrimination” 

Stewart cited the alleged bullying of a young footballer during the trip to Holland. He said: “I produced a report which included a recommendation the coach have no further involvement in the boys club. I was not allowed to bring this to the committee for discussion.”

Stewart’s letter claims the parents accused of threatening behaviour are related to club committee members.

He told the Record: “I didn’t resign lightly. I didn’t want anyone to be able to accuse me of standing by and doing nothing.”

In response, club chairman Steven McNellis emailed Stewart to say a separate probe into a club coach had been launched. It is thought the committee question the methods used by Stewart in his probe.

Celtic Boys Club, who have no connection to Celtic FC, said: “The club will never tolerate bullying and discrimination.”

Edinburgh of the Seven Seas


hytrewsAccessible only by a six-day boat journey from South Africa or as part of epic month-long cruises through the South Atlantic Ocean, Tristan da Cunha is about as far from a quick holiday destination as it gets.

The world’s most remote inhabited archipelago stands 1,243 miles from Saint Helena, its closest neighbour with residents, 1,491 miles from South Africa and 2,088 miles from South America.

It’s just seven miles long and 37.8 square miles in area, and has but one settlement officially known as Edinburgh of the Seven Seas, referred to by locals – less than 300 of them – as The Settlement, located at the foot of the 6,765-foot Queen Mary’s Peak.

But despite its unimposing size and formidable remoteness, Tristan da Cunha has a rich history and a plethora of native wildlife that is truly unique.


Tristan da Cunha’s only settlement, Edinburgh of the Seven Seas, is built on the flat below the 6,765-foot volcano Queen Mary’s Peak

The vast distances that must be travelled to get to Tristan da Cunha, which lays claim to being the most remote inhabited island in the world

The vast distances that must be travelled to get to Tristan da Cunha, which lays claim to being the most remote inhabited island in the world

It is 1,243 miles from Saint Helena, its closest neighbour with residents, 1,491 miles from South Africa and 2,088 miles from South America

It is 1,243 miles from Saint Helena, its closest neighbour with residents, 1,491 miles from South Africa and 2,088 miles from South America


Tristan da Dunha’s main island, which also gives its name to the archipelago is just seven miles long and 37.8 square miles in area

Edinburgh was named after the visit of the first Duke of Edinburgh in the 1800s, but is referred to as The Settlement by its less than 300 locals

Edinburgh was named after the visit of the first Duke of Edinburgh in the 1800s, but is referred to as The Settlement by its less than 300 locals

A sign shows the remarkable lengths one must go to get to Tristan, including 5,337 miles to London

A sign shows the remarkable lengths one must go to get to Tristan, including 5,337 miles to London

Oceanwide Expeditions have four cruises that take in three-day stops at Tristan da Cunha, the name given to both the main island and the surrounding archipelago, including the uninhabited Nightingale Islands, and Inaccessible Island and the Gough Islands, which are nature reserves.

Cruises, such as those which leave from Ushuaia in Argentina’s Tierra del Fuego, are the most convenient way to see the island.

One of 12 spaces can be filled on the fishing vessel MV Edinburgh and the cargo ship MV Baltic Trader.

However, non-local tourists are at the bottom of an eight-tier priority pecking order that may include those responding to medical emergencies, official visitors and locals.

The other cruise sails annually to Gough Island, run since 2012 by the South African Antarctic Research and Supply Vessel Agulhas II, and carries more than 40 passengers to and from Tristan.

The local rockhopper penguins are hugely popular with visitors and live on all four of Tristan’s islands

Oceanwide Expeditions’ Atlantic Odyssey tours, the shortest and cheapest being the 27-night tour from £3,929 (Euro 5,450), calls in on The Settlement, and aims to land on Nightingale and Inaccessible, which millions of seabirds call home.

The landings aren’t guaranteed though, with 30 per cent of attempts via zodiac boat since 1998 having been unsuccessful due to bad weather. Thankfully, tours often factor in a spare day.

On Nightingale Island, the wandering, yellow-nosed and sooty albatrosses all breed, and the Rockhopper penguins that live on all four of the Tristan Islands are also hugely popular with those who manage to make it there.

Even with such attractions, tourism is a minor industry for Tristan, with the majority of earnings coming from their commercial crawfish or Tristan rock lobster (Jasus) operations and the sale of their unique postage stamps and coins to collectors.

Cruise operator Oceanwide Expeditions have four cruises that take in three-day stops at the Tristan da Cunha archipelago

Cruise operator Oceanwide Expeditions have four cruises that take in three-day stops at the Tristan da Cunha archipelago

A yellow-nosed albatross is one of several large seabird species that uses Tristan’s Inaccessible Island as a breeding ground

Two juvenile yellow-nosed albatross frolic on the island that is rich in wildlife but an effort to reach

However, a range of accommodation is available in the form of home stays with locals – descendants of one of seven families originating from Scotland, England, The Netherlands, the United States and Italy – who also serve as guides and sell craft and souvenirs.

All residents are farmers too, and the entire area is communally owned.

Historically, the island has proven an important stop for sailing ships needing a stopover in the Atlantic, and was annexed by the UK in 1816 to ensure the French couldn’t use it as a base to attempt a rescue of Napoleon Bonaparte, who was imprisoned at Saint Helena.

Some typical housing in Edinburgh, where all 297 locals of the Tristan da Cunha archipelago live

Some typical housing in Edinburgh, where all 297 locals of the Tristan da Cunha archipelago live

 Hiking paths and rough roads are plentiful around the small and remote volcanic island

Hiking paths and rough roads are plentiful around the small and remote volcanic island

The Settlement was named in honour of the 1867 visit of Queen Victoria’s son Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh, when the islands served as a Royal Navy outpost called HMS Atlantic Isle, also said to have been used to monitor shipping movements in the ocean and the radio communications of Nazi U-boats.

Prince Phillip, the second Duke of Edinburgh, also visited there on board the royal yacht Britannia in 1957.

Just four years later, the entire population was forced to evacuate to England via Cape Town when Queen Mary’s Peak erupted.

Fortunately, the damage to The Settlement was found to be minimal and most residents returned in 1963.

All of the local families are farmers of some kind, with cattle among the livestock, though fishing is also a massive part of their economy

Local social haunts include the cafe and the Albatross Bar, which by virtue of being on Tristan is one of the world’s most isolated pubs

Local social haunts include the cafe and the Albatross Bar, which by virtue of being on Tristan is one of the world’s most isolated pubs

Stamp collectors pay significant amounts for the rare Tristan da Cunha stamps, another major source of revenue for the town

As for the rare Tristan da Cunha stamps, another major source of revenue for the town

Local residents all have a plot on the Patches Plain where they primarily grow potatoes, a staple of the Tristan diet

Local residents all have a plot on the Patches Plain where they primarily grow potatoes, a staple of the Tristan diet

Supplies have to be brought into Tristan's small harbour, while tourists from cruise ships must be brought to shore by zodiac

Supplies have to be brought into Tristan’s small harbour, while tourists from cruise ships must be brought to shore by zodiac

The local penguin population was threatened in March 2011 when the MS Oliva freighter ran aground and created a potentially devastating oil slick around Nightingale Island, which has no fresh water.

Rockhoppers had to be taken to Tristan to be cleaned.

The islands then got even more worldwide attention later the same year when Volvo Ocean Race competitor Puma’s Mar Mostro broke a mast during its journey from Alicante to Cape Town and was forced to stop there.

The town turned it on for the 11 person crew, who visited the local St Mary’s School, took a tour of the fish processing factory and picked up emergency supplies at the local shop.

Edinburgh of the Seven Seas is the main settlement of the island of Tristan da Cunha, in Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, an overseas territory of the United Kingdom, in the South Atlantic Ocean. Locally, it is always referred to as The Settlement or The Village.[1]

Edinburgh of the Seven Seas is regarded as the most remote permanent settlement on Earth, being 2,173 kilometres (1,350 mi)[2]from the nearest other human settlement, on Saint Helena.

The settlement was founded on the island of Tristan da Cunha in 1816 by a Sergeant Glass from the Borders of Scotland[citation needed] after the UK annexed Tristan da Cunha. A military garrison was maintained on the islands as a guard against any French attempts to rescue Napoleon, who was imprisoned on Saint Helena. The military garrison remained until the end of World War II.

It is named after Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, the second son of Queen Victoria, in honour of his visit to the island in 1867.[3]

Edinburgh of the Seven Seas is the only major settlement of Tristan da Cunha, and contains a small port, the Administrator’s residence, and the post office. It was damaged in a volcanic eruption on the island in 1961, which forced the entire population to abandon the settlement and evacuate to Calshot, Hampshire in the UK. The eruption destroyed the settlement’s crayfish factory.

After the return of most of the islanders in 1963, the settlement was rebuilt. The harbour at Edinburgh was named Calshot Harbour, after their temporary home during the eruption.[4]

Tristan da Cunha is part of the British overseas territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.[6] This includes Saint Helena and equatorial Ascension Island, some 3,730 kilometres (2,318 mi) to the north of Tristan.

In 1867, Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh and second son of Queen Victoria, visited the islands. The main settlement, Edinburgh of the Seven Seas, was named in honour of his visit.

On 15 October 1873, the Royal Navy scientific survey vessel HMS Challenger docked at Tristan to conduct geographic and zoological surveys on Tristan, Inaccessible Island and the Nightingale Islands.[11] In his log, Captain George Nares recorded a total of 15 families and 86 individuals living on the island.[12]

20th century

After an especially difficult winter in 1906, and years of hardship since the 1880s, the British government offered to evacuate the island.[13]Those remaining on Tristan held a meeting and decided to refuse, thus deepening the island’s isolation. It was reported that no ships visited from 1909 until 1919, when HMS Yarmouth finally stopped to inform the islanders of the outcome of World War I.[13]

The Shackleton–Rowett Expedition stopped in Tristan for 5 days in May 1922, collecting geological and botanical samples before returning to Cape Town. Of the few ships that visited in the coming years were the RMS Asturias, a Royal Mail Steam Packet Company passenger liner, in 1927, and the ocean liners RMS Empress of France in 1928, RMS Duchess of Atholl in 1929, and RMS Empress of Australia in 1935.[13]

In 1936, The Daily Telegraph of London reported the population of the island was 167 individuals, with 185 cattle and 42 horses.[13]

From December 1937 to March 1938, a Norwegian party made a dedicated Scientific Expedition to Tristan da Cunha, and sociologist Peter A. Munch extensively documented island culture (he would later revisit the island in 1964-1965).[14] The island was also visited in 1938 by W. Robert Foran, reporting for the National Geographic Society, whose account Tristan da Cunha, Isles of Contentment was published in November 1938.[13]

On 12 January 1938 by Letters Patent, Britain declared the islands a dependency of Saint Helena, creating the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena and Dependencies, which also included nearby Ascension Island.[15]

During the Second World War, Britain used the islands as a secret Royal Navy weather and radio station codenamed HMS Atlantic Isle, to monitor Nazi U-boats (which were required to maintain radio contact) and shipping movements in the South Atlantic Ocean.

The Duke of Edinburgh, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II, visited the islands in 1957 as part of a world tour on board the royal yacht Britannia.

On 10 October 1961, the eruption of Queen Mary’s Peak forced the evacuation of the entire population of 264 individuals.[16][17] Evacuees took to the water in open boats and sailed to uninhabited Nightingale Island, where they were picked up by a Dutch passenger ship that took them via Cape Town to Britain.[17] The islanders arrived in the UK to a big press reception, and were settled in an old Royal Air Force camp outside of Calshot, Hampshire.[17] The following year a Royal Society expedition went to the islands to assess the damage, and reported that the settlement of Edinburgh of the Seven Seas had been only marginally affected. Most families returned in 1963.


The remote location of the islands makes transport to the outside world difficult. Lacking an airport, the islands can be reached only by sea. Fishing boats from South Africa service the islands eight or nine times a year. The RMS Saint Helena used to connect the main island to St Helena and South Africa once each year during its January voyage, but has done so only twice in the last few years, in 2006 and 2011.[4] The wider territory has access to air travel, with Ascension island served by RAF Ascension Island.[34] The Saint Helena Airport was constructed and expected to open in May 2016 but has been delayed due to shear wind.[citation needed] There is no direct, regular service to Tristan da Cunha itself from either location. The harbour at Edinburgh of the Seven Seas is called Calshot Harbour, named after the place in Hampshire where the islanders temporarily stayed during the volcanic eruption.[35]



I will be looking into this further but from what i see…



This is one of their genetic “experiments”

All white European & OF COURSE there is a Scot. Party aint a party without the Scots!!


Names of buried disabled children unearthed in mass graves revealed #LennoxCastle

DOZENS of severely disabled children were buried in mass graves by the state after they died in Scottish psychiatric hospitals.


Dozens of severely disabled children were buried in mass graves by the state

Youngsters from the infamous Lennox Castle Hospital in Lennoxtown, Stirlingshire, were laid to rest as recently as 1975 in a sprawling paupers’ plot alongside hundreds of adult patients.

The names of the children can be revealed publicly today for the first time as the only memorial to the dead is a small carved inscription on the wall of an abandoned churchyard.

In addition, our investigation has found children from at least two other psychiatric hospitals in the Glasgow area were buried in unmarked graves.

The revelation adds weight to the calls for the disturbing history of common burials for children in care to be examined by the Scottish child abuse inquiry.

Last week, new research revealed up to 400 children who died at the Smyllum Park children who died at the Smyllum Park orphanage in Lanark had been buried in an unmarked grave in the town.

A memorial to the forgotten orphans was erected at St Mary’s Cemetery in 2004 after the scandal was first exposed, although it was previously thought that only 120 children were buried there.

However, the most recent burial by the nuns of the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul – who are also accused of beating and abusing their terrified charges – was in 1964.

Remarkably, it can now be shown that the practice continued for more than a decade after this date for children who died while in the care of the NHS.

Alan Draper, from the In Care Abuse Survivors (Incas) campaign group, said it was now “imperative” that Lady Smith and her inquiry team examine Lennox Castle Hospital and other such institutions.

As this newspaper has revealed, there is evidence disabled youngsters were subjected to medical experiments while they were in these hospitals.


Youngsters from the infamous Lennox Castle Hospital in Lennoxtown were buried as recently as 1975
There are even claims that these drug trials and the testing of barbaric psychiatric techniques such as sleep deprivation and repetition were linked to a CIA-funded programme exposed in the USA many decades ago.

Mr Draper said: “It is a situation that must be explored. We asked for medical experimentation to be included in the terms of the inquiry and now it is subject to survivors and family members coming forward.

“The mass grave at Smyllum is not a new story and Incas has held a memorial service at the cemetery for many years, but the paucity of records meant that until now the extent of the burials was not known.

“It is imperative that Lennox Castle Hospital is included in the inquiry. Who was authorised to carry out these burials and why were very young children in an adult institution in the first place? We need to know what happened to these children. How were they treated, what safeguards were in place to protect them and, most of all, how did they die? 

“Of course, the issue is wider than Smyllum. I suspect that most Victorian institutions were burying children in mass graves. Questions need to be asked at the very highest level, especially where there is any suggestion that children were being subjected to medical experimentation and may have died as a result.



“These mass graves were not peculiar to the church-run institutions. State organisations were no different and a lot of people, including children, were detained in these hospitals simply for being ‘cretins’ or ‘idiots’, when many of them were more than capable of independent living. This needs to be investigated and no stone must be left unturned.”

Lennox Castle Hospital was the largest mental hospital in Britain when it was opened by the old Glasgow Corporation in 1936. At its peak, it housed as many as 1,500 patients aged from 10 to 80.

Once regarded as 100 years ahead of its time, it eventually became notorious for the isolation, neglect and abuse suffered by many of its patients and finally closed its doors in 2002.

Patients who died with no family to take care of their funeral arrangements were buried in a large unmarked plot at Campsie Cemetery in nearby Lennoxtown, alongside the now derelict Campsie High Church.

It is marked only by a faded inscription on the cemetery wall and burial records are kept by East Dunbartonshire Council. Further hospital records are held at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow, including a death register containing the names of dozens of children.

The causes of death include conditions such as “organic brain disease” and even “congenital idiocy”, while many youngsters had been in the hospital for several years when they died.

Lennox Castle was linked to Waverley Park Hospital in Kirkintilloch, which was opened in 1906 by the Glasgow Association for the Care of Defective and Feeble-Minded Children. It closed in 1991 and the council records also show a number of children were buried in common ground in the town’s Auld Aisle Cemetery.

A note in the Waverley Park death register states: “Patients with no known relatives. Report death, inc particulars if available, mother’s maiden name, and whether previously married, father’s name and [pre-admission] address of patient, also time of death. Inform Burgh Engineer of patient’s death.”

The Mitchell Library also holds extensive registers of common ground burials, including countless thousands of the poorest citizens of Scotland’s largest city who were interred in unmarked graves over the past 150 years.

A brief review of just one cemetery, St Kentigern’s RC, revealed details of at least one child inpatient from the Birkwood Institute psychiatric hospital in Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire. There are also a great many children who died in the city’s regular hospitals, especially the old Ruchill and Belvidere fever hospitals.

But in many of these cases it is impossible to know whether the parents gave permission for their child to be given a pauper’s funeral.

A spokesman for the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry said: “So far more than 100 locations where historical abuse of children is said to have taken place have been identified, and the inquiry is currently investigating 69 residential care establishments for children.

“As the important work of the inquiry continues, we would encourage anyone with relevant information, where they have been abused themselves or know others who have, to get in touch.”






Scottish Paedophilia: Institutions, Care Homes, Schools & PaedoRings




Police Scotland are reviewing old cases involving a notorious orphanage, raising the possibility of prosecutions nearly 30 years after it closed, STV News has learned.

Allegations that children were physically and sexually abused at Smyllum Park, Lanark, first emerged in the 1990s, but it’s thought no-one has ever been convicted of committing an offence against any of the thousands of children who lived within its walls.

Former residents from the orphanage played a central role in persuading the Scottish Government to set up the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

In November, at public hearings, the inquiry will investigate child care establishments run by organisations within the Roman Catholic Church, with Smyllum first on the list.

Representatives of the order which ran the home have already appeared at the inquiry.

In June the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent De Paul conceded that it was “a possibility” that abuse had taken place but they wouldn’t accept that it had actually happened, citing a lack of contemporary evidence in their archives.

The leader of the Daughters of Charity in Britain, Sister Ellen Flynn, said: “We are extremely saddened that those accusations have been made. We are shocked at the thought… and are very apologetic.

“But in our records we can find no evidence or anything that substantiates the allegations. We can’t confirm that there was abuse of any kind because we have no way of knowing that.”

As she left the inquiry, STV News asked Sister Flynn if she thought the allegations were untrue. She wouldn’t answer.

Detectives have already investigated allegations over the death of a child at Smyllum.

In 2015, a former resident told police that he witnessed six-year-old Sammy Carr being assaulted by a nun at the orphanage in 1964. The young boy died a short time later.

Sammy’s death certificate recorded the cause as a brain haemorrhage, but medical records from his post-mortem were reviewed by two pathologists from the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.

They concluded that Sammy died from cerebral abscesses caused by a fungal infection.

The doctors said neglect could have been a factor, but there was no evidence of “significant trauma, within the limits of the information now available”.

The police said there was no evidence of criminality. The nun named by the former resident had died in 2014.

Many of the allegations involving Smyllum have been made against people who are no longer alive.

This week, another former resident claimed he had been sexually abused by a male trustee at Smyllum in the 1950s.

Billy Lang said he informed police about the abuse in the 1980s. They investigated and told him the man involved was dead.

Now Smyllum is being looked at again.

The head of public protection at Police Scotland Detective Chief Superintendent Lesley Boal told STV News: “Police Scotland has been asked by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service to review a number of legacy force investigations into reports of abuse at care institutions in Scotland.

“We cannot comment further as these are now live and ongoing investigations.”

One of the institutions is the old orphanage. STV News understands that the police are investigating a woman’s allegations that she was sexually abused by a priest at Smyllum.

Media reports on Smyllum often result in people coming forward to say that they too suffered at the hands of nuns and members of staff.

Other former residents have said they enjoyed and benefited from their time at the orphanage but they’ve proved reluctant to speak out in public.

Scotland’s national force is now carrying out numerous investigations into allegations of historic abuse, in children’s homes, within the world of Scottish football and in the general community. They won’t say how many inquiries are under way, or how many victims or alleged perpetrators are involved.

Detective Chief Superintendent Boal had this message for the public: “If you or anyone you know has been a victim of abuse or wishes to report abuse you should feel confident in reporting to Police Scotland.

“We will listen and we will take action regardless of when or where the abuse occurred.”

The police stress that they are not looking into burial of hundreds of children from Smyllum in unmarked graves at St Mary’s Cemetery in Lanark.

Based on information provided by the Daughters of Charity, campaigners had long believed that at least 150 children were there, but an investigation by the Sunday Post and BBC Radio Four has suggested that the real figure could be as high as 400.

Most of the children died of natural causes between Victorian times and the 1930s.

The police and Crown Office have said there’s no evidence of a crime being committed over the burial of the children.

The last child from Smyllum to be laid to rest in a pauper’s grave was Sammy Carr, in 1964.



A former resident of a Scottish orphanage run by Catholic nuns has described the sexual, physical and mental abuse she suffered at the home.
Theresa Tolmie-McGrane told the BBC she was sexually abused from the age of eight at the Smyllum Park Orphanage, Lanark, in the 1970s.

The care home, run by the Daughters of Charity Order, closed in 1981.
A spokesperson said the order was “shocked and saddened” by the allegations.
Ms Tolmie-McGrane, who is now a psychologist working in Norway, arrived at the South Lanarkshire orphanage in 1968 when she was six years old.
She told BBC Stories: “Every child was beaten, punished, locked in a dark room, made to eat their own vomit and I would say that most of us had our mouths rinsed out with carbolic soap.”

Ms Tolmie-McGrane said she was first sexually abused at the home by a priest when she was eight.
“I had a little part-time job cleaning the pews in the church and this particular priest would arrive early and he would ask me to go into a particular room with him and he would ask me to sit on his lap and fondle him.
“He tried to fondle me and I just pulled away.”

Theresa Tolmie-McGrane told the BBC she was systematically abused at the home for almost 10 years
She also recalled how in one “horrible incident” one of the nuns had walked in on the priest abusing her.
“Instead of being angry at him, she got really angry at me. She yanked me by the left arm so hard and flung me across the room and called me a whore and told me to get out of there.
“I didn’t know my arm was broken at the time. It was only the day after that we realised.”
She added: “I think in some ways it was worse than just sexual abuse because I was punished with the broken arm for doing something a priest had forced me to do.”
Ms Tolmie-McGrane told the BBC she had suffered years of “systematic abuse” at Smyllum Park, including being hit on the head with a wooden crucifix.
She said the psychological abuse started after she started at secondary school when one of the nuns had tried to “break” her down.
“She almost made it such that I didn’t get to university. She did everything she could to sabotage,” Ms Tolmie-McGrane said.
“I’ve never met someone who tried to destroy another person in such a systematic way. Thank God she didn’t succeed.”
Ms Tolmie-McGrane left the home when she was 17 and went on to study at the University of Glasgow.

A spokesperson for the Daughters of Charity Order said in a statement: “We are shocked and saddened by these accounts describing acts that are alleged to have happened at Smyllum Park nearly 50 years ago.
“We would urge anyone who believes they have been victim of a crime to contact the police, who will then work with our safeguarding team.
“We are also core participants in the ongoing Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, and will continue to work with the inquiry, and any other inquiries or investigations, for as long as required.
“We would like to offer sincere and heartfelt apology to anyone who suffered any form of abuse while at our facilities.”

Smyllum Park Orphanage in Lanark after it closed in the 1980s

Ms Tolmie-McGrane’s account follows a recent BBC and Sunday Post investigation which found that the bodies of at least 400 children who died there may be buried in a mass grave at the home.
But prosecutors said on Tuesday there was no evidence of crimes being committed at the orphanage with regards to the mass grave.
The children were buried in the cemetery plot between 1864 and 1981.

The orphanage was home to more than 11,000 children over the 117 years before it closed.
Former residents of the orphanage uncovered the burial plot at nearby St Mary’s cemetery in 2003.
Research into death records of children who lived there showed that most died of natural causes, from common diseases such as tuberculosis, pneumonia and pleurisy.
File on 4: The Secrets of Smyllum Park is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday 24 September 2017 at 17:00 BST.



Scottish Paedophilia: Institutions, Care Homes, Schools & PaedoRings

Dutch Banker Whistleblower

Hey folks. just a very quick into…

The following wasn’t discovered, researched nor written by me. It is in fact the work of a youtuber that i think is very good. So good, i’ve actually watched some of his vids before & i watched them right to the end!! & i never do that!!

He’s a smart guy which he proves easily with his first blog. So i shall leave you in his very capable hands. WildCat. x

I googled Irma Schiffers and found her on farcebook, and low and behold there were posts with the Dutch banker Ronald Bernard Blij, whose farcebook page I followed, and I’ve included the link. I hope you have fun making head or tail of this,

Kindest Regards King Ishijah

So whilst on my mission to exploit and harass paedophiles, I was guided to a youtube post where an ex Illuminati Dutch banker, turned whistleblower, revealed sordid facts about paedophilia and child sacrifice within the elite circles he previously had worked for.

Needless to say, this went viral on the net, and I, of course had to mirror the post onto my humble Desmond During youtube channel.

I annotated that I suspected the man had been killed, due to the highly secretive information he had divulged.

Indeed, certain sources had announced him dead, and this didn’t surprise me.

Yesterday however, 13th September 2017, I was drawn to “David Zublick youtube channel“, which had a post confirming the death of said banker, Ronald Bernard, (August 27th)

As I lowered my focus to the comment section, I saw a familiar name, SGT Report, which claimed this news to be fake. There had, as stated been the death earlier in the year of a Robert Bernard in Sebring Florida, which had been reported in a publication entitled “Highlands News-Sun”, but SGT Report had contacted Irma Schiffers, who conducted the interview with the whistleblower, and she had sent him back this message :


RECORD YOUR BIRTH with a Common Law Court

Are you a living, breathing, man or woman? You can now record your birth with a Common Law Court. The Common Law Court will now record documents in the “Books of Deeds” for preservation. This facility is now live, record your own documents, free of charge with the Common Law Court.


The ‘Book of Deeds’ offers the facility to submit documents for preservation under Common Law. 

​The recording of documents for the ‘Book of Deeds’ is voluntary and free of charge; however any document recorded must meet certain requirements before being accepted.  

​All documents will have to comply with the following before acceptance:

​The document must be drawn up from first hand knowledge,

​The man or woman presenting the document for preservation will do so under penalty of perjury and full personal liability.

When submitting a document for preservation, if required, it must have been signed and witnessed accordingly.

​To submit a document for preservation, click on to the appropriate one below:






A search facility will be available in the near future so that the database and all records can be accessed in full.


Jesus & the Inner Hebrides



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Eilean Isay is a small Island located in Dunvegan Bay off the west coast of the Scottish Hebridean Isle of Skye.

The gaelic name for Jesus is Iosa, whereas the original spelling for this Island Isa is the Middle Eastern Arabic spelling for Jesus.

There are no religious sites on Eilean Isa or anything to suggest that it’s name was conceived from a religious dedication. According to James Murray MacKinlay, M.A., “Eilean Isa in Dunvegan Bay, Skye, is said by the writer of the article on Durinish parish in the New Statistical Account of Scotland, to signify the island of Jesus. Were this the correct etymology, one would expect that a chapel dedicated to our Lord would have been discoverable on the island. There is, however, no indication that an ecclesiastical building of any kind ever existed there.” (“Ancient Church Dedications in Scotland: Scriptural Dedications”, 1910.) Incidentally, near Damascus in Syria is to be found the topographical placename Mayuam-i-Isa which translates from the Arabic as “the place where Jesus lived”.

In the New Statistical Account of Scotland, published in 1845, under the heading “Parish of Druinish”

the following information was provided by the local Minister, the Rev. Archibald Clerk, and was dated February, 1841: “There is a small number of small islands belonging to the parish, but none of them is habited except one, called Eilean Isa, ‘the island of Jesus’. Which is only a few miles in circumference; yet, from its fertility, fourteen or fifteen families in considerable comfort.”

This island is now spelt with a y, i.e. Isay, on current maps, perhaps suggesting a Norse origin rather than an original gaelic/arabic name. Why was the spelling of this name changed in recent times? Could it be to conceal the obvious implication of the original meaning, i.e. that Jesus (Isa) actually visited the Island, probably according to local tradition. It is known that during the early centuries A.D. that when a place was seen to be sanctified by the presence of a holy man or woman their name was often enshrined into the specific naming of the place itself.

Interestingly, in Cahir, County Tipperary, Ireland, we find the placename Tobar Iosa (well of Jesus). In light of the above could this support the legend that Jesus (Isa/Iosa) visited Ireland?…/tobar-iosa…/

The Third Carpenter – Google Books Result


Scottish literary writer, William Sharp (using the pseudonym Fiona MacLeod) in his essay Iona (1900) refers to “the old prophecy that Christ shall come again upon Iona.” This presupposes that Christ had already visited Iona according to an ancient oral tradition. Curiously, just 80 miles due north of Iona is to be found another small Hebridean island, located in Dunvegan Bay, off the west coast of the Scottish Isle of Skye. It is called Eilean Isa (currently spelt Isay) which translates from the gaelic as the “Island of Jesus”. Isa is the Middle Eastern arabic name for Jesus, whereas His name in gaelic is Iosa. So why do we find the appellation of this island with the arabic spelling rather than the gaelic? Interestingly, there are no religious sites on Eilean Isa or anything to suggest that it’s name was conceived from a religious dedication. During the early centuries A.D. a placename was often given to record the actual presence and sanctification of a specific place by the early Celtic Christian monastic saints who were seen as holy men and women. So it could be conjectured that the “Island of Jesus” was so named as a result of it being sanctified by the presence of Jesus Himself.
Furthermore, according to Christine Hartley, in her classic work The Western Mystery Tradition (1968): “There is a legend too that Mary Magdalene lies buried in Iona.” Writing about Mary Magdalene’s legendary association with Scotland, Hartley further says, “Wandering the hills of Scotland, she came to Knoydart.”

Professor Hugh Montgomery in his treatise The God-Kings of Europe: The Descendants of Jesus traced through the Odonic and Davidic Dynasties (2006) provides the interesting information, “John Martinus was believed in the early Christian Period to be the last son of Jesus by Mary Magdalene. In some versions he was born on Iona.” Curiously, as Christine Hartley has pointed out, the holy isle of Iona was also known as the Isle of John. Could this relate to the presence of the child of Christ, John Martinus, on Iona? The Rev. J.F.S. Gordon in his book Iona, published in 1885, comments on “Cladh-an-Diseart, ‘Burial-ground of the Highest God’ called sometimes Cladh-Iain, ‘John’s burial-ground’

John, descends from Jesus and Mary Magdalene who lived on the Isle of Iona.

Ancient Church Dedications in Scotland. By James Murray Mackinlay, M.A.




Screenshot_20170912-042304HUNDREDS of children’s bodies from Smyllum Park Orphanage have been discovered in a mass grave.

At least 400 youngsters were buried at St Mary’s Cemetery in Lanark, southern Scotland, close to where they were cared for at the home – but what do we know about Smyllum Park Orphanage so far?

dd-composite-smyllum-park (1)

Where is Smyllum Park Orphanage?

Smyllum Park Orphanage was opened in 1864 at Smyllum Park in Lanark, Lanarkshire, Scotland.

The institution was run by a Catholic order of nuns and housed 11,600 children aged between one and 14 years old, including those who were blind or deaf-mute, before it closed in 1981.

Decades later an unmarked mass grave was found at nearby St Mary’s Church in Lanark which is just a three-minute drive away from the care home.

The orphanage is now being examined by the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry into historical allegations of the abuse of children in care.

When were the mass graves discovered?

At least 400 youngsters’ bodies were found at the burial plot by two former residents of Smyllum in 2003.

Frank Docherty and Jim Kane uncovered the overgrown, unmarked section of St Mary’s Cemetery as they campaigned to expose physical abuse which was allegedly suffered by former residents.

A year later they were told by the orphanage founder, Daughters of Charity, that children had been buried in 158 compartments in the graveyard.

Records show that most of the children had died of diseases like pneumonia, tuberculosis and pleurisy.

But Frank and Jim, who both died earlier this year, were adamant that more children were buried there, accusing the nuns of “incomplete records”.

An investigation by BBC’s File on 4 and the Sunday Post revealed at least 400 children were buried in the plot.

A third of those who died were aged five or under. Just 24 in total were aged over 15, and most of the deaths occurred between 1870 and 1930.


Who are the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul?

The Daughters of Charity was a group founded by French priest Vincent de Paul and widow Louise de Marillac in 1633.

They worked to establish homes for orphaned children, run hospitals, work in prisons and help the poor in Paris before expanding their work across France.

It began to open establishments in the 1800s when it took charge of St Joseph’s Reformatory for Girls near Sheffield in 1861.

Smyllum Orphanage was launched in 1964 – the Daughters of Charity’s first presence in Scotland.

But by the 1980s, all of its children’s residential establishments in Britain were shut down.


Sunday 10 September 2017 15.17 BST

wp-image-1045427285Hundreds of Scottish orphanage children allegedly buried in mass grave

High infant mortality rate and allegations of abuse raise suspicions of Smyllum Park in Lanark, once run by Catholic nuns

The Scottish child abuse inquiry is to investigate claims that the bodies of at least 400 children from a home once run by Catholic nuns are buried in an unmarked mass grave.

The high infant mortality rate has raised concerns about conditions at Smyllum Park orphanage in Lanark, which was operated by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul.

Mass grave of babies and children found at Tuam care home in Ireland

The institution, which looked after children from broken homes, opened in 1864 and closed in 1981. More than 11,000 children stayed at the orphanage over that period.

Records reveal that most of the deaths were due to natural causes, mainly from diseases such as TB, pneumonia and pleurisy. About a third of the victims were under the age of five, and the majority of the deaths occurred between 1870 and 1930.

Former residents of the orphanage uncovered a burial plot containing the remains of a number of children at nearby St Mary’s cemetery in 2003.

Frank Docherty and Jim Kane, who both died earlier this year, alleged that many of those who passed through Smyllum Park were subjected to physical abuse, including beatings, punches and public humiliations. Both men also believed that the number of deaths was far higher than the 120 previously acknowledged by the Catholic order.

An inquiry by BBC Radio 4’s File on 4 and the Sunday Post newspaper examined death certificates in archives and found 402 children from Smyllum Park. Only two were found to have been buried elsewhere. The remainder are thought to have been laid to rest in St Mary’s cemetery, a mile away from the former home.

Smyllum Park orphanageSmyllum Park orphanage opened in 1864 and closed in 1981. 

The recorded death rate, according to the reports, is calculated to have been, in some periods, around three times the average for children in Scotland.

The suggestion that children were put into an unmarked mass grave echoes the public outcry over the recent discovery of the remains of 800 babies and children at a former Catholic care home in Tuam, in the west of Ireland.

Like Tuam, the row over what happened at Smyllum Park focuses not only on the way in which children were buried but the supposedly strict, punitive regime said to have been operated by nuns.

One of the deaths recorded at the Scottish orphanage is that of Francis McColl, who died in 1961, aged 13. His death certificate indicates he died from a brain haemorrhage. His brother Eddie had heard that he was struck on the head by a golf club. He has told researchers that he was never able to find any trace of where his brother was buried.

Two representatives of the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul gave evidence to the Scottish child abuse inquiry earlier this summer. They said they could find no records of abuse. The nuns declined to comment on how many people were buried in the mass grave.

In a statement given to the BBC last week, the order said they were “cooperating fully” with the child abuse inquiry and believed that was the “best and most appropriate forum for such investigations”.

They said: “As Daughters of Charity our values are totally against any form of abuse and thus, we offer our most sincere and heartfelt apology to anyone who suffered any form of abuse whilst in our care.”

The order has been granted the status of core participant in the inquiry, which is expected to hear evidence about its homes at a hearing in November.

The Scottish inquiry – which is only investigating the provision of residential care – is more narrowly focused than the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse in England and Wales.

A spokesman for the Scottish inquiry confirmed that the allegations surrounding the mass grave at Smyllum Park would be one of the subjects it examined.

A spokesperson for the Catholic church in Scotland said the Daughters of Charity operated as a separate organisation. “The death of children in care is always tragic,” the spokesperson said. “Any suggestion that the deaths of some children were caused by anything other than natural causes should be investigated to the fullest extent possible.

“The Catholic church has never had any responsibility for or ability to place children in care: that has always been and remains a matter for the statutory authorities who placed children in care and were subsequently responsible for their welfare.”

The spokesman said local priests had participated in services held at the graveyard in memory of children from Smyllum Park orphanage buried there.

White Flowers Alba, a victims group that has helped the investigation into Smyllum Park orphanage, said: “The true scale of the horrors of Smyllum long hidden by the Roman Catholic church are only being now revealed.

“This is a horror we have worked for over number years to have exposed, spending many hours in harrowing interviews, providing support & care for those still suffering today from what they witnessed & experienced. White Flowers Alba is facilitating support for those affected by this tragedy.”

A spokesperson for the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry said: “For many months, the Inquiry has been gathering evidence from survivors and a range of other witnesses and continues to do so…. On November 28 the first case study of the hearings will begin. It will consider the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul.”

Bodies of ‘hundreds’ of children buried in mass grave at Scottish orphanage    

Young boy aged 6 killed by nun




#ScotCop Top Cop #GormlessGormley “steps aside”


The chief constable of Police Scotland, Phil Gormley, has stepped aside after further allegations of gross misconduct were made against him.

It emerged in July that Mr Gormley was being investigated by the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Pirc) over bullying allegations.

He has now taken “special leave” after a further complaint was made.

Mr Gormley denies the allegations, and said he intends to resume his duties in the future.

He was appointed as chief constable of Police Scotland – which is the second largest force in the UK after the Metropolitan Police in London – in January of last year, and his contract still has 16 months to run.

‘Reject the allegations’

In a statement, he said: “I have been notified by the SPA of a complaint made against me. This complaint originates from a member of the Force Executive.

“In the interests of the office of chief constable and the broader interests of Police Scotland, I have sought and been granted special leave to enable this matter to be properly assessed.

“I deny and reject the allegations and will co-operate with the SPA’s assessment and procedures. It is my intention to resume my full duties when this matter has been resolved.”

Phil Gormley

What complaints have been made against Mr Gormley?

  • In July, Pirc began an inquiry following allegations made by a police superintendent of bullying which, if proved, would amount to gross misconduct.
  • Last month a second complaint – by a rank and file officer – was received by the SPA which is considering whether to pass it to Pirc.
  • And today the chief constable has been told Pirc is investigating a third complaint. This came from either a senior civilian manager or an assistant or deputy chief constable.

The Force Executive is Police Scotland’s senior management team, and is made up of officers ranked at Assistant Chief Constable and higher, as well as the force’s deputy chief officer and the director of information and communications technology.

The latest complaint against Mr Gormley was passed to Pirc by the SPA, with the commissioner concluding that the claims would amount to gross misconduct if found to be true.

A statement released by Pirc confirmed it was also still investigating the earlier allegations of misconduct made against the chief constable.

The statement added: “Once each investigation is concluded, the commissioner will submit a report to the SPA containing a summary of the evidence and providing an opinion on whether the misconduct allegations about the chief constable should be referred to a misconduct hearing.

Police officers Police Scotland is the second largest force in the UK after the Metropolitan Police

“Where the Authority determines that there is a case to answer for either misconduct or gross misconduct, it must refer the misconduct allegation to a misconduct hearing.”

The SPA, which holds Police Scotland to account, said it would keep the decision to grant the chief constable leave under review on a four-weekly basis.

Iain Livingstone, who is Mr Gormley’s deputy, will take over the top job until further notice. Mr Livingstone is due to retire later this year.

What is “gross misconduct”?

Police Scotland defines gross misconduct as “a breach of the standards of professional behaviour which is so serious that dismissal may be justified”.

These standards cover:

  • Honesty and Integrity
  • Authority, Respect and Courtesy
  • Equality and Diversity
  • Use of Force
  • Orders and Instructions
  • Duties and Responsibilities
  • Confidentiality
  • Fitness for Duty
  • Discreditable Conduct

Mr Gormley was appointed as chief constable of Police Scotland in January 2016 after taking over from Sir Stephen House.

He had formerly been deputy director of the National Crime Agency, and had served as the chief constable of Norfolk Police.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie had been among those calling for Mr Gormley to stand aside when the initial allegations were made against him in July.

Mr Rennie said: “It has taken too long but Phil Gormley has made the right decision to temporarily stand aside and I commend him on that.

“The investigation needs to be completed effectively and swiftly so that Police Scotland can move on.

“There is a lot to fix in Police Scotland and we need effective leadership to fix it.”

The Scottish Conservatives called for a “swift and thorough investigation”, while Labour urged the Scottish government to clarify what impact Mr Gormley’s decision to step aside would have on the “already shaky management” of Police Scotland.

John Finnie of the Scottish Greens, who is a former police officer, said he believed it was “wise” for the chief constable to take special leave while the investigations were ongoing.

Orkney, Ayrshire, Cleveland … will the authorities ever learn about child sexual abuse cases? {March 2016}

1st march 2016

WHY do notorious child sexual abuse cases from decades ago remain important?

And why should establishing the truth about them still matter?

Those questions were brought into sharp focus by Jean Rafferty’s powerful, outspoken piece in The National on the Orkney and Ayrshire sexual abuse cases, and on the censorship of open discussion about them (When evil visited Orkney, February 27).

It was published on the 25th anniversary of the day nine children, from four middle-class families, were taken into care on South Ronaldsay, Orkney, in 1991.

This happened after children from a large, disadvantaged family spoke of an organised sex abuse ring there.

Just like the eight Ayrshire children removed into care in 1990, they were returned home: in Ayrshire, after a judge reversed an earlier judge’s decision, and in Orkney by a sheriff before the evidence was even tested. It never has been tested.

In both cases, allegations included sadistic ritual and occult practices against children, allegations much-ridiculed ever since.

The cases remain important, and I believe the evidence now needs to be reassessed, for at least three reasons.

First, a stream of shocking failures to protect children from sexual abuse, in the Churches, in care homes, in private home cellars, through sexual exploitation gangs, by media celebrities and the powerful, has recently been exposed and continues to be.

This has increased Government and public concern for abused children and commitment to protect them; and has made society less inclined to dismiss forms of abuse they previously found unbelievable.

Secondly, like Rafferty I and others have over 25 years tried to publicise suggestive evidence that children were indeed in danger. Particularly over the Orkney case, we have tried to correct untruths – in print, on the BBC, in documentaries and online – and point up the flaws in the endlessly recycled and invented theories by supporters of accused adults, who allege it was just “satanic panic”.

We were repeatedly unsuccessful.

The time is surely overdue to end a silencing and misrepresentation which sees, for example, not a single neutral, factual report of either case anywhere publicly available on the internet.

By publishing Rafferty’s article, The National has stood out for its courage and independence.

Thirdly – and I believe most important – the verdicts and the myth-making after these cases have for decades negatively influenced public attitudes, professional child protection behaviour, and child protection law.

They have fuelled suspicion of social workers and paediatricians, increased stress in child protection work, ruled out investigation of possible ritual organised abuse, strengthened beliefs that children fantasise about abuse, openly tightened legislation and practice to make it harder to protect children at serious risk, and eaten into professional courage.

That encourages timidity, a professional watch-my-back mentality, and nervousness about investigating sexual abuse.

Child sexual abuse cases have increasingly disappeared off the statutory child protection radar.

Teachers, youth workers, children’s panel members and social workers still mention Orkney as a reason not to ask a child if anyone has harmed them sexually, however disturbing or suggestive signs and behaviours may be.

“The Orkney report said we mustn’t – didn’t it?” (Actually: no it did not.)

An outspoken Social Work Inspection Agency inquiry report in 2005, into the scandalous failure to act over many years in Western Isles (Eilean Saar) despite 222 expressions of concern and numerous case conferences about three abused and seriously maltreated girls, made this comment.

“New legislation (the Children (Scotland) Act 1995) was designed to protect children within the context of partnership with their parents. This, together with the aftermath of the Orkney inquiry (1992) may have contributed to the prolonged attempts to engage with the family: rather than to try to remove all three children”.

Did the authorities behave wisely in the ways they pursued their suspicions in Orkney?

On several counts, no – and today they would surely be less precipitate, collecting evidence for longer, less obtrusively and in ways less reliant on the children themselves.

Do official mistakes mean that there was no abuse?

Absolutely not: the two issues are separate, yet they are always conflated.

Was there suggestive, alarming evidence of organised sexual abuse?

Yes, in both Orkney and Ayrshire.

And if the assumed outcomes of the Orkney or Ayrshire cases are incorrect, then the future lessons drawn from them – like caution and timidity against sexual abuse, deference and apology to articulate adults – need revising too.

In this I do not think we should get tied into angry arguments of great endlessness, about whether these two cases “really” involved satanist abuse, and if satanist abuse “really” exists. (It does, but as a cult of human beings – not evil spirits flying over our homes.)

The more important, wider question is whether there were seriously abused children in these two places who were failed, who were never protected. And whether there have been many more children, ever since child protection authorities had their fingers so badly burned.

Finally, like the Cleveland Report in 1989, the Orkney Inquiry was commissioned to examine the conduct of the authorities: not to examine risks to children.

I believe that any future inquiries following high-profile cases can neither benefit nor protect children at risk, nor be truly child-centred, unless they include this question in their remit: were the actual children at the heart of this case abused or not?

How could that not be the most important question to ask?

Sarah Nelson is a research specialist on child sexual abuse issues, based at Edinburgh University

Ignorance allows offenders to thrive, hidden from view, imposing silence with threats {Jan 1998}

Only when all those working in the field of childcare are prepared to stand up and be counted will the scourge of abuse ever be combated, says Sarah Nelson

Aberdeen’s social work department responded openly and in detail through the media to serious criticisms about its supervision of paedophile Steven Leisk in this week’s McManus Report. That response by no means ended public disquiet, but it did contribute positively to a thoughtful debate, which McManus’s own wide-ranging report has encouraged.

Besides, the public knew social work director Peter Cassidy had himself commissioned the report, and was prepared to take the consequences.

But though more open approaches like these clearly benefit all sides in the debate, are they all too rare in the fraught area of child sex abuse? Does fear by official agencies of speaking out publicly, or of allowing their own staff to do so, work against the interests of abused children?

”It must never happen again.” When shocked professionals shared the public’s view after the recent court case into sexual abuse in Edinburgh children’s homes in the 1980s, they did not just mean the sadistic exploitation which saw two senior care workers jailed for a total of 27 years.

They also referred to revelations that young people kept trying to tell of their abuse, but were ignored or disbelieved by professionals.

Past scandals also reveal how staff who did speak out on behalf of abused children were often scapegoated for doing so. Social worker Alison Taylor was sacked after ”whistleblowing” in the North Wales children’s homes scandal – now the subject of another official inquiry.

But are these things really in the past? Agencies charged with protecting children, shaken by years of hostile press coverage, remain fearful of speaking frankly on their behalf, especially through the media. Too often staff who stand up to be counted for children are still being punished or ostracised – not by child abusers, but by their own agencies, and fellow professionals in the childcare field.

In November, a 10th anniversary conference of the Cleveland abuse crisis was held in Newcastle. It was unusual as figures who were centrally involved, who bore the brunt of controversy, were invited to speak: Dr Marietta Higgs, Dr Geoffrey Wyatt, Sue Richardson, Heather Bacon, Marjorie Dunn. It was also unusual because survivors, who know most about sexual abuse, and community groups who organised against this abuse, were given a platform.

Yet amid rumours of a boycott, not a single health professional attended, nor did any senior social services managers. In contrast, the major Cleveland: 10 Years On conference in Newcastle in April was well-attended by senior professionals.

Speakers were judges, QCs, professors, and eminent psychiatrists. No survivor or community group was thought fit to be invited to share the platform.

It seems officials working with children at risk preferred safe topics, and shrank from association with controversial people and issues. Yet even if they still felt critical of individuals from Cleveland, their absence meant they missed disturbing findings on how current protection systems were failing to safeguard children – particularly the very young.

Does official defensiveness mean the authorities are falling behind the public and the media in their willingness to discuss openly that unspeakable, unimaginable things do happen to children?

Ever more people were drawing that reluctant conclusion even before the Edinburgh children’s homes case – after the horrors of the West case in Gloucester, the Belgian child murder scandal, and a stream of paedophile abuse cases. Yet most agencies whose job is to protect children remain silent inside their laager, wounded and distrustful of journalists and public after savage scapegoating in cases like Cleveland, Orkney, and Rochdale.

In contrast, accused adults use every media weapon available to publicise their cause and influence opinion among the public, the media, and the legal and medical professions. Their efforts have often been very successful. For instance there is no reputable evidence that any ”syndrome” of false memory exists. Yet advocates of FMS have gained widespread, largely uncritical media coverage.

Of course child protection agencies are right that some media have been heavily biased in reporting child sexual abuse. The media need public scrutiny, and they need to examine their own record. But this will not happen until they are challenged more assertively with the facts. Breaking silence must involve communicating through the media, for the clock cannot be turned back on modern technology.

Why has the most meticulous and topical information source in recent years come not from childcare agencies, but from the regular Accuracy About Abuse bulletins put together by one busy journalist, Marjorie Orr? Why has she been left to plough such a lone furrow?

Campaigning journalist Mike Jempson believes that continuing silence acts against the abused children and adults officials seek to protect. He spoke out last year at an international congress in Edinburgh. Even the conference itself, he said, was a ”tragic waste of opportunity”.

The four-day event, run by the British Association for Study and Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect, had dozens of fascinating papers. There were projects to tackle sexual abuse by clergy, there was Scottish research on abuse and HIV, there were positive examples of working with local communities.

There was no confidentiality problem about the majority of papers, no sensitive detail about current cases. Yet few journalists had even been told the congress was happening. Some speakers said that if the media came, they wouldn’t.

Jempson is director of the recently-formed Presswise organisation. It aims to break down distrust between journalists and child protection staff, identify common guidelines, and find constructive ways of helping protect children. If they work together, he believes, media bias will be challenged, while child protection groups will be able to speak more openly without compromising their principles.

He knows the frustrations involved, after collecting sheaves of evidence last year for a TV documentary about 20 years of organised abuse in West of England schools. But legal barriers prevented much of it being broadcast, while police, local authority, voluntary workers, and teachers declined to co-operate. This all helped ensure a public ignorance which ”allows offenders to thrive, hidden from view, imposing silence with threats and other inducements” says Jempson.

Sue Richardson knows the price of speaking the truth on behalf of children – exacted this time not by accused parents or vengeful media, but by a leading child protection charity. As child abuse consultant in Cleveland in 1987, Richardson was ”demonised” along with Dr Marietta Higgs. Last May she saw no option but to resign from her post with NCH-Action for Children in Glasgow. She faced the sack unless she withdrew from a Channel 4 programme about the ”Cleveland affair”.

Charity bosses in London told Richardson that NCH-AFC might suffer bad publicity by being identified with Cleveland through her. Yet in fact the programme confirmed her claims that evidence was withheld from the Cleveland courts in 1987; and that deliberate decisions were taken that nobody would know what happened to children returned home by those courts. Reviews of Death of Childhood suggested it shifted public perceptions of the ”Cleveland affair” – mainly because by speaking out, a very few professionals enabled the programme to be made.

Yet in this, and the next programme on alleged ritual abuse cases, the majority of agencies, including social work departments and health authorities, refused to take part. They either forbade, or did not wish, individual staff to do so.

For instance, Children 1st (formerly RSSPCC) declined to take part in the Orkney programme, telling a reporter the agency no longer did investigative work, and the case was a ”long time ago”. It was in 1991, and police across Britain are currently investigating children’s home allegations going back to the 1960s. No-one suggests this makes them less important.

Agencies’ refusal to comment deprives the public of relevant details, and helps ensure one-sidedness in coverage. Besides, do agencies who lost credibility over their handling of particular cases best restore it by distancing themselves, hoping people will forget, or by presenting the public with different information to consider?

The silencing of staff raises important issues for employment law and good practice – about human rights, civil liberties, and justifications for ”gagging clauses” in contracts or severance agreements.

A central reason why professionals do not comment is that it would betray the confidentiality of children or other clients. But they now have to ask with brutal honesty how far this has actually worked in favour of abused people over the past decade, when the other side has had no such qualms, using every media weapon to discredit them.

Parents have even given for publication the names and photographs of their adult children who accuse them of abuse. This supposedly child-centred policy of confidentiality has not protected those it was designed to protect, and has left many survivors feeling disempowered.

Ways must be found of modifying blanket confidentiality policies in the interests of victims. The problem was mentioned in the Orkney inquiry report five years ago, yet there has been no urgency in tackling it.

There are many ways of briefing the media about the background to a case, on or off the record. Letters correcting blatant untruths published about families or staff should be written promptly to newspapers. Older children, teenagers, and adults should actively be consulted about what they themselves wish to have revealed, or whether they would like a forum to speak, when they face concerted distortion. Young people’s groups like Who Cares? Scotland should also be consulted.

Fear of litigation – especially by articulate, middle class men – is another reason for official silence. These are real concerns, fuelled by intimidatory tactics in the US. But there are dangers in using the US as a warning model since it is a uniquely litigious society.

Fear of being sued can paralyse and intimidate a council or a wider system, making it deferential and timid, more concerned about apologising to aggrieved adults than about monitoring risks to children. But children cannot be protected without giving some offence to adults.

If genuine abusers saw a polite, but assertive, willingness to risk legal actions where embarrassing evidence about them would be revealed, they would think twice about going ahead.

Another, perfectly honourable reason for restrained comment is respect for law, due process, and moderation in public statements, especially towards the judiciary. No-one is suggesting officials should start issuing a stream of invective or outrageous remarks. But it is possible to be outspoken in a courteous way from their first duty to protect children at risk.

How far is reticence based on tradition, bureaucratic caution, or outdated deference? For instance, what might have happened if the unusual concern and distress of child protection agencies had been voiced after Sheriff Colin Miller’s controversial judgment, which returned home eight Ayrshire children in 1995.

This new appeal hearing took place several years after the original sheriff declared the facts proved in this alleged case of sadistic organised abuse. Many subsequent hearings had upheld his verdict. Strathclyde social work department did issue a meticulously-detailed response to Sheriff Miller some weeks later. But suppose for a moment that the SWD, the Association of Directors of Social Work, the chief reporter to the children’s panel and his professional body, and major voluntary child protection agencies had all put their names to an immediate statement of what they actually felt.

”We disagree with this judgment; we stand by the judgments of all previous legal hearings; we believe the conduct of this hearing gives concern and was not impartial; we think the child JF’s treatment in court was disgraceful; and we fear children have been placed at serious risk”? Certainly this would have caused a sensation and front-page headlines. Such a course could not be taken lightly or often. But the judiciary, public, and media would have been forced to confront a very serious disagreement, raised by highly respected people, and debate it and respond to it. No-one professional could have been isolated for dismissal or disciplinary action.

We have to ask why this scenario, in any abuse case, seems so unthinkable. It is, after all, only about words. It would involve no flouting of the court, no radical action with serious implications, such as refusal to return children home. Should it be unimaginable for leading childcare agencies and individuals publicly to say in effect: ”Do what you will: the safety of children is more important to us than convention, or concerns about our own professional position”?

A new outspokenness and honesty among childcare professionals would do more than benefit children. It would raise their own morale and self-respect, and make it easier to align themselves with survivors and local communities.

Because it is fear, anxiety, isolation, and frustration which cause stress and burnout in this work. For individual staff, guilt and self-blame, suffered in private, have also been crippling: the sense – however undeserved – of having failed to protect children whose faces they can’t forget.

New courage at the most senior level would also show a proper respect for survivors and protective parents. Statutory and voluntary agencies are the public faces of child protection. They speak for many child and adult survivors who cannot yet do so. If they will not stand up to be counted and face the consequences, who else will? Can they keep urging abused children and their communities to ”break the silence”, not least about organised abuse, if they don’t lead by example?

After all, survivors and protective parents (mainly mothers, but some fathers too) have shown the way by speaking out publicly and battling for justice, often at great personal and financial cost. For it is not embarrassment, poor publicity, or even possible loss of a job such people have faced, in their life experience, in their challenges to bad practice, and in their public campaigning.

It is their bodily integrity, their sanity, their freedom from being incarcerated in prisons or mental hospitals. It is the risk of losing all access to their children: it is even sometimes risk to their very lives, and the lives of their children.

n Sarah Nelson was a keynote speaker at the BASPCAN international congress in 1997. As a professional journalist, she wrote widely about the Orkney Inquiry. She is currently carrying out research on sexual abuse at Edinburgh University’s sociology department.


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