1 JULY 2013
JIMMY SAVILE: THE SATANIC PANIC RESURRECTED
"Jean La Fontaine, whose 1994 report dealt the death blow to the Satanic abuse panic, sees eerie echoes of that old hysteria in the Savile case.
"There is a weakness in Western culture and society, which means conspiracy theories go across very well’, Jean La Fontaine, an established anthropologist, tells me over a coffee.
‘We’ve currently got one involving the BBC and the sexual abuse of young girls. Now, it may be true that all of these celebrities were doing things they shouldn’t, but we haven’t seen much in the way of evidence…’
It’s fair to say that La Fontaine knows a thing or two about the dangerous comingling of conspiracy theory and child sexual abuse. In the early 1990s, with children having been ripped from families in Rochdale, the Orkneys and elsewhere in the UK on the basis of Satanic ritual abuse allegations, the Department of Health commissioned La Fontaine to investigate.
The result of her investigations – a study titled The Extent and Nature of Organised and Ritual Abuse, published in 1994 – dealt the death blow to the fevered hunt for child-abusing Satanists. La Fontaine found nothing to substantiate the allegations. Or to quote the journalist Rosie Waterhouse, as La Fontaine herself does, there were ‘no bodies, no bones, no bloodstains, nothing’ ..."
Jimmy Savile Did Not 'Groom the Nation'