Colin Clay has written several books and manuscripts on the subject of cults and satanism. Three books he authored have been published: No Freedom for the Mind (1987), Pilgrim's Way: A Liberal Christian's Response to Current Trends in Fundamentalism (1991), and More Than a Survivor - Memories of Satanic Ritual Abuse and the Paths Which Lead to Healing (1996)
None of this work is available at Amazon. He has not succeeded with the career he was trying to establish.
Clay was a "resource person" in the community for social workers and some Sociology professors. He took full advantage of his position as a University Chaplain to promote his views. Meetings which were held at campus facilities were closed to people who questioned the basis for his views. He did not subject his teachings to an academic scrutiny, encouraging people to take a leap of faith to believe that Saskatchewan was infected with spiritual disease which was manifesting itself in invisible ways. Unbelievers must be rooted out and severely punished.
Arloa Beach, an educated person herselff who fell under his spell and beleived her children, on week-ends with their father, were being used in cult ceremonies told me that it would be easy for these people to pull off such junkets without leaving any evidence. They had resources: jobs and wealthy benefactors. All five of her children were in therapy and ready to "disclose" at any moment.
Colin Clay has done terrible damage in the Saskatoon community. He helped fuel the Martensville hysteria by visiting the community and, to a packed crowd in the school gymnasium, proclaiming that the Sterlings were guilty. He used the authority of his collar to twist minds. In a fundamentalist community, he fed fears. He was the voice of IRRATIONALITY and PANIC. Colin Clay is no better than those clerics who physically molest helpless parishioners. He molests people's minds!
See what he did to the mind of Arloa, formerly married to Sam Sambasivam! This man had beaten Arloa on many occasions. Clay persuaded her that Sam was part of a Satanic cult which was about to be "busted" by Saskatoon and Martensville police. After the Sterlings and five others were arrested, and while they were in custody, Clay spoke on two successive nights to overflow audiences in the arena where he whipped the hysteria into a frenzy, telling the citizenry they could begin to heal their community now that the Satanic cult had been busted. Premier Roy Romanow and Finance Minister Janice MacKinnon attended the first evening, veiling the event with credibility and respectability.
An increasing number of journalists are drawing parallels between recovering memories of sexual abuse and recovering any other memories. They are moving beyond seeing the recovered-memory debate as one limited to memories of sexual abuse to one that is about the "processes" by which any memories are recovered and to skepticism about beliefs developed in suggestive therapy settings.
This can be seen in journalistic comments about the withdrawal of the Holocaust memoir by Binjamin Wilkomirski. Binjamin Wilkomirski's memoir about his childhood in Nazi concentrations camps has been withdrawn by the publisher because copious legal documents prove that Mr. Wilkomirski was not Jewish and that he could not have spent the war years in concentration camps. The book had been translated into 12 languages and Wilkomirski had received awards and adulation from the literary and Holocaust communities.
In one of the most bizarre stories in the whole recovered memory saga, a major "proof" for Wilkomirski's claims had been another "child survivor," a Laura Grabowski, who declared she remembered him from Auschwitz. In a strange twist, it turns out that Lauren Grabowski is none other than Lauren Stratford (aka Laurel Wilson) who wrote the book Satan's Underground in 1988, a memoir about her experiences as a child victim of satanic abuse. That book was one of several that helped fuel the satanic panic. It, too, was later exposed as fraudulent and withdrawn by the publisher.
One writer commented that the Wilkomirski-Stratford incident showed us "that there are some very weird people out there."
While that may be true, these incidents do give us reason to consider two important questions. First, does it really matter that the stories were false? Yes, it does. For Holocaust survivors or sexual abuse survivors, such hoaxes and false claims attack their credibility.
They diminish the experience and pain of genuine victims. And they may cause serious harm. Satan's Underground, for example, turns out to have been a major source of information for a California therapist named Maas who then helped at least 50 patients recover memories of satanic ritual abuse.
Two of them sued their 76-year-old mother in 1990 in what is likely the first SRA trial of the current panic. (Bennett Braun was an expert for the prosecution.)The second question is equally troubling because of what it asks about the rest of us: What does it say about the gullibility of publishers, literary critics and the rest of us? How could so many people have been fooled by Wilkomirski's story? And by so many other recovered memory stories?
For this writer it is a demonstration that people may suspend critical judgment if a story fits into the prevailing cultural wind, if it is what they want and expect to hear. In a "victim oriented" culture, readers' self-definitions are in the stories. - PAMELA FREYD
The following case, which is one of the most extreme cases of an individual being persuaded she was the victim of a family and community Satanic cult started in 1989. It took a couple years for this particular trend of professionals using totally unethical practices to line their own pockets and further their careers to migrate to Canada. It found fertile soil in Saskatchewan and took root in the persons of Carol Bunko-Ruys and Saskatoon Corporal Brian Dueck. Many members of the government, including Premier Roy Romanow and Social Services minister Janice MacKinnon were sucked in. The lawsuits arising out of these cases are only now coming to trial.
-- Sheila Steele, March 30, 2001
Cool, et al., and Blue Cross/Blue Shield v. Olson, et al., Circuit Ct., Outagamie Co., Wisconsin, Case No. 94 CV 707.
Nadean Cool is suing her former psychiatrist for malpractice, claiming he convinced her she had 120 personalities -- and then charged her insurance company for group therapy. In her suit, Nadean Cool claims that her psychiatrist, Kenneth C. Olson, was negligent in diagnosing her as suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder and that he planted in her frightening and false memories through hypnosis.
Cool's insurance company, Blue Cross and Blue Shield United of Wisconsin, is also suing Olson, St. Elizabeth Hospital and Legion Insurance Co. of Pennsylvania.
In opening arguments, Cool's attorney, William Smoler, accused Dr. Olson of implanting false memories in Cool's mind, including supposed childhood incidents of sexual assault and rape. Olson used fear to convince Cool that her family and members of a satanic cult wanted to kill her. Olson prescribed a regimen of drugs, some addictive, but "far beyond what's acceptable," Smoler said.
Another attorney for Cool, Pamela Schmelzer, told the jury that Dr. Olson informed Cool that she had more than 120 personalities, including those of a duck and of angels who talked to God. Cool came to believe she had knifed the babies in the heart and passed them around for other cult members to eat. To become Satan's bride, Olson told Cool, she had to be raped by 60 or 70 men and have sex with animals, Schmelzer said. He said the only way Cool would get better was to describe such acts to him in detail. When Cool would ask after hypnotic sessions, why she had not remembered such child abuse, Olson convinced her that under hypnosis, "you become someone else and only that person remembers these things." During this time, as a result, Cool made several suicide attempts.
According to Schmelzer, on Feb. 25, 1989, in a mental health unit at St. Elizabeth Hospital, Olson covered the nurses' viewing windows with newspaper, "tethered Cool spread eagle" on a bed, and ordered that no one enter the room no matter what they heard. Armed with a fire extinguisher, because he had told Cool that "she could burst into flames as a result of the exorcism," Olson screamed to Satan, while Cool begged "let me go" for several hours. Olson told Cool that many of her personalities died as a result of the exorcism, Schmelzer said.
During the first day of testimony, Cool described how she began counseling sessions with Olson for help in dealing with a traumatic event experienced by a family member and her feelings of guilt because she had been unable to prevent it. Cool testified that the $300,000 treatment by Dr. Olson left her suicidal and haunted by false memories of brutal rapes, incest and beatings that she had never before remembered. The memories occurred when she was regressed back to childhood through hypnosis. Cool testified that before Olson hypnotized her for the first time, he never warned her of any risks involved or that false memories might occur. He also insisted that if Cool denied the memories evoked under hypnosis, she would never get better.
Sometimes pausing to regain control of her emotions, Cool recalled for the jury some of the memories Olson brought forth when she was in a trance during her first year of therapy with him in 1986. Cool testified that in 1987, she had increasingly bad nightmares and continual flashbacks of the incidents she experienced under hypnosis until she felt more "hopeless and crazy." But, she said, Olson continued to tell her "sometimes you have to work things out the hard way." Cool told the jury that Olson would often hypnotize her and have her recall these terrifying memories.
Cool testified that as the year progressed, her therapy sessions with Olson became longer and she was hospitalized more frequently. She said that she told Olson on Dec. 31, 1987, that she was discontinuing treatment because "I felt like dying all the time because of the constant flashbacks, and I could not see how I could ever get better." Cool said Olson threatened to hospitalize her against her wishes on a 72-hour hold, but she finally agreed to go voluntarily because she didn't want to be committed.
The defense stance was outlined by defense attorney, David D. Patton, in his opening statement on Feb. 7th. Patton said that the psychiatrist correctly diagnosed multiple personality disorder, and that no malpractice occurred because it was Cool who suggested she was different personalities. That's exactly what we have here." Patton said that because of the severity of Cool's problems, Olson was willing to try anything, including exorcism or 'deliverance prayer' to help her. "Evidence will show she was not harmed by it," the psychiatrist's attorney said.
News services across the country have published reports of testimony which began February 7, in Appleton, Wisconsin. The trial is expected to last 6 weeks. The report given above quoted from the following sources: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, (2/12/97) "Woman says her psychiatrist planted her false memories, personalities; Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, by Chris Nelson, (2/11/97) "Malpractice suit: Plaintiff tells horror of memories; Woman emotionally testifies that psychiatrist planted false recollections;" Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, by Chris Nelson, (2/8/97), "Patient cites satanic references; Malpractice suit claims psychiatrist used fear;" Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, by Meg Jones, (2/4/97), "Appleton woman says former psychiatrist convinced her of many personalities."
Cool v. Legion Insurance Co., Kenneth C. Olson, et al. Circuit Ct., Outagamie Co., Wisconsin, No. 94 CV 707. (2)
After 15 days of courtroom testimony, psychiatrist Kenneth C. Olson agreed to pay a former patient $2.4 million in an out-of-court settlement. No defense was offered. In the settlement announced March 3, 1997, Nadean Cool and her family will be paid $1.79 million immediately. Subsequent periodic payments will bring the total up to $2.4 million at present value. Olson's insurance company, Legion Insurance Co. of Pennsylvania, will pay $400,000 of the settlement and the Wisconsin Patients Compensation Fund, which handles excess insurance for state physicians, will pick up the rest.
Dr. Elizabeth Loftus Ph.D.
Nadean Cool sued her former psychiatrist for malpractice alleging he induced horrific false memories through hypnosis, was negligent in diagnosing multiple personality disorder and engaged in dangerous treatment, including an exorcism and prescribing drugs that caused her to hallucinate. Cool's attorney, William Smoler, is adamant that recovered-memory therapy is fraught with potential problems. "This is a plague on people who go to therapy, " he said. "These are people who are already hurt, who then get hurt much more."
Experts for Cool included Dr. Steve Lynn, Elizabeth Loftus, Ph.D., Richard Ofshe, Ph.D., Dr. Paul McHugh and several local professionals who testified from their first-hand observations of Cool's treatment by Dr. Olson.
Under the settlement agreement, Olson admits no liability. This is, however, not the first time a former patient has sued Olson. In 1995 an Outagamie County jury found him negligent in the diagnosis of MPD with another patient. Olson now practices psychiatry in Bozeman, Montana. Olson's attorney, David Patton, said that the settlement will not affect Olson's private practice, "He's still a respected psychiatrist."
However, several jurors who heard the testimony were reported as saying that they felt Cool deserved more money. Jurors said the testimony against the psychiatrist seemed damaging and incontestable because it was buttressed by Olson's own notes from therapy sessions and by pages from a book he was writing about Cool. One jurist is quoted as saying, "It looked to me like she was an experiment to him." Another jurist said that the exorcism Olson performed shouldn't have happened, "He lost it right there."
Nadean Cool says she doesn't want the case and its aftermath to become her life, although she would consider telling her story if it could help other people.
"SCIENCE helped convict him. Science exonerated him," wrote Mr. Justice Fred Kaufman in his inquiry into the wrongful conviction of Guy Paul Morin for the 1984 murder of Christine Jessop. Mr. Morin is lucky, if you can use such a word to describe the ordeal he has endured, because DNA evidence allowed him to triumph over the failures of the Canadian criminal justice system. Like Judge Kaufman, though, we believe Mr. Morin is not the only innocent person to have been "swept up in the criminal process."
Unfortunately, many of these people are unable to marshal DNA or any other evidence to bolster their protestations of innocence. That's because they have been convicted of horrible crimes, including rape and murder, based on nothing more substantial than an accusation founded on so-called repressed and then recovered memories of sexual abuse. Most of them can't even publicize their stories because publication bans have been imposed to protect the privacy of the alleged victim.
Recovered-memory therapy was one of the most pernicious trends to sweep North America in the late 1980s and early 1990s, fracturing thousands of families and leading to hundreds of arrests and financially crippling lawsuits. Almost two years ago, the Canadian Psychiatric Association followed the lead of the Americans and the Australians and produced a position paper saying that memories of childhood sexual abuse triggered in adults during psychotherapy are unreliable and should not be accepted without corroborating evidence. In January, a leaked report from Britain's Royal College of Psychiatrists went even further.
"Despite widespread clinical and popular belief that memories can be "blocked out' by the mind, no empirical evidence exists to support either repression or dissociation," said the report, which went on to say that "repression and recovery of verified, severely traumatic events, and their role in symptom formation has yet to be proved."
These denunciations have yet to penetrate the Canadian criminal- justice system. That's why we are calling on Justice Minister Anne McLellan to order an inquiry into all convictions based on this internationally discredited therapeutic theory. There are precedents for such a review.
In 1995, the justice minister and solicitor-general asked Madam Justice Lynne Ratushny of the Ontario Court's Provincial Division to review nearly 100 cases of women convicted of murder or manslaughter before 1990, when the Supreme Court ruled that battered- women syndrome is a legitimate defence. As a result of the review, the federal government granted conditional pardons or early release to four women and referred the case of a fifth woman to an appeal court.
Recognizing battered-woman syndrome provided a retroactive defence to women charged with murdering their partners. A similar consideration should be extended to people who were convicted based on another syndrome that has, in this case, been discredited. We aren't the only ones arguing for such a review. Late last month, Alan Gold, president of the Criminal Lawyers Association made a similar appeal in a letter to the Justice Minister. He asked her to "conduct an inquiry into this entire category of convictions, with a view to releasing forthwith all those prisoners who would not have been convicted but for the testimony of 'recovered memories.' " As Mr. Gold said, "an urgent and powerful need exists" to act on this matter without delay.