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Rupert And Rituals

June 28, 1992

When Siegel asked me why I believed there had been a limited response to Timothy's needs, I don't believe I stated that I felt there had been a connection to ritual activity by any local officials, although Siegel gave me continued encouragement to do so. This does not negate my belief that Timothy's needs were not met by law enforcement, the judicial system and child protective services in both Idaho and California. The continued focus upon whether or not Timothy was a valid witness to the death of Baby X obscures the issue that Timothy has needs as a victim of ongoing abuse that must be considered.

To me, the questions raised by Siegel's article concerning conflicting views by residents of my community are secondary to the questions concerning the possibility of ritual abuse of Timothy. There is little doubt in my mind that after Timothy began asking for help, he was injured both physically and psychologically to prevent him from telling more. I have feelings of guilt because my efforts to get the boy help may have resulted in more injury and pain for him. This has tempered my efforts in similar cases.

It is my hope that someday Timothy will get the help he needs. Perhaps this will happen only when society learns to believe children rather than waiting for "hard" evidence. It was not that many years ago that both physical and sexual abuse were not accepted as real. Cases like Timothy's will help teach us that ritual abuse is real.

NOEL B. CROFT

Rupert, Ida. Siegel responds: Croft did indeed express a deep concern for Timothy's welfare, but he also spoke at length and spontaneously about what he believed to be widespread ritual satanic activity in the Rupert area, some of it involving local officials. These may very well be two separate matters, but in Croft's conversation they were closely intertwined.

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