You can imagine our surprise when we read that rotten.com was being
investigated by the FBI, on the front page of the UK newspaper
The Independent. Apparently someone at Scotland Yard decided to
"close the website" after he saw some pictures that upset him.
We will go over some selected passages from the London article,
and review some crazy things said by the people involved with
The article begins,
A further insight into the extent of child abuse and exploitation published
on the internet was revealed yesterday when British detectives said they
were trying to close a website showing pictures of a man eating a dismembered baby.
Scotland Yard is liaising with the FBI in the US to close the website,
based in California, which has been linked with the ritual abuse of children.
Last night the website was still accessible.
Now, we haven't been contacted by anyone about this by any law enforcement
agency, from any country. But it does seem odd that they think they can just
"close a website" based on, in this case, grossly inadequate information.
There does appear to be pictures of a man eating a baby on rotten.com. But
even if they are real, there is no US law that would not allow us to display
such pictures. The fact that someone at Scotland Yard doesn't like them
really isn't our concern, though we don't really like the fact that we are
libelled by being "linked with the ritual abuse of children". That odd
accusation makes a little more sense when we realize who is behind this
The existence of the websites was revealed by two patients at the Clinic
for Dissociative Studies based in London's Harley Street and run by Valerie
Sinason, a psychotherapist who specialises in the treatment of adult
survivors of child abuse.
Valerie Sinason, now there is a name we have encountered before, in
the context of being a complete nutball, to be precise. In fact
last year in the same newspaper, The Independent, the following letter
was written about her: "You compounded [the error] by
citing Sinason et al as 'experts'. They are as much experts as those who
conducted the Inquisition were 'experts' in identifying witches."
Now, what could Valerie say to bring about such scorn?
Miss Sinason is largely known for her work at Tavistock Institute, where of 76
patients (mostly small children) whom she treated, 46 claimed to have witnessed
murders of children and occasional adults, and an additional 15 claimed to
witness abortions or baby murder, or actually assisted in abortions. However no
evidence has ever been presented to corroborate these allegations, and these and
similar patient allegations are largely dismissed as false memories induced
by overzealous therapists.
Here's a direct quote from a report that she wrote:
"Men and women worship Satan as their god in private houses or in
churchyards or forests. They practise every sexual perversion that exists
with animals, children and both sexes. They drink blood and urine and eat
faeces and insects. They are involved in pornographic films and drug
dealing as a means of raising money. They are highly organised, successful
in their secrecy, and have the belief that through this pain and abuse
they are getting closer to their god."
(London Daily Telegraph)
Needless to say, this report was widely discredited, as it should be.
But even so, after this nutty report was featured in a news story on UK
television, one Detective Chief Inspector Clive Driscoll of the Metropolitan
Police stated, "We are taking this research seriously."
Now, continuing with the article about rotten.com,
The Metropolitan Police have provided an officer to work with Dr Sinason's
clinic for half a day a month to investigate claims of abuse made by
patients. Detective Inspector Clive Driscoll, a specialist in paedophile
crimes, said he was working with colleagues in America to track the origin
of the picture of the man eating the baby. The website, which acknowledges
that the act pictured "is unlikely to be legal under any jurisdiction"
says it received the pictures from an anonymous source but they were
"probably taken in Hong Kong or Japan".
Why, it's Clive Driscoll again! He's busy tracking the source
of the picture on our website. Which seems to involve jurisdictions that
aren't covered by the Metropolitan Police, but that shouldn't bother
him, this is a crusade. Incidentally, that is a direct quote from
rotten.com, just verifying that it's this website they're referring
to and not some other nasty website.
Since Detective Inspector Driscoll is probably a very busy man, let's offer
him a few clues as to the source of the pictures in question. Associated
Press Story, 8 January 2001, which even appeared on CNN.com:
SHANGHAI, China (AP) -- The painting of Mao Tse-tung as a Renaissance
saint was too risky for the Shanghai 2000 Biennale. The photo of a man eating
a dead baby was too disturbing. [later in article]
The most jarring work rejected by the Biennale was a photo by artist Zhu Yu,
from the western city of Chengdu, that appears to show him eating a dead baby.
So, maybe this alarming photo, a photo most upsetting to Miss Sinason and
Mr. Driscoll isn't what it seems, and is merely an art exhibit? Good heavens!
Admittedly we at rotten.com have known this for quite some time, but we
opted not to announce this fact. The baby-eating exhibit has been fabulously
successful at upsetting large numbers of people, which is basically what we
wanted. So now, Scotland Yard looks stupid for trying to "close" our
website over some silly Shanghai art gallery reject. Oopsie.
When you hitch your wagon to someone as esteemed as Valerie Sinason,
you get what you deserve.