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The Secret of Bryn Estyn: The Making of a Modern Witch Hunt Paperback – 15 Feb 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Orwell Press; 2nd Revised edition edition (15 Feb. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0951592262
  • ISBN-13: 978-0951592267
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,132,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Format: Hardcover
All truth passes through three stages:
First, it is ridiculed;
Second, it is violently opposed; and
Third, it is accepted as self-evident.
— Arthur Schopenhauer
But one person's axiom is another's heresy; and the intensity of the emotions is often inversely related to the availability of facts. Richard Webster's 722 pages is the iceberg upon which the Titanic of Waterhouse will founder, along with the hitherto perceived unsinkability of the SS Child Protection Value Statements. Your emotions can hardly fail to be triggered by this book; if you have been professionally involved in statutory child protection you will scream “heresy”, trash the book and demand that the author be burned at the stake; if you have been falsely accused of child abuse you will sob “at last” and demand that Webster be fêted as the ultimate whistleblower.
For, although the core of this book is the total demolition of the Waterhouse findings into the allegations of organised child abuse and paedophile rings in the child care homes of England, what gives it authority is the extraordinary lengths Webster has gone to place the whole Waterhouse episode into the context of the child protection industry, mass delusion and paedo-hysteria. You have only to read McLean and Elkind's exposé of the Enron corporate bankruptcy fiasco to see a striking comparison. Enron managed to persuade their auditors to re-write the rules of financial investigation so as to make massive debts appear to be massive assets; North Wales Social Services managed to persuade their police to re-write the rules of police investigation so as to make what, at worst, were rare isolated instances of child abuse, appear to be child abuse on a massive scale.
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By Neutral VINE VOICE on 14 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback
The Secret of Bryn Estyn, first published in 2005, is an indictment of the British press, judiciary, police and the chattering classes. The story represented the projection of the mythical into the public arena in the form of a moral panic. The story became a national scandal, paraded through the press whose peddling of pap was in itself a scandal of horrendous proportions. Fired by "superstitious secularism" - devised and subsequently discredited in North America - it found apologists such as the Marxist journalist Bea Campbell who proclaimed the existence of Satanic cults infiltrating whole communities. The damage done to the victims of such "crusading" journalism (snatched from loving homes by intellectually limited and professionally myopic social workers) was incalculable.

According to first reports Bryn Estyn was a network of evil - a paedophile ring whose members included a senior North Wales police officer and other public figures. Over a period of ten years thousands were accused and hundreds arrested using the now discredited system of police trawling which reversed the age old principle of innocent until proved guilty. As Webster made clear some allegations were made almost by police invitation. In many cases the motivation for the allegations was to make money. The alleged paedophile ring never existed. Just two men were convicted.

In 1999 the BBC broadcast a programme entitled A Place of Safety in which several former residents of Bryn Estyn made allegations against staff members. Yet all the accusers had left the institution before the accused staff members had joined and had never met them.
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Format: Paperback
For those people who believe that most of what we're told is wrong, Richard Webster's painstaking analysis of recent child abuse cases provides ammunition a-plenty.
His work provokes equal measures of worry and anger.

If he is to be beleved, and I think he is, several lawyers and journalists, and a succession of others in public life, have failed to do their work with sufficient detachment or regard for actual evidence.

His forensic examination of events in North Wales has shown the Waterhouse Inquiry has hidden the truth, allowed liars to go unpunished, and started a witch hunt among care workers and in childrens' homes.

It is a very sorry and salutary tale, which curiously, a number of well regarded journalists seem unable to acknowledge.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was steered away from reading this book, oddly enough by somebody who featured prominently throughout the 722 pages.

After only skimming through the first few pages, I understood why.

Richard Webster's nine-year research to bring this work to fruition, was indeed remarkable, as personal experience of some of the characters (names were changed to protect the living) he had to meet with and interview, were/are so crooked they would have had difficulty in laying in their beds straight.

He has my ultimate respect for that as some of those people truly were the lowest of the low. The stories they concocted in order to gain compensation, permanently destroyed the careers, health and reputation of some innocent people, which could even have contributed to the premature death in others.

It towers above anything else written about this dark chapter in The history of child care in this country, and serves to educate and awaken the reader to the depths that some people can sink.

I cannot recommend it highly enough....
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