Sunday, July 21, 2024
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Reader’s Comment: Child abuse inquiry is a modern witch hunt


In response to Kathy Gyngell: Vested interests keep the fiasco of the child abuse inquiry afloat, David Keighley wrote:

The Spanish Inquisition and its 1486 text by Heinrich Kramer the Malleus Maleficarum (‘Hammer of the Witches’, or ‘evil-doers’) spring to mind. For nearly three centuries afterwards, its lurid descriptions of what witches allegedly did were used as the judicial pretext to execute, torture, imprison and vilify tens of thousands of unfortunate women. The targets of the national Commission on sex abuse, by contrast, are mainly men. We like to think we are more civilised now than back in medieval times, but the methodology and mindset – engendered by the Commission’s all-encompassing remit and search for ‘villains’ – are arguably not vastly different. Is it now in danger of becoming an officially-sanctioned 21st century witch hunt under a different name? The intolerant reactions and approach of Peter Saunders seem to indicate so.

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