persistent rumours

Dr Reina Michaelson holds a PhD in psychology. For her community work in combatting child sexual abuse she was awarded a Young Victorian of the Year Award in 1996 and a Young Australian of the Year Award in 1997 . Her Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Program won the Australian Institute of Criminology’s Violence Prevention Award in 1998 and the National Child Abuse Prevention Award for Innovation from the Commonwealth Department of Family and Community Services in 2001. In the same year, her doctoral research was awarded the Vice Chancellor’s Medal for Excellence in Research by Victoria University. Clearly she’s an expert in her field and a credible source.

Yet her story is so outrageous, were its source slightly less credible, one would be tempted to dismiss it as a paranoid fantasy. She claims that a powerful network of child sexual abuse operates in Victoria (and nationally), and has done for many years. This network allegedly includes high profile individuals, including icons of australian television, and even more seriously members of the Victoria Police. She further alleges that those public bodies responsible for the investigation of these claims, the Victoria Police (including its Ethical Standards Division) and the Ombudsman have been negligent in those investigations; at best incompetent, but more likely corrupt.

Numerous aspects of this story are matters of public record. Dr Michaelson’s (so far unsuccessful) attempts to have a Royal Commission investigate the claims have been documented by the Age and other newspapers, as have numerous irregularities in Victoria Police and Ethical Standards investigations into such claims.

Two State and one Federal Parliamentarian have gone on the public record with similar claims in the last ten years. South Australia Parliamentary Speaker of the House, Peter Lewis was effectively hounded from office after levelling claims against one of his fellow MPs earlier this year.

He said “There are a large number, but not a high percentage, of people in high places and positions of trust who take it for granted that they can indulge their sexual appetites for children of both sexes so long as they arrange to cover it up and get away with it … The most outrageous thing of all, which disturbs me most about the information … is… what appears to be the related and organised activities of those paedophiles in high public office – that is, the judiciary, the senior ranks of human services portfolios, some police, and MPs”

In 1998, Senator Bill Heffernan informed Federal Parliament of “the code of silence which protects worldwide child sex networks including people in the judiciary, parliament, clergy and the public service. Many of these people live in an abhorrent culture in which is included, as a spoils of office, the right to have sex with children”.

And most famously, in 1996, New South Wales MP Franca Arena levelled similar accusations at at least two State MP’s, a judge, several senior Police, lawyers, doctors, a socialite businessman and priests. Five days after this accusation, the judge, of the NSW Supreme Court, David Yeldham, who was due to present evidence to the Wood Royal Commission, in which he was accused of sex with minors, committed suicide. The commission also found he had been apprehended by police on related matters numerous times but was never charged.

While all these aspects are matters of public record, the most interesting accounts are available only from less trustworthy contexts. This document would appear to be Dr. Michaelson’s story in her own words, though the names have been changed. She is explicitly referred to by the cryptonym “Sarah Connor”, Graham Kennedy is referred to as “Gerald Oanasis”. Other cryptonyms include “Ernie Old” which seems to refer to a certain moon-faced idol of Australian daytime TV, and “Greg Neckett”, which seems to refer to a certain autocratic one-time Victorian premier.

The problem with the context is that the authors of website that hosts the article seem to also be fascinated by all manner of conspiracy theories. They are apparently involved in court proceedings over their claims that a religious society, the OTO, is behind this abuse. Elsewhere the site delves into such dubious topics as free energy, masonic handshakes and weather machines. But just because a fool says the sun is shining doesn’t mean it’s raining.

Another harrowing account is hosted by the Sydney indymedia site, and can be found here.

I really don’t know what to make of all this, other that it’s quite a story, and that it seems to be deserving of a lot more official attention than it has received..


Dr. Reina Michaelson’s website, the Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Program. It documents her attempts to have these claims investigated, as well as related media coverage.

Raymond Hoser, author of two books on corruption in the Victoria Police, wrote this page regarding similar claims.

Conspiracy-oriented website which hosts article apparently by Dr. Michaelson as well as further discussion.

Another website discussing and documenting the allegations.

2 Comments so far

  1. Friend of the OTO (unregistered) on December 12th, 2005 @ 6:37 pm

    In Australia the Ordo Templi Orientis (OTO) is a small religious body promoting the religion of Thelema. The OTO has been subjected to vile and unsubstantiated allegations and is defending itself in the courts and elsewhere.

    When the OTO sued Devine and Legg, who published serious allegations on their website, the OTO presented these people with the perfect opportunity to present

  2. B (unregistered) on February 13th, 2006 @ 6:04 am

    Some organised sexual offender networks hijack religious ideology in order to justify their crimes. This has been documented all around the world. The fact that a group of Australian paedophiles have adopted Thelema as it’s raison d’etre shouldn’t be suprising, given Crowley’s graphic descriptions of the “joys” of rape and violence.

    If Dr Michaelson’s story seems incredible, then the paedophile networks that have been exposed in Belgium, France, England, Portugal and America over the last ten years might give you reason to pause. Witnesses overseas have spoken explicitly about the role of ritual and religious iconography in terrifying children into silence and complicity.

    We have evidence of such a network here in Australia. The evidence comes from the spontaneous, consistent and corroborating disclosures of children and adults over the last three dcades, and survivors have the forensic evidence to support their claims.

    However, as with any form of organised crime, witnesses need the cooperation of investigatory bodies and the guarantee of protection if they are to come forward.

    Survivors of the Australian network, and their supporters, have been systematically targeted and terrorised by the perpetrators since the Ombudsman began his investigation. This terrorisation has included threats, abductions, assaults, and home invasions. How can survivors present their evidence in such an environment?

    Ritual abuse in Australia is real. There is no “witch hunt”. If the OTO are so concerned about religious vilification, they might want to turn their attention to the offenders who are using and abusing their creed. But, apparently, it’s easier to hunt down loud mouthed conspiracy-minded pensioners.

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