Richard Wexler

Richard Wexler

Sept. 28, 2016

“The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children [is] presenting a ‘special issue’ of one of its publications devoted to [Differential response] – or rather, devoted to bashing DR….

“APSAC’s track record for getting child welfare issues right is less than distinguished. As Debbie Nathan and Michael Snedeker explain in Satan’s Silence, APSAC was formed in the 1980s largely by well-meaning ‘professionals’ who promoted claims of a supposed epidemic of mass molestation and satanic ritual abuse in day care centers.

“ ‘From its inception,’ Nathan and Snedeker write, ‘APSAC’s leadership roster was a veritable directory of ritual-abuse architects.’  Kee MacFarlane, who led the questioning of children in the notorious McMartin Preschool case, served on APSAC’s board – and received the group’s Outstanding Professional award – a decade after McMartin.  And in 1997, three years after writing an article promoting the idea that there really were secret tunnels under the McMartin Preschool, Roland Summit, another former board member, received the group’s Lifetime Achievement award.”

– From “Opposition to Differential Response Dealt Heavy Blow” by Richard Wexler in the Chronicle of Social Change (Sept. 24)

Differential response – a less adversarial, more collaborative approach to reports of child abuse and neglect – isn’t a subject I’m well-informed on. But Wexler’s characterization of APSAC’s culpability for the day-care panic can’t be disputed.

Next: Has APSAC recanted about ‘satanic ritual abuse’?