Jordan, Minnesota

"Look it up, numbskull.
None of the parents got locked up,
only the guy who finked on them."

From the interview in cDc #84:

Interviewers: I want to get into this child abuse thing- because in the song "Jordan, Minnesota," you take a strong stance on it.

Steve: It's not like we're trying to make any great statement or anything... I think it's just pretty obvious- people shouldn't be fucking their kids. I mean that's a pretty manifestive world. That's just a subject for a song like any other. We're all pretty interested in ridiculous extremes that people go to for no real reason, just because they have nothing better to do. That's a pretty extreme situation, where you have a whole town of people who are actively involved in kid fucking.

Interviewers: Is that fictitious, or is it...

Steve: Oh no. You ought to look it up. Jordan, Minnesota, 2 years ago, there were 26 indictments handed down by a district attorney for this group of people, which is literally about a third of the adult population of this town, Jordan, Minnesota, who were involved in this elaborate kid fucking ring. They would play these weird games, they'd play spin the bottle, they'd get to fuck each other's kids, and they'd take each other's kids home and things like that. It was really absolutely staggering, right? All these parents got big-ass lawyers, and the district attorney was afraid that these kids would collapse under cross examination, like have nervous breakdowns. With domineering adults screaming at them that they're lying, of course these kids are going to flip out. So, they dropped all the charges. Which means all these kids are going back to their houses, and the exact same shit has got to be going on. Nothing has changed, basically. I mean, you guys hadn't even known it had happened- that shows you how much publicity there is about stuff like this. And now all these kids are back in their houses.

Interviewers: And it's all the kids now, because the parents are the people they're supposed to respect.

Steve: A four year old kid, he has no cognizance of his own personality yet. He doesn't even know he's a distinct person from everybody else in the world, and here he is being taught, basically, that the way people interact is by fucking each other's kids.

So this numbskull went and did a little research on the net to see what I could find about what happened in Jordan. By all accounts, although there probably was some abuse, it wasn't as bad as Steve would have us believe. (And if you dig this research, be sure to visit my page of research on Budd)

From "SBFAQ (Should Be Frequently Asked Questions) about Little Rascals, the Ritual Sexual Abuse Hoax and its costs"

Another early case (known as the "Scott County case") occurred in Jordan, Minnesota in the early 1980s. It began when a trash collector caught molesting young girls, accused their parents of running a child sex ring in order to gain a light sentence. After the parents were arrested, their friends protested. Then they in turn were accused and arrested. At one point 24 people were accused and many children spent months in foster care. During coercive interviews some children were told they could return to their parents if they described the abuse (this I found in Scalia's dissenting opinion in Craig vs. Maryland 1990). Ultimately the trash collector admitted to making up the accusations to obtain a generous sentence; two parents were tried and acquitted; and Kathleen Morris, the prosecutor, lost her next election.

From "The JET Report"

All the defendants in the Jordan, Minnesota trial were also acquitted but not before they had been financially ruined and everybody who believed them innocent (including the Deputy Sheriff and his wife) had been arrested so that a total of 24 people were eventually prosecuted. The prosecutor was subsequently reprimanded by the State Board of Professional Responsibility. In the hysteria that spread rapidly across the country in the months and years after the first accusations in August 1983 children alleged sexual abuse in graveyards, crypts and cellars, said that they were involved in rituals requiring the use and often ingestion of blood, that they had seen human bodies being eaten and abuse connected with burned or cooked babies (Chicago and Bakersfield).

From a dissent in Supreme Court ruling 89-478 MARYLAND v. CRAIG

The injustice ... erroneous testimony can produce is evidenced by the tragic Scott County investigations of 1983-1984, which disrupted the lives of many (as far as we know) innocent people in the small town of Jordan, Minnesota. At one stage those investigations were pursuing allegations by at least eight children of multiple murders, but the prosecutions actually initiated charged only sexual abuse. Specifically, 24 adults were charged with molesting 37 children. In the course of the investigations, 25 children were placed in foster homes. Of the 24 indicted defendants, one pleaded guilty, two were acquitted at trial, and the charges against the remaining 21 were voluntarily dismissed. See Feher, supra, at 239-240. There is no doubt that some sexual abuse took place in Jordan; but there is no reason to believe it was as widespread as charged.

From an article entitled "Salem's Shadow" in The Guide magazine ("The best in gay travel, entertainment, politics and sex")

Twenty-four citizens of this town near Minneapolis were rounded up in the spring of 1984 and charged as co-conspirators in a Satanic sex ring that held intergenerational orgies, produced child pornography using their own children, and committed human sacrifice. Their children were placed in custody and rigorously prompted to "disclose" abuse.

Charges against all but three of the accused were dropped by the end of the year. According to Nathan and Snedeker's Satan's Silence, "In early 1985, the state attorney general's office issued a report placing the blame for an investigation gone awry on the relentless, unending interviewing of children." Veterans of this case including, Bob and Lois Bentz, formed an organization, Victims of Child Abuse Laws (VOCAL), that seeks to curb state intrusion into family life.

From Myths and Realities of Sexual Abuse Evaluation and Diagnosis: A Call for Judicial Guidelines

This myth profoundly underestimates the most serious problem related to investigating allegations of child sexual abuse. Certainly, children can recall trauma accurately (Jones & Krugman, 1986), but they can also tell the examiner what the examiner wants to hear. It is not surprising, then, that a child involved in the Jordan, Minnesota case which turned out to be a tragic hoax later admitted to fabricating stories of abuse explaining, "I could tell what they wanted me to say by the way they asked the questions" (Aric Press, 1985; Campbell 1992a).

From "Faulty Assessment of Child Sexual Abuse: Legal and Emotional Sequelae"

According to one of the therapists treating a child in the Jordan, Minnesota case, an 8-year-old child alleged to have been sexually abused was kept in foster care for one year and told by a psychologist that he wouldn't be allowed to return home until his mother admitted that the sexual abuse had occurred. (Minneapolis Star Tribune, 9/29/84).

Children, are eager to please and can often deduce from how a question is phrased what the desired answer is. For example, the boy in the Jordan, Minnesota case admitted he'd made up detailed stories of sexual abuse because, "I could tell what they wanted me to say by the way they asked the question. (Newsweek, 2/18/75). [probably 85, not 75 -- Andy]

The "Witch Hunt FAQ" includes Helen Brown, Tom Brown, Robert Benz and Lois Benz in a list of "Individuals whose charges were later dropped; who were tried but acquitted; convicted but verdicts overturned on appeal (many after serving prison time); convicted and served full prison time; or who died in prison." Note the differing spelling of Benz vs. Bentz.