Dear outgoing Minister Grapperhaus, members of the Justice and Security Committee, and (new) members of the Lower House,
On March 4, we sent you a letter in response to the decision of the Research and Documentation Centre (WODC) to return the research commission into organized sadistic abuse. We urged you all to ensure that the research committee is independent of Justice. In that letter - and in earlier letters - we explained to you that there are many victims who do not dare to talk as long as there is no committee as independent as possible. This also applies to victims who testify about sex work as children or teenagers at 'parties' and on other occasions when they talk about the presence of people in high places. We therefore asked you - we know, outside the usual frameworks - to ensure that a Committee is set up that is completely independent of the Ministry of Justice, and to involve the Expertise Centre for Transgenerational Violence from the very beginning (i.e. before choosing the members of the Committee).
To our surprise, outgoing Minister Grapperhaus has now appointed the chairman and first member of the committee himself. This while the undersigned group of mental health care workers, patient association Caleidoscoop and especially the Knowledge Centre on Transgenerational Violence, have time and again offered their help. These offers have been completely ignored and no consultations have been held with any of the parties.
With the present commission there are now conspicuously several insurmountable problems of independence, which we firmly believe will prevent the truth surrounding organized sadistic child abuse from coming to light in this commission. These problems are as follows:
- The top of the Justice department, in this case Mr. Grapperhaus, has appointed the first two commission members himself. As we argued in our previous letters, many victims have little or no confidence in the Justice Department, for all sorts of reasons. Whether you or we consider this distrust justified or not is not really relevant. The key point is that if victims have insufficient or no confidence in the committee, there will be little or no discussion. In that case, the committee would be overshooting its goal. As argued earlier, this fact alone should be enough to organize the commission entirely outside the Ministry of Justice.
- The elected members of the committee, Mr. Jan Henriks and mrs. Annemarie Slotboom are - seen from our perspective as therapists and from the perspective of victims - far too close to scientists who publicly position themselves as enemies of victims with dissociative identity disorder (DIS). This is a disorder that most victims of organized sadistic/ritual abuse suffer from. This obviously does not inspire confidence in either victims or practitioners, quite the opposite.
Mr. Jan Hendriks publishes together with Ms. Annemarie Slotboom. This means that they are not independent of each other. Ms Annemarie Slotboom is also a direct colleague (Faculty of Law, Criminology, VU) of the retired Peter van Koppen.
Peter van Koppen regularly performs in the media, where he calls the 140 victims who were interviewed by Argos 'weirdos' (ND 13 October 2020) with 'fantasy stories' (e.g. Leidsch dagblad 27 March, see appendix 2). Here he makes condemning statements about a group of 140 people he has never spoken to. This has nothing to do with science. In addition, he does not shy away from lies about the state of affairs in science. He states in e.g. the Leidsch Dagblad that 'the theory of repressed or recovered memories was a "ready subject" in science. "The QAnon part of Argos is creating a revival. That's just scary." '. Mr. Van Koppen, himself not a GZ-psycholoog or psychotherapist and never having been a therapist, but working in the legal world, completely ignores the fact that the international mainstream view on dissociative identity disorder (DIS) is that there are gaps in the recollection of traumatic events that cannot be attributed to ordinary forgetfulness, or that memories are repressed, see a.o. international handbook DSM-5 and the recently published Dutch New care standard for dissociative disorders. In so doing, he gives readers of newspapers who do not have the knowledge to refute his empty claims a false picture of the scientific state of affairs. He accuses the victims of evil motives and puts an extra knife in their back with his remark 'Women get the chance again to cause serious damage in families'. With this remark he also disqualifies many therapists who dedicate themselves to help people with a history of extreme sexual abuse in an honourable way.
Ms Slotboom also co-authored the book 'travelling with my judge', of which the editors were Mr Van Koppen, Mr Merkelbach, Mr Jelicic and Mr De Keijser. Mr. Merkelbach is co-author of the book 'hervonden herinnering en andere misverstanden' (Resurrected memories and other misunderstandings), in which victims who tell about ritual abuse are put on a par with those who believe in the existence of aliens. The book appeared in 1995, a year after the government's investigation into ritual abuse, and set the tone for the vision of the LEBZ, which was founded in 1999. Van Koppen, Merkelbach and also Jelicic were part of the LEBZ for many years. For more information about the LEBZ and their extremely dubious role in reports of organized (ritual) abuse, we refer you to our previous letter dated October 12, 2020.
This committee will not uncover the truth about organized sadistic abuse, but at best will come back to the conclusion 'we don't know'. Repeating the moves of 1994 will not get us anywhere. Postponing the investigation and first 'investigating how to investigate' is also definitely not an option but a smoke screen. Investigating is very well possible: see the research of Argos, the research of Johanna Schröder et al. and the study in which the German National Commissioner against Child Abuse Rörig in a interview Argos about it. Now that the judicial process around these kinds of crimes is shut tight - as the case around the girl Lisa recently demonstrated - an independent commission is the only chance to break the circle and find out the truth about the existence or non-existence of organized sadistic child abuse and the possible involvement of high-ranking figures. This is of urgent importance for (child)victims and for our constitutional state, see also the article 'cross connections? www.lichtopsrm.com.
We therefore urge you - if necessary by means of a new motion - to relieve the current members of the committee of their duties and to put together an independent committee within the preconditions mentioned in previous letters, one that enjoys broad confidence among victims and treatment providers. In order to achieve this, a close collaboration with the Knowledge Centre on Transgenerational Violence, patient association Kaleidoscope and the undersigned group of mental health care workers is needed from the very first selection of committee members.
A.S. Terpstra-van Hijum (contact person)
Mrs. J. Boogaard-Blom,
Mrs A.F. Denekamp-van Toor
BCZ registered therapist
Ms C. Hamoen,
Mrs. M. van Houten, M.Sc.
Mr. Dr. R. Filius,
Ms C. Linker,
Ms Msc. A. Luesink,
Ms H. Mateboer-Selles
Ms. D. Mazzolari,
Mrs. T.A. van Neerbos,
(child and adolescent) psychiatrist BIG
Mr. Msc. J. Sarmiento
Ms M. ten Voorde-Strietman
Mr. S. Vrees
Psychologist in formation to psychotherapist
Mrs. H. Vrooland-Bosch,
SKJ Youth and family expert
Mr. J. Vreugdenhil.
Mrs C. van Voornveld-de Pender,
Mrs. M. Wielart
Psychologist in formation to psychotherapist