Sex rit­u­als and devil wor­ship­ping per­formed at Scot­tish orphanage, stunned in­quiry told

Scottish Daily Mail - - Front Page - By Gra­ham Grant Home Af­fairs Ed­i­tor

A WOMAN yes­ter­day told how she was sub­jected to a Satanic sex rit­ual by nuns at a no­to­ri­ous orphanage.

She de­scribed the sis­ters who ran it as a sadis­tic ‘cult’ which presided over bizarre rit­u­als. In ex­tra­or­di­nary ev­i­dence at the Scot­tish Child Abuse In­quiry (SCAI), she told how she was sex­u­ally as­saulted in a can­dlelit chapel in the grounds of the Smyl­lum Park home run by the nuns.

The man she said was re­spon­si­ble was wear­ing a hood – and the sis­ters told her he was ‘the Devil’.

Af­ter­wards, she said she was buried alive overnight at the orphanage in La­nark, then forced to bathe in what she was told was blood.

In other chill­ing ev­i­dence, the SCAI heard a young girl was beaten by nuns – and never seen again.

The claim comes af­ter pre­vi­ous al­le­ga­tions that deaths of chil­dren at Smyl­lum were ‘cov­ered up’.

The tes­ti­mony about the Satanic

sex rit­ual is the lat­est in a cat­a­logue of ev­i­dence about abuse at the home, which was run by a Catholic re­li­gious order and closed in 1981.

The al­leged vic­tim ad­dressed a hear­ing in Ed­in­burgh yes­ter­day, us­ing the name Janie, and said she had been born in 1961 and was ad­mit­ted to Smyl­lum in 1965.

She said: ‘To be hon­est, nowa­days I think they were a cult.

‘They would take us from our beds at night, they would take us to the big field [out­side Smyl­lum].

‘There was quite a lot of us, with the sis­ters, five or six of them, maybe more. They would take us out into a big field and make us stand in a cir­cle and dance around a tree.

‘They would take us to the back of a chapel, they would take us down the stairs – it was dingy and dark with can­dles. There would be a big square slab, they laid me on that.’

Janie said: ‘I was sit­ting on one of the nun’s knees, they gave me a lol­lipop. They said, “The Devil’s com­ing out now”.’

She said she did not know who her abuser was but ‘it was a guy in a hood – and they said it was the Devil’. She

‘Were go­ing to bury baby alive’

Wit­ness tells of be­ing at­tacked by hooded pervert on chapel slab

Girl buried alive and even forced to bathe in ‘blood’ as part of rit­ual

Chil­dren made to dance round tree at night in bizarre cer­e­mony

was sex­u­ally abused by the man then taken out­side, where they ‘buried me alive, left me there’.

One of the nuns whis­pered to her: ‘Don’t worry, you will get back out.’

She said she was ‘buried in a drain’ and left overnight, and re­leased in the morn­ing.

Janie said the nuns dragged her up­stairs in the home, where she was forced to take a bath in what she was told was blood, but now be­lieves to be ‘red dye’.

She said: ‘They made out it was blood, they soaked me un­der it.’

Janie also said she was ‘con­stantly’ tied to her bed and had mask­ing tape placed over her face while nuns tried to suf­fo­cate her with a pil­low.

On other oc­ca­sions she was trapped in a wardrobe in her room, but was never sure why.

Janie said: ‘I’ve not got a clue. It’s just like they liked do­ing it. Maybe I was hy­per, or wanted to play.’

She said the chil­dren were once wo­ken by a nun car­ry­ing a box that she had said con­tained a baby.

Janie said: ‘She woke up the dor­mi­tory and said one of the sis­ters had done a sin, and had a baby, and they were go­ing to bury the baby alive.

‘Were they just try­ing to play with our heads? Was it true? Was it real?

‘Were they just try­ing to make us de­mented?’

Janie also told how she and her older sis­ter were taken away from Smyl­lum in a van late one night.

They were with some nuns and ‘quite a few men’ who tried to put her in a strait­jacket which was too big for her. She be­lieves she was drugged but then ‘conked out’ and was later taken back to the home.

Smyl­lum pro­vided care for or­phans but also chil­dren from poor, work­ing­class fam­i­lies and trou­bled homes.

Janie was not an or­phan and left Smyl­lum when her mother spot­ted that she had bruises and im­me­di­ately con­tacted a so­cial worker.

In a state­ment to the in­quiry, Janie said she sus­pected the nuns had ‘mur­dered peo­ple’, adding: ‘We should get jus­tice.’

It was re­vealed in Septem­ber that at least 400 chil­dren from Smyl­lum are thought to be buried in a mass grave at La­nark’s St Mary’s Ceme­tery.

Other ev­i­dence, from a woman called Mar­garet, de­scribed an at­tack on a girl of about eight or nine.

Mar­garet, born in 1950, was de­tail­ing her or­deal at Smyl­lum be­tween 1955 and 1960. She said: ‘They beat her up… I never saw her again.’

On one oc­ca­sion, Mar­garet said she was taken with other chil­dren into a room where a dead nun lay on a bed, and they were told to kiss the corpse.

Mar­garet re­fused, spit­ting on the dead nun in­stead. She was grabbed by the hair by other sis­ters who told her

she would ‘rot in hell’. Mother-oftwo Mar­garet, now a widow, said: ‘She was prob­a­bly one of the nuns who had beat the liv­ing day­lights out of us.’

The in­quiry has al­ready heard this week that an eight-year-old girl was sex­u­ally abused by a pri­est at Smyl­lum, then had her arm bro­ken by a nun who had found out about the as­sault.

Dr Theresa Tolmie-McGrane, now 55, said she was later forced to re­ceive Com­mu­nion from the pri­est who abused her – who told her she was ‘a sol­dier of God’.

When she alerted other priests to the abuse, she was told to pray for those re­spon­si­ble.

The in­quiry has also heard claims that Fran­cis McColl, 13, died af­ter a Smyl­lum worker struck him with a golf club.

In post­hu­mous tes­ti­mony, read to the SCAI this month, a for­mer res­i­dent said Fran­cis was struck by a ‘psy­chotic’ em­ployee – who was not a nun and who can­not be named for le­gal rea­sons.

Fur­ther ac­cu­sa­tions about Smyl­lum staff were made by a wit­ness named John, who was born in 1948 and went to the orphanage in 1958.

He de­scribed the home as a ‘con­cen­tra­tion camp’ where nuns used hair­brushes – con­cealed in their tu­nics – to beat chil­dren. The in­quiry has also heard from a wit­ness named Paul, who was taken into care as a baby and who be­lieves he was born around 1959.

He said he was raped by a pri­est at Smyl­lum af­ter re­veal­ing that he had been sex­u­ally as­saulted by an­other cler­gy­man.

Paul said he was pinned down and beaten with a cricket bat by nuns, and trapped in a wicker laun­dry bas­ket for four days. A nun once beat him with hosepipe and told him he ‘should be grate­ful’.

Last week, a wit­ness called David told the SCAI that a six-year-old, Sammy Carr, died days af­ter a nun launched a fren­zied at­tack on him, kick­ing him in the head.

The in­quiry, be­fore Lady Smith, con­tin­ues.

‘Should be grate­ful’

‘At­tacked’: Six-year-old Sammy Carr, left, died while in the care of nuns at the orphanage, above ‘Con­cen­tra­tion camp’: Smyl­lum Park res­i­dents suf­fered a cat­a­logue of hor­rific abuse, wit­nesses are telling in­quiry

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.