The Franklin Scandal: A Story of Powerbrokers, Child Abuse & Betrayal

The Franklin Scandal: A Story of Powerbrokers, Child Abuse & Betrayal

by Nick Bryant


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ISBN-13: 9781936296071
Publisher: Trine Day
Publication date: 01/22/2012
Edition description: Revised
Pages: 656
Sales rank: 558,992
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Nick Bryant is a journalist whose work largely focuses on the plight of disadvantaged children in the United States. His mainstream and investigative journalism has been featured in Gear, Playboy, the Reader, and on He is the coauthor of America's Children: Triumph of Tragedy. He lives in New York City.

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The Franklin Scandal

A Story of Powerbrokers, Child Abuse and Betrayal

By Nick Bryant

Trine Day LLC

Copyright © 2011 Nick Bryant
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-936296-45-3


Webs of Corruption

I left Nebraska utterly devastated. I was beginning to believe that Franklin had been a killing field for the souls of innumerable children. The documentation I garnered revealed scores of victims and the harassment I encountered reinforced my burgeoning beliefs. Over the years, I've wavered on several investigative stories in the face of doubt — I wasn't convinced the stories were noble enough to stalk with reckless abandon. But the evil represented by Franklin unshackled me from any fetters of doubt.

I wouldn't be able to return to Nebraska for eight months, but in the meantime I started digging into the background of one Larry King. King's father, Lawrence King, Sr., grew up in Omaha and was tagged with the nickname of "Poncho" as a youngster. The nickname followed him into adulthood, and, as Poncho King came of age in the 1920s and 1930s, Omaha, the county seat of Douglas County, was on its way to becoming the world's leading livestock market — it overtook Chicago in 1955.

In Poncho King's later teens, he found employment in the meatpacking plants of the Omaha stockyards — like thousands of young men hailing from Omaha. Poncho King went to work in Omaha's Swift meatpacking plant; the Swift Company would employ him for over forty years. He started at Swift on the bottom rung, skinning hogs, but gradually worked his way into a supervisory position.

The founder of the Swift Company, Gustavas Swift, had revolutionized the meatpacking industry in the 1880s by using refrigerated rail cars to transport dressed livestock east. Swift's little trick was to harvest ice from the Great Lakes each winter and then build ice stations along the route. The sprawling Union Pacific Railroad was also headquartered in Omaha, and it was integral to providing the infrastructure for Omaha's booming meat industry.

Poncho King married his teenage sweetheart, Vineta Swancey, in 1942, and they ultimately settled into a clapboard house that was flanked by the roar of the Union Pacific Railroad and the wafting tang of the stockyards on the periphery of Omaha's economically depressed North Side. Poncho and Vineta King had six children; Lawrence Jr. was their second child and oldest son — he was born September 7, 1944. The Kings were devout Presbyterians, and they attended North Omaha's Calvin Presbyterian Church every Sunday. Larry Jr. was a tall, husky kid who was an excellent student and talented singer. King's parents encouraged him to take singing lessons as a youth, and he was a notable fixture in the church's choir.

As a student at Omaha's Central High School, King worked as a waiter at the ritzy Blackstone Hotel. The downtown hotel was a "symbol of elegance" and kept a small fleet of limousines for visiting dignitaries. The Blackstone Hotel offered the teenage, working-class King his first portal into the dazzling world of the rich. King went on to graduate from Central High School in 1962 and then enrolled at Omaha University, where he eventually took up pre-med studies. Becoming disillusioned with premed, he signed up for a four-year hitch in the Air Force in 1965, rising to the rank of sergeant. During his stint in the Air Force, King married Alice Ploche, whom he met in Chicago.

A 1973 article in the Omaha Sun was the first media mention I found of Larry King. According to the article, the Air Force sent King to Thailand to be an "information specialist" as the Vietnam War was raging, and he handled "top secret" military communications. King also told the reporter that after his honorable discharge from the Air Force, he took classes at the American Banking Institute in Omaha. King's résumé states that he was a 1972 graduate of the University of Nebraska with a Bachelor's in Business Administration, but the 1973 article made no mention of his degree.

At the age of twenty-five, King entered the "management training program" of First National Bank in downtown Omaha. The Omaha Sun reported that King, working in the bank's "computer section," and a janitor were the bank's only African -American employees. "I was dissatisfied with my advancement there," King said in the article. So in August of 1970, King left his job at First National Bank with no employment prospects in sight.

Later that year, a key organizer of the faltering, two-year-old Franklin Community Federal Credit Union asked Poncho King if he wanted to take it over — Poncho King had successfully headed the employees' credit union at the Swift Company. Poncho declined, but suggested that the Franklin Credit Union hire his son as its manager. Larry King was interviewed and given the job.

One of King's first moves as Franklin manager was conscripting the fair-haired Tom Harvey to manage the books. Harvey was a former high school teacher, and it was rumored among Franklin employees that he had been fired from his teaching job for fondling a male student. King had reportedly met Harvey at the University of Omaha, and both were ostensibly Presbyterians. Harvey's mother, Mary Jane, a Presbyterian Church bigwig, also came aboard at Franklin. She would eventually lend a hand to her son and King in the plundering of Franklin, and would likewise be convicted on related charges.

The 1973 Omaha Sun article lauded King for his diligence and industriousness as he worked "eighteen-hour" days to single-handedly save the sinking credit union. Interestingly, Warren Buffet owned the now-defunct Omaha Sun, and his wife, Suzie, was a benefactor of the Franklin Credit Union.

The Omaha Sun article was clearly written to puff up King's image, but the article contained a pair of peculiarities as it described up-and-comer Larry King. The peculiarities revolved around the Kings' relocation from North Omaha to a large, rambling home in the affluent Omaha suburb of Ponca Hills. The paper reported that "King renewed FBI acquaintances recently" when a heroin trafficker who lived in King's neighborhood was busted — FBI agents suggested to King that he move out of North Omaha. If the FBI "renewed" its "acquaintances" with King, that would imply that they already had a relationship. As this story unfolds, it will become all too apparent that the FBI had a vested interest in protecting Larry King ... and his dirty deeds.

The second peculiarity involved the Kings' relocating to a lavish house in an opulent suburb inhabited by millionaires. At the time of the article, the Franklin Credit Union's total assets hovered around $100,000, and Larry King reportedly never received more than $17,000 a year from the credit union.

Four years after taking the helm of Franklin, King created the Consumer Service Organization (CSO) as an affiliate of the credit union. The CSO became a mass receiver of welfare, disability, and social security checks for many residents of North Omaha. CSO officers set up Franklin accounts for the entitlement recipients and offered financial counseling. King vociferously extolled the virtues of the CSO for providing "a hand up and not a hand-out," and Franklin's coffers soon swelled with not only the entitlement monies but with grant monies too. The grants were given to Franklin for its good works in the community.

King and his Franklin underlings also started to peddle certificates of deposit around the country, offering interest rates 2% to 3% above the market rate — a Franklin executive raked in a cool $1 million in just one day by vending Franklin's high interest CDs. The Franklin CD con was a Ponzi scheme — Franklin perpetually pushed CDs so it could cover maturing ones.

Corporate powerhouses like Mutual of Omaha, Union Pacific, and the Kiewit Corporation (a Fortune 500 Omaha-based contractor) and several religious organizations, including Boys Town and the American Baptist Church, lined up to give Franklin grants or purchase its CDs. King also cultivated a relationship with President Ronald Reagan's Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Samuel Pierce, whose political favoritism would later be exposed and give rise to scandal. Under Pierce, HUD would chip in many thousands of dollars to the Franklin Credit Union — Franklin solicited $1 million in HUD grants in 1981. The US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare also gave Franklin thousands. So King was ultimately glomming onto millions via his massive Ponzi scam and also via grants for all his good works.

Omaha World-Herald publisher, Harold Andersen, seemed to be a stalwart ally of King and the Franklin Credit Union. In addition to the World-Herald depositing thousands in the credit union, Andersen was Chairman of Franklin's Advisory Board. The tall, fair-haired Andersen attended Franklin's annual meetings, dispensing smiles and handshakes. In fact, Andersen headed a 1984 Franklin fund drive that raised $672,170, enabling King to build a bedroom in the credit union's basement.

The bedroom would be furnished with a brass bed, fluffy white comforter, a stereo, and a television. King told a Franklin employee that the bedroom served two functions — it allowed him to "unwind" and it also housed a live-in security guard. I talked to one of the "security guards" who briefly inhabited Franklin's basement bedroom — he alleged one of his first official duties as a Franklin security guard was performing oral sex on Larry King in the basement bedroom.

King referred to the credit union as "my baby," and his baby quickly became his personal, bottomless ATM. King flaunted his newfound wealth with all the pomp and garishness appropriate to a nouveau-riche vulgarian. He moved into a second Ponca Hill home, a mansion that overlooked the Missouri River. He eschewed his Corvette in favor of a sleek Mercedes, and sported several diamond rings and a bejeweled $65,000 watch. King's lifestyle was soon a succession of Lear Jets, limos, and five-star restaurants. He also had his hand in a diverse array of business ventures, including restaurants and bars. He bought Omaha's Showcase Lounge, which I'm told was a favored destination of pimps and prostitutes.

King's conspicuous consumption was certainly eyebrow-raising for those taking notice: In a thirteen-month period prior to Franklin's closing, money gushed from Franklin's coffers into King's hands. He racked up $1,131,229 on six different credit cards — $1,033,975 on American Express alone. He spent $186,395 on limos, $45,806 on chartered planes, $45,166 on jewelry, and various florists billed him a total of $145,057.

Though the National Credit Union Administration required federally insured credit unions to be audited every year, Franklin hadn't been audited during its last four years of operation. According to a former Franklin executive, when auditors would show up every now and then, King would holler, "Phone Washington!" After King talked to "Washington," the auditors begrudgingly made a hasty retreat. In December of 1988, a Des Moines Register article quoted an NCUA investigator discussing King and the Franklin Credit Union: "We'd sit around while having a beer in Omaha 10 years ago and wonder where he was getting all the money to pay for his lifestyle." So NCUA officials were apparently cognizant of the fact that King had been looting Franklin for years. But King got by with a little help from his friends — his friends in DC.

Early in 1984, a Franklin employee wrote a memo that documented King's embezzlement of funds. After the employee wrote the memo, he was summarily fired. The former Franklin employee then met with the Director of Nebraska's Department of Banking and Financing and even talked to a representative of the NCUA, but his tale fell on deaf ears.

In the 1980s, King started translating his ill-gotten wealth into political power. In his twenties, King had been a Democrat and die-hard supporter of Democratic Presidential candidate George McGovern, who was walloped by Richard Nixon in the 1972 presidential race. But as King's personal fortunes took a vertical trajectory, he switched his political alliances to the Republicans in 1981.

King was the founder and Chairman of the Nebraska Frederick Douglas Republican Council, which threw a 1983 reception honoring none other than Larry King for his "service to the Republican Party both locally and nationally." The reception, held at Omaha's upscale Regency Hotel, had presenters form ranks to praise and venerate King and impart plaques of recognition. The function had so many individuals extolling the virtues of Larry King that presentations were limited to a mere ninety seconds.

Hobnobbing with Nebraska's Republican elite was just an appetizer for King — he also started to become a force in Republican politics at the national level. His entrée into big-time Republican politics was through the National Black Republican Council. King reportedly wore several hats for the Council — he was Vice Chairman for Finance and also participated with its Nominating Committee and Development Committee. Moreover, King reportedly served as an adviser to its Youth Committee. King seemed to be particularly interested in children — his résumé acknowledged that he was on Head Start's Board of Directors, Regional President of the Girls Club, and on the Executive Committee of the Camp Fire Girls. King's résumé also mentioned that he was "Secretary/Treasurer" of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

As King became a fixture of Republican politics at the national level, he rented a swanky Washington, DC townhouse on California Street NW, near Embassy Row, and started to throw fabulous parties. A 1987 guest list from one of his DC parties boasted such luminaries as Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, then Chairman of the Equal Opportunity Commission; United States Ambassador to the United Nations Jeanne Kirkpatrick; New York Congressman Jack Kemp; and Nebraska Congressman Hal Daub. Congressman Daub, like Omaha World-Herald publisher Harold Andersen, had a stint on Franklin's Advisory Board.

King also started to make hefty contributions to Republicans and their causes and sponsored Republican fundraisers. He shelled out $23,500 to Citizens for America, a conservative group run by the infamous lobbyist Jack Abramoff that assisted Oliver North in garnering support for the Nicaraguan Contras. King held a fundraiser for Congressman Hal Daub that was attended by HUD Secretary Samuel Pierce. King also gave a generous donation to Republican Kay Orr in her successful 1986 bid to become Nebraska's governor — he even sang the national anthem at her inaugural ceremony.

King's early musical training gave him a niche among Republicans when it came to belting out the "Star Spangled Banner." His national anthem debut for a Republican audience came in 1982 at a National Black Republican Council dinner. President Reagan and his wife were in attendance, and they were quite impressed with King's booming baritone. King then opened the 1984 GOP convention in Dallas with a spectacular rendition of the national anthem.

King had a busy time at that convention in Dallas. In addition to singing, he threw his biggest bash ever. He rented the Southfork Ranch — the fictitious lair of Dallas patriarch J.R. Ewing. Southfork's sprawling white mansion and grazing horses gave the six hundred people who attended King's party a hearty Texas welcome. Teenage cowgirls — wearing navy satin tights, vests, and cowboys hats — handed out yellow roses. A resplendent King, attired in white, sporting a thick gold chain, served the partygoers ribs, baked beans, coleslaw, and pecan pie.

HUD Secretary Samuel Pierce attended the shindig as did Reagan's daughter, Maureen, who was photographed with King in a very admiring embrace. Two months after Reagan's landslide victory over Walter Mondale in the 1984 presidential race, the Washington Post published an op-ed by King, "Why Blacks Should be Republican," wherein King touted the "substantial gains" made by African Americans under Republican policies.

As the Reagan administration was in its waning days, King apparently had high hopes for the presidential aspirations of New York Congressman Jack Kemp: the New York Post reported that King made his party rounds in New York City and DC proudly displaying a "Jack Kemp for President" button. King kicked in cash to Kemp's 1988 presidential bid and to a Kemp political action committee. King planned to host a Kemp fundraiser at his home — his florist said no expenses were spared for the Kemp fundraiser. Floral arrangements were scattered throughout the house and outside — King even had the florist float flower arrangements in the pool. Kemp, however, canceled the fundraiser at the last minute.


Excerpted from The Franklin Scandal by Nick Bryant. Copyright © 2011 Nick Bryant. Excerpted by permission of Trine Day LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Publisher's Foreword,
PROLOGUE – The Finders of Lost Children,
EPILOGUE – What is the Reality?,

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The Franklin Scandal: A Story of Powerbrokers, Child Abuse & Betrayal 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
carmenbonet More than 1 year ago
I give this author the highest accolades possible for writing the book that will probably turn out to be the BOOK OF THE CENTURY. Many people have tried their hand at dissecting the crimes and the ensuing cover-up which has come to be known as "Franklin," but the story never truly came out of the sound-bite shadows until now. The documentation and corroboration of the massive information in this book is phenomenal. The quality and accuracy of Bryant's work is nothing short of amazing. As a resident of Omaha Nebraska, I knew, like at least 80 percent of the citizenry here, that the grand juries and others that tried to put this story to rest were unjust. As time went on, we gradually came to learn that we lived in the epicenter of a huge criminal network that did the unspeakable-- preyed on children. To this day, this crime network produces ripple effects across the entire nation, and even the world. It hasn't stopped. It's a terrible story, and not for the faint of heart, but it's a very inspiring and uplifting story as well, because the victims who speak out risk everything to try and prevent the same thing from happening to others. It's about human courage, and righteousness that shines through unimaginable terror. It's written in the first person, and you go with the author into places you would probably never go, and see with his eyes, and hear with his ears. You vicariously experience his interviews as victims open their hearts to him. No one ever thought this book could be written. It's way past a good read, this is one of the most important books you'll ever read.
lettruthprevail More than 1 year ago
Nick Bryant's The Franklin Scandal is different than the others on the same topic. His investigative side of the story brings much to the alleged history of the scandal. He is honest when he wasnt able to verify an allegation but did not cover up the facts of the case. This scandal is about the actual trafficking of children for the sole purpose of money, power and the alleged use of these children by high profile citizens. Despite some of the reviews, this is about trafficking and abuse and NOT about satanic cult activity as a whole. Something to consider, if Franklin Scandal was only a hoax why did the CIA get involved in the investigation? They have no jurisdiction on American soil. In my thoughts and with the actual information and documents that have been provided there is no doubt that this did happen. I highly recommend "The Franklin Scandal" by Nick Bryant
chicanoman More than 1 year ago
BBC reporter & author. Author of The Bystander: John F. Kennedy and the Struggle for Black Equality, Mr. Bryant currently covers South Asia for the BBC. He holds a M.A. from Cambridge University and a Ph.D. from Oxford University. Mr. Bryant is based in New Delhi, India, and Sydney, Australia. A chilling expose of corporate corruption and government cover-ups, this account of a nationwide child-trafficking and pedophilia ring in the United States tells a sordid tale of corruption in high places. The scandal originally surfaced during an investigation into Omaha, Nebraska's failed Franklin Federal Credit Union and took the author beyond the Midwest and ultimately to Washington, DC. Implicating businessmen, senators, major media corporations, the CIA, and even the venerable Boys Town organization, this extensively researched report includes firsthand interviews with key witnesses and explores a controversy that has received scant media attention.
SA19 More than 1 year ago
Nick Bryant did an excellent job with his research and fact checking. You will not be disappointed. It is a story that grabs you from the beginning til the end. Thank you Nick Bryant.......
Bookworm129 More than 1 year ago
The Franklin Scandal by Nick Bryant is a book that is based on in depth investigative research with well documented evidence, which provides facts about multiple crimes against children. What started out as an investigation by the Nebraska Legislature into crimes related to the failure of the Franklin Credit Union in Omaha, NE., led to an active nation-wide child trafficking pedophile ring. It is not just individuals that kidnap children for their own pleasure. This is also being done for profit by large groups in cities and countries worldwide. These crimes have been and continue to be covered up by the media, law enforcement, politicians, the court (justice?) system and high level government officials. This book is not about an alleged satanic pedophile cult and an attempt to resurrect and rehabilitate the Satanic Panic. As stated before, it is about the crime of child (human) sex trafficking, and how a child-abuse network can stay hidden for years. The adults that were child victims in this Omaha, NE. sex-ring that Mr. Bryant interviewed provide names and places of the high level pedophiles involved. All information has been well documented in order for the truth to be told in this book. I became intrigued by the conspiracy reality pertaining to the Johnny Gosch kidnapping and how it is connected to the Franklin Credit Union criminal activity. This is definitely one arm of The Octupus. Within The Franklin Scandal, there is enough evidence to suggest that the public has been misled dozens of times. It is time for these cases to be resolved and the high level pedophiles to be served Justice. Remember. follow the money. I would definitely recommend this book to be read by anyone who cares about the welfare of children and the country. Once you start reading it, it is hard to put down.
blizzardpruf More than 1 year ago
Nick Bryant has used the benefit of documents to validate the Franklin Scandal that has spanned nearly 40 years. I have read just about everything published that is Franklin related and Nick's book finishes legions ahead of other published works. Mr. Bryant, quite obviously; ate, drank and slept Franklin to put out this epic book. I am very impressed with the manner in which Nick presents the evidence while at the same time explaining how he corroborated it. Nick steers away from conjuncture and here say to lend validity to what he has written. The crimes committed by these people against scores of children have gone unpunished for too long. Nick has presented "truth" and I sincerely hope that people read and take notice of the tragedy presented among the pages of "The Franklin Scandal". The people of our nation should be outraged that this type of cover-up has taken place.
SLDORI More than 1 year ago
As one "who was there," I am so very pleased with and proud of Nick's book. He told it like it was and did a fantastic job of parallel invetigation. My husband, Gary Caradori, (the Franklin investigator) would be proud of this truthful, factual account. It goes without saying, Nick gave it his all. This is NOT an easy book to read, but it must be read by all. Hang on to your seats....and go for it. What he documents, is true!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put this down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After reading the first chapter or two, you can tell how dedicated the author (Nick Bryant) was to getting the facts. He is completely candid about who he thinks was being disingenuous during interviews, along with his own opinions on various matters. However, that's not the reason this is such a great book. This is an extremely thorough account of events that span decades, and to my knowledge, this is the first and only effort to do such a thing. John DeCamp's original book was the first real account that wasn't fed through the mainstream media filter. This one is even more detailed, and I would even say more critical than DeCamp's. As other reviewers have said, if you only read one book this year, make sure it's this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Robert_Morrow More than 1 year ago
This book is about an elite PEDOPHILE RING of the 1980's that operated at the highest levels of the REPUBLICAN PARTY. It was run by the GOP's rising black star of the 1980's Larry King (not the man on CNN, a man from Omaha, NE) and Craig Spence, a man who was the elite GOP lobbyist of his day in the 1980's. Larry King (not CNN's tv personality) and Craig Spence were running a CIA pedophilia blackmail ring where mainly young boys were used as sex toys and prominent politicians, media folk, business leaders were often photographed as they engaged in their pedophilic perversions. Although Nick Bryant makes a point of not mention some of these prominent pedophiles by name, one of the was GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH, who was pandered a young man Brandt Thomas (age 18) in 1984 by Larry King at one of Larry King's perverted pedophilic sex parties. JACK KEMP - also not directly mentioned by Bryant as a pedophile - is thought to have been both a closet homosexual as well as being blackmailed over pedophilia: When the scandal of King/Spence's child prostitution ring started to become public in 1988-89, Bush's Attorney General Richard Thornburgh instituted a massive COVER UP to protect the pedophiles and crush the child abuse victims coming forward. In sum, GHW Bush, Thornburgh used the FBI and the Justice Dept. to protecte a pedophile ring from Justice. Also, corruption was in the Omaha, NE police whose chief Robert Waldman had been having sex with a 14-15 year old girl Alisha Owen, who later went to jail on perjury conviction for telling the TRUTH. That gives you an example of how evil things got. Other child abuse victims include Paul Bonacci, born in 1970, who was being sexually abused by pederast Harold Anderson, the publisher of the local paper the Omaha World Herald, and also an man with intelligence ties to his pedophile friend George Herbert Walker Bush. Another key player - not directly mentioned by Bryant - was Lt. Col. Michael Aquino who was an openly practicing satanist in the US military and how Paul Bonacci talks about in John De Camp's book The Franklin Cover up. Aquino was into child abuse, satanism and his specialty was the "mind control" program which destroyed many people's minds in attempts to make them Manchurian Candidate type robots for the intelligence agencies. Aquino, although never convicted, is thought to be behind the rash of child molestations at Presidio in the 1980's. Other victims include Troy Boner and Danny King who were both broken by a corrupt FBI as they suborned perjury in order to convict Alisha Owen in order to PROTECT THE ELITE PEDOPHILES. Another person barely mentioned by Bryant is Warren Buffet who was friends with ultra pervert child molester Larry King in the 1970's and 1980's. You can read about that in the Franklin Cover Up. Anyone that close to Larry King might either be a homosexual or even worse a pederast, as folks speculate. Also, there was a very visible media high flyer from the Washington Post - whose name you would probably recognize - who was a heavy user of gay prostitutes according to Vinson, one of Bryant's sources. Vinson was a gay pimp in Wash DC in the 1980's. The Washington Post helped to cover up this story in 1989. Journalist Ted Koppel is also mentioned as a friend of Craig Spence, with all the baggage that comes with being closely associated with some one so perverted as Craig Spence and Larry King.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ReasonPrevails More than 1 year ago
This book is about an alleged satanic pedophile cult, run by the social, political and financial elite of North America, which supposedly maintains control over policy-makers through blackmailing them about their participation in sadistic kiddie porn and snuff films - despite the author's claims that it is not a conspiracy theory book. This theory, referred to as The Pedocracy by its adherents, has a lot of credibility problems not least of them being its adherents themselves which include people like David Icke - who claims that the British Royal family are really alien lizard-people - and prominent American far-right Militia/Patriot fanatics. The specific chapter of this theory which Nick Bryant is attempting to rehabilitate in this book, has its own share of credibility problems. Some principle proponents and alleged witnesses of the Franklin chapter are convicted sex offenders, such as child molestor Paul Bonacci and pornographer Rusty Nelson. Some previous investigators of the Franklin chapter, such as Ted Gunderson, have destroyed their own credibility with paranoid tales of CIA/Alien/Satanist plots to shut them up via assassination. More discrediting baggage includes blatantly false allegations that Hunter Thompson made kiddie snuff films and that reporter Jeff Gannon was really missing child Johnny Gosch. Nick Bryant attempts to sanitize the Franklin chapter of the Pedocracy theory. He portrays himself as a rational skeptic seduced by "the evidence" into a believer. To support this idea, he brings up and dismisses some of the more obviously false allegations associated with the case. He also openly states that he caught some of his sources lying to him, but he nonetheless accepts the portions of their statements which support his main thesis. He states that he "never caught" other of his sources "in a lie", yet he apparently accepts at face value their tales of having been involved in a child sacrificing satanic pedophile ring. The bulk of the book consists of interviews Bryant conducted with alleged Franklin victims, and some documents from the time of the Franklin Grand Juries. Most of these interviews and documents, however, are nothing more than detailed assertions. Bryant apparently believes that, if one person's unverifiable assertions support another person's unverifiable assertions, all those assertions become proven facts. No wonder he isn't a police officer. Ultimately, this book appears to be an attempt to resurrect and rehabilitate the Satanic Panic which brought us the Martinsville, Sask debacle. Bryant begins the book by stating that he came upon the Franklin case as a result of his search for satanic cults in America, and ends the book by uncritically reciting allegations of ongiong satanic ritual abuse from the highly biased Centre for the Treatment of Dissassociative Disorders. Bryant portrays himself as a skeptic, but unwittingly reveals himself to be a True Believer in very sordid conspiracy theories.