BPS DOP 2019 Paper: Organisational Evil, Total Institutions, and Epistemic Injustice: Understanding the Savile Sexual Abuse Scandal

Org evil


I was delighted to spot a paper about the Jimmy Savile child sexual abuse scandal in the program for the BPS Division of Occupational Psychology congress. Dr Tom Calvard kindly shared the submission paper which provides a very useful overview of the scandal and the (limited) investigation that followed.

Calvard & Sang (2019). BPS DOP Paper Submission Organisational Evil, Total Institutions, and Epistemic Injustice – Understanding the Savile Sexual Abuse Scandal

At the conference attendance was good in spite of an early start on the last day of the event. The slides again were very informative and a timely reminder that Occupational Psychology has a role to play in shedding light on how persistent abusers operate with impunity due inadequate safeguards and individual failures.

Calvard & Sang (2019) BPS DOP Paper Organisational Evil, Total Institutions, and Epistemic – Understanding the Savile Sexual Abuse Scandal

I made some comments after the presentation sharing information about the involvement of Jimmy Savile in Satanist Ritual Abuse (SRA) which I reported about before (slide 54 & 55).

Dr Rainer Kurz TPF Presentation 11th March 2015

As a volunteer I listened to disclosures of a SRA vicitm regarding Jimmy Savile activities in Kingston-upon-Thames and also read an eye witness account of a child murder that he seemingly committed.

Tom previously co-authored a fascinating paper about organisational ‘knowledge (mis)management’.

Baird & Calvard (2018) JBE Article ‘Epistemic vices in organizations – Knowledge, truth and unethical conduct’

In the US our field is known as ‘Industrial & Organisational Psychology’. Prompted by media reports of the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) I made it my mission to tackle the industrial scale of child sexual abuse and organisational structures and processes.

In 2016 I convened a Symposium at the Dyslexia conference in Oxford where I shared my Personal Statement for the BPS DOP Science & Practice Strategy Group Convenor role. When I tried to put the slide deck on the BPS DOP website I was told that the document had to be hosted externally thus prompting me to start this blog.


At ESTD 2017 I again shared this Personal Statement and aired some problematic BPS issues.


I am pleased that senior leadership of the BPS changed and that steps are underway to tackle key issues I highlighted.

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