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Season 2008 Episode 0524

Kathy Marks: Pitcairn Lost

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Kathy Marks: Pitcairn Lost
AIRED:
Pitcairn Island -- where Fletcher Christian's descendants live -- was until recently a rarely visited British outpost perched in the South Pacific; a tropical paradise.In 2000, British police, alerted by unsettling reports of rape, descended on the island, one of the most isolated places on Earth and home to just 47 people, mostly related.Their investigation developed into a major inquiry that uncovered widespread child sexual abuse dating back generations.Scarcely a Pitcairn man was untainted by the allegations, and almost none of the women had escaped. Yet most residents, including victims' mothers, feigned ignorance, claiming that the abuse -- perpetrated on girls as young as three -- was part of their "way of life".Pitcairn, it transpired, was a real-life Lord of the Flies story of a place without rules, a society gone badly astray.Kathy Marks was one of a handful of journalists permitted to live on the island while she reported on the ensuing trials and witnessed Pitcairn's domestic workings first hand.In Pitcairn: Paradise Lost she documents a society gone badly astray, leaving lives shattered, codes broken and a paradise truly lost - Sydney Writer's Festivalmoreless

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