Shock as Incestuous Clan Discovered in Australia

Family living in rural New South Wales practiced incest for generations, authorities find

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Lea Goodman / Getty Images

A landscape near Wagga Wagga in New South Wales, Australia

A nightmarish tale of unparalleled child abuse has come to light in Australia.

The Children’s Court has published documents about a clan that practiced incest for generations. The Daily Telegraph reports that the activities of the Colt family (a court-appointed pseudonym) were discovered in 2012, as authorities investigated a tip-off that there were children in a remote New South Wales valley who didn’t go to school. Police and community-services officers found 40 adults and children living in a squalid camp of caravans, tents and sheds, without any access to water.

The children were dirty and shy, and few were capable of intelligible speech. Many seemed developmentally delayed and malnourished. Some had oddly shaped features later found to have stemmed from inbreeding. The concept of personal hygiene was unknown.

Tests have revealed that the family members are all products of intimate relations among themselves, and that children began having sex with each other at a young age. One woman in all likeliness birthed both her father’s and brother’s children.

The clan’s origin may date back to a set of great-great-grandparents, who were brother and sister. The Colts apparently moved frequently, possibly in order to evade detection. In a village near where they last set up camp, it was a common joke that people living in that area of the valley must be inbred, but the villagers never fathomed the family’s dark secret.

Some of the children have now been placed with foster families, while others are in treatment programs for sexualized behavior and psychological trauma. The mothers vary in their acceptance of responsibility. The Children’s Court ruled that a mother of 13 children was found “incapable of addressing her own traumatic history.”

[Daily Telegraph]

213 comments
ndg1986anderson
ndg1986anderson

Incest has been around since the beginning of time. Most royalty evolved from incest. It doesn't ALWAYS involve children like a lot of people are saying. 

Greeks used to take young boys and match them with an older man who would show them how to be sexual and have sex with them, including many family members. This was the same with the Romans and the Egytians.

If you're not hurting anyone, I think you should be able to have sex with whomever you want. Whether that be your father or your son. It's only a crime when a minor is involved, so stop being so uptight people.


DanielDennis
DanielDennis

What is wrong with incest anyway? It's familiar, domestic & cheap

thegreybiscuit
thegreybiscuit

They knew their actions were wrong. If not, then why would they move around so much?

kvp707
kvp707

Um.Mrs. Mary homosexuality has nothing to do with incest and nothing to do with this situation! But nice try spouting your homophobic rhetoric!

MattWest1
MattWest1

This is tragic, but is going to yield some fascinating research.  It's the kind of stuff a psychologist could dedicate an entire career to.  

mary.waterton
mary.waterton

Homosexuality today.

Polygamy and incest tomorrow.

All done in the name of "equality".


My mistake. Looks like tomorrow has already arrived in Australia.

justpassingby
justpassingby

Seriously? It does not matter if they were not bothering anyone? It is that kind of rhetoric that allows abuse to occur in the private realm. Oh not in my backyard or behind closed doors so who cares?! I'll tell you who cares. Decent human beings that are against human rights violations such as these.

bcmugger
bcmugger

If they were not bothering anyone, why bother them?

AlanHall
AlanHall

Southerners are the same, regardless of the country.

vet63
vet63

I find it a bit strange that in a society which accepts homosexuality and all sorts of sexual perversions incest is still taboo. Not meaning to excuse the behavior of this beastly tribe but why should not brother and sister, father and daughter, mother and son who have loved each other from childhood have loving sexual relations if birth control is practiced.

rodgerolsen
rodgerolsen

Despite popular misconceptions, inbreeding does not lead to more deformities. It simply amplifies the characteristics of the strain. It the case of the Ptolemies, the clan became increasingly intelligent and competent. If these people bred idiots, it was because they were idiots to start with.  The fact that incest it fails to diversify the gene pool is irrelevant as long as we have people working hard to have sex with every available stranger.

KyleShaw
KyleShaw

@Sherif

The truth is, there's a lot of compelling evidence on that side of the argument. Much of the scientific research done by people in these fields has contributed to the advancement in technology and medicine we enjoy today. However, the opposite side has at least equally compelling evidence as well, and for this reason, I choose not to argue based on evidences, because, under intense scrutiny, they all crack. 

One mistake I see the Atheist/scientist making is the ruling out of transcendental knowledge as part of the equation. In doing this, when you entertain that the biblical worldview is right, you have just cut off the most important resource you have in properly interpreting your experience. 

You made an interesting point when you suggested an atheist pull some behavioral mandates from his book...obviously there is no such book. 

The Naturalist uses empirical evidence to determine truth. This rule of determination does not serve him well when he argues his ethical opinions however. Like you and I, the atheist is just as adamant about his views of right and wrong. There are things that he is certain of, but, his worldview does not afford him the luxury of dogmatically asserting them. None-the-less, he will still do so, and this is where he gets into trouble. He cannot, consistent with his worldview, do so, but he does it anyway as it is necessary for him to. After all, how can I stand before him and speak of the virtues of Adolph Hitler, and what a great service he was attempting to perform for mankind and not have any self respecting atheist jump out of his chair proclaiming this man to be a monster? I understand why the atheist does this, but because the atheist is misinterpreting his experience due to choosing to cut off his greatest resource, the aforementioned transcendental knowledge, he has done that thing that is spoken of in Romans chapter 1, suppressed the truth in favor of unrighteousness, and so he cannot reconcile this dynamic. He has limited his ability in this area to assert his standards as being authoritative. All he can do is say he "thinks" that Hitler was a monster while every fiber of his inner being burns with the certainty that he knows it to be so! Because if the impotency of the atheists chosen worldview, I can arbitrarily select another standard of behavior and neutralize his position. I can lobby for anything to be permissible and he can't challenge me. He will try, but he can't do so and be consistent with his worldview. His moral indignation and moral obligation cannot be made account of with the tools in his worldview. This...is a damnable and inescapable situation for him. Inescapable I say because there is no rebuttal for this problem. 

Within every lie there is a noose with which it hangs itself.

KyleShaw
KyleShaw

@PonrisuLyra,

You don't know that this will lead to a genetic downfall. The theory of evolution essentially shows that everything is the result of an ongoing series of grand accidents. How do we know that this type of incest gone rampant isn't the next step in evolutionary process? We don't! Further, once you've assigned sentence to the people that started this clan, you've applied moral indignation on your part to the matter; that makes this wrong on a moral level and uncovers another problem in the Naturalist worldview. How do you make account for right and wrong when empirical evidence is required to establish truth? You can believe this is wrong, but someone else can simply select another standard of behavior and you have no power to conclusively challenge. You are both entitled to your subjective view, and surely you aren't suggesting an objective one? If you are going to maintain that there is no God, and that Naturalism is the explanation for our existence, then you are bound by the inevitable implications that come from that stance and one of them is that everything becomes permissible! My question then becomes: Where then does moral indignation/obligation come from? This all, of course, is assuming you are a Naturalist.

WilliamBarnes
WilliamBarnes

@DanielDennis Even though you are probably trying to be funny, most people are shocked at such careless commentary and lack of decent consideration for the victims. 

TricksterWolf
TricksterWolf

@mary.waterton  Actually, it IS your mistake.  There is no movement to secure marriage equality for polygamy and incest, except perhaps in your mind.

HateToSayItbut
HateToSayItbut

@justpassingby A fair question. One may say they were "bothering" genetics. We only get to hear about those children/adults that survived. It is virtually guaranteed that there are dozens if not close to a hundred corpses in their former squats that were caused by deformity and/along with neglect.

MiinnieBjornson
MiinnieBjornson

@bcmugger Kinda like starting out as Adam and Eve and their 2 sons.. So it would be an ok thing? 

TricksterWolf
TricksterWolf

@vet63  This was not a case where birth control was practiced, and children were reportedly abused and neglected.  I don't think this case has much if anything to do with consenting adult behavior.

ElRonbo
ElRonbo

@vet63I find it strange that anyone considers homosexuality a "perversion". Occurs in many species of mammal, so it is natural. Doesn't harm anyone. Maybe it bothers you because deep down you have attractions to others of the same sex.

barefeethusky
barefeethusky

@vet63 Because incest most likely is going to involve children having sexual relations without the understanding of what consent is.  If two consenting adults want to have safe sex and are related, then that's really none of my concern.  It should become a major concern to society if they are involving their children.

TricksterWolf
TricksterWolf

@rodgerolsen  In most cases inbreeding produces a highly restricted set of genes which amplifies genetic traits that would normally be selected against.  Stillborn offspring are much, much more common in highly-inbred stock.


I don't think this article is really about the perils of inbreeding, but what you're suggesting is exaggerated.

TricksterWolf
TricksterWolf

@KyleShaw  Speaking about a swath of people as "the atheist" and invoking the name of Hitler is every bit as ridiculous, offensive, and misguided as speaking about "the Christian" and invoking the name of Hitler.  Atheists believe different things because they're different people.  And "Atheist/scientist" falsely accuses Christians and other religious people of being willfully ignorant, which may be the case for you but certainly not for all Christians!

justpassingby
justpassingby

@KyleShaw This is absurd. The so called morals preached in many religions have been used as the basis for holy wars (Spanish Inquisition anyone). How many atheists call for and successfully have a war carried out based on their beliefs? 

And are you seriously suggesting right now that a genocide of people based on their religious upbringing was "a great service he was performing for mankind"?!? Who's to say your religion is the correct one. There are so many religions and they all seem to claim to be the right one so if it happened to be Judaism then Hitler would actually have been doing a great disservice to humankind (using your coined transcendental knowledge term). 

Using basic human decency the genocide of people for their religious beliefs or affiliation or colour of their skin and appearance is wrong and will always be wrong regardless of how you try to justify your not so subtle anti-semitism and racism.

ShanTavita
ShanTavita

@KyleShaw Once again its this false truth that if you;re irreligious you lack morality, and that only Christians are truly able to discern good from evil and that only Christians have the true moral authority. There have beens laws to punish murder, theft, rape and other serious crimes long before Judaism fully came into being and will remain long after the religious become the minority. If 'your' morality comes from an excellent work of fiction copied off of other Mediterranean cultures and religions, and them compiled by some middle eastern shepherds during the bronze age - thats not morality.

TricksterWolf
TricksterWolf

@KyleShaw  "The theory of evolution essentially shows that everything is the result of an ongoing series of grand accidents."


Evolution has nothing to do with grand accidents, nor does it concern "everything".  Please don't act as an authority on topics of which you have not even attempted to educate yourself.

ElRonbo
ElRonbo

@KyleShawActually we do know quite a bit about genetics, and how recessive traits come to dominate when a group lacks enough genetic diversity. We know that ancient human tribes, along with colonies of primates today, have a certain minimum size to remain sustainable. We know that the "next step in evolution" is just like the previous one - to adapt to one's environment. Take your pseudo-scientific claptrap to a library and learn a bit about genetics so you stop sounding so foolish.

Sherif
Sherif

@KyleShaw  You nailed it!

"Where then does moral indignation/obligation come from? "

They say it comes from learning from our past, and what made humans strives.Then you go, where did you see a civilization without a Higher Power in the past?

Since civilization ceased to exist without a God Figure, what makes them atheists think there stance is a scientific one?lol

MiinnieBjornson
MiinnieBjornson

@leopoldjoshuaenoch @crichbar12 I have really been trying to figure out why the character in the bible story of the man Lot turning his daughters over to the 'homosexual' Sodomites for sex..  since doing it with girls and women just wasn't their desire.. 

HateToSayItbut
HateToSayItbut

@ElRonbo@vet63 There have been actually test results to support this. The same methods used to test for sexual predatory instincts was used to detect levels of arousal in a group of men. They found that the men who most fervently decried homosexuality in the initial interview were the most aroused by the sights/sounds of homosexual pornography.

bcmugger
bcmugger

These ppl didnt get govt assistance nor bother anyone.

PaulF
PaulF

@lethalenoki What does interracial marriage have to do with polygamy, incest, homosexuality or the other topics that were being discussed? In criticizing others for making irrelevant connections to make their points, you have done the same.

lethalenoki
lethalenoki

@leopoldjoshuaenoch@DarcyWarms@mary.watertonlolzzzz. How many animals have you owned that likely resulted from breeding of siblings/cousins/father-daughter pairings. Incest is natural as breastfeeding in mammals. Humans just have evolved a mental deterrent that likely developed due to the obvious fitness that offspring of mixed heritage had inherent. Because it takes a whole hell of a lot longer for humans to reach breeding age than other mammals, the sort of genetic disorders that incest can manifest have a much larger impact on a human's ability to pass on their genetics.

Also, homosexuality has been observed in pretty much every phyla in the animal kingdom. And, your OPINION on morality is quite irrelevant to society. Sorry, you. You're going to be left in the dust, mocked by the next generation like we mock those bigots who were (and sadly some that still are) opposed to interracial marriage.

PaulF
PaulF

@Kinggrayiv Really? How do you know that?  Have you read the original text?  I suspect you've fallen prey to someone's unsubstantiated opinion.  To clear that up, all we know about those two cities is in the various versions of the documents making up today's Old Testament, and the texts (in the original) are clear on what the behavior was.

TricksterWolf
TricksterWolf

@bcmugger  A three-word ad hominem abusive retort doesn't really add to the conversation.

TylerDiminick
TylerDiminick

@Sherif @messaiiina @KyleShaw Sherif, that isn't a typing mistake. You are(you're, not your) a dumb ass. That is all there(not their, or they're) is to it. It's(not its) simple grammar, not a typing mistake. The uneducated are so easy to spot.

Sherif
Sherif

@messaiiina @Sherif @KyleShaw It is a shame messaiina that you bother to point out a mistake in typing, and compare it to your disastrous ;non scientific claim that makes you an animal.

Last I checked, animals do not have the power to analyse a mistake! What a smart one, your master should be proud.