CII officials efficiently cultivated and exploited the news media's keen interest in the McMartin case, promoting greater public concern (some would say hysteria) in order to procure grants for the supposedly struggling
agency.24 An intense campaign to raise $250,000 through public donations was launched in the local media on April 12, 1984.25 A full page advertisement was placed in the Beach Reporter calling on all citizens to heed the call of sexually abused children:
"The future of this community is the future of its children." The ad explained it takes 11 hours to interview each child and that the institute was being overwhelmed by the large stream of children waiting to be interviewed. Ninety percent of the 30 children already interviewed by the agency had been abused, adding up to a total of 400 criminal counts, according to the ad, and another 350 potential victims
"who must wait weeks in suspense" needed to be interviewed.26
"We can't afford to keep them waiting. We need to raise money to pay for additional interviewers, training personnel, buying equipment and on-going care.
We need to raise the hopes of this community . . . today, not tomorrow"
(emphasis in original). By summer CII had raised only $30,000, far short of the original goal.27
But the newspaper campaign roughly paralleled MacFarlane's indirect but more dramatic appeal to Congress for federal funds, made before a nationally televised audience on April 26, 1984:
I believe we are dealing with no less than conspiracies in these [preschool] cases, organized operations of child predators . . . Preschools in this country in some instances have become a ruse for larger unthinkable networks of crime against children. If pornography and prostitution are involved, which is sometimes the case, those networks may have greater
financial, legal, and community resources than any of the agencies trying to uncover them. . . . In the Manhattan Beach case, I was initially asked to interview
five children by the District Attorney's Office at a time when I was trying not to interview children, but to write grant proposals to keep my center funded. So I reluctantly agreed to see
five children. That was about 360 children ago. In three months we had a waiting list of 300 hysterical families. . . . We have in most communities plans for dealing with
fires, floods. California has earthquake descriptions in all their phone books; the federal government is even developing plans for emergency response to nuclear war. . . . We need a community disaster model to combat this kind of thing [McMartin, etc.]. . . . If you have a system that is trained and specialized to deal with this, you may be, as we have been, able to get in there early, do competent and thorough evaluations before formal arrests are made, before the media ruin the careers and the reputations of people in
The appeal would eventually pay off in ways that even MacFarlane probably had never dreamed possible. Internal Revenue Service reports
filed by CII with the California Department of Justice indicate that government grants alone shot up from less than half a million dollars in 1982-83 to millions of dollars annually in the years that followed. The combined total for government and private individual/foundation grants increased from $1,866,066 in 1983 to $3,268,056 in 1985. In the last three years of the seven-year-long McMartin ordeal (1986-89), CII received nearly $11 million in government
grants.29 The combined total for all contributions from 1987 through 1990 was $15,356,797.30