One of the reasons for the intimate association of the power elite with child abuse is that they might use it to maintain their, somewhat hidden, ‘kakistocracy’: government by the worst and most evil people: a highly capable brand of psychopaths if you like.
Psychopathy is only mildly hereditary, so an elite psychopath cannot guarantee that sons or daughters will be just as psychopathic. I expect this entails that they need a steady resupply of ruthless and power-hungry individuals who understand the world deeply and pervasively and, as such, are highly capable. Normally deep and pervasive understanding leads to wisdom and a sense of responsibility, humility even. But that is precisely what that the kakistocracy doesn’t want: it needs the same depth and pervasiveness of understanding, but in combination with utter ruthlessness and the capacity to appear respectable.
Enter child abuse. By abusing children you “give” them an attachment disorder by violating or destroying the deep sense of security that is the basis for an open attitude towards learning and discovering. With this trust violated the child’s world changes from a world of opportunities, to a world of potential and actual threats. And often they will search and serve those who can protect them from these threats an in doing so giving their autonomy away for life. And they might even carry it over to their children: stultifying their growth towards autonomy. Aristocrats and priests must have discovered a long time ago that abused children lead to useful adult servants; slaves actually. And while this is despicable to people with a normal moral development, it is a positive thing for psychopaths who see other people as tools anyway.
Yet this does not solve the problem of keeping the kakistocracy supplied with respectable appearing, super high functioning, and completely ruthless psychopaths. Only a small fraction of the population (say 1%) is a psychopath and as such has the benefit of an absence of empathy and a conscience: psychopaths are able to exploit others as if they were tools. Yet the vast majority of them are not particularly evil: they can be ruthless, daring, and callous, but they find mostly norm-abiding ways to be psychopathic: they might be mountaineers, military, ER-doctors, car or insurance salesmen, real-estate brokers, or white-collar criminals. But most are definitely not the high functioning individuals that compare with how the power elite sees themselves and would accept as their peers. So how do you recruit suitable psychopaths in your midst if they do not advertise themselves as such?
Enter child abuse again. If you organize events for the ambitious and capable in which they progressively can show that, notwithstanding their veneer of respectability, they are actually completely ruthless, you have the ideal recruiting grounds for the kakistocracy. Of course blackmail plays a role, but the suitable candidates gladly let themselves to become blackmailable because this gives them access to the inner sanctum of the kakistocracy: they prove themselves worthy members and loyal (due to their blackmailability) and in return they will receive access to power in a way they could never dream of on their own. After a while, they become fully accepted a level that suits their capabilities and they will help to maintain the system that gave them so many opportunities (and can end their respectability at any point in time).
I think that what I have sketched above is a useful framework to understand the dynamics of elite child abuse networks. It is never an incident, it is “just” the kakistocracy maintaining and reinvigorating itself: business as usual. But the few moments the abuse networks become exposed it provides an ideal opportunity to glimpse the kakistocracy at work (and frantically protecting itself).