If you thought the “Satanic Panic” years were over, that the global hysteria over “ritual abuse” in the 1980s and 1990s that ruined countless lives and enriched unscrupulous con-artists was nothing more than a fading bad memory, think again. According to Private Eye magazine the core of true believers never stopped believing and they’re mounting a come-back.
“…despite the fact that there has been not a shred of credible, physical, forensic evidence to substantiate the existence of Satanic ritual abuse, anywhere in the world, there is still an international network of zealots hell-bent on reviving and spreading the myth. For a few years in the late 1990s and early 2000s the believers quietly went to ground. There was a backlash here and in the US … Believers stopped talking about Satanic or ritual abuse and instead started using the terms organised or extreme abuse … there is now a growing and dangerous fight back in the form of books and conferences featuring speakers defiantly and proudly proclaiming the existence of “ritual abuse” and how to treat “survivors”.”
A quick look at Amazon reveals that SRA (Satanic Ritual Abuse) “survivors” are still writing memoirs, and two books seemingly aimed at mental health and law enforcement professionals interested in SRA cases (“Ritual Abuse in the Twenty-First Century” and “Forensic Aspects of Dissociative Identity Disorder”) were published in 2008. If the Satanic panics are making a come-back we all know what could happen next, a moral panic that will see innocent men and women jailed, sometimes for decades. Creating a situation where Pagans and occultists will have to watch their backs.
“In the United States, Canada, and Europe, people have reported being ritually abused under the banner of satanism, Christianity, various pagan and pantheistic belief systems, white supremacy movements, nazism, Santeria, voodoo, etc. At the present time, satanism is either the most common ideology under which ritual abuse is practiced or it is receiving the most attention.”
Remember, the last time this exploded into the mainstream even Oprah jumped on the Satanic Panic bandwagon (something I don’t think she ever apologized for). How do these Satan panic peddlers stay afloat when the inevitable backlashes happen and the light of truth and reason shines on their money-making schemes? One has only to look the extensive underground network of conservative evangelicals and Pentecostals who are still convinced that Satan is not only a spiritual adversary, a personification of evil, but has “troops on the ground” as it were.
“A month ago I was with my wife and two other ladies in the car, including one who was formerly a witch but now a full on born-again Christian. In fact I have personally cast out many demonic spirits out of her. She told us that one of her friend’s (who also was a witch) father was a high priest in the coven. When she was a small girl, he told her that he had a surprise for her birthday. He blind folded her and told her to cut the cake. After cutting, her blind fold was removed and she was horrified to see that she had cut through the neck of a baby. Could this be happening in Australia?? Yes, it is.”
The non-stop culture of “spiritual warfare” against imaginary Satanic “witches” and “warlocks” inevitably leads to spiritual (and sometimes physical) action against real-live Witches and ultimately the horrors of false accusation for owning the wrong books, listening to the wrong kind of music, or practicing the wrong religion. You may think it would never happen to you, but if the police ever search your home after a false accusation of “Satanic abuse”, what will they find on your bookshelf?
“If they came for you tomorrow, innocent or not, what would your bookshelf tell the world about you? Go and have a glance now, and ponder whether those volumes you’ve accumulated really are the possessions of an innocent person…”
The best way to combat this hysteria ever reaching the mainstream again is to be as out and open as possible. To be visible, outspoken, and unafraid of the “mainstream”. This doesn’t mean we have to lose the mysteries central to some of our faiths, but that we must constantly dispel the shadows of rumor and gossip so we can combat the lies with reason. To engage with the media and press on our own terms so that never again will another innocent man or woman be jailed or put on trial by a “spiritual warrior”, unscrupulous therapist, “occult expert”, or child (grown or not) who’s imagination has been warped and led astray.