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Satanic Ritual Abuse

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Satanic Ritual Abuse
How many of the "missing children" are acutaly found?

About 15% maybe years ago, almost 30%!

What happens to the 85% not found?

TO MANY get the following! TO MANY is TO MANY!

What you going to do about the situation!

Are you going to just sit around and pat each other on the back?

Are you going to "WARN the kids!" How about their "Christian" parents!

Are you going to do ANYthing about SRA?

Are you going to copy > paste to WORD or TEXT > print > handout, that is "least" you could do, "FOR the KIDS!"

This may be going on in YOUR town, even "next door!"

Satanic Ritual Abuse: The Evidence Surfaces

By Daniel Ryder, CCDC, LSW

The following lyrics are from a song about Satanic ritual abuse off Joan Baezís latest album, Play Me Backwards. Incidentally, itís the lead song.

"You donít have to play me backwards

To get the meaning of my verse.

You donít have to die and go to hell

To feel the devilís curse."

It's not only the "devilís curse" survivors of Satanic ritual abuse have been feeling of late. They have also been feeling the curse of a pronounced societal backlash. In some circles now, the stories of some of the most heinous abuse imaginable - sexual abuse, brainwashing, torture, murder/sacrifice - are being labeled as "patently false." Therapists are being accused of planting these memories. And, for instance, the FBI has come out debunking the phenomenon, saying, unequivocally, there is no tangible evidence organized Satanic ritual abuse exists at all.

However, my research shows it does exist. And indications are we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg of a social phenomenon that, when totally exposed, will rock the core of societal beliefs.

For the last four years, I have crises-crossed the country interviewing cult researchers, ritual crime investigators, task force members, therapists, investigative reporters, cult part of an in-depth investigation on the issue of Satanic ritual abuse. And, the research has yielded some extremely eye-opening things.

The most eye-opening hasnít been the mutilated backwoods remains of a cult victimís body in Massachusetts. It wasnít the bloody pentagram carved into a cult victimís corpse in San Francisco. The most eye-opening, has been a widely cited Law Enforcement Perspective report out of the FBIís Behavioral Science Center in Quantico, Virginia.

The report was written by supervisory special agent Kenneth Lanning. It has gone out to law enforcement agencies around the country; and has been cited consistently throughout the media the last several years.

The report states, in regards to "organized" Satanic ritual abuse homicide (that is, two or more Satanic cult members conspiring to commit murder): "The law enforcement perspective canít ignore the lack of physical evidence (no bodies, or even hairs, fibers, or fluids left by violent murders."

No bodies?

The following is an excerpt from a March 13, 1981, UPI article:

"Fitchburg, Mass. -- The alleged leader of a devil worship cult was found guilty of first degree murder Friday in the ritual killing of a young Fall River, Mass. prostitute last year. Carl Drew, 26, stood pale and expressionless as the verdict was announced. He was immediately sentenced to life imprisonment by superior court judge Francis W. Keating...Miss Marsden was allegedly killed, mutilated and beheaded by Drew and two others in a blood-soaked night time ritual in a wooded area because she wanted to leave the cult."

In 1993, House Bill 1689 was introduced in the Massachusetts Legislature. It is a bill prohibiting "Certain Ritualistic Acts." Some of these acts include: ritual mutilation, dismemberment, torture, the sacrifice of animals, humans...(A similar bill was passed in Idaho in 1990).

Also, in the 1993 Avon Books release: Raising Hell, author/investigative reporter Michael Newton writes, "While some cult apologists may be forgiven their ignorance of current events, (FBI) Agent Lanning -- with access to nationwide police files -- should know better. As this volume amply demonstrates, cult related killers stand convicted of murder in 23 states and at least nine foreign countries. Numerous other occultists are now serving time for practicing their "faith" through acts of arson, rape, assault, cruelty to animals, and similar crimes."

The organization, Looking Up, founded initially as a nationwide support/referral program for incest survivors, serves approximately 15,000 people a year, 40% of whom now are reporting they are dealing with ritualistic or cult related abuse. According to a spokesperson for JUSTUS Unlimited in Denver, a non-profit referral and resource center, they are currently receiving more than 7,000 Satanic ritual abuse related calls a year. (Whatís more, they are also hearing from all over the world: Australia, New Zealand, England, The Netherlands, Germany, Israel, Canada...)

Given the tangible evidence now surfacing, and given the volume of people reporting Satanic cult related abuse, it would seem curious the FBI would come out with such a definitive stance attempting to discredit the increasing phenomenon. Of course, then again, it was the same FBI that for more than the first half of this century consistently said there was no evidence whatsoever of another type of "organized" criminal activity. That is -- Mafia related crime.

Actually, Satanic cults are somewhat similar to Mafia crime families.

There is, for instance, extreme secrecy through code of silence programming. This is usually initiated with the signing of a "blood" contract. Wendell Amstutz, author of Satanism in America, said these contracts are generally signed in the initiateís own blood. The contract, said Amstutz, usually demands life-long obedience. And breaking it means death.

And that'ís exactly what it meant for the four California Satanic cult defectors one fateful night in 1990. The defectors were tracked to an apartment on, of all places, Elm Street in the small town of Salida.

The defectors were beaten and stabbed. Finally, they were decapitated.

What was left behind rivaled the carnage of the Tate-LaBianca crime scene.

The trail led back to five Satanic cult members, and the story began to unfold...

The five who were indicted were part of a 55-member Satanic cult that was operating out of a compound in Salida. Cult members stretched across a three-county are, with a number of them holed-up in a Salida compound (homes and trailers), somewhat similar to Wacoís Branch Davidian complex. Except for one thing: What was going on in the Salida compound for the most part made what was going on in Waco seem like a Disney production.

Randy Cerny, Director of the Northern Chapter of Californiaís Ritual Crime Investigatorís Association, had followed the cult closely. And after the indictments, he interviewed several of the cult members and reviewed extensive diaries theyíd kept.

He said the cult worshipped Satan, followed the teachings of renowned Satanist Aleister Crowley, engaged in sexual abuse, ritual torture including electric shock, child abuse, murder...In other words, many of the same things Satanic ritual abuse survivors have been consistently reporting.

Cerny also said it was reported cult members were from all walks of life. This even included a dentist, a minister, and a woman enrolled in a law enforcement class at a local community college. (Satanic cult members arenít, by any means, always tattooed teen bikers who have listened to one too many Metallica albums, Often, Satanic ritual abuse survivors report their cult perpetrators are respected members of the community: doctors, law enforcement officials, PTA members, little league coaches...This all, apparently, is part of the facade.)

One of the Matomoros cult members responsible for some of the 13 grisly murder/sacrifices in Mexico a few years back, was majoring in law enforcement at Texas Southmost College at the time she was arrested.

"The California cult was a very secretive, close-knit, sophisticated group," said Cerny.

The Satanic cult was run under the iron fist of charismatic leader, high priest, Gerald Cruz. And, as David Koresh had done in Waco, Cruz used sleep deprivation, brainwashing, keep members in line. At a trial in Oakland in December, 1992, cult expert and psychologist, Daniel Goldstine, would characterize Cruz as "evil and sadistic."

The jury thought so too. Cruz and two other cult members were sentenced to death for the murders. Two other cult members got life. "Now letís project this 20 to 25 years down the road," Cerny continued. "Say someone walks into a police department or therapistís office and says, ĎIím starting to have memories that my dad was a leader of this Satanic cult in California. And they would brainwash people, torture them with electric shock, sexually abuse me, sacrifice animals, kill people...í "

Cerny wondered if that would all be passed off as a "false memory."

Nationally syndicated columnist Molly Ivins might well have passed it off as just that. In a May, 1994, column, Ms. Ivins wrote: " workers who deal with child abuse have nightmares about the people who come up with patently false recovered memories of Satanic ritual abuse."

Monika Beerle seemed to be nobodyís "false recovered memory." The following is a February 18, 1992, Newsday article excerpt:

New York -- Members of a cult here killed ballerina Monika Beerle in August, 1989, and then dismembered her and fed her flesh to the homeless as part of a Satanic ritual, law enforcement sources said yesterday after arresting a cult member in connection with the slaying. "The public isnít generating enough momentum to get police mobilized around this (Satanic ritual abuse) issue at this point," explained Akron, Ohio Police Captain Jerry Foys. And John Hunt, Sherman, Texas ritual crime investigator says that "because of the FBI report, the stigma around Satanism and other factors have made it hard to get internal police department support in following up on the ritual aspects of a crime."

Hunt and Foys both said they believe the Satanic ritual abuse is quite widespread -- and extremely dangerous.

It definitely proved dangerous for an alcoholic drifter known only as John Doe No. 60, whose body was found in San Francisco. According to a May 6, 1988, San Francisco Chronicle article:

"The victim had a pentagram carved into his chest, lash marks across his buttocks, a stab wound to his neck, wax in his right eye and hair, and a sliced lip. The naked body was virtually drained of blood."

Clifford St. Joseph, 46, was eventually convicted and sentenced to 34 years to life for the killing.

In his book, Raising Hell, Michael Newton writes when police came to St. Josephís apartment nine days after the body was found, they found St. Joseph dressed in a black robe, companion Michael Bork, 26, stripped to the waist, his face daubed with cosmetics, and another man, Edward Spela, 26, passed out from drugs. In the middle of the room was a 19-year old man, who was laying on the floor, handcuffed and surrounded by candles.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle:

"Investigators said that St. Joseph appeared to be part of a Satanic cult that involved men of means in San Franciscoís gay community."

Again, John Doe No. 60ís mutilated body was real. It was nobodyís false memory.

A term popular culture has latched onto tightly in the last couple of years is the very clinical sounding, false memory syndrome. It is a term coined by the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania based False Memory Syndrome Foundation (FMSF), which is an advocacy group for people whose children have accused them of either sexual abuse and/or Satanic ritual abuse.

Despite its scientific sounding title, there is actually no such thing as a clinically acknowledged category for "false memory syndrome," reports Judith Herman, an associate clinical professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and author of the book, Trauma and Recovery. "The very name FMSF is prejudicial and misleading," said Dr. Herman. "There is no such syndrome, and we have no evidence reported memories are false. We only know they are disputed."

Many professionals dealing with Satanic ritual abuse believe we are seeing the beginnings of a phenomenon that might well mushroom into staggering proportions. And they draw a parallel to the amazing evolution of the sexual abuse field.

"As recently as the 1970s," said Herman, "rape was considered rare, and incest was regarded as a universal taboo. Less than twenty years ago, for example, the Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry estimated the prevalence of all forms of incest at one case per million population. And popular and professional literature [as in the case with SRA survivors now] routinely questioned the character of victims, and disparaged the credibility of women who made claims of assault. Today, however, widespread sexual abuse/incest has been extensively documented."

In the case of false memory allegations, perhaps we should be spending a bit more time actually questioning the character of some of those accusing the "alleged" victims of confabulation. And perhaps we should start at the False Memory Syndrome Foundation itself.

The following is an excerpt from a February 29, 1992, FMSF Newsletter where the organization claims it is:

"...not in the business of representing pedophiles...We are a good-looking bunch of people: graying hair, well-dressed, healthy, smiling...Just about every person is someone you would likely find interesting and want to count as a friend."

Joan Baez's song goes on:

Let the night begin

Thereís a pop of skin

And a sudden rush of scarlet

Thereís a little boy riding on a

goatís head

And a little girl playing the harlot

Itís a sacrifice in an empty church

Sweet little baby Rose...

A Fall 1989 Cleveland Plain Dealer article excerpt reads:

Three Norwalk area residents charged with opening two graves, beheading the corpses and stealing the skulls, were part of a cult that had recently gotten instructions on how to sacrifice babies to Satan, Norwalk police said yesterday. "Weíre taking this very seriously," he [Police Chief Gary Dewalt] said."

Maybe society should take the police chief's lead, in a lot of different areas regarding this problem. For one, many youth are bombarded with Satanic symbols, images, lyrics...One area where it is probably the most prevalent is in the heavy/black metal music scene. For instance, the heavy metal band Venom sings:

"Candles glowing, altars burn

Virginís death is needed ther

Sacrifice to Lucifer my master

Bring the chalice, raise the knife

Welcome to my sacrifice..."

Just a passing phase kids go through? Just lyrics?

May 5, 1993 -- Three eight year old boys were riding their bikes down a country road in West Memphis, Arkansas. Suddenly they were forced off the road and horribly killed. One of the suspects accused in the murders, Jessie Lloyd Miskelly, Jr., 17 according to wire service reports, told police that the murders were tied to a teen Satanic cult sacrifice. "Miskelly said the children were lured into a wooded area of West Memphis known as Robin Hood Park, choked until they were unconscious, then brutalized in various ways -- including rape..."

According to a March 8, 1994 article on the trial appearing in the West Memphis The Commercial Appeal: "A witness last week told him Baldwin (one of the accused) told him he sucked the blood from one victim after he mutilated him."

Diaries indicated the Satanic cult in Salida, California, followed the teachings of renowned Satanist Aleister Crowley. In his book, Magick in Theory and Practice, Crowley wrote, "The blood is the life...any living thing is the storehouse of the death of the animal this energy is liberated suddenly. The animal should therefore be killed within the Circle, or Triangle, so that itís energy cannot escape...For the highest spiritual working one must accordingly choose that victim which the greatest and purest force. A male child of perfect innocence is the most satisfactory and suitable victim."

There'ís a good bet that seven year old Yvando Caetano, like most seven year olds, was living a life in "perfect innocence" in the small town of Guaratuba, Brazil. This may well have been the precipitating factor in his death. According to a July 28, 1992, Cable News Network (CNN) report/transcript, Yvando was found in a shallow grave. His arms and legs had been dismembered, his internal organs cut out. Ritual implements used during the ceremony were also found near the body.

Investigator Jose Moscic Favetti said police believed the mayorís wife and daughter were involved with a Satanic cult, and that the wife had paid five cult members to sacrifice Yvando to Satan -- in return for the mayor having a good political year.

"The stories (about different aspects of cult rituals) are very much the same, whether itís someone reporting about a ceremony in Melbourne, Australia, Vermont, Utah..." said Dr. Judianne Densen-Gerber. "This leads me to believe, not only are the cults all over, but because of the similarities, many are also networked."

Dr. Densen-Gerber is a New York Psychiatrist who has treated a number of SRA survivors since 1980. She also has a law degree, and is the founder of PACT (Protect Americaís Children Today).

Are American children in danger because of these Satanic cults? Well, the small town in Brazil might provide some clues. Besides the death of 7-year old Yvando in July, 10 other children had come up missing in Guarutuba since January of that year.

According to Brandon Perez, initial Development Director of the National Missing Childrenís Center, based in Houston, Texas, there are currently some 4000,000 abductions a year in the United States of which, said Perez, almost 50% of the children are never found. Perez added that many of these cases are not adequately tracked.

In his book, The Franklin Cover-up: Child Abuse, Satanism and Murder in Nebraska, author and former Nebraska State Senator John DeCamp interviewed 28 year veteran FBI agent Ted Gunderson. Since his retirement from the FBI, Gunderson has been actively investigating reports of Satanic ritual abuse.

DeCamp writes:

"Evidence from Gundersonís investigations has convinced him tens of thousands of children or young people disappear from their homes each year, and that many of them are ritualistically sacrificed...nobody knows the true figure because the FBI doesnít keep count. Gunderson observes, ĎThe FBI has an accurate count on the number of automobiles stolen every year. It knows the number of homicides, rapes, and robberies, but the FBI has no idea of the number of children who disappear every year. They simply do not ask for the statistics.í Gunderson goes onto say he believes they donít ask for the statistics, simply, because they donít want to see them. "They would be confronted with an instant public outcry for action, because the figures would show a major social problem that would demand action.í"

And itís not just the tragedy of the missing children that come up dead as a result of this savage cult abuse -- there are many children that are "walking wounded."

Pamela Hudson, LCSW, a child therapist with a county health outpatient department in northern California began to identify the symptoms of SRA in several children who had been referred to her in 1985. What was to follow was a most frightening phenomenon. Throughout the remainder of 1985 and into 1986, twenty-four children, all from the same day care center, all exhibiting varying degrees of ritual abuse symptoms, were brought to her by concerned parents. (What was even more amazing, said Hudson, was that the cases came to her individually, without the parents initially talking among each other.)

Some of the symptoms included frequent night terrors, night sweats, extreme separation anxiety, uncontrolled vomiting, 3,4, and 5 year olds acting out sexually in bizarre, sadistic manners...all indicators of significant trauma. As Hudson continued to work with the children, the Satanic ritual abuse stories started to surface: the children reported being locked in cages, buried for short periods in coffins, injected with drugs, defecated and urinated on, sexually abused, forced to watch animal and human sacrifice...

Hudson took the information to authorities, but the District Attorneyís office decided not to prosecute. A disappointed Hudson said she attributes the decision to the lack of physical evidence, and the children being perceived as too young, and also considered too emotionally traumatized for the stories to appear credible to a jury.

However, several years later, a jury in Austin, Texas, did find childrenís stories of sexual and Satanic ritual abuse credible enough to put Franís Day Care directors, Fran and Dan Keller, in prison for extended sentences. (The Kellers arenít eligible for parole until 2004.)

As with the case in California, the children talked of extreme forms of abuse: being threatened with guns, being buried alive, forced to make pornographic movies, watch an infant sacrifice...

In addition, my research has also turned up similar day care and school SRA cases in Florida, several more in California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The longest trial in American history, Californiaís McMartin Day School case, was one of the first day care center cases to claim Satanic ritual abuse. There were some 500 separate reports filed at the Manhattan Beach Police Department in connection with the case. The childrenís stories matched those of other cases cited. However, there was an additional component to the McMartin case. The children consistently talked of being abused in an underground tunnel below the day care center.

A highly qualified archaeologist, hired by the childrenís families, talked about a series of what he says were highly questionable incidents in the search for the elusive tunnels.

Archeologist Gary Stickle, Ph.D., has worked extensively in the United States and in Europe, including heading the largest underwater archeological sonar survey ever conducted in Europe. In addition, he has been a consultant to Lucas Films in the development of the Indiana Jones movie series. He has also been professor of Archeology at the University of California at Long Beach. Stickle said initially a private investigator went to the day care center site and did some preliminary informal digging. It is reported, said Stickle, that this investigator found some rabbit bones in the soil. (The children talked about rabbits being sacrificed.) However, the day before he was to testify, the private investigator was found dead from a gun shot wound. It was determined to be a suicide. But Stickle said that determination was questioned by more than a few people, given the timing. Eventually, said Stickle, the prosecution hired an archeological firm that dug seven pits clustered outside of the building. (This was curious, said Stickle, because the children were reporting the abuse had gone on in tunnels below the building.) Stickle said a remote sensing device was also used at the time, but it was reported that no tunnels were found. That was 1985.

The lack of a tunnel damaged the credibility of the childrenís stories tremendously.

Stickleís firm was hired by the parents in 1990. Using a sophisticated ground penetrating radar, Stickle said a tunnel was found, right where some of the children had told his staff it would be.

However, even though evidence of the tunnel was found in May of 1990, while the trial was still in progress -- the evidence was never introduced in court, said Stickle.

"Finding such a tunnel was highly relevant (to the case)," said Stickle. "Because it (prior lack of physical evidence of a tunnel) was a major thing used to discredit the children."

The accused McMartin Day Care Center staff were eventually acquitted. However, some of the McMartin parents havenít quit fighting. A two hundred page report on the tunnel findings has recently been released by the parents, in an ongoing effort to keep the case before the public.

As with these children, it is becoming more and more apparent that there are many adult SRA walking wounded as well. As a result of the trauma, these are people often afflicted with things like severe paranoia, schizophrenia, multiple personalities. They are people almost off the scales in terms of addictions/compulsions, depression, self-mutilating behavior...

However, an advancing therapeutic field has developed highly sophisticated techniques to help survivors. And the prognosis for recovery is often good.

In addition, parts of society are also rallying around these survivors. The County Commission for Women has a Ritual Abuse Task Force in Los Angeles; there is a state-wide Minnesota Awareness of Ritual Abuse group; Jireh, headquartered in Arlington, Texas, is a national program to create safe-houses for cult survivors breaking away; The International Council on Cultism and Ritual Trauma, in Richardson, Texas, and a number of cult survivor resource and referral organizations; ritual abuse twelve-step programs are evolving.

As much as we donít want to believe it as a society -- Satanic ritual abuse is a reality. And, as was done by the parents in the McMartin Day Care Center case, we need to be rolling up our sleeves and digging deeper to get at the whole truth.

May 25, 1994 was designated National Missing Childrenís Day. Those postcards that come to our homes so very often donít represent anybodyís "false memories." Those are real children, with real fates.

Daniel Ryder, CCDC, LSW, an investigative journalist and a counselor, is the author of Breaking the Circle of Satanic Ritual Abuse. The above article is based on material from Mr. Ryderís newest book, Cover-up of the Century (Satanic Ritual Crime and Conspiracy).

Quote Reply
Re: Satanic Ritual Abuse In reply to
And here I thought we had left behind the fallacy of the Satanic Panic back in the 80's...

Talk to the FBI. SRA is a fantasy and a fallacy. Not even Christians believe in this fraud any more.
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Re: Satanic Ritual Abuse In reply to
Dearest Seanachie,

I am very sorry that you have NOT spent enough time and energy on the matter of SRA as to come to agree with the LIE that SRA does NOT exist!

Since a REAL Crhistian is defined BY GOD Himself is as follows . . .

Gal 5:24 they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts That is a TRUE Christian according to GOD and HIS WORD!

And since that definition does NOT cover the so-called Christian's that believe the "LIE that SRA does NOT exist," than more than likely, they are the one's where you your received your WRONG information from!

You certainly did not receive your information from

1. some one who HAS "crucified the flesh" such as a TRUE Christian! Which you more than likely, do not know anyone, that HAS "crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts!NOR do you believe there exists such souls, either, even tho GOD said SO!

You certainly did not receive your information from. . .

2. A reliable government agency personal, who has LIED to protect those the devil is using to "COVER UP" THE FACT OF SRA being REAL," and are in fact spreading the LIE, that SRA does NOT Exist!

Liars spreading Lies to cover for the devil, and the molestation of children ALL over the earth, in massive child prostitution rings and child porn rings! Which you do not believe happens either! And IF you do know that they exist, you mor than likely do not believe these are a problem to worry about and confront either! That was NOT a question that you need to respond to!

So until you REALLY investagate the "FACTS that SRA EXISTS," than you yourself will also be guilty of a "Coverup," and a pawn of the devil, and his filthy lies!

So try not to comment on some this topic, you didn't really STUDY, (or any topic) until you 1. Know the TRUTH 2. And Way more informed by someone other than the liars, who say SRA does not exist!

None of the above was stated, seeking a responce from you in the least!

Until than GOOD BYE!

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Re: Satanic Ritual Abuse In reply to
Interesting, so what you're saying is that anyone who doesn't believe in SRA isn't a true Christian. That anyone who doesn't agree with you hasn't done any study.

Why then, do the vast majority of Christians agree that the SRA scare of the 80's and 90's was a collossal fraud?

Why then, have all the major fearmongers of the SRA Panic, such as Warnke, Pasder, Brown, Schnoebelen, etc. been exposed, by Christian investigators, as frauds and con artists?

Why have all major law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and Scotland Yard, investigated allegations of SRA completely and found them to be nonexistent?

It would seem that any resonable person would be much more suspicious of the conspiracy mongers than the actual facts.

But I suppose one should never accept a reasonable explanation when an exciting and titillating conspiracy theory is available.
Quote Reply
Re: Satanic Ritual Abuse In reply to
I somehow suspect you won't listen to anything I have to say, but maybe the other folks reading this thread will listen to reason. Here is an excellent article written by Christian researchers. It is copied here in accordance with the copyright notice reprinted at the end of the article. You can view the original at

The Hard Facts About Satanic Ritual Abuse

By Bob and Gretchen Passantino

An edited version of this article first appeared in the winter 1992 Christian Research Journal

WARNING: Because of the horrific nature of these reports, some of this article may be disturbing to readers. Every attempt has been made to deal with the subject objectively and with circumspect language.

A young teenage girl, impregnated during a satanic ritual, is forcibly delivered of her nearly term baby, forced to ritually kill the child and then to cannibalize its heart as cult members watch. Another girl, a small child, is sealed inside the cavity of a disemboweled animal and "rebirthed" by her cultic captors during a ceremony. A preschool class is systematically sexually, emotionally, and physically abused by part of a nationwide, nearly invincible network of satanic pedophiles and pornographers. A young girl is thrown into an electrified cage with wolves and ritually tortured to deliberately produce a "wolf personality," part of her multiple personality disorder (MPD).

These are a few of the thousands of horrifying stories circulating throughout the nation and abroad.[1] Some true believers (see SRA glossary) in this phenomenon say there are more than 100,000 "adult survivors" who have entered therapy and "remembered" these horrible abuses.[2] Others more than double the number.[3] These terrifying accounts are tied to the current public concern about stranger abduction of children, said by true believers to number in the thousands annually.[4] True believers say the conspiracy[5] is almost invincible, covers the nation (if not the world), and involves key power players in the courts, education, politics, religion, and society.

True believers provide unconditional support to alleged adult survivors whose therapeutically recovered "memories" typically indict their elderly parents for heinous crimes including murder, cannibalism, sexual torture, incest, and bestiality. Some bring their cases to law enforcement, hoping for criminal prosecution. Some obtain restraining orders barring their parents from seeing them or their grandchildren. Some cut all ties with family and disappear. Some begin new lives as television and radio talk show guests, sharing their gruesome stories coast to coast during after school television time. Almost all are in the midst of long term intensive therapeutic counseling, many are involved in dozens of psychiatric hospitalizations and almost daily therapy sessions and support group meetings. Small children are sometimes snatched from their parents' custody on the whisper of a suspicion that the parents may be involved in satanic ritual abuse (SRA).[6]

True believers among therapists, alleged adult survivors, law enforcement, journalists, and Christian leaders unanimously call for everyone to believe the stories, to change the justice system so recovered "memories" alone can convict in criminal court, and to rise up against this nearly invincible satanic conspiracy.

If it is true, such reactions are to be expected. If it is not true then families are being destroyed, truth is being ignored, biblical standards of evidence and testimony are being thrown away, "survivors" are being trapped in long term destructive therapeutic situations, and Satan is getting more credit than he is due. In this article we move beyond the sensationalism and emotionalism to take a serious look at satanic ritual abuse (SRA) stories.[7]

The History of SRA Reports [8]

Until the early 1980s, law enforcement, the media, religious researchers, and sociologists recognized four main categories of contemporary satanism: (1) teenage self-styled or dabblers; (2) adult self-styled; (3) religious or public; and (4) small group.[9] The idea of a widespread, almost invincible, multi-generational satanic conspiracy was not entertained any more seriously than ideas of UFO abduction conspiracies.

However, during the early 1980s, a variety of factors combined to produce a rich fertilizer for the growth of SRA reports.

First, cohabitation and divorce rates skyrocketed, producing fragmented family units, single parent families, "blended" families, and many families with no daytime adult supervision. This provided pressure toward dysfunctional individual family actions (neglect, abuse, incest, etc.). It also provided the setting for manipulative intrafamily actions (custody disputes, child abandonment, spouse and even child accusations, etc.).[10]

Second, the mental health community underwent shifts in perspective and membership from that of the instructors and nurturers of society to a general feeling that mental health professionals should reflect and explain society as it was to their clients. This was a shift from intervention to reaction, leaving many mental health professionals with inadequate critical apparatus to test their clients' sometimes inaccurate perceptions of reality. The concept of counseling also broadened considerably, collecting under its opened umbrella licensed therapists, social workers, lay counselors, peer counselors, support group members and leaders, and pastoral counselors, as well as the traditionally included psychiatrists and psychologists. This diminished the minimum requirements for professional training and allowed for a wide diversity of belief and practice.[11]

Third, increased interest in women's rights issues and in religious activism caused a greater awareness of and vigorous opposition to both pornography and physical and sexual child abuse. While women's rights advocates and activist evangelicals frequently opposed each other's goals and beliefs, on the issues of pornography and child abuse they united in a concern for protection of victims. This heightened interest generated special interest groups and experts who, usually with the best of intentions, still needed to find a depth and breadth of danger to warrant large commitments of time, legislation, and funding.[12]

Fourth, a significant segment of American evangelicalism developed a complex satanic end times view, combining the 1970s "deliverance" ministries with "rapture" theology. While the end times speculators of the 1970s pointed primarily at Israel as a sign of the imminent rapture, the speculators of the 1980s also emphasized the rise of destructive occult activity as a sign of the imminent rapture.[13] In Mike Warnke's testimony of his purported former involvement with satanism, The Satan Seller, he claimed that in 1965 he led a group of 1,500 satanists in a desert area of Southern California, and that he was "part of a deep and widespread organization, operating not only in the U.S., but all over the world."[14]

Each of these four developments, (1) family disintegration, (2) mental health community diffusion, (3) activist opposition to victimization, and (4) evangelical expectation of increasing occult activity, provided the nutrients for the development of SRA reports in the 1980s. The first publicized case was that of Michelle Smith, an emotionally dysfunctional woman who with her therapist (and later husband) discovers what they identified as previously repressed early childhood memories of horrible physical and sexual abuse in a bizarre secret satanic cult whose members included her immediate family. No corroborative evidence was obtained, said Michelle and Pazder, for a variety of reasons: (1) by its very nature, a conspiracy's activities are secret and unknown, (2) the cultists planted disinformation such as wrong dates along with the real experiences Michelle remembered, (3) the almost invincible cult destroyed the evidence, (4) some of the very people to whom Michelle could turn for help were involved in the conspiracy. Nevertheless, Michelle and Pazder say that his therapeutic expertise is able to determine that Michelle's story is true. Almost all of the subsequent SRA stories have followed the same pattern sparked by The Satan Seller and developed in Smith and Pazder's book, Michelle Remembers.

SRA Reports

The typical SRA story displays uniform essential elements, whether or not the story is "discovered" by a therapist, social worker, or parent, and whether or not the victim is an adult or a child.

The Victims. The common adult victim[15] is a white woman between the ages of twenty-five and forty-five with a previous history of non-specific psychological problems, often a history of suicide attempts, and who is either intensely religious (usually evangelical or charismatic Protestant), or who comes from an intensely religious background or exposure. The typical adult victim is highly suggestible,[16] intelligent, creative, and well-learned if not well educated. The victim first seeks counseling help for a seemingly unrelated problem. From our own conversations with dozens of alleged adult survivors, we feel comfortable in affirming that the vast majority of them sincerely believe their stories, although sincerity cannot determine a story's veracity.

Child victims are much less clearly identifiable, although most are well motivated to please adults, intelligent, and loyal to the supportive parent. Perhaps this is because children's disclosures of SRA almost always follow questioning by worried parents or mental health workers. It is interesting to note that often the supportive parent has characteristics in common with the typical adult victim. If the child is disclosing SRA caused by an immediate family member, it is typically in a divorce or separation situation where the accused is the non-supportive parent or one of the non-supportive parent's relatives.[17]

The Victimizers. Typically the victim's immediate family members are the perpetrators (even if the victim may see his or her family as former victims who have turned to victimization because of their own trauma). When the immediate family is not involved (as in many of the children's stories but almost none of the alleged adult survivor stories), caregivers in regular custody of the victim are the perpetrators (preschool teachers, day care workers, parents in divorce situations, etc.). The hypothetical psychological profile of the SRA perpetrator contradicts the most common features of known physical and sexual abusers, psychotics, sociopaths, pornographers, and serial killers, leading one to doubt that such an abuser exists.[18]

SRA Abuse. The abuse includes emotional (terrifying threats, deliberate heightening of fear, etc.), physical (beating, cutting, etc.), sexual (incest, mutilation of sexual organs, etc.), and spiritual (threats that God won't forgive, Jesus is defeated, etc.).

The ritual elements of the abuse are always satanic or occultic. Common features of satanic ceremony folklore such as the black mass, human sacrifice, drinking of blood, and satanic symbols are common, although victims typically cannot reproduce the intricacies of occult ritual beyond what is commonly available in general bookstores[19] or what they have heard from other victims or therapists.

SRA Disclosure. Usually adult SRA stories are disclosed in a therapeutic setting. The adult victim generally begins therapy for a seemingly unrelated problem such as a sleep or eating disorder, depression, or marital difficulties. During the course of treatment either the therapist or the client will raise the possibility of repressed memories of SRA. With sensationalistic reports of SRA scattered throughout the media, there is hardly a client or therapist who has not heard of SRA and its horrors.

At first the client may deny a past history of SRA, or may not remember anything, or may have fragments of almost meaningless images of SRA. After long term, intensive therapy with a therapist committed to believing the client no matter what the client discloses, the alleged adult survivor will gradually piece together a complex personal SRA history. Usually the therapist decides that the repression was facilitated by a dissociative state, multiple personality disorder (MPD). After more long term, intensive therapy and support group involvement, including "abreacting," or "reliving" each of the traumatic "memories," the client may become emotionally well.[20]

The child who discloses an SRA story almost always does so at the prompting of a parent or mental health professional.[21] Most frequently such disclosure comes after frequent, prolonged questioning. Most often the perpetrator is identified by the child as a non-family member regular care giver, such as a day care worker. When family members are accused, they are most likely grandparents of the spouse other than the one reporting the abuse, or a parent or step-parent estranged from the family.

Accusations against public officials, entertainment personalities, neighbors, or other more distant adults usually come only after the case has been sensationalized and the child has been questioned incessantly about "the others." Children are much less likely to be diagnosed with MPD. The common presumption is that they are terrified to tell, not they have repressed their memories of SRA.

Those who suspect they are victims of SRA, or suspect their children may be victims, are urged by true believers to seek support and affirmation from therapists, friends, support groups, and family members who believe them unconditionally. Whether the stories are true or not, this reinforcement and isolation from critical thinking intensifies the victims' beliefs concerning SRA.[22]

The SRA Conspiracy. The common SRA story includes strong commitment to a conspiracy theory of history. That is, the victimization is not seen as the isolated depraved action of a psychotic or sociopathic individual. Instead, the victimization is part of a widespread, multi-generational, nearly omnipotent satanic conspiracy involving thousands or even millions of people, many in the very highest levels of society, government, law enforcement, religion, and even mental health institutions. We have heard SRA stories accusing famous televangelists, police chiefs, FBI agents, the Pope, CIA leaders, U.N. members, millionaires, philanthropists, pastors, teachers, school principals, psychiatrists, and others. Such a conspiracy theory accomplishes two very important objectives: (1) it accounts for the absolute lack of corroborative evidence of SRA;[23] and (2) it allows for commonly accepted assumptions to be adduced in support of its existence.

SRA Conspiracies and Evidence.

When SRA stories first surfaced in the early 1980s, first with Michelle Remembers and then in 1983 with the McMartin preschool case in Southern California, then the Bakersfield, California and Jordan, Minnesota cases, many journalists, law enforcement personnel, and mental health professionals tended to believe that SRA existed, at least hypothetically. We know horrible people do terrible things to others, that people often conspire, that there are satanists, and that abuse within a ritual context sometimes happens.[24] However, when dozens of stories turned into hundreds and then thousands of stories, none of which produced a single piece of corroborative evidence, some former believers became healthy skeptics. San Francisco police officer Sandi Gallant has qualified her former credulity, saying, "our largest problem is that we live in a negative environment that breeds negative behavior [and] has little to do with spiritual beliefs."

Supervisory Special Agent Kenneth Lanning, of the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit, has investigated over 300 SRA reports and has yet to find corroborative evidence. While still affirming his willingness to look for and find such hypothetical evidence, Lanning points out the problems inherent in the SRA conspiracy theory:

Any professional evaluating victims' allegations of ritualistic abuse cannot ignore the lack of physical evidence (no bodies or physical evidence left by violent murders), the difficulty in successfully committing a large-scale conspiracy crime (the more people involved in any crime conspiracy, the harder it is to get away with it), and human nature (intragroup conflicts resulting in individual self-serving disclosures are likely to occur in any group involved in organized kidnapping, baby breeding, and human sacrifice).[25]

Corroborative evidence: what it isn't. True believers, as we already stated, offer four main "proofs" for SRA: (1) all conspiracies are secret and unknown; (2) evidence against a story is evidence that a satanist planted false evidence; (3) only a conspiracy such as true believers describe has the capability of destroying all the evidence; and (4) the very people who should be fighting this are part of it. To this can be added (5) the firm belief that only therapists can tell that victims are telling the truth; (6) children (whether physiologically children or the fractured child personalities of an MPD client) don't lie about such horrible things and no one would make up these horrific tales; (7) accused perpetrators' refusal to confess show the depths of depravity to which they have descended; (8) non-determinative evidence validates the conspiracy (what a true believer calls an abuse scar a skeptic calls an appendix operation scar); (9) individual occult-related criminal acts validate the whole conspiracy; and (10) the conspiracy explains the abduction of thousands of children each year.

Trying to disprove a negative. In addition to these ten methods of support for SRA conspiracy theories, true believers often demand that doubters disprove their theory. That is, the investigator is required to adduce overwhelming, unequivocal evidence that the conspiracy can't possibly be happening or else the true believer will consider his own view vindicated. This matches the absurdity of a man, charged at random, having to prove he didn't kill a murder victim last January 24. Fortunately, our justice system is based on the premise that one is innocent until proven guilty. In the same manner, the more reasonable theory should be adopted unless there is overwhelming evidence in favor of the more sensationalistic. The "evidence" in favor of SRA conspiracies is negligible, not overwhelming.

Conspiricists' fallacies.

Logical examination of each of these ten "proofs" quickly reveals their fatal flaws. While conspiracies are certainly secret, they cannot continue to exist and function in society without leaving a trail. For example, the FBI may not have known how extensive the Mafia's network was until years of painstaking investigation and the confessions of some members, but the Mafia left plenty of physical evidence in the form of bodies, bullet holes, arson cases, beatings, and a host of other illegal activities. No one has found Jimmy Hoffa's body, but at least there is evidence that he existed. Statistically, such an invincible secrecy is impossible. Let's say there are 100,000 adult survivors. They represent only a small subgroup of the conspiracy. They are the ones who were not killed, who eventually escaped the control of the cult, who got into therapy, who "remembered" their abuse, and who then were willing to tell about it. If we peg the average number of abusive events per survivor at fifty (a conservative figure), that would give us 5,000,000 criminal events over the last fifty years in America alone. And not a shred of corroborative evidence?

Contrary evidence. There are several problems with the second "proof." Evidence against a story, if gathered professionally and examined objectively, is just that: evidence against a story, not evidence for the story. Offering only one explanation for contrary evidence is committing an either/or (disjunctive) fallacy. For example, if an alleged adult survivor's story of being an only child is contradicted by proof that her older sister lived with her until she was a teenager,[26] the true believer would have us believe the contrary evidence can only be explained as evidence for victimization -- perhaps the victim was so traumatized she repressed memory of her sister, or perhaps the satanists deliberately manipulated her memory. The true believer totally ignores the much more likely alternative that the SRA conspiracy scenario is as untrue as the only child memory. Without evidence, suspicions of tampering with the evidence are groundless.

Missing evidence. The third argument, a variation on the second, falls into the same either/or fallacy: the true believer admits only one possible reason there is no evidence -- obviously, only a conspiracy as big as the SRA stories could destroy everything. However, in reality there are at least two possible reasons there is no evidence, and one is that the theory is not true. The facts of the case do not change, one's presupposition determines how he will interpret the non-evidence. This is not a proof, and certainly not evidence. It is a subjective belief.[27]

Paranoia. The fourth argument, accusing those who disagree as co-conspirators, stretches the true believers' credibility, and without some warrant for such charges, it dwindles to paranoid name calling. Lanning described this vulnerability well, saying,

Paranoid belief systems are characterized by the gradual development of intricate, complex, and elaborate systems of thinking based on and often proceeding logically from misinterpretation of actual events. It typically involves hypervigilance over the perceived threat, the belief that danger is around every corner, and the willingness to take up the challenge and do something about it. Another very important aspect of this paranoia is the belief that those who do not recognize the threat are evil and corrupt. In this extreme view, you are either with them or against them. You are either part of the solution or part of the problem.[28]

Ph.Deities. The fifth way true believers attempt to support the SRA conspiracy theory betrays a niavā and inappropriate trust in authority, if not self-aggrandizement on the part of true believer therapists. Therapists do not have some sort of omnipotent visionary power to determine who is recounting reality and who is ascribing reality to fantasy. As one forensic psychologist joked to us, "they sound more like Ph.Deities than therapists!" It amazes us that Christians like Hal Lindsey and Johanna Michaelsen, who previously gave strong support to Christian psychotherapy critics like Dave Hunt, now tell us Christians can't necessarily discern truth regarding Satan, but secular psychotherapists using directive therapy can. Psychologists Ralph Underwager and Hollida Wakefield point out the danger in placing blind trust in the discernment of therapists:

The believers in the satanic conspiracy who . . . see themselves as having the special power to discern abuse and reach into children and adults who deny being abused to discover the truth are, in fact, claiming a special, magical power and knowledge not available to the rest of us. The claim to esoteric knowledge not available to ordinary folk has been the hallmark of magical claims and cultic righteousness since the days of the Greek mystery religions and the early Christian heresy of Gnosticism.

Children do not always tell the truth. The sixth claim, that children (or childlike MPD manifestations) don't lie about abuse gained popularity during the early 1980s as part of the child protection movement. This belief is heavily promoted by many of the most vocal child protection advocates, even though some, such as UCLA psychiatrist Roland Summit, admit that there are no controlled studies to validate this.[29]

In addition, one of the major problems with accurately discerning SRA stories is that psychological models used to understand the dynamics of regular child abuse are superimposed on alleged SRA victims without demonstrating that such a transference is valid. Another Summit maxim, the "child sexual abuse accommodation syndrome," asserts that children who have been abused characteristically are reluctant to disclose and often recant their stories. Summit and other therapists even use the accommodation syndrome to determine whether or not a child has been abused. This may have limited validity in an incest situation in an intact family, where revelation of a child's victimization may cause the removal of the perpetrator from the family and recriminations from other family members. However, as Coleman notes, it is worse than useless "in cases in which the perpetrator is a non-supported outsider or a non-custodial parent accused by the custodial parent."[30] No one wants to minimize the pain, trauma, and terror that child victims of any kind suffer, but to impose an abuse syndrome indiscriminately on children who have not been abused victimizes them rather than protects them.

It is considered more incredible that someone would "make up" or "lie" about unbelievable ritual abuse than that such abuse actually occurred. Some true believer therapists have developed variations of this idea, such as psychiatrist Bennet Braun's "rule of five": if he hears the same kind of abuse story from five different clients who have no known common association, he accepts the story as authentic.[31] Such a fallacy of credulity, however, ignores both the complexity of possible reasons one could believe and/or tell a story that is not true and also the reality that some SRA stories have been shown to be false.

Clients who unknowingly told false stories have been reported. Causes are often broadly described as directive therapy.[32] Often the controversial practice of hypnotism is used, sometimes with clearly false results.[33] Several experts, including one of the nation's leading specialists in MPD, psychiatrist George Ganaway,[34] and leading hypnosis expert, psychologist Nicholas Spanos,[35] have linked high suggestibility (of which hypnotizability is an indicator) to MPD and alleged adult survivor SRA stories.

Sometimes inadvertent hypnosis or self-hypnosis can have tragic consequences, such as the Paul Ingram case, in which a parent accused of SRA by an adult daughter succumbed to intensive interrogation, pastoral pressure, and subtle hypnotic cues; and then through self-induced hypnosis "remembered" the SRA so he could confess and plead guilty in criminal court![36] Memory idiosyncracies can play a crucial part in false stories, too, as noted by leading memory expert psychologist Elizabeth Loftus and others.[37]

Some false stories are produced with the cooperation of the client, including cases of factitious, simulated, or malingering dissociative disorders.[38] One of the most interesting cases of factitious disorder is chronicled by Philip M. Coons in his "Factitious Disorder (Munchausen Type) Involving Allegations of Ritual Satanic Abuse."[39] In this case, the client made a mini-career out of traveling cross-country, supported by different SRA support groups and admitted to in-patient facilities where she remained until her ruse was discovered and she moved on.

Denial does not prove guilt. The seventh reason true believers cite is a variation of the fourth reason. Accused perpetrators are given a non-lethal form of the same kind of guilt or innocence test given to suspected witches during medieval times: If the witch didn't confess once charged, that proved he or she was unrepentant and should die; if one did confess, the rightly deserved punishment was death. Today's true believers don't kill those they accuse, but they leave them with no way to affirm their innocence -- a protestation of innocence becomes a tautological "proof" of guilt.

Non-determinative evidence. True believers sometimes attempt to find corroborative evidence. Often they refer to amorphous "files full of evidence," but are unable to cite any single piece of evidence. Sometimes they refer to always unidentified "officials" who have seen their evidence and advised the victims to keep quiet or risk death from the avenging cult.

Sometimes they cite ambiguous or non-determinative evidence. Lauren Stratford impressed Johanna Michaelsen when she identified a local site as a place where she had participated in rituals, claiming no true believer had confirmed that site to her before. Such knowledge proved to Michaelsen that Stratford's SRA story was true. On the contrary, it only proved Stratford pointed it out. Perhaps she heard about it from someone else and forgot or lied about knowing; or made a lucky guess; or picked up Michaelsen's subtle body language and inadvertent verbal cues. And even if she did point out a site without prior knowledge, that doesn't validate her whole life story.

In a telephone interview with us, Dr. James Friesen, a Christian therapist and author of the popular Uncovering the Mystery of MPD, told us he had corroborative evidence to support an SRA story. A woman claimed she had been impregnated through SRA and given birth to a child later used in a human sacrifice. Her family had no knowledge of her ever giving birth. This woman's gynecologist confirmed that she had given birth at some time in the past. This only proves she gave birth, it doesn't prove the circumstances of the pregnancy or birth or the fate of her child.

Individual occult related crime. True believers almost invariably point to sensationalistic crimes of great tragedy and violence as though they prove the SRA conspiracy. Loner self-styled satanist Richard Ramirez does not fit the SRA profile at all, but true believers mention him along with Sean Sellers, a self- styled teen satanist who killed his parents; Ricky Kasso, a teen drug dealer and self-styled satanist who killed a friend and then committed suicide, and the Matamoros drug ring murders committed within an African-Caribbean occultism, Palo Mayombe. None of them fit the SRA pattern in any way. During our telephone interview with Jim Friesen, he said he would send us news clippings citing evidence in support of his SRA theories. The clippings, none of which substantiated SRA claims, included crimes like these.

Missing statistics for missing children. The last support most true believers use is some variation on the idea that the SRA conspiracy explains a number of socially accepted ideas, signified here with the example of the commonly held assumption that there are thousands of missing children each year.[40] The SRA conspiracy theory accounts for this phenomenon: the children are sacrificed in satanic rituals! Dr. Al Carlise estimates 40,000 - 60,000 people are killed in satanic rituals yearly. Other true believers cite smaller numbers, but still in the tens of thousands. And yet, when statistical studies are done concerning missing children, we find the truth does not fit the SRA conspiracy model. In fact, the vast majority of children reported missing each year are accounted for within a twelve month period,[41] leaving fewer than 300 unaccounted for after one year. The majority of missing children either are taken by non-custodial parents in custody disputes or are runaways.[42] Debbie Nathan summarizes,

Research into claims about mass kidnappings likewise deflates the hype: A recently released Justice Department study finds that almost all missing children are teenage runaways or throwaways. The typical kidnapping is committed by a divorced parent who has lost custody. As for stranger-abductions, the Washington D. C.-based National Center for Missing and Exploited Children currently lists about 240 children missing in the entire country. Still, much of the American public is convinced that molesters, sadists, kidnappers, and pornographers are major threats to our kids.

Certainly to a parent whose child is missing, the size of the problem is immaterial, the grief is real, and the suffering is deep. But it is wrong to confuse compassion for an individual with a blind acceptance of false statistics in a futile effort to support an SRA conspiracy theory.

At least as damaging are the increasingly common false reports of child sexual abuse, sometimes fueled and supported by inadequate test methods, over zealous medical and mental health professionals, and needlessly concerned parents.[43] Drs. Ralph Underwager and Hollida Wakefield summarize the tragedy of false reports concerning children and SRA:

To treat a child as if satanic abuse were real is to teach that child that the world is filled with evil, that powerful forces can hurt us and destroy us and we cannot stop it. It is to train a child to distrust others, to believe in the most macabre, disgusting, and horrifying events. It is to train a child to live in an irrational world in an irrational manner and so steal from the child the ability to live a life of reason and logical coping skills. It is to reify a child's most terrifying fantasies and force a child to grow into an adult whose world remains at the level of a constant night terror. It is to run the risk of training a child to be psychotic, not able to distinguish between reality and unreality. It is to irrevocably and likely irretrievably damage a child and induce a lifelong experience of emotional distress.[44]


There is no evidence that SRA stories are true. There are alternate hypotheses that more reasonably explain the social, professional, and personal dynamics reflected in this contemporary satanic panic. The tragedy of broken families, traumatized children, and emotionally incapacitated adults is needless and destructive. Careful investigation of the stories, the alleged victims, and the proponents has given us every reason to reject the satanic conspiracy model in favor of reason and truth.

The Bible tells us we serve the God of truth (Isaiah 65:16). Paul tells us to test everything, clinging only to what is good (2 Thessalonians 5:21-22). He commends the Bereans for testing what he taught by God's Word, what was known to be true (Acts 17:11). Peter warns us by example not to be seduced by cunningly devised myths (2 Peter 1:16). God commands us not to bear false witness against another (Deuteronomy 5:20). Matthew 18:15-19 warns us not to bring any accusation of sin against a fellow Christian without evidence and witnesses. God's judgment against those who do evil is according to truth (Romans 2:2). Should our judgment be based on fallacies, non-evidence, subjectivism, and worldly wisdom? Let us be committed to compassion for victims and biblical judgment for victimizers, but let us not become victimizers by faulty judgment and false accusations. With sound wisdom and biblically based discernment, we need have no fear of a monolithic satanic conspiracy:

You will walk safely in your way,

And your foot will not stumble.

When you lie down, you will not be afraid;

Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.

Do not be afraid of sudden terror,

Nor of trouble from the wicked when it comes;

For the Lord will be your confidence,

And will keep your foot from being caught.

Proverbs 3:23-26


Some stories are chronicled in such books as Truddi Chase's When Rabbit Howls (New York: Jove Books, 1987), James G. Friesen's Uncovering the Mystery of MPD (San Bernardino, CA: Here's Life Publishers, 1991), Robert S. Mayer's Satan's Children (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1991), Michelle Smith and Lawrence Pazder's Michelle Remembers (New York: Congdon & Lattes, 1980), Judith Spencer's Suffer the Child (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1989), and Lauren Stratford's Satan's Underground (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1988; Gretna, LA: Pelican Publishing co.,1991).

See, e.g., Friesen. A good reference in response to SRA stories is James T. Richardson, Joel Best, and David G. Bromley, The Satanism Scare (New York: Aldine de Gruyter, 1991).

Bob Larson, who hosts a nationally syndicated Christian radio talk show, claims that there are "several hundreds of thousands" of adults who "remember" such horrible abuse.

Some say that between 40,000 and 60,000 persons per year are ritually murdered (statisic attributed to Dr. Al Carlisle of the Utah State Prison System by Jerry Johnston [The Edge of Evil (Dallas: Word Books, 1989)] and others).

Whether the true believer uses the term conspiracy, a synonym such as "infiltration" (as Bob Larson uses), or no term at all, the assumption is the same.

Three notable cases where dozens of children were taken from their parents before there was any corroborative evidence to back up suspicions were in Bakersfield, California; Jordan, Minnesota; and in England.

The phenomenon of SRA reports is of relatively recent origin. The various aspects are often ambiguous, open-ended, and/or complex. In addition, most of the constructive professional dialogue on the subject has appeared in papers presented at conferences, articles in professional journals, and newspaper articles. Little has been discussed in book form. (see SRA Bibliography)

Space limitations preclude discussing a history of Satanism here. The reader is referred to Bob and Gretchen Passantino's When the Devil Dares Your Kids (Ann Arbor, MI: Servant Publications, 1991), 34-38. A description and history of witchcraft is on pages 50-55.

Further information on on the types of contemporary Satanists is available in Craig Hawkins's "The Many Faces of Satanism," Foward, Fall 1986, 16-22.

For further information on this aspect of SRA development, see the journal Child Abuse and Neglect; Debbie Nathan, "The Ritual Sex Abuse Hoax," The Village Voice, 12 June 1990, 36-44; Ralph Underwager and Hollida Wakefield, "Cur Allii, Prae Aliis? (Why Some, and Not Others?)," Issues in Child Abuse Accusations3,3:178-93; Jeffrey Victor, "The Satanic Cult Scare and Allegations of Ritual Child Abuse," Issues in Child Abuse Accusations 3,3:135-43; Wakefield and Underwager's "Sexual Abuse Allegations in Divorce and Custody Disputes," Behavioral Sciences and the LAW (in press); and Sherrill Mulhern, "Ritual Abuse: Creating a Context for Belief," Laboratoire des Remeurs, Paris.

For further information on this subject, see John Johnson and Steve Padilla's "Satanism: Growing Concern - And Skepticism" (Los Angeles Times, 23 April 1991) and Jeffrey Victor's "The Spread of Satanic-Cult Rumors" (Skeptical Inquirer [14 Spring 1990]:287-91).

See Elizabeth Loftus and Katherine Ketcham's (New York): St. Martin's Press, 1991), Joel Best's "Missing Children, Misleading Statistics" (The Public Interest, 84-92), Lee Colemans's "False Allegations of Child Sexual abuse" (Forum, January-February 1986, 12-22), and the journal Issues in Child Abuse Accusations.

For further information on this development in end times theology, see Gary DeMar's Last Days Madness (Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth and Hyatt, Publishers, 1991), especially chapters eight and nine.

Mike Warnke, The Satan Seller (Plainfield, NJ: Logos Books, 1972), 93, 116.

The vast majority of alleged adult survivors fit this general profile, although occasionally there are male vicims, younger women, ethnic minority members, and so forth.

See George Ganaway's discussion of this in "Historical versus Narrative Truth: Clarifying the Role of Exogenous Trauma in the Etiology of MPD and its Variants." Dissociation 2, 4:205-20.

See, e.g., Wakefield and Underwager, "Sexual Abuse Allegations in Divorce and Custody Disputes."

A fascinating study of this is in Martha Rogers's "Evaluating an Alleged Satanic Ritualistic Abuser: What We Don't Know," Issues in Child Abuse Accusations 3:166-77.

Many details closely follow descriptions in Anton LaVay's The Satanic Bible (New York: Avon Books, 1969), The Satan Seller, Michelle Remembers, and other popular books found in general bookstores. It sometimes is possible to follow particular details as they spread from one victim through a support group or therapist to other victims (see, e.g., Victor's "The Satanic Cult Scare," 135-43).

In our three years of extensive research into SRA and alleged adult survivors, the fully well adult survivor is rare to nonexistent.

While it is true that questioning often begins with a general troubling complaint by a child such as "My teacher touched me funny," that is not considered a disclosure of an SRA story.

See, e.g., Underwager and Wakefield's "Cur Allii, Prae Aliis?"

Remeber, the individual or samll group engaging in criminal abuse is not indicative of SRA, in which widespread conspiracy is an essential part of the definition.

E.g., loner Satanist abuse, sexual fondling in a Roman Catholic confessional, or repeated nonreligious abuse in a prescribed manner, location, or sequence.

Kenneth V. Lanning, "Commentary on Ritual Abuse: A Law Enforcement View or Perspective," Child Abuse and Neglect 15 (1991):171-73.

See our article on Lauren Stratford's Satan's Underground entitled "Satan's Sideshow," issue 90,26-28.

This fallacy is discussed in our book Witch Hunt (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1990), 113-16.

Kenneth V. Lanning, "Satanic, Occult, Ritualistic Crime: A Law Enforcement Perspective," The Police Chief, October 1989.

Coleman. See also Jerome Cramer's, "Why Children Lie in Court," Time, 4 March 1991, 76; Wakefield and Underwager's "Sexual Abuse Allegations in Divorce and Custody Disputes"; and Debbie Nathan's "False Evidence: How Bad Science fueled the Hysteria over Child Abuse," LA Weekly, 7-13 April 1989, 15-18.

Coleman, 12.

Reported in Diane S. Lund's "Psychiatrists Debate the Extent of Ritual Abuse," The Psychiatric TImes, April 1991, 54-55. Often true believers believe Braun's Rule of Five is misrepresented. However, Braun confirmed his view essentially as stated in a phone interview with our frequent coauthor, Jon Trott.

See, e.g., Phillip Coon, "Iatrogenic Factors in the Misdiagnosis of Multiple Personality Disorder," Dissociation 2, 2:70-76; George Ganaway, "Historical versus Narrative Truth," and Ganaway, "Alternative Hypotheses Regarding Satanic Ritual Abuse Memories" (presented at the ninety-ninth annual convention of the American Psychological Association, San Francisco, 19 August 1991); Jon Trott, "Satanic Panic: The Ingram Family and Other Victims of Hysteria in America," Cornerstone, issue 95,9-12; Ethan Watters, "The Devil in Mr. Imgram," Mother Jones, July/August 1991, 30-68; and Glenna Whitley, "The Seduction of Gloria Grady," D Magazine, October 1991, 45-71.

The best data on the use of hypnosis subtly directing client response is detailed in Nicholas Spanos et. al, "Secondary Identity Enactments During Hypnotic Past-Life Regression: A Sociocognitive Perspective," Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 61, 2:308-20.

Ganaway, "Historical versus Narrative Truth."

Nicholas P. Spanos, John R. Weekes, and Lorne D. Bertrand, "Multiple Personality: A Social Psychological Perspective," Journal of Abnormal Psychology 94, 3:362-76; and Spanos et. al, "Secondary Identity Enactments."

The psychological aspects of the case are chronicled in Richard J. Ofshe's "Inadvertent Hypnosis During Interrogation: False Confession Due to Dissociative State; Mis-identified Multiple Personality and the Satanic Cult Hypothesis" (Department of Sociology, University of California [Berkeley], in press). The entire case, now on appeal, is discussed in Trott, "Satanic Panic," and Watters, "The Devil in Mr. Ingram."

See Loftus and Ketcham; Beverly Beyette, "Not-So-Total Recall," Los Angeles TImes, 10 September 1991; Pat Brennan, "Bad Memories Can End Up in Court," Orange County Register, 24 March 1991; Lawrence W. Daly and J. Frank Pacificl, "Opening the Doors to the Past: Decade Delayed Disclosure of Memories of Years Gone By," The Champion, December 1991, 43-47; and Irene Wielawski, "Unlocking the Secrets of Memory," Los Angeles Times, 3 October 1991.

See Susan S. Brick and James A. Chu, "The Simulation of Multiple Personalities: A Case Report." Psychotherapy 28 (Summer 1991):267-71; Cramer, "Why Children Lie in Court"; and Ganaway, "Alternative Hypotheses Regarding Satanic Ritual Abuse Memories."

Philip M. Coons, "Factitious Disorder (Munchausen Type) Involving Allegations of Ritual Satanic Abuse: A Case Report," Dissociation 3, 4:177-78.

U.S. Representative Paul Simon (not to be confused with Senator Paul Simon of Illinois) told the House a "conservative estimate....50,000 children (are) abducted by strangers annually" (Nathan, "The Ritual Sex Abuse Hoax," 36-44).

A careful analysis of missing children statistics is in Best's "Missing Children, Misleading Statistics," 84-92.

Nathan, "The Ritual Sex Abuse Hoax," 39.

See especially Nathan's "False Evidence," and "Sex, the Devil, and Day Care," The Village Voice, 32, 39:25-26.

Underwager and Wakefield, "Cur Allii, Prae Aliis?" 3, 3:190.

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Quote Reply
Re: Satanic Ritual Abuse In reply to
You certainly did not receive your information from. . .

2. A reliable government agency personal, who has LIED to protect those the devil is using to "COVER UP" THE FACT OF SRA being REAL," and are in fact spreading the LIE, that SRA does NOT Exist!

No, you're right. I don't have veiled allegations of supposed evidence from an unnamed "insider" source which cannot be corroborated. I don't suppose you'd care to name this "government agency" person? No, I didn't think so.

What I do have is actual investigations from actual experts, with actual names and credentials. Here is a link to a reprint of the official FBI report.


January 1992

Kenneth V. Lanning

Supervisory Special Agent

Behavioral Science Unit

National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime

Federal Bureau of Investigation

FBI Academy

Quantico, Virginia 22135

Do you have better sources than the top law enforcement investigation agency in the country?

If you're actually interested in some real study, (which I supposedly havn't done )here's a few more articles, all by people with names.

Characteristics and Sources of Allegations of Ritualistic Child Abuse Grant No. 90CA1405 Final Report to the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect

The Myth of Satanic Ritual Abuse

Interview With Sherrill Mulhern

By Jon Trott

Satan's Sideshow: The True Lauren Stratford Story

Selling Satan: The Tragic History of Mike Warnke

Michelle Remembers: Fiction, not Fact

The Debunking of a Myth

- Why the original "ritual abuse" victim may have suffered only from her childhood fantasies

Michelle Remembers- False "Survivor" Story of Satanic Abuse

That's only a smattering of the articles available which show exactly why the whole SRA Panic is nothing more than a socially engineered fallacy. There are many, many more articles by many more experts, but these should keep you busy for awhile. They certainly are enough to refute your allegations that I have not studied the subject.

I'm old enough to remember actually listening to Warnke, Pazder, Brown et al, in person on their money making tours, and on radio and TV interviews. LIke many other Christians of the time I was sucked in to the hype and I was shocked and horrified (and fascinated, I confess) by the horrific stories and descriptions. Of course we now know that it is a weakness to seek out horror stories so as to be shocked. It's kind of like "Christian Porn" especially when the disgusting and lurid details of sex and torture of children were so much sought after. One can be thankful in retrospect, I suppose, to realise that those stories were false even if we should be disgusted with ourselves that we rushed out to buy and read such filth.

NO, the SRA panic is a particulary sordid and sleazy period in Christian history, which should be remembered with shame and which lessons should never be forgotten.

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Re: Satanic Ritual Abuse In reply to
Some other useful links that debunk the whole Satanic Ritual Abuse myth are...[...]it.html

SATANIC RITUAL ABUSE IN POPULAR CHRISTIAN LITERATURE: Why Christians Fall for a Lie Searching for the Truth

Bob and Gretchen Passantino - This article first appeared in the Journal of Psychology and Theology, 1992, Vol. 20, No. 3, 299-305


Cult Awareness & Information Centre (Australia)

Some books worth checking out (and links to them) are:[...]6474348

Satan Wants You: The Cult of Devil Worship in America

by Arthur Lyons (Mysterious Press, 1988).[...]6474348

In Pursuit of Satan: The Police and the Occult

by Robert D. Hicks (Prometheus Books, 1991).[...]6474348

The Satanism Scare: Social Institutions and Social Change

edited by James T. Richardson, Joel Best, and David Bromley (Aldine de Gruyter, 1991).[...]=283155

Out of Darkness: Exploring Satanism and Ritual Abuse

edited by Sakheim and Devine (Lexington Books/ MacMillan, 1992).[...]6474348

Satanic Panic: The Creation of a Contemporary Legend

by Jeffrey S. Victor (Open Court Press, 1993).[...]=glance

Satan's Silence: Ritual Abuse and the Making of a Modern American Witch Hunt

by Debbie Nathan, Michael Snedeker (Authors Choice Press, 2001)

Hope these are of interest/assistance...

Quote Reply
Re: Satanic Ritual Abuse In reply to

how misinformed you are just because you have not seen the physical effects of SRA that doesn't mean that it's not real, and that others have not seen it.

I invite you to read my report on the subject of:demons the report can be seen on by blog under the heading: Apologetics

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Re: Satanic Ritual Abuse In reply to

how misinformed you are just because you have not seen the physical effects of FSM (Flying Spaghetti Monster) that doesn't mean that it's not real, and that others have not seen it.

The reason that SRA is not real is not just because I have not seen it. To make that allusion and completely ignore the documentation that I and others have provided shows a complete lack of honesty on your part.

The reason that SRA is not real is because it has been thoroughly and completely investigated by every credible, professional investigative agency, both secular and Christian, and it has been found to be a product of imagination and fraud, plain and simple. If you want a credible position on SRA, then deal with the facts, rather than the fallacy of appeal to emotion.
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Re: Satanic Ritual Abuse In reply to
Contrary to what your church leaders want you to believe, Satanists (Real Satanists) DO NOT abuse or intentionally harm children in any way.

If fact it is more often that it's actually christians who do the abusing, I could sit here all day & quote you hundreds of cases of priests having it away with altar boys but you people wouldn't believe a word of it as they are above that sort of behaviour in your eyes.
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Re: Satanic Ritual Abuse In reply to
Dear Wheels20,

how misinformed you are just because you have not seen the physical effects of SRA that doesn't mean that it's not real, and that others have not seen it.

I invite you to read my report on the subject of:demons the report can be seen on by blog under the heading: Apologetics

There are some who LIE because they do not know the TRUTH!

They are children of the devil, who is the father of liars!

SRA is a creation of the preverted, who abuse children, and others, in a satanic ritual, as you know!

To waste godly time on those who do not want to know the TRUTH, steals time from those who DO want to know the TRUTH!

I know there are some, who believe the LIE, that SRA doesn't exist! These are those who rather HIDE SRA, and in so doing Promote it by hiding it in their darkness!

These who HIDE the darkness, are in the darkness themselves, and can't SEE, nor do they want to SEE, out of the darkness they choose to stay in!

Again, they are NOT worth the time, nor the energy to teach them to FIGHT SRA, because they do NOT want to FIGHT darkness, as darkness is their home!

IF we who are exposing the darkness, of satan and his people, do so to those who HATE darkness and LOVE the LIGHT, and they are the ones who will listen and do the fighting! The rest of the dwellers of darkness are lost, and can't be awakened, as they have given themselves over to a LIE!

We can share the TRUTH once or twice, and if rejected, we are to go on to those how haven't hardened their minds against the TRUTH!

The original post was not up to debate, by ANYONE!

And I don't care who or what they post to try to hide in their darkness!

Keep up the work of exposing the darkness!

Bless you!
Quote Reply
Re: Satanic Ritual Abuse In reply to
There are some who LIE because they do not know the TRUTH!

They are children of the devil, who is the father of liars!

SRA is a creation of the preverted, who abuse children, and others, in a satanic ritual, as you know!

To waste godly time on those who do not want to know the TRUTH, steals time from those who DO want to know the TRUTH!

I know there are some, who believe the LIE, that SRA doesn't exist! These are those who rather HIDE SRA, and in so doing Promote it by hiding it in their darkness!

These who HIDE the darkness, are in the darkness themselves, and can't SEE, nor do they want to SEE, out of the darkness they choose to stay in!

Again, they are NOT worth the time, nor the energy to teach them to FIGHT SRA, because they do NOT want to FIGHT darkness, as darkness is their home!

IF we who are exposing the darkness, of satan and his people, do so to those who HATE darkness and LOVE the LIGHT, and they are the ones who will listen and do the fighting! The rest of the dwellers of darkness are lost, and can't be awakened, as they have given themselves over to a LIE!

We can share the TRUTH once or twice, and if rejected, we are to go on to those how haven't hardened their minds against the TRUTH!

Well that was as good an example of empty religious rhetoric as I've seen in awhile. Do you suppose that if you repeat the word "truth" often enough, and especially if you put it in caps, that will actually turn it into truth?

Some people simply have to believe the fallacy because their whole self-worth image is built around it. That means that all the proof in the world will not sway them. Indeed, proving the fallacy only makes them more angry, because the truth actually threatens their little corner of the world. Without the pride that comes from pretending to be an expert in SRA, they have nothing, therefore SRA simply must exist for them.... at all costs. Thus the anger when their belief in the fallacy is challenged by cold fact and objective evidence.

The original post was not up to debate, by ANYONE!

Oh really? Are you the forum owner now as well as the expert on SRA? If you didn't want it debated, why then did you post it in the only section where one can debate?

Your commandment of no debate is simply another indicator of your inability to accept the fallacy. When faced with facts you demand that we stop debating. That's as good an indication as any that this is not an issue of truth, but rather an issue of pride.

And I don't care who or what they post to try to hide in their darkness!

Anyone who was actually interested in truth, as opposed to simply using "truth" as a catch-word, would care.

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Re: Satanic Ritual Abuse In reply to
"There are some who LIE because they do not know the TRUTH!"

Sorry all I just could not resist. IAD, if someone does not know the truth they cannot lie (they can guess but not lie because lie is an intentional spouting of untruth).

Now, don't you think it is time for us to move beyond medieval blood libel?

Which is more likely...a few psychologists using their position to use mind tricks to open a chance to make money...OR for people to be abused in some kind of satanic ritual abuse that their mind somehow supresses for years only to come back in a psychologist chair, followed by every person doing any of the slightest research declaring it a fraud to cover for those nasty satanists?

I choose the former, a few kids are kidnapped and abused physically by the last people we would expect...but such practices are impossible to set up without anyone's knowledge.

Now I really know you love the Lord;however, part of the order that we are to live by is to keep the Truth...let our trust be in Him and not on conspiracy theories.
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Re: Satanic Ritual Abuse In reply to
This is a crock of Fetid Dingos Kidneys.
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Re: Satanic Ritual Abuse In reply to
 SRA is hidden because the most powerful people in the world are taking part. "Satan is the lord of this world". Do you know who said that. At the top of the most powerful institutions and corporations that control the wealth and power is Satan. He is worshipped. Many of the peoples names are household words. YOUR WORLD MUST CHANGE. You must start looking at the world according to scripture not according to how it appears on the surface.