Satanic Abuse Rumbles On?

GNC

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Just read the whole of this thread, and nobody mentions the 1980 book that started the SRA ball rolling:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelle_Remembers

I read about it in Grady Hendrix's Paperbacks from Hell book, which is an overview of the horror paperbacks boom of the 1970s and 80s. Michelle Remembers was very much in that lurid tradition, breathlessly detailing an 81 day ordeal for 5 year old Michelle Smith which was recovered in therapy when she was an adult (with a shrink she was having an affair with, it turned out). The trouble was, as the book climbed the bestseller lists, none of it was true.

But thanks to the popularity of the horror genre stamped on the pop culture landscape, with horror movies blamed for all sorts of psychological problems despite no evidence for it (see the UK's video nasties scare), there were plenty of religious types who adapted the shocking setpieces of these fictions to what they wanted to believe was real life. Again, no evidence whatsoever. It was like the fundamentalists needed their horror stories too, but they had to be tailored to their beliefs.

And all because one shrink saw the success of The Amityville Horror and thought, hmm, I could make a lot of money out of this (and did).

So... anyone read Michelle Remembers?
 

Jim

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Just read the whole of this thread, and nobody mentions the 1980 book that started the SRA ball rolling:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelle_Remembers

I read about it in Grady Hendrix's Paperbacks from Hell book, which is an overview of the horror paperbacks boom of the 1970s and 80s. Michelle Remembers was very much in that lurid tradition, breathlessly detailing an 81 day ordeal for 5 year old Michelle Smith which was recovered in therapy when she was an adult (with a shrink she was having an affair with, it turned out). The trouble was, as the book climbed the bestseller lists, none of it was true.

But thanks to the popularity of the horror genre stamped on the pop culture landscape, with horror movies blamed for all sorts of psychological problems despite no evidence for it (see the UK's video nasties scare), there were plenty of religious types who adapted the shocking setpieces of these fictions to what they wanted to believe was real life. Again, no evidence whatsoever. It was like the fundamentalists needed their horror stories too, but they had to be tailored to their beliefs.

And all because one shrink saw the success of The Amityville Horror and thought, hmm, I could make a lot of money out of this (and did).

So... anyone read Michelle Remembers?

People can be so bloody gullible. Just tell them it's nonfiction and away they go. "Not to get too off track" but It often seems that any fanatical (religious or political) group will believe just about anything at times, the buggers.
 

sherbetbizarre

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Also, this book may be of interest:

SP_Cover_FAB.jpg


https://www.fabpress.com/satanic-panic-paperback.html
 

James_H

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In terms of SRA 'rumbling on', I started a thread about Teal Swan, Youtube guru – a key part of her backstory is the satanic ritual abuse she allegedly endured as a child. Her followers believe her story, of course. Repressed memories and SRA may be debunked for us, but there's going to be a lot of people out there who see no reason to doubt it.
 

OneWingedBird

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Satanic Cult Troll

Who needs the Social Services help when you can do it yourself?

Very very nasty piece of work and I'm not particularly sad she's gone down for it.

Situation really not helped by numbnuts at UK Column News who have got suckered into trying to paint her as some kind of poor suppressed matyr. :(
 

OneWingedBird

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In terms of SRA 'rumbling on', I started a thread about Teal Swan, Youtube guru – a key part of her backstory is the satanic ritual abuse she allegedly endured as a child. Her followers believe her story, of course. Repressed memories and SRA may be debunked for us, but there's going to be a lot of people out there who see no reason to doubt it.

I think there's an awful lot more going on right now than we hear about.

Something has happened with the reporting of this sort of thing over the last few years, there's very little and when it does appear there's a huge relectance to name those responsible in the way that would have happened in the 90s. makes me think there was some sort of court case or something that's made the media wary.
 

Coal

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Repressed memories and SRA may be debunked for us, but there's going to be a lot of people out there who see no reason to doubt it.
A good and quick way to change peoples idea on this is to suggest that no-one incarcerated in Auschwitz repressed their memories (I take no credit for that I read it in a journal article somewhere).
 

James_H

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A good and quick way to change peoples idea on this is to suggest that no-one incarcerated in Auschwitz repressed their memories (I take no credit for that I read it in a journal article somewhere).
Is that the case though?

Misha…looks helplessly at me and admits hesitantly that the period in the camps is wiped out from his brain….With each question regarding the period between December 12, 1942 till May 7, 1945, he admits while feeling embarrassed that he cannot remember anything
 

Coal

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Fascinating, thank you for that, I stand, in part, corrected, the studies shown note that this is a relatively rare thing, even so.

I'd say there is a difference between evaluating a recovered memory for an event which is known and documented, i.e. the 'ground truth' is known, and the inadvertent generation of false memories in a subject for whom the 'ground truth' is not known - there are some interesting studies to show just how easily this can be done.

I worry that there is now a body of opinion on the subject and there is not enough material on the corroboration between memories and events to pin down the existence of, and differentiation between, genuinely recovered memories and 'false' memories.

In any event, those abusers who use of the defence of 'false memories' to cover up or evade cases of real abuse - this is so despicable if defies comment. But there are always people like that and they will game the system, always.

In any event, guilt still needs to be proved and the trope, of late, of "guilt is assumed in the accusation" is something we all need to be very wary of.
 

James_H

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Fascinating, thank you for that, I stand, in part, corrected, the studies shown note that this is a relatively rare thing, even so.

I'd say there is a difference between evaluating a recovered memory for an event which is known and documented, i.e. the 'ground truth' is known, and the inadvertent generation of false memories in a subject for whom the 'ground truth' is not known - there are some interesting studies to show just how easily this can be done.

I worry that there is now a body of opinion on the subject and there is not enough material on the corroboration between memories and events to pin down the existence of, and differentiation between, genuinely recovered memories and 'false' memories.

In any event, those abusers who use of the defence of 'false memories' to cover up or evade cases of real abuse - this is so despicable if defies comment. But there are always people like that and they will game the system, always.

In any event, guilt still needs to be proved and the trope, of late, of "guilt is assumed in the accusation" is something we all need to be very wary of.
It seems like that department at brown have an agenda to prove the validity of repressed memories, and I'd guess it's still a controversial subject. It would also depend very much on the age of the child - I remember very little from my younger childhood, and I didn't have anything drastically traumatic happen to me.
 

AlchoPwn

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Yeah, sad business. The whole 'repressed memory' thing is mostly debunked.

Actually people can well have "repressed memories", but the danger is that a hypnotherapist can ask leading questions that can make people imagine traumatic events. There is a similar problem with police and lawyers asking witnesses leading questions that cause them to completely misremember events. In the case of the Satanic Panic, a series of psychologists deliberately used their knowledge of hypnosis to prey upon the prejudices of some very insular, parochial, and superstitiously fundamentalist religious people in the USA's hinterlands. Many of them to this day still insist that their recovered memories are real, and there is genuine emotion at stake, for admitting it is bullshit means they're rubes and their faith affirming clash with the forces of Darkness is a nonsense. This is how the best con-artists really "take" people. Con artists make the victim think they the victim are to blame, and make the victim hide the truth of events due to shame about the victim's involvement, to the point where the victim will often defend the con artist rather than admit their own foolishness. Sickening really.

My advice to anyone who gets taken in by a con artist is that it is better to admit your mistake and go to the Fraud Squad. Even if you have done something criminal, the Fraud Squad will normally take your side, because they know how con artists entrap people.
 

OneWingedBird

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can anyone recommend a good primer on RSA?

I'm hopelessly late replying to this, the definitive book on SRA in the UK is probably Speak of the Devil


Allegations of satanic child abuse became widespread in North America in the 1980s. Shortly afterwards, there were similar reports in Britain of sexual abuse, torture and murder, associated with worship of the Devil. Professor Jean La Fontaine, a senior British anthropologist, conducted a two year research project into these allegations, which found that they were without foundation. Her detailed analysis of a number of specific cases, and an extensive review of the literature, revealed no evidence of devil-worship. She concludes that the child witnesses come to believe that they are describing what actually happened to them, but that adults are manipulating the accusations. She draws parallels with classic instances of witchcraft accusations and witch-hunts in sixteenth and seventeenth-century Europe, and shows that beneath the hysteria there is a social movement, which is fostered by a climate of social and economic insecurity. Persuasively argued, this is an authoritative and scholarly account of an emotive issue.

It's the only source I've seen that addresses that SRA was driven by middle class social workers, doctors and 'therapists' onto working class kids and how they felt justified in doing that because their target's families didn't meet their quaint criteria of the 'honest poor'.

Also notable that the foster carers were demanding more money for kids they reckoned had been SRA'ed.
 

GNC

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Good to see in the latest FT one of the trolls who ruined lives in Hampstead when they accused a primary school of being run by Satanists has been sent to prison. The main organiser of the hate campaign remains at large, however (possibly in Spain).
 

OneWingedBird

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Good to see in the latest FT one of the trolls who ruined lives in Hampstead when they accused a primary school of being run by Satanists has been sent to prison. The main organiser of the hate campaign remains at large, however (possibly in Spain).

That's gonna suck when they get flushed out after Brexit.

Sinason is massively overdue for a bowl of porridge... sadly do not expect she will ever get nailed.
 

Doris V. Sutherland

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Has anyone here come across the case of the Finders?

I'm currently researching the revival of "satanic panic" narratives from the 80s and 90s in the contemporary right-wing conspirasphere, and I came across a subject I wasn't previously familiar with. I'm wondering if anyone here has read about it.

Basically, back in the 80s two men from some sort of alternative lifestyle/countercultural commune were arrested on suspicion of abducting children, but it turned out that the kids belonged to the same commune as the men, and the parents confirmed that they were travelling with consent. From what I understand, the group itself had no name, but had tried to branch out into small businesses, one of which was named "The Finders" -- a name that was adopted by authorities and media to identify the group as a whole. (For the sake of simplicity, I'll be doing the same in this post)

Now, the conspiracy theory related to this group involves an accusation that the Finders were connected to the CIA, which halted the FBI's investigation into the group's alleged satanic/ritual child abuse. However, nobody seems to have produced any actual evidence to back up this accusation. This was reported in the press at the time, but as far as I can tell, it was quickly forgotten even within conspiracy circles -- until earlier this year, when the FBI website published a document from 1993 dealing with the case.

Now, I've seen multiple conspiracy blogs pointing to the document as smoking gun evidence that the CIA was involved with the Finders. But having read the entire thing myself (yes, all 300+ pages!) I can confirm that it's nothing of the sort -- it merely shows that the accusations were made but the FBI stated that it could find no evidence to back them up, information that was already in public.

Oddly, the document also includes two pages relating to the long-discredited allegations of Satanic abuse at the McMartin preschool. These are thrown in without any sort of context or explanation as to their presence. I've seen conspiracy blogs claiming that, somehow, these pages constitute an FBI admission that ritual abuse actually took place in tunnels below the preschool, or that the preschool was run by the Finders (I saw nothing in the document to back up this interpretation)

FWIW here's an article about the document at the Tallahassee Democrat, which reported on the controversy back in the 80s. Worth a look if only for the photos of the Finders members, who have some quite remarkable facial hair on display. A few other outlets, including Vice, have picked up on the story as a sort of proto-Pizzagate.
 

AlchoPwn

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Now, I've seen multiple conspiracy blogs pointing to the document as smoking gun evidence that the CIA was involved with the Finders. But having read the entire thing myself (yes, all 300+ pages!) I can confirm that it's nothing of the sort -- it merely shows that the accusations were made but the FBI stated that it could find no evidence to back them up, information that was already in public.
I completely concur with your analysis, but thousands of Ancient Alien Theorists decry your lack of imagination (but hey, f*** those sketchy MFs, amirite?).
 

GNC

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There's far more evidence - proof, in fact - that Christian churches covered up multiple instances of child abuse by their priests and ministers than any supposed Satanic organisation. Some call this projecting by the would-be pious.
 

Little_grey_lady

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The next season of the excellent CBC radio podcast Uncover will be about the Satanic Panic. My ears are on the edge of their seats.

Thank you so much for recommending that podcast. I'm currently glued to it, and am horrified to discover it's still ongoing so I have to wait a few weeks for all episodes.

It's an absolutely horrifying and terrible account of a small community torn apart.


I was searching for some more information, from the children's pov. I would be interested to know what the children thought now - do they still believe it happened, or are they more likely to admit they were making it up? I didn't find much apart from this
 

Lord Lucan

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A brief article I've just come across giving a nice summation of the Satanic Panic of the 80's in America:

If you watch the news, you'll see no shortage of ridiculous things Americans believe. A number of people still believe former President Barack Obama is actually a Kenyan-born foreigner, despite producing a legitimate US birth certificate. There are large portions of the population who believe modern vaccines will cause children to develop autism, despite the only study that made such a claim being discredited, the author having his medical license revoked, and the CDC confirming there is no link. There are Americans who believe they've seen angels, Bigfoot, and unidentified flying objects.

Given all of this, is it really so surprising that in the 1980s huge swaths of the American people were genuinely convinced there was a global Satanic conspiracy that had infiltrated daycares and schools for the express purpose of molesting and sacrificing children to the devil himself?

No, not really. But that doesn't make the events that followed any less terrifying... especially when we consider that Americans are always looking for another bogeyman or scapegoat to blame their societal issues on.

https://vocal.media/criminal/what-was-the-satanic-panic
 
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